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  • Dave K. 2:59 pm on 2019/11/18 Permalink
    Tags: bnstorefront-music, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Vinyl Day Returns to Your Local Barnes & Noble 


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    Music lovers, mark your calendars: Barnes & Noble is bringing back Vinyl Day to stores nationwide from November 22-24. It’s the best time of year to be a vinyl aficionado: we’re offering amazing deals on albums, turntables, and accessories, as well as an exciting slate of enviable exclusive releases that can be found nowhere else.

    For three days, Barnes & Noble will offer 10 percent off all vinyl albums in stores, as well as 30 percent off all Crosley turntables and accessories—and the same discounts will apply to select items online.

    In addition, in-store shoppers can take advantage of an amazing 50 percent off deal on a Barnes & Noble exclusive Crosley turntable and speaker bundle, a perfect holiday gift for the record collector in need of a new setup or for someone just starting to build their music library.

    Customers shopping their local Barnes & Noble over the weekend can also take advantage of a few cool giveaways, including a free Beatles tote bag with purchase of any two vinyl or turntables, while supplies last. Buy a vinyl album or turntable and we’ll treat you to a free tall hot or iced coffee (valid only at stores with Barnes & Noble Cafés).

    Here’s a taste of the fantastic exclusive releases we’ll be offering up for your listening pleasure—and click here to see the amazing collection of Crosley turntables and accessories available at 30 percent off online.

    Cry Pretty, by Carrie Underwood (B&N Exclusive Picture Vinyl)
    Cry Pretty is Carrie Underwood’s sixth album, but it’s very much an album of firsts: it is her first album with Capitol Records Nashville and marks her first time co-producing her own work. Notably, her performance of the title track at this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards received much critical praise, and that song also topped the Digital Songs chart the week it was released—another first for the artist. Needless to say, she has to feel pretty good about this one, and we don’t blame her: “Cry Pretty” is a soulful, dynamic song about not being able to hide one’s emotions forever, and it is just one track on what is possibly Carrie’s best record yet. True fans will want to grab this B&N exclusive version featuring full-color vinyl art.

    Thanks for the Dance, by Leonard Cohen (B&N Exclusive White Vinyl)
    This remarkable album of nine unreleased Leonard Cohen songs was assembled by the late singer’s son Adam, who’d previously collaborated with his dad on You Want It Darker. In fact, this new collection of songs was built from material generated during those sessions, leaving Adam to pair his father’s vocal recordings with final arrangements. With the help of laud player Javier Mas, members of Arcade Fire and the National, and Beck, that work is now complete—and available exclusively on white vinyl from Barnes & Noble. Thanks For The Dance preserves not just Leonard Cohen’s memory and voice, but many of his musical idiosyncrasies and signatures. Both old and new fans will love it.

    Hyperspace, by Beck (B&N Exclusive Red Vinyl)
    Beck’s fourteenth studio album, Hyperspace, finally gave him the chance to work with Pharrell Williams, something he’d been looking for an excuse to do since 2012. They clearly made the most of their time together, because this album is packed with jams. The first two singles dropped in advance of the album’s release—the eclectic blues/hip hop hybrid “Saw Lightning” and the poppier, clubbier “Uneventful Days”—are insanely catchy, and bode well for the rest of the tracks. The production overall is much less dense than previous Beck compositions, which can be credited to Pharrell’s minimalism as a producer. It’ll be fascinating to hear Beck’s evolution, and it’s sure to sound great on B&N exclusive’s red vinyl edition.

    Game of Thrones: Season 8, composed by Ramin Djawadi (B&N Exclusive)
    Mourn the passing of one of the greatest series in television history (not to mention its many, many onscreen casualties of dragonfire, white walkers, and pointy swords) with this incredible three-platter compilation featuring 32 tracks of music from the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. This edition is the only place to find the complete Season 8 score, and it is available only at Barnes & Noble. In addition to the haunting compositions by Emmy-winner Ramin Djawadi that underscored so many intense battle scenes and shocking character deaths, the set includes special recordings of fan-favorite songs from across the series, including an instrumental version of the ballad “Jenny of Oldstones” and a take on the epic “The Rains of Castamere” featuring vocals by System of a Down’s Serj Tankian.

