Kenji Yoshinobu’s top 10 vinyl discoveries of 2011 (crate-digging edition)

This is a list of records I found while digging through the excellent record stores that St. Louis has to offer. I did enjoy a number of 2011 releases, but this year my most memorable experiences listening to music came from these records (with the exception of the new Thundercat album).

Happy 2012! Enjoy all the music you can before the world ends!

The Beach Boys – “I Can Hear Music/ All I Want To Do” 7″

I’ve always liked Carl Wilson’s voice best and he has superb lead vocals on this Barry/Greenwich/Spector-penned song. Good song to sing if you’re trying to get out of jury duty.

Blue Magic – “Blue Magic”

I only got this album because of the song “Look Me Up.” If I had a falsetto like that I’d probably try to play in the WNBA.

Bootsy Collins – “Ultra Wave”

“F-Encounter” is a song everyone should experience at a party. Preferably, a freaky party with costumes.

D-Train – “You’re The One For Me”

Classic dance album from ’82. The record cover — a woman smiling at D-Train from the window of a train — is actually how D-Train meets all his women. COME RIDE THE D-TRAIN, BABY! Fun Fact: D-Train helped write the Pokemon rap song for the cartoon show. Don’t call it a comeback.

Deodato – “Artistry”

Gotta cite my sources and say my boyee Neil showed me this. It was recorded live at the Mississippi River Festival in Edwardsville, Ill. I can’t believe how crisp the sound is for a live recording — this ain’t “Kiss Alive” sucka! My fav song is “Rio Sangre.”

Meadowlark Lemon – “Shoot A Basket/Personality” 7″

Mr. Lemon is one of the more famous ex-members of the Harlem Globetrotters. Apparently he made a couple records too. Is “Shoot A Basket” about sex? Probably.

Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood – “Nancy & Lee”

Some of the best duets ever. BEWARE OF PHAEDRA!

Isaac Hayes – “Shaft”

I have very little context for classic soul music. Luckily I got to interview Chris Lawyer from “Hip City” and he told me a little about the importance of this soundtrack. Maybe I’m being naive, but Vintage Vinyl has way too many copies of this album. When I got this I think there was a featured “Shaft” sale going on.

Tangerine Dream – “Stratosfear”

I still don’t know what the hell this album is. I only bought it because a tangerine dream sounds tasty and sublime to the max.

Van McCoy – “Love Child/Night Walk” 7″

You may know Mr. McCoy as the man behind “The Hustle,” but some of his other work should get more recognition. Pretty sure the late Ralph MacDonald is on the bongos.