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  • Writer's pictureROCK IS DEAD

Vinyl Gift Guide: Top Albums to Get Your Vinyl Lovin' Friends This Year

With global lockdown measures hurting mom and pop shops all over the world, now more than ever we need to be supporting small and local businesses in our communities. With the holiday season among us, now is a great time to research local record stores in your area to see what online or curb side pickup options they have. This year, I'll be hunting for my vinyl favourites at Kops Records on Queen, Sonic Boom and at Cosmos in Toronto.

Together let's all make an effort to stay at home, avoid gatherings and dive back into our favourite music with the release of these great classics on vinyl.

1) Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (2LP)

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, this 1980 classic soundtrack was released in October as a gatefold double album pressed on 180g black vinyl. While the original release sold out quickly, restocks are expected to arrive just in time for Darth Vader to place it under your Christmas tree.

Star Wars Online

2) Fiona Apple Fetch The Bolt Cutters (LP)

Hailed as one of the best albums of 2020, Fiona Apple's fifth studio album is a must for any vinyl collector. The album received a perfect score from Pitchfork (which hasn't happened since 2010) and received three Grammy Award nominations. Fiona Apple Online

3) Chris Cornell No One Sings Like You Any More (LP Pre-order)

In a surprise announcement last Friday the Chris Cornell estate released No One Sings Like You Anymore, a 10 song collection of hand picked covers by Cornell himself. Before Cornell's untimely death in 2017, the Soundgarden frontman recorded songs from artists such as John Lennon, Janis Joplin and Carl Hall, which will all be featured on this new LP. While vinyl editions won't be available until March, pre-ordering this album for the Chris Cornell fan in your family will surely put you on the nice list this holiday season. Pre-order here.

4) Bob Marley and The Wailers Legend (Half-Speed Master LP)

This iconic 1984 Bob Marley compilation album received a special Abbey Road Studios release this past fall when the album was treated to some half speed mastering. In recent years, Abbey Road Studios has become known for their half speed mastering technique which allows listeners to hear their favourite albums at an ultra high frequency sound, similar to the original master recording. The perfect gift for any vinyl geek in your family!

Bob Marley Online

5) Paul McCartney McCartney III (LP)

When The Beatles announced their breakup in 1970, John, Paul, George and Ringo each embarked on successful solo careers that would last decades. That same year McCartney began releasing a series of albums that would be entirely written by himself, beginning with McCartney in 1970 followed by McCartney II in 1980. Finally in 2020 the trifecta will be completed with McCartney III out December 18th. Exclusive vinyl copies sold out in minutes, but standard 180g vinyl can still be picked up from local record stores. Paul McCartney Online

6) Guns N' Roses Greatest Hits (2LP)

Pressed for the first time on vinyl, this compilation album from 2004 features all the band's biggest and best hits including; "Welcome To The Jungle," "Paradise City," and the newly added single "Shadow Of Your Love." The vinyl edition also features updated cover art and is an absolute must for any GN'R fan this year. Guns N' Roses Online

7) Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (4LP)

You don't have to know Broadway to know how massive Hamilton has become in the past five years. It's the story of America then, told by America now using rap, jazz and R&B to tell the stories of America's Founding Fathers. After a filmed version of the Broadway show hit Disney+ this summer, the soundtrack launched back into the Billboard charts peaking at No. 2 ( the highest chart placement for a cast album since Hair in 1969). The 4LP boxset has all 46 tracks plus a 12"x12" lyric booklet. Hamilton Online

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