Radiohead: lavish 20th anniversary reissue of "OK Computer"

It's been 20 years since Radiohead released their masterpiece OK Computer and they've just announced a lavish new remastered* edition with three unreleased tracks, eight b-sides, assorted bonus tracks, and, in the boxed edition, a hardcover book. The band aims to please with the deluxe box set by including vinyl, a cassette, and digital downloads in various formats.

Inside a black box emblazoned with a dark image of a burned copy of OK COMPUTER are three heavyweight 180 gram black 12" vinyl records and a hardcover book containing more than 30 artworks, many of which have never been seen before except by us, and full lyrics to all the tracks except the ones that haven't really got any lyrics.

Under this weighty tome are yet more surprises: a notebook containing 104 pages from Thom Yorke's library of scrawled notes of the time, a sketchbook containing 48 pages of Donwood and Tchock's 'preparatory work' and a C90 cassette mix tape compiled by us, taken from OK COMPUTER session archives and demo tapes.

* But why? The original analogue tapes are the highest definition version of the record, and nothing will ever beat them. However in the 20 years since the original release mastering technology has improved a lot, and with new equipment and techniques we can make a digital version that's an improvement of the original transfer.

Radiohead OK Computer 1997 2017

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Vinyl reissue of David Bowie and Trevor Jones's Labyrinth soundtrack

David Bowie and Trevor Jones's soundtrack to Jim Henson's fantastical film Labyrinth, starring Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King, will be reissued on vinyl next month for the first time since its release in 1986. (These days an original pressing goes for around $75-$100.) To complement Trevor Jones's synthesizer/orchestra score, Bowie wrote five original songs for Labyrinth, including Underground, As The World Falls Down, and the classic Magic Dance.

With Magic Dance, "the song for Jareth and the baby, sung by them and the goblins in the castle throne room - I had problems,” Bowie said at the time. “The baby I used in the recording studios couldn’t, or wouldn’t, put more than two gurgles together, so I ended up doing the baby-gurgle chorus myself! It’s an up-tempo song, and visually exciting.”

Labyrinth LP (Amazon)

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Your cremated loved one's ashes can be pressed into a vinyl record

That's not dust on the stylus, that's Uncle Fred!

Andvinyly presses cremated remains into a vinyl record.

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Devo "Energy Dome" 45 rpm adapter

The good people at Oakland's excellent Contact Records record shop are selling these delightful Devo "Energy Dome" adapters to play your New Wave 45s in style. Locally 3D-printed by Jeremy Solterbeck, they're just a few bucks each and big fun for vinyl geeks.

ENERGY DOME 45 ADAPTERS IN OUR SHOP NOW!!! #devo #whipit #contactrecords #vinyligclub #energydome #45adapters #goldenenergy

A video posted by Contact Record Shop (@contact_records) on Nov 16, 2016 at 1:19pm PST

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Dig these fantastically eclectic online DJ mixes by Zach Cowie

Zach Cowie is a cratedigger of the highest order. Following gigs at Rhino and Sub Pop, Zach turned his insatiable record collecting into a job: He's a music supervisor for TV and movies with credits like Master of None and The Little Hours and curated musical selections for the fashion label Rodarte. As a DJ, Zach (aka Turquoise Wisdom) frequently makes the scene in LA and elsewhere, sometimes spinning with pals like Elijah Wood and Andy Cabic (Vetiver). It seems that his destined role in life is to turn us on to the best music we've never heard of. And he's got a Voyager Golden Record tattoo, so that makes me like him even more. Here's an interview with him from Dust & Grooves.

Zach is now recording a monthly set for NTS called "Play It As It Lathes" that mixes ambient, psych, spiritual jazz, prog, cosmic country, dream pop, folk, and every other far-out genre you can imagine into stunning two-hour sets.

"It's the best place to hear what i’ve been listening to at home lately," Zach says.

Turn on and tune in below.

(Thanks, Jess Rotter!)

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Killer Morricone noir-jazz/avant-garde soundtrack reissued on vinyl

Directed by Michele Lupo, "Un Uomo Da Rispettare" (A Man to Respect) is a 1972 Italian/German crime flick starring Kirk Douglas and Florinda Bolkan. Released as The Master Touch in some countries, this story of a safe cracker and a circus gymnast is considered to be a mediocre movie at best. However, the soundtrack by legendary composer Ennio Morricone is absolutely fantastic. This isn't a typical Morricone spaghetti western score but rather veers into the avant-garde, noir-jazz soundtrack vein. But even during the music's most abstract moments, it still maintains the cinematic groove of which Morricone is the master. I'm delighted that our friends at the Superior Viaduct record label are reissuing Un Uomo Da Rispettare on vinyl for just $20! The first 500 copies are on translucent green wax and only available directly from the label.

Check out a track below and, if you're so inclined, watch the actual film.

