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

    Vinyl Day Returns to Your Local Barnes & Noble 

    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-vinyl, , , , , , , , , ,   

    Vinyl Day Returns to Your Local Barnes & Noble 

    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. 6:00 pm on 2019/11/01 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-vinyl, coldplay, everday lives, garth brooks, , , waxing musical   

    Rockin’ New Vinyl to Spin In November 

    While you’re chowing down on discount Halloween candy, come grab some new records from the Barnes & Noble Vinyl Store! New in November: the Frozen 2 soundtrack; records by Bob Dylan, Nirvana, Prince, and Coldplay; and a legacy boxset from Garth Brooks. Records like these make perfect holiday gifts for the vinyl junkies in your family, but will fit just as nicely into your own collection.

    Frozen 2 Soundtrack
    Disney fans and soundtrack enthusiasts are in for a treat with the Frozen 2 soundtrack. This long-awaited sequel to the original film offers more complex harmonies and melodic arrangements than its predecessor, but doesn’t sacrifice any fun or charm. In fact, this soundtrack has two amazing early tracks—“All Is Found,” sung by Evan Rachel Wood, and “Some Things Never Change,” sung by Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, and the rest of Frozen 2‘s powerhouse cast—that match anything the Oscar-winning duo Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez did last time around. Gad and Groff sing a lot on this album, which is absolutely a good thing, and Menzel is joined by Norwegian singer/songwriter AURORA on “Into the Unknown.”

    Garth Brooks: The Legacy Boxset, by Garth Brooks
    Garth Brooks’ Legacy Boxset is a lot—five albums spread across seven 180-gram vinyl records—but who would expect anything less? A career like his can’t be celebrated with half measures. This boxset collects the albums No Fences, The Chase, In Pieces, Fresh Horses and Triple Live into one grand slam of a career retrospective for Brooks, who is still one of the most successful and influential figures in country music history. Every track in this collection is pulled from the original analog recordings, so the whole thing sounds fantastic, and you’ll also get a collectible poster and one of two Milestone covers to go along with all that great music.

    Everyday Life, by Coldplay
    Coldplay returns to their original sound with this double LP, their first full-length album in four years. They delivered this news to fans in the most Coldplay way imaginable; a letter snail-mailed out to select fans, some of whom thought it was fake. The band has played everything close to the vest since then, but we do know that the two halves of Everyday Life will be called Sunrise and Sunset, and that the lyrics will be somewhat observational (the band described the album as “sort of how we feel about things”). There’s a lot of mystery surrounding this album, but all will be revealed when it hits the shelves of our Vinyl Store!

    The Bootleg Series, Vol 15: Travelin’ Thru, by Bob Dylan
    Volume 15 of Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series picks up after his 1966 motorcycle accident, and focuses on recordings from the following year, through 1969. Along with outtakes from John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline, which would be enough to sell this album by themselves, Volume 15 marks the first official release of his recording session with Johnny Cash. “Wanted Man” is the best of those recordings—a song they wrote on the spot. A couple of Dylan’s Johnny Cash covers—“Ring of Fire” and “Folsom Prison Blues”—and four tunes recorded with bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs are also included, and the Scruggs tunes reveal Dylan’s underrated potential as a bluegrass musician.

    MTV Unplugged In New York, by Nirvana
    Undoubtedly the most famous MTV Unplugged set of all time, this live acoustic recording is also one of Nirvana’s best and most-loved albums. The band’s many fans were given solid proof of their musicianship and detractors had to admit that, stripped down to their core elements, Nirvana knew how to write songs. Along with a handful of their originals—“Dumb,” “Pennyroyal Tea,” and “All Apologies” are our favorites—Nirvana’ Unplugged setlist included a few covers. David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World” is given new emotion and menace here, and Kurt’s vocals on Leadbelly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” are surprisingly soulful.