    Hadestown: Original Cast Recording (B&N Exclusive Red Vinyl)
    Hadestown is the hottest ticket on Broadway this side of Hamilton, but you can find the next best thing to an orchestra seat at the Walter Kerr Theatre at your local Barnes & Noble, where you can pick up the full cast recording on exclusive, devilishly red vinyl. Celebrated for breaking all the rules of musical theater, this Tony-winning score draws from disparate American musical traditions, from folk, to pop, to blues. This recording features every note of music from Anaïs Mitchell’s remarkable show, including performances by Tony Award-nominees Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page, and Amber Gray, and Tony-winner André De Shields. And like great seats on Broadway, if you wait too long, this one might be hard to come by—it’s only available in limited quantities.

    Sesame Street: 50 Years and Counting (B&N Exclusive Picture Vinyl)
    Beloved children’s show Sesame Street has been around for a half-century, and we’re celebrating with an exclusive song collection, available only from Barnes & Noble! All of your favorite characters and many of your favorite songs from the past 50 years are here, including “Captain Vegetable” (“out of his secret garden somewhere in New Jersey!”), “Doin’ the Pigeon,” “Caribbean Amphibian,” “The Bats Go Flying,” and our personal favorite, “Put Down the Ducky,” a song will get stuck in your head for five more decades. Not only is this album a Vinyl Weekend exclusive—it also features doubled-sided artwork printed directly to the vinyl and comes with a bonus 7-inch record featuring two additional songs.

    Vinyl Day will take place from November 22-24 at stores nationwide. Find your local store here.

    The post Vinyl Day Returns to Your Local Barnes & Noble appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Dave K. 2:59 pm on 2019/11/18 Permalink
    Tags: bnstorefront-music, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Vinyl Day Returns to Your Local Barnes & Noble 


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    Music lovers, mark your calendars: Barnes & Noble is bringing back Vinyl Day to stores nationwide from November 22-24. It’s the best time of year to be a vinyl aficionado: we’re offering amazing deals on albums, turntables, and accessories, as well as an exciting slate of enviable exclusive releases that can be found nowhere else.

    For three days, Barnes & Noble will offer 10 percent off all vinyl albums in stores, as well as 30 percent off all Crosley turntables and accessories—and the same discounts will apply to select items online.

    In addition, in-store shoppers can take advantage of an amazing 50 percent off deal on a Barnes & Noble exclusive Crosley turntable and speaker bundle, a perfect holiday gift for the record collector in need of a new setup or for someone just starting to build their music library.

    Customers shopping their local Barnes & Noble over the weekend can also take advantage of a few cool giveaways, including a free Beatles tote bag with purchase of any two vinyl or turntables, while supplies last. Buy a vinyl album or turntable and we’ll treat you to a free tall hot or iced coffee (valid only at stores with Barnes & Noble Cafés).

    Here’s a taste of the fantastic exclusive releases we’ll be offering up for your listening pleasure—and click here to see the amazing collection of Crosley turntables and accessories available at 30 percent off online.

    Cry Pretty, by Carrie Underwood (B&N Exclusive Picture Vinyl)
    Cry Pretty is Carrie Underwood’s sixth album, but it’s very much an album of firsts: it is her first album with Capitol Records Nashville and marks her first time co-producing her own work. Notably, her performance of the title track at this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards received much critical praise, and that song also topped the Digital Songs chart the week it was released—another first for the artist. Needless to say, she has to feel pretty good about this one, and we don’t blame her: “Cry Pretty” is a soulful, dynamic song about not being able to hide one’s emotions forever, and it is just one track on what is possibly Carrie’s best record yet. True fans will want to grab this B&N exclusive version featuring full-color vinyl art.

    Thanks for the Dance, by Leonard Cohen (B&N Exclusive White Vinyl)
    This remarkable album of nine unreleased Leonard Cohen songs was assembled by the late singer’s son Adam, who’d previously collaborated with his dad on You Want It Darker. In fact, this new collection of songs was built from material generated during those sessions, leaving Adam to pair his father’s vocal recordings with final arrangements. With the help of laud player Javier Mas, members of Arcade Fire and the National, and Beck, that work is now complete—and available exclusively on white vinyl from Barnes & Noble. Thanks For The Dance preserves not just Leonard Cohen’s memory and voice, but many of his musical idiosyncrasies and signatures. Both old and new fans will love it.

