Our next three Essentials Records of the Month — which you’ll receive if you sign up for VMP Essentials in July, August and September 2022 — feature an indie classic, a ’70s Irish rock breakout and the unforgettable debut album from a New York band. Read more about them below.
July: Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
Coming this summer, VMP’s July Essentials Record of the Month will feature an indie rock classic recorded during one week in the winter of 2004. The album, Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning, became a definitive masterpiece in the band’s catalog. We worked closely with the band to bring VMP members a highly personal and intimate experience with the album.
In the Listening Notes booklet, the album’s guitarist, Jesse Harris, shared, “Conor was just writing a lot of songs and living his life, and this album is a snapshot of that moment. And it’s funny because Wide Awake became a very defining album for Bright Eyes. I think it’s a lot of people’s favorite Bright Eyes album. I remember when it was done and I heard it for the first time, I just loved it so much, and I was so so happy and proud to have been a part of it, and I still am.”
The 180g 1LP record is pressed on exclusive Red Marble vinyl with lacquers cut by Cicely Balston at Alchemy Mastering at AIR. I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning includes Listening Notes featuring an incomplete oral history from Bright Eyes’ band members and collaborators, along with an art print by photographer Butch Hogan.
Sign up now to receive I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning.
August: Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak
In August, VMP Essentials members will receive Thin Lizzy’s sixth studio album, Jailbreak. Released in 1976, the album catapulted the Irish band into the U.S. market as an overseas success. With iconic songs like the eponymous single “Jailbreak,” “The Boys are Back in Town” and others, the album continues to be loved today. The VMP edition of Jailbreak is pressed on 180g “Overmaster Orange” colored vinyl with lacquers cut by Cohearent Audio’s Kevin Gray. The album includes a Listening Notes booklet written by Steven Hyden and art print by Jim Fitzpatrick.
“Jailbreak is a testament to perseverance and delivering your best work with your last chance,” said VMP Classics & Country Director Andrew Winistorfer. “Thin Lizzy were given a ‘final chance’ by their label when their explosive first two albums didn’t get the audience they deserved. The band convened for sessions in 1975 and 1976 and delivered one of the best classic rock albums of all time, and secretly one of the most influential metal albums of all time. In its winding, two-guitar attack, bands from Metallica onward saw a new way to bring the power, and in its songcraft Thin Lizzy became immortal. There’s not a single song here without a beautiful bon mot from singer Phil Lynott, and its best song, “The Boys are Back in Town,” might as well be a short story. Essential from its songs to its artwork, this is one of the most, well, essential Essentials Records of the Month we’ve ever done.”
Jailbreak will be available for sign-ups starting July 21.
September: Interpol’s Turn On The Bright Lights
This September, our Essentials Record of the Month will feature the breakout studio debut by Interpol. Turn On The Bright Lights is an era and genre-defining album that would come to inform a number of works by contemporary rock artists. Pressed on 2LPs for the very first time, Turn On The Bright Lights comes on exclusive Red vinyl with lacquers cut by Barry Grint of Alchemy Mastering at AIR. The album arrives with Listening Notes written by Danielle Chelosky and an art print by Nicholas Law.
Winistorfer said of the record, “Interpol came out of the fertile grounds of New York rock in the early 2000s, but where their contemporaries had a shaggy, street-gang vibe or a kitchen sink approach to songwriting, Interpol seemed like the coolest band who played the coolest parties. They dressed better, and their songs sounded like wearing sunglasses on a nighttime car-ride in an endless metropolis, a place where they had 200 couches where you could sleep tight. Their debut, turning 20 this year, is as flawless, considered, influential and distinguished as it was back then, and we’re honored to present here for the first time expanded to 2LP.”
Turn On The Bright Lights will be available for sign-ups starting August 18.