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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’re highlighting albums from 1972 in celebration of our 50th Anniversary! Whet your appetite for our Cue The Record celebration at Fitzgerald’s tomorrow night! 

Oh, the year it all began.  Join us on Tuesday, Mar 22 at Fitzgerald’s (6 pm) to hear some classics from Bowie, Big Star, John Prine, Aretha, Staples Singers, Sabbath, Curtis Mayfield, etc, etc.

CLICK HERE to get your tix!

Artist: Various
Album: Wattstax

Man oh man to be at this concert!  Held to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the riots in Watts, tickets were a dollar!  Are you kidding me?!  It featured the biggest stars on the Stax label at the time, including Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Eddie Floyd, Albert King Carla Thomas, The Bar-Kays, Rufus Thomas and The Soul Children one-upping each other.  That we’ve managed to play this record twice since it came in without selling it immediately off the platter is obscene!

Check out the track: Do The Funky Penguin


Artist: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Album: Will The Circle Be Unbroken

It would have been fascinating to be a fly in the wall during these sessions, merging then young up and comers with reluctant old-time bluegrass royalty such as Roy Acuff and Doc Watson. Most of the tracks were recorded in one take resulting in a raw sound and conversational vibe.

Check out the track: You Don’t Know My Mind

Artist: The Mothers Of Invention
Album: Just Another Band From L.A.

This album is often overlooked in Zappa’s immense catalog but features one of the definitive Mothers lineups.  The clear highlight is the full-sided epic Billy The Mountain, a parody of rising popularity of the rock opera about a talking mountain and his wife (a tree growing out of him.)  This was one of several albums Zappa wrote while laid up from an attack at a concert the year before.

Check out the track: Billy The Mountain

Artist: The Pink Fairies
Album: What A Bunch O Sweeties

This album is some amazing noisy 70’s proto-punk. The band was part of The Deviants/Hawkwind family tree, which spawned some of the most interesting proto-punk music of the early 70’s. If you are into that sort of energetic rock music, I would highly recommend checking this project out. Listen to the 9 minute blast of energy of Walk Don’t Run, which has some amazing fast down picked guitar reminiscent of the early punks.

Check out the track Walk Don’t Run


Artist: Cymande
Album: Cymande

This record is one of the best funk albums of all time. There are so many incredible moments on this album that just make me squint up my face. This record also has some jazz fusion elements, and the whole thing is extremely nice. I would recommend checking out the track Bra, which is a classic sample in hip hop.

Check out the track Bra


Artist: Neu!
Album: Neu!

This album is maybe the peak of Krautrock (if we set Kraftwerk to the side that is), its got driven yet droney guitars which create a rhythmic dynamic that I love. Some of the tracks are just singular soundscapes, and they succeed at creating relaxing noises that I love. This whole record is absolutely golden, and it is essential listening.

Check out the track Hallogallo

How Do I Order Music (Or Other Things)?

Val’s is now open again (safely)! Be sure to wear a mask and keep safe social distancing, of course.  Val’s halla has thousands of titles in its Online Store and we continue to add inventory everyday.  Can’t find what you are looking for?  Just let us know and we are happy to look through our off-line inventory of over 50,000 titles.  Also, we place orders with our record distributors 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!

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