Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday is Soul Time!

I hadn't realized it until recently but Black Friday has become a kind of mini Record Store Day. You can see the full list of releases on the Record Store Day webpage.

The main thing that caught my eye was a limited edition Sharon Jones album, Soul Time!, which purports to represent the funkier side of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (does Sharon Jones have a side that isn't funky?). It's an odds and sods type compilation featuring some previously released singles, b-sides, compilation tracks, as well as studio versions of some previously unreleased live favorites. Two of my favorites are a very funky cover of Shuggie Otis' "Inspiration Information," and the Christmas song "Ain't No Chimneys In the Projects." "Chimneys" is far more than a Holiday novelty song, as it beautifully recognizes and honors the struggles and sacrifices made by a working, single mother to make Christmas a special for her daughter.

Luckily my local record shop had a few copies on LP (somehow buying Sharon Jones on CD seems wrong). The packaging is beautiful and the record was nicely mastered at Golden Mastering and well pressed to standard weight vinyl. Despite the disparate sources, the whole album holds together nicely. My only complaint? Where is their blazing cover of Kenny Rogers and the First Edition's "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Is In)"? The small print on the cover calls this "Vol. 1," so hopefully it will show up on Vol. 2. 

Soul Time! is limited to 5,000 copies on LP and 20,000 on CD, so get up, get out, get into it, and get yourself to your local independent record store.

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