Bay area ska-punksters Link 80 were huge among my inner circle back in the late 90s thanks, in large part, to their inclusion on Asian Man Records’ 1998 compilation, Mailorder is Fun!. If you’re in the mood for upbeat skacore with a punk attitude, look no further than Link 80, and for the love of everything holy, get your hands on Mailorder is Fun!. 29 tracks of pure, late 90s ska-punk bliss!
If you can get past the nearly unavoidable reflection of the photographer, you’ll notice that you’re looking at two versions of Duck and Cover by Solvang’s reggae-ska-punks, Mad Caddies. The first release, you’ll want to look to the record on your left, is the standard black vinyl release, the first pressing, from way back in 1998. Until 2011, this was the only version available for pure, listening pleasure. That’s where the record on the right comes in. Limited to a slim 199 pressings, this splatter green vinyl is the second of only two pressings of this essential album, and today, fetches from a cool $70, to a whopping $189.99 on Discogs. My advice, check Fat Wreck Chords early, and often.
I’ll admit that I didn’t think much of Beach House’s Devotion when I first heard it back in ’07, but I will say, without any hesitation, that I strongly stand behind their choice of colored wax. Featured here is the Vinyl Me, Please 10th anniversary edition. I’m hopeful that time has been kind to this album, but I guess we’ll see.
The Beatles Christmas Album, bootleg or otherwise, is more of an historical artifact than a single, cohesive “album.” Originally released on 7″ flexi-discs to fan club members from 1963 – 1969, this 7-track collage of voice and (minor) song should be taken with a grain of salt, and although it rightfully deserves an assigned slot between Abbey Road and Hey Jude (Let it Be is organized by recorded date, not release date), it comes across as more of a contractual obligation record, but is still well worth the price of admission. Spin with an open mind… a practice you should always adhere to.
As a follow-up to “yesterday’s” post, Wildflower is the second (of two) albums by sample-maniacs The Avalanches. Receiving its worldwide birth in July of 2016, singles from the album include Frank Sinatra, Colours, and Subways. This isn’t your mother’s electro hip-hop, but if you’ve had any eyes, ears, fingers, or tongues outside of standard radio garbage for the past (nearly) two decades, you’re already well aware of this group’s global influence, and can easily understand how essential this good-time Charlie band has been.
Oh, the subtle luxury of the limited colored vinyl reissue. This time around it’s the “legendary” debut album by Australia’s The Avalanches. Since I Left You was originally released, mainly in Australia, back in 2000 (with copies going for well over the $350 mark), so the frugal side of me held out for this 2017 translucent blue double LP reissue. Hype sticker on the front quotes Pitchfork as saying, “Quite possibly the best sample record ever made” and though I’m partial to Paul’s Boutique, they may not be wrong.
Previously only released on compact disc in Sweden (back in 1996), Refused’s Rather Be Dead E.P. received its first US release via Epitaph Records on nifty crystal clear vinyl (photo featured here… obviously). As a companion to the band’s sophomore offering, Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent, this E.P. (or is it EP?) offers a wider range of hardcore not featured on the studio LP (save for the title track), and is a must for any Refused junkie (like myself).
Last October, Jane’s Addiction’s debut studio album received the Rocktober treatment from Rhino Records. Nothing Shocking is available on 180-gram crystal clear vinyl and is limited to 6,000 copies. With that many pressed, you can still find this essential reissue for a relatively cheap price (I acquired mine for $22). Other releases under the Rocktober umbrella were Loaded by The Velvet Underground, Love it to Death by Alice Cooper, and Electric Warrior by T. Rex. Here is the link if you’re interested.
NOFX’s 2006 flop, Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing, came packaged as both black and yellow splatter vinyl. The latter with a pressing total of 1032. Back in ought six, I was able to procure 6x copies of this splatter nightmare. I’ve sold all but 3x copies, and only spin the black vinyl version when I’m feeling particularly randy. Anyway, Wolves isn’t as bad as people tell you, and you should give it a spin.
