Vinyl. Our way of life since 2004 (877) 929-8729

VPI Dealer Authorized & Certified
Site Search
Menu Free shipping on domestic orders over $49.99! - We ship worldwide!
LP20 - 20% Off Vinyl
Home > Products for: '

Shocking Blue

'
  • 1
  • 2
Results per page:
  • At Home (Bonus Tracks) At Home (Bonus Tracks) Quick View

    $29.99
    Buy Now
    x

    At Home (Bonus Tracks)

    Remastered


    Shocking Blue was a Dutch rock band from The Hague that was at their peak in the sixties en seventies and gained major cross-Atlantic success!


    The band was founded in 1967 and after recruiting vocalist Mariska Veres they soon became huge. With their single 'Venus' they became the first Dutch band ever to reach the first spot on the American Billboard Hot 100. The band had a series of subsequent hits but decided to call it a day in 1975. Their influence reached well beyond their generation: even bands like Nirvana and The Prodigy used Shocking Blue's 'Love Buzz'.


    Our audiophile reissue contains both 'Venus' as well as 'Love Buzz'. Furthermore this legendary album features 4 bonustracks that were previously only available as b-sides on various 45's, that have been out of print for ages.


    Our audiophile reissue boasts the original gatefold sleeve and contains 4 bonus tracks that were not available on the original LP editon.


    * 180 grams audiophile vinyl

    * Gatefold Sleeve

    * 4 Bonus tracks

    SIde One

    1 Boll Weevil (2:40)

    2 I'll Write Your Name Through the Fire (2:50)

    3 Acha Raga (3:10)

    4 Love Machine (3:15)

    5 I'm a Woman (3:00)

    6 Venus (3:07)

    7 California Here I Come (3:15)

    8 Poor Boy (4:50)

     

    Side Two

    1 Long and Lonesome Road (2:44)

    2 Love Buzz (3:40)

    3 Butterfly and I (3:50)

    4 Harley Davidson (2:39) *

    5 Fireball of Love (3:00) *

    6 Hot Sand (2:35) *

    7 Wild Wind (2:15) *
    Shocking Blue
    $29.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • 3rd Album 3rd Album Quick View

    $29.99
    Buy Now
    x

    3rd Album

    Shocking Blue was a Dutch rockband from The Hague that was at their peak in the sixties and seventies and gained major cross-Atlantic success. The band was founded in 1967 and after recruiting vocalist Mariska Veres they soon became huge. With their single 'Venus' they became the first Dutch band ever to reach the first spot on the American Billboard Hot 100. The band had a series of subsequent hits but decided to call it a day in 1975. Their influence reached well beyond their generation: even bands like Nirvana and The Prodigy used Shocking Blue's 'Love Buzz'.


    '3rd Album' is strangely enough not their third full-length album but their fourth and was originally released in 1971. This reissue comes with six bonus tracks consisting of singles and b-sides and a gatefold sleeve.


    -180 grams audiophile vinyl

    -Gatefold Sleeve

    -6 Bonustracks


    Side A:
    1. Shocking You

    2. Velvet Heaven

    3. Love Sweet Love
    4. I Saw Your Face

    5. Simon Lee And The Gang (Instrumental)
    6. Serenade

    7. Never Married A Railroad Man *
    8. Roll Engine Roll *
    9. Waterloo *

    Side B:
    1. Don't You See
    2. The Bird Op Paradise

    3. Moonlight Night

    4. Sleepless At Midnight
    5. I'll Follow The Sun
    6. Blossom Lady *
    7. Is This A Dream *
    8. Poor Boy (Long Version) *

    * = Bonustracks

    Shocking Blue
    $29.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Scorpio's Dance (4 Bonus Tracks) Scorpio's Dance (4 Bonus Tracks) Quick View

    $29.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Scorpio's Dance (4 Bonus Tracks)

    Remastered


    Shocking Blue was a Dutch rock band from The Hague that was at their peak in the sixties en seventies and gained major cross-Atlantic success!


    The band was founded in 1967 and after recruiting vocalist Mariska Veres they soon became huge. With their single 'Venus' they became the first Dutch band ever to reach the first spot on the American Billboard Hot 100. The band had a series of subsequent hits but decided to call it a day in 1975. Their influence reached well beyond their generation: even bands like Nirvana and The Prodigy used Shocking Blue's 'Love Buzz'.


    Although considered a singles-band, they released a couple of high quality albums. One of the best is Scorpio's Dance in many ways: Its cover has been chosen as one of the most legendary LP covers in Dutch pop history.


    Our audiophile reissue boasts the original gatefold sleeve and contains 4 bonus tracks that were not available on the original LP editon.


    * 180 grams audiophile vinyl

    * Gatefold Sleeve

    * 4 Bonus tracks

    1. Scorpio's Dance
    2. Alaska County
    3. Sally Was a Good Old Girl
    4. Daemon Lover
    5. Scorpio's Dance (Instrumental)
    6. Little Cooling Planet
    7. I Love Voodoo Music
    8. Seven Is a Number in Magic
    9. Keep It If You Want It
    10. Water Boy
    11. Send Me a Postcard (bonus)
    12. Mighty Joe (bonus)
    13. Hello Darkness (bonus)
    14. Pickin' Tomatoes (bonus)
    Shocking Blue
    $29.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Shocking Blue Shocking Blue Quick View

    $29.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Shocking Blue

    4 Exclusive Bonus Tracks!


    Formed in 1967 by former Motions guitarist Robbie van Leeuwen, Shocking Blue was joined by Cor van der Beek (drums), Klaasje van der Wal (bass) and Mariska Veres as lead vocalist. In 1969 and 1970, the group set the airwaves crackling and enjoyed a worldwide chart success with ''Venus'' (which incorporated the help of studio musician Cees Schrama of Casey & The Pressure Group [MOVLP1132]), followed by several other hit singles.


    In 1972, they released their 6th album Attila, a solid Pop album written entirely by Van Leeuwen, anchored by Marika's powerful vocals. Her incredible range and control is at times compared with Jefferson Airplane's singer Grace Slick. Noteworthy tracks on Attila are ''Rock In The Sea'', album opener ''Rattler'' and the moody ''Wait''. This album is denitely worth picking up for a comprehensive view on Holland's biggest export product's early '70s output.

