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Discogs Staff Notable Album Anniversaries in February 2020

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According to the rules of resale, anything that is older than 20 years but less than 100 years is considered vintage. Who made these rules you ask? We have no clue, but we’re here to follow them. Below are some of the biggest vintage album anniversaries in February 2020, starting with 20 years and working in 10-year increments backward to 1970.

Did we miss some album anniversaries? Yes, definitely. We selected a few from each year primarily based on Collection totals but also included some notables that aren’t in many Collections when applicable. Oh, and no compilations nor live albums. It’s not perfect, so tell us which ones should be here in the comments.

Albums Turning 20 in February 2020

Ghostface Killah - Supreme Clientele album cover

Ghostface Killah – Supreme Clientele

Release Date: February 8, 2000

Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah’s second album. Solid RZA production throughout. Inspired by a trip they took to Africa. It debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200 and was certified Gold a month after the release date. The original vinyl pressing is relatively rare.

The Cure - Bloodflowers album cover

The Cure – Bloodflowers

Release Date: February 15, 2000

One of the most wanted albums released in February 2000. It was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Alternative Music category. Only pressed on vinyl in 2000, which makes copies on that format phenomenally rare and expensive.

Yo La Tengo - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out album cover

Yo La Tengo – And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out

Release Date: February 22, 2000

The first Yo La Tengo album to make it to the Billboard 200 chart. Very well received, And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out one has landed on a ton of “Best Albums of the 2000s” lists. There is a sold audiophile first pressing too. Yo La Tengo is known for their fantastic covers and they don’t disappoint with an astral rendition of “You Can Have It All.” Recorded in Nashville, TN, the liner notes read, “When in Nashville, visit Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack,” and we couldn’t agree more.

Air - The Virgin Suicides album cover

Air – The Virgin Suicides

Release Date: February 23, 2000

One of the best soundtracks of the 2000s. Dreamy and moving, it is a perfect complement to Sofia Coppola’s debut film. An impressive box set commemorated the 15th anniversary of the film in 2015.

AC/DC - Stiff Upper Lip album cover

AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip

Release Date: February 28, 2000

Not the best work from AC/DC, but it is the 2nd most collected in this list of albums from February 2000. It was AC/DC’s 13th studio album. The first pressing, released in 2000, appreciated in value nicely.

Oasis - Standing on the Shoulder of Giants album cover

Oasis – Standing on the Shoulder of Giants

Release Date: February 28, 2000

A tumultuous part of Oasis’s history, three band members left while the album was still in production. Noel Gallagher eventually said he regretted releasing the album, as his transition from illicit to prescribed drugs interfered with his writing. Nonetheless, it charted well. Another example of when having the first vinyl pressing pays big.

The Smashing Pumpkins - Machina/The Machines of God album cover

The Smashing Pumpkins – Machina/The Machines of God

Release Date: February 29, 2000

Another relative flop from a well-known band, Machina/The Machines of God was the fifth studio album and second lowest-selling release by The Smashing Pumpkins. Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin made a well-publicized return and bassist D’arcy Wretzky unexpectedly left the group during production. Billy Corgan later admitted, “I ended up in a broken band with a half-ass enthusiasm towards finishing a project already started,” so you can see why this was perhaps not their strongest performance. There are some bright spots on the album, and it has never been repressed, so copies of the first pressing with a 24-page art booklet regularly sell for more than $150.

Albums Turning 30 in February 2020

The KLF - Chill Out album cover

The KLF – Chill Out

Release Date: February 5, 1990

From the group that once burnt a million quid, Chill Out is an unique ambient album that interweaves natural and recorded sounds with cohesive instrumentation. Only officially pressed once on vinyl.

Primus - Frizzle Fry album cover

Primus – Frizzle Fry

Release Date: February 7, 1990

Debut studio album from Primus. “John The Fisherman” and “Too Many Puppies” are standout tracks. This album is a great indicator of the grunge that would infiltrate much of 90s rock. Stay away from the 2002 Prawn Song reissue, it has received a slew of negative reviews.

The Cramps - Stay Sick! album cover

The Cramps – Stay Sick!

Release Date: February 12, 1990

Early CBGB punk group The Cramps dropped their fourth studio album, Stay Sick!, in February 1990. Punk rock meets rockabilly, full of surreal lyrics. We miss them for how classy they were, and so do you (or maybe not.)

MC Hammer – Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em

Release Date: February 12, 1990

Widely distributed and easy to find. Ranked number one on the Billboard 200 for more than five months, largely due to “U Can’t Touch This.” First hip-hop album to be certified diamond by the RIAA with over 10 million sales and remains one of the best-selling hip-hop albums ever released.

