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  • Dave K. 6:00 pm on 2019/09/11 Permalink
    Tags: , ken burn's country music, spin spin spin, the archies, vinyl   

    The Best New Vinyl To Spin in September 2019 

    This month, our Vinyl Store welcomes in whole rainbow’s worth of exclusive pressings, including red. white, and blue vinyl for the soundtrack to Country Music: A Film by Ken Burns, transparent blue vinyl for Vince Gill’s Okie, yellow vinyl for The Definitive Archies, and orange vinyl for the Blinded by the Light soundtrack. What a haul! Read more about these records below, and make your back-to-school season a musical one…

    Country Music: A Film by Ken Burns Original Soundtrack
    Ken Burns has turned his award-winning documentarian’s gaze to country music, much to the delight of old school fans who appreciate the genre’s history. The soundtrack accompanying the eight-part documentary is as thorough and in-depth (and great) as one would expect, ranging from early bluegrass and “hillbilly” music (Bill Monroe, Grandpa Jones) to what became the classic country sound (Hank Williams Sr., Kitty Wells, Patsy Cline, early Willie Nelson), to a couple of pop crossovers (Bob Dylan, the Byrds). Oh, and of course Dolly Parton. Can’t make a country music documentary without Dolly Parton. This exclusive pressing of the album comes on patriotic tri-colored vinyl and is autographed by Ken Burns himself!

    Okie, by Vince Gill
    Current Eagles member and former Pure Prairie League frontman Vince Gill has had a fascinating career, and his fifteenth studio album, Okie, reflects on parts of it—specifically, two songs recall the advice he got from country music legends Merle Haggard and Guy Clark, great influences on his life and career. “Nothin’ Like A Guy Clark Song” is basically a eulogy for Clark, who died in 2016, and “A World Without Haggard” takes a similar, if more reflective, tone. These two songs are the album’s standouts, but everything here is played earnestly, with an emphasis on lyrical storytelling and old school, folk-inspired country music.

    ‘i,i’, by Bon Iver
    Critics have a hard time describing Bon Iver’s sound: are they indie? Chamber folk? Alien synth music? Whatever it is, they love it, and ‘i, i’ continues their experimental, boundary-pushing work. Acoustic guitars, horns, and piano are supported by stuttering electronics and strange vocal harmonies, but the weirdness never gets in the way of the band’s complex arrangements or musicianship; rather, they support and uplift it. Some pretty impressive guests appear on this record as well; Moses Sumney and Bruce Hornsby, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus all join in the fun at various points. Our pick for best track here is “iMi,” but you can’t go wrong with any of them.

    NFR, by Lana Del Rey
    The queen of sadcore returns in grand style with her lushest production of hers to date. “Mariners Apartment Complex,” for example, begins with the kind of orchestral swell you’d hear at the start of a classic movie. LDR fans will love the piano-driven ballads and dirges that have become her trademark, but they’ll be pleasantly surprised by the hints of psychedelia and desert rock they’ll find here; “The Natural” is a good example of both. She also very boldly covers Sublime’s “Doin’ Time” and knocks it out of the park while maintaining an unexpected reverence for the original (Sublime is apparently one of LDR’s favorite bands).

    Definitive Archies: Greatest Hits & More, by the Archies
    Cartoon bands like Jem and the Holograms and Dethklok are a lot of fun, but none of them would exist without The Archies. Comprised of Archie characters Betty Veronica, Jughead, Reggie, and Archie himself, the band was created in 1968 to tie in with The Archie Show animated cartoon, and marketed directly to kids by embossing cardboard pressings of their records into the backs of cereal boxes. Thankfully, they’re on proper vinyl now, and their classic bubblegum pop songs (“Sugar Sugar,” “Bang-Shang-A-Lang,” “Jingle Jangle”) are available to a whole new generation more used to seeing the characters engage in sexy shenanigans on the CW’s Riverdale.

    Blinded By The Light Soundtrack
    The soundtrack to the charming jukebox musical Blinded by the Light is dominated by Bruce Springsteen, which makes sense—the movie is named after one of his songs, after all. Springsteen has twelve songs on this soundtrack, including “Born to Run,” “Badlands,” live versions of “The River” and “Thunder Road,” and the title track. You can’t go wrong with the Boss, but the non-Springsteen songs featured are a real treat as well, particularly Amer Chadha-Patel’s “Get Outta My Way Fascist Pigs,” easily one of the most straightforward song titles of all time. Add this exclusive orange vinyl pressing to your collection as soon as possible.

    What’s on your turntable this month?

    The post The Best New Vinyl To Spin in September 2019 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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

    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.

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

    The Best New Vinyl to Spin in July 

    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: , , , , spring fever, vinyl   

    15 New Vinyl Releases to Spin This Spring 

    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.

  • Dave K. 8:00 pm on 2018/11/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , , vinyl,   

    10 Albums to Pick Up During Barnes & Noble’s Vinyl Weekend 

    Vinyl Weekend is coming to Barnes & Noble! November 16–18, there will be tons of deals on vinyl and vinyl accessories at many Barnes & Noble locations (check with your local store), as well as dozens of new, exclusive albums for sale in store and online. Below is just a sampling of what we’ll have in the Vinyl Store, including albums from Cher, Josh Groban, Elle King, and Mumford & Sons, as well as classic film soundtracks. So mark it on your calendar and get your holiday shopping done early at Barnes & Noble!

