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Explore the Stories Behind Our 10 VMP 100 Represses

On April 12, 2021

After 100 exceptional months of Essentials records, and a variety of other remarkable records from VMP’s growing other Tracks, it wasn’t easy to narrow down our celebratory VMP 100 repress to just 10 records. These, however, are our most desired and coveted albums. They are the pressings that have been buzzed about, argued over, resold for the prettiest pennies possible on Discogs and requested by you all — time and time again.

So what’s all the hype about? Well, aside from simply being unbelievable records, they all have rich and unique stories to tell — stories that resonate so deeply within listeners that they’d go out of their way to experience them.

If you’re interested in getting lost in, or revisiting, what makes these records so special and worthy of the VMP treatment to begin with, browse a revival of our editorial below and get lost in the unique narratives of these 10 remarkable records.

Got questions on how to score these records, if our represses differ from the original pressings, when they ship or what to do if the record you want is sold out? Visit our VMP 100 FAQ.

Gorillaz: Demon Days

Essentials, Vol. No. 52 — April 2017

“Today, the tormented, large-scale questions of Demon Days are more relevant than ever — a statement that will be true whether you are reading this essay in the year it was written, 2017, or much further down the line. The sense of dread that the world is ending has endured pretty reliably for thousands of years, as has the sense that maybe art can offer a reprieve, and neither seems to be in any danger of receding. We’re stuck with the doom and gloom, but we also have an artistic promise: that maybe those two impulses can be reconciled through the fusion of a monologue from Dennis Hopper, a children’s choir and the rapped missives of Bootie Brown of the Pharcyde.”

Kyle Kramer, 2017

Read more here.

Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Essentials, Vol. No. 78 — June 2019

“I don’t think Wolfgang is better than the other [albums], I just think that sometimes there’s this thing in popular culture where it’s the right timing. Somehow the planets were all aligned. It felt like we were making something that people needed. Not something people wanted.”

— Phoenix’s Thomas Mars, 2019

Read more here.

OutKast: Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik

Hip-Hop, Vol. No. 22 — June 2019

“We might be some of the greatest storytellers ever when it comes to music, and you want to paint a picture and evoke certain emotions. You talk about situations you’re goin’ through, things that you see that affect you, and it’s a testament to how you live. I like to say that every album is a diary, and it gives the listener insight into what you were doin’ in between records, you know what I mean? You just write it down and you put it down on wax. … There’s a certain honesty in the music that people can relate to, you know what I mean? We were teenagers, rambunctious on Southernplayalistic.”

— Big Boi, 2019

Read more here.

Queens of the Stone Age: Songs for the Deaf

Essentials, Vol. No. 83 — November 2019

Songs for the Deaf feels like the last important rock record. It’s a record that shows how much doesn’t change even when everything changes, though it’s the last record of its kind. It wasn’t the end for Queens — this is what made them one of the biggest rock groups of the 2000s, and one of the few still-dependable names in mainstream rock. But has there been a hard rock record as imaginative, as diverse and not dispersed, as just simply vicious and fun as this? Something that could challenge what a rock record can be, while not entirely dispensing or denying a gaze toward the past? A record that was tough and assertive but not all that macho?”

Andy O'Connor

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Queen: A Night at the Opera

Essentials, Vo. No. 71 — November 2018

A Night At The Opera is a perfect album — not solely because of Queen’s creativity and talent, but because of the band’s supreme self-confidence, ambition and absolute unwillingness to compromise their vision: the soft skills that make the difference between languishing in anonymity and becoming canon. … The very thing Queen was best at was making the difficult easy. Ballet for the masses, darling.”

Susannah Young

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OutKast: Stankonia

Essentials, Vol. No. 94 — October 2020

“It’s not surprising that Stankonia is OutKast in complete control; the album doesn’t feel restricted by rules … Twenty years later, radio still hasn’t heard another “Ms. Jackson” or a “B.O.B.,” or “So Fresh, So Clean.” Hip-hop hasn’t heard another album as anomalous and daring as Stankonia by a pair of rappers who refused to be defined by boxes and labels. Why be ordinary when you can be original? That’s the question Stankonia asks.”

Travis "Yoh" Phillips, 2020

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Spiritualized: Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space

Essentials, Vol. No. 93 — September 2020

Ladies and Gentlemen was more expansive, full of America in a way that I had never been able to do before or since … Part of ‘Cop Shoot Cop’ was this continental trip that starts in New York and ends in L.A. It felt infused with that, and it still feels like that when I go back to listen to it. It starts in Chinatown — somewhere deep in Manhattan — and then ends out in Joshua Tree.”

— Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce, 2020

Read more here.

Saba: Care For Me

Hip-Hop, Vol. No. 14 — October 2018

Care for Me was the first album that I made where … I didn’t care what it would be received as, and I was moreso making the album for me. And this was the first time that I had ever really made music like that. I made a buncha songs like that that I never put out and just kept to myself, but to do a whole album like that and then release it was a different experience. There was no conscious thoughts of [singles and features], it was just a therapy session with myself. There’s the way to play the game business-wise, and even creatively, there’s a way to play the game, and on Care for Me, I didn’t really care enough to play the game. I wasn’t tryna make anybody happy with the music. I think it is a hard listen a lotta times, it’s not, like, you’re just playin’ it back, like, ‘Damn, this shit is incredible!’ But I think that’s what makes the shit more honest, you know? Just being able to pour the shit out.”

— Saba, 2018

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Al Green: Call Me

Classics, Vol. No. 24 — May 2019

“On Call Me, he’s not only reaching toward his future but also his past, toward the dreamy lover that we imagine this superstar must have had and also toward the young man who dreamed of being that lucky star. He wants to connect with the child who sang songs of praise with his brothers — and he’s concerned about what may become of him, this superstar Al. Fame came suddenly, but the values he was raised with persisted, calling to him always, in the madness and the stillness. The two Als, the two worlds, then and now, sacred and profane, and the two voices of Al Green, that second vocal track that is all over Call Me — Al is at a great divide, and harmonizing with himself on Call Me is the sonic expression of his desire for spiritual harmony.”

Robert Gordon, 2019

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John Coltrane & Miles Davis: The Final Tour: Paris, March 21, 1960

Classics, Vol No. 10 — March 2018

“The performances on this album, The Final Tour: Paris, March 21, 1960 — released here officially on vinyl for the first time — are as renowned for their emotional intensity as they are for their musical fervor. The common judgement is that this concert found a great jazz ensemble — the Miles Davis Quintet of 1960 — audibly straining to hold itself together stylistically, its members moving in divergent directions, their music unable to hide an inner turmoil between the musicians — to the point that the audience responded to it, clearly and audibly.”

— Ashley Kahn, 2018

Read more here.


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