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  • Ross Johnson 7:00 pm on 2017/10/31 Permalink
    Tags: , vinyl, vinyl weekend 2017   

    Celebrate Vinyl Weekend 2017 at Barnes & Noble 

    LPs are back in a big way, and not just for hipsters. The harsh truth is, digital formats have yet to fully replicate the warm, natural sound of vinyl, which means there are truly great albums you simply haven’t heard unless you’ve put needle to record. B&N is celebrating the new age of vinyl the weekend of November 17-19 with 10 percent off offers, special in-store events, and select titles at 30 percent off. (There’s even a big discount on the B&N Exclusive Crosley Turntable bundle if you need something to get you started.)  Here are some of the albums we’ll be spinning on Vinyl Weekend.

    Charlotte’s Web
    The 1973 film version of Charlotte’s Web is almost as beloved as E.B. White’s book, losing none of the novel’s poignance, and adding in musical numbers by some of the biggest voice talents on the scene in the ‘70s. The late, great Debbie Reynolds heads up a cast that includes Paul Lynde, Agnes Moorehead, and Henry Gibson as Wilbur, the pig whose life is spared with the help of a particularly literate spider. That’s some talent right there. This B&N-exclusive edition features a pink LP with black webbing.

    The Thrill of It All, by Sam Smith
    Though it might be hard to believe, The Thrill of It All is only Smith’s second studio album, after 2014’s In the Lonely Hour. The singles we’ve heard so far suggest the singer has only gotten better, as his soothing and soulful voice soars over songs about lost love and relationships gone sour. Vinyl excels at capturing the nuances of this already legendary voice.

    Serenity [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack], by David Newman
    Making a perfect companion to vinyl edition of the Firefly TV soundtrack, this vinyl edition of David Newman’s film score for Serenity is a Barnes & Noble exclusive. Newman brings old west-style to a science fiction playground, peppering the score with western themes, but doesn’t skimp on the big action beats, nor on powerful emotion. Haunting themes for River Tam and for Serenity herself are among the highlights.

    Charlie Brown Christmas
    Given his pedigree in the hip west coast scene, San Francisco jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi must have seemed an odd choice to compose music for the ’60s-era Peanuts TV specials. Yet more than 50 years later, it’s impossible to think about Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Peppermint Patty, and the gang without hearing Guaraldi’s signature piano compositions. In addition to those iconic Peanuts tracks, this album includes a variety of Christmas standards, all given the cool, jazzy treatment. It’s a great album for Charlie Brown fans, and anyone looking to put a different spin on their holiday favorites. The B&N exclusive edition features a picture disc.

    Colors, by Beck
    The multi-talented Beck has dabbled in a variety of genres and styles, but his most recent work has been a little on the melancholy side. He puts that aside on the latest release, an album full of up-tempo, energetic tracks. We’ve been telling anyone who’ll listen that we need a little fun in our music right about now; thankfully, one of our most reliable musicians listened. The B&N exclusive edition features a unique album cover and white vinyl.

    Game of Thrones: Season 7 [Original TV Soundtrack], by Ramin Djawadi
    From the very beginning, Ramin Djawadi’s scores for Game of Thrones have been an essential part of each season of the series—so much so that entire concerts have been held just to showcase them. Who can’t hum that opening theme? Season seven is no different, and as the stakes have increased in the narrative, so has the drama in the music. This album begins by chronicling a dramatic journey to Dragonstone, and concludes with the ominous declaration that “Winter is Here.” Barnes & Noble’s exclusive edition features records swirling with fiery dragon’s breath orange hues.

