I love my colored vinyl. I’ll admit it: I get a childlike rush every time I pick up one of these dumb things. It makes the process of playing music on a turntable that much more fun, adding yet another tactile — and visual — element to the experience. Lately some nifty colored vinyl issues have crossed my path that I just couldn’t help but share with you guys and gals.
Pre-Roxette Power Pop — Per Gessle, main songwriter and lead guitarist/singer for Sweden’s still hugely popular ’80s pop band Roxette is a prolific rocker, putting out numerous solo albums in addition to his involvement with a number of side projects.
My buddy John, recently gave me a gorgeous slab of colored vinyl from Gessle and his band. Actually it is Gessle and his old band. Yup, Gyllene Tider is the name of his pre-Roxette band — according to Wikipedia, it means Golden Ages and refers to the Mott The Hoople tune “The Golden Age of Rock and Roll” — and they got together for a tight 30-minute power pop extravaganza I can’t pronounce, but will spell out for you here: Dags att tänka på refrängen.
Hey, if Tom Petty can get Mudcrutch back together for a fine album, why not his (roughly) Swedish equivalent? Actually, this band has more history than Mudcrutch did, since they actually did put out many records and apparently some members even played in Roxette.
Dags att tänka på refrängen is a really nice album containing some really catchy pop tunes that, if you didn’t focus on the lyrics being in Swedish, could have been from any number of bands, ranging from Weezer to Elvis Costello to Bruce Springsteen. This is great fun summertime music and perfect for driving in the car with the windows open or the top down. And did I mention it comes in super cool splattered multi-colored vinyl? It is so beautiful! Pictures seriously don’t do it justice.
The sound is also pretty good, but I will acknowledge that there is a manufacturing anomaly that (according to a reply my friend got from the label’s manufacturing people) is common when doing this sort of colored vinyl with dense patterned inlays. As a result, there are some little depression-like pits in the vinyl that play through almost unnoticeably unless they occur in a quiet portion of the disc… and then you hear a little thumpy-kinda sound through your speakers. If the disc didn’t look so cool I’d say return the thing. But the fact is, the disc looks groovy. So, it’s the price you pay for a little visual fun in this case. You can order a copy from Bengans.se, which is in Stockholm, but my friend who ordered from them said they were easy to deal with, so any language barriers shouldn’t be a problem.
The Jam — I admit to getting into the Jam late the game, having passed them over back in the day for other new wave and punk bands I was into (lots of Stiff Records stuff, XTC, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, etc.). So I’m picking up the albums now when I come across them.
My most recent acquisition is a red colored vinyl copy of the first Jam album, In the City. It sounds pretty good for a hard rockin’ power-pop trio disc circa 1977.
And it looks really cool spinning on my turntable on this well-centered, fairly thick pressing. For $12 it was a good deal, no doubt.
The dBs’s — Revolution of the Mind is a Record Store Day EP from The dBs that sounds pretty great spinning at 45 RPM on sparkling clear orange colored vinyl.
The pressing is really nice, which is a relief since the band’s brilliant Falling Off the Sky from last year (in my top five for the year) was sorrowfully manufactured (I’ve tried five different LPs and all are terribly off- center).
This four-song disc includes some new tunes (“Lakefront,” “Orange Squeezer,” and a live version of “PH Factor” with Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan and producer Mitch Easter on guitars). You can still find this little gem around in the stores or online at Discogs, so pick it up.