With sales of vinyl records up 61% last year, the world is feeling more nostalgic than ever about their music.
Vinyl continually outsells CDs, in large part due to its deeper, richer sound. And after years of sporadic Spotify playlists, jumping through time and genres with meaningless infinite regularity, taking in a work of art as its creators intended—in full, in order, and complete with having to get up half way to flip the record over—feels like an actual experience.
Below, we got one of LA’s go-to record shops, Supervinyl, to break down 4 under the radar albums (and one classic) worthy of owning on vinyl.
by Charles Bradley
“Bradley was born in the 40s in Florida, worked as a cook in the ’70s, then hitchhiked across America. He didn’t even record songs until the 2000s. In fact, Changes came out 2016, but it’s like listening to James Brown. He’s one of the most talented, soulful artists that you’ve never heard of. And when we say you’ve never heard of, we recently turned him on to guys prominently involved in the record business, and they hadn’t heard of him either and flipped out.”
CON TODO EL MUNDO, 2018
“This record came out in 2018 and they toured extensively on it. There’s three members in the band and they’re from Houston, Texas, and the music is very pleasing for any occasion. It’s instrumental, partly psychedelic. Very easy to listen to and really good.”
by Toro y Moi
“Released this year through the indie label Dead Oceans, this is a really fun record. It’s got a chill vibe to it with some very funky bass lines in there. It’s mostly him doing it all, so it’s kind of a one man show. A really infectious record that you just keep listening to. Very playful, and even experimental at times. It’s a little funky, sort of pop. Probably not jazz, and it’s not rock. You just kinda have to experience it. It’s hard to put a finger on it.”
BLACK MESSIAH, 2014
by D’Angleo and the Vanguard
“D’Angelo is one of those guys who has only done 3 albums in 20 years. Black Messiah came out in 2014 and is probably one of our favorite records in the whole store. It’s a double album and features Questlove and Chris Dave on drums, Pino Palladino on bass, who’s a legend. He had Isaiah Sharkey, who’s a great up-and-coming guitar player; Jesse Johnson, who was the guitar player from The Time; Roy Hargrove on trumpet. He just surrounds himself with the best musicians. Every time you play it, you pick up on something new. Great multi-layered vocals, great backbeats and bass lines. We play it in the store a lot. It’s a masterpiece.”
WHAT’S GOING ON, 1971
by Marvin Gaye
“Okay, so this one’s obviously not modern, but we thought we should throw a classic in there. Another monster album. It doesn’t get much better than this. We had four versions of What’s Going On in the store: The normal record everybody knows. The 50th anniversary double-album
edition, which had direct-to-analogue mastering and featured outtakes, which was really really great. We had the original Detroit Mix version, which was a Japanese import. And then we also had a live version, What’s Going On Live, which was recorded back in 1972 but only released a couple of years ago. So if we had to pick one classic album, it would be this one. Today at least”
900 N SYCAMORE AVE, LOS ANGELES, CA