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Various Artists: Vinyl: Music from the HBO Original Series, Vol. 1

Track List

>World Is Yours, The
>Personality Crisis - David Johansen
>No Good - Kaleo
>Sugar Daddy (Theme from Vinyl) - Sturgill Simpson
>Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean - Ruth Brown
>Mr. Pitiful - Otis Redding
>Suspicious Minds - Dee Dee Warwick
>All the Way from Memphis - Mott the Hoople
>Stranded in the Jungle
>I Like It Like That - Chris Kenner
>Cha Cha Twist
>It's Just Begun - The Jimmy Castor Bunch
>Want Ads
>Hand Clapping Song - The Meters
>Slippin' Into Darkness
>Frankenstein - The Edgar Winter Group
>Rotten Apple
>I Just Want to Make Love to You - Foghat

Album Notes

Vinyl, a big, splashy and expensive HBO original series conceived by Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, and Terence Winter, intends to bring back the glory days of the record industry -- not the record pluggers of the '50s or the Sunset strip hustlers of the '60s, but the coked-out sleaze bags of the '70s. Set smack dab in the middle of that decade, just as the '60s hangover started to lift but punk was still nothing more than dry heaves, Vinyl celebrates the downright filthy New York City -- or the "Rotten Apple," as the show's signature buzz band Nasty Bits calls it on one of a handful of original songs here. The Nasty Bits sound a little like the Heartbreakers -- Richard Hell's, not Tom Petty's -- and their lead singer, one James Jagger, sounds convincing as he snarls up some bile, but the band, like their counterpart R&B stand-in Ty Taylor, benefits from specificity. Kaleo and Sturgill Simpson wade into the thick, murky rivers of pastiche, conjuring a very heavy '70s feel that recalls no particular period or band. Elsewhere, Vinyl drifts into familiar waters, recycling shopworn Scorsese tropes -- it's possible to feel the smash cut from Simpson's theme "Sugar Daddy" in Ruth Brown's "Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean. There are also songs often heard on other '70s soundtracks, plus a couple nice surprises (the Meters' "Hand Clapping Song") in the show) and the New York Dolls (by David Johansen, who was there when it all went down). As a whole, the Vinyl soundtrack is handsome, smart, and completely on point, which is also its handicap: instead of delivering the thrill of rock & roll, it suggests this history was all preordained. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


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