    Hyperspace, by Beck (B&N Exclusive Red Vinyl)
    Beck’s fourteenth studio album, Hyperspace, finally gave him the chance to work with Pharrell Williams, something he’d been looking for an excuse to do since 2012. They clearly made the most of their time together, because this album is packed with jams. The first two singles dropped in advance of the album’s release—the eclectic blues/hip hop hybrid “Saw Lightning” and the poppier, clubbier “Uneventful Days”—are insanely catchy, and bode well for the rest of the tracks. The production overall is much less dense than previous Beck compositions, which can be credited to Pharrell’s minimalism as a producer. It’ll be fascinating to hear Beck’s evolution, and it’s sure to sound great on B&N exclusive’s red vinyl edition.

    Game of Thrones: Season 8, composed by Ramin Djawadi (B&N Exclusive)
    Mourn the passing of one of the greatest series in television history (not to mention its many, many onscreen casualties of dragonfire, white walkers, and pointy swords) with this incredible three-platter compilation featuring 32 tracks of music from the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. This edition is the only place to find the complete Season 8 score, and it is available only at Barnes & Noble. In addition to the haunting compositions by Emmy-winner Ramin Djawadi that underscored so many intense battle scenes and shocking character deaths, the set includes special recordings of fan-favorite songs from across the series, including an instrumental version of the ballad “Jenny of Oldstones” and a take on the epic “The Rains of Castamere” featuring vocals by System of a Down’s Serj Tankian.

    Hadestown: Original Cast Recording (B&N Exclusive Red Vinyl)
    Hadestown is the hottest ticket on Broadway this side of Hamilton, but you can find the next best thing to an orchestra seat at the Walter Kerr Theatre at your local Barnes & Noble, where you can pick up the full cast recording on exclusive, devilishly red vinyl. Celebrated for breaking all the rules of musical theater, this Tony-winning score draws from disparate American musical traditions, from folk, to pop, to blues. This recording features every note of music from Anaïs Mitchell’s remarkable show, including performances by Tony Award-nominees Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page, and Amber Gray, and Tony-winner André De Shields. And like great seats on Broadway, if you wait too long, this one might be hard to come by—it’s only available in limited quantities.

    Sesame Street: 50 Years and Counting (B&N Exclusive Picture Vinyl)
    Beloved children’s show Sesame Street has been around for a half-century, and we’re celebrating with an exclusive song collection, available only from Barnes & Noble! All of your favorite characters and many of your favorite songs from the past 50 years are here, including “Captain Vegetable” (“out of his secret garden somewhere in New Jersey!”), “Doin’ the Pigeon,” “Caribbean Amphibian,” “The Bats Go Flying,” and our personal favorite, “Put Down the Ducky,” a song will get stuck in your head for five more decades. Not only is this album a Vinyl Weekend exclusive—it also features doubled-sided artwork printed directly to the vinyl and comes with a bonus 7-inch record featuring two additional songs.

    Vinyl Day will take place from November 22-24 at stores nationwide. Find your local store here.

    The post Vinyl Day Returns to Your Local Barnes & Noble appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Dave K. 9:00 pm on 2019/07/07 Permalink
    Tags: bnstorefront-music, , crosley turntables, dumbo, groovy, , , stranger things, ,   

    These Vinyl Weekend Offers & Exclusives Are Record-Breaking (But Not Like That) 


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    Listen up: Vinyl Weekend is back! From July 12-14, Barnes & Noble is celebrating the best format in music (don’t @ us) with an entire weekend of exclusive releases and amazing offers. Some are available online, but others are in-store only, so make sure to plan accordingly… No music lover will want to miss it!

    Here’s a look at what’s on offer in our online Vinyl Store and at your local Barnes & Noble

    New & Exclusive Vinyl Available at 10% Off Online*!

    (*ALL Vinyl is 10% off in stores!)

    Ride Me Back Home, by Willie Nelson (Gold Vinyl, B&N Exclusive)
    What can we say about Willie Nelson? The man’s a legend as much for his persona as his body of work, which is one of the best and most consistent in American music. Ride Me Back Home—offered on gold vinyl exclusively through Barnes & Nobleis a strong addition to that catalog, with a strong focus on lyrics that’s often missing from modern pop music. In that spirit, the compositions are kept to guitar, piano, slide guitar, and harmonica to push Nelson’s voice to the front. It’s a smart move, since Nelson’s voice gets clearer and warmer with age. The album’s title track is a great example of how well Nelson’s singing boosts good lyrics, as are “Immigrant Eyes” and “Just the Way You Are.”