Death - Spiritual Healing album cover

Death – Spiritual Healing

Release Date: February 16, 1990

Exemplary death metal album by one of the pioneers of the genre. More melodic and societally-themed than previous albums. A lot of turmoil around this album, with multiple members coming and going around production and release. Both the first-pressing and the 2014 box set are rare collectors items.

Midnight Oil - Blue Sky Mining album cover

Midnight Oil – Blue Sky Mining

Release Date: February 25, 1990

This album just about swept the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) awards in 1991. A well-reviewed album from this Aussie band.

Albums Turning 40 in February 2020

Ramones - End of the Century album cover

Ramones – End of the Century

Release Date: February 5, 1980

The first Ramones album produced by Phil Spector, it managed to become the highest charting album for the band. There was reported conflict between the Ramones and Spector, driven by Spector’s perfectionism, but by reading Spector’s biography, he most likely doesn’t remember a thing about this whole ordeal. The album cost about 20X more than their previous one, Road to Ruin.

The Sugarhill Gang - Sugarhill Gang album cover

The Sugarhill Gang – Sugarhill Gang

Release Date: February 7, 1980

The track “Rapper’s Delight” was the first rap single to become a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been sampled hundreds of times, including by Biggie Smalls, Snoop Dogg, and De La Soul. In an insane turn of the events, we can also “thank” The Sugarhill Gang for the chorus of “Aserejé” by Las Ketchup. But don’t blame them too much, they don’t deserve it.

Elvis Costello - Get Happy!! album cover

Elvis Costello – Get Happy!!

Release Date: February 15, 1980

One of Elvis Costello’s best albums. They fit 10 songs on each side of the original pressing, a highly unusual move as it could cause “groove-cramming.”

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark album cover

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Release Date: February 22, 1980

Highly-influential debut album from this early synth-pop group. Interesting design with the inner-sleeve visible through the cover and a few different colored sleeve-variants released in the first batch. Since you started singing it in your head as soon as you saw this record, no, “Enola Gay” is not on this one, sorry.

Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band - Against the Wind album cover

Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band – Against the Wind

Release Date: February 25, 1980

The album that finally knocked The Wall off of the Top LPs chart. The cover art hasn’t aged that well. Has the music? Highly debatable.

Albums Turning 50 in February 2020

Nilsson - Nilsson Sings Newman album cover

Nilsson – Nilsson Sings Newman

Release Date: February 1, 1970

It’s pretty unusual to think that between this record and Toy Story there’s only one degree of separation. Indeed, that Newman is Randy Newman and he composed all the songs on Nilsson Sings Newman. If you’re as madly in love with that bright cover as we are, you might want to know that Dean Torrence was the artist behind it.

The Doors - Morrison Hotel album cover

The Doors – Morrison Hotel

Release Date: February 9, 1970

As usual, pressings with an obi strip are highly-desired collectors’ items.

Various Artists - Zabriskie Point album cover

Various Artists – Zabriskie Point

Release Date: February 9, 1970

Heavy-hitting soundtrack to Michelangelo Antonioni’s movie “Zabriskie Point.” Contains tracks by Pink Floyd, The Kaleidoscope, The Grateful Dead and more. Never a bad time to recommend the movie as well, you’ve never seen the Mojave Desert the way Antonioni filmed it (NSFW though).

Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath album cover

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

Release Date: February 13, 1970

The debut studio album from Black Sabbath, recorded in just one session. Original pressings with an erroneous copyright warning, which more than 2,000 Discogs users have in their Collection, sell for a median price of $322.

Funkadelic - Funkadelic album cover

Funkadelic – Funkadelic

Release Date: February 24, 1970

Debut album by the American funk legends. A key link between 1960s soul and 1970s funk.

Van Morrison - Moondance album cover

Van Morrison – Moondance

Release Date: February 27, 1970

Written and produced entirely by Van Morrison, Moondance was a phenomenal critical and commercial success. Surprisingly enough, his previous and equally revered album, Astral Weeks, was a commercial failure.

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Jasper Bernbaum Translating ‘Intellexual’ • A conversation with Grammy Nominee Irwan Awalludin

With the 2020 Grammy ceremony on the horizon, Discogs spoke with each of the nominees for Best Album Package about the importance of design and the physical record experience.

The first conversation was with Singapore-born, Brooklyn-based designer Irwan Awalludin, who earned his first nomination this year for his work on Intellexual — the self-titled debut from Chance the Rapper collaborators Nate Fox and Nico Segal.

 

Starting off, how did you get into design? Were you creative from an early age?

I just started drawing cartoons, as far as art. When I moved to America, it was the thing that I did to help make friends in middle school. I had art teachers that saw my ability to draw and were very encouraging. Then I got an interest in designing shoes.

 

Where’d you grow up?

Parma Heights, Ohio. It’s a suburb about 30 minutes out of Cleveland.

