Vinyl Lovers Rejoice!

2008 has been a great year for vinyl enthusiasts; CD sales and worth have been sinking like a stone, giant music retailer Best Buy started carrying vinyl as an experiment in select stores nationwide, and musicians are releasing collectors editions of their new albums on vinyl. I want to start highlighting some albums on vinyl that I personally buy, or those of which I think are worth buying. Vinyl is definitely still a niche medium, but more and more people are turning to the 12″ grooved disks to preserve the passion that having a respectable music collection was once all about. In the days where people’s music libraries consist of digital albums in iTunes, it’s great to hold on to a tangible item that is maintaining or increasing in value. The digital age has given us musical ADD; listening to music has almost become pedestrian, with our entire catalog at our fingertips, we have shuffle and repeat. That is the beauty of vinyl, music becomes an event again, an ode to music appreciation. So with all that said, let’s get right into it!

Ben Folds new album, Way To Normal, is set to release September 30, 2008, and wow has he put together a stunning package for a vinyl virtuoso. Not only does the limited edition package come with 180-gram double vinyl, but includes the CD, an exclusive bonus CD, 60 minute DVD, 36 page booklet, and the whole shibang is put into a collectible 12″ x 12″ foil stamped box. Wow. Kudos to you Ben, kudos to you. To most, that would be enough, right? He goes on to say the first 1,000 orders of this delux dream will include an autographed poster by the man himself. That was a marathon description. Count me in.

Portishead released their first album of new material in 10 years, Third, on April 29, 2008. They released the no longer available limited edition (of 10,000) box set which included (seen above):

  • double vinyl copy of Third
  • etched “Machine Gun” 12″
  • limited edition art print by Nick Uff
  • “P”-shaped USB stick featuring Third and four films (Ade’s House, Machine Gun; The Rip Live @ Mr. Wolfe’s; We Carry On; and The Truly Spectacular Universal Conference Film)

While it is sold out and no longer available through official means, you can most definitely find it on eBay and the like.

When Radiohead shocked the world by releasing In Rainbows in a choose-what-you-pay digital download, the future of an actual physical release was unknown. Then before they even signed to a record label for physical release, they had a limited edition vinyl release in the works for self distribution via their website. As you can see, it came in unique packaging and included the double vinyl LP, the album on CD, a CD of extra material, a digital download of the album, and a short but beautiful picture booklet. As with the Portishead album, this edition has sold out but you can manage to find it on eBay.

What vinyl albums have you been buying? Do you like vinyl? Hit the replies.

– Ant

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