    1. Rattler
    2. Never Release The One You Love
    3. A Waste Of Time
    4. Wait
    5. The Devil And The Angel
    6. Rock In The Sea
    7. Eve And The Apple *
    8. When I Was A Girl *
    9. I've Spent My Money
    10. Will The Circle Be Unbroken
    11. Early In The Morning
    12. I Built My World Around You
    13. Don't Let Your Right Know
    14. Broken Heart
    15. Everything That's Mine *
    16. I Saw You In June *
    Attila
    $29.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Electro-Shock Blues Electro-Shock Blues Quick View

    $39.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Electro-Shock Blues

    Electro-Shock Blues is the second studio album by alternative rock band Eels. Electro-Shock Blues was written
    largely in response to front man Mark Oliver Everett's (more commonly known as E) sister's suicide and his mother's terminal lung cancer. Though much of the album is, on its surface, bleak, its underlying message is that of coping with some of life's most difficult occurrences.
    1. Elizabeth On The Bathroom Floor
    2. Going To Your Funeral Part I
    3. Cancer For The Cure
    4. My Descent Into Madness

    5. 3 Speed
    6. Hospital Food

    7. Electro-Shock Blues

    8. Efils' God
    9. Going to Your Funeral Part II
    10. Last Stop: This Town
    11. Baby Genius

    12. Climbing To The Moon
    13. Ant Farm, 2.Dead Of Winter

    14. The Medication Is Wearing Off
    15. P.S. You Rock My World
    Eels
    $39.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Hell's Session Hell's Session Quick View

    $33.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Hell's Session


    Limited Edition Of 1000 Numbered Copies On 180 Gram Clear White Vinyl, Black Vinyl Thereafter


    Livin' Blues was a Dutch blues-rock group from The Hague, the Netherlands founded in 1967. On their 1969 debut album Hell's Sessions the line-up included Ted Oberg (solo guitars), drummer Cesar Zuiderwijk (who later joined Golden Earring), Nicko Christiansen (vocals, bongo drums and guitars), John Lagrand (harmonica) and Henk Smitskamp (bass guitar and piano).


    Hell's Sessions was produced by Jaap Eggermont, one of Holland's finest rock & pop producers (responsible for Venus by The Shocking Blue amongst others). Songs like Big Road Blues, Black Panther and Waitin' On You are adequate examples of the Dutch Blues movement in the early 70s.

    1. Waitin' On You
    2. One Night Blues
    3. Bowlegged Man
    4. Hell's Session
    5. Big Road Blues
    6. Black Panther
    7. Worried Dreams
    8. Big Black Train
    Livin' Blues
    $33.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Def Leppard Def Leppard Quick View

    $42.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Def Leppard

    First-rate melodic pop-metal. Def Leppard tracks like Let's Go,...All Time High and Broke 'n' Brokenhearted exude the band's classic mix of Seventies pomp-glam riffing, Eighties electro-shock rhythms and patented, tremendously stacked chorus vocal harmonies in a manner that's strikingly redolent of their past. But the album also finds the band moving beyond well-trod territory, as evidenced by the slinky pop-funk strut of Man Enough, the downtuned, acoustic psych-blues of Battle of My Own and the sleek New Wave isms of Invincible. - Rolling Stone


    We'd never done an album when we weren't contracted to do one," explains Joe Elliott (vocals) . "We've been independent for seven years, we've loved every minute of it, but we haven't made an album as such. There were still expectations even when we did our first record On Through The Night. This time, there were none. We personally didn't even expect to do an album when we first went into the studio! We just wanted to embrace our influences and write a few songs we could be proud of. I don't think I've enjoyed making a record as much as I enjoyed making this one."

    1. Let's Go
    2. Dangerous

    3. Man Enough
    4. We Belong
    5. Invincible
    6. Sea of Love

    7. Energized

    8. All Time High

    9. Battle of My Own

    10. Broke 'N' Brokenhearted

    11. Forever Young

    12. Last Dance
    13. Wings of an Angel

    14. Blind Faith
    Def Leppard
    $42.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Def Leppard Def Leppard Quick View

    $23.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Def Leppard

    Def Leppard is the 11th studio album by British rock band Def Leppard. It's the band's first release since Songs from the Sparkle Lounge (2008), marking the longest gap between studio albums in their career. The 14-track album not only nods to their history, but it hints at their future. According to vocalist Joe Elliott, ''The name itself sums everything up. It's a misspelled nonsensical mad-looking two words.'' This is Def Leppard in 2015. This is rock 'n' roll. Let's go.


    REVIEW:

    First-rate melodic pop-metal. Def Leppard tracks like Let's Go,...All Time High and Broke 'n' Brokenhearted exude the band's classic mix of Seventies pomp-glam riffing, Eighties electro-shock rhythms and patented, tremendously stacked chorus vocal harmonies in a manner that's strikingly redolent of their past. But the album also finds the band moving beyond well-trod territory, as evidenced by the slinky pop-funk strut of Man Enough, the downtuned, acoustic psych-blues of Battle of My Own and the sleek New Wave isms of Invincible. - Rolling Stone

    1. Let's Go
    2. Dangerous

    3. Man Enough
    4. We Belong
    5. Invincible
    6. Sea of Love

    7. Energized

    8. All Time High

    9. Battle of My Own

    10. Broke 'N' Brokenhearted

    11. Forever Young

    12. Last Dance
    13. Wings of an Angel

    14. Blind Faith
    Def Leppard
    $23.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Chicago/The Blues/Today! (Pure Pleasure) Chicago/The Blues/Today! (Pure Pleasure) Quick View

    $99.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Chicago/The Blues/Today! (Pure Pleasure)

    In early 1966, blues history was made with the issuance of a three-volume set of new recordings produced by blues historian Samuel Charters. This series was known as Chicago/The Blues/Today! and the release sent shock waves through the world of rock & roll. Every artist on the three volumes had recorded before (some, like Otis Rush and Junior Wells, had actually seen small hits on the R&B charts), but these recordings were largely their introduction to a newer -- and predominately white -- album-oriented audience. These recordings have stayed in print and have been reasonably good sellers over the years since their original release, all coming out on compact disc. This new packaging puts all three volumes together, but with no bonus tracks, as no extras were recorded for these sessions.