    1999, by Prince
    The world knows and reveres Prince as a trendsetting cultural icon, and that’s in large part due to this album. 1999, originally released in October 1982, was when people began to realize what a genius he was. It was also the first top 10 album of Prince’s career, attaining multi-platinum sales numbers. Singles like the title track and “Little Red Corvette” account for a lot of the album’s popularity, but make no mistake, this album predicted big things for Prince. His use of synthesizers and drum machines influenced two decades’ worth of R&B and electronic music, and his band—the multi-racial, Sly Stone-influenced Revolution—was one of the best in the industry.

    What new vinyl are you spinning this month?

    The post Rockin’ New Vinyl to Spin In November appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Ceridwen Christensen 1:30 pm on 2019/10/28 Permalink
    Tags: 1999, , bnstorefront-vinyl, , parade, piano & a microphone 1983, portrait of the artist, , , ,   

    Your Soundtrack to Prince’s The Beautiful Ones 

    The night that Prince died, I went for a walk through my neighborhood in Minneapolis, the city of his birth. It was late April—a time when, Prince once sang, snow might still surprise—but it was a perfectly beautiful evening. There were people on porches and congregated in alleys, and I could hear Prince’s music coming from everywhere, the soundtrack of my movement through a place suddenly, inexplicably without of one of its fiercest and most vital voices. My neighbors were filling up this unfathomable loss with what he’d left behind: his music.

    Three months before his death, Prince met with publishers about producing his memoir, to be called The Beautiful Ones after one of his complicated love songs. He chose Dan Piepenbring as his co-writer in a project envisioned to surprise, provoke, and motivate. “The book would allow him to seize the narrative of his own life,” Piepenbring wrote. It would center Prince in his own story. The book was to be something new and surprising: an autobiography that pulled lessons from Prince’s lived experience that would illuminate issues in the world—race and class; art and the business of making it—and do so not just in words, but in pictures, the records of conversations, and a catalog of the ephemera of Prince’s life, covering the period from his birth to his iconic Superbowl concert in 2007.

    Prince’s untimely death left the project unfinished, the text limited to several dozen pages now augmented with countless rare images and objects from the Artist’s life and times. These are essential artifacts: consider the scan of a paper bag with the lyrics to “Do Me, Baby” scrawled on it; Prince had a tendency to write on whatever was at hand, a palimpsest of prose against the prosaic. (This is a habit he shares with other American poets: The Gorgeous Nothings records Emily Dickinson’s poems written on envelopes.) The thing missing in this memoir and retrospective, then, is Prince’s music, the very thing we turned to when he died. Here are 10 albums to serve as your soundtrack to The Beautiful Ones.

    Prince (1979)

    Though self-titled, Prince isn’t Prince’s first album; that was For You, released a year earlier, in 1978. Both albums are synthesizer-heavy, sung almost completely in Prince’s signature falsetto. His chunky guitar, which will be so characteristic of the “Minneapolis Sound” when it comes together just a few years later, isn’t really present; this is music worked out on a piano, something which Prince will come back around to only later. “I’m sick of playing the guitar, at least for now. I like the piano, but I hate the thought of picking up the guitar,” he told Piepenbring at their first meeting.

    Notable cover: Chaka Khan recorded a rendition of “I Feel for You” in 1984, the same year Prince’s Purple Rain dropped.

    Dirty Mind (1980)

    For You and Prince are often dreamy and romantic, laced with a gauzy sexuality. The only song to chart from the former was “Soft and Wet,” a funky but courteous seduction; even the album cover is in soft focus. Dirty Mind strikes a drastically different tone. The cover is stark black and white. Prince poses before the springs and structure of a mattress, wearing a studded jacket, a bandana around his neck, black underwear, and nothing else. A pin on the jacket reads “rude boy.” The photo is raunchy and direct, a perfect wrapper on the album. In Dirty Mind, Prince messes with gender, sexuality, culture, and history in weirdly peppy, upbeat three-minute pop songs. One would think that a song titled “Sexuality” would be dirty, but instead its lyrics call out issues of race in America. (“We don’t need no segregation, we don’t need no race/New age revelation, I think we got a case.”) A case could be made that in 1980s America, this stuff was dirtier than sex. Dirty Mind shows Prince beginning to play with both image and music, an effort that will bloom into full flower in Purple Rain.