My graphic design kind of just came about from a place of necessity, I wouldn’t say it was something that I planned on going into. When I started designing around 2007/2008 it wasn’t like it is today; the landscape with young designers designing stuff, especially for rap. I saw that there were different rappers on MySpace. I thought I could design and put my work out to them to serve an under-served community, in regards to design. Now everybody wants to design for rappers.

I had a stint doing streetwear in college and everything sort of snowballed — doing things, meeting people in the rap and streetwear world. And that’s how I got to today.

 

Who were some of your first designs for when you were coming up? 

There was a group called C-Level Records who I met on MySpace. I think it was $30 to do the cover and tracklist. That was the first music project I ever designed for.

 

Jumping forward to intellexual. Had you heard the music when you started designing?

Some songs. It was a long process. We worked on it for over a year. It just started with the [title] that Nate and Nico came up with. It was a long process of evolution from the initial idea, to the concepts, to the refinement of concepts, but I think listening to in the earlier stages was a big key. 

Nate [Fox] had a quote about the title intellexual being an “intellectual seduction” and falling in love with someone’s mind. Is that where that concept for the artwork came from?

Yes, that was their initial take on it: sexuality and intellectuality. For me, I didn’t want to carry the whole concept on just that idea. I wanted to be able to look at those topics almost the way a biology textbook would approach it. You remember how science textbooks in school would break down different molecules or the DNA?

I wanted to take those topics [of sexuality and intellectuality], but not make it overly lewd or graphic. I didn’t want to look at sex from a standpoint of lust. What I wanted to present for the project was more exploratory. Something you could potentially see in a science museum.

We started off with the the cover; it was the first piece of art made for the project, and they really liked the simplicity of it.

What does the cover imagery represent?

It’s the brain. But depending on where your mind is at, and what you’ve been exposed to, it can also look like a sensual scene.

You know the Picasso drawing with three lines that becomes a woman’s figure? (below) That was a huge inspiration to the cover. That was a huge thing for me, to be able to communicate ideas in a simple, not cluttered way. 

I think there’s a term called sapiosexual, and that’s not what I wanted to do. I don’t want to create a sense of lusting over people’s minds. It kind of carries a connotation to seem a little bit elitist. That’s why the art progressed in the way that it did. It was an attempt to lessen that pretentiousness. So, the approach was to be more clinical or from a study standpoint.

 

Moving into the gatefold, it’s almost like a coloring book with the black and white outline. Like when you open one up as a kid and there are limitless possibilities.

I’m glad you’re bringing up that way. This whole thing was meant to be a process of exploration; you get pieces of information the more you go into it. When you open it, you have the rough outline of what is about to be inside. Then, as you explore more of the packaging, you get more out of it. The idea was for the viewer and listener to really get the sense of exploration that I got when I was listening to it.

For me, it was like a soundtrack for a video game character traveling to a universe that you’ve never seen before. Like a Super Mario character going to a crazy level. That was kind of what I felt it could look like – another universe. The package helps bring you into that world.

When you take out the booklet, the color palette is this great blast of pastel. How did you land on the palette and tones?

Color obviously was a tool that I really wanted to use — trying to find a balance between being strong enough and saturated enough to give you emotions, but also to not be too much. It was a balance between giving you an experience, but not bombarding you with the experience. 

I want you to feel the energy of the songs —  the fun, the wonder of exploring it — but I also don’t want to feel overbearing because there are a lot of colors.

 

That’s what I’m most impressed with. There’s so many hues, but they all feel harmonious when you see them together, which goes along with the record. There’s so many sounds. Song-to-song, they are blending genres — jumping from funk to soul to hip hop —  and it all feels seamless.

I had tried experimenting with each song being organisms and shapes. The idea is that you can look at it, and it could be a creature. It could be a planetary system. Wherever your mind takes it.

Like a Rohrshach test of the songs.

Potentially. Which brings it back to the to the cover. You’re going to see different things depending on how you look at it.

In the song credits, I love the concept of assigning each musician a certain color and shape. Thus, each song becomes its own visual design. Where did that concept come from?

Each song had a different listening process, so I worked on each page while listening to respective songs over and over and over and over again. I had the help of Nate and Nico to try to break it up into approximate percentages as far as who did what on which song. I would take that number, I would listen to the song, and I would do my best to use those numbers to visualize what I heard and then how they related with one another. There’s no specific science that I used, it was just really off instinct and feel. 

You know it’s crazy? My girlfriend just showed me the movie Fantasia. I’d never seen it before, and in a way I’m kind of glad. I watch that movie and I’m like ‘Wow, this just did what I tried to do with this album, but a trillion times better.’ There’s so many scenes where they do the artwork based on the music.

 

So, you’ve done design on not one, but two Grammy-nominated albums this year! You worked on Meek Mill’s Championships which is up for Best Rap Album.
The covers are so different from each other, and even the records are so different. How does the process differ between somebody like Meek Mill vs. Intellexual? 