    A plus in the new packaging, is that it features a nice booklet with detailed, updated notes from Charters, a nice appreciation from Ed Ward, and absolutely eye-boggling session photos taken by Charters' wife, Ann. Even if you still have the original vinyl or CDs, this is one of the times when it would be best to spend the dough and add this one to your collection, because blues records seldom come as important, innovative, or just plain pleasurable to listen to as this set. File under 'essential'.




    Musicians:



    • J.B. Hutto

    • Junior Wells

    • Otis Spann

    • Otis Rush

    • Jimmy Cotton

    • Johnny Shines Blues Band

    • Johnny Young's South Side Blues Band

    • Homesick James

    • and Big Walter Horton's Blues Harp Band with Memphis Charlie Musselwhite




    Recording: 1965 at RCA Studios, Chicago

    Production: Samuel Chartersdeutsch



    Format: 3LPs 33rpm / Box, booklet



    About Pure Pleasure



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.



    LP1
    1. Help Me (A Tribute to Sonny Boy Williamson)
    2. It Hurts Me Too
    3. Messin' with the Kid
    4. Vietcong Blues
    5. All Night Long
    6. Going Ahead
    7. Please Help
    8. Too Much Alcohol
    9. Married Woman Blues
    10. That's the Truth
    11. Marie
    12. Burning Fire
    13. S P Blues
    14. Sometimes I Wonder
    15. Spann's Stomp


    LP2
    1. Cotton Crop Blues
    2. The Blues Keep Falling
    3. Love Me or Leave
    4. Rocket 88
    5. West Helena Blues
    6. Everything's Gonna Turn Out Allright
    7. It's a Mean Old World
    8. I Can't Quit You Baby
    9. Rock
    10. It's My Own Fault
    11. Dust my Broom
    12. Somebody Been Talkin'
    13. Set a Date
    14. So Mean to Me


    LP3
    1. One More Time
    2. Kid Man Blues
    3. My Black Mare
    4. Stealin' Back
    5. I Got Mine In Time
    6. Tighten Up On It
    7. Dynaflow Blues
    8. Black Spider Blues
    9. Layin' Down My Shoes and Clothes
    10. If I Get Lucky
    11. Rockin' My Boogie
    12. Mr. Boweevil
    13. Hey Hey

    Various Artists
    $99.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Peter Gabriel 4 (Blue Face) (45 RPM) Peter Gabriel 4 (Blue Face) (45 RPM) Quick View

    $37.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Peter Gabriel 4 (Blue Face) (45 RPM)

    Numbered Limited Edition- Only 10,000 Worldwide


    Co-produced by Peter and David Lord this is the first album where Peter really immersed himself in the music of distant lands and cultures. It was also his first fully digital recording. These two elements created a deeply effective soldering-together of futurism and generations-old tradition. The single Shock The Monkey became Peter's first top 30 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Half-Speed Remastered and cut to lacquers at 45RPM, across two heavyweight LPs to deliver maximum dynamic sound range. Vinyl cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy Mastering, mastered by Tony Cousins at Metropolis and overseen by Peter's main sound engineer Richard Chappell. These albums really have never sounded so good! They also look amazing with the gatefold sleeves utilising imagery from the initial release, sourced and re-scanned from original artwork.

    1. The Rhythm Of The Heat
    2. San Jacinto
    3. I Have The Touch
    4. The Family And The Fishing Net
    5. Shock The Monkey
    6. Lay Your Hands On Me
    7. Wallflower
    8. Kiss Of Life
    Peter Gabriel
    $37.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue, An American In Paris (Speakers Corner) (Awaiting Repress) Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue, An American In Paris (Speakers Corner) (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $34.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue, An American In Paris (Speakers Corner) (Awaiting Repress)

    This fast and furious orchestral work with piano, which begins with what must surely be the most famous clarinet glissando of modern times, was composed with the intention of presenting as many facets as possible of music from the New World in the short space of around 15 minutes. In his Rhapsody In Blue Gershwin wanted to »paint a musical kaleidoscope of America - our enormous melting pot, our typical national traits, our blues, our seething city life«. With this in mind, Leonard Bernstein made a number of recordings of the work and among the many excellent recordings that he made as a conductor or as a soloist, this present version with the Columbia Orchestra, from 1959, is especially of note. Bernstein takes on a double function as conductor and soloist and manoeuvres his way safely and surely through the highly diversified score to create a well-rounded picture filled with hefty orchestral dynamics and finely chiselled solo playing. In Gershwin's freely composed work the soloist and orchestra do not resort to bombastic shock effects or egomaniac keyboard acrobatics, and so this the work can be described as rhapsodic in the very best sense of the word.
    Most fittingly, on the B side there is another freely composed work - the autobiographical sketch entitled An American In Paris. The superb New York musicians paint the impressions of a visitor to the hectic French capital city - that too is the sound of America.


    Musicians:



    • The Columbia Symphony Orchestra

    • New York Philharmonic Orchestra

    • George Gershwin (composer)

    • Leonard Bernstein (conductor)




    Recording: June 1959 and December 1958 at St George Hotel, Brooklyn, New York, by Fred Plaut and Frank Bruno

    Production: John McClure



    About Speakers Corner



    At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Speakers Corner all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.



    During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existant tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.



    A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.



    We should like to emphasise that Speakers Corner Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We have one digital recording in our catalogue (Alan Parsons / Eye In The Sky"), but even in this particular case we used the analogue tapes for cutting.



    We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.



    To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects - excluding the exception above - and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.


    1. Rhapsody In Blue
    2. An American In Paris
    Leonard Bernstein
    $34.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Aerosmith Aerosmith Quick View

    $24.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Aerosmith

    Remastered from the original source tapes!


