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The Kinky Wizards on 180 gram vinyl?!
November 9, 2008 8:00 AM   Subscribe

I'm building a record collection, and I want opinions on the records every audiophile and music lover should own.

I'm looking to legitimize, to some degree, my mp3 collection by building an incredible and diverse vinyl collection. I actually started this hobby about two years ago, and I'm quickly approaching owning 200 records, but I'm starting to run out of ideas. I have all kinds of music spanning decades and genres: everything from Nirvana's Nevermind to The Beatles' White Album. I love underground hip hip and own records by Atmosphere, Del the Funky Homosapien, and Aceyaalone. I have a lot of classic rock, including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton. I have and love indie artists like Rilo Kiley, Mates of State, and The Mountain Goats
I need more ideas though, and I want recommendations for albums that I might not have heard of or records that, on a whole, are either cool because they are rare or unique in some way. For instance, I'm trying to find a copy of Beck's rare Mellow Gold record on gold colored vinyl, Tool's Aenima, and The Flaming Lips' Soft Bulletin, all pricey and hard to find... and RAD!
Blues, Jazz, old Country - whatever you like and treasure but on vinyl. Other record collectors - what albums in your library do you cherish? Help me build a Christmas wishlist!
posted by Bageena to Media & Arts (47 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
Tom Waits' Rain Dogs would be a good one.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:12 AM on November 9, 2008


Mogwai - Government Commissions: BBC Sessions 1996-2003
posted by krisken at 8:13 AM on November 9, 2008


Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in Space

I'm sure Tool's Lateralus is as amazing on vinyl too.

the first Verve EP and their A Storm in Heaven. Urban Hymms is great in a different, more catchy, way.

Modest Mouse - The Moon and Antartica + a lot of their early stuff

Alabama 3 - Exile on Coldharbor Lane

I'm still looking for it, but Dirty Dozen Brass Band's recent Funeral for a Friend is supposed to be amazing... it got 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic.

I'd love to hear some Sigor Ros or Godspeed You Black emperor on vinyl...
posted by trinarian at 8:15 AM on November 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Great book by Tom Moon "1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die" has a ton of great info.


There are a couple interviews/podcasts with the author on NPR's All Songs Considered that help explain the logic behind the choices.
posted by smelvis at 8:15 AM on November 9, 2008


Everybody has to have Eat A Peach on vinyl. That and Blind Faith.
posted by thejoshu at 8:18 AM on November 9, 2008


You really want an incredible and diverse vinyl collection that will impress your friends, intimidate your enemies, and generally flummox strangers? Then get the entire Zoviet France discography on vinyl. Not only will you have a collection of some remarkable soundscapes, you shall also own records packaged in aluminum foil, roofing shingles, a burlap sack, and other sundry materials. But its going to cost you: Mohnomishe (one of their best albums) alone will run you about $100.
posted by googly at 8:23 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Heavy Weather", by Weather Report.
posted by Class Goat at 8:25 AM on November 9, 2008


Why? (often compared to Atmosphere though he's considerably more talented) released two 12" records this year on two labels. One was on Anticon and is orange and features a Why cover by xiu xiu and a remix by Dntel. The other is Purple, on Tomlab, and features a remix by Boards of Canada and two covers, one by Dump and one by Nick T (of the Books, I think).
They're out of print now (I think they were limited to 1000). They each feature tracks from Alopecia, which is a terrific album.

Guided By Voices have tonnes of rare vinyl releases in their Fading Captain series.

If you really are into all genres of music, check out The Psychic Paramount's "Gamelan..." record which was released on ltd vinyl (1000, I think). It sounds great. And very fucking loud. No Quarter released it.

Godspeed's first album was released on vinyl (actually, I think all their albums were). Check Constellation Records website as they have (had) the vinyl rights.

Temporary Residence is just about to release a complete retrospective of Eluvium on a ltd vinyl 7-lp box set. 1000 Copies.
posted by Manhasset at 8:26 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


It may be worth looking into locked groove records. This is the kind of record that does not translate into MP3, and usually has very limited runs. Not to mention they can be a trip to listen to when done right!
posted by naju at 8:34 AM on November 9, 2008


This is turning into an exciting list already!
trinarian, I have Tool's Lateralus on vinyl and it IS amazing - not only because it's a great record in general, but because it's a limited edition picture disc. The artwork on each record is simply amazing. I actually have every Tool album except Aenima on vinyl, and I've also got A Perfect Circle's 13th Step and Puscifer as well. I'm a Maynard fan.
Also, Sigur Ros released a limited edition box set of all their albums on vinyl last year - so guess what I got for my birthday? I'm a huge Sigur Ros fan and it's one of the best box sets I've ever gotten. Seven albums of pure magic.
Keep 'em coming guys and gals! Please and thank you!
posted by Bageena at 8:35 AM on November 9, 2008


Headhunters.

