Skip to content Skip to footer


Vinyl Views is our weekly blog where we feature album recommendations from our store team (Shayne and Jaxon) and reveal picks from guest contributors. This week we hear from David Singer!

Scroll down to read this week’s album picks or start shopping!  Sign up now to be a part of our Vinyl Views family and be the first to hear about new releases, store events, and exclusive promotions.  Looking for a prior week of Vinyl Views?  If so, CLICK HERE

David Singer is a musician/filmmaker/writer/composer based in Chicago. His 5 LPs have achieved “best-kept-secret” status to his fans around the world, including some members of the critical establishment – his records have found their way onto the Albums of the Year lists in No Depression, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Huffington Post, and the prestigious Village Voice “Pazz & Jop” poll. Greg Kot of NPR’s Sound Opinions describes David as “one of the city’s most evolved pop craftsmen of the last decade.” 

David’s new record VICIOUS KICKS (AVAILABLE HERE! In limited Candy Apple Red Vinyl as well as Standard Black) reunites him with his longtime band The Sweet Science. The record was produced by Brian Deck (Ohmme, Califone, Iron & Wine) in Chicago.

David is also a celebrated composer, having scored projects including August: Osage County (winner of five Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize) and the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.  He recently wrote and directed his first feature film, Imperfections.

Catch David this weekend at Fitzgeralds!

More information is available at

Artist: Jimmy Campbell
Album: Half Baked

Jimmy Campbell is the great lost Merseybeat songwriter; his hits with The Kirkbys (“It’s A Crime”) and Rockin Horse (“Yes It Is”) stand beside anything of the era for lovers of pop craftsmanship. But his 1971 album “Half Baked” is something else entirely – a weird and thoughtful meditation that puts his Lennon-ish voice on everything from gentle folk to full-on pop raveups. There’s shades of that other Liverpool band everyone knows about, but also Emmitt Rhodes and even some heavy psych in the title track. It’s not on the streamers, so keep an eye on the cut-out bins.

Check out the track That’s Right, That’s Me

Artist: Ann Peebles
Album: I Can’t Stand The Rain

Everyone knows the title track, and for good reason: it’s an absolutely perfect 2:30 of soulful horns and her awe-inspiring voice. But if we’re being honest, the hook is that crazy electric timbale playing the raindrops – it’s a legitimately psychedelic moment dropped in the middle of an already killer R&B song. This is just one of the hallmarks of this singularly great record – these perfect, concise songs that find opportunities to throw something unexpected into the mix – check out the chimes that swipe exactly *one time* between the verses of “I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down” or the tremoloed Rhodes that plays the hook on “One Way Street”. But on every single song, it’s AP’s huge, gymnastic, gospel-inflected voice that makes you feel like she’s living the life she’s describing – it’s utterly sincere and totally disarming.

Check out the track  One Way Street



Artist: The Peacers
Album: Blexxed Rec

Mike Donovan – formerly of Sic Alps – is back with the third record from his outfit The Peacers, and it’s a ripper. Chiming Beatle melodies are underpinned with guitars that have been absolutely wrecked, bringing to mind the best of Ty Segall or the dearly departed Royal Trux. The weird moments are truly weird in the best way – disorienting, confusing – but when “Colors For You” (my personal Song of the Year) comes on my headphones while I’m riding my bike, I feel it in my chest every time.

.Check out the track Colors For You

Shayne is switching it up in 2021 and bringing us his custom playlists each week.  Check out here or come into the store and listen to them in our Sounderator (tricked out 1940’s refrigerator that you sit in while enjoying a tasty selection of tunes).

Shayne’s playlist this week is titled Send Noidz!


From: Shayne:

Let’s be real here, this playlist started with the title. With all the sales and events, I’ve been too tired to cook and living on pizza.  I’m quite proud of that name and the accompanying playlist bangs! Grab a slice!

Access the Spotify Playlist Here =>   

Lemon Demon

Song: Pizza Heroes


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Song: Pizza Power


Spider-Man 2

Song: Pizza Theme


Pizza Kids

Song: We Like Pizza



Song: Pepperoni



Song: Pizza


George Harrison

Song: Thanks For The Pepperoni


Chuck E. Cheese

Song: More Cheese


Artist: Big Star
Album: #1 Record

For this Vinyl Views I decided to choose albums released in 1972 in honor of the stores anniversary!

This is an example of an album that didn’t get the recognition it should have got during the time of its release. While it was critically praised, it was commercially unsuccessful, selling less than 10,000 copies, primarily because of poor distribution. That didn’t keep this album from becoming influential however, as it was a major inspiration for many early alternative rock artists. The biggest example of their influence on a band is The Replacements, who wear their love for Big Star on their sleeve, and eventually were able to get Alex Chilton, who was the lead singer of Big Star, to produce them. This album is an essential listen if you are not familiar with it. Each song is just amazing, and it is maybe the best power pop album of all time (at least in my opinion.)

.Check out the track Don’t Lie To Me


Artist: Slade
Album: Slade Alive!

This record seems to get overlooked in favor of some of the other iconic glam masterpieces released in the same year, but don’t ignore this one! This album is a thunderous energetic experience, and captures the raw blazing spirit of rock and roll perfectly. It features 4 covers, and 3 original songs, including a version of Born To Be Wild, which I actually prefer to the original. This album also influenced some major artists, one of which being KISS, who named there debut album after this record.

Check out the track Born To Be Wild


Artist: Black Sabbath
Album: Vol. 4

I’ve already expressed my love for Black Sabbath on this blog before, but I’ve decided to do it again. This album was part of a perfect streak of albums for them, starting with their debut and ending with Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. This is one of the more dynamic albums in this series, as it includes some softer passages alongside the dark distorted bliss they usually provide, which is a welcome addition. There isn’t much new for me to say about this album, as Black Sabbath has been talked to death. But there is a good reason for that. Sabbath rules. 

Check out the track Snowblind

How Do I Order Music (Or Other Things)?

Val’s is now open again (safely)! Bring a face mask and we will sanitize your hands on the way in.  Social distancing, of course.  Val’s halla has worked hard over this quarantine period to launch its Online Store which has thousands of titles for you to choose from.  We will continue to add inventory everyday, but just let us know what you are looking for!  We are happy to look through our off-line inventory of over 50,000 titles to see what we have for you.  Also, we place orders with our distributor every Monday which means we see them in our store by Tuesday (most of the time).  We sell records (as well as turntables), CDs, cassettes, 8-tracks, DVDs and more.  To get started, you can Click Here to access the Online Store, or fill out the form below to let us know what you are looking for.

What About Delivery?

Val’s is offering Curbside Pickup and No-Contact Delivery Service to customers who live within a 5-mile radius of the Oak Park Arts District. Orders can also be shipped to customers outside that radius for a flat fee of $5.  Order as much as you want – still $5 shipping! Stay safe and be well!

What Are You Looking For?