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Vinyl

Vinyl love: The Rolling Stones “Hot rocks 1964-1971”

(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: The Rolling Stones
Album Title: Early tracks
Year released: 1971
Year reissued: 2021
Details: RSD2021 drop 2 exclusive, 2 x translucent yellow vinyl, OBI strip, 2 8.5 x 11″ lithographs, limited to 7200 copies

The skinny: Yesterday, I posted about a Rolling Stones Record Store Day exclusive I was handed for free back in 2019 and today’s feature is a (definitely not free) exclusive that I purchased on this year’s second drop a couple of weeks ago. “Hot rocks 1964-1971” was a compilation that was released 50 years ago and was my own introduction to some of the band’s great early work. I bought a copy of it on cassette with my own money as a teenager because I recognized a few of the song titles from listening to oldies radio while riding in the family car with my parents. Well, after years of listening to this cassette, almost to the point of wearing it out, I knew all of these tracks intimately. I’m pretty sure I still have the cassette in the basement somewhere but with nothing to play it on, adding the record to my vinyl collection became something of a mission for me. I had seen it in shops before but had passed it over and then, regretted doing so. When I saw it announced as an RSD exclusive this year, it became my only target. I won’t lie, it wasn’t cheap. But the colour is lovely, the pressing is sweet, and the lithograph reproductions are a nice touch. And oh yeah, an OBI strip!

Standout track: “Sympathy for the devil”

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Vinyl

Vinyl love (revisited): The Decemberists “Picaresque”

(I started my Vinyl Love posts pretty much right after the launch of this blog to share photos of my growing vinyl collection. Over time, the photos have improved and the explanations have grown. And looking back at a handful of the original posts in this series, I found myself wanting to re-do some of them so that the posts are more worthy of those great albums. So that’s what I’ll be doing every once in a while, including today…)

Artist: The Decemberists
Album Title: Picaresque
Year released: 2005
Year reissued: 2015
Details: Gatefold sleeve, 2 x 180 gram, Red translucent vinyl, 10th anniversary, Limited edition, side ‘D’ includes “Picaresqueties EP”, Record Store Day 2015 exclusive, coloured booklet, postcards

The skinny: On Saturday April 18, 2015, I ventured downtown early in the morning and lined up in front of Vertigo Records at their old location on Rideau Street. It was probably the first and last time I ever got myself out of bed early for Record Store Day and incidentally, it was (I think) the last time that Vertigo participated in the RSD festivities. I met my friend Jennifer in line and we passed the time in conversation, waiting for the store to open, for our turn to enter, and to locate the RSD exclusives on our respective wish lists. As luck would have it, the store still had enough copies of this special edition, 10th anniversary pressing of The Decemberists’ third album, “Picaresque”, for both of us, so we both went home happy. This album is not only my favourite by the band but also perhaps one of my favourites of all time. Why? A title taken from a style of fiction writing. Fun hummable songs with diverse sounds. The same literate songwriting we’d come to expect from their first two albums. Stories ranging from failed high school sports careers, romantic trysts with spies, star-crossed lovers, and of course, a vengeance that is finally taken within the belly of a whale. And this reissue is an example of how they all should be done, coloured 180 gram vinyl, including a bonus EP filled with rarities, a full colour booklet, and really, just plenty of extra stuff. This is a treasure.

Standout track: “The mariner’s revenge song”

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Vinyl

Vinyl love: Lowest of the Low “Hallucigenia”

(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.)

Lowest of the Low 'Hallucigenia' on vinyl

Artist: Lowest of the Low
Album Title: Hallucigenia
Year released: 1994
Year reissued: 2018
Details: Black vinyl, 2 x LP, part of five album box set, autographed and limited to 300 copies, (box set includes booklet, lyrics sheets, poster, and stickers)

'Hallucigenia' pronunciation

Box booklet 'Hallucigenia' blurb

Box 'Hallucigenia' stuff

Box lyric sheet reproduction Bit

Box booklet 'Hallucigenia' paraphenalia

Box booklet 'Hallucigenia' lyric sheet

'Hallucigenia' Black Monday lyrics

'Hallucigenia' insert 1

'Hallucigenia' insert 2

'Hallucigenia' inside gatefold

'Hallucigenia' back cover

'Hallucigenia' on the turntable

The skinny: Last weekend, I took the opportunity to do a Vinyl Love revisit of Lowest of the Low’s “Shakespeare my butt…” (my favourite album of 1991) and it also served as an introduction to the next four weeks of Vinyl Love posts. I finally broke down and purchased the “Shakespeare my box” vinyl box set just after Christmas this year using money received as gifts. The box includes the group’s first four records, as well as a bonus disc of rarities and b-sides, not to mention a 24-page full colour booklet and various other goodies. No regrets at all. The only reason I had put it off so long was because I already had the debut and hoped that the other albums would be released individually. “Hallucigenia” was a big part of why I finally bit the “Bullet”*. Interestingly, I was originally disappointed with Lowest of the Low’s sophomore album when it was released in 1994 but I grew to love it over time and many of these tunes became personal favourites in their catalogue. This first ever pressing to vinyl is done over two discs and side four, includes 3 B-sides that weren’t on the original release.

Standout track: “Black Monday”

*The pun was not intended but appreciated after re-reading what I wrote.