    Madame X, by Madonna
    After relocating to Portugal in 2017, Madonna made some inroads into Lisbon’s arts community and found that Portugese music (specifically fado) is awesome. In fact, it’s one of the primary influences on her upcoming album, Madame X—available as an exclusive rainbow picture disc from Barnes & Noble. This album sees Madonna trying a lot of new things, from a duet with reggaeton singer Maluma on the opening track, “Medellín,” to the use of vocoder and avant-garde composition on “Dark Ballet,” to straight-up reggae pop on “Future,” which features a cameo from Quavo. These tracks are all home runs, and it says a lot that Madonna—who has nothing to prove—still wants to experiment.

    Western Stars, by Bruce Springsteen (Clear With Blue Smoke Color Vinyl, B&N Exclusive)
    Springsteen reasserts his legacy as The Boss with Western Stars, an album of all-original compositions that, according to the man himself, was inspired by the 1970s California pop sound made famous by Glen Campbell and Burt Bacharach. It’s also available on clear/smoke blue vinyl exclusively through Barnes & Noble. Since it’s Springsteen, we expected and got plain-spoken, character-driven songs with hints of melancholy, but this album’s orchestral feel caught us by surprise. It suits his acoustic material really well, and adds some cinematic flair to his lyrics, which range from large subjects—highways, deserts—to individual perspectives. “Hitch Hikin’” and “Sundown” were our favorites.

    Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus, by Rolling Stones (3 LP Set)
    This one-of-a-kind, three-platter box set captures a piece of the Stones’ career that a lot of younger fans don’t know about. The Rock and Roll Circus was filmed in London in December of 1968, and was intended to be a TV special to promote Beggars’ Banquet. That didn’t work out, but the Stones and their musical guests—including the Who, Taj Mahal, and Jethro Tull—put on some amazing performances that are finally, and definitively, captured here. The best stuff in this box set comes from the Dirty Mac, a supergroup comprised of John Lennon, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, and Hendrix guitarist Mitch Mitchell, whose version of “Yer Blues” is incredible.

    Africa Speaks, by Santana (Picture Disc, B&N Exclusive)
    Santana’s twenty-fifth album, titled Africa Speaks, is clearly influenced by African music, which Santana and others have described as a “unique fusion of rock, Latin and jazz.” Since all three of those styles are well within Santana’s wheelhouse, it almost goes without saying that this album is great. Its spontaneous feel comes from most of these songs being recorded in single takes, an approach encouraged by the album’s producer, Rick Rubin. The cameos from singers Laura Mvula and Buika also add a lot to Africa Speaks; they sound so good with this band behind them (which includes Santana’s wife on the drums!) that you’d think they’d been there for years.

    Dumbo 2019 Soundtrack (Red Vinyl, B&N Exclusive)
    The remake of the classic Disney film Dumbo meant a redo of the soundtrack as well. That work was trusted to legendary film composer Danny Elfman, whose goal was to give the film a very distinct musical identity. In some cases—the film’s main theme, for example—this means simpler compositions than one might expect from Elfman, driven by his belief that Dumbo is a simple story. This is a good thing, though, and Elfman’s intuition results in a dynamic soundtrack that is in turns playful and sinister; the differences between the playful woodwinds and timpani in “Meet the Family” and the tense strings in “Holt in Action” are startling.

    30% Off These Crosely Turntables!

    Stranger Things Turntable
    With a new season of Stranger Things on Netflix and its accompanying soundtrack coming to the Vinyl Store, why not turn your vinyl collection up to eleven with this Stranger Things-themed Crosley turntable? Sized for any record room, the shell of this suitcase turntable is detailed like Joyce Byers’ wallpaper, and the lid’s interior features the alphabet she used to communicate with her son Will in the Upside-Down. No fan of the show could resist this item, especially for 30% off during Vinyl Weekend!

    Crosley Turquoise Turntable
    Crosley is also offering this beautiful turquoise version of their popular Cruiser model. The Cruiser is a portable, three-speed turntable that’s perfect for traveling, enjoying your collection with friends, or jamming solo in your record room. It’s not just a pretty face either, with advanced pitch control adjustments and Bluetooth connection capabilities, as well as RCA ports for external speakers. And at 30% off during Vinyl Weekend, how could you go wrong?

