Welcome to Far Out’s new weekly vinyl corner feature, where I will be bringing you a selection of some of our favourite records, some bargain deals to look out for and some enticing limited-edition releases.
In 2021, the vinyl comeback, which has been blooming gradually over the past decade, had another milestone year as vinyl sales outsold CDs for the first time in 30 years. The return to records has been on the up and up 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.
Music lovers around the world appear to have tacitly agreed that if there’s an artist or album that you love, there’s always a reason to have a turntable at the ready and a 12” space reserved on the shelf. The sound quality of vinyl brings something more hearty with its analogue warmth and crisp definition that there really isn’t any substitute for.
So, if, like me, you’re a little barmy for record collecting, allow me to walk you through 10 hot picks for this week. We have a selection of brand new releases from the likes of Fontaines D.C. and The Smile, as well as some reissued classics from David Bowie to Aphex Twin. In the wise words of Lou Reed in his 1975 hit ‘Coney Island Baby’, “just remember, different people have peculiar tastes,” and for that reason, I have tried to give a nice eclectic spread in today’s selections.
The following selections have been handpicked by Far Out Magazine and, as a result, we may earn from qualifying purchases.
10 best vinyl deals available on Amazon:
The Streets – Original Pirate Material (2LP Orange Vinyl Re-Press)
One of the key highlights of early 2000s music was this seminal debut album by the English rapper and producer Mike Skinner (AKA The Streets). The album is a unique take on UK garage and has lyrics that deal with everyday circumstances and occurrences. The release features the hit singles ‘Has It Come to This?’, ‘Let’s Push Things Forward’, ‘Weak Become Heroes’ and ‘Don’t Mug Yourself’.
Now, this modern classic is available on a double LP set of translucent orange vinyl in celebration of the iconic record’s 20th anniversary. This reissue is a must-have for any Skinner fans out there, and £27.99 isn’t too shabby for a snazzy coloured edition.
Wet Leg – Wet Leg
The girls from the Isle of Wight, Wet Leg, have brought something original to the table with their brand new eponymous debut LP. “I wanted to write fun songs, I didn’t want to indulge sad feelings too much, I wanted to write stuff that’s fun to listen to and fun to play,” Rhian Teasdale said of the debut. “But then, the sad seeps through, as well. Wet Leg was originally just supposed to be funny. As a woman, there’s so much put on you, in that your only value is how pretty or cool you look. But we want to be goofy and a little bit rude. We want to write songs that people can dance to. And we want people to have a good time, even if that might not possible all of the time.”
This Domino Records release is a must for any lovers of indie music out there who are looking for something modern and intriguing to their collection. The LP comes with a free MP3 download code and a printed inner with liner notes and lyrics.
Fontaines D.C. – Skinty Fia (Limited Red Vinyl)
Few rock bands have enjoyed the rise to such widespread acclaim in recent years as Dublin’s post-punk sensation Fontaines DC. After nearly a two year wait, Fontaines have followed up their dark and brooding second studio album, A Hero’s Death, with the critically acclaimed Skinty Fia.
Skinty Fia is a term used colloquially in Ireland as an expletive. The title roughly translates to English as ‘the damnation of the deer’; its meaning has been diluted through generations. Part bittersweet romance, part darkly political triumph – the songs ultimately form a long-distance love letter, one that laments an increasingly privatised culture in danger of going the way of the extinct Irish giant deer. The album is home to the catchy singles’ Jackie Down the Line’ and ‘I Love You’ but holds so much more to be explored in its entirety thanks to the band’s versatility and frontman Grian Chatten’s poetic lyrics. This limited edition release comes pressed on red vinyl to match the theme of the cover art.
Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water – 50th Anniversary Edition
If you haven’t already got this timeless Simon & Garfunkel classic in your collection, now could be the time. Bridge Over Troubled Water served as a fond farewell to the sensational New York folk partnership. The album is home to the beautiful piano-driven title track as well as ‘Cecilia’, ‘The Boxer’ and ‘The Only Living Boy in New York’.