Gold is a single-sided 7″ released by Drunken Fish Records (Santa Monica, CA) back in the summer of 1992. It contains one song, Gold, and was limited to 500 copies. The name of the band is Rocket from the Crypt, and although the color in the photo is a bit misleading, the sleeve is actually red, while the record is actually a yellow-ish, gold-like color. This copy, just obtained, came with Mardi Gras-esque beads, as it did upon its initial release some 25 years ago, though I have reason to question the legitimacy of these beads. No matter, as we’re now one step closer to completing the (never-ending) Rocket from the Crypt discography!
The long-awaited double LP soundtrack to (arguably) the greatest film of all time, Jaws, arrived just in time for some much-needed holiday cheer. Presented for the first time on wax, this “double vinyl set presents the entire Academy Award-winning score as composed and recorded for the actual film” (the Grammy-winning 1975 MCA Records release was simply a re-recording, mind you). Offered on majestic, ocean blue vinyl, and released by the greatest soundtrack distributors known to man, Mondo, this jaw(s)-dropping release ranks up there as one of the most anticipated of the year… especially since preorders went live back in early July, on Jaws’ Day, actually (7/3). Save up your holiday gift money if you’ve missed out, because this one is bar none, the definition of essential.
Just received my, wait for it, “doublemint w/ purple haze” colored vinyl version of The Bouncing Soul’s 2nd studio album, Maniacal Laughter. Happy to have stumbled across this when I did (3x weeks ago) because this 125 record release is now officially sold out. I will note, though it’s no consequence, that my sealed copy arrived very, very dusty. Perhaps tiny polyvinyl crumbs were left over from the pressing machine. Either way, a good cleaning is definitely in order before the windows start shaking and the neighbors start banging on the walls.
Did some late RSD Black Friday shopping and nabbed this groovy 10″ by At the Drive In. Apparently there exists a black / doublemint version limited to only 100 copies, but I’m happy to settle for this coke bottle clear w/ bone splatter version (but seriously, who comes up with these vinyl color names?!).
Though not as well received as either 2003’s Animositisomina or 2006’s Rio Grande Blood (a play on ZZ Top’s 1972 album, Rio Grande Mud), 2004’s Houses of the Molé proved that 1) Ministry could sustain without Paul Barker, and 2) there would be, in fact, new Ministry music. Good, but not great, I’m just happy I can start filling in the much-needed Ministry discography gaps.
Minneapolis’ Dillinger Four recorded and released their debut masterpiece back in 1998. Titled Midwestern Songs of the Americas, this 13-track attack received a limited rerelease on, notice the quotes, “Doublewhiskeycokenoice” colored vinyl. Limited to only 300 copies, this subtle touch makes an already feverish listen all the more enjoyable, if you’re into that sort of thing. Great mood music for any mood, so long as that mood is on the spectrum of anger.
The soundtrack to Jeffrey Lebowski’s one hour and 57 minute life (aka the 1998 Coen Brothers’ film, The Big Lebowski) received a few color variants when it was finally release on vinyl back in 2014. There’s the “red bowling ball finish” the “gold translucent and black split” (presumably to match the tone of the cover art), and this, the “White Russian” version. Whatever your flavor, this soundtrack is an absolute must, as is the movie. If you haven’t already, check it out.
It’s been raining Ministry here lately. First was Animositisomina (originally released on compact disc in ’03), followed by this, 2002’s Sphinctour (getting the first-ever vinyl treatment earlier this year… like three weeks ago…), and finally, another first-ever-on-vinyl-blah-blah, 2004’s Houses of the Molé. All three were necessary acquisitions, and I’m now in possession of every studio Ministry album from 1983’s With Sympathy to 2006’s Rio Grande Blood (12 albums in total). Its the simple things, really.
Ministry’s 2003 studio album, Animositisomina FINALLY gets a vinyl release courtesy of UK’s Let Them Eat Vinyl. This 14-year-old album would be the last collaboration between industrial icons Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker, also known as Hypo Luxa and Hermes Pan. This was my go-to album whilst delivering pizza to the west side of Madison, WI before I moved back to California, and I am, without a doubt, ecstatic about its first-ever vinyl release.
Yet another fantastic Live From Camp X-Ray reissue from Vagrant Records. What was once the last word from the world’s best live band, is now a casual weekend listen. The band recently posted Instagram photos of the team back in the studio, so HOPEFULLY, Camp won’t be the last after all. Fingers, toes, laces, and everything else is crossed.