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 truly 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 their thumping reissue of Madlib’s celebrated Blue Note records mashup Shades of Blue – 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.
As for August, I opted to wile away the last days of Summer with the smooth jazz stylings of Thelonious Monk and his legendary album Monk’s Music. Check it out.
For The Love Of Vinyl, Please DO NOT BEND
Yes, the dog days of August brought with them another Swap opportunity for me. ‘Cause even as I have nothing but respect for Bone Thugs-n-Harmony immortal 1995 tome E. 1999 Eternal, it’s not an album I felt particularly compelled to re-visit or add to my collection. The same cannot be said, however, for Thelonious Monk’s jazz masterpiece Monk’s Music, which is about as essential to any record collection as an album gets.
Released in 1957 at the height of the hard bop era, Monk’s Music helped cement Thelonious as one of the preeminent pianists and composers of the day, with the album fronting four original compositions. It also found the maestro working up numbers for a full septet fronting some of the biggest names in the history of jazz, including drummer Art Blakey, a mix of saxophonists Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, and Gigi Gryce, trumpeter Ray Copeland, and bassist Wilbur Ware. Monk, of course, joins that crew on the keys through every track on Monk’s Music.
If you’ve ever listened to the album in its entirety, you know they laid down some legit hard bop magic throughout, though there are only 5 compositions forming the track list for Monk’s Music. But holy hell what Monk and crew accomplish in those 5 tracks is nothing short of miraculous, laying down some of the best-loved jazz tunes ever recorded in staples like “Abide With Me,” “Well You Needn’t,” and “Ruby My Dear.”
Astonishingly, those three staples form Side 1 of Monk’s Music, and it’s arguably the single greatest Side 1 of an album ever recorded. Side 2 is every bit as impressive, with “Off Minor,” and “Epistrophy” bringing the album to a close in truly swinging fashion.
I know, I know. I’m up here preaching to the choir about the virtues of Monk’s Music, ’cause any self respecting jazz fan is already well aware of both how important, and endlessly enjoyable the album is. But if I’m preaching, it’s purely because I’m hoping anyone reading this who might be on the fence about getting into jazz might be tempted to finally take the plunge. And if you’re one of those readers, please know Monk’s Music is a perfect place to dive in. And for all the jazz heads out there, well, know that this pressing is about as good as the album has ever sounded.
Though it sometimes sounds like playtime for Monk and his crew, Monk’s Music is very much a serious affair. And that juxtaposition is well on display with this cover.
Yes, Monk’s Music is one of the most worthy albums to ever bare that VMP Classics foil stamp.
And the proof of this pressing’s quality is fronted on the ole hype sticker here.
There’s a bit more info on the OBI-strip cradling the spine out of the box as well, including an excerpt from the listening companion.
As penned by Charles Waring, that listening companion is a deep-dive of the first order.
As for the vinyl itself, the Vinyl Me, Please Classics track never veers from traditional black. And it could not be more beautiful.
You’d better believe no color will ever look better on your deck.
Give Vinyl Me Please a Spin
How’s it sound? If you call yourself a fan of Jazz’s celebrated hard bop era, this pressing of Monk’s Music is legit sonic gold. I have every faith that Thelonious Monk would agree. As it is, that’s pretty much just par for the course when it comes to the Vinyl Me, Please Classics track, which has been batting a thousand pretty much since pressing one. If you don’t believe me, feel free to sign up for VMP Classics and find out for yourself. And in case I haven’t made it clear, you could do a lot worse than starting that sub with Monk’s Music.
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!