Vinyl Me, Please Unboxed: Little Richard ‘Here’s Little Richard’

Geek insider, geekinsider, geekinsider. Com,, vinyl me, please unboxed: little richard 'here's little richard', reviews

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 in-stock VMP selections from the past or choose from a slate of super-limited releases pressed exclusively for Vinyl Me, Please. Yes, they’ve still got copies of thier killer Willie Nelson Phases and Stages re-issue in stock too. The store is open, and Team VMP is adding fresh new selections to their stock weekly. Do not miss out.

Word to the wise – while the store is open to the public, most of the covet-worthy stock is only available to subscribers. Members are privy to reduced “Members Pricing” as well, so joining the club has its rewards. If you’re wary of relinquishing control of your record collection to 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 May, I took advantages of Swaps to dig on VMP’s re-issue of a classic from the foundational days of Rock & Roll, Little Richard’s Here’s Little Richard. Here’s a look.

Vinyl me please
Geek insider, geekinsider, geekinsider. Com,, vinyl me, please unboxed: little richard 'here's little richard', reviews
Geek insider, geekinsider, geekinsider. Com,, vinyl me, please unboxed: little richard 'here's little richard', reviews

For The Love Of Vinyl, Please DO NOT BEND

The VMP Essential selection for May is Alice Coltrane’s sonically daring 1976 jazz album Eternity, which is an album I might like to own one day. But I honestly couldn’t say no to swapping for Here’s Little Richard this month, as I’ve always had a special place in my heart for music created in the earliest days of the rock & roll era. That’s in large part due to that being the music I always heard on my father’s radio on days he dropped me off at school as a kid.

Even as my taste for rock & roll has changed over the years, I’m always happy to tune in whenever I hear any songs from rock’s foundational days in the wild. If you know anything about the rock & roll music released throughout the 1950s, you know Little Richard is about as foundational as it gets. Some have even dubbed the electrifying piano man the architect of rock & roll as we know it.

Recorded in New Orleans and Los Angeles between 1955 and 1956, 1957’s Here’s Little Richard is a 12-song collection of rollicking, piano-driven rockers that brought to a simmering boil the sounds and styles indulged by other torch-bearers like Elivs Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Chuck Berry. Of those icons, Berry’s hard-charging, show-boating antics were arguably as big an impact on Little Richard’s overall aesthetic as an artist of the era, though a case could be made that even Berry’s high-energy performances paled in comparison to Richard’s infectiously over-the-top on-stage presence.

It was, of course, Richard’s booming voice that punched his ticket to rock & roll stardom, with the legendary Sister Rosetta Tharpe offering a 14-year-old Little Richard the opening slot at one of her 1947 show’s after a chance encounter in which she overheard him singing one of her songs. Little Richard spent the better part of the next decade learning the rock & roll ropes on the road. By the late-50s, he’d assembled his own band, released a pair of hit singles, and was ready to release his first proper album.

Yes, that album was 1957’s Here’s Little Richard, which rightfully kicks off with the second of the artist’s million-selling singles, “Tutti-Frutti.” Though it kicks off with what may be the single greatest album opener in rock & roll history, Here’s Little Richard hardly lets up from there, with the singer and his backing band ripping through a set of genre-breaking, lyrically dazzling tunes as full of explosive energy, suggestive themes, and catchy-hooks as any rock album that came before or after.

Among those tunes are a ceasless barrage of full-blooded foot stompers like “Ready Teddy,” “Baby,” “Long Tall Sally,” and “Rip It Up,” all of which sound just as fresh today as they did in the late-1950s musical landscape. And I’d argue that they’ve rarely been collected in a vinyl release as sonically and aesthetically pleasing. If you doubt me, pick up a copy of VMP’s Here’s Little Richard and find out for yourself.

Cover Matters

The folks at Vinyl Me, Please have delivered some pretty sensational cover art upgrades with their releases over the yars, but this glossy gold beauty fronting the legendary rocker mid-note ranks among the best, if only because it so succintly matches the vibe of the music therein. And I can’t help but think Little Richard himself might agree.

Geek insider, geekinsider, geekinsider. Com,, vinyl me, please unboxed: little richard 'here's little richard', reviews

As for the back cover, it’s got a few well-chosen words about how this album came together as well as a couple of first-rate animations of Little Richard in action. Yes, it’s also got the very necessary VMP Rock stamp, forever denoting Here’s Little Richard a must-own for any legit fan of the genre.

Geek insider, geekinsider, geekinsider. Com,, vinyl me, please unboxed: little richard 'here's little richard', reviews
Geek insider, geekinsider, geekinsider. Com,, vinyl me, please unboxed: little richard 'here's little richard', reviews

You’ll find some more vital stats about Here’s Little Richard on the release’s OBI-strip, which also fronts an excerpt from the accompanying listening companion.

Geek insider, geekinsider, geekinsider. Com,, vinyl me, please unboxed: little richard 'here's little richard', reviews

Penned by Mr. Jericho Brown, that booklet contains some fascinating insight on Little Richard’s musical beginnings, his enduring legacy, and the recoring of Here’s Little Richard. Check it out.

Geek insider, geekinsider, geekinsider. Com,, vinyl me, please unboxed: little richard 'here's little richard', reviews
Geek insider, geekinsider, geekinsider. Com,, vinyl me, please unboxed: little richard 'here's little richard', reviews
Geek insider, geekinsider, geekinsider. Com,, vinyl me, please unboxed: little richard 'here's little richard', reviews
Geek insider, geekinsider, geekinsider. Com,, vinyl me, please unboxed: little richard 'here's little richard', reviews

As for the sweet, sweet wax inside the sleeve, this split black and white colorway could not look any slicker. Thankfully, it also sounds cleaner than any split-color vinyl pressing I’ve ever owned.

Geek insider, geekinsider, geekinsider. Com,, vinyl me, please unboxed: little richard 'here's little richard', reviews

Yeah, it’ll dazzle on the old deck as well.

Give VMP a spin

How’s it sound? Like a sonic infusion of ’50s rock that still sounds like it comes from the future. While it might be easy to mark Here’s Little Richard as an obvious album for Vinyl Me, Please to tab for the VMP Rock treatment, I’d argue it’s one of their more inspired picks. After all, even if the album’s and the artist’s importance to the genre are well established, Here’s Little Richard is also an album that most of the company’s subscription base has likely never listened to in full, or on vinyl.

Perhaps more importantly, it’s an album that many probably would not have purchased on their own. Though I have a partiuclar affinity for the music and artists from the early days of rock & roll, you can count me in that latter category, as I don’t think I ever would’ve snagged a copy of Here’s Little Richard if not for my VMP sub. In case I haven’t been clear, I could not be happier to have added this rollicking little rock record to my vinyl collection. Odds are you will be just as happy if you pick a copy up for yourself.

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!

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