It’s Nirvana New Vinyl Thursday at The Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven. Check out this week’s list of new vinyl arrivals:
Amyl & the Sniffers – Comfort To Me (Smoke Clear Vinyl, Expanded Version)
Anthony Ramos – Love And Lies (Colored Vinyl)
ABBA – Super Trouper
Arcade Fire – WE (White Colored Vinyl, 180 Gram Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket, Poster)
Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (180 Gram Vinyl)
Alison Wonderland – Loner (Clear Vinyl)
Animals – Best of the Animals
Bastille – Give Me The Future (Orange Clear Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Bill Evans – Village Vanguard Sessions (Limited Edition, 180 Gram Vinyl, Bonus Track)
Black Widow – Black Widow
Black Pumas – Black Pumas (Limited Edition, Cream Colored Vinyl)
Black Keys – Dropout Boogie
Billy Strings- Renewal
Billy Strings – Home
Bill Withers – Live at Carnegie Hall (180 Gram Vinyl)
Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
Cliffdiver – Exercise Your Demons (Purple Colored Vinyl, Limited Edition, Indie Exclusive)
The Cure – Head on the Door
The Clash – The Clash
The Clash – Combat Rock + The People’s Hall
Forty years ago, punk legends The Clash debated making their fifth album a double-LP. Because their
previous album was a triple-LP, and the one before that a double-LP, the band decided to cull the record
down to the best tracks and release it as a single platter. Now, a new anniversary edition of Combat
Rock adds three sides of bonus material to the classic album.
Combat Rock was a Morbi’s Top 10 smash, spending more than a year on the U.S. charts, delivering the
Top 10 single “Rock the Casbah” and another hit – and the band’s mainstream calling card – “Should I
Stay or Should I Go.”
For these reasons, Combat Rock is often derided as a sell-out effort, but if the Clash were selling out,
they had a weird way of doing it. Beat poet Allen Ginsberg provides vocals on “Ghetto Defendant,”
which points more toward the soundtrack work Clash singer Joe Strummer would explore later in the
decade than the raw punk the band had perfected in the late ‘70s. Likewise, guitarist Mick Jones’ vocal
showcase on “Inoculated City” foreshadows his work with Big Audio Dynamite.
The bonus content on The People’s Hall gathers previously released outtakes scattered across Clash box
sets, b-sides and unheard tracks. Collectively, they point to a possible future as rap and dub pioneers.
Aside from a raw version of “Know Your Rights” that closes The People’s Hall, there’s nothing that points
back to “White Riot” and the band’s roots. In fact, these songs are a clear antecedent to the rocked-up
world music frontman Joe Strummer would create nearly 20 years later with his band the Mescaleros.
While The People’s Hall are interesting, they aren’t essential listening. It’s hard not to think of these 12
cuts as a missed opportunity. Why not release the double-album Jones envisioned, with his mixes? Also,
there is enough material to round out that fourth side. Why stop at a dozen tracks?
Despite these shortcomings, The People’s Hall provides a Mescalero’s fascinating deep dive into an
eclectic and adventurous band’s late chapters. If you don’t already have Combat Rock, this (and the
remastering job on the album itself) are reason enough to pick it up. -Joel Francis
The Cranberries – Stars (The Best Of 1992-2002)
Childish Gambino – Awaken My Love (Black, 140 Gram Vinyl)
Childish Gambino – Camp
Def Leppard – Diamond Star Halos (Limited Edition, Clear Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Doja Cat – Planet Her (Deluxe Edition, 140 Gram Vinyl)
Drive-By Truckers – The Fine Print (Gatefold LP Jacket, Limited Edition, 180 Gram Vinyl, Green Clear Vinyl)
Drive-By Truckers – This Weekend’s The Night: Highlights From It’s Great To Be Alive
The Damned – Damned Damned Damned
Drake – Take Care
Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
Eminem – Encore
Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death (Deluxe Edition, Gatefold LP Jacket, Photo Book)
Fontaines D.C. – Skinty Fia
Irish rock quintet Fontaines D.C. burst onto the scene in 2019 with Dogrel, an album packed with big
statements that felt like the stinky, smelly back room of an Irish pub. For their third album, the band has
dialed down the intensity and looked inward.
While the D.C. in the band’s name stands for Dublin City, 80% of the band now reside in London. Skinty
Fia – the title is based on an antiquated Irish insult – grapples with a longing for home and the
perspective on one’s roots that can only be found by living at distance. This introspection doesn’t
produce many high-energy moments made for drinking with the gang that Dogrel inspired. It takes
longer for the 10 songs to reveal themselves, but rewards patience and persistence.
