Sunday, 23 April 2017

Vinyl Collection, April 2017


I grew up with vinyl around me as my parents had a collection between them. I also had a player as a young kid and can remember playing 'Pinky and Perky' and also, strangely a Kylie Minogue 45. Then of course cassettes (and later CDs) were the thing and I loved the thrill of going to Woolworths or Our Price to buy a single of the latest pop band; even better would be if you could get something in the bargain bucket, sans sleeve. 

Funny how things come full circle. I now have a modest collection of vinyls that I've been accumulating over recent months. My CD collection is really quite big and I still love the story it tells of my teen years into my twenties, however, nowadays I tend only to buy albums on CD of artists I really love or after some 'research' over itunes and Youtube. 

My vinyl collection is where I put thought into what I want to own in all its glory- albums I've either treasured as CDs over the years, or curiosity items. Here is my collection so far:


The classics: 
Off the Wall/ Michael Jackson; Innvervisions/ Stevie Wonder
Probably my favourite Michael Jackson album, closely followed by Thriller, Off the Wall has the late 70s disco vibe that I love. My favourite track is I Can't Help It. I own most of Stevie Wonder's back catalogue on CD, but strangely I don't own Innervisions in that format. Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing is probably my favourite on the album, but there are some classics like Mistra Know it All and Living for the City on there too.
Thriller/ Michael Jackson
What an iconic album. P.Y.T and The Lady in my Life are my favourite tracks.
Purple Rain/ Prince; Back to Black/ Amy Winehouse
I went through a Prince stage at around 18/19. Purple Rain is such an amazing track- I'm a big fan of artists who have extended instrumentals and this extended guitar solo hits the spot! Let's Go Crazy is another fave. 

Back to Black is beautifully melancholic and helped me purge a lot of misery around the time it came out in 2006. Love is a Losing Game is, in my opinion, the best song on the album. Now when I listen to it, there's an added sadness because of Amy's passing.
Ladies of the Canyon/ Joni Mitchell; Graceland/ Paul Simon
Gifts from my dad who knows I like a bit of folk! 

Nostalgia:
A Chorus Line Original recording 1975; In The Court of the Crimson King/ King Crimson
My brother and I used to watch the Michael Douglas film version of A Chorus Line a lot when we were younger. I don't even really know why, but we loved it! Years later, I still love the music and the amazing 80s quality of the film. If you haven't heard of A Chorus Line, the general premise is that it follows a group of characters at a Broadway audition as they reveal parts of their personalities, childhoods and dark secrets. I'm not sure my mum really approved of us kids listening to such songs as Dance: 10 Looks: 3 (Tits and Ass), but a lot bypasses you when you're 8 years old! If anything, I like to think I'm a more well-rounded individual (no pun intended) thanks to films like this!

The Court of the Crimson King is a prog album that my dad used to listen to. He even painted a huge 'King Crimson' face (without the pointy teeth) on his wall as a teenager and it remained there at my nan's house for decades afterwards. It was really quite creepy, but great. 

Chance Finds:
Fairground Fantasia in stereo 
An amazing find in an Oxfam recently. I bought this purely out of a love for the traditional fairground sounds and memories of the organs from my childhood. 
The Planets/ Holst
Along with Saint Saens' Carnival of the Animals, this is one of my favourite pieces of classical music. I have this on CD, but knew that I would one day have it on vinyl. It is a rousing, powerful album which I find really energising.

Loves:
Witchazel; Kill the Wolf/ Matt Berry
The Small Hours/ Matt Berry
I love Matt Berry's music. I've seen him twice live (click here and here to see reviews) and what he puts out musically just gets better and better as far as I'm concerned. I ordered Witchazel and Kill the Wolf from Acid Jazz a little while ago and I got The Small Hours for my birthday. Berry is known for his comedy roles (The IT Crowd, House of Fools, Toast of London) and I do enjoy his comedy, but where he has my heart is in his music. 

His music is largely a combination of folk and prog rock; quirky rather than humourous, and beautifully melodic. It has a real nostalgic 70s feeling that is a welcome depart from the chart music you hear today. 

The Small Hours, his newest album (released September 2016), is just as accomplished as his previous studio albums, however it offers something of Matt that I don't feel was present as explicitly in previous releases. There seems to be a glimpse of the man behind the music in tracks like Seasons on Fire and the title track, The Small Hours. As a long time appreciator of his musical material (and, let's be honest, of him in general), this is something special about this album. Plus, check out the green vinyl!

Foreverland/ The Divine Comedy
I saw them at the Palladium in February as well as last year in Bexhill-on-Sea. I am what you might call a born-again The Divine Comedy fan, but none-the-less enthusiastic. I do remember them in the 90s, but I'm glad for finding Hannon's work later on in life because there's a lot I get from it now lyrically that I wouldn't have as a young teen. 

My affections for Foreverland have quickly grown; this is the album that I got to experience as a new release and live, so it holds memories of those amazing gigs. It's hard to pick a favorite track, but at a push I would go for How Can You Leave Me On My Own- the video is a real treat too. Hannon himself is a great showman and very charismatic. Back catalogue is harder to come by on vinyl, but I'll be looking.


What are your favourite albums and do you have them on vinyl?   



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