Craft Recordings announces a new YouTube series that pairs the biggest names in music with classic vinyl albums, called Craft Recordings Presents: Shoplifting. The weekly series, which debuted with its first three episodes this week, catches a variety of visiting artists and tastemakers on Craft’s surveillance cameras, as they raid the record bins at the label’s Los Angeles headquarters. As they go through their loot, they’ll review their haul, offering insight into their musical heroes and early influences, while sharing anecdotes along the way. Artists will have their pick of Craft’s vast catalog of titles – from foundational jazz and rock albums to beloved soundtracks to punk classics – from such hallowed imprints as Stax, Prestige, Fantasy, Fania, Nitro, and Vanguard. The initial three episodes of the ongoing series feature alt-rockers Taking Back Sunday, jazz and fusion icon Chick Corea, and the legendary producer Scott Litt, while future installments will include the likes of Major Lazer’s Walshy Fire, Fran Healy of Travis, The Manhattan Transfer, The Zombies, and Poncho Sanchez, among others.
In the first episode, the members of Taking Back Sunday pocket a wide variety of titles, including Social Distortion’s 1998 LP, Live At The Roxy, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ 2015 self-titled debut and R.E.M.’s best-selling 1992 album, Automatic For The People. Guitarist John Nolan is particularly excited about Music From The Motion Picture Popeye: The Harry Nilsson Demos, and The Violent Femmes’ 1983 self-titled debut, declaring, “You would think this is a greatest-hits when you look at the tracklisting.” Multiple members pull The Traveling Wilburys Vol.1 and Vol 3., as well as the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s timeless soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. Frontman Adam Lazzara is also thrilled to find the Iron Giant soundtrack, which he shares is, “One of my favorite movies…I’m really excited to listen to it.”
The second installment of Shoplifting snags the multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning artist Chick Corea. A groundbreaking jazz musician in his own right, Corea reveals his endless knowledge of – and deep regard for – the genre’s history, while offering heartfelt stories as he goes through his picks. They include 1958’s Relaxin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet. “All of these great tracks…were all first takes,” marvels Corea. “They’re all totally classic. It really embodies the essence of the spontaneity of jazz.” He also examines a copy of the Bill Evans Trio’s 1959 LP, Portrait In Jazz, which he says, “Established this trio as being…a completely fresh direction in music.” Other albums in his bag include Yusef Lateef’s 1962 LP, Eastern Sounds, and Isaac Hayes’ 1969 breakthrough, Hot Buttered Soul. “Isaac Hayes and I became friends…and we did some work together,” shares Corea, adding that, “Isaac was a force.” While perusing the limited-edition Coltrane ’58 collection, Corea also offers viewers a lesson on how to properly handle vinyl records. “It’s nice having these around again,” he muses.
Episode three catches Scott Litt pinching from the Craft shelves. The legendary producer, who has worked on numerous records for R.E.M., as well as for the likes of Liz Phair, Nirvana, and Patti Smith, selects a diverse collection of titles, including Here’s Little Richard, the 1957 debut from the rock ‘n’ roll pioneer. “This guy was the real deal,” he proclaims. He also pulls a copy of The Pharcyde’s 1992 debut, Bizarre Ride, noting that the single “Passin’ Me By”, “Was one of the first records with the sound of the needle on the groove.” He adds that the hip-hop group was, “Underrated…but very influential.” Litt also grabs a reissue of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. “The reason that I picked this guy is because it is on Telarc. What they were known for was amazing production…as far as the best recording techniques and the best recording engineers,” he explains. “So I know for a fact that this is going to be a special recording.” Litt goes through a selection of titles by Creedence Clearwater Revival, whom he says were a major influence on him, while he also shares a fun anecdote about “Time of the Season”, off The Zombies’ 1968 LP, Odessey And Oracle. Finally, he holds up a copy of Miles Davis And The Modern Jazz Giants, declaring, “This is an all-star…record, and you could probably listen to this and learn a lot about improvisation.”
Produced by Laura Sáez, Craft Recordings’ VP of Content Development and Strategy, Craft Recordings Presents: Shoplifting will be an ongoing series, with a new episode dropping every Saturday. In addition to the names above, upcoming guests will also include the jazz legend Azar Lawrence, singer-songwriter Maggie Koerner, instrumental quintet Butcher Brown, Richard Patrick of Filter, singer-songwriter Caroline Spence, guitarist Nate Mercereau, Dave Alvin of The Blasters and The Knitters, as well as Miles Mosley and Tony Austin of The West Coast Get Down.
Sig Sigworth, President of Craft Recordings, said, “When we designed our new office space, I wanted to have an area where artists could come in, hang out and experience the quality and quantity of our catalog, and what better way than crate-digging? Although, we wanted to take it a step further and capture their reactions as they discovered new releases or re-kindled affairs with lost classics, and thus Shoplifting was born.”
Watch Shoplifting on the Craft Recordings YouTube channel, and subscribe for future installments.