Music Reviews

Published on July 29th, 2020 | by Darren Paltrowitz


10 New-Ish And/Or Recommended Vinyl Releases To Add To Your Record Collection This Season

Per a recent article published by Newsweek, vinyl sales have been on the rise for the past 14 years, and 2020 has been no different. Close to 5 million vinyl units had been sold as of March 2020, per Newsweek, with vinyl-based music accounting for over 20 percent of all albums, according to Billboard. In turn, not only are long-out-of-print titles getting special vinyl releases these days, but previously-unreleased material by influential artists is also finding its way out via the special LP format.

Below are 10 new-ish, recommended vinyl releases to add to your record collection, should shelf space and bank accounts permit. All titles are currently in-print and available for online ordering.

Wipers’ Is This Real? Anniversary Edition: 1980-2020

Considered the first Pacific Northwest punk band of significance, songs by the Wipers have been performed by the likes of Nirvana and Hole, while The Melvins, Mudhoney and Dinosaur Jr. have all cities Greg Sage and crew as a key influence. In turn, this title rightfully celebrates the 40-year anniversary of the debut LP by the Wipers. It includes an individually autographed (!) concert poster by Wipers leader Greg Sage and a bonus 45 with 4 songs from the album’s original 4-track sessions, while the record itself was pressed on transparent, clear vinyl. All held in a custom reflective mirror board jacket, only 2,000 copies were pressed of this Record Store Day-related title.

DUNE: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Speaing of great Record Store Day titles issued by Jackpot Records, this one is indeed the soundtrack to David Lynch’s 1984 cult film Dune, as composed by TOTO — a group which is overdue for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame — and Roxy Music co-founding member Brian Eno. With audio sourced from the original master tapes, the set includes a 24 x 24 full color poster. Also limited to 2,000 copies in total like the great Wipers title mentioned above.

The Reply’s The Complete Collection

Have you ever dreamed of an American band as soulful, political, and dynamic as the UK bands from 1976? Well, The Reply had a fantastic sound based in soulful mod punk but transferred to raw North American garage rock. Driven by maniac drums and pivotal bass, it was maximum rock & roll without having been translated by UK Northern Soul. This release is essentially the complete recordings of The Reply, a fixture of the Washington, D.C. mod, ska and alternative scenes from 1984 to 1989. These tracks were recorded between 1986 to 1989 and include the band’s 2 previously-released EPs, as well as 8 previously unreleased tracks recorded in 1989. Especially recommended for fans of The Jam, The Untouchables, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists and The Clash.

Britney Spears’ Oops!…I Did It Again (Remixes & B-Sides)

Only a year after the success of her debut album …Baby One More Time, Britney Spears’ sophomore album was another offering of pop perfection for the TRL generation of the early 2000s, setting a years-long record for the highest first week of sales by a female performer. And to celebrate the full-length’s 20th anniversary, this new collection features 4 rare remixes of the hits “Oops!…I Did It Again,” “Lucky,” “Stronger” and “Don’t Let Me Be The Last To Know,” plus 4 rare songs from the album sessions only released outside the U.S., including a cover of The Jets’ classic ballad “You Got It All.”

Also newly-available from the Britney Spears catalog in alternative formats are the aforementioned …Baby One More Time on vinyl and the cassette version of the Britney album. Both of these titles are exclusive to Urban Outfitters, which has the Britney cassette in a light blue shell using gold ink.

Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead Soundtrack

The soundtrack for Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead has been long out of print and nearly impossible to find on vinyl. With the 30th anniversary of the film right around the corner — as well as the recently-announced remaking of the original — the timing couldn’t be better for the Wargod label to unveil the beautiful, updated vinyl pressing of the cult-classic’s soundtrack, under exclusive license from Warner and HBO. On the musical end, you can expect tracks by The Eagles’ Timothy B. Schmit, Modern English, Vixen and Femme Fatale member Lorraine Lewis and Alias.

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Trooper is proud and happy to share this excellent news. PRESS RELEASE 11 June 2020 (Toronto, ON) – Today, Universal Music Canada announces the upcoming reissue of Hot Shots, the 1979 greatest hits record by the legendary JUNO Award-winning Canadian rock band – and one of Canada's top-selling bands of all time – Trooper. The six-time platinum compilation album will be released July 17, 2020 on 180-gram white vinyl with newly re-mastered audio and faithfully restored artwork, including the original fold-open, die-cut jacket. Pre-order Hot Shots on MusicVaultz at: Hot Shots was produced by Canadian music icon Randy Bachman, and features greatest hits culled from the band’s first five studio albums. When Hot Shots was originally released, it broke all records for Canadian sales of a Canadian album and has achieved more than sextuple platinum sales in the years since. This release coincides with Trooper's 45th anniversary as a performing band in Canada. ========== Hot Shots – 180g White Vinyl Reissue Tracklist: Side A The Boys In The Bright White Sports Car Baby Woncha Please Come Home General Hand Grenade Two For The Show Ready Santa Maria Side B We’re Here For a Good Time (Not A Long Time) Oh Pretty Lady (It’s Been A) Long Time Round Round We Go Moment That It Takes Raise a Little Hell ========== ABOUT TROOPER: Vocalist Ra McGuire and guitarist Brian Smith have been performing together since 1965 and are the founding members of Trooper. The band released their first album in 1975 and, 45 years and 11 albums later, have achieved numerous landmark successes including 6X platinum certification, a Juno Award for Group of the Year, and the SOCAN National Achievement Award. Trooper – often dubbed “Canada’s greatest party band” – remain one of the most in-demand touring bands in the country.