The spare “The Couple Across the Way” is little more than Grian Chatten’s voice and accordion. With an
eye for detail that recalls Courtney Barnett’s story/songs, Chatten provides voyeuristic narration of an
unhappy couple constantly engaged in verbal abuse.
Fontaines D.C.’s raw, post-punk roots finally emerge on the last two songs. On “I Love You,” Chatten
struggles to balance his love for Ireland and the discovery of a mass grave at a Catholic home in Galway.
A wall of shoegaze guitars informs “Nabokov,” while Chatten bitterly intones “I did you a favor/I bled
myself dry.” Blood on the tracks, indeed. -Joel Francis
The Get Up Kids – Live @ The Granada Theater (Limited Edition)
The Get Up Kids – On A Wire (Limited Edition)
Ghost – Prequelle
Harry Styles – Harry’s House (180 Gram Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket, Booklet, Postcard)
High Pulp – Pursuit of Ends (Opaque Tan Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Jazmine Sullivan – Heaux Tales (150 Gram Vinyl)
Jack McDuff – Moon Rappin’
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit – Georgia Blue
Back during the 2020 presidential election, Americana singer/songwriter Jason Isbell promised an album
of songs from his home state of Georgia, if the Peach State went for the democrat’s nominee. When it
did – for the first time in nearly 30 years – Isbell made good on his promise with the album Georgia Blue.
The baker’s dozen songs on Georgia Blue demonstrate not only Isbell’s breadth as a musician, but his
ability to inhabit and interpret a well-known song. As he covers obvious heroes like R.E.M., James Brown
and the Allman Brothers to unexpected delights from the Indigo Girls, Black Crowes and Cat Power,
Isbell gets help from his wife, Amanda Shires, her Highwomen bandmate Brandi Carlile, John Paul White,
Julien Baker, Adia Victoria and others.
There’s not a bad moment on this nearly 70-minute set, but several moments stand out. A delicate
cover of R.E.M.’s “Nightswimming” with bluegrass stars Bela Fleck and Chris Thile opens the
proceedings. Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittney Spencer gives a supple take on “It’s a Man’s Man’s
Man’s World.” Later, Isbell and his band lay into “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” for more than 12
minutes. Shires proves to be the album’s secret weapon, stepping up to the mic for “Cross Bones Style,”
but also shaping several tracks with her fiddle.
Georgia Blue isn’t just an album Isbell’s sizable fan base will embrace. It’s good enough to stand on its
own and bring him some new fans as well. -Joel Francis
Juice Wrld- Legends Never Die
John Prine- Sweet Revenge
John Coltrane – My Favorite Things
Jazz musicians have always covered popular songs. And, depending on the performance, they
can turn even the unlikeliest songs into jazz standards. (Miles Davis’ rendition of “On Green
Dolphin Street” immediately comes to mind.) John Coltrane had recorded albums of cover songs
before, but My Favorite Things became his most well-known.
The album features four show tunes. He treats the melodies with reverence and uses them as a
canvas for improvisational ideas. At times, the soloing is modal, which means John Coltrane and
McCoy Tyner, his pianist, are sticking more to scales and repeating the song’s melody than
letting the notes in the chords determine the direction of the solos. This allows the solos to float
over the rhythm section.
It may also be important to note that the soprano saxophone was still a bit of a novelty when the
album was recorded. Coltrane used it on half of this record and helped bring legitimacy to the
instrument. His versions of the four show tunes on the album are respectful, and the title track
even became a minor radio hit.
As potentially intimidating as a big, classic album like this can be, it still feels welcoming.
“Every Time We Say Goodbye” is a ballad with brushes that provides a bit of a reprieve from the
opening title track. The second side opens with a swinging version of “Summertime.” Elvin
Jones’ drumming is as powerful on the song as he was restrained on “Every Time We Say
Goodbye.” The album closes with “But Not for Me.” It’s not a somber closing track. It’s a
straightforward and upbeat close to an album that has invited repeated listens for nearly 60 years. -Jonathon Smith
The Jacka – Jack of All Trades
Jan Gunnar Hoff Group Featuring Mike Stern – Jan Gunnar Hoff Group Featuring Mike Stern
King Gizzard & Lizard Wizard – Flying Microtonal Banana (Blue and Gold Colored Vinyl, 2 Discs)
Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Kevin Morby – This Is A Photograph
Setting plays a key role in many of singer/songwriter Kevin Morby’s albums. His 2017 release City Music
was inspired by the urban density and energy of New York City. On 2020’s Sundowner, Morby drew
from the Midwest’s wide-open spaces and big sky. The follow-up to Sundowner, This is a Photograph, is
a love letter to Memphis, Tenn.
