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This week, we’re releasing the Vinyl Me, Please book, 100 Albums You Need In Your Collection, in our member store. It’s out on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other book retailers on April 4, but you can add it to your April shipment by buying it this week. Here, the book’s co-editor tries to convince you to buy it.
When we started the planning of the Vinyl Me, Please book, 100 Albums You Need In Your Collection, and what was in it, our goal was to create a list that was different from any number of books of a similar ilk, but we also weren’t looking to create a list of the rarest, most expensive, most unobtainable albums either. The idea was that we’d make a list of 100 albums that would undeniably enrich the lives—and most importantly, the record collections—of anyone who has all 100.
In January of 2016, me, Cam (VMP Head of Music), and Tyler (co-founder of VMP/co-editor of the book) sat down with a list of 250 albums we had all spent a week contributing to, and then whittled the list down to 100 by arguments (I know Cam demanded the Chills be in the book) and threats (I know I said I’d quit working at VMP if Minute By Minute wasn’t in the book) and attrition. Then my girlfriend Amanda saw the "finished" list, and read me for trash for about 45 minutes, because the book didn’t have Nina Simone in it, and it was—unfortunately, like all historical looks at the popular music canon—lacking for contributions by women artists. So, we reconvened, came up with an even better, Nina-featuring list of 100, and got to work.
So, suffice to say, I don’t think you’ll find another record collecting book that recommends a Loretta Lynn album, a Gil Scott-Heron album, a Suicide album, and a Beyonce album in the same 250 pages.
You also won’t find a book with this many great music writers, none of whom is the pretentious person telling you YOU MUST own the selections they wrote about or you’re a waste. Everyone here wrote about albums they were most passionate about, and we don’t condescend to you like other record books; it’s just music writers writing about albums they love and think you need to try. We got Eric Sundermann on Sea Change. Drew Millard on UGK. Caitlin White on 808s and Heartbreak. Michael Penn II on Small Talk at 125th and Lennox. Geoff Rickly from Thursday on Suicide. Jes Skolnik on Aretha. Susannah Young on Big Star. And on and on and on.
Look, I’m biased since I wrote a big chunk of it and edited it, but this is a book you should own. It’s the least pretentious music guide you’ll ever read. We look at this as an extension of what the club has always been about: demystifying record collecting, and enhancing your connection to music, and pushing you out of what you think your safety zone is. We hope you buy it, read it, and enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together. A sincere thanks to our publisher, and to all the writers who worked on this with us. Buy it this week.
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.