It’s Filthy Friends New Vinyl Thursday at The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven! Check out this week’s list of new vinyl arrivals:
Alice Merton – No Roots (Extended Play, Digital Download Card)
The Beatles – Let It Be (180 Gram Vinyl, Remastered, Reissue)
Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run (180 Gram Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket)
Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (Colored Vinyl)
Cage the Elephant – Social Cues (Gatefold LP Jacket, 140 Gram Vinyl, Poster, MP3 Download)
Cigarettes After Sex – Cigarettes After Sex (Digital Download Card)
Charles Bradley – Victim of Love
David Bowie – ChangesOneBowie (180 Gram Vinyl)
Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs (150 Gram Vinyl, Download Insert)
Filthy Friends – Emerald Valley (Gatefold LP Jacket, Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive, Digital Download Card)
Gary Clark Jr. – This Land
Grant Green – Grant’s First Stand (+Bonus Tracks)
Gorillaz – Demon Days
H.E.R. – H.E.R. (Gatefold LP Jacket, Download Insert)
Hembree – House On Fire
Juice People Unlimited – Disco Godfather (Original 1979 Motion Picture Soundtrack)
John Prine – Sweet Revenge
Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts
Little Walter – Best Of
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin 3 (180 Gram Vinyl)
Marvin Gaye – You’re The Man
Mac Miller – Swimming
Malibu Ken – Malibu Ken (Aesop Rocky & Tobacco)
Metallica – Kill Em All (180 Gram Vinyl)
Neil Young – Harvest Moon
Pharoah Sanders & Idris Muhammad – Africa (180 Gram Vinyl, Bonus Tracks, Limited Edition, Reissue)
Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres – Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres (With LP, With DVD, Indie Exclusive)
Prince – 4ever (4 LP box set)
Pink Floyd – Animals
Potty Mouth – Snafu (Indie Exclusive) (With Bonus 7″, Blue, Indie Exclusive)
At the end of the last century, Prince was still using an unpronounceable symbol as his name, and he hadn’t had a major worldwide smash in five years. His 1999 album Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic was a transparent bid for commercial success, patterned after Santana’s mega-selling Supernatural, an album full of guest-stars and contemporary pop styles. Prince’s album failed to duplicate Santana’s success, though. Chart-wise, first single “The Greatest Romance Ever Sold” was no “Smooth,” and its mediocre performance didn’t help the album’s chances. Rave isn’t Prince’s finest moment artistically, either; some of the songs are duds, and the guest-stars aren’t always used to their full potential. “Baby Knows,” for example, is a weak trifle that wastes Sheryl Crow’s guest vocals.
But as most Prince fans know, you’ll find some gold when you pan for it. One of the best tracks on Rave was originally a hidden track on the CD and was not even included on the original vinyl edition: “Prettyman,” a funky, funny James Brown-style vamp (complete with Maceo Parker on sax) that sounds like it could have been written for the Time. Another highlight is the pure pop song “So Far, So Pleased,” a duet with Gwen Stefani that might have improved the album’s fortunes had her label allowed its release as a single (we’ll never know). And if the solid title song sounds like a lost track from Lovesexy, it’s because it was recorded in 1988 and sampled in “Batdance” the following year. Among the ballads, “I Love You, But I Don’t Trust U Anymore” (with Ani DiFranco on guitar) and “Man o’ War” are both affectingly downcast, perhaps reflecting Prince’s impending divorce.
A little over a year after Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic was released, Prince issued a revised version of the album through his NPG Music Club. Dubbed Rave In2 the Joy Fantastic (mind those prepositions!), the revision offers a number of improvements upon the original album: it loses the ill-conceived cover of Sheryl Crow’s “Every Day Is a Winding Road” and the unremarkable “Strange But True,” adds a trippy gem called “Beautiful Strange,” and presents nine tracks in altered form (five remixes, four extended versions). The best of these is the “Nasty Girl Remix” of “Hot Wit U,” a callback to the Vanity 6 classic “Nasty Girl.” Three songs are identical on both versions of the album.
Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic, the original album, was issued on vinyl in 1999, but only in small numbers; it hasn’t been widely available until now. It’s on purple vinyl, though given the album’s color scheme, blue would have been a more appropriate choice. The much rarer Rave In2 the Joy Fantastic, the revised album, is making its vinyl and retail debut, so its reissue is especially welcome. If you’re only going to get one version, Rave In2 is the better choice, because you get “Beautiful Strange,” the remix of “Hot Wit U,” and a longer version of “Prettyman.”
In addition to the vinyl reissues, a CD/DVD package called Ultimate Rave is available that pairs both albums with a reissue of the Rave Un2 the Year 2000 DVD, an inessential live concert originally shown on pay-per-view on New Year’s Eve, 1999. While the DVD was generally poorly received, 7th Heaven can special-order Ultimate Rave so completists can get their hands on it.
Queen – A Day At The Races (180 Gram Vinyl)
Queen – Day at the Races (180 Gram Vinyl)
Queen – Greatest Hits I
Radiohead – In Rainbows (180 Gram Vinyl)
Sade – The Best Of Sade (180 Gram Vinyl)
Shovels & Rope – By Blood
If your anything like me in your quest for music and vinyl, sometimes you head to the Vinyl Underground and you know exactly what your looking for. Other times you know your buying an album today, but as to which one…no clue. However, it’s those, “no clue,” visits that can produce absolute gold. This album falls into that category for me.
Since releasing its self-titled debut album in 2008, this Charleston bred act has captivated with a no-frills take on punk-influenced roots music. While the sound has evolved the message has always been Trent and Cary Ann Hearst’s artistic intimacy, anticipating the other’s vocal harmonies and drawing out the best in each other.
Recorded in their backyard recording studio, to keep both their children and their art close by results in an album that sounds warm and lived in, like a favorite pair of jeans while retaining the rough-around-the-edges sensibility they have become known for.
Opening track “I’m Comin’ Out is an anthems of empowerment and solidarity. On the following track “Mississippi Nothin’,” Trents soulful croon lands a knockout. Cary Ann too has her moments alongside her twang on “Hammer” and wail on “Carry Me Home.”
The duo takes stock of family life across By Blood, as on the New Wave sounding, bass thumping “The Wire”.
By Blood’s got plenty of groove, too. Standout track “Twisted Sisters” builds a Southern Gothic doo-wop romp with retro harmonies. Murder ballad “Pretty Polly” starts off slow and builds with an icy electric guitar and a hypnotic vocal.
By Blood has impressive song crafting throughout. Trent and Hearst are no doubt individual talents, but together they’re a force to be reckoned with. -Albert Schmurr
Tame Impala – Currents
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – Night Creeper
U2 – The Unforgettable Fire (180 Gram Vinyl, Remastered)
Various – Pretty in Pink (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Colored Vinyl)
Various Artists – Soul Slabs 1 / various
Wendell Harrison – Organic Dream (MP3 Download)
Wolfmanhattan Project – Blue Gene Stew
Thanks for checking out the Filthy Friends New Vinyl Thursday list!
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Enjoy the music and we will see you soon. Your loving Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven staff:
Sherman, Gordon, Daniel, Dylan, David, Jonathan, Dionna, and Heather.
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