Written by 4:44 am Audiophile Music

Guardians of the Galaxy Special Editions on Colored Vinyl, Picture Disc and Tidal

Mark Smotroff supports higher education of comic book families…

I’m a concerned citizen of the Marvel universe and after seeing the second film in the Guardians Of The Galaxy series, I had worries about the well-being of young “Baby Groot.”  

“Baby who?” you ask? 

AR-GuardiansOFTheGalaxyStandardVinyl225.jpgYou know…. the alien tree creature who gave his life to protect his mates at the end of the first film and was brought back to life as a somewhat sassy sapling who likes to dance in the face of adversity (literally to ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky” as a battle unfolds around him)… 

You have seen the Guardians Of The Galaxy movies, right?

If not, go directly to your Netflix or Best Buy or Amazon and buy or stream these fun, irreverent and utterly refreshing 21st Century comic book-science fiction films.  They are both really really good adventure stories and a whole lot of fun.

But meanwhile you are probably wondering about Baby Groot and his well being. I mean, I know I am.  Well, we all know he has good taste in music as we saw at the start of the second film — again, he dances vigorously to The Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky” — so I want to nurture that musical joy and curiosity. 

And, because of my nurturing nature I went out and bought a special edition vinyl pressings of the soundtrack to the first Guardians Of The Galaxy film this past holiday season. I did this to support the education of little Baby Groot who has such an uncertain future fighting bad guys out in the wilds of outer space.

AR-BabyGrootPictureDisc225.jpgOk, so I also first set out to buy the soundtrack for my young Nephew who I recently discovered has seen and enjoyed both Guardians Of The Galaxy films. Its a pretty terrific collection with all sorts of groovy songs from the 70s beginning with Blue Swede’s version of “Hooked On A Feeling” and taking you through Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream,” The Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back” and The Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb.”  It is a totally fun set based on the “mix tape” given to the lead character in the film from his mother before she dies, a tape that plays an ongoing role in the storyline for Guardians Of The Galaxy.

So… yeah… while I was there I bought a copy of Guardians of the Galaxy Deluxe Edition for me too.  

Because I am a nurturing kind of guy… 

But… but… you see… well….  The version I bought is not just a regular record.  No, it is the uber-doober super-special limited-edition two-LP colored vinyl version of Guardians of the Galaxy Deluxe Edition soundtrack available only at Target.  It is pressed on truly very cool yellow and red splatter vinyl and the album sounds really pretty terrific.  

The standard weight vinyl is surprisingly quiet (contrary to popular opinion that all colored vinyl is noisy).  The discs are well centered and the songs don’t sound like they have been pressed off a harsh MP3-like source. No, this album actually sounds quite good with remarkable consistency as an end to end listen given that on Disc One features 12 tracks by 12 different artists, which means 12 different producers, 12 different mastering efforts applied to the fished recording and …. well… you get the idea.  There are lot of reasons why this album should not sound very good so the fact that it largely succeeds is a feather in the cap to the mastering engineer who assembled this set. 

Going back to Baby Groot’s well being, while I was on this Guardians Of The Galaxy quest, I also bought the limited edition picture disc of Baby Groot which came out on Record Store Day this Fall.  This is a nifty shaped die cut picture disc single that is stupidly cute. I mean…. it is a picture of a little humanoid tree on it, fer gawsh sakes.  On Record Store Day this was not immediately easy to find and it was pricey for what is essentially a single Fortunately for me — perhaps because it was ridiculously overpriced to begin with — I was able to find it pretty easily when I went looking for one in December!  It was still stupid expensive at the big name music store here in San Francisco, but I had a bigger plan for the pricey picture disc (which, unliked the Guardian’s of the Galaxy soundtrack, doesn’t sound that good, it being a picture disc ‘n all… but I am ok with that). 

Beyond supporting Baby Groot’s college education fund (and that of the children of his creators), I placed this wonderful little record at the top of my Holiday Record Tree which some of you may know about it already from prior years.  In short: yes I make a big tree out of colored vinyl records each year and I’ve been doing it for the last for five or six years and it’ proven to be a rewarding experience, an way of celebrating my favorite hobby in a non traditional manner. 

AR-GuardiansOFTheGalaxyTargetVinyl225.jpgThis way I don’t have to kill any trees and this keeps a few more pieces of plastic out of the land fill.  Mostly I use scratched up or non valuable records, only selectively putting up choice pieces very carefully so as to not scratch them, so don’t panic collectors.

So, yeah I’ve contributed to the college funds of the kids of several Marvel executives I’m sure by buying these high priced but fun vinyl jams. And you know what? It was the holidays and it was the end of a particularly pretty lame year for many… So a little comfort spending on Guardians of the Galaxy Deluxe Edition for my turntable and indulgent holiday tree was not such a bad thing.

Maybe you’ll do the same for yourself… Music is spa for your mind.  You can find the Guardians of the Galaxy Deluxe Edition “Awesome Mix” as a playlist up on Tidal if you just want to hear the music and not bother with the joy of an admittedly gimmicky fun physical version of the recording.  Click here for that.

And while you are enjoying poking around, pointing and clicking here is a link to my little video for the new and improved 2018 Holiday Record Tree.  

I hope you enjoy it and have a healthy Happy New Year ahead!

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