    And Only in Stores…

    50% Off Crosley Turntable & Speaker Bundle
    Whether you’re a veteran vinyl junkie or a new collector who wants to hit the ground running, the Crosley T150 is the no-hassle stereo system you’ve been looking for! For one thing, its stylish, minimalist design will look great in your record room. For another, setting it up is a snap and it comes with 30 watt stereo speakers, pitch and speed controls, Bluetooth connectivity, and RCA outputs in case you’re already attached to your audio system. Best of all, it’s 50% off during Vinyl Weekend (for in-store purchases only).

    Find out more about how your Barnes & Noble is celebrating Vinyl Weekend

    The post These Vinyl Weekend Offers & Exclusives Are Record-Breaking (But Not Like That) appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Dave K. 2:00 pm on 2019/07/07 Permalink
    Tags: bnstorefront-music, , farscape, needle-worthy, stranger things 3, , , woodstock   

    The Best New Vinyl to Spin in July 


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    July is a big month for Barnes & Noble’s Vinyl Store. For one thing, Vinyl Weekend is returning, in stores and online, July 12-14 (learn more here). For another, we’ve got a ton of great new music on the way: Not only does the soundtrack for season 3 of Stranger Things hit our shelves—featuring an exclusive cover you’ll only find here, and maybe in the Upside Down—we’ve got parts 3 and 4 of the original Woodstock soundtrack, an exclusive compilation of the best songs from 1969, an exclusive gold vinyl pressing of the best of Creedence Clearwater Revival, and much more.

    Golden Hour, by Kacey Musgraves
    Golden Hour is more lovey-dovey than Musgrave’s previous work, and the choice was intentional. Musgraves got married while she was writing the album, and its title comes from her belief that she’s in a “golden hour” of her life. Perfect vibes for summer, right? Golden Hour is certainly her best album yet, and has enjoyed not only near-unanimous critical acclaim, but four Grammy wins (including Album of the Year) and a Country Music Association award. Needless to say, both pop and country fans will find a lot to like here, especially the two lead singles, “Butterflies” and “Space Cowboy.” Of the deeper cuts, “High Horse” and “Slow Burn” are our favorites.

    Dumbo 2019 Soundtrack (Red Vinyl, B&N Exclusive)
    The remake of the classic Disney film Dumbo meant a redo of the soundtrack as well. That work was entrusted to legendary film composer Danny Elfman, whose goal was to give the film a very distinct musical identity. In some cases—the main theme, for example—this means simpler compositions than one might expect from the Oscar-winning composer, driven by his belief that Dumbo is, after all, a simple story. This is a good thing, though: Elfman’s intuition results in a dynamic soundtrack that is in turns playful and sinister; the differences between the spritely woodwinds and timpani of “Meet the Family” and the tense strings in “Holt in Action” are startling.

    She’s So Unusual, by Cyndi Lauper (Yellow Vinyl, B&N Exclusive)
    To some, Cyndi Lauper is the face of the 1980s. Her presence in some of the decade’s most enduring cultural landmarks (The Goonies, MTV) and prominent fads (Rock ‘N Wrestling) means she’ll always be remembered, but that comes with the risk of seeming dated or irrelevant as years pass. Which is why we shouldn’t forget that  1983’s She’s So Unusual was one of the decade’s most popular records, and made her the first female singer to get four Top 100-charting singles from one album. It was and remains a charming, bubbly piece of synthpop from start to finish, and tracks like “She Bop” and “Yeah Yeah” have an unexpected new wave strut that has inspired a whole new generation of pop artists (paging Carly Rae Jepsen!). This B&N exclusive edition features suitably cheery yellow vinyl.

    Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits of Creedence Clearwater Revival (Gold Vinyl, B&N Exclusive)
    Creedence Clearwater Revival is not just one of rock music’s best Southern rock bands (despite hailing from California), they are one of rock music’s best singles bands. This must-have double-LP—available exclusively on gold vinyl through our Vinyl Store—collects all of the band’s major single hits, including “Bad Moon Rising,” “Down On The Corner,” “Fortunate Son,” “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” and too many more to list. (Seriously, CCR’s hot streak of singles hits is beyond compare.) This set also has live versions of “Sweet Hitch-Hiker” and our personal favorite CCR song, the bittersweet “Someday Never Comes.”

