Vinyl Matters #01: Starcrawler, tUnE-yArDs, Planet Asia, Sufis, Sun Ra, Elvis, Coltrane, Bowie, Biggie + more in 2018 Vinyl Releases

Posted by Billyjam, January 22, 2018 11:58pm | Post a Comment

Starcrawler LP (also white vinyl + CD) on Rough Trade (2018)

With the steadily increasing number of vinyl releases each year over the past decade and with 2018 looking primed to witness the most titles released in the music media format once was written off for dead, it turns out that all those “vinyl revival” articles we’ve been reading for years now were spot on. Thanks in part to Record Store Day but more so to shifting cultural habits, records have made a truly healthy comeback with an annual steady growth of approx 10% in vinyl releases. For proof you need look no further than the lists of new vinyl releases arriving into Amoeba every week. Scroll down for a sampling for 2018 releases in such genres as rock, folk, blues, jazz, soul, country, hip-hop and EDM.
Noteworthy about this spike in vinyl pressings is that, as one might expect, it is not such DJ oriented genres as hip-hop, breaks, or electronic dance music (EDM) that have seen the largest increase in vinyl output but rock music (in its many sub-genres) which far exceeds every other genre. Rock also tends to synchronize its new release vinyl and CD dates better than hip-hop which typically staggers the vinyl by a couple of months. Exceptions to this have included Sub-Pop’s Shabazz Palaces releases.  Then in the case of many 90’s and early 2000's West Coast rap albums, initially only released on CD and cassette, it is only in very recent years they are finally been released on vinyl. Examples of this include Mac Dre's recent first time vinyl pressings of Thizzle Washington and Ronald Dregan: Dreaganomics. A recent phenomenon, oft associated with rap/hip-hop, is when an album is initially only available as a download or streaming version but then later gets reissued on vinyl only, bypassing CD release altogether.

With its deep back catalog, rock’s many styles have a seeming never-ending amount of material ready for vinyl reissue. These include “rock oldies” like ElvisBack In Memphis that just got reissued on 180 gram vinyl, Meatloaf's 1977 hit album Bat Out Of Hell that recently got reissued on 180 Gram red vinyl via Friday Music, and the Rolling Stones'1972 rock classic Exile On Main Street that just got reissued on vinyl from half speed master via Universal. Not all rock reissues are of decades old releases. More modern examples include The Ting Tings 2008 debut album that Music On Vinyl recently reissued as  We Started Nothing 180 Gram Vinyl.  Meanwhile so uniquely special is the 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (via Enjoy The Ride Records) of the new 2018 vinyl pressing of The Dark Crystal OST (180 Gram Vinyl Transparent Purple Vinyl With Purple Smoke) by Trevor Jones that  is limited to one per Amoeba customer!

As to who is buying vinyl in this new current age, studies indicate that it is broad spectrum of both young collectors and older fans who've been buying music back from when vinyl was the leading format. One study noted how a significant percentage of today's record buyers don’t even crack open their new shrink wrapped vinyl and put the needle on the record. Instead they listen to the MP3 version while saving the LP for posterity or framing its 12” cover for aesthetics. One thing that must be noted however is the sharp increase in the cost of buying vinyl which related to the increasing manufacturing costs. While at one time it was CDs that were more expensive than records, now it is the other way around. However overall the quality of vinyl today seems better than in the past, while the resale value of records has increased proportionately with their purchase prices. And remember when buying records mail-order from Amoeba’s online store, shipping is free anywhere in the USA. Remember too that comparatively cheaper used vinyl can be found in each of the three Amoeba stores; not to mention that one of the joys of being a record collector is going crate digging and not knowing what you might stumble upon. Below are a selection of some of the 2018 vinyl releases from over the past three Fridays, broken into lists of five from different genres with the 7" list including all genres, and the 2018 rock vinyl split into two lists: new and reissues.


