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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos

ZACHARY LEO'S FIVE FAVOURITE VINYLS FROM HIS COLLECTION

Pretty Girl is out now!

Image: Valentina Moroney.


Naarm/Melbourne-based funk-pop artist Zachary Leo has dropped his new single, Pretty Girl. To celebrate the release, the musician has shared with MILKY his five favourite vinyls from his personal collection.


"The song speaks of falling in love for the first time and the fear and vulnerabilities that come with that experience, particularly the feelings and emotions that people experience inside their own heads." the musician shares of the track.


He adds of the songs visual, "Brandon and I had no budget for a video, and we were sitting down listening to records and having some drinks and kind of just decided to start shooting some footage for the song. The video was shot and edited all in the same day and basically has no real concept other than Brandon and I just trying to make each other laugh during the filming. The running theme of the banana was more of an ironic part to the video as it is quite visually appealing, but I actually really hate bananas."


Leo will take to the stage for exclusive launch shows, kicking off in Kulin/Frankston on May 13 at Singing Bird Studios. The musician will then take to the stage at The Workers Club in Naarm/Melbourne on May 27.



I want to preface this by saying that the records I have chosen on this list aren’t my most expensive or valuable records, but they are the records that hold a very special place in my heart, for so many different reasons.



UNCLE JAM WANTS YOU – FUNKADELIC – 1979 - GERMAN PRESSING

If you have ever listened to the first two tracks on this record, you will know why I needed to have a good copy of it in my collection. I had this pressing shipped from Holland and it has probably been my most played record since the day I got it.

Not Just Knee Deep, the second track on the record, comes in at over 15 minutes in length and is in my opinion the greatest funk song of all time. Everything about it is perfect to me. The first time I heard it, I went crazy and the first time I heard this pressing, I went crazier.


The synth lines and that bass synth are some of the tightest playing I have heard. 10/10 piece of music. This is a must have record for any lover of funk and groove. The under-appreciated Freak of the Week is also a great track worthy of a listen. This pressing is also one of the best pressings I own sonically, making it a definite top 5 record for me.


Image: Supplied by Zachary Leo.



ADVENTURES IN PARADISE – MINNIE RIPERTON – 1975 – JAPANESE PRESSING

Minnie Riperton’s angelic voice shines on this record and I believe it is some of her best work! Baby, This Love I Have is one of my favourite songs of all time and I simply had to own it on vinyl. The melody and the emotion in her voice is like nothing I have ever heard before. I could go on all day about that song, so I will stop myself before it gets out of hand!


I came across this 1975 Japanese pressing of the album after about 3-4 years of searching and it was worth every day of waiting. This is a must listen and one of my favourite records of all time. An easy choice for the top 5.

Image: Supplied by Zachary Leo.


PRINCE – PRINCE – 2016 – EUROPE - REISSUE

This is my favourite Prince album by a fair way. This isn’t a very expensive or special copy of this record, but it’s the only one I have, and it has been played to death.

I would say it gets easily played 2-3 times a week. The album kicks off with one of my favourite Prince songs I Wanna Be Your Lover – a song with one of the funkiest 3-minute outro jams you will ever hear which also contains one of my favourite little synth licks.


It also holds some of my other favourite tracks from the man himself in Sexy Dancer and Bambi not to mention the fact that the album cover is an absolute vibe. Sonically this pressing is sweet and every time I hear it streamed, on the radio, TV, or online, it always brings me back to listening to it on my system at home. It’s just one of those special records for me and it has been a big influence on my sound as an artist too.


Image: Supplied by Zachary Leo.


LEGEND – BOB MARLEY- 2014 - 30TH ANNIVERSARY PRESSING - EUROPE - REISSUE

This is the very first vinyl record I ever bought when I was maybe 14 or 15. I had always wanted to own a record and I had been the kind of kid that grew up dreaming of a day when bands would release their music solely on vinyl and nothing else.


I think iTunes or YouTube was the main way of consuming music at the time, so the idea of people my age collecting and owning records seemed so unrealistic. I had just always loved going to the store and buying a CD or a physical copy of music, it was such an experience for me. This album was one that was played quite a bit when I was growing up and was my most played album at the time of purchase, so I made the easy choice to pick this one out of a wide range at my local JB HI FI.

It’s a beautiful pressing of one of my favourite artists of all time and the record itself comes in Rastafarian colours, which is pretty special. A definite top 5 selection as it started my collection.


Image: Supplied by Zachary Leo.


PARLIAMENT – MOTHERSHIP CONNECTION – US PRESSING - REISSUE

Last on the list and talk about hunting for records, it took me a long time to find an affordable copy of this one. This would have to be one of the most inspirational and influential records I have ever listened to. This album really changed things for me and opened up my horizons on what was possible in music.


It’s blends of funk, synths, and groove make it an infectious listen and sets one of my favourite types of moods! I love the sonic qualities of this record and the overall theme, concept, and vibe just adds to its appeal for me.


Every song on this record is worthy of a listen and I recommend just finding some time and a quiet space and taking it all in as an album rather than flicking through songs on Spotify. If you are into funk and you haven’t heard this album, you won’t be disappointed. This is an amazing sounding 180-gram reissue and I am so grateful to finally have a copy of it to enjoy.


Image: Supplied by Zachary Leo.



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