Dark Side, with the posters and all.

Led Zep 3, with the spinning wheel.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:51 AM on November 9, 2008


Double albums give the most bang for buck and often have awesome layout/cover art:
Joanna Newsom's "Ys" - Drag City probably took a beating on production costs for this one
Minutemen "Double Nickels on the Dime" - "Chump rock is the new cool"
Captain Beefheart "Trout Mask Replica" - bizarre cover, even more bizarre music
Yo La Tengo "And nothing turned itslef..." - great Gregory Crewdson photos

Sometimes records sound different:
Mahler's 9th Symphony, Bruno Walter, CBS - the one with the grid behind pictures of Mahler
Coltrane's "Interstellar Space" - quadraphonic sound!?
My Bloody Valentine "Loveless" - I thought there was something wrong with my record player
Duke Ellington, Fargo, Crystal Ballroom - another double, what 50 years agosounded like
Dusty Springfield "Dusty in Memphis" - this is why they invented music
posted by minkll at 8:56 AM on November 9, 2008


anything janis joplin!
posted by michpinkston at 9:02 AM on November 9, 2008


Miles Davis, Kind of Blue should be in everyone's collection.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:04 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


You'll need to have Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aerople Over the Sea.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:12 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Rolling Stone has only given a 5-star-rating to 11 albums since 2000. And one of them is The Earth is Blue by Damon & Naomi. It's available on vinyl from their website, as is their remastered first album and both are excellent.

And seconding JohnnyGunn that everyone needs a copy of Kind of Blue.
posted by K.P. at 9:20 AM on November 9, 2008


the worst thing about picture/color discs is the sound quality. it makes the baby jesus cry.

you seem to have covered the basics in your list, but if you don't have it - everyone should have clash's london calling on vinyl. for fun, get elvis presley's debut album and display them together (the cover art on london calling was based on the elvis album)
posted by nadawi at 9:31 AM on November 9, 2008


I guess the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band or Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited are just too pedestrian for the Beat Obscura folks.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:02 AM on November 9, 2008


sgt peppers is fun for the paper dolls.
posted by nadawi at 10:04 AM on November 9, 2008


"Giant Steps" on vinyl is sublime.
posted by Aquaman at 10:07 AM on November 9, 2008


It will also be necessary to have OK Computer. Sorry if that's too obvious.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:16 AM on November 9, 2008


New Order "Blue Monday" vinyl single.
posted by PenDevil at 10:35 AM on November 9, 2008


eh, I'd say you're sort of going about it the wrong way. Sure, seek out the music you love...but a lot of the records that I consider my *most treasured* were things that I found digging through bargain bins / flea markets / goodwills. You have no idea what it is, whether it's good or not, but SOMETHING about that mysterious record you've stumbled upon in a pile of junk has grabbed your attention. A song title is intriguing, you like the band's picture, you've heard other things on the same label you like. Keep buying those records, and be happy if 10% wind up being something you actually think is worth keeping.

JUST THIS MORNING! at the local flea market I picked up the album "Show and Tell" by Al Wilson. Never heard of him before, but the promising signs: 1973 release on the Bell label, he's wearing a white-striped pimp suit on the cover, and a song called "queen of the ghetto". That's all I really need to know to risk 50 cents. (I also got the Sugarhill Gang's first album, and Kurtis Blow's 2nd album, but I already know they'll be worthy additions to the stacks at 50 cents a piece).
posted by the bricabrac man at 10:36 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Coltrane's A Love Supreme would be a great addition. And I also 2nd the Miles Davis, Kind of Blue suggestion.
posted by Geppp at 10:40 AM on November 9, 2008


If you like Tool, check out Panopticon and In The Absence of Truth by ISIS, as well as Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun by Red Sparowes. ISIS are good friends with Tool-- their bassist played on a track from Panopticon, and Tool tapped ISIS to open for them on their last tour. Red Sparowes shares members with ISIS, so it's one big happy post-metal family over there.
posted by baphomet at 10:54 AM on November 9, 2008


The TAS Superdisc list will be worth your while to peruse.
posted by Dr.Pill at 10:55 AM on November 9, 2008


The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief - the only 3 sided LP ever produced!
posted by Lanark at 10:56 AM on November 9, 2008


I applaud your effort/idea etc...but if I can just toss a wrench in the works for a sec and ask you one question. Why?