    The post Celebrate Vinyl Weekend 2017 at Barnes & Noble appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Dave K. 6:00 pm on 2017/10/30 Permalink
    Tags: , , , vinyl   

    The Best New Vinyl of November 2017 

    Whether you’re getting an early start on gift buying or adding to your own collection, plenty of great records are hitting our shelves for your consideration in November! We’ve got new albums from Sam Smith and Morrissey, the original cast recordings for SpongeBob SquarePants and Charlotte’s Web, soundtracks for Game of Thrones and Serenity, and the final album from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. And if you’ve got Christmas on the brain, we’ve got a compilation album from Al Green that fits the spirit of the season. K

    SpongeBob SquarePants Original Cast Recording
    Over the years, SpongeBob SquarePants has gotten a lot of unlikely attention from cool, influential musicians. This phenomenon extends to the original cast recording for the stage musical based on the cartoon, which features songs written by Jonathan Coulton, Sara Bareilles (who also composed for Waitress), members of Panic! At The Disco and The Flaming Lips, and even Joe Perry and Steven Tyler. It’s incredible how many legit rock stars put their talents into this show, and the original cast steps up to that pressure with impressive performances across the board. Standouts include “Poor Pirates,” “I’m Not A Loser,” and the show’s version of David Bowie’s “No Control.”

    The Thrill of It All, by Sam Smith
    Sam Smith, who found fame in 2014 with his hit single “Stay With Me,” spent most of 2016 working on new material, and will be releasing his second album, The Thrill of It All, in November. Sam worked with classical crossover group Clean Bandit and Timbaland for this record, with the latter producing Smith’s second single, “Pray,” inspired by the singer’s experience with the War Child charity. “Pray” is an awesome song, by the way, with plenty of gospel heft stabilizing Smith’s voice. The album’s other single, “Too Good at Goodbyes,” will make you miss your ex even if you don’t have one.

    Game of Thrones Season 7 Original Soundtrack (B&N Exclusive Edition)
    Game of Thrones superfans, soundtrack junkies, and classical music fans alike will find lots to like about the score to Game of Thrones‘ seventh season. Composed by Ramin Djawadi, this album should be treated like a series of movements in one overarching piece, as specific moments in each track reflect plot points in prior seasons. “The Dagger,” for example, is a sinister update of a piece associated with the character Littlefinger, and “A Lion’s Legacy” contains a variation of the Lannister theme. But don’t worry if you’re not caught up with the show enough to catch each reference; Djawadi’s score more than stands on its own. This exclusive B&N edition features swirled black and fiery orange vinyl.

    Charlotte’s Web Original Soundtrack (B&N Exclusive Edition)
    Possibly the only animated film to feature a non-terrifying spider, Charlotte’s Web was released in 1973 and has become a classic children’s movie since then. Part of that appreciation is due to the soundtrack, written by the Sherman Brothers and featuring an all-star cast of Debbie Reynolds, Paul Lynde, Agnes Moorehead, and Henry Gibson, among others. The lyrics are sharp and clever throughout this album, with “I Can Talk” as a particular high point; how Gibson didn’t sprain his tongue on one of the many deft turns of phrase in that song is a mystery. Not only is this soundtrack a Barnes & Noble exclusive, we’ve got it on pink vinyl with black webbing.

    Low In High School, by Morrissey
    Morrissey, the Pope of Mope himself, is releasing his eleventh solo album this November. His fans, among the most devoted in all of pop music, are already buzzing about the two singles, and their excitement won’t be in vain; Morrissey’s mix of melancholy longing, sly wit, and caustic political commentary is as potent as ever, and his collaborations with longtime music director and guitarist Boz Boorer (formerly of the Polecats) still sound great. Electric piano riffs and synths give “I Wish You Lonely” a new wave vibe (the bouncy rhythm doesn’t hurt, either), and the verse in “Spent the Day In Bed” sounds downright McCartney-ish.

    Serenity Original Soundtrack (B&N Exclusive)
    The soundtrack for Serenity, available only at Barnes & Noble, was composed by David Louis Newman, whose other film score credits include Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Sandlot, and the animated film Anastasia, for which he received an Oscar nomination. His career has been eclectic, to say the least, which is why he was recommended to Joss Whedon, who wanted a composer “capable of everything.” This soundtrack is full of tension and rising action, but not in the typical space opera way. Rather, the soundscape is a varied blend of strings, brass, percussion, and quirky flourishes of erhu and pan-Asian flute. Recommended tracks are “Funeral/Rebuilding Serenity” and “Love.”

