It’s July, which means one thing for vinyl collectors: Vinyl Weekend at Barnes & Noble! And this year’s vinyl haul is a doozy, with plenty of collector’s exclusives you’ll find only at B&N, including colored vinyl, limited edition cover art, and other perks. Be sure to stop by your local B&N for great records and great deals, including 10% off all vinyl, in store and online; 30% off select vinyl; and, to make sure you’re listening in style, 50% Off Crosley T150A-CG turntable and speakers. Below, check out a ten-album sampling of what we’re offering this year—exclusive pressings included—and don’t miss your chance to participate in two sweepstakes sponsored by Sony Music Studios: enter for a chance to win an autographed Buddy Guy standard Stratocaster, or a Leon Bridges autographed Epiphone Sheraton!*
In the Heights, by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Hamilton fans might not know about In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2008 musical about Hispanic Americans living in NYC’s Washington Heights neighborhood, but they should. As in Hamilton, hip-hop is the dominant musical influence here, but there’s a lot of salsa music and Latin pop in the mix, too. The resulting blend of styles makes for a lively, enthusiastic Broadway offering that can be seen, in some ways, as preparation for Hamilton, diversifying what musical theater could be onstage, who could write it, and how it’s performed. Barnes & Noble is the only place you can purchase this vinyl.
Back Roads and Abandoned Motels, by The Jayhawks
The Jayhawks are one of the most quietly influential bands in the history of American music; their alternative country-rock sound was decades ahead of its time, and their influence can be heard everywhere in both country and alternative rock today. Their new album, Back Roads and Abandoned Motels, is available on a gorgeous orange vinyl pressing exclusively through Barnes &Noble. We can’t prove that the orange makes it sound better, but we’re pretty sure it does.
Anthem of the Sun 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, by The Grateful Dead
Five decades after its initial release, Anthem of the Sun—the first Grateful Dead record to feature Mickey Hart on drums—remains a classic, and this exclusive vinyl release is a must-have for deadheads with a turntable. Fully remastered, the vinyl perfectly captures the unique mix of the album, which famously combined studio and live recordings to form a hybrid mix that’s neither entirely a studio or live affair. The end result is one of the most unique recordings from one of the most unique bands of all time—and this exclusive vinyl issue, in a fiery yellow-orange swirl, is the perfect way to discover or rediscover it.
Rush of Blood to the Head, by Coldplay
Coldplay’s second album, containing classic tracks “The Scientist” and “Clocks,” won the 2003 Grammy for Best Alternative Album. The leap forward the band displays on this record is remarkable—the arrangements, instrumentation, and lyrics are all more complex and more lush. This exclusive white vinyl pressing is only available at Barnes & Noble, and the classic format is ideal for enjoying Coldplay’s best work.
Heathen, by David Bowie
In 2002 Heathen became Bowie’s most successful album in over a decade. In the wake of Bowie’s death the album’s reputation has only grown, and this exclusive vinyl reissue is a triple record affair with a startling tri-fold cover and black, white, and grayplatters inside. Bowie was as much a visual artist as a musical one, and these colored records match the design and packaging of the album perfectly, making it an absolute necessity for the Bowie fan and collector.
Top Pop, Vol. 1, by Pentatonix
Nobody does a cappella like Pentatonix; their hip twists to the classic instrument-free style have made them among the most recognizable performers in the genre. Their sixth album is stacked with must-have cover versions of songs by Bruno Mars, Camila Cabello, Ed Sheeran, and Demi Lovato—just to name a few—and the B&N exclusive red vinyl pressing makes this the perfect party record that makes a statement the moment you pull it from its sleeve.
All Aboard the Blue Train, by Johnny Cash
Originally released in 1962, All Aboard the Blue Train was Cash’s fourteenth studio album, re-pressed on smoky blue/gray vinyl exclusively for Barnes & Noble. This album is best known for “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Wreck of the Old ’97,” which have become synonymous with Cash, but there’s so much more here than those two songs. For one thing, Cash’s take on Leadbelly’s “Rock Island Line” is fantastic—Cash’s voice and preferred tempo were perfect for songs about trains. “Hey, Porter” is another underrated classic Cash performance, and “There You Go” puts his mournful, bass-baritone voice to work in a song about heartbreak. This album is available in blue/gray smoke vinyl only at B&N.
Road House Original Soundtrack
A quintessentially American cult film, and one of Patrick Swayze’s most iconic roles, Road House is a must for collectors of 1980s action film soundtrack. It’s just as fun and rough-edged as the movie itself, with multiple blues-rock contributions from the late Jeff Healey (who played Cody in the movie). Healey’s band recorded covers of “Roadhouse Blues,” “I’m Tore Down,” “When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky,” and “Hoochie Coochie Man” for the film, which also includes Otis Redding’s “These Arms of Mine” and Bob Seger covering “Blue Monday.” Buy it from Barnes & Noble and get it pressed on neon blue vinyl, which you won’t find at other retailers.
The Greatest Showman Original Soundtrack
This is a re-press of B&N’s exclusive blue vinyl edition of the thrilling, energetic soundtrack, back by popular demand. The beloved musical about P.T. Barnum is buoyed by an impressive cast, highlighting the vocal talents of Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, and Zendaya.
Boys & Girls, by Alabama Shakes
Originally released in 2012, Boys & Girls is the Alabama Shakes’ debut album, and was hailed by the Los Angeles Times as blues rock “minus any affectation, histrionics or irony.” Get your copy from B&N for an exclusive pressing in pink and blue split vinyl. The band’s soulful, Muscle Shoals–influenced instrumentation meets Brittany Howard’s Zeppelin- and Bowie-influenced vocals to create music that can be loud (“Hold On”) or quiet (“On Your Way”) with equal intensity. And either way, this album is funky; “I Ain’t The Same” and “Hang Loose” could have been Stax releases fifty years ago.
Drop the Needle: Best of Ray Charles, by Ray Charles
What can you say about Ray Charles that hasn’t already been said? The man pioneered a fusion of rhythm and blues, stride piano, gospel music, and pop that still resonates in American music today, and was hailed by Frank Sinatra as “the only true genius in show business.” Not bad. And unlike most geniuses, Charles’ artistic output was very accessible, in part because he was such a versatile musician. He could perform slow, sentimental ballads (“Georgia On My Mind”), happy songs (“Hallelujah I Love Her So”), and songs about getting kicked out of relationships (“Hit the Road, Jack”) with equal commitment and skill. Pick this record up exclusively from Barnes & Noble.
*The Buddy Guy and Leon Bridges sweepstakes are open July 9–31. Barnes & Noble is neither a sponsor nor co-sponsor of the sweepstakes.