    Farscape Original Soundtrack (B&N Exclusive)
    Farscape may have only had four proper seasons, but the Australian/American sci-fi series’ cult fanbase endures to this day. They, as well as soundtrack enthusiasts of all kinds, will be thrilled to get their hands on an exclusive-to-Barnes & Noble gold vinyl pressing of the official soundtrack. With its unique setting and colorful characters—some of whom were genuine Henson Studio puppets—Farscape had a lot of personality, and each season’s soundtrack, composed by Guy Gross, reflects this. From the heavy percussion and unorthodox vocals of the main theme to the Gregorian bombast of “The Last Stand,” Farscape‘s music is as beautifully weird as the show, and worth adding to your vinyl collection.

    Stranger Things Season 3 (B&N Exclusive Cover)
    One major contributor to the nostalgic feel, and runaway success, of Netflix’s Stranger Things is unquestionably the soundtrack. While the show uses 1980s pop songs in key moments, the synth score, composed by Survive’s Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, is what drew a lot of viewers in, and it’s gotten as much (if not more) critical acclaim as the show itself. Season 3’s soundtrack hits the Vinyl Store’s shelves in July, with an exclusive cover you’ll only find at Barnes & Noble. Fans of the show will obviously love it, but even if you don’t watch it, you’ll dig this album if you like old-school electronic music in the vein of Tangerine Dream and Giorgio Moroder.

    Woodstock Original Soundtrack Vol. 3 (B&N Exclusive)
    The first Woodstock wasn’t just the defining cultural moment of a generation; it set a standard for outdoor concerts that still hasn’t been bested. In fact, so many bands played the iconic 1969 music festival that the recordings are split across multiple volumes! Volume Three is a Barnes & Noble exclusive set of three purple and gold vinyl records, featuring tracks from Creedence Clearwater Revival (“I Put a Spell On You”), Country Joe & the Fish (“Rock & Roll Music (Reprise)),” Jefferson Airplane (“The Other Side of This Life”), the Who (“Amazing Journey/Sparks”), and so many more iconic artists from that era.

    Woodstock Original Soundtrack Vol. 4 (B&N Exclusive)
    Like Volume Three, this fourth volume of the original Woodstock lineup is a Barnes & Noble exclusive set. Pressed onto specialty green and white vinyl, Volume Four contains music from Arlo Guthrie (“Wheel of Fortune”), the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (“Born Under a Bad Sign”), British blues rock specialists Ten Years After (“Help Me”), and Joe Cocker (“Something to Say”). These exclusive compilations of original Woodstock recordings illustrate why its legacy endures: it was a showcase of the best folk, rock, country, and blues artists of the era.

    Summer of ’69 (B&N Exclusive)
    2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Woodstock and the highwater mark of 1960s counterculture, which has resonated through American pop culture ever since. Summer of ’69 brings all that music back, and reminds listeners that the Summer of Love was a much more diverse musical landscape than most realize. It was an era where The Mamas & The Papas (“California Dreamin’”), the Spencer Davis Group (“Gimme Some Lovin’”), the Temptations (“Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”), and the Allman Brothers (“Whipping Post”) all battled it out on the pop charts alongside Marvin Gaye (“I Heard It Through the Grapevine”) and the Beach Boys at their most psychedelic (“God Only Knows”). What a time to be alive.

    Don’t forget to check out our Vinyl Weekend offers and exclusives!

    The post The Best New Vinyl to Spin in July appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Dave K. 4:00 pm on 2019/04/23 Permalink
    Tags: bnstorefront-music, , , , spring fever,   

    15 New Vinyl Releases to Spin This Spring 


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    After what felt like an endless winter, spring is finally here! At last, we can put our coats and hoodies away, open our windows, and get some sun on our skin. And since your windows are open, why not put a new record from the Vinyl Store on your turntable and crank up the volume? We’ve got a lot of spring arrivals this year, including new albums from Sara Bareilles, Khalid, the National, and Vampire Weekend, along with new film and Broadway soundtracks and a best of R.E.M. collection. Read on for more, and keep checking in with the Vinyl Store to see what we’re adding to our collection.

