We’ve teamed up with the lovely people at HMV Belfast to run a fabulous competition for music lovers – the opportunity to win a turntable and a record of your choice from HMV’s Top 10 Vinyl Picks! You can find the competion on our Facebook. Also remember to check out HMV’s website for all the best vinyl deals and be sure to follow HMV on their social media outlets for all the latest news and releases: Facebook & Twitter!
To celebrate we’ve asked our members to tell us about their favourite vinyls. Here’s what they have to say:
London Calling by the Clash – it was the first vinyl my parents ever played to me as a very young kid, probably one of the best double LPs in existence!
I have Bastille’s first two albums framed in my room, but Bad Blood is really special to me because it’s signed! It’s amazing to hear how their sound has changed through the years.
The Joshua Tree by U2. It was the first real older album I loved, and I have been obsessed with it since hearing it on vinyl a few years back. I’ve always thought it sounds really otherworldly or something.
Live Through This – Hole. Where my love for Courtney Love began and will live eternally. One of my favourite albums of all time. It will forever simultaneously want to make me smash everything I own, drop my degree and start the fiercest all girl punk rock band to ever have lived.
The Smiths – The Queen is Dead. Not many albums can open with a rendition of a 1916 music hall song and close with a grievance over the size of some girls yet still feel so cohesive. One of the greats!
To Pimp A Butterfly! Kendrick Lamar is one of the best MCs of his generation – with this album he combines rap, jazz, politics and the struggles of growing up in a place like Compton, in a way that only Kendrick could. It’s strongly acclaimed as one of the best rap albums since the turn of the century and pushes a far stronger message than any other contemporary.
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours. Having three songwriters makes it a really lyrically strong and interesting album, especially when most tracks are penned about another member of the band! Also, who can resist belting Go Your Own Way?
Not gonna lie, Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die will probably always be one of my first choices. Her whole sound and vibe is a kind of throwback to the era when record players were around anyway and there’s just a certain something added to it when it’s being run over by a needle. She’s never really topped her first album for me – it’s on that one where she walks a line of naivety and disillusionment that’s so captivating. It’s a masterclass in lyrical storytelling. And no, Summertime Sadness is not my favourite! (It’s probably Diet Mountain Dew).
For my Mum’s birthday, we bought her a turntable and dragged down her dusty box of old vinyl’s from the attic to bring her back down memory lane. Not only did it bring so much joy and nostalgia to her, it re-introduced me to all the classics that I had heard of but never truly appreciated; Bowie’s “Changes”, Barbara Streisands’ “Guilty”, Nina Simone, Simon and Garfunkel and The Police. My mum is also a real Blues, Jazz and Soul fan, and got me hooked on playing Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald at the minute. My all time favourite vinyl? Frank/Back to Black/Lioness Amy Winehouse Collection, who was of course influenced by all the aforementioned greats before her. Figures!
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen is possibly one of the best albums ever, classic rock n roll feel to it, with a real sense of wanting to break out of a small town.
Lee Cantona O’Broin
When I first started discovering my own music and collecting vinyl, my mum promised me she’d hunt out her old record collection. One night while I was spamming the same 4 vinyls over and over, my mum saunters in and drops a load of vinyls on my floor. Passed down to me through my mum, hidden deep in her record collection was a laughable monstrosity… The fact that Bruce Willis has had his own music pressed into vinyl and released should give any budding musician (or human for that matter) hope of being able to achieve the same. Such a strange vinyl to own but I’m yet to find anyone else who has even seen it for sale so unfortunately It has to be placed as my favourite regardless of what music I enjoy personally!
My go to vinyl is Joni Mitchell’s Blue for when I want to feel all the emotions. Her sweet singing and simple storytelling are so comforting, and the nostalgic images of California are complemented by that familiar fuzzy sound inbetween tracks. A true record!
Placebo – Covers. Only for one reason and that’s because it’s (I think) the only physical release of one of their old demo tracks/Bsides ‘Flesh Mechanic’, which is legitimately my most favourite song of all time – it will probably be played on loop at my funeral. Seriously though, its the first Placebo song that I learnt to play on bass as well as sing, and the lyrics strike such a chord with me that nothing else has to this day!
My favourite vinyl has to be Led Zeppelin’s debut self titled record. It goes without saying that Led Zep are hands down one of the greatest bands in history, and that was clear from the beginning of this band’s career. If the first song on your first record is as perfect as Good Times Bad Times is, then other bands don’t really stand a chance do they? And then, when it moves seamlessly into Babe I’m Gonna Leave You… Seriously, it’s time for everybody else to go home. This record is a reminder of times when albums were an experience and they were meant to be listened to from start to finish to be truly appreciated. Zeppelin mastered this on every record they released, so much so that The Zeppathon is a thing – listening to their entire discography from start to finish in one sitting – everyone should try it!
And finally, a special honorary mention to another game changing album and my close second favourite… NWA’s Straight Outta Compton. This record has some of the greatest hip hop songs ever recorded – Straight Outta Compton, *** The Police and Gangsta Gangsta to name just a few – and both as a group and individual artists, these guys have influenced most of today’s best hip hop and rap artists around, including Kendrick Lamar.