My work in the music world has been 95% rap and hip hop with the other 5% being intellexual. The hip hop world is very different than the indie world apparently.

With Meek Mill, the label had already gotten an art director, did a whole amazing photo shoot, and they were ready to push through to the final. On the eve of approval, Meek said he wanted diamonds on the text.

Leading up to the time, it was exciting because Meek hadn’t been out of jail long, and he hadn’t put out a project, so I was going to do whatever it took. I’m a huge Eagles fan and Meek is also from Philadelphia. We had just won the Super Bowl the year before, and I saw all the colors [on the cover], so I kind of got the sense that Meek wanted it to be part of the celebration of the Eagles. I wanted to model the text around the championship gear that comes out after a team wins the Super Bowl, but I also didn’t want to just pick a font. There’s an edge to it.

In regards to the difference in the processes, [working with] Nate and Nico was a very magical, rare thing. I do a lot of design for other things too. I’ve had a couple artists that had that relationship with me where they said to make whatever — put a Gundam on or something — but never a large scale project where someone just says ‘Do whatever you want, and we’re going to pay you, get you as much as we can, give you the time you need.’ That’s not a common thing. Usually people have ideas of what they want. Meek was very direct: diamonds on text. So I kept making it, until I had a version that he liked.

 

I saw Meek Mill gave the owner of the Patriots a diamond necklace with your Championships font after they won the Super Bowl, the year after the Eagles.

Isn’t that crazy? Oh my god, that was so bizarre because I don’t like the Patriots. That went from my computer screen to his neck? And then the local news outlets interviewing him and talking about the chain at length? Absolutely insane. I wish that chain could find its way to me. He made a ring out of it too.

 

Have you always been a hip hop fan?

Yeah. It was definitely a huge part of my life growing up. Moved to America. Didn’t know anybody here. Father wasn’t around. For me, it was an alternate route growing up. 

I’m Asian, so I felt more at home in that part of American culture, being an immigrant and person of color. I grew up in a farm town, so I felt out of place. When I heard rap music and I explored more about those cultures, it was always something that I felt more drawn to.

I like other forms of music, but something with hip hop was that is was a common thread through a lot of things that drew me into American culture. Sneakers, design and art. As a young kid, you look at rappers like a superhero.

 

What are some of your favorite records?

There’s a lot of stuff. My favorite kind of music would be a little bit of the old Future stuff. I love Rich Homie Quan. The thing that connects to me the most is when there’s a sing-song in the rap and you can hear the pain. Then also there’s the Kanye element. Kanye’s stuff to me has always been a huge inspiration in how he’s always pushing the boundaries and constantly changing. But right now, a lot of southern Atlanta rap.

I just really resonate with the storytelling — the sleeping on floors and things like that. That’s my favorite part about rap and the culture is the opportunity for people to tell their story and change their lives. Crazy environments, the things that people have to go through that other people take for granted. Rap music, to me, represents that opportunity maybe more so than any genre. People coming from environments that would absolutely destroy a lot of people, yet these artists are somehow able to come out of it and make music about it. 

 

I love you look up to hip hop that way. Perceptions of it are changing quickly, but even though it’s the most popular genre in the world, it still gets knocked as trite and materialistic by some people.

Always man! Always! It was never looked at as an admirable thing to want to design for rappers. I think it’s maybe starting to change because you have a lot of rappers so mainstream now, but it’s almost racism when people speak about the art form like that.

I’m not ignorant to the fact that this content could be damaging to certain people and things. But, at the end of the day, it’s an art form. There’s a lot of people telling their stories, and their environments & their daily life is unfair. One of the biggest reasons that I continue to be in this space is because people look at it as a lowbrow art form. That’s why I kind of got into it: to do what I could do to change that.

 

What do you think about an album’s art and its role in music today? 

To me the actual cover is so important, more than ever. As an artist, when you create a product… that’s how it lives before anyone gets to hear it. That’s what’s on the page for your song or your album. When you’re browsing… you’re looking at art.

 

It’s almost like a gallery.

Yeah! There’s a whole other side of the product which is just visuals. That’s how it lives. That’s how it sits on billboards, on plaques. Look at the basic things that we’ve learned about marketing, and how the human brain and eyes works. It affects people when they look at the artwork. It’s become more of a part of conversation than it has in the past.

Do you have any kind of contemporary designers that you look up to? 

My process is, as much as I can, been function-focused, as opposed to aesthetic. I guess I don’t have a lot of art that I consume. I know it probably sounds bad to say, but in a way, do you stay ignorant? It’s a tough balance.

I will say that all the art direction and attention to detail that has gone into the packaging for Kanye West’s discography. The way he approached his music, he made sure he had that same attention to detail and experience visually. You look at Graduation and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy… the way he was always able to make people talk about it, even the album where it was just a piece of tape. It brought levels of discussion about high art into the rap cover world.