    Feels Like Christmas, by Al Green
    Feels Like Christmas is a ten-song compilation that pulls the best tracks from Green’s two 1980s Christmas albums. Green’s smoky tenor and soulful delivery were tailor-made for Christmas songs, particularly ballads like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “The Christmas Song.” Green’s approach to Christmas music could be described as upbeat crooning, and he fully commits to each song, making for a supremely enjoyable listening experience. There’s even a non-Christmas track on here—his 1976 song “Glory Glory”—which is also great. This vinyl release is exclusive to Barnes & Noble, and pressed on snow-white vinyl.

    Soul of a Woman, by Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
    Sadly, Sharon Jones passed away last year, but not before recording one final album with her band, the Dap Kings. Their record label promises that Soul of a Woman has the band’s “rawest and most sophisticated recordings to date,” and for once, a record label press release is not hyperbole. Soul of a Woman is a triumph in every aspect. Knowing what we know now about Sharon’s health, songs like “Matter of Time” and “These Tears (No Longer for You)” are wrenching and urgent, but they’re great out of context, too. Sharon’s vocals and the band’s performances were never better, and this record is an essential buy for any vinyl collector.

    The post The Best New Vinyl of November 2017 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Dave K. 6:00 pm on 2017/10/30 Permalink
    Tags: , , , vinyl   

    The Best New Vinyl of November 2017 

    Whether you’re getting an early start on gift buying or adding to your own collection, plenty of great records are hitting our shelves for your consideration in November! We’ve got new albums from Sam Smith and Morrissey, the original cast recordings for SpongeBob SquarePants and Charlotte’s Web, soundtracks for Game of Thrones and Serenity, and the final album from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. And if you’ve got Christmas on the brain, we’ve got a compilation album from Al Green that fits the spirit of the season. K

    SpongeBob SquarePants Original Cast Recording
    Over the years, SpongeBob SquarePants has gotten a lot of unlikely attention from cool, influential musicians. This phenomenon extends to the original cast recording for the stage musical based on the cartoon, which features songs written by Jonathan Coulton, Sara Bareilles (who also composed for Waitress), members of Panic! At The Disco and The Flaming Lips, and even Joe Perry and Steven Tyler. It’s incredible how many legit rock stars put their talents into this show, and the original cast steps up to that pressure with impressive performances across the board. Standouts include “Poor Pirates,” “I’m Not A Loser,” and the show’s version of David Bowie’s “No Control.”

    The Thrill of It All, by Sam Smith
    Sam Smith, who found fame in 2014 with his hit single “Stay With Me,” spent most of 2016 working on new material, and will be releasing his second album, The Thrill of It All, in November. Sam worked with classical crossover group Clean Bandit and Timbaland for this record, with the latter producing Smith’s second single, “Pray,” inspired by the singer’s experience with the War Child charity. “Pray” is an awesome song, by the way, with plenty of gospel heft stabilizing Smith’s voice. The album’s other single, “Too Good at Goodbyes,” will make you miss your ex even if you don’t have one.

    Game of Thrones Season 7 Original Soundtrack (B&N Exclusive Edition)
    Game of Thrones superfans, soundtrack junkies, and classical music fans alike will find lots to like about the score to Game of Thrones‘ seventh season. Composed by Ramin Djawadi, this album should be treated like a series of movements in one overarching piece, as specific moments in each track reflect plot points in prior seasons. “The Dagger,” for example, is a sinister update of a piece associated with the character Littlefinger, and “A Lion’s Legacy” contains a variation of the Lannister theme. But don’t worry if you’re not caught up with the show enough to catch each reference; Djawadi’s score more than stands on its own. This exclusive B&N edition features swirled black and fiery orange vinyl.

    Charlotte’s Web Original Soundtrack (B&N Exclusive Edition)
    Possibly the only animated film to feature a non-terrifying spider, Charlotte’s Web was released in 1973 and has become a classic children’s movie since then. Part of that appreciation is due to the soundtrack, written by the Sherman Brothers and featuring an all-star cast of Debbie Reynolds, Paul Lynde, Agnes Moorehead, and Henry Gibson, among others. The lyrics are sharp and clever throughout this album, with “I Can Talk” as a particular high point; how Gibson didn’t sprain his tongue on one of the many deft turns of phrase in that song is a mystery. Not only is this soundtrack a Barnes & Noble exclusive, we’ve got it on pink vinyl with black webbing.

