Welcome back to 2014: A Year In Vinyl. The final five and, as you would expect, a mix of old and new favourites. I’ve been right excited about all o’ these and they get heavy rotation around here. Quick photos as I’m on a tight schedule … being that I’m spending this evening listening to music tunes. Hurrah!
# 5 Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds In Country Music (2014)
An artist that I became aware of in 2014 thanks to my friend Paul over at Blabber ‘n’ Smoke. He reviewed it back in May and that convinced me to check the dude out. Glad I did. It’s an incredible record filled with existentialism and taking Gram Parsons’ cosmic American music to a whole other level. Outstanding stuff. I picked up the vinyl from HMV (urgh) for £12.99. Luckily for me, this doesn’t include the spoiler, Panbowl, that Paul mentions (I would like to hear that one, though).
# 4 Queens of the Stone Age – … Like Clockwork (2013)
I finally nabbed a couple of the albums that I missed last year, but this one was the pick of them. Probably cause this was the album that I dug most and it’s also a band that I’m pretty mad about. Unfortunately, it’s the standard edition, but it’s still a pretty glorious package – the artwork is really pretty grand, so too is the gatefold, inserts and the labels. The album itself sounds utterly magnificent.
My favourite album of 2014. On nice vinyl. Lordy! Why #3 and not #1? Well, cause there’s that little flaw on Side D that I’d had issues with Amazon over (replacements also had the flaw and they didn’t at all seem concerned when I pointed out the information on Sub Pop’s website). In the end they gave me a refund. Don’t get me wrong, that flaw aside, this is a beautiful thing. Gatefold sleeve, nice big booklet and some really wonderful labels. All dark and such-like. It cost me zero pennies, so I can’t complain too much (if at all).
# 2 Stone Temple Pilots – Purple (1994)
This Music On Vinyl press was a birthday gift from my wife. Purple is one of those all-timers that headed the ‘list’. I had lost out on an original copy on eBay when the bidding got too rich, and copies of that original on Discogs are over £50. Anyway, this was the first MoV reissue that I heard and it was on the strength of this that I snapped up another three (Dust, The Afghan Whigs’ Black Love and Tiny Music …). It’s really pretty brilliant – having never heard the original vinyl pressing, I really have nothing to compare it to; however, everything I read suggested this was more dynamic. Against the CD, though? Yeah – I felt that straight off when Meatplow kicked in. 2014 was certainly the year of really falling in love with this one all over again.
# 1 Mark Lanegan Band – Blues Funeral (2012)
I didn’t have a record player at the time that was released, so it had been on my list of records to pick up and I was fairly chuffed to find it in HMV when they were having some ‘massive stock clearance’ with a mighty ‘up to 70% off’. Usually means ‘selling-all-the-same-stuff-on-sale-that-we-can’t-get-rid-of-even-when-it’s-on-sale’, but a couple o’ pennies off this one meant it was a no-brainer at £15. Everything about this is incredible. The songs, the beautiful gatefold and all it’s wonderful art … and those incredibly heavy green records. Just wow.