Da Rispettare OST LP (Superior Viaduct)

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Space age stereo systems from last century

Over at the Vinyl Factory, Anton Spice shares a wonderful collection of 1960s and 1970s stereo systems designed for Space Age bachelor pads. Above, the classic Electrohome Apollo 711 (1970); below are a few more of my favorites. See more at: "The 15 most incredible Space Age record players" (VF)

Mega 3300 (1963):

Rosita Stereo Commander (1975):

Panasonic Audio Egg (1974):

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Vinyl Divas: vintage opera diva album art is weird and wonderful

Vinyl Divas is a comprehensive collection of vintage classical music divas, and it ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous to the sublimely ridiculous. Includes lists by artist name, collection based on themes, and even vanity albums by self-published divas. The fashion, the makeup, the styles, the taste both good and bad... prepare to go down a rabbit hole of 20th century nostalgia. Read the rest

Vintage snapshots of people with their record albums

Esteemed vernacular photography collector Robert Jackson shares his favorite snapshots of people with their record albums. According to Mashable, "These faded prints and Polaroids recall a time when a new record was a physical work of art to be admired and cherished." I got news for you: That time is still now.

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Britain's new plastic money so hi-tech it can play vinyl records

In this video, a man plays Abba's 1976 classic Money Money Money using one of the new £5 notes issued in the UK. They're made of plastic.

The new polymer five pound notes have a rather curious ability of being just about able to play vinyl records (with the aid of a contact microphone and small amplifier not shown on screen). As the corners on these new banknotes are more durable and sharper than its paper counterpart it acts like a very crude record needle.

Like a lady barbarian's armor in a computer game, the new fiver doesn't crumple easily or get wet or tear, but still folds, and has a see-through window. "I do quite like them," says a Briton on the street.

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How an L.A. printer kept the art of the album cover alive

For half a century Los Angeles's Stoughton Printing Company has been considered one of the highest-quality printers of vinyl record packaging in the world, manufacturing album art for the likes of The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Jack White, Blue Note, and countless other artists and labels who value exquisite quality. Indeed, that's where my partners and I intend to produce the lavish packaging for our “Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition” vinyl box set! Our pal Ben Marks writes about the artisans at Stoughton for Collectors Weekly:

If there’s a secret sauce to Stoughton, one of the ingredients is certainly its people, many of whom have been with the company for a long time, which means the institutional memory at Stoughton runs deep. “Some of our employees have been with us for decades,” Jack (Stoughton) Jr. says. “They’ve seen it all.” Just as important is the fact that for every Led Zeppelin or Jack White, there have been countless other musicians of lesser acclaim who have turned to Stoughton to print their album art and design the packaging encasing their vinyl.

“When we started out,” Jack Jr. says, “we appealed to independent labels and artists. That was our niche. We had one customer, way back when, who sold his car to help pay for his record pressing. We had printed his jackets, so he came out here on the bus from Hollywood to City of Industry, which was about 25 miles eastbound. He probably made five or six bus transfers to get here.

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Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard shows how they make clear vinyl albums

This delightful tour of how the United Record Pressing plant in Nashville makes clear vinyl albums is narrated by Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes. Read the rest

Clean old records with wood glue

Ghettofunk13 demonstrates the old vinyl-lover's trick of deep-cleaning your wax pancakes by spreading the grooves with Titebond II wood glue, waiting for it to dry, and then peeling off the glue-skin and taking all the gunk with it (presumably there is some way of actually playing the music from the intact glue-skin, given sufficiently advanced apparatus). Read the rest

Meet one of the last jukebox repairmen

Perry Rosen turned his passion for jukeboxes into a career. This man knows from motors, vacuum tubes, and turntables. If I had a jukebox, I'd ask Rosen if he could mod it to play with a punch to the chassis, Fonz style. Read the rest

Premiere: Trippy cinematic surf music reissues from 1960s-70s Australia

In 1971, Australian filmmaker Paul Witzig released his fourth surf movie Sea of Joy, celebrating the rise of the short boards. To score the film, Witzig enlisted Sydney band Tully, best known at the time as the backing band for the Australian production of the psychedelic musical Hair. Now, the good people at Anthology Recordings have reissued Tully's "Sea of Joy" soundtrack on vinyl. Here's what they say about the release:

Like many surfers and non-surfers alike, Witzig had been mesmerised by Tully's concert performances. By the time he finished filming his latest surfing epic, Evolution, the sound of Tully had changed though. Gone was the organ-dominated sound (the group was reputedly the first Australian band to use the Moog synthesiser), replaced by more gentle melodies, many with spiritual significance.

Recorded at EMI's Sydney studios, Tully's soundtrack material was subsequently edited for the album release into cohesive musical interludes. As such, they are held together in the album sequence by a magnetic musical flow that starts with “Sea Of Joy (Part 1)” (above) and ends with “Sea Of Joy (Part 2).” Vinyl edition features booklet liner notes by Aussie surf historian Stephen McParland and other-wordly ephemera.

Along with Tully's "Sea of Joy," Anthology Recordings have also reissued Tamam Shud's glorious soundtrack to Witzig's prior surf film, "Evolution."

Pitted. So pitted.

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Dig this portable record player from 1966

I really dig the design of this 1966 portable record player! If I had one, I'd play Manfred Mann's "Pretty Flamingo" on it too.

"You can treat it just like a transistor radio and the sound is free of distortion however you carry it!"

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The coolest portable record players in the world

Fumihito Taguchi's fantastic collection of vintage portable record players, including the wonderful specimens seen here, will be on display at Tokyo's Lifestyle Design Center from July 30 to August 28. See more at this Fashion Press post and in Taguchi's book "Japanese Portable Record Player Catalog," available in the US from my favorite vinyl soulslingers Dusty Groove. (via #vinyloftheday)

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