    Free Spirit, by Khalid
    Khalid makes quintessential spring music; sunny, chill, and full of good vibes. Free Spirit is his follow-up to debut album American Teen and 2018 EP Sunplay, and his baritenor voice remains just as impressive. His brand of R&B is refreshing, veering neither into celebrity swagger or rainy day melancholia. Even songs that aren’t explicitly positive—“Talk” being a great example—carry an earnest optimism. “Better” and the album’s title track “Free Spirit” are two of the best songs here, and the whole album is perfect for welcoming warm weather.

    Amidst the Chaos, by Sara Bareilles
    When Sara Bareilles isn’t contributing music to Broadway, she’s making great albums of her own. Her latest effort, Amidst the Chaos, is inspired by the 2016 presidential election and cultural developments that followed. “Armor” is a response to #metoo and the confirmation of Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh, and “A Safe Place to Land” is about family separations along the U.S.-Mexico border, and features a duet with John Legend. It’s not all sad, though; “No Such Thing” and “If I Can’t Have You” were both written for Barack Obama.

    Dumbo 2019 Soundtrack
    The remake of classic Disney film Dumbo means a redo of the soundtrack as well. That work was trusted to legendary film composer Danny Elfman, whose goal was to give the film a very distinct musical identity. In some cases—as with the film’s main theme—this means simpler compositions than one might expect from Elfman, driven by his belief that Dumbo is a simple story. Elfman’s intuition results in a dynamic soundtrack that is in turns playful and sinister; the differences between the playful woodwinds and timpani in “Meet the Family” and the tense strings in “Holt in Action” are startling.

    Begin Again, by Norah Jones
    Begin Again is album number seven for the multi-talented Norah Jones, and it might be the most fun one yet. Jones told Rolling Stone that her intentions for this album were “quick and fun and easy and low-pressure,” so she kept her songwriting process spontaneous and didn’t spend more than three days on any of the seven tracks here, including recording time. Consequently, these songs are looser than her previous albums, and frankly it’s something she should do often. The title track is ultra-catchy and driven by a simple piano melody, and the guitar in “A Song With No Name” is downright relaxing, despite its somewhat chilling lyrics.

    Stages Live (CD/DVD), by Josh Groban
    Originally recorded for PBS in late 2015, Stages Live features Josh Groban doing what he does best: singing hits from the Broadway stage. Josh’s voice is in particularly good form on “Bring Him Home,” “Over the Rainbow,” and our personal favorite, “Pure Imagination.” While this album is missing a couple of songs from the studio album Stages, it does come with a DVD of the entire live performance, featuring duets with Kelly Clarkson (“All I Ask of You,”) and Audra McDonald (“If I Loved You”). Through it all, Groban’s unparalleled diction and range allow him to connect emotionally with every song.

    In Time: The Best of R.E.M., by R.E.M.
    Originally released in 2003, this collection starts with R.E.M.’s 1988 album Green and ends at their 2001 album Reveal. Alongside obvious favorites like “Losing My Religion,” “Everybody Hurts,” “Stand,” and “Man on the Moon” are less-appreciated songs like “All the Right Friends” (from the Vanilla Sky soundtrack) and “E-Bow the Letter.” In Time offers a solid overview of R.E.M.’s impressive legacy as a band and demonstrates why they were one of alt rock’s breakthrough bands. Their sound, built on jangly guitars and Michael Stipe’s folk-music voice, holds up beautifully.

    Father of the Bride, by Vampire Weekend
    Singer and lead guitarist Ezra Koenig said he was aiming for a springtime vibe with this album, and he wasn’t kidding. “Harmony Hall” has a real Grateful Dead-Meets-Paul Simon feel to it, and fans of Cornershop will love “Unbearably White,” whose title might be a cheeky reference to the most common criticism of the band. But “Sunflower” is the clear standout, opening with a guitar riff that will get stuck in your head for weeks, and featuring a bubbly tempo that compliments the equally bubbly lyrics. Play this one with the windows open.

    We Get By, by Mavis Staples
    Mavis Staples has been performing rhythm and blues, with a heavy emphasis on blues, since the late 1960s, so it comes as no surprise that she’s really good at it. Her upcoming album We Get By was produced by Ben Harper (who also wrote the songs), and will hit shelves around her 80th birthday. For someone who jokes about being over the hill, Staples sings with more gusto and conviction than most younger blues singers, and keeps the music stripped down to the essentials. “Change,” the album’s lead single, is both powerful and simple, with a roadhouse guitar lick and catchy backup singers underscoring Staples’ own smooth, gutsy vocals.