 

Well, I appreciate your thoughts and artwork, Irwan. Congratulations again on the nomination and enjoy all the festivities this weekend.

Thank you. There’s one thing I want to mention. I do feel strongly that this nomination is possible because of the music. With the process [for the album art], it’s almost like the music actually got this nomination. Nate, Nico, the composers, the people that play the instruments… they got the nomination for their work. It just happens to be a visual award. 

I don’t know if there’s another project where the artwork is as much influenced by the detail in the sounds of the people that made it. I’m getting a nomination for doing the art, but the nomination for the art is actually a music award. I played a translator from sound to visuals. The artwork was from the music.

 

All photos by Michael Kusumadjaja

The post Translating ‘Intellexual’ • A conversation with Grammy Nominee Irwan Awalludin appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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Jeffrey Lee Puckett Hank Williams: Pictures From Life’s Other Side

Hank Williams died in the backseat of a Cadillac at age 29 on his way to a New Year’s Day show in Ohio, drunk and filled with a variety of painkillers. He had the body of a man 69 and fading, ravaged by spina bifida occulta, alcoholism, drug addiction, and a failing heart.

His genius as a songwriter and performer never failed him, however. Police officers arrived to find his body near a handful of unfinished lyrics, and at his final recording session he cut “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” a song so profoundly country that many consider it to be the very definition of the form.

Williams’ recording career was short, with an official output of only 31 singles, 30 of which charted with seven reaching No. 1. That his legacy remains so powerful is a testament to his brilliance as a writer, interpreter and undeniable charisma as a performer.

Hank Williams – Pictures From Life’s Other Side: The Man And His Music In Rare Photos And Recordings” is a quietly lavish collection from BMG that collects the entirety of Williams’ performances from his weekday radio show on WSM, which was sponsored by Mother’s Best flour.

Williams recorded 72 shows from 1951 until his death and this collection is the first to gather all of his Mother’s Best performances — 144 tracks on six CDs, each carefully restored and remastered from the original transcription discs by Michael Graves and overseen by producer Cheryl Pawelski.

It’s all Williams, with guest stars and instrumentals from his band, the Drifting Cowboys, edited out to keep it down to a bit more than seven hours of deep country, gloomy spirituals and chatty commentary from Williams even as he prepares to tear your heart out with his next song.

Equally impressive is the accompanying 272-page book that’s largely comprised of more than 200 often spectacular photos, including many that have rarely —or never — been published.

The archival quality of the photos is impressive and perhaps the most startling are a handful of color photos; the starkness of Williams’ songs and voice have always made it seem as if he actually lived in black and white. The book’s lone essay is written by Williams biographer Colin Escott, with additional writing by Scott B. Bomar and an introduction by Williams’ daughter, Jett. Ken Campanile researched and collected the photos.

This box set isn’t one that shouts at you. Its elegance stems from its handsome simplicity: A stout slipcover holds the coffee-table book, which houses the CDs. The photo used for the cover is appropriately bleak, reflecting the pain that’s at the heart of many of Williams’ best-known songs, but inside offers a more nuanced story. In most of the photos Williams is sporting a sly grin stretched across his gaunt face — he clearly had some of the devil in him, or maybe he was just drunk — but his eyes always have a haunted quality.

Not all of Williams’ hits are represented — “Settin’ the Woods on Fire” is missing, for example, and “Your Cheatin’ Heart” had yet to be released — but included is “Move It on Over,” “Lovesick Blues,” “A Mansion on the Hill,” “Cold Cold Heart,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Long Gone Lonesome Blues” and “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You).”

Because Williams had the freedom to play anything he wanted in addition to his hits, there are a number of spirituals which he often dedicates to elderly shut-ins listening at home. He also covers a few hits popularized by others, including a version of “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” that is the sound of pure, undiluted sorrow; it makes Willie Nelson’s version sound like a party.

Williams is one of those artists so important to his genre that he almost exists above and beyond it. Perhaps that’s because he died so young, leaving a catalog that will forever reflect only the blazing genius of his youth. “Pictures From Life’s Other Side” does him proud and any Williams completist needn’t think twice; the combination of music and photos tells a story worth hearing and seeing again and again.

Article produced in partnership with BMG

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Jeffrey Lee Puckett Hank Williams: Pictures From Life’s Other Side

Hank Williams died in the backseat of a Cadillac at age 29 on his way to a New Year’s Day show in Ohio, drunk and filled with a variety of painkillers. He had the body of a man 69 and fading, ravaged by spina bifida occulta, alcoholism, drug addiction, and a failing heart.

His genius as a songwriter and performer never failed him, however. Police officers arrived to find his body near a handful of unfinished lyrics, and at his final recording session he cut “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” a song so profoundly country that many consider it to be the very definition of the form.

