Listening to a few classic Friday Night Vinyl discs is just the best way to unwind after a big week and I have a good friend and vinyl lover here with me, plus a few beers to help ease into the weekend. Having done this so many times over the years, I thought: why not share some of the joy of playing records, comparing pressings and talking about music in a semi-regular segment?
I’ll try to make this Friday Night Vinyl something I come back to over time, so let’s call this Friday Night Vinyl #2. I probably should have started this series 20 years ago, but hey, it’s never too late. Check out
Friday Night Vinyl #1 too, if interested. I’ll list these classics in the order played and maybe add a little commentary as needed. Let’s go! My Arms, Your Hearse, by Opeth. This one is the 140-gram white and purple swirl re-release. It’s a great album from a phenomenal Pink Floyd-level band so have a listen if you aren’t afraid of heavy music, and you shouldn’t be. Explicit – wooooo, be careful! Very pretty, but dished, unfortunately. It doesn’t bother me too much with nearly 3 kg worth of stainless steel records clamps at my disposal, but it’s a shame to buy a brand new record that isn’t nice and flat. This sweet-looking 140-gram double vinyl is a killer record though, if you haven’t heard it. If you ever get a chance to see Opeth live, you should. At 6.2%, the four or five of these tasty Gage Roads Little Dove IPA cans I’ve consumed as I write this have had a significant impact and some bearing on the error rate… If you see mistakes, this is why!
I have three copies of this classic album, they all sound OK, but there’s some mud in the recording, despite the pretty vinyl. I reckon this clear 180-gram version sounds better:
My Arms, Your Hearse, by Opeth, 180 gram and Nuclear Blast from memory..? This one sounds better. New Traditionalists by DEVO is an absolute freakin classic. One of the best album covers of time..? This edition is pressed on the clearest, most transparent vinyl I’ve EVER seen! No kidding, how clear is this vinyl?! It’s like glass, flat as glass too and sounds as good as it looks. Want to hear a killer pressing? This RTI 180-gram reissue of Van Halen’s 1984, from the analog source material, is amazing. This pressing is d-e-a-d f-l-a-t and you just have to hear the title track 1984, played on an Oberheim OB-8, by the late, great Eddie Van Halen. I’m telling you, get a copy if you love Van Halen, or if you just love great sound 😉 Sweet, sweet sounds of Van Halen, my Ortofon MC-A90, FR RS-121 and Luxman PD-350. You should hear this, you can if you ask me and are a customer! Yep, another Van Halen classic – Van Halen, from 1978, and another RTI 180-gram masterpiece. These heavy, flat, concentric RTI pressings are some of my best, really rich, warm and phat sounding. This is my friend Tim’s Dutch pressing of Metallica’s classic …And Justice For All is meant to be one of the best pressings of this record you can find. I can confirm this one is laser flat, the thinnest record I’ve ever held, maybe 100 – 110 grams and sounds decent. It’s just not up to the best of the other stuff here. Now, do you want to hear an unbelievably great record with amazing tracks played by great musos who can really play? Have a listen to Avalon, by Roxy Music. I have an Abbey Road half-speed remastered version on the way, but this original Aussie pressing sounds so good, it’s hard to believe! Yes, Remain In Light, it’s hard to describe how industrially, groovily, and rhythmically insane this record is, but have a listen if you haven’t caught it yet, for some bizarre reason! OK, now if you haven’t heard Gary Numan’s absolute classic Replicas, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?! Furthermore, this is one of the warmest, fattest records I own and the one that solid my Krell KSA-150 on first listen. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Gary Numan live, here in Perth. All I can say is what a freakin show, my friends….! Try not to enjoy this and note the amazingly talented Billy Curie, from Ultravox, on synth. Aus-music fans will know what a great record this is. Models The Pleasure Of Your Company is an offbeat, art-rock classic that needs to be heard! I have a purple copy coming, but this is my original 1984 copy. Have a listen to I Hear Motion, the first track, and try NOT to move. Rock on, friends. Here’s another of my all-time favourite Aussie bands, The Church. I can’t say they are underrated or underappreciated, because fans know how good these guys are. If you love melody, great songwriting, earworm riffs and great playing, The Church’s The Blurred Crusade is an absolute must-have for indie guitar rock lovers everywhere. Here’s another absolute classic for Aus-music and FM rock lovers, from 1981. This slickly recorded, impeccably played gem, Chemistry, by Mondo Rock, takes me back to listening to 96FM as a kid, Steve Gordon the great 96FM DJ and customer of mine, and many other fantastic childhood memories. As a muso, I love this record and you will too if you play. Even if you don’t, I think you’ll dig it, have a listen!
Rock on vinyl lovers and stay tuned for more!