Sunday, February 18, 2018

2017 TOP 20 Vinyl Reissues - Vinyl Gourmet Best Of 2017

Mid-February 2018... is it too late for a 2017 Best Of list compiled by

Well... here it is! The Top 20 Best Reissues of 2017! It was a great year full of amazing reissues, hard to pick just 20 but these stood out for music, sound and packaging:

Two years after 1990's loud Ragged Glory, Young retreats to an old world of steel guitars, gentle folk melodies, and pristine country choruses (that's Linda Ronstadt, who helped make 1972's Harvest a hit album, singing backup on the follow-up.) Young name-drops Hank Williams, Jimi Hendrix, and his old dog, King, in rich reminiscences about the musical ride he and his fans have shared since the late '60s. The album, as Neil Young sings in "One of These Days," is "a long letter to all the good friends I've known."

Impex has always had a special place in their hearts for Shoji Yokouchi’s Greensleeves. Standards, original tunes, and traditional pieces (like the title track), are interpreted in unexpectedly funky, soulful ways. The master guitarist is given immeasurable support by organist Yuri Tashiro. Her playing is alternately moody and spry, fiery and funky. Rare Three Blind Mice Jazz Gem!

Delicate Sound Of Thunder was recorded live over five nights in August 1988 at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York, and went on to become the first album played in space when Soviet astronauts took a copy aboard the Soyuz TM-7 mission to the Mir space station that same year. Incredible live performances that shaped the musical growth of a generation.

A natural acoustic portrait of American Folk, Country, and Bluegrass standards by two virtuosos. Jerry Garcia and David Grisman's Shady Grove is filled with endearing joy and spirited playing. Garcia began recording with longtime friend David Grisman during the last decade of his life, marking a full-circle return to the roots fare he originally performed before co-founding the Grateful Dead.

Mondo are proud to present the soundtrack to Fight Club on Vinyl for the first time in over 15 Years. The Dust Brothers only film score to date, Fight Club is arguably one of the most enjoyable soundtrack albums to come out of the 90's and part of that has to do with the fact that it is one of the best sequenced scores of all time.

Maestro Stokowski is at the podium and Bob Simpson is at the 3-track Ampex recorder to capture the Rhapsodies from Liszt, Enesco and Smetana. This is titanic glorious sound that will sink most speakers and amps for that matter. A must have performance. The original 3-track session tapes were used in mastering this LP from the Analogue Production reissue series.

Pet Sounds is famous for its use of multiple layers of unorthodox instrumentation as well as other cutting edge audio techniques for its time. It's considered the best Beach Boys album, and one of the best of the 1960s. The group here reached a whole new level in terms of both composition and production, layering tracks upon tracks of vocals and instruments to create a richly symphonic sound.

Passion is Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack to the Martin Scorsese film The Last Temptation of Christ. Like much of Gabriel’s solo work, the album is a product of his continuing fascination with world music, which he employs here to create an exceptionally beautiful and atmospheric tapestry of sound perfectly evocative of the film’s resonant spiritual drama.

First widely available vinyl release after being out of print on vinyl for more than 24 years. Cut from the original stereo tapes by Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios, this 180 gram LP is plated and pressed at QRP in the USA. With songs like Linger and Dreams, The Cranberries debut album from 1993 sold over 5 million copies in the U.S. alone and was No. 1 in several territories across the globe.

Composer Kenji Kawai was chosen to recreate the futuristic cyber-punk atmosphere that emanates from the 'Ghost In The Shell' anime, into music. Assisted by percussionist Yuhki Sugawara, Kawai reached the summit of his art by delivering captivating music, halfway between ambient electronics, traditional Japanese music and Bulgarian ritual singings. Impressive soundtrack, sounds amazing!

Ry Cooder's development as a peerless musician capable of grasping virtually any style began with his time spent with Taj Mahal and Captain Beefheart, but reaching epic proportions on Boomer's Story. With two ambitious albeit uneven studio albums behind him, the California native plunged into roles that still define him today – that of sonic archeologist and cultural historian.

The Sky Is Crying was released after Vaughan's deadly accident in 1990. The posthumously assembled 10-track outtakes collection actually proves to be one of Vaughan's most consistent albums. These songs were recorded in sessions spanning from 1984's Couldn't Stand the Weather to 1989's In Step, some of them became instant classics.

Eunice Kathleen Waymon recorded more than 40 albums over a long, distinguished career that stretched for five decades. As Nina Simone, her distinctive mellifluous voice honed a career categorized variously as a jazz singer, soul singer and folk artist; she was all of these and much more. Little Girl Blue was Nina Simone's debut release, a beautiful record not to be missed.

Head Hunters is the Jazz Funk fusion masterpiece from Herbie Hancock, released in 1973 it became the first jazz album to go platinum and remains one of the best-selling jazz/fusion records of all time. His groundbreaking work during this period also inspired and provided samples for generations of hip-hop and electronic music artists that followed. A landmark album with the best sound ever!

The astonishing Judee Sill was the first artist signed to David Geffen's Asylum Records, and Judee Sill the first album released on the label. Sill's music is intensely spiritual, redolent of mystical and divine imagery, yet grounded by great songwriting and a pure but powerful singing talent. Her songs impart incredible intimacy that is enhanced by her sometimes complex string arrangements.

In 1983 the guitar super trio of John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola and Paco de LucĂ­a reunited for another set of acoustic guitar trios.  Unlike their first album, the phenomenal live acoustic performance Friday Night in San Francisco, this masterpiece consists entirely of studio sessions. Some of the most perfectly beautiful and emotionally intense music ever recorded, with amazing sound quality!

Aretha Franklin made her Hall of Fame reputation at Atlantic Records between 1967-1968. This astonishing two-year period witnessed the singer score nine Top 10 hits and define soul music, a era chronicled on Aretha's Gold. Pairing with producer Jerry Wexler and a flawless Muscle Shoals studio band, Franklin unleashed all of her artistry like never before!

In 1958, a young successful French composer-arranger with a major infatuation on American jazz, worked his way to New York and convinced the very best players of the time to record an album of largely jazz standards. Michel Legrand would go on to win numerous prizes and accolades (3 Oscars, 5 Grammies, 2 Palmes D'or, etc.), but little of what followed matched the sheer brilliance of Legrand Jazz.

Of everything Analogue Productions has reissued, nothing has come close in sales or accolades to the 45-RPM versions of Bill Evans titles from his Riverside catalog. And now Analogue Productions has compiled all of them into one irresistible box set package. Includes facsimiles of each original jacket along with an 18-page booklet detailing Evans' career and Riverside era. 

Painstakingly recorded by producer Gary Katz and engineers Roger Nichols and Elliot Scheiner, Donald Fagen's The Nightfly endures as a rare Audiophile trifecta of superlative performance, consummate songwriting, and crisp, benchmark production. Mobile Fidelity is honored to give this seminal effort unsurpassed treatment befitting the most serious music connoisseurs.