    Contains the classics Dream On & Mama Kin


    In retrospect, it's a bit shocking how fully formed the signature Aerosmith sound was on their self-titled 1973 debut -- which may not be the same thing as best-executed, because this album still sounds like a first album, complete with the typical stumbles and haziness that comes with a debut. Despite all this, Aerosmith clearly showcases all the attributes of the band that would become the defining American hard rock band of the '70s. Here, the Stones influences are readily apparent, from the Jagger-esque phrasing of Steven Tyler to the group's high-octane boogie, but the group displays little of the Stones' deep love of blues here. Instead, Aerosmith is bloozy -- their riffs don't swing, they slide. They borrow liberally from Led Zeppelin's hybridization of Chess and Sun riffs without ever sounding much like Zep. They are never as British as Zeppelin -- they lack the delicate folky preciousness, they lack the obsession with blues authenticity, they lack the larger-than-life persona of so many Brit bands. They are truly an American band, sounding as though they were the best bar band in your local town, cranking out nasty hard-edged rock, best heard on Mama Kin, the best rocker here, one that's so greasy it nearly slips through their fingers. But the early masterpiece is, of course, Dream On, the first full-fledged power ballad. There was nothing quite like it in 1973, and it remains the blueprint for all power ballads since. The rest of the record contains the seeds of Aerosmith's sleazoid blues-rock, but they wouldn't quite perfect that sound until the next time around.

    -All Music Guide

    1. Make It
    2. Somebody
    3. Dream On
    4. One Way Street
    5. Mama Kin
    6. Write Me
    7. Movin' Out
    8. Walkin' The Dog
    Aerosmith
    $24.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Ghost Who Walks The Ghost Who Walks Quick View

    $18.99
    Buy Now
    x

    The Ghost Who Walks

    On her debut disc, The Ghost Who Walks, Karen Elson spins intriguingly unsettling tales of lost love, dashed hope, romantic betrayal and various crimes of passion witnessed only by the full moon. In a coolly inviting voice, strumming an acoustic guitar, she summons up a dark yet seductive atmosphere, an after-midnight world that's irresistibly alluring. The arrangements for her small band - featuring the virtuosic Jackson Smith on guitar, Elson's longtime collaborator Rachelle Garniez on accordion and vocals, and husband-producer Jack White on drums -- evoke the lonesome side of country (''Cruel Summer'') or the tormented side of the blues (''The Truth Is In the Dirt''), with eerie organ touches, and keening electric guitars.


    Until now, the British-born Elson has been better known as a top model, the face of ad campaigns for, among others, Armani, Prada, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent's Poison. With her pale white skin and shocking red hair, she seems an almost otherworldly presence on any given glossy page. While she assiduously worked as the face of various brands, she conducted an altogether different life behind the scenes as a singer and songwriter, honing what has proven to be her considerable skills. In part, she learned by doing: for the last five years, she's been a member, alongside Garniez, in the Weimar-style cabaret of New York City-based art and music collective The Citizens Band. Two of her more theatrical tracks, ''100 Years From Now'' and ''Mouths To Feed,'' inspired in part by author Tim Egan's dust bowl saga, The Worst Hard Time, were originally penned for her troupe, which combines bawdy entertainment with barbed political commentary.


    The Ghost Who Walks may not be drawn literally from Elson's life, but it does represent an aspect of her psyche she's been brave enough to explore: ''I'm very much interested in the dark side of things. In my life, truthfully, I've had a lot of bizarre and dark experiences that have definitely colored the way I think about a lot of personal things. The music I have always listened to as well has had a sorrowful, mournful, if not murderous, quality to it.'' She pauses to laugh. ''I'm not saying I would ever want to kill anybody, but sometimes love can drag you to the very depths of yourself and - my God - make you so desperate and forlorn. I really respond to songs that write about that. Hank Williams, for crying out loud, speaking of being forlorn and forsaken -- there's a song I just heard of his, an early demo, that really resonated with me. Those songs move me in a way that happy go lucky songs don't.''

    1. The Ghost Who Walks

    2. The Truth Is In The Dirt

    3. Pretty Babies

    4. Lunasa

    5. 100 Years From Now

    6. Stolen Roses

    7. Cruel Summer

    8. Garden

    9. The Birds They Circle

    10. A Thief At My Door

    11. The Last Laugh

    12. Mouths To Feed
    Karen Elson
    $18.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • In 'N Out In 'N Out Quick View

    $49.99
    Buy Now
    x

    In 'N Out

    From the moment that Kenny Dorham picked a 25-year old Joe Henderson out of obscurity in 1962 and had him join his band, it was obvious that Henderson was a very powerful force, a young giant who sent shock waves through the jazz world. Henderson, who had a very distinctive sound from the start along with the ability to play both "inside" and "outside," sounded very much at home whether playing bebop or free improvisations. He also proved to be a perfect musical brother for Dorham. Henderson's In 'N Out album finds the two horns expressing similar ideas, blending together perfectly, and creating memorable music that is beyond description. Every note that Dorham and Henderson play on this classic album is passionate, intense and meaningful. While most young musicians would be in awe if teamed with Dorham, McCoy Tyner, Richard Davis and Elvin Jones, Henderson not only had no difficulty playing with those masters, but he raised the intensity level and forced them to keep up with him. Rudy Van Gelder brilliantly captured this group, which has never sounded better than on this must-have reissue.

     

    Features:


    • Remastered from the Original Rudy Van Gelder Blue Note Master Tapes!

    • Remastered by Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman at Acoustech

    • Cut at 45rpm for Better Sound!

    • Pressed on two 180 gram Virgin Vinyl LPs by RTI

    • Limited Edition

    • Numbered

    • Ultra-Durable, Extra Thick Album Jackets

    • Gatefold Album with Session Photos in stunning High Resolution


     

    Musicians:


    • Joe Henderson

    • Kenny Dorham

    • McCoy Tyner

    • Richard Davis

    • Elvin Jones


    This title is not eligible for discount.

    In 'N Out
    Punjab
    Serenity
    Short Story
    Brown's Town
    Joe Henderson
    $49.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45 RPM LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Projections Projections Quick View

    $27.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Projections

    Great dance music albums - albums that sound as good on headphones and home speakers as they do on club soundsystems - aren't easily made. In a form whose primary aims have been to move dancefloors and to move on, full lengths that thrill the head, heart and the feet with equal power are few and far between. We believe Romare has made one.