    Bridges, by Josh Groban              
    Groban wrote Bridges right after spending a year on Broadway, as Pierre in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. Groban was clearly energized by his time onstage, and it helped to inspire a lovely, uplifting record. Along with songs like “Symphony,” “River,” and “Won’t Look Back,” Groban duets with Sarah McLachlan on “Run” and Andrea Bocelli on “We Will Meet Once Again.” He also delivers marvelous performances of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “S’il suffisait d’aimer,” a song originally written for Celine Dion.

    Love, by Michael Bublé
    Love, romantic and otherwise, is the cornerstone of the holiday season, and Bublé has devoted an entire album to songs about it. On this album, a perfect gift pick this holiday season, his song selections include Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose,” and two songs from the 1937 musical Babes in Arms: “My Funny Valentine” and “Where or When.”Bublé has two writing credits of his own on this album: “Forever Now,” and “Love You Anymore,” a song he cowrote with singer and YouTube star Charlie Puth.

    Dancing Queen, by Cher
    Following her appearance in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Cher has recorded an album of ABBA covers. Not only did Dancing Queen provide her highest debut sales week in the U.S., it also debuted at number one on the US Top Album Sales chart, a career first for the artist. What surprised us about this album is how long it took to happen; Cher and ABBA were made for each other, and Cher’s husky contralto voice breathes new life into songs like “SOS,” “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight),” “Fernando,” and of course the title track. Definitely pick this one up for the holidays—it’s perfect for parties.

    Delta, by Mumford & Sons              
    Marcus Mumford’s always been ambitious, but he had big plans for what he wanted Delta to accomplish. Recorded as a freewheeling, collaborative effort with as many as one hundred other musicians (not all of whom appear on the record), Delta draws on the core band’s shared exhaustion with touring and aims to be more introspective and reflective, but also has more musical elements (namely electronica and rap) than previous Mumford albums. There’s a lot going on with this record, and it’s a balancing act that the group handles with aplomb. Their lead single from this record, “Guiding Light,” is proof of that.

    Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert           
    Earlier this year NBC produced a live telecast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, and now the Vinyl Store has that cast’s complete performance. While the musical is a classic, many haven’t heard much of it beyond hit song “Superstar,” and may be surprised by how funky these songs really are. “Heaven on Their Minds” has an explosive power, and that goes double for “Damned for All Time/Blood Money.” On the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, the show’s most tender ballad, “I Don’t Know to Love Him,” is sung beautifully by Sara Bareilles.

    Carousel Original Soundtrack             
    Once hailed by Time Magazine as the best musical of the 20th century, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel is indeed a classic, and we’re proud to offer it on vinyl. Even if you’re not a musical theater fanatic, you’re probably familiar with “If I Loved You,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over,” but the whole soundtrack is well worth your time. Hammerstein himself said that Carousel was the best show he ever wrote, and it’s easy to see why. The lush orchestration and clever lyrics throughout Carousel are timeless.

    Shake the Spirit, by Elle King                               
    Elle King’s second album is more musically curious than her debut, which makes sense; once she established it, it was only natural before an artist as talented as King would step outside her comfort zone . With her loud, soulful voice as a unifying element, King blends a soulful hard rock sound with 1960s spy movie balladry and old-school girl group swagger, and it all works. “Shame” and “Naturally Pretty Girls” occupy the rougher end of the spectrum, and “Good Thing Gone” calms things down a bit with a slower tempo and more vocal harmonies. Regardless of style, King never loses the smoky allure that makes her music so satisfying to listen to.

    Harry Potter Original Soundtracks by John Williams: The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, and The Prisoner of Azkaban   
    The first three films in the Harry Potter film franchise—The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, and The Prisoner of Azkaban—were scored by acclaimed film composer John Williams, and now the original soundtracks of all three are on sale in our Vinyl Store! Williams’ work is already known for its versatility, and these soundtracks gave him (and the London Symphony Orchestra) a lot of room to swing between whimsy, discovery, gloom, and tension. And, as expected, his character pieces are immediately recognizable.

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Original Soundtrack 
    While John Williams composed the first three Harry Potter film soundtracks, schedule conflicts prevented him from continuing the work. The reins for the fourth film in the Harry Potter series were passed to Scottish composer Patrick Doyle, a regular collaborator with Kenneth Branagh who proved himself very capable of stepping into Williams’ shoes. He and the London Symphony Orchestra contributed new major themes to the franchise, including the chilling, intense “Voldemort” and the surprisingly moving “Death of Cedric,” which has become an emotional touchstone for Potterheads.

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Original Soundtrack 
    The Harry Potter film series switched directors again for the fifth installment, as composer Nicholas Hooper stepped in, recording this soundtrack at the legendary Abbey Road Studio in London. Hooper’s contributions to the Harry Potter soundscape include specific themes representing Dolores Umbridge and the possession of Harry’s mind by Lord Voldemort, as well as the use of a Japanese Taiko drum to liven up the percussion. Hooper’s decision to emulate John Williams’ work as little as possible makes this film score a unique, and excellent, part of the Potterverse, and one well worth picking up on vinyl.

    The post 10 Albums to Pick Up During Barnes & Noble’s Vinyl Weekend appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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