    Low In High School, by Morrissey
    Morrissey, the Pope of Mope himself, is releasing his eleventh solo album this November. His fans, among the most devoted in all of pop music, are already buzzing about the two singles, and their excitement won’t be in vain; Morrissey’s mix of melancholy longing, sly wit, and caustic political commentary is as potent as ever, and his collaborations with longtime music director and guitarist Boz Boorer (formerly of the Polecats) still sound great. Electric piano riffs and synths give “I Wish You Lonely” a new wave vibe (the bouncy rhythm doesn’t hurt, either), and the verse in “Spent the Day In Bed” sounds downright McCartney-ish.

    Serenity Original Soundtrack (B&N Exclusive)
    The soundtrack for Serenity, available only at Barnes & Noble, was composed by David Louis Newman, whose other film score credits include Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Sandlot, and the animated film Anastasia, for which he received an Oscar nomination. His career has been eclectic, to say the least, which is why he was recommended to Joss Whedon, who wanted a composer “capable of everything.” This soundtrack is full of tension and rising action, but not in the typical space opera way. Rather, the soundscape is a varied blend of strings, brass, percussion, and quirky flourishes of erhu and pan-Asian flute. Recommended tracks are “Funeral/Rebuilding Serenity” and “Love.”

    Feels Like Christmas, by Al Green
    Feels Like Christmas is a ten-song compilation that pulls the best tracks from Green’s two 1980s Christmas albums. Green’s smoky tenor and soulful delivery were tailor-made for Christmas songs, particularly ballads like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “The Christmas Song.” Green’s approach to Christmas music could be described as upbeat crooning, and he fully commits to each song, making for a supremely enjoyable listening experience. There’s even a non-Christmas track on here—his 1976 song “Glory Glory”—which is also great. This vinyl release is exclusive to Barnes & Noble, and pressed on snow-white vinyl.

    Soul of a Woman, by Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
    Sadly, Sharon Jones passed away last year, but not before recording one final album with her band, the Dap Kings. Their record label promises that Soul of a Woman has the band’s “rawest and most sophisticated recordings to date,” and for once, a record label press release is not hyperbole. Soul of a Woman is a triumph in every aspect. Knowing what we know now about Sharon’s health, songs like “Matter of Time” and “These Tears (No Longer for You)” are wrenching and urgent, but they’re great out of context, too. Sharon’s vocals and the band’s performances were never better, and this record is an essential buy for any vinyl collector.

    The post The Best New Vinyl of November 2017 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Dave K. 6:00 pm on 2017/10/30 Permalink
    Tags: , , , vinyl   

    The Best New Vinyl of November 2017 

    Whether you’re getting an early start on gift buying or adding to your own collection, plenty of great records are hitting our shelves for your consideration in November! We’ve got new albums from Sam Smith and Morrissey, the original cast recordings for SpongeBob SquarePants and Charlotte’s Web, soundtracks for Game of Thrones and Serenity, and the final album from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. And if you’ve got Christmas on the brain, we’ve got a compilation album from Al Green that fits the spirit of the season. K

    SpongeBob SquarePants Original Cast Recording
    Over the years, SpongeBob SquarePants has gotten a lot of unlikely attention from cool, influential musicians. This phenomenon extends to the original cast recording for the stage musical based on the cartoon, which features songs written by Jonathan Coulton, Sara Bareilles (who also composed for Waitress), members of Panic! At The Disco and The Flaming Lips, and even Joe Perry and Steven Tyler. It’s incredible how many legit rock stars put their talents into this show, and the original cast steps up to that pressure with impressive performances across the board. Standouts include “Poor Pirates,” “I’m Not A Loser,” and the show’s version of David Bowie’s “No Control.”

