In May, members of Vinyl Me, Please Classics will receive an exclusive reissue of Gospel Train, the 1956 studio LP from influential gospel guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Cut directly to lacquer by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound, pressed at QRP in Salinas, Kansas, and featuring Listening Notes from Gayle Wald, author of the definitive biography of Tharpe, this new edition is the defining reissue of Gospel Train.
You can read an excerpt of the Listening Notes booklet included with the album here, and sign up to receive it here.
Below, read why we picked Gospel Train and the details of our reissue.
Andrew Winistorfer, Vinyl Me, Please Classics A&R: Almost two years ago, we did that exclusive color edition with our pals at Org, for Live in 1960. You linked me up with that Andrew, and we talked about Sister Rosetta and the album we released together. I knew who Sister Rosetta was, of course, but I hadn’t done a deep dive in her catalog or anything, and Andrew at Org said Gospel Train was the record to go to after Live in 1960, so I did and was blown away. It was like listening to a tidal wave; she hits those songs so hard on that record, to the point where it’s crazy to think of them as worship songs. Whatever church she’d have done that in would have been one to go to, I think. So it went on the Classics whiteboard.
She’s this incredible figure in the history of rock ’n’ roll that doesn’t get enough of her just due; in some ways she invented a lot of rock music, and how a rock singer should perform and comport themselves. She had swagger before swagger was used like that I think. And this record is just such a good encapsulation of everything there is to love about her that it made doing this project a no-brainer.
This has a very similar package/tape story as the Al Green record, yeah?
Alex Berenson, VMP Head of A&R: Yeah, this is an all-analog pressing, cut direct to lacquer by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound. It was pressed at QRP in Kansas, and comes with the usual Classics package of a tip-on jacket, and with a Listening Notes booklet. 180-gram black vinyl as well.
And the booklet was written by Gayle Wald, who literally wrote the book on Sister Rosetta Tharpe. It’s a great package.
Basically, if you like the quality of the Al Green record, you’re going to love this one.
Yeah, and the next couple months. I’m excited for July’s latin jazz Classics release.
Me too. Classics goes a little leftfield over the next two months compared to the last couple.
But in the best way.
The VMP way, in fact.
Andrew Winistorfer is VMP’s Classics & Country Director 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 20 VMP releases, co-produced VMP Anthologies The Story of Philadelphia International Records, The Story of Quincy Jones, The Story of Impulse and the VMP Classics release of Nat Turner Rebellion's Laugh to Keep From Crying, and executive produced The Story of Vanguard and The Story of Willie Nelson. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
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