Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers, Ramble in Music City: The Lost Concert
In addition to being an impeccable song curator, Emmylou Harris attracts top notch talent to her bands. The Nash Ramblers was one of her best groups, as evidenced by this set of Harris set list standards, refracted through a bluegrass lens.
Ne-Yo, Year of the Gentleman
Ne-Yo pops up on New York Times crossword puzzles regularly because of his vowel-friendly moniker. I picked up this disc from the thrift store based solely on that recommendation. Turns out, he’s a mighty fine singer.
Whiskeytown, Strangers Almanac
I picked up this album alongside Old 97s’ Too Far to Care when I wanted to find out what this “alt-country” thing was all about. I liked them both, but I played Too Far to Care a lot more. I eventually let Strangers Almanac go when cash got tight. I picked it up again from the thrift shop because I’ve been hankering to hear “Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart.” I’m not interested in Ryan Adams beyond this album, but Strangers Almanac did turn me into a Caitlin Cary fan.
MONO, Pilgrimage of the Soul
I couldn’t get into Nowhere Now Here, but the more extroverted sound on Pilgrimage of the Soul is a departure for the band I more than welcome.
Ensemble of the Bulgarian Republic, Music of Bulgaria
Le Mystère de Voix Bulgares was a nice gateway into Bulgarian folk music, but this Nonesuch Explorer Series album goes further. Yes, there is choir music here, but it shares space with other forms of Bulgarian folk music.
Brothers Johnson, Light Up the Night
“Stomp!” was the big hit from this album, but the rest of it is also tight.
Soundtrack, Heavy Metal
I didn’t realize how much my brother played this album in his car. I could actually hum or sing along to many of the tracks on this soundtrack compilation, and I’m not a big fan of any of these bands.
This album was wildly successful at the time, buoyed by a nascent promotional tool called the “music video.” The deluxe edition of Physical includes one of the first video albums produced by a pop artist. Sorry, Beyoncé fans.
Spice Girls, Spice (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 29
In the UK, this deluxe edition of the Girls’ debut album is accompanied by five color vinyl reissues, each featuring a member the group. I’d probably opt for the Mel C one, but I already have this album on LP.
Jason Isbell and 400 Unit, Georgia Blue, Nov. 26
Jason Isbell makes good on his promise to record a cover album of Georgia artists if the run-off election in January 2020 sent a pair of Democrats to the Senate.
Kylie Minogue, Fever, Oct, 15 Sinéad O’Connor, So Far … The Best of Sinéad O’Connor, Oct. 15
National Album Day in the UK looks like Record Store Day Lite from a distance, but this year’s focus on women artists has some nice reissues in the pipeline. Honestly, Fever should just be perpetually available on vinyl. Every special pressing sells out fast and fetches exorbitant prices on Discogs. I have So Far on CD from when it was first released, and it’s an excellent compilation.
Old 97s, Fight Songs, Oct. 29
I would have preferred a vinyl reissue of Satellite Rides, to be honest.
I haven’t really cottoned to Explosion in the Sky’s soundtrack work, but I’m hoping this release feels more like an album than a cue sheet.
John Coltrane, A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle, Oct. 8
At first, I thought this album was just a reissue of Live in Seattle, till I took a closer look at the title.
Renée Fleming, Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene, Oct. 8
I wonder if John Green would be interested in reviewing this album.
The Replacements, Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash, Oct. 22
The Replacements had, at best, a periphery influence on my teenage listening habits, and yet I’ve bought just about every deluxe edition of their albums. Clearly, I’m making up for lost time.
R.E.M., New Adventures in Hi-Fi (Deluxe Edition), Oct. 29
I’m ambivalent about this album. I had sold it for cash a long time ago, but I picked it up again from the thrift shop. I don’t know if it holds up well.
ABBA, Voyage, Nov. 3
I can’t lie — I’m pretty damn excited about a new ABBA album in 40 years. The singles preceding the album sound like time hadn’t stopped for the quartet, and the world definitely came back around to them.
Sting, The Bridge, Nov. 19
I guess I still care because there is a part of me that fondly remembers a younger Sting in various forms of undress.
Robbie Williams, Life Thru a Lens, Sept. 24 Robbie Williams, I’ve Been Expecting You, Sept. 24
The Ego Has Landed was one of my most played CDs of 1999, and it collected the best bits of Robbie Williams’ first two albums. About 20 years later, I would find I’ve Been Expecting You at the thrift store. So I have to say I’m very much tempted to drop cash on these vinyl reissues, even though I haven’t heard Life Thru a Lens in its entirety.
Japan actually has its own Record Store Day event that focuses on domestic releases, but it’s separate from Record Day, which happens annually in November. While Record Store Day focuses on independent retailers, Record Day in Japan looks similar to National Album Day in the UK, where larger retailers are involved with the festivities.
Past Record Days in Japan have included reissues of NUMBER GIRL, YEN TOWN BAND and a number of Studio Ghibli soundtracks. For me, AJICO is the biggest news coming out of this year’s crop, but I’m also immensely pleased to see Hatakeyama Miyuki’s Diving into your mind getting a reissue. The Tomosaka Rie 7-inch single pairs two of her biggest hits, “Cappuccino” and “Escalation”, the A-side written by Shiina Ringo.