    With the gripping shock of the new that announces the best records of the genre - from Entroducing through Blue Lines to Ambient Classics - Romare has both a singular style, and great deal to say with it. Projections comes off like Voodoo Ray reworked by DJ Shadow; its drumming littered with infectious swing, its samples illuminating and attention gripping, its atmosphere pronounced and consistent, and its riffs and hooks heavy - and unabashedly joyous.


    The album is a heady mix of homage and fresh approach, a statement from a young artist unafraid to revel in his influences, and confident in his own originality. The songs on Projections are homages to elements of American/African culture in the USA - which Romare studied academically. Taking his name from Romare Bearden, the well-known cut'n'paste artist / collagist, and applying similar techniques to music.


    Rainbow is a homage to gay rights via disco in the 70's, and Work Song to the great American work song tradition. Opener "Nina's Charm" sets out the stall for the album. A tiny, near spoken snippet of Nina Simone's voice is set against a hypnotic synth riff and a dislocated gospel-choir chant. The result is something utterly fresh; a tone setter that worms through the ear and floods the brain in soothing catharsis. "Motherless Child" opens with a shuffling jazz swing, allowing its sample of the African-American spiritual from which it takes its title to shine in full. When a simple, riff-like melody arrives, the song transforms into a sultry, glorious slow-dance workout. "Lover Man's" striking, cut-up synth riff is set up against chiming stabs and slurred chords, a snatched, swing vocal enticing us in to the wonkiest of grooves.


    Romare reimagines the profound cultural impact of the collage technique for a new generation of music listeners. With his signing to Ninja Tune, coming hot on the heels of his excellent 12"s on underground institution Black Acre, and compilation inclusions by Tiga, Bonobo and Brownswood, the stage is set for his debut album. Projections, like the best albums from the dance music world, is informed by scenes and genres but not entirely of them. It's a self-contained universe that rewards much exploration. Most of all, it's excited about the possibilities within music, and vastly exciting itself.

    1. Nina's Charm
    2. Work Song
    3. Motherless Child
    4. Ray's Foot
    5. Roots
    6. Jimmy's Lament
    7. Lover Man
    8. Rainbow
    9. Prison Blues
    10. The Drifter
    11. La Petite Mort
    Romare
    $27.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • The Sirens Of The Ditch The Sirens Of The Ditch Quick View

    $18.99
    Buy Now
    x

    The Sirens Of The Ditch

    For the past six years, Jason Isbell was one of three frontmen for the critically acclaimed Drive-By Truckers and although fans may have been shocked by his departure from the band in April of 2011, once you hear this, his solo debut Sirens Of The Ditch (which was co-produced by Isbell and Patterson Hood) it will only confirm that Isbell by no means is putting his feet up. Musicians joining Isbell on the album include Shonna Tucker (bass) and Brad Morgan (drums) with cameos from Patterson Hood, his father David Hood, Spooner Oldham, John Neff and more.


    Recorded over the past four years at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals (Aretha Franklin, Duane Allman, Otis Redding), Sirens Of The Ditch is a diverse collection of songs that incorporates elements of rock, blues and soul music into a heartfelt mix of songs that favor piano and pedal steel over buzzing guitars, although theres a fair share of overdriven amps here as well. A lot of old soul musicians came through here in the late 60s and 70s and helped define the Muscle Shoals sound, the lifelong Alabamian explains, so that influence was always in my environment, but on this record I really tried to capture that.

    1. Brand New Kind Of Actress
    2. Down In A Hole
    3. Try
    4. Chicago Promenade
    5. Dress Blues
    6. Grown
    7. Hurricanes and Hand Grenades
    8. In A Razor Town
    9. Shotgun Wedding
    10. The Magician
    11. The Devil Is My Running Mate
    Jason Isbell
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • And The War Came And The War Came Quick View

    $21.99
    Buy Now
    x

    And The War Came


    "A gnarly composite of blues and folk." - PASTE "Best of What's Next"


    "A surprisingly pop-leaning single from a rising folk hero." - ESQUIRE


    "Astonishing Unclassifiably Original. And frighteningly good." - NPR Music


    "His voice is shockingly soulful, and his effects-laden guitar playing exceptional." - BOSTON HERALD


    Performing live with nothing but a guitar and a homemade kickdrum built out of an old suitcase, Austin TX's "astonishing
    one-man-show" (NPR Music) Shakey Graves has quickly risen from obscurity into the nation spotlight since the release of
    his debut full-length LP "Roll The Bones." Nearly two years later, as word of his haunting lo-fi recordings and contrastingly explosive live show spreads, the self-released album continues to sell at a vigorous pace, consistently ranking near the top
    of Bandcamp's digital best seller charts. The album was recently released as a limited edition LP, which sold out almost immediately. New listeners around the world continue to discover his music every day, often through a series of live performance videos on YouTube (collectively over 1.5 million views). His videos for Myspace and Cadillac's "One Two Watch"
    documentary series have also gathered over 3 million views alone.

    1. This Is The Beginning
    2. Only Son
    3. Dearly Departed (featuring EsmÉ Patterson)
    4. The Perfect Parts
    5. Hard Wired
    6. Family And Genus
    7. Big Time Nashville Star (featuring EsmÉ Patterson)
    8. Pansy Waltz
    9. House Of Winston
    10. If Not For You
    11. Call It Heaven (featuring EsmÉ Patterson)
    Shakey Graves
    $21.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Texas Hurricane Texas Hurricane Quick View

    $279.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Texas Hurricane

    Mastered from the Original Analog Tapes by Sterling Sound


    What if. What if everything that you have come to know and worship about the sonic superiority of Quality Record Pressings LPs could be brought to bear on one of the rockingest powerhouses of blues guitar who ever lived?


    Then your wish is granted. We're about to rock your world with the greatest Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute ever reissued: Six of Vaughan's most classic album titles combined in the ultimate box set for ultimate blues and guitar fanatics!


    With his astonishingly accomplished guitar playing, Stevie Ray Vaughan ignited the blues revival of the '80s. Vaughan drew equally from bluesmen like Albert King, Otis Rush and Hubert Sumlin and rock & roll players like Jimi Hendrix and Lonnie Mack, as well as the stray jazz guitarist like Kenny Burrell, developing a uniquely eclectic and fiery style that sounded like no other guitarist, regardless of genre. Vaughan bridged the gap between blues and rock like no other artist had since the late '60s. For about seven years, Stevie Ray Vaughan was the leading light in American blues, consistently selling out concerts while his albums regularly went gold. His tragic death in 1990 only emphasized his influence in blues and American rock & roll.


