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 their reissue of Gram Parson’s country-rock classic Greivous Angel – not to mention 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 yourself a favor and sign up today.
As for what’s in my December box, VMP is ensuring a funky holist season for vinyl lovers with a stunning reissue of The Meters’ Rejuvenation. Here’s a look.
For The Love Of Music, Please DO NOT BEND
As some of you faithful readers might recall, the second half of 2021 has been a bit of an up and down affair for me on the VMP Essentials front… one that led to me doing a little more swapping than I’m accustomed to honestly. As it is, I came close to swapping this month too, purely because I wasn’t familiar with either the band, or the album the folks at Vinyl Me, Please had selected. The band in question is New Orleans’ legendary funk outfit The Meters, and the album is their 1974 offering Rejuvenation.
If you’re wondering why I thought about passing, it’s because of the words “New Orleans funk,” which historically has not been my bag. It’s not a big deal exactly, there’s just something about the general “more is more” mentality of the New Orleans funk scene that’s felt a bit in terms of instrumentation much to me. The Meters were not really on my radar for that very reason. But thanks to Vinyl Me, Please, I now know how wrong-headed I was about both the band and its sound.
Comopsed of guitarist Leo Nocentelli, drummer Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste, bassist George Porter Jr., and keyboardist Art Neville (of the Neville Brother), I can now attest that The Meters were indeed a funk outfit with a capital “F.” And Rejuvenation is a stripped-back, groove-forward funk masterpiece that I’m honestly ashamed of having never sought out before.
By “masterpiece,” understand that in saying that, I’m willing to put Rejuvenation up against the best works of funk legends like James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, Booker T. and the M.G.’s, and Parliament/Funkadelic. And yes, I understand that – as a self-proclaimed funk fan – I’m very much in the minority for not having previously joined the ranks of The Meters worship[ers. Nobody’s perfect, right? As it is, I’m now fully stoked to join The Meters’ full-tilt funk party.
And what a party Rejuvenation is, with the band assembling nine funk diamonds for the album, each as raw and raucous as they are insightful and infectiously groovy. If you’re a fan of ’70s funk, you’re no doubt familiar with some of the album’s standouts like “Just Kissed My Baby,” “Hey Pocky A-Way,” and “It Ain’t No Use.” But if you’re like me, and have been blindspotting yourself to the band, or have just never come across their music before, such tracks will come as legit funk revelations.
So too will album opener “People Say,” and it’s epic closer “Africa.” Ditto for every other track on the album for that matter, with Neville and company feverishly romping along to deliver a sweat-on-the-floor set of soulful stunners as likely to get your butt shaking in your living room as they are on dance floor. And with this stunning release from VMP, Rejuvenation may make those locations one and the same.
Rejuvenation is an album steeped in an unabashedly free-wheeling sonic energy. And that “anything goes” musical vibe is very much on display in the album’s collage-like cover art.
It may be slightly tough to see, but there’ a lovely bit of spot-gloss finishing on the sleeve, which has become the norm for VMP released album covers of late.
While you’re checking out the cover of Rejuvenation, be sure and note the solid gold foil-stamping on the back forever branding the album a VMP Essential.
If you’re wondering what makes this reissue of The Meters’ masterpiece an Essential, check out the credentials on the hype sticker, ’cause they’re more than legit… including that killer quote from Mick effing Jagger.
Now, before you dig too deep into the box, take a minute to admire this month’s sticker contest winner from VMP subscriber Zach Shogren, ’cause it’s a funky beast in its own right.
For those keeping track of the growing catalogue of Vinyl Me, Please Essentials picks, this fresh OBI notes The Meters’ Rejuvenation as the 108th album to make the cut… which is pretty damned impressive. Flip that OBI over for an excerpt from the listening companion booklet which should help clear up exactly why this album was deemed worthy of the VMP Essentials treatment.
As for that companion booklet, it’s a page-turning deep dive into the world of The Meters, penned by Vice regular Josh Terry.
Like every Vinyl Me, Please Essential, Rejuvenation indeed comes with an album-inspired art print. And this festive beauty from Julia Fletcher captures the spirit of the music in a way few past prints have.
Of course, the star of any Vinyl Me, Please box is the wax inside. And I gotta say, Team VMP outdid themselves with this neon yellow beauty.
And yeah, it’s gonna bring some serious funk fury to your deck.
How does it sound? Like stumbling into a dive bar in New Orleans at 4am, and realizing the band tearing up the stage actually is the best fucking band on the planet.
Give VMP a Spin
I said it already, but I’ll say it again, I had no idea who The Meters prior to Vinyl Me, Please announcing Rejuvenation as their December Essentials pick. I actually went out of my way to not listen to any of their music prior to the arrival of the album as well. Frankly, I could not have been happier with that choice, as going into my first spin of Rejuvenation blind enhanced the experience in ways I simply cannot explain in words.
Make no mistake, this is one of the best sounding albums Team VMP has ever released. And as for their selecting Rejuvenation for the Essentials treatment in the first place, studied curation like this is a big part of what makes Vinyl Me, Please so much fun to be a part of. When they come through with a pressing of this quality, well, it proves they really are the best record club out there. Happy Holidays, vinyl lovers!
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!