Welcome back to Far Out’s weekly vinyl corner feature, where I look to bring you an eclectic selection of some of our favourite records, some bargain deals to look out for and some enticing limited-edition releases.
In 2021, the exponential vinyl resurgence observed another milestone year as vinyl sales outsold CDs for the first time in three decades. The return to records has been on a steady climb since MP3 downloads, and streaming services came into the picture in the late 2000s. While the weightless, highly accessible and practical format is great for discovering and consuming lots of new music while you’re out and about, there’s nothing like coming home for to bit of vinyl.
Over the past decade, music lovers have unanimously agreed that if there’s an album or artist you truly adore, streaming platforms won’t cut it. The sound quality of vinyl brings something more hearty with its analogue warmth and crisp definition that there really isn’t any substitute for.
Since you’re here, I’ll assume you, too, are an analogue advocate. Allow me to walk you through our ten hot picks for the week. As they say, variety is the spice of life, so I’ve tried to include a healthy variety in my selections. Today, we bring a mixture of brand new releases from the likes of Spiritualized and Florence + The Machine, as well as some unforgettable classics from Pink Floyd and Bob Marley.
The following selections have been handpicked by Far Out Magazine and, as a result, we may earn from qualifying purchases.
The 10 best vinyl deals available on Amazon this week
The Horrors – Primary Colours
Primary Colours was released in 2009 as the second studio album for the English alt-rockers. The album was produced by Geoff Barrow of Portishead and received a Mercury Music nomination in the same year. Reflecting on the record, Rhys from the band said: “That album is particularly special because it still feels at the point of youthful freedom, and really being surprised and excited beyond belief at what we were doing”.
The album is a masterpiece of rock exploration that sounds like a cross between My Bloody Valentine and The Chameleons. If you’re partial to a bit of post-punk, synth or shoegaze, no doubt you’ll be partial to this wonderfully unique work of art.
Pink Floyd – Animals (updated sleeve design)
Four years after it was remixed, Pink Floyd’s 1977 concept album, Animals, is finally set for its reissue. The release was held up due to the ongoing bickering between Roger Waters and David Gilmour but is now set for release in September and available for pre-order (link below for more information).
The reissue comes complete with a 28-page booklet and an updated reimagination of the iconic artwork to mark the 45 years of change since the album premiered. The seminal George Orwell-inspired music is pressed on a high-quality 180g vinyl and housed in a gatefold sleeve.
Florence + The Machine – Dance Fever [Amazon Exclusive Limited Edition]
Dance Fever was recorded predominately in London over the course of the pandemic in anticipation of the world’s reopening. It conjures up what Florence missed most in the midst of lockdown – clubs, dancing at festivals, being in the whirl of movement and togetherness – and the hope of reunions to come.
In an 8.8/10 review, Far Out said: “Dance Fever is sprinkled with magic. It’s a fairytale. A storybook. More than anything, it’s an album that feels complete. Welch leaves no stone unturned in the realm of musical yearning. She spends time delivering on the highs and the lows. Dance Fever is a record of love and patience, and it’s worth every moment it takes to listen.”
Eminem – The Eminem Show
The Eminem Show captures one of the best rappers of all time during his peak form. Eminem’s 2002 fourth studio album became the best-selling of the year in the US and was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2003 Grammy Awards. It was Eminem’s third record in four years to win the award for Best Rap Album.
The Eminem Show is a reflective album featuring Eminem’s more personal and serious side. This change gives the poignant album a darker tone in a marked departure from his previous albums. This powerhouse of an LP contains some of Eminem’s greatest hits, including ‘White America’, ‘Cleaning Out My Closet’, ‘Soldier’, ‘Hailie’s Song’, ‘Sing For The Moment’ and ‘Without Me’.
Reservoir Dogs Soundtrack
Could you think of any other contemporary filmmaker that picks better soundtracks than the legendary Quentin Tarantino? Tarantino’s journey as a director began in 1992 with the low-budget cult classic Reservoir Dogs. The film follows a band of criminals preparing for a diamond heist and follows the characters in the crime’s aftermath as they search for the “rat”.
The soundtrack blends together some classic tracks from the early 1970s, including hits by artists such as Stealers Wheel, Harry Nilsson and Joe Tex. The movie also drew attention to the Dutch band George Baker Selection due to the use of his ‘Little Green Bag’ in the film’s opening titles.
Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden
Talk Talk’s fourth studio album was less commercially coordinated than the previous synth-pop era releases. The new direction took the band into a new realm of what can only be described as post-rock. The album is textured with an intriguing blend of instruments and is complemented by the powerful punctuation of Mark Hollis’ unique vocals.
The album was compiled from a lengthy recording process at London’s Wessex Studios between 1987 and 1988. Often working in darkness, the band recorded many hours of improvised performances that drew on elements of jazz, ambient, blues, classical music, and dub. If you haven’t given this masterpiece a listen before, you’ve been missing out on something quite remarkable.
Tame Impala – Lonerism
Lonerism is the second studio album by the Australian alternative rock project helmed by Kevin Parker. As the follow-up to Tame Impala’s award-winning debut record, Innerspeaker, the album maintained impeccable form.
The 2012 neo-psychedelic modern classic includes some of the band’s most beloved hits, including ‘Elephant’, ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’, ‘Apocalypse Dreams’, ‘Mind Mischief’ and ‘Music to Walk Home By’.
Bob Marley – Exodus
Any discerning vinyl shelf should hold a bit of reggae, and if you were limited to just one album from the genre, I would always recommend Bob Marley’s Exodus. The album is laden with iconic hits and is perfect for almost any occasion but suits the summer sun best.
Marley’s 1977 masterpiece is characterised by its laid-back beats that nonchalantly sail through evocative themes like religion, war and sex. The record’s highlights include ‘Three Little Birds’, ‘Jamming’ and ‘One Love’.
Iggy and The Stooges – Raw Power
Iggy Pop’s third and final studio album with his proto-punk group, The Stooges, was among the most impactful rock albums of the early 1970s. The iconic photograph of the androgynous Iggy taken by late photographer Mick Rock draws you in first to The Stooge’s trademark lair of provocative and depraved sounds.
The album’s producer David Bowie described it as a work of “wound-up ferocity and chaos”. Indeed, the pacey music within is marched to perfection with the iconic frontman’s raw yellings. The album is an undeniable classic, and Kurt Cobain once cited it as the best of all time – how’s that for a slice of endorsement?
Spiritualized – Everything Was Beautiful
Back in April, Spiritualized released their ninth studio album. The eclectic and vibrant spread of music within opens up creative lead Jason Pierce’s (J. Spaceman) mind for all to see. Pierce played 16 different instruments on the Everything Was Beautiful as he recorded it across 11 studios and at home during various lockdowns.
In a glowing 8.9/10 review, Far Out described the album: “Everything Was Beautiful is, as any Spiritualized fan would expect, yet another kaleidoscopic journey through the psyche of J. Spaceman. As usual, he holds no emotions back and takes us on a cosmic journey through melancholy, anxiety and elation as he shares the next entry in his discographic diary.”