There’s a certain breed of music lover who, when given the choice, always takes the slightly gritty sound of vinyl on a turntable over a digitally remastered CD or a quick-and-clean download. Whether they love hard, fast rock or soft, soulful sounds, the vinylphile prefers their tunes straight from the grooves of an LP. They may have specific taste when it comes to their favorite recordings, but finding the perfect present for the owner of those particular ears doesn’t have to be a pressing problem. For the record, one of these gifts for vinylphiles might just be the chart-topper they’re looking for.
Want great music recommendations? Ask the man who’s literally in the music business. Jeff Davis, the artist behind the popular record bowls, clocks, coasters, and bookends, knows his albums.
Right now, it seems like everyone‘s weighing in on their favorite songs, albums and music videos of the year. NPR seems to have had a year-long love affair with Adele, promoting her album during every seasonal pledge drive. My favorite music blog, KEXP out of Seattle, turned over the picks to their DJs and ended up with something closer to a top 500. There’s no shortage of great music reviews at this time of the year. I decided to check in with Jeff to get a more timeless perspective.
Q: What are the top 10 albums you love too much to use in your homewares?
A: 1. “Them” – featuring Van Morrison
2. “Unicorn” – Tyrannosaurus Rex
3. “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” – Traffic
4. “Babylon By Bus” – Bob Marley and the Wailers
5. “Blues for Allah” – The Grateful Dead
6. “A Monastic Trio” – Alice Coltrane
7. “The Blues” – Nina Simone
8. “On the Beach” – Neil Young
9. “5” – J.J. Cale
10. “What’s Going On” – Marvin Gaye
Q: What was your first record?
A: “Saturday Night Fever” – soundtrack
Q: Wow! Well… What’s the best new album of 2011?
A: “The King is Dead” – Decemberists
Isn’t it amazing how our tastes all grow and change? I’m not ready to publicly admit the first album I ever bought.
But I agree with Jeff that the Decemberists put out a great album this year. David Foster Williams fans may see some familiar references in their single, “Calamity Song.”
Q: Last question. Will people ever nostalgize tapes or CDs as much as they do records?
A: Not likely. Records have been popular from the 1950s till the present. No other recorded music medium has as much iconic meaning or connection as records.
That, and I’d challenge anyone to figure out how to turn a flimsy CD into bookends!
Thanks to Jeff for sharing some great music with us. What were your favorite songs and albums from 2011?
I’m putting together my New Year’s playlist, so please share links below!