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Vinyl

Vinyl love: The Rentals “Q36”

(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 Rentals
Album Title: Q36
Year released: 2020
Year reissued: 2021
Details: Limited edition run of 500, reissue, 2 x LP

The skinny: The Rentals’ fourth album, “Q36”, took me by surprise and managed to come in at number six on my Best albums of 2020 list. Funny thing is, if I had to redo the same list, this album would probably land even higher on it. I had previously known about the Matt Sharp (ex-bassist of Weezer) fronted band from their ubiquitous 90s alt-rock hit “Friends of P.” and then, much later on, I had become fascinated with their third album, 2014’s “Lost in Alphaville”. However, the self-produced concept double album, “Q36”, really captured my imagination and my heart with its retro futuristic, David Bowie glam rock verve and splendour. The problem for me was that I came very late to party and the original run of 500, pressed to translucent gold vinyl, sold out well in advance of its oft-delayed release date last year. When that original run was finally mailed out, Matt Sharp took to social media vowing that a second, regular black vinyl run would be forthcoming. However, what with the much publicized vinyl production delays, it took almost a full year for him to make good on his promise. Of course, I was right on it and am super happy with my purchase. It sounds amazing.

Standout track: “Conspiracy”

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: Happy Mondays “Pills ‘n’ thrills and bellyaches”

(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: Happy Mondays
Album Title: Pills ‘n’ thrills and bellyaches
Year released: 1990
Year reissued: 2015
Details: 25th anniversary, reissue, 180 gram, yellow, RSD exclusive

The skinny: A few weeks ago, I shared photos of my translucent yellow, 20th anniversary copy of Coldplay’s debut album, “Parachutes”. For this edition of ‘Vinyl Love’, I decided to keep with the same colour scheme and another anniversary edition, of yet another classic alternative rock album. Picked up on Record Store Day 2015, this Rhino Vinyl reissue of Happy Mondays’ seminal third album wasn’t even on my radar when I ventured into one of my favourite independent shops that day. Indeed, I didn’t even know it was on the list of releases ahead of time but when I saw it on the shelf, the snap decision was made. And it’s one for which I’ve been thankful I’ve made ever since. Not only is the 180 gram slab of yellow vinyl quite pretty and the original album art as confusing and as arresting as ever, but the sound is amazing. “Pills ‘n’ thrills and bellyaches” is one of the greatest examples of what made Madchester so much fun: a swirling conundrum of punk DIY, druggy psychedelics, and dance floor ready beats. “You’re twistin’ my melon, man!”

Standout track: “Step on”

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: Coldplay “Parachutes”

(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: Coldplay
Album Title: Parachutes
Year released: 2000
Year reissued: 2020
Details: 20th anniversary, reissue, 180 gram, yellow translucent

The skinny: I’ve already written on these pages about how excited I became when I first heard the single “Yellow”. Given how big that song became and how much commercial radio overplayed it, you’d think (and normally I would’ve thought the same) that I might have gotten sick of the tune by now but somehow this never happened. Indeed, “Yellow” is still my favourite single tune from the year 2000. And the rest of “Parachutes” is hardly a slouch. I bought the album on CD on the back of the aforementioned single and quickly fell for the other nine tracks. And none of this admiration has faded at all despite repeat listens for over two decades*. So when a 20th anniversary reissue of the album on (of course, yellow) 180 gram vinyl was announced last year, I did not hesitate to pull the pre-order trigger. It arrived months later, looking and sounding just as sweet.

Standout track: “Yellow”

*I’ve got the album ranked as number four on my favourites for the year in a series that I am still in the process of working out.