The 9 LPs Every Man Should Own
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The 9 LPs Every Man Should Own

The man behind Shuga Records gives a history lesson

  • 17 April 2015

Adam Rosen's one helluva music fan.

A former DJ. Vinyl collector. An authority on all sonic tastes. 

He's the man folks seek when trying to offload rarefied Velvet Underground records worth $25K.

He's been known to buy out libraries. Whole radio stations. No collection is too massive.

And luckily for you, dear music lover, he owns Shuga Records, a collector's goldmine of a record shop stocking over 100,000 titles old and new, open just in time for Record Store Day 2015 (that would be tomorrow). 

Shuga's celebrating with donuts and a turntable built by Goose Island brewmaster Brett Porter

In observance of both Shuga and Record Store Day, we had Rosen handpick some of Shuga's most prized relics — all on the floor and ready for a discerning home. 

Whether or not it's your preferred mode of consumption, let this be a peep into the mind of a true vinyl junkie:

Blowing In From Chicago - Cliff Jordan & John Gilmore, 1957
A hard bop classic from two Chicago greats. One of your correspondent's favs. Original pressing. Retails at over $1K. Both Cliff Jordan and John Gilmore (Sun Ra) learned their jazz ABCs from DuSable High School. Listen with whiskey in hand. Standout Track: "Bo-Fill"


Self-Titled EP - Tame Impala, 2008
Early cuts from Australian psychedelic rockers Tame Impala, best known for their 2009 sophomore effort Lonerism. "People forget it exists," says Rosen. "It's rare you'll come across it these days, but we've got a copy in store." Standout Track: "Half Full of Glass Wine"


Nancy & Lee Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood, 1968
Sexiest psych-pop country record ever? That even a thing? When there's a Nancy Sinatra, a Lee Hazlewood and backwards guitar solos and tambourines, then yes. An oddball couple if you'll ever hear one. Will either make you miss or hate the '60s all over again. Standout Track: "Sand"


If It Ain't Me 10" Jimmy Rogers, 1956
The Chicago Blues as its finest. Original Chess Records pressing from Muddy Waters's right-hand man Jimmy Rogers. Will set you back a cool $100. For rowdy crowds and burning oil after midnight. Standout Track: "Walking By Myself"


With a Little Help From My Fwends - The Flaming Lips, 2014
One of 2014's "most interesting releases," per Rosen. The Flaming Lips' track-for-track cover of Sgt. Pepper's, with help from Foxygen, Miley Cyrus and other fellow madcaps. Neon orange vinyl. Looks as bonkers as it sounds. Standout Track: "A Day in the Life"


The Ecstatic - Mos Def, 2009
Yasiin Bey's last record as Mos Def? Most likely, which could shoot up its value in years to come. Easily the MC's most progressive record. Hip-hop lovers take note: this one's out of print and increasingly hard to find. Standout Track: "Auditorium w/ the Ruler"


Electronic Music - Various Artists, 1966
Strange and unbelivably ahead of its time. Most obscure record on this list. Includes early experimental compositions from Walter Carlos  who'd later become Wendy Carlos and score Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange and The ShiningStandout Track: "Variations for Flute and Electronic Sound"


Dolphin Forever Love - Conan Mockasin, 2011
Rosen on Dolphin Forever Love: "It's like if Elliot Smith tripped on acid ... and also decided to sing like a girl?" Behold: the strange universe of Conan Mockasin. Dude's a fixture in the U.K., but his records come rare in the U.S. Standout Track: "Faking Jazz Together"


Kind of Blue - Miles Davis, 1959
Davis. Coltrane. Adderly. Evans. That's what we call pedigree. The best-selling jazz record of all time. Shuga has at least three early pressings. Sure, it's easy to buy a reissue — but why do that when you can own a bona fide original? Standout Track: "Blue in Green"

Nota bene: On the market for a turntable? For the newbie: Crosley. For the aesthete: U-Turn. For the audiophile: Pro-Ject. Happy listening.

The Specifics

Shuga Records

1272 N. Milwaukee Ave.
b/w Paulina St. & Ashland Ave.

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