    The Thrill of It All, by Sam Smith
    Sam Smith, who found fame in 2014 with his hit single “Stay With Me,” spent most of 2016 working on new material, and will be releasing his second album, The Thrill of It All, in November. Sam worked with classical crossover group Clean Bandit and Timbaland for this record, with the latter producing Smith’s second single, “Pray,” inspired by the singer’s experience with the War Child charity. “Pray” is an awesome song, by the way, with plenty of gospel heft stabilizing Smith’s voice. The album’s other single, “Too Good at Goodbyes,” will make you miss your ex even if you don’t have one.

    Game of Thrones Season 7 Original Soundtrack (B&N Exclusive Edition)
    Game of Thrones superfans, soundtrack junkies, and classical music fans alike will find lots to like about the score to Game of Thrones‘ seventh season. Composed by Ramin Djawadi, this album should be treated like a series of movements in one overarching piece, as specific moments in each track reflect plot points in prior seasons. “The Dagger,” for example, is a sinister update of a piece associated with the character Littlefinger, and “A Lion’s Legacy” contains a variation of the Lannister theme. But don’t worry if you’re not caught up with the show enough to catch each reference; Djawadi’s score more than stands on its own. This exclusive B&N edition features swirled black and fiery orange vinyl.

    Charlotte’s Web Original Soundtrack (B&N Exclusive Edition)
    Possibly the only animated film to feature a non-terrifying spider, Charlotte’s Web was released in 1973 and has become a classic children’s movie since then. Part of that appreciation is due to the soundtrack, written by the Sherman Brothers and featuring an all-star cast of Debbie Reynolds, Paul Lynde, Agnes Moorehead, and Henry Gibson, among others. The lyrics are sharp and clever throughout this album, with “I Can Talk” as a particular high point; how Gibson didn’t sprain his tongue on one of the many deft turns of phrase in that song is a mystery. Not only is this soundtrack a Barnes & Noble exclusive, we’ve got it on pink vinyl with black webbing.

    Low In High School, by Morrissey
    Morrissey, the Pope of Mope himself, is releasing his eleventh solo album this November. His fans, among the most devoted in all of pop music, are already buzzing about the two singles, and their excitement won’t be in vain; Morrissey’s mix of melancholy longing, sly wit, and caustic political commentary is as potent as ever, and his collaborations with longtime music director and guitarist Boz Boorer (formerly of the Polecats) still sound great. Electric piano riffs and synths give “I Wish You Lonely” a new wave vibe (the bouncy rhythm doesn’t hurt, either), and the verse in “Spent the Day In Bed” sounds downright McCartney-ish.

    Serenity Original Soundtrack (B&N Exclusive)
    The soundtrack for Serenity, available only at Barnes & Noble, was composed by David Louis Newman, whose other film score credits include Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, The Sandlot, and the animated film Anastasia, for which he received an Oscar nomination. His career has been eclectic, to say the least, which is why he was recommended to Joss Whedon, who wanted a composer “capable of everything.” This soundtrack is full of tension and rising action, but not in the typical space opera way. Rather, the soundscape is a varied blend of strings, brass, percussion, and quirky flourishes of erhu and pan-Asian flute. Recommended tracks are “Funeral/Rebuilding Serenity” and “Love.”

    Feels Like Christmas, by Al Green
    Feels Like Christmas is a ten-song compilation that pulls the best tracks from Green’s two 1980s Christmas albums. Green’s smoky tenor and soulful delivery were tailor-made for Christmas songs, particularly ballads like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “The Christmas Song.” Green’s approach to Christmas music could be described as upbeat crooning, and he fully commits to each song, making for a supremely enjoyable listening experience. There’s even a non-Christmas track on here—his 1976 song “Glory Glory”—which is also great. This vinyl release is exclusive to Barnes & Noble, and pressed on snow-white vinyl.

    Soul of a Woman, by Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
    Sadly, Sharon Jones passed away last year, but not before recording one final album with her band, the Dap Kings. Their record label promises that Soul of a Woman has the band’s “rawest and most sophisticated recordings to date,” and for once, a record label press release is not hyperbole. Soul of a Woman is a triumph in every aspect. Knowing what we know now about Sharon’s health, songs like “Matter of Time” and “These Tears (No Longer for You)” are wrenching and urgent, but they’re great out of context, too. Sharon’s vocals and the band’s performances were never better, and this record is an essential buy for any vinyl collector.

