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In honor of Record Store Day this Saturday: Ten records we treasure. What's your favorite vinyl?

In honor of Record Store Day this Saturday: Ten records we treasure. What's your favorite vinyl?

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In honor of Record Store Day this Saturday, we dug deep into our collection to unearth our favorite pieces of vinyl. These are the records we treasure above all else. Don't even think about asking to borrow them. If there were a fire, these are the first platters we'd make sure to grab. You get the picture. So these are ours. What are yours? What album (or albums) should we be exceptionally jealous to know that you own? Where did you buy it? Check out our picks and then share your own stories below.

Mineral/Jimmy Eat World/Sensefield - Split 10-inch

I have plenty of records in my collection that are far more rare or valuable than this one -- including the original pressing of Mineral's debut, self-released seven-inch with "Parking Lot" on one side and "Gloria" on the other, as well as an original copy of ¬°Alfaro Vive, Carajo! by At the Drive-In that the band self-released and sold on one its first tours -- but this split seven-inch featuring Mineral, Jimmy Eat World and Sense Field is my absolute favorite, mainly because of Mineral's version of "Crazy," in which the band dialed its bombast way back and delivered one of the most stirring versions of the Willie Nelson classic that I've ever heard. Listening to the crackle of Chris Simpson's vocals (he sang through a telephone receiver into an answering machine) and Scott McCarver's feedback-laden guitar squeals still gives me the chills to this day. It's so evocative. Every time I hear this, I always picture the song being played in a scene from a creepy movie in a stalled '57 Chevy on the side of a desert highway on a moonlit night. -- Dave Herrera

Various artists: Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas

I traded a copy of Cal Tjader's eponymous album for this gem, a two-disc retrospective of deep Brazilian cuts, one fateful evening a couple years ago. It was one of those magically serendipitous musical moments. I had been listening to N.A.S.A.'s debut record, The Spirit of Apollo, and was obsessed with the guitar riff on "Way Down." It turned out that was lifted from Ton and Sergio's "Vou Sair Do Cativeiro," the first song on the second disc of the Fuzz Bananas compilation. Brazil's psychedelic music scene produced some incredible material, and this got me started. -- Patrick Rodgers

Grace Jones - Living My Life

I wasn't yet born, however, the impact of this fierce woman with the masculine face and feminine mannerisms, has always struck me as gorgeous and edgy. On the album cover, Grace Jones is bare faced with a searing glance that matched the slinky lyrics of the song. "Cuss me/Cuss me/Cuss me for living/Cuss me for living my life." She later goes on to implore being cussed, bossed and choked. Grace Jones is definitely one of my spirit animals. -- Ru Johnson

Ride - Nowhere

It's not the oldest or the rarest or even the best artwork, but Ride's Nowhere is hands-down the loveliest, most ethereal listen in my entire collection. In the remastered edition, all of the thick, lazy emotion and overpowering guitar of the original Britpop shoegaze is smoothed and refurbished, sharpened and repackaged in a swell of ambition and potential that ended abruptly with the band's 1996 demise and mainstream fourth album, Tarantula. It's the kind of record that makes you want to stay inside in a daze for days. -- Kelsey Whipple

Various artists: No New York

I sort of love this record, not just for the music, but because it physically exists in my very small collection. A compilation produced by Brian Eno, it holds a lot of history for a short, extremely influential time in modern music for me. The back of the record is like a yearbook of No Wave artists -- Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Arto Lindsay, and Nancy Arlen among them -- who were all part of this insanely minimal rock n' roll-less, beyond punk time. For anyone wanting to get to know Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Mars, DNA and Contortions, this is the way to do it. Then go and read No Wave, by Marc Masters. And listen to the record again, and let your mind get blown. -- Bree Davies

Slowdive - Pygmalion

It was a birthday present to myself this year. For years, I couldn't find even the CD for less than $50 until it was reissued sometime in the last decade. My favorite Slowdive song is probably "Blue Skied An' Clear," the second song of side three. It's a hypnotic and haunted composition of aching beauty that sounds like it came together from a meeting of the subconscious minds of the members of the band. A daydream-given voice. The record itself was a big fuck-off to Creation Records for urging Slowdive to write songs more in the vein of Oasis. Never has a "fuck you" sounded more sublime or entrancingly timeless. -- Tom Murphy

Desmond Dekker and the Aces - "The Israelites" 7-inch

For a DJ, there's nothing worse than the sin of repetition. Oversaturation is the curse of the radio industry, and any DJ worth his (or her) salt would cringe at his set being compared to mainstream radio. But in one instance, I will happily commit this transgression, damning myself to disc jockey hell in the pursuit of sonic bliss. I have probably played my 7-inch single of Desmond Dekker and the Aces' "The Israelites" more times than I have flossed. Ever since I first heard it in Gus Van Sant's Drugstore Cowboy (and then immediately ordered the 45 off eBay), hardly a week has gone by without my needle kissing the black plastic of this reggae masterpiece. When I began deejaying around town, the single hardly left my record case, and soon complaints of "not this one again" began circulating among the staff of wherever I was working. But I would just turn my headphones volume up higher, ignoring their pleas and waiting for the night to be over, so I could go home and play the song again. And again. -- Josiah Hesse

David Bowie - Let's Dance

My vinyl collection is very small, but even if it filled an entire room, this would still be my favorite record. It was purchased during my post-Labyrinth, I-love-David-Bowie phase before I even hit double digits. I was quickly enamored by the catchy title track, which helped assuage my disappointment that there were no Muppets singing along on this record. This was arguably a seminal experience in my music-loving history; before purchasing this album, I based my likes and dislikes on whether I was easily able to sing along with a song, but David Bowie taught me that the musical world is much wider than Disney. (And I can still sing along.) -- Amber Taufen

The Clash - London Calling

While Combat Rock might have been the first album I bought by the Clash in 1982, London Calling was the platter that made me fully realize how wide the band's scope reached. Take any one of the four sides of the double LP, and you'll hear a band exploring much more than its previous two long-players, delving into rockabilly ("Brand New Cadillac"), jazz ("Jimmy Jazz"), reggae ("Rudie Can't Fail" and "Revolution Rock"), ska ("Wrong 'em Boyo") a bit of disco at the end of "Lovers Rock" and a whole lot more. Although the band drew from a number of different styles on London Calling, the album as a whole still feels quite cohesive. "Clampdown," "Guns of Brixton" and the title track are the standouts, but there's almost no filler here among the nineteen cuts. Listening to London Calling on vinyl brings out a number of nuances and details that seem to have been squashed on digital versions. -- Jon Solomon

Step On It! - Speak For Yourself

Any good slab o' wax should remind the listener of a certain time and place; only collector-scum buy records and forget about them the minute they update their trade list. Little-known hardcore four-piece Step On It! and its Speak For Yourself EP is one of those memorable records. The band formed as an excuse to tour, which explains naming their band after the Slapshot classic of the same name. The band had a wild and sometimes frantic live show that was often based around this record. Fun Fact No. 1: The Murphy Lee line "We all we got" from "Wat Da Hook Gon' Be?" was the inspiration for the title of the above-song -- which only further dates the release -- and Fun Fact No. 2: I'm on the cover. -- Nick Lucchesi



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