In April, members of Vinyl Me, Please Essentials will receive an exclusive reissue of Loretta Lynn’s Coal Miner’s Daughter, her 15th LP and mainstream breakthrough. An ode to her hard upbringing in Butcher’s Holler, the album is a must-own country masterpiece. You can read an essay on the album here, and sign up to receive it here.
Below, read why we picked Coal Miner’s Daughter and the details of our reissue.
Alex Berenson, Senior A&R, Vinyl Me, Please: A few months ago, we were making a list of records we thought should be in every collection, albums we could pursue for Essentials when we wanted. And one of us landed on the Discogs page for Loretta Lynn’s Coal Miner’s Daughter, and realized it hadn’t been reissued on vinyl since 1981. I listened to the album all the way through for the first time, and was blown away by how good it was. The songs were stuck in my head for a week. The fact that it hadn’t been reissued since 1981 felt insane. We did a little more digging into her catalog, and it became a no-brainer. If we were going to do a country Record of the Month in 2019, this should be the record.
She’s such a major part of the culture now — a lot thanks to her collaborations with Jack White and how she’s inspired artists like Kacey Musgraves — as soon as we landed on that Discogs page it was a perfect fit for us.
Andrew Winistorfer: Yeah, I couldn’t believe that it hadn’t been released since 1981. It was like, “Someone has had to have done at least a budget release of this,” and I checked everywhere an it hadn’t had the reissue. It felt like such an oversight; it’s one of the most important country albums of all time! We had to do this.
To answer for people who might not “like” country, to you, why is it important for us to do albums in genres like country?
We’ve built the idea into the Essentials sub that we want to take people into and out of their comfort zones, and if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say, “I like all music except for country,” I’d be rich today. It’s just such a short-sighted view of a really complex and radical genre. Part of our mission is to explore music more deeply, and this record is amazing, and has an interesting backstory, it just happens that it’s a country record.
This also has to be the first album that came from a song, that then became a book, and then a movie. Coal Miner’s Daughter is available across all mediums. There isn’t another album that had that kind of impact ever.
I can’t think of another, that’s for sure.
Audio-wise, this one is all analogue, yeah?
Yep, we had this remastered from the original tapes by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound and cut direct to lacquer, so it's AAA.
And we color-matched the cover.
Yeah, we color-matched the vinyl to the blue on the jacket, and added foil to all the lettering on the front of the jacket.
The art print on this reminds me a lot of the Nina Simone print where we have a portrait of the artist.
Yeah, it’s like a cool ’80s portrait. It’s a fun art print.
This record feels like a, “If you get it, you get it” Record of the Month.
Totally. And if you’re not familiar, take the ride with us on this one. It’s a perfect album.
Andrew Winistorfer is Senior Director of Music and Editorial at Vinyl Me, Please, and a writer and editor of their books, 100 Albums You Need in Your Collection and The Best Record Stores in the United States. He’s written Listening Notes for more than 30 VMP releases, co-produced multiple VMP Anthologies, and executive produced the VMP Anthologies The Story of Vanguard, The Story of Willie Nelson, Miles Davis: The Electric Years and The Story of Waylon Jennings. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.