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Trooper’s Hot Shots

Hot Shots is the 1979 greatest hits record by the legendary JUNO Award-winning Canadian rock band — and one of Canada’s top-selling bands of all time — Trooper. The 6x platinum compilation album was remastered for a July 2020 release on 180-gram white vinyl via Universal Music Canada. Produced by Canadian music icon Randy Bachman, Hot Shots features greatest hits culled from Trooper’s first 5 studio albums. Notably, when Hot Shots was originally released, it had broken all records for Canadian sales of a Canadian album. Quality music aside, this release includes newly-mastered audio and faithfully restored original artwork, as housed in a gatefold complete with the original die-cut jacket.

Neil Diamond’s Hot August Night series

Throughout his illustrious and wide-ranging career, Neil Diamond has sold over 130 million albums worldwide and has dominated the charts for more than 5 decades with 38 Top 40 singles and 16 Top 10 albums. He has achieved record sales with 40 Gold albums, 21 Platinum albums and 11 Multi-Platinum albums. Diamond is also notably a member of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, and a recipient of the very rare Kennedy Center Honor.

Diamond’s famous series of Hot August Night live albums is now entirely-available on vinyl. All 5 editions are now available as both standard black and limited-edition color vinyl 2LP sets; Hot August Night III and Hot August Night/NYC were previously-unavailable within the LP format. In addition, the 23-track Neil Diamond’s All-Time Greatest Hits will also be released on black vinyl on August 7th.

Peanuts Portraits

Set for release on August 21st is the very first vinyl pressing of Peanuts Portraits, which collects the vivid musical cues that composer Vince Guaraldi wrote for the cast of Peanuts characters. In addition to 9 songs performed by Guaraldi, the album also includes two classic Peanuts tunes recorded in the 1990s by pianist George Winston. 8 of the selections on Peanuts Portraits in total will be making their true vinyl debut via this physical release.

Peanuts fans can also rejoice via the recent release of the limited-edition picture disc of Peanuts Greatest Hits on July 24th. Limited to 2,500 individually numbered units, the collectible Peanuts Greatest Hits picture disc offers music for all seasons from the series’ animated TV specials. This one is notably a 70th anniversary edition.

Pantera’s Cowboys From Hell

Pantera is regarded as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. The uncompromising quartet of singer Philip Anselmo, guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, drummer Vinnie Paul and bassist Rex Brown quickly rose to massive global success in the 1990s with multiple gold and platinum albums, sold-out tours, ferocious live performances, and 4 GRAMMY nominations. To this day, many of their metal masterpieces remain the cornerstones of heavy music, including Cowboys From Hell, Vulgar Display Of Power, and the Billboard #1 album Far Beyond Driven. The Texas foursome continues to inspire multitudes of fellow musicians while garnering millions of insanely devoted fans worldwide, even though the band would disband in the early 2000s.

Earlier this week Pantera’s team announced the launch of a special collection in celebration of the group’s critically-acclaimed album Cowboys From Hell, which was released 30 years ago to the month. The collection features brand new merchandise including a 30th anniversary Cowboys From Hell long-sleeve shirt, tee and hoodie, a limited-edition mirrored pint glass, and most notably, an RIAA Personalized Platinum Plaque. Cowboys From Hell itself remains in-print on 180-gram vinyl.

Class M Planets’ Ravenswood

Released on July 10th, Ravenswood has been described by as “if a young Robyn Hitchcock or Marc Bolan had moved to the Pacific Northwest and absorbed its ecotopian whimsy and melancholy, jazz and math rock influences course through the weird, transcendent, poetic Americana of its song-craft.” Whether or not that’s exactly what the album sounds like to you, you can expect smart, well-crafted music from Class M Planets with this new title.

Martin Denny’s Exotic Moog

Last but definitely not least is Jackpot Records’ Record Store Day release of Martin Denny’s Exotic Moog. Limited to 1,500 copies on colored vinyl, this is the first time the title has been reissued since its original 1969 release. This is scheduled to be the first of numerous Denny reissues within the coming months, as the Moog innovator’s catalog is set to get additional high-profile vinyl releases.

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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