1: tUnE-yArDs I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life LP [+ colored vinyl  and CD] (4AD)

2: Starcrawler Starcrawler LP ((also white vinyl + CD) (Rough Trade)

3: The Sufis After Hours LP (also on CD) (Burger Records)

4: First Aid Kit Ruins (also on CD) (Sony Legacy)

5: Bahamas Earthtones LP (also on CD)  (Republic)


1: Elvis Presley Back In Memphis 180 Gram Vinyl (Friday Music)

2: The Rolling Stones Exile On Main Street [Half Speed Master] LP (Universal)

3: The Ting Tings We Started Nothing 180 Gram Vinyl (Music On Vinyl)

4: Hot Snakes Suicide invoice LP (Sub Pop)

5: Donovan Greatest Hits LP (Epic)


1: John Coltrane Coltrane Jazz LP (8th Records)

2: Sun Ra Sleeping Beauty LP (Art Yard)

3. Herbie Hancock  Chicago 1981 LP (Hi Hat Records & Ent.)

4: Billie Holiday Billie's Blues LP (Wax Love)

5: Saluki Saluki LP (Round 2)


1: Planet Asia The Golden Buddha LP (also on CD ) (Brick Records)

2: Damu The Fudgemunk & Raw Poetic The Reflecting Sea (Welcome To A New Philosophy) LP (Redefinition/Fat Beats)
3: Samiyam Pizza Party LP (Stones Throw)

4: Notorious B.I.G. Big Poppa [White Vinyl] 12" (Bad Boy)

5: SMHERTZ Cold Breaks 7" (Cold Busted)


1: Woody Guthrie Dust Bowl Ballads LP (Wax Love)

2: Joan Baez Joan Baez LP (Wax Love)

3: Buffy Sainte Marie Medicine Songs LP (True North)

4: Kathryn Williams  Old Low Light LP (One Little Indian Records)
5: Brett Dennen Brett Dennen LP (Dualtone)


1: Johnny Moped Catatonic 7" (Damaged Goods)

2: David Bowie Beauty & The Beast / Blackout [Live] [Picture Disc] 7" (Parlaphone)

3: Steve Ignorant Just Another 7" (Harbinger Sound)

4: Ó Live At Third Man Records 7" (Third Man Recods)

5: Eddie C  Space Glide / Werewolf Invasion 7"  (Red Motorbike)


1: Curtis Mayfield Back To The World LP (8th Records)

2: Luther Vandross Never Too Much LP (Sony Legacy)

3: Sly & The Family Stone Greatest Hits LP (Sony Legacy)

4: Aretha Franklin Lady Soul [180 Gram Vinyl] (Atlantic)

5: Lalah Hathaway Honestly LP (8th Floor Productions)


1: Louie Vega Mix The Vibe: Louie Vega Sampler EP 2 (King Street Sounds)

2: Tommy Guerrero Soul Food Taqueria LP (Be With Records)

3: Moppy The Seven Wonders of The Sea 2LP (606 Records)

4: Michel Banabila   Trespassing / Marilli LP (Seance Center)

5: Fred Ventura  Future Unknown: The Lost House Trax LP (Mannequin Records)


1: John Lee Hooker House of the Blues LP (DOL)

2: B.B. King Story From My Heart & Soul: The 'Modern' Label Singles 1957-1962 LP (Wax Love)

3: Freddy King Let's Hide Away & Dance Away With Freddy King [Colored Vinyl] LP (Sundazed)

4: Sterling Ball, John Ferraro, Jim Cox  The Mutual Admiration Society LP (Mascot)

5: Willie Dixon  Catalyst LP (Tuff City)


1: Colter Wall Imaginary Appalachia LP (Young Mary's Records)

2: Ryan Bingham Ryan Bingham Live LP (Axster Bingham)

3: Chris Shiflett West Coast Town LP (Rusted Wave)

4: V/A Sun Does Hank Williams LP  (Original Recordings Group)

5: Devin Dawson Dark Horse LP (Warner)

Relevant Tags

Biggie (8), Vinyl Matters (1), Vinyl Revival (1), 7" Records (1), Colored Vinyl (9), Tune-yards (15), Vinyl Matters #01: Starcrawler (1), Planet Asia (8), Sun Ra (15), Sufis (1), Elvis (5), Coltrane (1), Bowie (4), 2018 Vinyl Releases (1), 2018 Records (1), New Vinyl From Amoeba (1)