Williams’ recording career was short, with an official output of only 31 singles, 30 of which charted with seven reaching No. 1. That his legacy remains so powerful is a testament to his brilliance as a writer, interpreter and undeniable charisma as a performer.

Hank Williams – Pictures From Life’s Other Side: The Man And His Music In Rare Photos And Recordings” is a quietly lavish collection from BMG that collects the entirety of Williams’ performances from his weekday radio show on WSM, which was sponsored by Mother’s Best flour.

Williams recorded 72 shows from 1951 until his death and this collection is the first to gather all of his Mother’s Best performances — 144 tracks on six CDs, each carefully restored and remastered from the original transcription discs by Michael Graves and overseen by producer Cheryl Pawelski.

It’s all Williams, with guest stars and instrumentals from his band, the Drifting Cowboys, edited out to keep it down to a bit more than seven hours of deep country, gloomy spirituals and chatty commentary from Williams even as he prepares to tear your heart out with his next song.

Equally impressive is the accompanying 272-page book that’s largely comprised of more than 200 often spectacular photos, including many that have rarely —or never — been published.

The archival quality of the photos is impressive and perhaps the most startling are a handful of color photos; the starkness of Williams’ songs and voice have always made it seem as if he actually lived in black and white. The book’s lone essay is written by Williams biographer Colin Escott, with additional writing by Scott B. Bomar and an introduction by Williams’ daughter, Jett. Ken Campanile researched and collected the photos.

This box set isn’t one that shouts at you. Its elegance stems from its handsome simplicity: A stout slipcover holds the coffee-table book, which houses the CDs. The photo used for the cover is appropriately bleak, reflecting the pain that’s at the heart of many of Williams’ best-known songs, but inside offers a more nuanced story. In most of the photos Williams is sporting a sly grin stretched across his gaunt face — he clearly had some of the devil in him, or maybe he was just drunk — but his eyes always have a haunted quality.

Not all of Williams’ hits are represented — “Settin’ the Woods on Fire” is missing, for example, and “Your Cheatin’ Heart” had yet to be released — but included is “Move It on Over,” “Lovesick Blues,” “A Mansion on the Hill,” “Cold Cold Heart,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Long Gone Lonesome Blues” and “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You).”

Because Williams had the freedom to play anything he wanted in addition to his hits, there are a number of spirituals which he often dedicates to elderly shut-ins listening at home. He also covers a few hits popularized by others, including a version of “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” that is the sound of pure, undiluted sorrow; it makes Willie Nelson’s version sound like a party.

Williams is one of those artists so important to his genre that he almost exists above and beyond it. Perhaps that’s because he died so young, leaving a catalog that will forever reflect only the blazing genius of his youth. “Pictures From Life’s Other Side” does him proud and any Williams completist needn’t think twice; the combination of music and photos tells a story worth hearing and seeing again and again.

Article produced in partnership with BMG

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Russ Ryan “Reaching People Through Music” An Interview With The Fenner Frost Foundation & RPM Records

“Helping people grow through music” is the motto and since 2016 The Fenner Frost Foundation has done exactly that, nurturing confidence and teaching transferable skills to students with learning difficulties by running a record shop with some truly heartwarming success stories. 

We visited RPM Records a few weeks ago to get a feel of their vision and were truly overwhelmed by the sense of purpose the project installs in its students, channelling their universal love for music into practical teaching, all relating to employability.  

Alison & Sue kindly took the time out to chat about the Foundation & Shop and an overview of it’s past, present and future…

discogs-fennerfrost-1

Talk us through the beginnings of Fenner Frost Foundation, how it leads into RPM Records and what you set out to achieve.

The Fenner Frost Foundation was set up in 2016 to give adults with learning disabilities meaningful work experience. The shop, RPM, is staffed by up to 6 students a day where they can gain the skills required to access paid employment opportunities.

We set this up in response to a lack of vocational provision for people with learning disabilities post education.

discogs-fennerfrost-3

Does music (as the product format) aid teaching and guidance of your students in the shop?

All aspects of learning are covered incidentally. ICT is used to research and price our stock online using Discogs. Numeracy and money skills are learnt by serving customers (we are cash only), cashing up the takings and paying them into the bank. Our stock is categorised alphabetically, requiring our students to read the names of bands or artists before putting stock into the correct areas of the retail space.

Social isolation is common for people with learning disabilities and having a real purpose to their day boosts their confidence and sense of well-being.

How important is Discogs to your day to day operations?

Without Discogs we would struggle to accurately price our stock. It also gives the students the opportunity to sell online as well as face to face.

discogs-fennerfrost-5

How do you keep the shop stocked? 

Our shop is mostly stocked by donations from the general public. We distribute donation leaflets locally and use social media to raise awareness of our charity.

