As the catalogue of vinyl reissues continues to bloom, we take a look at which classic albums are to be blessedly re-pressed (or pressed for the first time!) on vinyl this month.
Dr. Dre, 2001
Scott Storch’s iconic little piano chords, tripping across the crest of a deep cello into Dr Dre’s question, “Guess who’s back?”, will forever see hands thrown high and whoops fill the party. As the lead single from Dre’s second album 2001, Still D.R.E. assured G-funk fans that while the rapper-producer was expanding the sounds of his debut The Chronic deeper into gangsta territory, he wasn’t about to let slip his grip on the very, very real. This month’s double-LP reissue from Universal displays what is still considered Dre’s triumphant comeback in all its street glory, with visceral basslines, lean raps from Dre and guests including Eminem, Snoop, Xzibit, Nate Dogg and more – and it’s all bound up in crisp production from Mel-Man and Dre himself. Undeniably classic.
Queens Of The Stone Age, Songs For The Deaf
Previous vinyl iterations of this album see the iconic cover art colours inverted (red text and fork on black background) or, as in the case of the US double LP, feature the red sperm-and-egg ‘Q’, but the 2019 reissue presents the original graphics. Meanwhile, the 12 by 12-inch insert is something of a visual illusion: are the receding spot spears leaning away from one another, or are they straight? The concept for the critically acclaimed album took the listener on a road trip from LA, through the California desert to Joshua Tree National park, tuning into local radio stations along the way. The genre-bulldozing outing earned Josh Homme and pals worldwide praise, and the record is consistently included on Best Of lists of not just the decade or the ‘hard rock’ genre, but the very 21st century.
In the early ‘90s, it was no cakewalk reaching up to the heights of cultural clout occupied by Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Live, and Faith No More – but that’s precisely what Melbourne hard rockers Horsehead did with their self-titled debut (1993); they went on to lodge themselves firmly in-camp with their follow-up, 1996’s Onism. Recorded in LA with illustrious producer-engineer-mixer Sylvia Massy (Tool, Prince, Aerosmith, Seal, System Of A Down, Red Hot Chili Peppers), Onism gathers all the verve of the five-piece’s unforgettable live shows and spits it back at you in the form of slashing drums, brutal guitar and caustic, soaring vocals from Andy McLean. Get in on this before the band play their first public show in 20 years in February next year, at Melbourne’s Corner Hotel.
The Presets, Blow Up EP
The debut EP from what would become Australia’s most decorated dance duo marked the arrival of a band who were absolutely unabashed about mixing electro-pop with proper, grubby rock. It was written, recorded, engineered, mixed and produced solely by Presets bandmates Julian Hamilton (vocals, keyboards) and Kim Moyes (drums, keyboards) – except for Cookie, which was co-written with Silverchair’s Daniel Johns (who also appears as a guest on three other tracks). From the juddering slink of Moyes’ synths and Hamilton’s ominous, breathy delivery on opener Let’s Go!, through to the relentless smack and shudder of single Beat On / Beat Off, Blow Up captures the hugely exciting moment Hamilton’s trademark howl emerged from underground, with the pair poised to burst into their remarkable, full-bodied form.