This limited edition release issued in 2020 celebrates the Grammy Award-winning album, which has been certified 10x Platinum in the UK. This rare release is pressed on high quality 180g gold vinyl. This record has recently been reduced from £24.99 to £23.19.
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Metal music doesn’t get much more iconic than Ozzy Osbourne’s Black Sabbath. Paranoid came as the band’s second studio album in 1970 and was their first to top the UK Albums Chart. Along with the eponymous debut and 1971’s Master of Reality, Paranoid demands a spot on any rock lover’s shelf.
The 2015 reissue has received an average rating of 4.8/5 on the Amazon reviews, and there’s no time like the present, with the record currently on sale for just £22.92. The release also includes a free MP3 version of the album available for download.
T.Rex: 1972 (Tony Visconti Signed Edition – 180g Coloured Vinyl) Box Set
This one is for the true Marc Bolan fans out there. The epic collector’s edition seems pricey at first glance, with a hefty tag of £132.46, but the collection is much more than just music. The six LPs include the classic The Slider album as well as a series of rare live recordings and radio sessions. As if that wasn’t enough, the edition has also been signed by Tony Visconti, the famous producer who worked closely with Bolan and David Bowie.
The records are joined by a booklet that contains a specially-written 1600 word note by Visconti. The booklet also includes a brand new 12,000-word essay by acknowledged Bolan authority Mark Paytress (author of the definitive Bolan biography). Also featured is a selection of previously unpublished photos taken by Keith Morris in the course of 1972.
David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (50th Anniversary Half-Speed master)
David Bowie’s rise to global stardom was consolidated with the release of the 1972 concept album based on his other-worldly alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust. The album is home to some of Bowie’s best-loved hits, including ‘Ziggy Stardust’, ‘Moonage Daydream’, ‘Starman’, ‘Suffragette City’ and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide’.
The influential glam-rock classic celebrates its 50th anniversary in June, and to mark the occasion, Parlophone has pressed a special half-speed edition. The half-speed pressing process is more time consuming and intricate but it results in superior sound quality, so you can pump up the decibels and hear Bowie’s vocals in their crystal clear analogue beauty.
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (limited edition)
Just as every good collection should have at least a touch of classical and jazz music, they should also have a bit of electronic music. If you just dip your toes into electronic music and are looking to attain that much-needed diversity in your inventory, then look no further. Aphex Twin pretty much nailed it with his 1992 debut LP.
The double LP release contains 74 minutes of music across 13 tracks that cover a diverse range of tempos and emotions, with Aphex Twin’s unique talent for sampling and producing abstract instrumental music. This reissue was brought out due to some very dodgy bootleg copies being found out there. As a result, it has been officially repressed on high-quality vinyl with the original artwork, so if you’re thinking of purchasing this record, think twice before going to an untrustworthy vendor.
Liam Gallagher – MTV Unplugged at Hull City Hall
Last summer, former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher joined the list of all-time greats (Paul McCartney, Page and Plant, Nirvana and more) to have filmed a prestigious MTV Unplugged session. Having missed Oasis’s 1996 session due to illness, the show at Hull’s City Hall saw Liam fulfilling some unfinished business entirely on his own terms.
The emphatic performance includes live outings of some of Liam’s greatest solo hits, including ‘Wall of Glass’, ‘Once’, and ‘Now That I’ve Found You’. Joined by the original Oasis rhythm guitarist Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs, Liam also plays some of Oasis’ beloved classics, such as ‘Some Might Say’, ‘Stand By Me’, ‘Cast No Shadow’.
The Smile – A Light For Attracting Attention
The debut album for Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood’s Radiohead side project, The Smile, has come as a fresh update on the classic Radiohead sound. The colourful abstract artwork was created by Thom Yorke alongside his long-time art collaborator Stanley Donwood, while the music was produced to perfection by Nigel Godrich.
A Light For Attracting Attention was released on May 13th, and it received an 8.9/10 review from Far Out Magazine. In the review, it was described as “one of the finest albums of the year so far. The album covers a broad range of emotions and musical styles in a seemingly effortless blend of jazz, dub, classical, electro and alt-rock.” The brand new vinyl pressing comes with a gatefold sleeve containing two high quality 180g LPs.