Queens of the Stone Age
What is this? : I doubt that I really have to explain QOTSA to anyone reading this, but the long-story-short is that they are a legendary stoner/desert-rock band that has essentially carved out a niche for themselves making music that is as intelligent as anything else out there in the rock-n-roll sphere. SftD is their sophomore record and one that many still consider their masterpiece despite the fact that at least three of their albums could be credibly argued for as the best in the catalog (the other two being Rated R and …Like Clockwork). Notably, this album was also the swan song for longtime bassist Nick Oliveri, who parted ways with the band after the tour for the LP had concluded.
Why isn't it on vinyl? : Well, it is…but 2002 was right in the middle of that blindspot for vinyl production. The result being that an official pressing of Songs… now goes for north of $200 anywhere it's available. The market has course-corrected a bit, in the sense that there are numerous unofficial and bootleg pressings available - but the reality is that you never know what you're going to get when you go that route, so buyer beware.
Why should it be? : Along with the consummate harder/faster-ism that for which QOTSA can always be counted on, their records are prized by audiophiles for their exquisite volume levels and mastering. It isn't uncommon for audio engineers to name these records as favorites by sheer virtue of the amount of sound that is packed in - this is no small feat for vinyl, mind you: as a general rule, louder albums can lend themselves to distortion or succumb to jumpy-groove syndrome. QOTSA records don't seem to have that problem, and their songs just straight-up kick ass. Whether you're into it for the sonics or for the songs, you're definitely going to be into it. The better question would be, "In what reality does it make any sense that official pressings of this aren't readily available for vinyl-addicts-in-training to discover?" The answer: not this one. The time to reissue is NOW.