Good things comes in 12 inch packages. Delivering limited edition vinyl pressings of new and classic albums directly to your doorstep, VMP operates under a simple philosophy: The Album Lives! With a carefully curated catalog of new and hard to find releases, the subscription service is more than just a record club, it’s a lifestyle choice for folks who wish Record Store Day could happen every month… in their living room.
Here’s how it works. You send Vinyl Me, Please some of your hard-earned money (a 3-month membership will set you back about $119) and they send you one carefully selected album they feel is Essential to any record collection. Yes, it really is as easy as it sounds. You even get FREE SHIPPING. Each custom pressing (often on colored vinyl!) also comes with killer extras like original artwork and informative listening companion booklet.
You’ll have membership privileges in the VMP store too, which means you can grab a copy of previous VMP selections from the archives – including July’s lavish reissue of Bright Eyes’ classic I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning – or choose from a slate of super-limited releases pressed exclusively for Vinyl Me, Please. The store is open, and Team VMP are dropping fresh new selections to their stock every single week. Do not miss out.
Word to the wise, while the store is open to the public, most of the more covet-worthy stock is only available to subscribers. Members are privy to reduced “Members Pricing” as well, so joining the club definitely has its rewards. If you’re peckish about relinquishing control of your record collection to complete strangers, know that VMP’s Swaps Program is in full effect. That means you can flip any VMP pick you’re not interested in for a past featured album from any track (including Essentials, Country, Classics, and Rap/Hip Hop). My advice? Don’t overthink it. Do your turntable a favor and sign up today.
What’s on tap for August? An absolutely stunning reissue of John Coltrane’s posthumous avant-garde jazz classic Sun Ship. Here’s a look.
For The Love Of Vinyl, Please DO NOT BEND
As you may or may not, John Coltrane’s Sun Ship is not the Vinyl Me, Please Essentials pick for the month of August. That honor went to Thin Lizzy’s hard-rocking 1976 masterpiece Jailbreak, and there really are not many album’s from the hard rock era more worthy of such treatment.
In fact, Jailbreak is an album I have a lot of love for myself. So much so, that I picked up an early pressing of it a few years back that’s in pretty much mint condition… meaning I didn’t really feel the need to replace it, or even double-up with a flash new copy. But if you’re interested in copping Jailbreak for yourself, VMP’s pressing is undoubtedly the pressing to pick up.
As for me, I used the opportunity to swap into the Vinyl Me, Please Classics track for August, and dug up a mind-blowing avant-garde masterwork from jazz legend John Coltrane. And I do not regret that decision in the least as VMP’s reissue of Coltrane’s 1971 marvel is legit second to none.
Now, I’d typically do a little deep-diving into the life and style of the artist here for those of you who might be unfamiliar. However, I already did a bit of coverage on John Coltrane for a past Vinyl Me, Please unboxing, so I’ll kindly direct you there if you’re interested. As it is, if you count yourself a music fan at all, you really should know a little bit about Coltrane already as he’s one of the most renowned artists to emerge from jazz’s hard bop era.
Of course, if you know that much, you might also know Coltrane’s style and approach aren’t always the definition of accessible. In fact, his later works can feel downright confrontational. And yes, Sun Ship is an album casual Coltrane fans might struggle to endure.
Recorded with his regular band of players (McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums), Sun Ship finds Coltrane and company focusing less on form and structure, and more on melody infused with almost chaotic flights of sonic fancy. It also finds the de facto band leader pushing the limits of the tenor sax past even his own boundary-pushing expectations. Coltrane’s bandmates follow suit, with the ensuing soundscapes rambling in and out of melodic avenues as vast and unending as they are driven toward a single destination.
Whether that destination be spiritual enlightenment, acousmatic alchemy, or pure sonic abstraction is very much dependent on what listeners bring to the mix. And please understand that open ears, and an open mind are as vital to how you experience Sun Ship as the format in which you listen to it.
Oh, nothing to see here, just a radical cat, and a true musical genius changing the way the world comprehends jazz music. Carry on.
Don’t forget to peep the gatefold sleeve, as there’s lots of pics and info in there, including full cast list for Sun Ship.
Ditto for the back cover, which features this snappy shot of Mr. John Coltrane himself.
Yes, there’s a foil stamp back there that forever proclaims John Coltrane’s Sun Ship a legit VMP Classics pick.
And if you want absolute confirmation that this pressing is worthy of that title, the info on the hype sticker should more than make that clear.
As for this month’s sticker contest winner, it’s a pretty slick Jailbreak inspired design from Winiconder & Associates… even if it’s a touch odd that it’s going out to folks who did not pick up the Thin Lizzy Essentials release.
If you want to know a little bit about where Sun Ship lands in the VMP Classics vaults, check out the info on the OBI-strip. And flip it over for a brief outtake of the album’s listening companion booklet.
Just FYI – that listening companion was penned by noted music journalist Mark Richardson, and it’s chock full of fascinating insights about both Coltrane, and the recording of Sun Ship.
If you’re curious about the wax, it’s a glossy black beast.
And it’ll bring some serious sonic energy to your deck.
How’s it sound? Like soul-searching, melodic anarchy incarnate.
Give VMP a Spin
Discovery is what buying records and listening to music is all about. I’m certainly not gonna claim Vinyl Me, Please discovered John Coltrane here because, well, he’s John f*****g Coltrane, and he’s one of the legit titans of the jazz scene.
That being said, Coltrane’s body of work is both varied and fiercely intimidating. Sun Ship is hardly the perfect entry point to Coltrane newbs either, but it’s an astonishing, late-in-the-game effort from one of the most innovative musicians who ever walked the earth. And for those in the know about the man, the myth, and the music, it’s an absolute must have. In case there’s any question, this VMP pressing more than delivers in ensuring Coltrane enthusiasts will hear the album exactly as it was meant to be heard.
A big THANK YOU to our friends at Vinyl Me, Please for sponsoring this subscription. Don’t forget to check out the Vinyl Me, Please website and sign up to get some choice wax delivered right to your door each and every month! Be sure to check back next month to see what vinyl treasure Team VMP sends our way!