A Very Vinyl Holiday: 10 Must-Have Albums


Vinyl makes a great gift any day of the year, but the holidays demand something unique. This year has seen several fantastic LPs get reissues and handsome updates, but we’ve narrowed it down to a select few that would make great gifts for the crate digger in your life. And don’t forget that you can always treat yo self.

The Hateful Eight Soundtrack Third Man Records Pre-order $25

Quentin Tarantino’s villains-only western, set for a December 25 release (on 70mm, before its digital release on January 8), features a score from the maestro of western cinema soundtracks, Ennio Morricone. This is definitely one to snag, as this is Morricone’s first western score in 40 years. The soundtrack also features dialogue from the song “Apple Blossom” by The White Stripes, the late David Hess in The Last House on the Left, and “There Won’t Be Many Coming Home” by Roy Orbison (from the 1967 film The Fastest Guitar Alive).

Avengers Avengers Superior Viaduct $17

San Francisco punk band Avengers released their “pink album” in 1983, featuring raucous anthems like “The American In Me” — a track that needs more play during this election.

Black Christmas Soundtrack Waxwork Records Pre-order, shipping January, 2016 $27

Bob Clark’s 1974 stalk-and-slash classic, set in a sorority house during the holidays, features a deranged killer with a penchant for pervy phone calls. This is one of the first films to define the slasher genre, with a creepy score from composer Carl Zittrer. Previously thought to be lost, Waxwork Records worked with Zittrer to bring Black Christmas to vinyl, featuring fantastic art by Ghoulish Gary Pullin.

The Holy Mountain and El Topo Soundtracks Finders Keepers $38 / $26

The folks at Finders Keepers Records know their stuff. Co-founder Andy Votel and company are collectors, obsessives, DJs, musicians, and producers. Observe the El Topo deets:

Taken from the original master tapes of engineer Brian Humphries (Black Sabbath/Pink Floyd) and presented with new artwork based on the rare European and South American poster artwork for the film’s original release with exclusive sleevenotes form Andy Votel and actress/director (and Jodorowsky friend/collaborator) Asia Argento this release is an essential companion piece to Finders Keepers exclusive Jodorowsky series and an enthralling and pop culturally significant release in its own right.

The independent collective is known for rescuing international obscurities and has done Jodorowsky proud here.

I Am Paint Richard Russell and Lee “Scratch” Perry Residence La Revolution $0 – barter

This is a holiday gift you have to work for. Only 250 copies of the 12″ I Am Paint by Richard Russell and Lee “Scratch” Perry have been pressed. Each cover features hand and foot paintings by both, made at the White Ark in Einsiedeln, Switzerland. The duo is asking interested buyers to make something they wish to swap. You can browse other bartered creations on Russell’s Tumblr.

Psychic Driving Tapes Aaron Dilloway Hanson Records $17

The head of Hanson Records and one of the founding members of Wolf Eyes has created a vinyl edition of the cassette issued by the Medusa label in 2009 — and this version has been altered slightly to be playable at any speed. The name “psychic driving” comes from a psychiatric procedure used by the CIA, during which patients were subjected to repeated audio loops to alter their behavior.

Nothing Here Now But The Recordings William S. Burroughs Dais Records $varies – Discogs

Listen to Genesis P-Orridge tell the story of meeting Beat poet William S. Burroughs and spending the next seven years convincing him to release his recording archive to P-Orridge and fellow Throbbing Gristle member Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson.

Dillatronic Vol 1-3 J Dilla Vintage Vibez Pre-order, $60 to $85

A posthumous release featuring over 40 rare instrumentals by the influential Detroit producer and rapper J Dilla. “I can smile in my heart, knowing my son’s work is being shared with the people as we planned before he passed,” Dilla’s mother Ma Dukes said of the release. “I only share the best, and I only hope to continue introducing the world to the genius of J Dilla.”

Christine and the Queens Christine and the Queens Atlantic/Because Music/Neon Gold $22

Héloïse Letissier’s 2014 album Chaleur Humaine has been updated for the American masses and reissued as a self-titled US debut. The synth and melodies feel made for the elegant blue vinyl.

Born Like This DOOM (MF DOOM) Lex Records Pre-order, December 14, 2015 $30

J Dilla co-produced MF DOOM’s 2009 album Born Like This, which borrows its title from the Charles Bukowski poem, “Dinosauria, We.” Pitchfork pondered the whereabouts of the enigmatic artist, who hasn’t released a solo album since:

What the hell happened to Daniel Dumile? People used to think MF DOOM was slacking if he only released one album a year, but sometime after The Mouse and the Mask, the dude just up and vanished. That led to about three years’ worth of fanbase-angering concerts featuring alleged impostors, theoretically planned albums promising Ghostface collaborations or a KMD revival that never arrived, scattered production work heavy on already-familiar Special Herbs leftovers, and a remixed Madvillainy faux-sequel with enough good-to-great Madlib beats to make you wish DOOM actually recorded new lyrics over them. The last time he went this far underground, his brother had just been killed and Elektra had booted KMD off the roster because Black Bastards was too controversial and uncommercial. So what could have provoked him to lay low in the latter half of this decade right when he seemed to be hitting critical pop-culture mass, limiting himself in recent years to sparse guest verses and the occasional official dispatch that he wasn’t, in fact, dead? I don’t have the answer to that question, but judging from the grimy, sinister lyricism displayed on Born Like This, at least this much is apparent: DOOM is not coming back just to dick around.