What is the most interesting item that has come in as a donation?

discogs-fennerfrost-6

Have there been many success stories of RPM “graduates” obtaining employment after their time with you?  

We are currently supporting 13 students, 2 of whom now have paid employment once a week. A further 2 are volunteering elsewhere as a direct result of the Fenner Frost Foundation.

discogs-fennerfrost-4

How is the future of RPM looking and how do you hope to grow and develop?

The future of RPM is positive. With continued support and donations of current stock we hope to encourage a greater footfall. The students particularly enjoy interacting with and serving customers and it is therefore important our stock is updated regularly.

We are currently at student capacity but, as our existing students move on, it will create spaces for new ones and the charity will thrive.

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Discogs Staff The Discogs Community Hits A New Milestone: 12 Million Releases In The Database!

It feels like just yesterday we were celebrating reaching an impressive 11 million releases in the Discogs Database and here we are again. If we sound excited it’s because we are excited. After Discogs was founded in October 2000, it took 90 months to hit the first million releases in the Database. Nowadays, music in the Database continues to grow at an incredibly fast rate. It’s all thanks to our wonderful contributors everywhere around the world.

Discogs has come a long way in terms of diversity of the music we hold in the database and the process of building it has been a structured one, always asking the community, “where to next?”. During the first few years, Discogs only allowed electronic music releases. A few years later, after consulting our forums, we decided to open the door to hip-hop. The rest is history. Today, Discogs is the website where many genres are represented and where collectors worldwide come to look for their most desired music items.

But what do 12 million releases mean when it comes to contributing? It has become increasingly complicated to find releases that aren’t in the database, especially in some countries that are among the best represented. In my own experience, assisting the live stream of From The Archive 2019, I was expecting that I would have to upload releases to the database on-the-go since the focus of those DJ sets is normally pretty obscure music. In fact, I was surprised to see how wrong I was. No matter how obscure or weird the record was (some of those were selling for high prices on Discogs,) each one of the master releases was already in the database.

While I love to keep this message optimistic, there is still a lot of work to do. Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia releases have been accelerating in the last couple of years. This has been aided by translating the site into Portuguese and Korean in 2019.

It’s really cool to see how, little by little, our database becomes a real reflection of the history of recorded music worldwide. We hope that these trends continue and that we see other countries and areas of the world gain more accurate representation over the years. You’re doing your part and we hope to be doing our part, as well. In the last year, and with the help of our community, we’ve translated all Discogs Database help documentation into French and Spanish. And of course, there are more to come!

Our commitment to all of you remains the same: to become the most comprehensive music database on Earth. Free for everyone, anytime, forever. Thanks a lot for contributing and for your continuous support. We hope to be celebrating 13 million releases before 2021. Will you help us?

Want to learn more about Discogs?
Ready to submit a new Release to Discogs?
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Diognes_The_Fox The Discogs Top 50 Best Selling Records Of November 2019

Another month, another list! There’s a lot new for this list, possibly thanks to RSD Black Friday. I’ll do my best to not report on the obvious reissues and barrel scrapings and try and focus on the odd gems here and there. The first thing that caught my eye was the use of the classic Spirograph style stock cover on that Jamiroquai remix 12″. Solid remix of a classic track. U2’s first 12″ got reissued, making it accessible to anyone who doesn’t have $600+ to spend on an OG copy. Did y’all really allow a Kenny Rogers record to make it to the list this month? Really? I’m done. Until next month, comment below.

U2 - Three album cover

#2. U2 – Three

12″, Ltd, Num, RE, 40t

Emmylou Harris - The Studio Albums 1980-83 album cover

#7. Emmylou Harris – The Studio Albums 1980-83

LP, Album, RE + LP, Album, RE + LP, Album, RE + LP

FKA Twigs - Magdalene album cover

#10. FKA Twigs – Magdalene

LP, Album, Ltd, Red

Steppenwolf - Steppenwolf album cover

#26. Steppenwolf – Steppenwolf

LP, Album, Mono, Ltd, Cle

Phish - The Story of the Ghost album cover

#28. Phish – The Story of the Ghost

2xLP, Album, Ltd, Num, RM, Red

Sault - 5 album cover

#38. Sault – 5

LP, Album, RP
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BoSound Discogs Presents: EMC Record Fair 2019 In Sydney

November saw the first of many collaborative Record Fairs to happen in Australia. To start off, we teamed up with EMC (Electronic Music Conference) and Pioneer DJ to bring you an electronica themed fair, with vendors having a strong focus on bringing the public some of the finest selections of electronica on all formats from some of the greatest collections in the country. It was definitely a great time for all involved, young and old!

