Vinyl Update: rock essentials and modern soul

Vinyl updates are brief recaps on my latest and newest record store buys. This edition includes Fleetwood Mac’s seminal 1977 rock record Rumours, multiple soul releases from Daptone Records and more.

Charles Bradley – Changes

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My most recent record store stop included copping the final album by the late Charles Bradley. The last release by the so called “Screaming Eagle of Soul” lives up to its creator’s nickname in every which way. Everything Bradley has to say on this record he sings with pure and raw emotion. It’s easy to see why his live performances were considered among the best around. The front half of this album is a perfect run of rockin’ soul (“Good to Be Back Home”) and beautifully performed ballads (“Nobody but You”). Of course, the title track is a big highlight. If you haven’t heard Charles Bradley, start with “Changes.” You’ll be in for a treat.

Eagles – “Peaceful Easy Feeling”/”Trying” 7-inch

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Until recently, I didn’t have one 7-inch single in my record collection. That changed last weekend when I got a copy of the Eagles’ debut single from 1972, “Peaceful Easy Feeling.” This will always be one of my favorite Eagles’ songs, mainly for the harmonies, which in my opinion are what made them so great. Considering most 7-inchers like this one are under two bucks, count on some more singles being included in future vinyl updates.

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

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This album doesn’t need much of an introduction at this point. It’s one of so many records you just need to have in your collection. The combination of Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, all at the top of their game, combined with the romantic turmoil that went on during the making of this album, is pure magic. Over 40 years later, Rumours is still an infectious piece of ‘70s pop-rock that refuses to get old. Few songs from that era are as timeless as “Dreams” or “Go Your Own Way.”

John Denver – Poems, Prayers & Promises

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When it comes to buying old albums on vinyl, I usually stick to buying remastered versions. As much as I love vintage stuff, good sound quality usually takes precedence over antique sentiment. This John Denver album is one of the exceptions. I found a beat up copy of Poems, Prayers & Promises for $8 and when I realized “Take Me Home, Country Roads” was on this album, I went straight to the register. That song is as American as baseball and apple pie. I bought the album for the one track, but the rest of it is filled some pretty great country-inspired songwriter tracks too.

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – Soul of A Woman

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Given how high it ended up on my end of year list, I had no reservations about buying this last Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings record so soon after it came out. It’s hard not to enjoy great soul music. Everybody can get down with passionate love songs and solid grooves. This album has that in abundance. I can’t help but smile (and dance) when I listen to to it, especially knowing that Sharon and her band went out with a bang.

 

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