This comes from a guy with about 2000 hunks of said vinyl in the basement, some lame, some very collectible ,most of which haven't been heard in almost 20 years.

I think I can tell you the story behind every single one of them ( first album ever bought?...Tapestry...second? All in the Family soundtrack, total weirdness? Grateful Dead album bought in Sicily that side B was actually Sheena Easton's first album)

I would lay money on the fact if I went down there and pulled out a few double albums at random, there would still be enough weed stuck in them from where I cleaned out ounces in the 70's to catch a fair buzz.

I'm just thinking that unless you have a top of the line system/turntable etc, you might not be able to reap the benefits that some folks think vinyl provides. (Techno-mefites please step right in here with the actual freq response benefits etc.)

Those things are part of my life. I spent many a Saturday morning as a kid walking downtown with a coupla bucks, and walking back with a new album.

I highly encourage you to get right up to your neck in every kind of good music that appeals to you be it Bach or Beck, however unless you have superhuman ears, you might be just as happy with an easily available/more managable digital copy ( don't own an iPod here but I have heard folks like them) of something as you would with a massive investment of time, money, and gear.

Go nuts mon frere

Also....audiophile vinyl copy....Victor Feldman...."Secret of the Andes." good luck finding it.
posted by timsteil at 11:00 AM on November 9, 2008


The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief - the only 3 sided LP ever produced!


HA!....got it, and it made me frickin psycho until I figured it out
posted by timsteil at 11:04 AM on November 9, 2008


Slint Spiderland or Tweez sound real cool on vinyl
Kraftwerk The Man Machine
Fleetwood Mac Tusk
Can Tago Mago
David Bowie Low
Jesus and Mary Chain Psychocandy
Sonic Youth Bad Moon Rising, Sister, Daydream Nation
Public Image Limited Metal Box aka Second Edition

What about the Smithsonian Folkways Anthology of American Folk Music? as I recall it was a supercool set with extensive notes and everything.
posted by citron at 12:07 PM on November 9, 2008


Hardly definitive, but always interesting - Rate Your Music's top 100 albums
posted by Rinku at 12:16 PM on November 9, 2008


Two good places: Sundazed and Rhino Handmade.
posted by TomSophieIvy at 12:27 PM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


It used to be a better site, but it's not fallen to pieces yet: Discogs.com - home to music fanatics of all stripes, though the site was initially an electronic-only site. By link-hopping alone, you're bound to find some really random things that people rave about.

I personally love the Daptone Records label, full of new funk and soul bands. Fantastic live, too!

And if you're going specifically for vinyl, some shops have color and picture disc sections. If you ever make your way to the central California coast, Cheap Thrills has one such section. it's pretty fantastic.

If you're looking for interesting records, just browse eBay for some interesting record lots. I got a few boxes of 7" records this way.

Welcome to record collecting, it's expensive and fantastic.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:45 PM on November 9, 2008


the bricabrac man nails it.

There is no set of "must haves." What you must have is what a) you like, and b) you fall in love with. And what you fall in love with can indeed be some completely random record you bought for the dumbest reason.

Take, for instance, Human Sexual Response. The only reason I ever bought anything by Human Sexual Response is because the cover of their first album, Figure 14, made me giggle as I flipped through the Misc - H section of the local crate-digger's paradise. That album was pretty good, I'd say 25% awful, 25% great, and 50% awesome. Even 1% awesome usually has me wanting more, so I sought out their second album, In A Roman Mood. I fell in love with it.

That said, there are some excellent suggestions in this thread, so I'll go ahead and suggest some more. I always suggest Eric's Trip and Elevator in these threads, and since they were the first to really get me buying all their albums and seven-inches, I'll suggest them here especially. Start with Vague Premonition. Considering your stated tastes, it's probably up your alley.

The only other music that really got me hooked like that was by a wholly different band: Cocteau Twins.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:02 PM on November 9, 2008


A silly, yet fantastic record is The Best of Marcel Marceao (note the misspelling.) It has a black and white picture of Marcel Marceau on the front, and each side is 20 minutes long: nineteen minutes of silence followed by one minute of thunderous applause. The guy I bought it from told me to put it on when I was with a girl.

