This Month's Vinyl Picks: December 2017
U2, Tyler, The Creator and the Blade Runner 2049 soundtrack are amongst the best vinyl releases headed your way in December...
Blade Runner 2049 (Original Soundtrack)
The long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott's sci-fi masterpiece finally arrived in October this year and one of the many challenges facing director Denis Villeneuve was the question of how to live up to the iconic score for the original film created by Greek electronic music wizard Vangelis. Veteran composer Hans Zimmer teamed up with Jóhann Jóhannsson to meet the task and the score they delivered makes its debut on vinyl this month, with a 2LP version pressed onto black vinyl arriving in stores on December 15th.
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (picture disc)
Fans of the Fab Four will remember that this year saw the 50th anniversary Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, an occasion marked with celebrations across their home city of Liverpool and a new stereo 'remix' of the album overseen by Giles Martin, son of the Beatles' producer George Martin. If you held back on purchasing the stereo mix earlier this year then you might want to take a look at this new picture disc which arrives in stores on December 1st. The first time the album has ever been available in picture disc format, the new vinyl features Martin's new stereo mix and is one of two versions available, with a standard black vinyl 2LP edition also arriving the same day.
Tom Petty - Greatest Hits Live
Code 7 - Roxvox
In October this year we said goodbye to one of rock music's most enduring and widely-appreciated talents, with the tragic death of Tom Petty bringing the curtain down on a career that produced a string of classic albums with his band The Heartbreakers, as well as some timeless collaborations with The Travelling Wilburys alongside the likes of George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison. This month sees the release of a new compilation of live performances and radio sesssions, pressed onto 180g 'ultra blue' vinyl and due to arrive in stores on December 1st.
Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy
The fourth album from Odd Future's mercurial co-founder arrived in July this year and appeared to show him stepping away from the narrative and series of characters that populated his first three full-length efforts and this month the album finally gets a vinyl release for the first time. A 2LP edition pressed onto heavyweight black vinyl arrives in stores on December 1st and contains 14 new tracks including singles 'Who Dat Boy' and 'Garden Shed'.
U2 – Songs of Experience
Designed as a companion piece to their 2014 album Songs of Innocence, U2's new album Songs of Experience arrives on all formats on December 1st and contains the band's recent singles 'Get Out Of Your Own Way' and 'The Blackout'. Two vinyl versions are available, the most basic of which is a 2LP edition featuring the 13 tracks included on the standard CD version, as well as four bonus tracks including Kygo's remix of 'You're the Best Thing About Me'. If you want push the boat out though there's a limited edition 'extra deluxe' box set which features a 2LP version pressed onto cyan blue vinyl, the deluxe version of the album on CD, a fold-out poster and a Songs of Experience 'newspaper', all house in a numbered 12” x 12” box.
SZA - Ctrl
SZA has been making waves for a couple of years now with an ethereal brand of jazz-tinged R&B that has marked her out as one of the most unique female solo artists on the scene in recent years. Her debut album Ctrl arrived in June this year and exhibits a broad range of influences from Ella Fitzgerald to Erykah Badu, but a vinyl version is set to be issued for the first time this month and a 2LP black vinyl edition arrives in stores on December 8th.
Cymande - Cymande
One of a series of noteworthy reissues arriving in December, the 1972 debut album from London-based jazz- funk outfit Cymande was way ahead of its time and has become a cult classic over the years. The band reformed in 2012 and released their first new album in decades in 2015, but a reissue of their eponymous first album is now due to arrive on vinyl on December 8th. Cymande's music has featured in countless soundtracks from Fargo to Mr. Robot and been sampled too many times to mention, but if you're new to their work their debut album is a great place to start and while there are several notable tracks here such as 'Bra' and 'The Message', it's the 10-minute funk odyssey 'Dove' that really makes this album an essential purchase.
Hustler's Convention - Lightnin' Rod
Probably one of the most influential albums ever made in terms if its impact on the emergence of hip-hop, Hustler's Covention were a forerunner to the rap groups that emerged in New York City during the late 1970s and early 80s and their seminal album Lightnin' Rod gets a long-overdue reissue this month when a new vinyl edition arrives in stores on December 8th. Featuring the likes of Last Poets, King Curtis, Billy Preston and members of Kool & The Gang, this is an often-overlooked classic that really deserves your attention.
Star Wars - Episode IV: A New Hope (40th Anniversary Edition)
The last few years have seen plenty of Star Wars soundtracks getting the vinyl reissue treatment, but even against some of the excellent vinyl releases we've seen in recent years this 40th anniversary box set, celebrating four decades since the release of the first film in the series, is something a bit special. This 3LP box set contains John Williams' iconic score performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, with one of the vinyl discs etched with a special 40th anniversary design and another produsing a £D holographic image of the death star. Also included is a 48-page book featuring essays from John Williams, Jeff Bind and Jeff Eldridge, as well as rare photos from both the film set and the production of Williams' score. Strictly one for the collectors, but well worth owning for any Star Wars obsessive with a generous disposable income.
The Carpenters - Ticket to Ride
Brother and sister duo Karen and Richard Carpenter had already made an indelible mark on popular music by the time of Karen's tragic and untimely death in 1983, becoming an unlikely influence on bands such as Sonic Youth, but this month will see the reissue of their back catalogue on vinyl, all of which are due to arrive on December 8th. You can buy each of them individually, including their 1969 debut Ticket to Ride, but if you're looking to splash out there's also a huge box set featuring 12 LPs spanning 20 years of the Carpenters' careers, up to and including 1989's Lovelines. You can find the full list of releases here in our online store.