Our next three Essentials Records of the Month — which you’ll receive if you sign up for VMP Essentials in October, November and December 2022 — feature three groundbreaking albums that marked a change in sound for each of the artists. Read more about them below.
October: Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska
The road to Nebraska, our October Essentials Record of the Month, began when Bruce Springsteen originally recorded the songs’ demos on a 4-track with the plans of re-recording the music with his classic E Street Band. Springsteen ultimately released the album as is, defining a new genre of bedroom acoustic music and lo-fi sounds. This 40th-anniversary edition reissue of the foundational album is pressed on 180g Black Smoke vinyl, with lacquers cut at half-speed from the plangent processed masters by Barry Grint at GZ Vinyl and Listening Notes written by Peter Ames Carlin and an art print by Justin A. McHugh.
“Bruce Springsteen is the very definition of Essential artist: Few people have had as big of an impact on modern music in the last 40-45 years,” said VMP Director of Music Andrew Winistorfer. “Nebraska is Bruce at his most uncut, raw emotions spilling out via these windswept, barren songs, with as much open space as the cover art. We’re honored to be featuring this 40th-anniversary edition as our Essentials Record of the Month; Nebraska is a record that belongs in every record collection.”
Sign up now to receive Nebraska.
November: Beastie Boys’ Check Your Head
In November, VMP members will receive the 30th-anniversary edition of the Beastie Boys’ genre-bending album, Check Your Head. The album is a fusion of the members’ funky, original instrumentation — with Ad-Rock on guitar, MCA on bass, Mike D on drums and additional contributions from Money Mark on the keyboard — and their honed in raps. The album is pressed on exclusive 2LP Burgundy/Dark Red vinyl with AAA lacquers cut from the original master tapes by Ryan Smith. This anniversary edition record includes a Listening Notes booklet written by DJ, artist and producer Mark Ronson along with a show poster.
“The thing that is most mind-blowing about our edition of Check Your Head is that we’ve remastered it AAA all analog, as the Beastie Boys were one of a decreasing number of rap artists recording direct to tape in 1992,” Winistorfer said. “Our edition sounds as good as the best of our Classics pressings, the best of our Anthologies; I kept playing ‘So What’cha Want’ on my turntable and laughing at how good it sounds. Our 30th-anniversary edition will go down as one of the best VMP Essentials releases we’ve ever done.”
Check Your Head will be available for sign-ups starting October 20.
December: Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde
Our December Essentials Record of the Month will feature Bob Dylan’s highly regarded Blonde on Blonde, the last of three albums Dylan recorded between 1965 and 1966. The album is pressed on 2LP “Blonde on Blonde” colored vinyl from AAA lacquers cut from the original mono master tapes by Ryan Smith at GZ Vinyl. The record comes with a Listening Notes booklet written by Michael Simmons and an art print by Elio Moavero.
“What can I saw about Blonde on Blonde that hasn’t been said by about 10,000 people more eloquent than I am,” Winistorfer said, laughing. “It’s, for my money, Bob at his best, when his free-form poetry most potently connected with his rock and roll fever dreams. The myths about this album are big enough to fill multiple books — and have! — and getting to feature this one, in wild-sounding mono no less, is a big moment for us this year. What a way to finish 2022.”
Blonde on Blonde will be available for sign-ups starting November 17.
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