"And if you time it just right....."
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 2:47 PM on November 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thejoshu already mentioned Blind Faith. But the ne plus ultra is the version of the album with the alternative cover, with the naked girl. That will impress your friends.

And, of course, Sticky Fingers. The zipper really works.
posted by yclipse at 4:04 PM on November 9, 2008


The Loveless remaster (after being delayed endlessly, most recently because Kevin Shields can't finish the liner notes, no kidding) is out in January on CD and Vinyl. Definitely will want to pick that up.
posted by abcde at 4:10 PM on November 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


Thejoshu already mentioned Blind Faith. But the ne plus ultra is the version of the album with the alternative cover, with the naked girl. That will impress your friends.

the naked girl is actually Ginger Baker's 11 year old daughter, so I guess anyone who owns it is guilty of possessing child porn

And, of course, Sticky Fingers. The zipper really works

Gave it to my bro for Xmas in the 70's. And yes....the zipper worked fine
posted by timsteil at 5:42 PM on November 9, 2008


Was helping a friend move last summer, the widow we were moving gave me about a foot and a half of Sinatra LPs...

I give the CD 5-10 more years max, then it sails the way of the DAT, digital cassette, 8-track, mini-disc, etc... perfect sound perfectly gone forever thank God.

"You can't roll a joint on a CD case" Betty LaVette.

Houses of the Holy, Zeppelin
Some Great Reward, Depeche Mode
Rubber Soul, Beatles
Heavy Metal (Movie Soundtrack)
posted by buzzman at 6:02 PM on November 9, 2008


love this question.


Big Black - Atomizer (I'd say ALL of Big Black, but you if you need something, this is the album to get)

Talking Heads - Remain In Light

The Who - Tommy

Parliament - Mothership Connection

Pink Floyd - Animals
posted by namewithoutwords at 7:31 PM on November 9, 2008


3rding the bricabrac man. Any true record digger will have 800 pieces of shit they paid a dollar for and never listened to again and fifty chunks of unfuckwithable gold that nobody else has ever heard of and melts their soul like butter.

That's the fun of vinyl collecting. You go to a thrift shop, spend 20 dollars, get 20 records, 18 of which have never been mp3'd by anyone anywhere, 17 of them suck, 6 of them are good, 2 are great and 1 you listen to for a month.

But ah, fuck it, I like to impose my taste on people as much as the next guy:

It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back, by Public Enemy
Paul's Boutique by The Beastie Boys
Workin' by The Miles Davis Quintet
Innervisions by Stevie Wonder

And, as examples of the kind of record I wrote about above...

Big Foot Country Girl by Mel Brown
Let Your Mind Be Free by Brother To Brother
posted by Bobby Bittman at 9:30 PM on November 9, 2008


Why not buy records you really really love? That's a fuckload cooler than getting a 1000 Albums To Hear Before You Die book and checking off the contents page.

That said, anything I have on vinyl I have because either it's yet to be reissued on CD or because I love the artwork - original Postcard singles, Buzzcocks, New Order (can't go wrong with Peter Saville); Scars 'All About You', Khaya's 'Summer Winter Song', The Wandering Step's 'I Wanna Go To Reyjavik'. I prefer singles on vinyl for some reason. It isn't a bad strategy for collecting vinyl.
posted by mippy at 5:55 AM on November 10, 2008


the naked girl is actually Ginger Baker's 11 year old daughter

One of the many reasons why working in a second-hand record shop made me feel rather uncomfortable. And I've been an 11 year old girl.
posted by mippy at 5:57 AM on November 10, 2008


ffs - if having a picture of an underage child was immediately child porn then every single granny with an anne geddes calender would be locked up. furthermore, if it were child porn than eric clapton et al would have been arrested on producing child porn.

it's not Ginger Baker's daughter - the girl was a london suburbanite who got a release from her parents.

if you feel gross looking at a non pornographic image, the problem is with you - not the picture.
posted by nadawi at 9:24 AM on November 10, 2008


in the court of the crimson king by king crimson
posted by zennoshinjou at 10:02 AM on November 11, 2008


I know it's nearly a month since I posted this question and probably nobody will see this comment, but THIS IS WHY I LOVE YOU GUYS!
posted by Bageena at 5:23 PM on November 26, 2008


I saw it.
We love you too.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 4:29 AM on November 30, 2008


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