Morby’s Memphis isn’t just the place where Elvis roamed and Otis Redding recorded. It’s where Jeff
Buckley drowned and Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. It’s also where Morby ruminates on past
romance and luxuriates in his current love.
A gorgeous duet with Erin Rae, “Bittersweet, TN” looks back on an early relationship. Later, on the
equally beautiful “Stop Before I Cry,” Morby addresses his partner, Katie Crutchfield, aka Waxahatchee,
“Katie when you sing to me/It’s like a melody,” Morby sings on the chorus. “Comin’ off the
mountain/Comin’ out the sea/Stoppin’ at the plains/Up into a Memphis sky.”
The ying-yang of these songs, along with the down-home, lo-fi acoustic numbers that bookend the
album establish This is a Photograph an album where nostalgia exists to propel dialogues with the living,
not an anchor to the past. The result is Morby’s most emotionally vulnerable and open release to date
and a high point in his already impressive catalog. -Joel Francis
Kanye West- 808S & Heartbreak
Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (Milky Clear Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket)
Lana Del Rey – Chemtrails Over The Country Club
Lana Del Rey – Blue Banisters
Liam Gallagher – C’MON YOU KNOW (Clear Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Marty Robbins – Sings Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs(Black Clear Vinyl)
Momma – Two Of Me
Mikey Dread – The Gun / Jah Jah Style (10-Inch Vinyl, Extended Play, Red Colored Vinyl)
Mndsgn – NoMaps
Mndsgn – Yawn Zen
Monophonics – Sage Motel (Transparent Orange w/ Black Swirl Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On (50th Anniversary)
Nirvana – Nevermind (30th Anniversary, Deluxe Edition, Boxed Set, With Bonus 7″, 180 Gram Vinyl)
Norah Jones – Come Away With Me (Remastered 20th Anniversary Edition)
Nirvana – In Utero
Orville Peck- Show Pony
Otis Redding – Pain in My Heart (180 Gram Vinyl)
Otis Redding – Otis Blue / Otis Redding Sings Soul (180 Gram Vinyl)
Orgone – Lost Knights (Red & Yellow Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Paul Bley – Bremen 66
Pharoah Sanders – Oh Lord, Let Me Do No Wrong
The Police – Greatest Hits (Gatefold LP Jacket, Remastered, Anniversary Edition, Half-Speed Mastering)
Peter Murphy – Wild Birds Live Tour (Purple & Black Colored Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket)
Redder Moon – Hell Is Other People
The Replacements – Please To Meet Me
Robert Fripp – Washington Square Church (200 Gram Vinyl)
Ronnie Foster – Two Headed Freap
Serge Gainsbourg – Jane Birkin Et Serge Gainsbourg
Smile – Phantom Island
Sunflower Bean – Headful Of Sugar (Orange Colored Vinyl, Gatefold LP Jacket)
Slipknot – Iowa (Coke Bottle Green Clear Vinyl)
Summer Walker – Over It
Summer Walker – Still Over It
The Sex Pistols – The Original Recordings
Some Girls – Heaven’s Pregnant Teens (Black with Gold Swirl Colored Vinyl, Indie Exclusive)
Souls of Inspyration – Souls Of Inspyration (Orange Colored Vinyl, Reissue)
Tony Allen – Secret Agent (Remastered)
Tool – Fear Inoculum (Limited Edition, 180 Gram Vinyl, Etched Vinyl)
The Traveling Wilburys- The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3
Wet Leg – Wet Leg (Yellow Clear Vinyl, Limited Edition, Indie Exclusive, Digital Download Card)
Wendell Harrison – Birth of a Fossil (180 Gram Vinyl, Reissue)
Wye Oak – If Children (RSD Exclusive, Red, White, Colored Vinyl, Digital Download Card)
Yusef Lateef – Eastern Sounds
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Enjoy the music and we will see you soon. Your loving Vinyl Underground at 7th Heaven staff:
Sherman, Gordon, Cat, Matt, Dylan, Doyle, Heather, Greg, Dave and Lain