    Notable cover: Cyndi Lauper retools “When You Were Mine” for her debut album, She’s So Unusual, as pure New Wave.

    Controversy (1981)

    I just can’t believe all the things people say
    Controversy
    Am I black or white, am I straight or gay?
    Controversy
    Do I believe in god, do I believe in me?

    After the success of Dirty Mind, Prince begins to clap back at the speculations about him. He always courted ambiguity, and here he really begins to play it up. He also explores issues in ways more overtly political—not just positioning sex as liberation, your typical dance track hedonism—to mixed results. “Ronnie Talk to Russia” is part of an embarrassing collection of ’80s songs tackling denuclearization (Sting’s cringe-worthy “Russians” being an exemplar of the form). But “Annie Christian” has a strange poetry to it, mixing imagery of the Atlanta Church bombings and John Lennon’s assassination into a story of a woman named Annie Christian. Full advantage is taken of the allusive possibilities of such a moniker, and the track offers no easy interpretations. It almost reminds me of fellow Minnesota native son Bob Dylan’s rambling biographical songs.

    1999 (1982)

    Starting in 1979, Prince began experimenting with a backup band. Over the next few years, the lineup changed often. Some personnel changes were due to religious convictions, as members left to pursue spiritual callings, as well as the usual sort of personal and creative conflicts that are hard to parse from the outside. Though 1999 doesn’t officially count as the first Prince and the Revolution album—that will be Purple Rain—it sits right there on the cusp of becoming. The words “and the Revolution” are even visible on the cover, written backwards and superimposed over the “I” in Prince. Other than the replacement of Dez Dickerson by Wendy Melvoin, the Revolution lineup is intact. Moreover, Prince begins to sound like Prince. Maybe it’s the backing of a group of talented musicians, maybe it’s inevitable evolution; either way, it all begins to come together on 1999. This is the first Prince album I remember really getting into, poring over the lyrics and acknowledgements on the backs of the two slipcases. Though Controversy was the first album incorporating Prince’s signature sensational spelling —U for you, 2 for to—because it didn’t have a lyric sheet, the effect was blunted. 1999 includes complete lyrics, and I was mesmerized.

    Purple Rain (1984)

    Everything comes together in Purple Rain: Prince’s self-mythologizing and eye for the dramatic, all riding on a personal musical style that has synthesized into something unique. The acting and the writing in Purple Rain, the film, is hokey and amateurish, but the concert sequences, which constitute a sizable amount of the running time, are electric. The song that gives his memoir its title, “The Beautiful Ones,” is performed in the movie after Prince has started wooing the fair Apollonia; his rival for her affections is Morris Day. Prince plays the song after Morris makes his pitch. Apollonia’s reaction shots say everything. He swings from seduction to accusations and despair, ending prone on the stage and screaming. She’s not a great actress, but she really hits her marks here. There’s almost too much to say about Purple Rain, the film and soundtrack that launched Prince into superstardom. I saw the movie when I was 10 years old, in a seedy theater in downtown Minneapolis. I was already a fan, so I convinced my indulgent fathr to take me to the R-rated concert film. It is one of my favorite memories, and I am positively vibrating with excitement to listen to the album as I read what Prince had to say about its genesis.

    Ice Cream Castle, The Time (1984)

    This album, released concurrently with Purple Rain and including several songs from the film, stands on this list as more of placeholder for all of the artists Prince worked with over the years, particularly during this especially fertile period in his career. Both tracks from the movie—”The Bird” and “Jungle Love”—are dance numbers that positively slap. (I pledge allegiance to the Time, indeed.) This album and Sheila E’s The Glamorous Life have shown the most staying power of any of the Purple Rain-era Prince disciples, probably because they’re all standout musicians in their own right. Albums from Vanity 6—and the reconstituted Apollonia 6, after Vanity and Prince parted ways—are well out of print these days, which is almost a shame, as they are so charmingly inept.

    In addition to the Purple Rain adjacent albums, Prince penned a variety of songs for other people (or which were performed by others, but which he never recorded himself): The Bangles’ “Manic Monday,” Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” Sheena Easton’s “Sugar Walls,” Stevie Nicks’ “Stand Back,” and many, many others.