    This is classic Stevie Ray Vaughan, meticulously remastered from the analog tapes by New York's Sterling Sound. In each set you'll receive Texas Flood, Couldn't Stand the Weather, Soul to Soul, In Step, plus the posthumous classics Family Style and The Sky Is Crying.


    Those of you familiar with our previous LP box sets - Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, Creedence Clearwater Revival - and soon to come, The Doors - know how deluxe these sets are. From the detailed liner notes to the rarest photographs, these sets will truly be gems.


    For those with an audiophile passion and a pocketbook on a budget, the 331/3 LP set satisfies like no other. The box set will be pressed on 200 gram vinyl at QRP, lauded for its vinyl manufacturing excellence.


    Each LP set will come housed in deluxe gatefold jackets that include rarely published, intimate photos - a look inside the career of a legend whose death at age 35 shocked the music world. A few statistics showcase Vaughan's success and musical influence: His debut album Texas Flood, reached No. 38 on the charts, crossing over to rock radio stations. The album's succesor, Couldn't Stand the Weather, released in May 1984, reached No. 31 on the charts; by the end of 1985 it went gold. Vaughan and his band, Double Trouble, recorded their third album, Soul to Soul, released in August 1985, and it reached No. 34 on the charts.

    Texas Flood:


    1. Love Struck Baby
    2. Pride And Joy
    3. Texas Flood
    4. Tell Me
    5. Testify
    6. Rude Mood
    7. Mary Had A Little Lamb
    8. Dirty Pool
    9. I'm Cryin'
    10. Lenny


    Couldn't Stand The Weather:


    1. Scuttle Buttin'
    2. Couldn't Stand the Weather
    3. The Things (That) I Used to Do
    4. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
    5. Cold Shot
    6. Tin Pan Alley
    7. Honey Bee
    8. Stang's Swang


    Soul To Soul:


    1. Say What!
    2. Lookin' Out The Window
    3. Look At Little Sister
    4. Ain't Gone 'n' Give Up On Love
    5. Gone Home
    6. Change It
    7. You'll Be Mine
    8. Empty Arms
    9. Come On (Part III)
    10. Life Without You


    In Step:


    1. The House Is Rockin'
    2. Crossfire
    3. Tightrope
    4. Let Me Love You Baby
    5. Leave My Girl Alone
    6. Travis Walk
    7. Wall of Denial
    8. Scratch-N-Sniff
    9. Love Me Darlin'
    10. Riviera Paradise


    The Sky Is Crying:


    1. Boot Hill
    2. The Sky Is Crying
    3. Empty Arms
    4. Little Wing
    5. Wham
    6. May I Have a Talk With You
    7. Close to You
    8. Chitlins con Carne
    9. So Excited
    10. Life By the Drop


    Family Style:


    1. Hard To Be
    2. White Boots
    3. DFW
    4. Good Texan
    5. Hillbillies From Outerspace
    6. Long Way From Home
    7. Tick Tock
    8. Telephone Song
    9. Baboom/Mama Said
    10. Brothers

    Stevie Ray Vaughan
    $279.99
    200 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 6 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Raising Sand Raising Sand Quick View

    $29.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Raising Sand

    For Alison Krauss, musical collaboration has been a way of life. Her latest musical collaboration, Raising Sand, is an astonishing album recorded in tandem with rock vocalist and songwriter Robert Plant. Raising Sand is their first recorded endeavor, and will prove revelatory to fans and the media on two counts: first that it happened at all, and, more importantly, that it is as successful and illuminating as it is.


    From its embryonic, conceptual stages well before any music materialized the mere idea of Raising Sand held infinite fascination for both its creators and those around them. As word spread of an impending musical collaboration between Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, imaginations ran wild. Two artists, each at the pinnacle of their respective pantheons, Robert and Alison have seemingly little in common. But just below the surface, an elemental understanding flowed between them, waiting to be tapped...


    Under the careful sonic stewardship of producer T Bone Burnett, Raising Sand is pitched three steps beyond some cosmic collision of early urban blues, spacious West Texas country, and the unrealized potential of the folk-rock revolution. Shockingly evocative, it is an album that uncovers popular musics elemental roots while sounding effortlessly, breathtakingly modern. Despite hailing from distinctly different backgrounds, Plant and Krauss share a maverick spirit and willingness to extend the boundaries of their respective genres. Raising Sand finds Plant and Krauss functioning as sympathetic equals: creating a powerful new sound from both their common musical ground and their unrivaled sense of empathy.

    1. Rich Woman
    2. Killing the Blues
    3. Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us

    4. Polly Come Home
    5. Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)
    6. Through the Morning, Through the Night
    7. Please Read the Letter
    8. Trampled Rose
    9. Fortune Teller
    10. Stick with Me Baby
    11. Nothin'
    12. Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson
    13. Your Long Journey
    Robert Plant/Alison Krauss
    $29.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Refulgo Refulgo Quick View

