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Top 20 Vinyl Reissues of 2016

Posted by Amoebite, December 19, 2016 12:28pm | Post a Comment

Top 20 Vinyl Reissues of 2016

2016 was a strong year for reissues, with many now classic LPs getting dusted off and spiffed up as vinyl releases. Some of these releases were remastered, some have been out of print on vinyl for awhile, and some are just straight up excellent tributes to our late, great, favorite artists. From R&B to rock and even one very special television soundtrack, join us for a look back at our biggest sellers for the year and what makes each one essential listening.

Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me

20. The Cure - Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me

The Cure's seventh studio LP was their first album to break into the Billboard Top 40. Featuring beloved tracks "Just Like Heaven," "Hot Hot Hot!!!" and "Why Can't I Be You?," this recent 2-LP reissue is pressed on 180-gram vinyl.

Kill 'Em All

 19. Metallica - Kill 'Em All

The Replacements

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 19, 2009 12:11am | Post a Comment

Today at Amoeba we heard The Replacements' Let It Be over the store’s stereo. To most alt rock types, this album is considered a timeless classic. Released back in 1984, it is a mix of adolescent angst and Paul Westerberg's foray into mature songwriting. And…much like most 80’s albums, it also painfully dated. As the album played I thought to myself, “Would any kid born in the nineties understand why people liked Let It Be so much?” Perhaps if they listened to the lyrics to “Sixteen Blue,” “You’re My Favorite Thing,” “I Will Dare,” and “Unsatisfied,” they would. Those songs speak to that inner adolescent that is still in us or yet to be.

Still, I had to laugh at some of the other songs. Not because they are terrible songs, but because they all dealt with subjects that post-nineties children wouldn’t understand. For instance, in the song “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out,” teenage drummer Tommy Stinton gets a tonsillectomy by an impatient doctor. According to Wikipedia, the number of tonsillectomies in the United States has “dropped significantly from several million in the 1970s to approximately 600,000 in the late 1990s.” The chances of anyone born in the United States after 1990 getting a tonsillectomy in their lifetime are minimal. Maybe the title “Tommy Has Tonsillitis And Gets a Prescription For Antibiotics” would work better in 2009.

How about the song, “Seen Your Video?" It was the Anti-MTV anthem of the eighties at a time when your main chance of having a career in music depended on whether MTV playing your video. Now, most bands don’t even make a video and MTV rarely plays them. Now there is YouTube. Your music video viewing is no longer dictated by MTV when you can put your favorite artist name YouTube's search engine and magically their videos pop up…that is, if they chose to even make one.
 
Finally, there is the angst ridden “Answering Machine.” From the first line, “Try to breathe some life into a letter,” it sounds dated. Really, when was the last time you wrote a letter? I’m not talking about an e-mail, I’m talking about an actual letter. On top of that, how many people still have an answering machine? I have voice mail on my cell that cuts you off after a certain time if you babble on and besides that, no one ever leaves a message. If I miss a call, I get a text message a minute later that reads “call me.” We are even too lazy to leave a voice mail. Then there's text messages -- how many regrettable texts of love have been sent? Far more than songs written about, “How do I say I love you to an answering machine?”

I saw The Replacements while in my high school years. It was a great show. They were drunk, would start songs and abandoned them if they thought they were boring. The songs that they played that night were both originals and covers, and real bad covers to boot. Billy Swan’s “Let Me Help,” Vanity Fare’s “Hitchin’ A Ride” and of course, their version of Kiss’ “Black Diamond.” The songs they covered were so bad that they were great. They were the ultimate old school bar band, which is a lost art. When was the last time you walked to a bar and saw a great cover band with great originals?

Listening to Let It Be made me think as much as I love technology, I feel sorry for the kids. They missed out on some cool sh*t.

Don't Let Me Down - It's Been 40 Years Since a Little Rooftop Concert...

Posted by Miss Ess, January 1, 2009 01:08pm | Post a Comment
40 years ago this January, the Beatles dragged their equipment up the stairs of their offices at 3 Savile Row, London, for a rooftop concert.

How long has it been since you heard "Don't Let Me Down?" Probably too long. It's been a long while for me. Let's get this new year started off right:


How is it that the Beatles made everything seem so effortless, even when they hated each other and were close to the end? "Don't Let Me Down" was released as a B-side to "Get Back." A B-side!!

I don't listen to the Beatles too often anymore. Honestly, I don't even think about them too much, and after all this time, one glimpse and to me they are the still coolest dudes in the universe.

Come As You Are: Let It Be

Posted by Miss Ess, July 10, 2007 09:26pm | Post a Comment
I'm watching the film Let It Be right now.

The Beatles look....exhausted.


Paul's singing "Let It Be" at the piano and he just looks like he's about to keel over. They look so worn out, so at the end of their ropes.

Paul seems like the only one who was even trying to give the cameras a little "entertainment"...if you count heavy eye contact as that. (When it comes to The Beatles I have to say I am entertained by pretty much anything.) He's irrepressibly a showman. It's so interesting to watch. They are phoning it in, practically asleep while playing, and yet their music and songs are still transformational. Even though the magic between them personally had faded their raw talent never faded.

I haven't watched this since I was a kid. When I was growing up I somehow found the one video store within a 20 mile radius of my home that had a copy. I would go about once a year and rent it ... until one year it was mysteriously gone.


The rooftop concert is, of course, my favorite part of the movie. One time when I went to London I found the Apple building. I stood on the concrete outside the door and tried to imagine what it was like that freezing day in January when everyone's regular old workday was interrupted by the sounds of the one and only Beatles filling their ears. How phenomenal! This is where that rawness really shows itself. I think it's beautiful and painful to watch; it's like observing a tiny happy moment within any necessary but sad breakup that's been a long time coming. I remember standing there on Savile Row, turning around to find the exact direction they had been facing when they performed by the view of the church spire and buildings.....yes, I am coo coo.

Ringo's red patent leather-y coat during the rooftop concert is easily the brightest thing in a sort of overall dismal movie.

I'd still rather watch this than Magical Mystery Tour though, despite all that movie's psychedelic insanity! I think Let It Be's super interesting. I think I would rather watch them not try at all than try waaaaay too hard, know what I mean? I can enjoy some melancholy, thank you.

It's interesting that Paul's live set these days includes "The Long And Winding Road," "Let It Be," "Get Back" and "I've Got A Feeling," (He performed all those songs at Amoeba in June!) cause one would assume these are maybe not the times he is most nostalgic for, but hey, the songs are great. And I guess obviously easier to adapt to live performance than some of the other stuff they created over the years! 

For years I searched for a bootleg of the rooftop performance....I remember on my first trip to New York City ever, in St. Mark's Square, of course, I finally came up lucky! I was 19 years old, and at last it was in my hands! I went back to college feeling like the coolest gal in school.....when I was really the biggest hermit!

"Don't Let Me Down" is pretty much my favorite Beatles song ever.  It encapsulates my favorite things about the band: lyrics, melody, harmony, heaviness, honesty, and even (on the record anyway) a bitty hidden inside joke. I adore watching John perform it on the roof. Finally, there's some abandon and life from him for a relieving but brief bit of the film. I think he and Yoko were on heroin during this time, which helps to explain their near-catatonic state. 

Things are so tense, it doesn't look good for our heroes throughout the film. 


But isn't it the best, though, to think that, despite all that, Abbey Road