gary clark jr. - story of sonny boy slim

Gary Clark, Jr.: The Story of Sonny Boy Slim (2015)

Day 24 of the #mayvinylchallenge takes a look at etchings, whether it’s the weird title messages scratched into the dead wax of a record or a full side sketch for those albums that don’t fit a double album format. Thinking about that brought me back to The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, the chameleon rock second record from Gary Clark, Jr. At 53 minutes it more than fits on a CD, but the vinyl version only takes up three sides, allowing for a gorgeous scratch design on Side D. So it fits the category; now let’s talk about the music.

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curtis mayfield - superfly

Curtis Mayfield: Superfly OST (1972)

Day 23 of the #mayvinylchallenge (which was yesterday, I know) asked for a soundtrack. I was considering the other amazing 1972 soundtrack album by a titan of r&b and soul, but while doing yardwork that opening riff to “Pusherman” came on and I really had no choice. So let’s spend a few minutes talking about Curtis Mayfield and how the soundtrack to Super Fly is not only one fo the best soundtracks of all time, but one of the best albums, period.

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genesis - selling england by the pound

Genesis: Selling England By The Pound (1973)

Day 22 of the #mayvinylchallenge has me back on track, and demands albums from the year of my birth. I don’t want to be one of those ancient dudes who constantly harp about how much better it was in the “good ol’ days” but DAMN 1973 was a killer year. Lots of options to choose from, but in the end I decided to talk about a band and album I only got seriously into once I started collecting vinyl. I may have come to Genesis via hits like “That’s All” and “No Reply At All” from the cassettes in the back of my father’s car, but diving deeper I was overjoyed to find so much more weirdness and rocking tunes in their back catalog. Few albums mix the two so well as Peter Gabriel’s penultimate album with the group, the brilliant Selling England By The Pound.

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ramones - ramones

Ramones: Ramones (1976)

Day 21 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks us for our rare, our limited vinyl. And I’ll tell you, I had no intention of owning a rare copy of the debut from one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. Hell, I don’t even know if it is rare, but I haven’t found mention of it on any websites. Discogs has nothing, the Steve Hoffmann forums don’t mention it. So be it; that’s enough for me to count my weird-ass maybe valuable copy of the Ramones debut eponymous album for today’s entry. Really, any excuse will do…

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we lost the sea - triumph and disaster

We Lost The Sea: Triumph & Disaster (2019)

Day 20 of the #mayvinylchallenge focuses on another facet of the vinyl addict: variants and pressings. And though that’s never been my primary focus when collecting (I’m not one for multiple editions of anything), there is something sweet when you can pre-order a beautiful limited edition of an album you love. We Lost the Sea specialize in crafting intricate, cinematic explorations in post-rock, and their latest release Triumph & Disaster is a gorgeous representation of what they do best, and the fact I got in early enough to order their limited (150, sold out) variant featuring a sumptuous half purple/half blue splatter that mirrors the depths the album reaches.

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fates warning - awaken the guardian

Fates Warning: Awaken the Guardian (1986)

Day 19 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for the album it took the longest to find. This is for those treasure seekers, and I admit I haven’t reached that level of addict yet. It may also be that the stuff I’m looking for is readily available for the most part, and I’m not that picky when it comes to original or first pressings. So instead let’s talk about the album it took the longest to get to me: Awaken the Guardian, the progressive heavy metal masterpiece from Fates Warning. As one of the earliest vinyl records I ever bought as a 13 year old kid, it was one of the first I wanted to replace when I started collecting again.

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