Vinyl: 3 Reasons I am Excited For The HBO Premier

by Joshua B. Hoe On February 14, 2016 HBO premiers it's new series Vinyl.

Vinyl tells the story of a record company president as he risks his record label as he falls deeper and deeper into addiction in 1970's New York City.

The series opens in 1972, right before the advent of Punk, Disco, and Hip-Hop.

I am very excited.

I was born in Manhattan in 1967.

Many of my favorite bands started in NYC around this time:

Ramones,  Television, Blondie, and The Heartbreakers

And many more (so many more).

Many of my favorite hip-hop artists of all time started in NYC around this time:

Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five

Kool DJ Herc (The Originator)

Africa Bambaata

And many more (so many more).

Let's face facts, I am having a hard time waiting for February 14th.

I love this particular era of music more than I can fully explain.

But, it is not just that, Here are some of the other reasons why:

1) The Music

No matter how good the actual series is, I already know the music is going to be awesome.

How do I know this?

Well, recently, it was announced that Atlantic Records will release an album of the songs from each episode (in the 10 episode first season).

In addition, the track list for the first episode was released and it is looks amazing.

1. Ty Taylor — "The World Is Yours" 2. David Johansen — "Personality Crisis" 3. Kaleo — "No Good" 4. Sturgill Simpson — "Sugar Daddy (Theme from Vinyl)" 5. Ruth Brown — "Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean" 6. Otis Redding — "Mr. Pitiful" 7. Dee Dee Warwick — "Suspicious Minds" 8. Mott the Hoople — All the Way From Memphis" 9. David Johansen — "Stranded in the Jungle" 10. Chris Kenner — "I Like It Like That" 11. Ty Taylor — "Cha Cha Twist" 12. The Jimmy Castor Bunch — "It’s Just Begun" 13. Soda Machine — "Want Ads" 14. The Meters — "Hand Clapping Song" 15. Soda Machine — "Slippin’ Into Darkness" 16. Edgar Winter — "Frankenstein" 17. Nasty Bits — "Rotten Apple" 18. Foghat — "I Just Want to Make Love to You"

Remember, this is right before punk, disco, and hip-hop break so there is a lot of R&B, Funk, Soul, and Classic Rock.

But it is pretty obvious that some of the people responsible for the show were music lovers. They did some serious digging for some of the good stuff on this soundtrack.

Just to whet your appetite, check this nasty funk jam out.

That is The Jimmy Castor Bunch with their song "It's Just Begun" originally released on the album of the same name.

Jimmy Castor was a New York saxophonist and funk fixture (that sick snare and high-hat hook is by Bobby Manigault).

And later he is joined by an equally sick cowbell pattern (yes, they added more cowbell - sigh).

I mean that is just some awesome dirty grimy funk.

Another standout track is Ruth Brown's "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean"

Here is the recorded version:

And here is a faster live version:

Ruth Brown was known as the Queen of R&B and Atlantic Records itself was sometimes called "The House That Ruth Built." She was an amazing artist who has been largely forgotten, sadly, over time.

Let me not be remiss in talking about The Meters. If you don't know The Meters, just go to YouTube or Spotify and start listening. Just an amazing New Orleans band.

Of course it is not just R&B and Funk, there is also some classic Rock including this classic track by Mott The Hoople:

Unfortunately, literally as I was writing this, I saw that Dale Griffin the drummer and one of the founding members of Mott The Hoople passed away today.

I have been doing way too much of that lately, RIP Dale Griffin, and my thoughts go out to the other members and to his family.

You can actually here some of the roots of early punk in that song IMHO.

And that brings us to New York Dolls.

2) The Trailers

Add a big dose of crazy to that Mott The Hoople track and you have "Personality Crisis" by the Dolls.

David Johansen the front man for The Dolls was also an adviser on Vinyl.

The first trailer I saw for Vinyl just kills because of its inclusion of Personality Crisis, here it is:

What an amazing intro, how about I shut up, drop the needle, and turn up the volume.


That is Bobby Cannavale who plays the Record Executive whose life is dropping off a cliff.

I am even excited for his performance, for once he seems perfectly cast.

I love the New York Dolls and I can't wait to see how the punk part of the plot plays out.

If the show is even half as good as that trailer, I am 100% in.

3) The Dream Team

Vinyl is co-produced by the following three obscure gentlemen:

1) Mick Jagger - apparently a man of wealth and taste

2) Martin Scorsese - directs the two hour premier episode and has some history of effectively communicating classic music on screen

3) Terrance Winter - he wrote a little obscure show called The Sopranos. He was also responsible for Boardwalk Empire (I loved the first few seasons), and writing the screen adaptation of The Wolf of Wall Street.

What I am trying to say here is that there is a HUGE potential for awesomeness here.

And if nothing else, the music should be consistently outstanding.

That is why I am so excited.

So, excited in fact that I will do a weekly recap (hopefully starting on February 15th).

I am also trying to organize several music bloggers doing a joint weekly publication where we all comment on specific questions about each episode from a musical perspective.

I am still working out the details of the second project, but if all goes well, the end result will appear on each of the blogs every week.

Are you excited for the premier of Vinyl? What do you think of the initial episode track list? I would love to hear your opinion, leave a comment!