Vinyl love: Various artists “Help: The album”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Various artists
Album Title: Help: The album
Year released: 1995
Year reissued: 2020
Details: 2 x LP, 25th anniversary reissue

The skinny: On September 4th, 1995, many of the biggest names in British rock went into studios across England and Ireland to record a brand new song to contribute to a charity compilation album in support of War Child. These recordings were all handed over to Brian Eno for mixing the next day and on September 9th, the resulting compilation album was released and went straight to number one on the UK album charts (for compilations). Late in August of this year, it was announced by War Child (and many of the contributing artists) that the album would be reissued on vinyl on September 9th, 2020, to celebrate its 25th anniversary and I was one of thousands that frantically went online to pre-order it. Yeah, the first run of 2020 copies completely sold out on the first day and they’ve since had to press a second run. The excitement was palpable the day I found it in my mailbox and walked home with it. In my humble opinion, this is the best the compilation album ever recorded. I distinctly remember when I purchased my first copy of it on CD from the now long defunct Penguin Music in Toronto and there was sticker providing the track listing affixed to the jewel case, so done because the artwork (done by The Stone Roses’ John Squire and Massive Attack’s 3D) was printed concurrently with album’s recording and couldn’t possibly include the finalized track list. My eyes must’ve bulged out of my head upon reading the wealth of my (at the time) favourite artists who appeared on the compilation: Blur, Oasis, Suede, Radiohead, The Boo Radleys, The Charlatans, Levellers, The Stone Roses, and more. The quick timeline on the album’s release meant that many of the songs were either original works in progress or covers of already established tracks. Indeed, two of the songs on this album have already appeared my 100 best covers list (at #100 and #74) and I feel like we might see at least one or two more make an appearance on that list. I still have that CD, though I played the hell out of it over the years, and now I have it my vinyl collection. And that makes me smile.

Standout track: “Come together” by The Smokin’ Mojo Filters (Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher, and Paul Weller)

Vinyl love: Adorable “Against perfection”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Adorable
Album Title: Against perfection
Year released: 1993
Year reissued: 2018
Details: 180 gram, Limited edition, 25th anniversary reissue, Flaming orange vinyl, numbered 532/1500

The skinny: It’s the Thanksgiving long weekend here Canada and the leaves are in the midst of their annual change from boring green to the splendours of yellows, oranges, and reds. To celebrate the season, I thought I’d spin and share one of my favourite vinyl pieces that is coloured to match the leaves that are currently falling and filling up my yard. This reissue of Adorable’s debut album, “Against perfection”, was given the limited edition treatment by Music on Vinyl for the 25th anniversary of its original release. The album originally came out just as shoegaze was on the wane but because of the string of singles that preceded it (more of which appeared on the US release that I still have on CD), it still sold reasonably well. The singles even did quite well on Alternative radio here in Canada, especially the song below, which is where I first heard them and got hooked. And the album still sounds amazing.

Standout track: “Homeboy”

Vinyl love: Suede “Suede”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Suede
Album Title: Suede
Year released: 1993
Year reissued: 2018
Details: Gatefold sleeve, Limited edition, 25th anniversary, 180 gram, Double LP, silver vinyl, Record Store Day exclusive

The skinny: Along with Blur’s “Modern life is rubbish”, Suede’s debut, self-titled LP set the groundwork and etched out the blueprints for the Britpop phenomenon of the mid-1990s. The deadly duo of Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler made for sleazy and salacious glam rock, the likes of which we will never see again. This 25th anniversary silver edition comes with 9 B-side tracks released during the era on the second disc of the set, which spells bonus, any way you slice it.

Standout track: “The drowners”