    12 Little Spells, by Esperanza Spalding
    Jazz savant and Harvard professor Esperanza Spalding’s newest album furthers her reputation as a furnace of ambition; each song is meant to correspond with a part of the human body, and they all have their own videos. But don’t worry, this record more than holds up on its own. Jazz is often used as background music these days, but Spalding’s freewheeling, intellectually stimulating compositions require the listener’s full attention. To borrow a phrase from Paste Magazine, this is not “dinner jazz.” What it is, however, is really good, especially the tracks “Thang,” “Until the Next Full,” and “The Longing Deep Down.”

    Aladdin Soundtrack
    Disney’s remake of its 1994 classic Aladdin doesn’t just have an updated soundtrack, it has two completely new songs. Alan Menken and the songwriting duo Pasek & Paul (of La La Land fame) wrote a new duet for Aladdin and Jasmine, and a solo for Jasmine titled “Speechless.” They’ve also updated “Arabian Nights” and “Friend Like Me,” which has been altered to suit Will Smith’s comedic style. They’ve certainly got big shoes to fill—the original soundtrack is beloved for good reason—but the new voices of Aladdin and Jasmine (Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott, respectively) are incredible, and Smith is as effortlessly charming as ever.

    I Am Easy To Find, by the National
    I Am Easy to Find is the National’s eighth studio album, and their most ambitious in two ways, Not only is it their longest effort to date, it’s a companion piece to a short film that will be released alongside the record. It’s also another impressive take on college rock by a band that has basically mastered it; the somber lyrics and interesting composition make these songs more fun and spring-appropriate than one might expect. They’ve also picked some mega-talented female guest vocalists, including longtime David Bowie collaborator Gail Dorsey and Lisa Hannigan, who supplies Blue Diamond’s voice on Steven Universe.

    Living Mirage, by The Head and The Heart
    Seattle-based folk band The Head and The Heart are set to release Living Mirage this May, and without cofounder Josiah Johnson. In his absence, the band has spiced up their tried-and-true folk sensibility with flourishes of pop; the album’s lead single, “Missed Connection,” adds piano and even synth to the mix. If this song reminds you of the Killers, or even Toto, you aren’t the only one. The album’s title track, on the other hand, holds tighter to the band’s traditional folk sound, albeit with peppier and more prominent drums. The band has said that this album is about change and rebirth, making it perfect for spring.

    California Son, by Morrissey
    Morrissey takes on hits and obscurities from the 1960s and ’70s on his upcoming covers album California Son. His version of Roy Orbison’s “It’s Over” has already been praised by Orbison’s son, which makes sense given Morrissey’s vocal style and rockabilly roots. Other tracks on this unique album include Bob Dylan’s “Only a Pawn in Their Game,” protest singer Phil Ochs’ “Days of Decisions,” and in a real treat for rock music obsessives, Jobriath’s “Morning Starship.” It’s not just Morrissey on this record, either; guest vocalists include Petra Haden, Sameer Gadhia, and Billie Joe Armstrong, among others.

    40, by Stray Cats
    Rockabilly revivalists the Stray Cats haven’t released a new album in over two decades, but after a handful of shows celebrating the band’s 40th anniversary, they jumped back in the studio and recorded twelve new songs, all originals. The album’s first single, “Cat Fight (Over A Dog Like Me),” is as playful and bouncy as their classic material, complete with a full-blast Setzer guitar solo to remind us how good rockabilly can be. Even more impressive is the band’s chemistry; after all those years apart, they sound like they never stopped touring together. When you listen to this record, so will your neighbors.

    Come From Away Soundtrack
    Newfoundland isn’t often the setting of musicals, but Come From Away isn’t most musicals. It tells the strange and compelling story of what happened when 9/11 led to the forced landing of thirty-eight international aircraft in Gander, a small town whose population was doubled by the sudden influx of displaced passengers. The soundtrack is more infectious and fun than the subject matter would suggest; the Irish flourishes in “Blankets and Bedding” are a welcome surprise, and “Me and the Sky” will make any listener consider becoming a pilot. “Something’s Missing” is the soundtrack’s tearjerker, in which the passengers and airline staff confront the aftermath of 9/11.

    The post 15 New Vinyl Releases to Spin This Spring appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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