    The post The Best New Vinyl of November 2017 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Dave K. 8:00 pm on 2017/09/29 Permalink
    Tags: , , editor's picks, vinyl   

    The Best New Vinyl to Spin This October 

    With fall officially here, we’ve got a bunch of autumnal music selections coming to the Vinyl Store in October! Among them are new records from Robert Plant, Margo Price, Beck, and Weezer. And just in time for Halloween, we’ve got a spooky, exclusive picture disc for the official soundtrack to Stephen King’s It. Don’t miss any of these great records, and keep checking Barnes & Noble’s Vinyl Store for more of your favorite music!

    Colors, by Beck
    Beck’s music is so timeless, it’s easy to forget how long he’s been around—Colors is his 13th studio album. Thanks to Beck’s touring schedule, it took four years for him to write it and he and producer Greg Kurstin play most of the instruments. How he sustained that level of energy is anyone’s guess, but this record is the most fun music Beck’s released in years. The central melody of “Wow” is a potent earworm, and “Dear Life” is as bouncy as the hipster lounge funk that made him famous in the first place.

    Carry Fire, by Robert Plant
    Rock legend and ex-Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant adds his 11th solo album, Carry Fire, to his impressive discography. Collaborating once again with the Sensational Space Shifters, Plant (unlike many of his contemporaries) wrote most of what you’ll hear on this album, and what he and his band have created is fascinating. Carry Fire combines Middle Eastern, American, and Celtic music to create a stompy, psychedelic folk sound. The tone changes from song to song, too: opening track “The May Queen” is pretty upbeat, whereas the title track is downright haunting, due in no small part to the judicious use of an electric oud.

    All American Made, by Margo Price
    Country singer Margo Price’s sophomore album, All American Made, follows what many critics called the best album of 2016, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter. It’s also an immensely satisfying record for country fans, balancing the old-school sound of Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette with the clever lyrics and alt-country swagger of Neko Case. “A Little Pain” is a perfect example of how her sound blends modern and traditional country; the band keeps it simple, the lyrics are playful, and she belts out notes with tuning fork accuracy. “Weakness,” released as an EP earlier this year, does the same thing, and proves that country music can still reach people no matter where they live.

    It Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    Film scoring is a difficult and exacting process, and horror film scores have the additional complication of needing to be scary and compelling. Many horror films go for abstract compositions, but for the 2017 remake of Stephen King’s It, Benjamin Wallfisch went full orchestral. In so doing, he’s created one of the most interesting, and moving, film scores we’ve heard in a while. The tender, melancholy piano that drives “Paper Boat,” for example, flows seamlessly into the strings-heavy tension of “Georgie, Meet Pennywise.” The whole score functions that way, and when tense, discordant tracks like “Time to Float” arrive, they have a lot more impact.

    Meaning of Life, by Kelly Clarkson
    Meaning of Life is Clarkson’s eighth album, but her first for Atlantic Records, having finally completed the RCA contract she won on American Idol back in 2002. To mark this occasion, Clarkson decided to veer away from her well-established pop/rock sound and explore soul and R&B music. That turns out to be a wonderful idea, because this album is a fun, fierce breath of fresh air. “Love So Soft” expresses Clarkson’s vocal range in a new way, with a refreshing trap vibe and funky horns, and “Move You” has legitimate slow jam percussion, gospel hand claps, and a massive vocal performance that aims for pure emotion and hit it dead-on.

    Pacific Daydream, by Weezer
    Described by the band as “the Beach Boys gone wrong,” this album even has a song called “Beach Boys,” and captures what can only be described as an avant-garde summer vibe. “Mexican Fender” tells the kind of boy-meets-girl story that’s central to every beach movie, but in a fractured, unconventional way that only Rivers Cuomo could pull off. Meanwhile, “Feels Like Summer” is unrestrained pop that exaggerates beginning-of-summer excitement to the point of madness.

    What tracks are you spinning this month?

    The post The Best New Vinyl to Spin This October appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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