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From the Vinyl Vault - 2/14/19

Frankie - Across the Universe Soundtrack

You probably already know this about me, but I love movie soundtracks; sometimes I love soundtracks more than I like the movie. It’s been awhile since I pulled a soundtrack to talk about for From the Vinyl Vault so I decided to revisit them with one of my earliest acquisitions: the vinyl soundtrack to “Across the Universe.” If you haven’t seen this movie, and are a fan of musicals, I highly recommend it! In short, the movie takes place mostly in New York City in the 1960’s and deals with topics such as death, civil unrest in the United States, love, the Vietnam war, immigration, and flippant drug and alcohol usage. A slew of characters are catapulted into wild futures they never imagined for themselves, all set to re-imagined versions of hit Beatles songs.

So, I’m not actually a huge Beatles fan, I bet that’s something you didn’t know about me. I don’t hate The Beatles or anything, they just aren’t a band I’ve put much time into liking. Perhaps it’s the sheer size of their music catalogue or their various tumultuous pasts that just make them unapproachable to me. Either way, “Across the Universe” is probably the deepest I’ll wade into that pool, and I’m perfectly happy like that. The movie presents the songs in a fun way, making them drive the plot by using them very literally in most occasions. For example, Prudence is a cheerleader from Dayton, Ohio, who fancy’s herself in-love with one of her fellow cheerleaders. Prudence wanders away from practice singing “I Want to Hold Your Hand” while gazing dreamily at her crush. The next time we see Prudence, she’s hitchhiked to New York City and, through a series of events, comes to live with most of the other main characters in their bohemian Greenwich Village apartment. Jude and Lucy meet when Lucy’s brother Max brings Jude home with him for Thanksgiving where Jude is immediately drawn to Lucy. He sings the number “I’ve Just Seen a Face” as he realizes his affection for her. One of the most sad and most literal songs is the use of “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” sang by Max when he returns home injured after being drafted into the war and struggles with a morphine dependency. I think the soundtrack is really well executed and I find the soundtrack versions more appealing than the originals, call me crazy. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to appreciate The Beatles in their true form, but until then I’ll just keep watching this movie and spinning this record.

I picked up this copy from Haffa’s Record Store in Athens, Ohio, some years ago. I didn’t initially buy it, but rather a Record Store Day release Ozzy Osborne album that I found was damaged upon getting it home and opening it. I took the album back to the store where they told me I could trade it for anything up to what I spent on the original album I purchased (which was way too much) and I had been pulling this album out and putting it back in it’s crate for months so I finally just took it home, along with another album. My copy is a special Record Store Day 2016 release numbered 1601 of 4000.

Michael - David Bowie: ChangesOneBowie

Today I am highlighting my ChangesOneBowie album. This album is David Bowie's early greatest hits, from the period of 1969-1976. This is classic Bowie, Ziggy Stardust and the like. It features some of his best work including: "Space Oddity", "Changes", "Diamond Dogs", "Rebel Rebel" and more. It was originally released on CD in 1985.

I have shared in this space before how important David Bowie and his music is to me. I am so glad to have this and ChangesTwoBowie on vinyl (his later collection of greatest hits) as they complement one another perfectly. I love the simplicity of these two collections as they are by no means comprehensive collections of his work, but they are career spanning.

Many people are very aware of Bowie as a personality, but not as a musician sometimes. I feel he is underappreciated in this manner. That is my reasoning for covering this album in particular. If you remotely consider yourself an alt fan, you owe it to yourself to listen to Bowie's music. It's timeless, innovative, and it still holds up, even his earlier work. So stop reading this and go get your Bowie on like right meow!

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