Rockin' the vaults 

A look and new and upcoming vinyl and CD reissues

If you’re looking for enough evidence to convince you that vinyl – you know, records made out of flat discs of plastic – is making a comeback, check out this batch of new and soon–to–come releases.

And it’s not just indie bands and labels. The big guns have noticed the upsurge in sales, too, and if one is so inclined, one can mail–order freshly–remastered and 180–gram vinylized versions of everything from the first Boston album to Neil Young’s Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.

Over the last months, massive, deluxe reissue campaigns for Bruce Springsteen (Darkness on the Edge of Town), the Rolling Stones (Exile on Main St.) and Paul McCartney (McCartney, McCartney II and Band on the Run) have been tremendously successful.

In the music biz. money talks – check out the new re–tooling of classic packages from U2, Nirvana, R.E.M. and the Who, either out now or coming soon.

Once Savannah gets a store that specializes in new vinyl (as opposed to used copies of the potentially ratty older stuff), we’ll be the first to let you know.

An Athens legend

The Olivia Tremor Control, one of the core bands in Athens’ legendary Elephant 6 collective of forward–thinking musicians, is reuniting after more than a decade in the dark.

The just–announced fall tour doesn’t (yet) include a Savannah date, but the band will play the Athens Pop Fest in mid–October.

Perhaps more exciting for those vinyl heads out there is the imminent re–release, through the indie label Chunklet, the long out–of–print Olivia Tremor Control double albums Music from the Unrealized Film Script: Dusk At Cubist Castle and Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume One, each in a limited edition of 1,000.

Dusk at Cubist Castle has been mastered from the original studio tapes. Each double album will include a download card, good for three hours’ worth of rare, hard–to–find or previously unreleased material, including import B–sides, live tracks, compilation–only tracks, tape loops and experimental stuff.

Like so many of the Elephant 6 artists, the OTC is difficult to describe, stylistically. The music is a mixture of psychedelic pop, rock ‘n’ roll, weird instruments, electronica, exotica and experimentation.

But it’s a real blast to listen to. And hey, some copies will be pressed on green vinyl!


California’s Omnivore Records has some rocking new titles out, including Bellybutton, the classic power pop album by Jellyfish (on translucent blue vinyl), and the band’s second one Spilt Milk (translucent purple). You can also get Leon Russell’s 1974 Live in Japan (never issued in the States), Listen to My Song: The Music City Sessions by Darondo, the “lost” Motels album Apocalypso, and the film score for Magic Trip: Ken Kesey’s Search for a Kool Place. Omnivore’s spring release, Big Star’s Third (Test Pressing Edition), sold out immediately.

And out now (on vinyl and CD, from Capitol/IRS) is the 25th Anniversary Edition of Lifes Rich Pageant, one of the defining records in the considerable R.E.M. canon (it came at a creative crossroads between Fables of the Reconstruction and Document, and remains this writer’s favorite R.E.M. album to this day). The double–CD set includes the remastered album and a second disc consisting of Athens–cut demo recordings. The vinyl version (pressed on 180–gram, as is the norm these days) only has the remastered album.

Who’s best?

Pete Townshend has said, often, that Quadrophenia, the Who’s 1973 rock opera, contains some of the most significant writing he’s ever done. Pete’ll put his money where his rarely–closed mouth is when Universal issues Quadrophenia: The Director’s Cut Box Set on Nov. 14.

It’s coming on both vinyl and CD, and here’s what’s included: A re–master of the original double album, Townshend’s previously unheard demos – including songs that didn’t make it onto the original album, an eight–track 5.1 audio DVD, a deluxe hardback book, previously unseen personal notes, photographs, memorabilia and other stuff.

And, naturally, there’ll be a digital download version for sale, too.

Kurt so bad

Coming Sept. 27 is a 20th anniversary package of Nirvana’s Nevermind. Has it been 20 years already?

The “Super Deluxe Edition” (limited to 10,000 copies on CD) includes ... well, here’s what the press release says: “The original remastered album and accompanying studio and live B–sides, and the first full official release of the pre–Nevermind demos recorded at producer Butch Vig’s Smart Studios. Plus boombox recordings of subsequent rehearsals through which the listener can actually experience ”Smells Like Teen Spirit,“ ”Come As You Are,“ ”On A Plain” and others taking shape.

“The Super Deluxe also offers an altogether new perspective on the finished Nevermind album exclusive to this format in the form of the Devonshire Mixes: the album as produced and mixed by Vig as opposed to the commercially released final version produced by Vig and mixed by Andy Wallace.

“Rounding out the Super Deluxe are a pair of previously unreleased BBC recordings, and the Paramount Theatre (Seattle) show from Halloween 1991, available for the first time and exclusive to this format on CD and DVD (which also features all four music videos from Nevermind), as well as a stunning 90–page bound book full of rarely and never– before–seen photos, documents and various other visual artifacts of the Nevermind era.”

Nevermind, of course, was a game-changer. That pretty much says it all.

The vinyl version will encompass four LPs, and the video material is to be released as a standalone DVD and Blu–Ray.

Hey kids - did you know that Foo Fighter Dave Grohl was the drummer in Nirvana?

Deluxe, baby

U2’s Achtung Baby is getting the 20th anniversary treatment as well, come Halloween.

Here’s what’s housed in the Uber Deluxe Box Set, encompassing six discs: The original, recorded–in–Berlin Achtung Baby album (remastered); the follow–up album Zooropa; B–sides and re–workings of previously unheard material recorded during the Achtung sessions; four DVDs including From The Sky Down, a documentary by Davis Guggenheim; the band’s Zoo TV, all the videos from Achtung Baby and more.

Get out your checkbooks, baby, schnell! Because the “magnetic puzzle tiled box” also has five clear vinyl 7–inch singles in their original sleeves, 16 art prints taken from the original album sleeve, an 84–page hardback book, a copy of Propaganda magazine, four badges, a sticker sheet, and a pair of Bono’s (frankly pretentious) “The Fly” sunglasses.

Like the Nirvana package, there’s also to be a 2–CD set, more modestly set up and priced, with just the remastered album and some rarities.

Of course, the Vinyl Box Set is a limited release containing four LPs, two of which are pressed on translucent blue vinyl, containing remixes and B–sides. The box includes a 16–page booklet.


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About The Author

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung was Connect's Arts & Entertainment Editor from May 2009 to August 2014.

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