The day after Thanksgiving has recently been filled with bargain shoppers, wiling to brave long lines, early-morning hours, and large crowds to grab that unbelievable steal for the holidays. But, this November 29 is also known as Back to Black Friday, a day for music fans to return to their favorite independent record store to get their hands on limited-edition vinyl, made available especially for this Record Store Day-sponsored event.
Legacy Recordings has got an impressive list of vinyl exclusives that includes titles from Bob Dylan, Cheap Trick, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Paul Simon, Sly & the Family Stone, Roy Orbison and the Clash. The company was kind enough to send us several titles in anticipation of Back to Black Friday.
First of all, if you haven’t opened a piece of vinyl in awhile, you should. The CD never cut it as something cool to unwrap, and mp3’s take the fun out of it completely. Here, having the full-size covers, with artwork intact, and liner notes & lyrics you can actually read, is fantastic.
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue (mono)
Miles Davis – Jazz Tracks (mono)
Miles & Monk – at Newport (mono)
These three titles come from Legacy’s nine-disc Original Mono Recordings box (read our review), restoring these classic Miles’ titles to their original, mono mix, which have been lost for years. Kind of Blue sounds fantastic with all the instruments blended together. And, it actually blows away my original mono copy from 1959 – this new mix is markedly warmer. Jazz Track is the rarest of the bunch, a soundtrack to a long-lost French movie, which just happens to feature (on some tracks) the same lineup that would play on Kind of Blue a few months later. Miles & Monk showcases two pillars of jazz, not playing together, but separate concerts from five years apart.
Each album faithfully reproduces the front and back cover, and the classic, “six-eye” Columbia record label. The albums are pressed on thick, 180-gram vinyl, which is very quiet, and come housed in a sturdy, plastic inner sleeve.
A final note on Kind of Blue – for many years, side two of the original album ran too slow. This was eventually corrected in later CD pressings, and has also been fixed for this mono release.
Paul Simon – Paul Simon
Paul Simon – There Goes Rhymin’ Simon
Paul Simon – Still Crazy After All These Years
The first three studio albums that Simon cut during his solo career, these are also some of the best of his entire catalog. Also faithfully reproducing the covers – right down to Rhymin Simon’s gatefold with all the lyrics, and pressed on thick vinyl. The one difference is that each Simon title comes with a download card featuring a code that allows you to grab free mp3’s of all the tracks. This is a nice touch – even those who don’t have a turntable can still enjoy this great music.
Other notable Legacy titles set to go include Side Tracks from Bob Dylan, a 3-LP collection of singles and non-LP tracks, originally released on the Bob Dylan Complete Recordings box set. Cheap Trick – The Classic Albums: 1977-1979 features five albums released in a dizzying two-year creative peak for the band – Cheap Trick, In Color, Heaven Tonight, Live Budokan and Dream Police. Plus a 7-inch single from Jimi Hendrix of “Fire” b/w “Foxey Lady” taken from the recently-unearthed Miami Pop Festival. —Tony Peters