    $31.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Refulgo

    In 2000 a deep love for Bardo Pond provided the inspiration to establish Three Lobed Recordings. Fourteen years later, Bardo Pond and Three Lobed Recordings are proud to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the band's initial releases with Refulgo, an epic double LP collection of the band's earliest 7" singles, split 7" tracks, and compilation appearances. This collection, the first of a series, compiles these essential Bardo Pond tracks in a manner to augment their enjoyment by long time fans while also introducing this material to those who do not yet possess an encyclopedic knowledge of these modern psych rock pioneers. The material presented on Refulgo all comes from long out-of-print releases (which have also been largely unavailable digitally) and the entire content has been remastered. It has never sounded better. Bardo Pond has stood alongside psych rock peers yet unmistakably alone over the course of the twenty-plus years as a band. While their catalog is vast and spans a virtual wheelbarrow-load of albums, singles, splits and compilations, what is perhaps most remarkable is just how quickly as a band they developed their unique sound and voice. Refulgo presents as compelling an argument for that thesis as its two LPs worth of music present a band whose collective vision emerged effectively fully formed. Their first 7", "Die Easy" / "Apple Eye" (first released on Compulsiv in January of 1994) is a primordial ooze of swampy, sludgey psych blues that clearly demonstrated the essential DNA that has become Bardo Pond's multi-decade calling card. Track those building blocks through the subsequent releases and the sound is there in full bloom quickly, really by "New Drunks," but really stretches out in full within the twenty-minute triumphant, genre-defining victory lap which is "Sangh Seriatim" (first released on Drunken Fish's "Harmony of the Spheres" compilation in November of 1996). The temporal gap between the tracks from that first single, the first two presented on Refulgo, and "Sangh Seriatim," the compilation's concluding track, is shockingly small at less than three years. Most bands never fully realize their potential; this compilation demonstrates that Bardo Pond did it with remarkable speed as well as a high degree of maturity.
    1. Die Easy
    2. Apple Eye
    3. Dragonfly
    4. Blues Tune
    5. Trip Fuck
    6. Hummingbird Mountain
    7. New Drunks
    8. Affa
    9. Tests For New Swords
    10. Good Friday
    11. Jungle Tune
    12. Sangh Seriatim
    Bardo Pond
    $31.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Spitballin' Spitballin' Quick View

    $24.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Spitballin'

    The DAVE STEWART-produced SPITBALLIN' would never have happened if not for one Twitter message that turned STEWART's world upside down. STEWART has seen and done it all, but none of it prepared him for what he would hear from THOMAS LINDSEY. "I read it and clicked on the link," STEWART recalls. "And there he was, singing something on a YouTube video. I don't remember what it was but there was no music. He was singing a cappella. And I went, 'Holy crap!'" STEWART got in touch with his young admirer and invited him to send examples of his original material.


    "It was really amazing stuff. So I asked if he wanted to come out to Los Angeles and sing three songs unaccompanied before my show at the Troubadour," STEWART says. Following their live debut, STEWART and LINDSEY began writing together by sending audio files back and forth between L.A. and Louisiana. Working long distance seemed to bring them closer as they built a catalog of songs.


    Their common ground proved as lush as Delta marshland. A down-and-dirty delta guitar riff. A thumping drum beat. And a stunning vocal intro, urgent, haunted, earthy and spiritual, with blues-drenched filigrees, a vibrato that shocks like an electric current, a range that defies not just convention but gravity itself. Backed by STEWART's distorted voodoo guitar licks, LINDSEY opens "Leave This Town" in free tempo and then a swampy groove kicks in--just guitar and drums, raw and wild. "Two People" unfolds over a stomping beat that leads to a long vamp over which Lindsey improvises with hair-raising intensity and finesse. Churchy echoes permeate "When Dogs Run," with a mournful organ providing the backdrop to STEWART's Pop Staples-style guitar tremolo. "Alcohol" boils down to organ and LINDSEY's voice recounting a riveting elegy for someone who was "lost to alcohol."


    Some of the stories behind the lyrics on these songs are sad, but true and some more fanciful. To write "Crocodile," for instance, LINDSEY admits "I tried to write a song that would seem like something from a shoe commercial! I had this image of a woman in bad-ass crocodile boots, walking down the street. That's how that song formed."

    1. Leave This Town
    2. Another Lie
    3. Friend Zone
    4. Lonely
    5. When Dogs Run Away
    6. Look at Those Flames
    7. Two People
    8. Run From You
    9. Confidence
    10. Crocodile
    11. Alcohol
    12. Dear God
    Stewart Lindsey
    $24.99
    Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • Daisies Of The Galaxy Daisies Of The Galaxy Quick View

    $29.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Daisies Of The Galaxy

    "Daisies of the Galaxy" is the third studio album by Eels. This follow-up to 1998's grief-stricken Electro-Shock Blues. The tone is set by the imagistic opener, Grace Kelly Blues, which captures snapshots of misbegotten souls. "Daisies of the Galaxy" is the work of a gifted composer/producer/performer who is indeed feeling OK. Not great, mind you. But OK.
    1. Grace Kelly Blues
    2. Packing Blankets
    3. The Sound of Fear
    4. I Like Birds
    5. Daisies of The Galaxy
    6. Flyswatter
    7. It's A Mother F#&!@r
    8. Estate Sale
    9. Tiger In My Tank
    10. A Daisy Through Concrete
    11. Jeannie's Diary
    12. Wooden Nickels
    13. Something Is Sacred
    14. Selective Memory
    15. Mr. E's Beautiful Blues
    Eels
    $29.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Souljacker Souljacker Quick View

    $29.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Souljacker

    Souljacker is a studio album from Eels released on March 12, 2002. Unlike some of Everett's other albums, most
    notably Electro-Shock Blues, Souljacker is mostly based on stories of outsiders rather than on Everett's own life.
    Souljacker received a generally favorable reception from critics, with several reviewers comparing the album's sound to that of Beck.
    1.Dog Faced Boy
    2.That's Not Really Funny
    3.Fresh Feeling
    4.Woman Driving, Man Sleeping
    5.Souljacker Part I
    6.Friendly Ghost
    7.Teenage Witch
    8.Bus Stop Boxer
    9.Jungle Telegraph
    10.World of Shit
    11.Souljacker Part II
    12.What Is This Note?
    Eels
    $29.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers Quick View

    $18.99
    Buy Now
    x

    Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers

    When Suzanne Vega first discovered the novelist and short story writer Carson McCullers as a teenager, she thought, "If I ever want to play a character at any point in the future, I could play this woman." That time has arrived. On Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers, Vega inhabits McCullers' extraordinary character and renders the life of a woman who, revolted by the politics and racism of her upbringing in the American South, arrived in New York in her early twenties and became one of the literary lights of the 20th century. In such esteemed books as The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941) and The Ballad of the Sad CafÉ (1951), McCullers used the South as a lens through which to view the painful, nearly always unrequited, search for love in a world that often punishes individual self-expression and rewards repression and emotional compromise. McCullers battled those limits in her life as well as her work - a personal heroism that makes her, in Vega's view, a figure of great contemporary significance. She was an instinctive rebel whose message of personal freedom resonates profoundly in our own insurgent age, nearly fifty years after her death at the age of fifty in 1967.