    The B-Sides (1993)

    It doesn’t necessarily feel like it was released that long ago, but given the subsequent upheavals in recording technology—tapes to CDs to mp3s to streaming—I should probably explain what a b-side is. Prince released a lot of singles: 45 rpm records highlighting a standout song like “When Doves Cry” or “Let’s Go Crazy.” The other side of the record—the b-side—would feature a previously unreleased track. Maybe it was perversity, maybe it was Easter eggs for the faithful, but many of the songs Prince relegated to the b-side were astonishingly good. “17 Days,” the b-side of “When Doves Cry,” counts the days after the loss of a lover. It’s in the same vein as “Nothing Compares 2 U,” but the music is peppier, an ironic contrast with the sentiment. “Erotic City,” the b-side of “Let’s Go Crazy,” is perfect sexy funk. It has received a fair amount of airplay, despite ambiguity as to whether Prince was saying “funk” or the other f-word.

    Parade (1986)

    Though The Beautiful Ones only covers the period up to Purple Rain, this list strikes past that period; Prince had much more to say before his untimely death. Parade is the soundtrack to Prince’s second movie, Under the Cherry Moon, which is deliriously, perfectly bad. (I have no idea why the album is called Parade, and not Under the Cherry Moon.) Shot in black in white, Under the Cherry Moon tells the story of the doomed romance between high class gigolo Christopher Tracy (played by Prince) and spoiled heiress Mary Sharon (played by Kristin Scott Thomas, in her film debut). It features one of the most self-indulgent death scenes of all time.

    But weirdly, the album is excellent: in particular, “Sometimes It Snows in April” is an achingly lovely ballad, and evokes all the emotions the movie fails to. Which is not to say that I don’t love the film inordinately; I can quote you so much dialogue from myriad viewings in my misspent youth.

    Prince would continue to be drawn to cinema through his career. The less said about Graffiti Bridge—the sequel to Purple Rain, and major fiasco—the better, but his contributions to a couple soundtracks, including Tim Burton’s Batman and Spike Lee’s Girl 6, are both perfectly respectable albums. On the Batman soundtrack especially, the dualities and dialectics suggested by the source material dovetail with prevalent themes in Prince’s work.

    Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987)

    After spending a couple albums deep in the weeds, Prince comes back to it in Sign ‘O’ the Times. This album is his most multi-faceted to date, with everything from slamming dance numbers like “Housequake,” to shattering love songs like “Adore,” to the hard to characterize “Ballad of Dorothy Parker.” (My kids don’t have much patience with their mother’s love of Prince, but they both love “Starfish and Coffee,” which he performed on Sesame Street.) The album also includes his first song recorded at a live show, “It’s Gonna Be a Beautiful Night.” The liner notes credit the backup singers as members of the band along with “6000 Wonderful Parisians.” Prince’s music had a global impact—a fact that became apparent after his death, as monuments as far flung as the Eiffel Tower in France, the Melbourne Arts Centre in Australia, and Niagara Falls in Canada were bathed in purple light in memoriam.

    Piano & a Microphone 1983 (2018)

    Piano & a Microphone 1983 is the first Prince album released posthumously. It consists of a demo album produced in a single take, found on a cassette in Prince’s Vault, and includes five previously unreleased songs. It gives us a small glimpse into Prince’s creative process; he tries things out, remixes, and samples. Some of the songs wouldn’t find their way onto an album for years. Due to unfortunate circumstance, much of The Beautiful Ones had to be assembled from archival materials, which makes this a fitting choice to end this list. I’m sure we can expect more recordings like Piano & a Microphone 1983, as the voluminous contents of his vault are vetted and remastered. But we’re not going to get anything else like The Beautiful Ones, which includes his most recent thoughts and impressions of some of his most important works. He’ll never write anything new again, and I still can’t quite believe it.

    Prince’s The Beautiful Ones is available on October 29.

    The post Your Soundtrack to Prince’s <i>The Beautiful Ones</i> appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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

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

    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.

     
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