Saturday, 16 December 2017

The Finest Vinyl of 2017

Since it has become extremely quiet on this blog lately, you could get the impression that i stopped buying or collecting vinyl records. Well, the contrary. If i count the additions to my collection over the past year, i could've actually posted a daily update for a new (or secondhand) purchase, or some nice older gem from my collection. The sparse blog updates are caused by a big lack of time, and the fact that platforms like Instagram, Twitter or Facebook are simply easier to maintain.

Anyway, it's that time of the year again... time for the 6th edition of The Finest Vinyl, a tradition since 2012.

These are the 17 best new vinyl albums of 2017 according to yours truly:

01. Slowdive - Slowdive [Dead Oceans]
Definitely the best comeback album that's ever been made. Their first after Pygmalion, 22 years ago.
02. Deafcult - Auras [Hobbledehoy Records]
Pure coincidence, but just like last year, an Australian shoegaze band at #2 in this list. Awesome album.
03. LCD Soundsystem - American Dream [DFA]
Best album that James Murphy ever made. Scary Monsters-like guitars all over the place. Love it.
04. Ride - Weather Diaries [Wichita]
Just like Slowdive, it's been 20+ years since the band's last album Tarantula. Weather Diaries is an amazing return to form.
05. Jane Weaver - Modern Kosmology [Fire Records]
Great album. Indie-electronic-motorik-psychedelic stuff from an artist i didn't expect this of.
06. Moon Duo - Occult Architecture Vol.1 [Sacred Bones Records]
The first and the best of the two they released this year. Really a top notch album.
07. Mogwai - Every Country's Sun [Rock Action]
It was a bit of a grower, but it's once again a great Mogwai album. They never disappoint.
08. Secret Shine - There Is Only Now [Saint Marie Records]
They made two albums earlier in the past decade, yet this is definitely the best they released since their debut Untouched in 1993.
09. The Jesus And Mary Chain - Damage And Joy [Artificial Plastic Records]
Just like Ride and Slowdive, JAMC made a superb comeback (first album since Munki in '98).
10. Ulrika Spacek - Modern English Decoration [Tough Love Records]
Their second album, and what a trip it is!
11. Dead Horse One - Season Of Mist [Requiem Pour Un Twister]
Absolutely great second LP from these French psychedelic shoegazers.
12. Black Angels - Death Song [Partisan Records]
A bit poppier than we're used from them, yet still a very solid album.
13. Monster Movie - Keep The Voices Distant [Graveface Records]
Absolutely brilliant new album, and actually their best yet.
14. Brian Jonestown Massacre - Don't Get Lost [A Records]
Quality stuff as always from the very productive mister Newcombe.
15. The Stargazer Lilies - Lost [Graveface Records]
A collection of songs they never released plus some new ones. Dreamy as ever.
16. Moon Duo - Occult Architecture Vol.2 [Sacred Bones Records]
Volume 1's more mellow companion.
17. Thurston Moore - Rock 'n Roll Consciousness [Caroline]
Signature guitar playing, lengthy songs, simply a great album.

No War On Drugs, The National or Queens Of The Stone Age in my list, as you can see. Boring, boring and mediocre, respectively. One that just didn't make it was the Charlatans - Different Days. That annoying song 'The Same House' ruined it. Also Wire - Silver/Lead almost made it. Furthermore i really like Charlotte Gainsbourg - Rest that just came out, but i'm still waiting for my vinyl copy, and i'm only putting albums in my list that i actually own. So: alas. And Fever Ray - Plunge is only out digitally so far, so that wouldn't count either. Probably it'll be in my 2018 list.

2017 can be descibed as the Year of the Comeback Album. Slowdive, Ride and The Jesus And Mary Chain all hadn't released an album in over (or around) two decades.
Not just Moon Duo is appearing twice in the list. Also Christian Savill is: besides playing guitar in Slowdive, he's a founding member of Monster Movie. And Slowdive's Nick Chaplin plays bass on Keep The Voices Distant.

Of course there were also some really good reissues and compilations released in 2017. These were the best ones:

01. David Bowie - A New Career In A New Town [1977-1982] [Parlophone]
This volume in the boxset series is covering what i personally think is Bowie's best period.
02. Swervedriver - Mezcal Head [Music On Vinyl]
Been looking for an orginal pressing for ages. Impossible mission. Now very happy with this reissue.
03. Lilys - In The Presence Of Nothing [Frontier Records]
Finally this 1992 shoegaze cult classic was reissued again, for the first time since 1998!
04. Catherine Wheel - Chrome [Music On Vinyl]
Another rare one that was still on my wishlist. Now finally well available.
05. The Black Ryder - Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride [Fuzz Club]
Such a great album from 2009. Excellent reissue.
06. Catherine Wheel - Ferment [Music On Vinyl]
Of course i already owned an original pressing, but this coloured version on 180 gram is gorgeous (and sounding better).
07. Fujiya & Miyagi - Transparent Things [Impossible Objects Of Desire]
Their debut album, for the first time ever released on vinyl. That was about time!
08. Soundtrack - Singles [Epic]
Essential grunge compilation / soundtrack.
09. Can - The Singles [Spoon Records]
Really nice 3LP set with all the essential Can songs.
10. New Order presents Be Music [Factory Benelux]
Compilation featuring a.o. Section 25, A Certain Ratio and Fujiya & Miyagi. Produced and/or mixed by New Order members.

2018 is around the corner and i look forward to what it will bring, musicwise. There will finally be some My Bloody Valentine reissues (long due!) and likely even a brand new album, and of course i look forward to a new boxset in the David Bowie series. Covering not his best, but certainly nevertheless an interesting period (Let's Dance, Tonight etc.)

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