    "I feel that McCullers' ideas and thoughts are very modern," Vega says, "and she incarnates them in a way that other authors don't. She tried to live them and paid a price for it. She would refer to herself in a kind of transgender way - she would say things like, 'I was born a man' -- and she probably was bisexual even if she didn't always act on it. She was one of the first females to write about civil rights and the struggles of blacks in the South. Also, she suffered several strokes and was disabled for pretty much the second half of her life. To use today's parlance, her life and work embodied human rights on just about every level - race, gender, trans, queer, disabled, youth."


    The ten songs on Lover, Beloved are part of a two-act play in which Vega and another actress perform the role of McCullers at two historical moments that bookend her career: the first, set in 1941, when The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter propelled her to literary fame, and the second shortly before her death, as she movingly reflects on her life and work. There are also plans to perform it as a one-woman show. Vega wrote the script, and co-wrote eight songs with Duncan Sheik, the singer-songwriter whose keen theatrical sense helped create the Broadway hit show Spring Awakening and the current groundbreaking musical, American Psycho. (Two additional songs, "Carson's Blues" and "The Ballad of Miss Amelia," were co-written by Vega and pianist/composer Michael Jefry Stevens.) In songs like "New York Is My Destination," "We of Me" and "Lover, Beloved," you can hear the signature cool detachment of Vega's singing and revel in the characteristically incisive observation of her lyrics, many of which deftly draw on McCullers' own writing.


    But the songs' elastic melody lines, loping rhythms, idiosyncratic instrumentation (including clarinet, harmonium, banjo, ukulele, trombone and accordion), and surprising arrangements (by guitarist extraordinaire Gerry Leonard, who also produced the album) are like nothing we've heard from Vega before. "It was great working with Duncan Sheik," Vega says. "All you have to do is give him the barest bones of an idea and then he delivers this fabulous piece of music." For "Annemarie," an aching ballad about an androgynous adventurer with whom both McCullers and her husband fell disastrously in love, Sheik delivered a lovely, simple melody that, Vega says, "practically made me cry. I couldn't believe how beautiful it was. I wanted something with all that yearning, and I love what he came up with." For "New York Is My Destination," which describes the youthful McCullers' vision of her future as a celebrated novelist, Vega says she wanted "something classic, something that sounded like Rodgers and Hammerstein, something glamorous," and, once again, Sheik delivered a melody that perfectly complemented the heady excitement of Vega's lyrics.


    Overall, Lover, Beloved finds a sound that exists outside of time. It's traditional enough to suit the iconic quality of its subject; clever enough to capture her originality and daring; and contemporary enough to help establish McCullers as an avatar for this century as well as the preceding one. Most of the instrumentation is acoustic, but, in particular, Gerry Leonard's evocative, atmospheric electric guitar playing lifts the music into another, more imaginative realm. That McCullers herself was an accomplished, classically trained pianist - and that the lyricism of her writing reflects that innate musicality - only further enhances the shivery dynamic between words and music on the album.


    In order to realize the theatrical quality of this project, Vega, with Sheik's encouragement and assistance, also handled her vocals in a different way. "Duncan really pushed me out of my comfort zone," Vega says. "I was shocked at how high he wanted me to sing. But he was like, 'No, no - you can hit that.'" Sheik's goal was to achieve a kind of sonic drama in Vega's vocals, "as much drama as he could squeeze out of me," she says. "It works for the character. McCullers is kind of childlike, and you can believe her singing in that naïve, simple way. I'm pushed beyond my limits in both the low notes and the high notes, and also the emotion. I definitely feel as if I was being pushed beyond what I usually do."


    Unquestionably, rendering a character like McCullers in words and in sound represented a serious creative challenge. All the songs on the album attempt to capture the innermost feelings of a writer who was highly ambitious, immensely complicated and fiercely dedicated to her conception of herself and her work. She was simultaneously shy, introverted and wildly provocative, as "Carson's Blues," the album's opening song, announces: "A childish liar/A devilish bitch/I can be innocent and charming/And suddenly switch." "Harper Lee," a song Vega describes as "upbeat and bitchy," chronicles McCullers' sense of her place in the literary pantheon - a spot, in her view, well above the wildly successful author of To Kill a Mockingbird. ("I'd like to kill more than just that mockingbird," she sings.) "Instant of the Hour After" and "We of Me" all explore the loving and loathing, the sexual adventurism and missed emotional connections, that swirled inextricably in McCullers' marriage to a bisexual man who shared her literary ambitions but was never able to realize them. On the title track, Vega limns the dizzying dance of unsatisfied desire at the heart of McCullers' work: "The lover pursues,/The beloved one flees Each one alone/In the land of the heart."


    "12 Mortal Men" indicts the provincialism and brutal racism of Columbus, Georgia, where McCullers grew up. "The Ballad of Miss Emilia" essentially recounts the plot of McCullers' novella, The Ballad of the Sad CafÉ, a saga, like so much of her writing, of failed joinings, loneliness, and proud, if isolated, survival. By the time the album concludes with "Carson's Last Supper," McCullers has abandoned the ideal of erotic desire in favor of a more universal love that could embrace all the various characters in her books and the many people in her life - as well as, perhaps most importantly, the ravaging contradictions within herself that both drove her art and caused so much hardship in her life.


    With Lover, Beloved: Songs From An Evening With Carson McCullers, Suzanne Vega achieves a new peak in her already distinguished career. With these songs and the play they inhabit, she hopes that "a new generation of people will discover Carson McCullers, that they will realize how cool she is and how compellingly her work can speak to them. I want to put her on the stage again so that her spirit lives. Really, no one is excluded from the vision she defined. I'm so excited by the possibilities." In these beautifully transporting songs, many of those rich possibilities have already been realized. - Anthony DeCurtis

    1. Carson's Blues
    2. New York Is My Destination
    3. Instant of the Hour After
    4. We of Me
    5. Annemarie
    6. 12 Mortal Men
    7. Harper Lee
    8. Lover, Beloved
    9. The Ballad of Miss Amelia
    10. Carson's Last Supper
    Suzanne Vega
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • 1
  • 2
Go to top