To shed some light on some of the amazing music that could be found that day, we also invited some of EMC‘s key speakers and best vinyl DJ’s from Australia and abroad to have a dig and play a set from records they’d bought from the event, while the host, the one and only Kato, interviewed them throughout their sets to get their reactions on what they had discovered! We also had a screen beside the DJ booth, displaying each record’s Discogs page whilst it was being spun!


Video by George Conomos

Check the playlist of the Great DJs

Aroha

Aroha is a powerhouse DJ with an undeniable stage presence. Performing solo with an open-format musical palette or masterfully mixing tech house with world-renowned MC and singer, Tali.

Check the records she played here.

Daniel Lupica

A DJ and Record Collector from Sydney, Australia. Daniel Lupica possesses deep and diverse crates of House, Disco, Boogie and cosmic oddities from all time zones around the globe.

Check the records he played here.

Sampology

Starting off his career as a producer with an ear for sampling records, Sampology has come full circle, finding the perfect balance between sampling new sounds, field recordings, and live instrumentation.

Check the records he played here.

Merph

Merph is a genuinely passionate and sound selector based in Sydney. Merph’s taste and selections span across many genres, fuelled by her love for research and exploration.

Check the records she played here.

Simon Caldwell

Simon Caldwell is one of a handful of DJ’s whose name adds a certain integrity to an event. Playing since the early 1990’s, he keeps himself free to draw on his varied musical loves, from deep house to hip hop, or whatever else catches his ear.

Check the records he played here.

Garth Linton & Rabbit Taxi

Garth has been spinning records around Sydney for nearly 20yrs, drawing heavy influences from the late 80’s/early 90’s House Music scene in Chicago, New York & Italy. Anything soul & synth driven, you can be pretty sure it’s in his record bag.

Rabbit Taxi is both driver and passenger, navigating a smooth, hazy cruise deep into the vast universe of communal musical experience.

Record Sellers who were with us:

Damien Van Der Meer

Diggin In The Tapes

Downtown Brown

Gian Arpino

Georgie Zuzack

Jules Normington

Kato 

Listen Up Records

My Vinyl Revolution

The Vinyl Junkie

Tim Morriss

William Lemnell















Photo by Ravyna

Thank you all for stopping by and a big thanks to EMC and Pioneer DJ for their support throughout the event as well! Just in case you missed the event, check some of our sellers’ digital crates above and our upcoming events here.

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Jeffrey Lee Puckett Jeff Lynne’s From Out Of Nowhere

With a successful recent arena tour and now a new album, the Electric Light Orchestra is back in the public consciousness in a way that transcends nostalgia, although that certainly plays a role. Anyone who grew up listening to Out Of The Blue is clearly psyched to once again be living in Jeff Lynne’s world. 

From Out of Nowhere is officially credited to Jeff Lynne’s ELO, which is as redundant as it gets. For the vast majority of the band’s existence, it has belonged to Lynne; he has been the primary architect of ELO’s sound and the driving force behind its multi-platinum legacy.

With From Out of Nowhere, he and longtime member Richard Tandy have delivered textbook ELO, equal parts 1960s English pop and 1950s American rock, all of it wrapped in a lush blanket of strings and keys. It immediately reached the Top 20 in nearly a dozen countries, including the No. 1 spot in the United Kingdom.

Given Lynne’s contributions to modern pop, it’s nice that he’s enjoying another good run. He’s earned it. 

Lynne has spent nearly 60 years turning his musical obsessions into wildly popular music of his own making, along the way experiencing the kind of wish fulfillment that only a lucky few achieve.

As a child, he looked to Roy Orbison and The Beatles for inspiration, finding a kindred spirit via Orbison’s devastating odes to loneliness while reveling in the Beatles’ extraordinary abilities to craft both concise miracles of pop and epic production pieces.

As an adult, he actually worked with a reasonable facsimile of The Beatles, doing the bulk of the production work on two singles after the death of John Lennon. He was a member and producer of the Traveling Wilburys, co-starring George Harrison, and Orbison. He produced a Paul McCartney album. And a Harrison album. And one by Orbison.

In other words, he has quite literally lived his dreams. 

Lynne honed his childhood influences into a singular sound that turned the Electric Light Orchestra into a force that dominated radios worldwide throughout the 1970s and ‘80s.

That success led to Lynne joining the Traveling Wilburys, and to his duties as chief producer of Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever and Into the Great Wide Open, by Petty and the Heartbreakers. He collaborated with McCartney, Harrison and Ringo Starr as the co-producer of Free As A Bird and Real Love, the final official Beatles singles released as part of the series of Anthology compilations.

Lynne, this pop savant in sunglasses, has been a constant in our cultural universe, to such a degree that it’s all too easy to forget the pervasive cult of his influence. There’s a Jeff Lynne sound, best experienced via ELO records loved by millions, but it also runs through music made by the most iconic of artists. That’s the definition of a life well-lived.

In Partnership With Columbia Records

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