Releases from September–October 2015

Great albums from around the world

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Find releases from 2016.

Also check out some of the great reissues of classic albums.

 

Special pre-sale offers

Low prices that won’t be available after release, so get in early and get a great deal!

 

Pre-sale of the week is Homegrown by Neil Young, out on 19 June.

Special pre-sale offer: Neil Young – HomegrownSpecial pre-sale offer: The Streets – None Of Are Getting Out Of This Life AliveSpecial pre-sale offer: Liam Gallagher – MTV Unplugged (Live At Hull City Hall)Special pre-sale offer: Fiona Apple – Fetch The BoltcuttersSpecial pre-sale offer: The Pretenders – Hate For SaleSpecial pre-sale offer: Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s DeathSpecial pre-sale offer: Courtney Marie Andrews – Old FlowersSpecial pre-sale offer: Steven Wilson – The Future BitesSpecial pre-sale offer: The Psychedelic Furs – Made Of RainSpecial pre-sale offer: Paul Weller – On Sunset

Christine & The Queens  |  Erland Cooper  |  Iggy Pop  |  King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard  |  Lady Gaga  |  Teddy Thompson  |  The White Buffalo  |  GoGo Penguin  |  Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever  |  Sarah Jaroscz  |  Larkin Poe  |  Liam Gallagher  |  Norah Jones  |  Peter Gabriel  |  Bad Touch  |  Bob Dylan  |  Gretchen Peters  |  Jessie Ware  |  The National  |  Paul Weller  |  Phoebe Bridgers  |  Khruangbin  |  The Rolling Stones  |  Neil Young  |  Bury Tomorrow  |  The Charlatans  |  Martin Freeman & Eddie Piller  |  Sparks  |  Glass Animals  |  Grateful Dead  |  Margo Price  |  Rufus Wainwright  |  The Streets  |  Fiona Apple  |  Massive Wagons  |  The Pretenders  |  Courtney Marie Andrews  |  Seasick Steve  |  Creeper  |  Fontaines D.C.  |  The Psychedelic Furs  |  Joy Division  |  Laura Marling  |  Deep Purple  |  The Levellers  |  Chuck Prophet  |  Everything Everything  |  Jason Molina  |  Throwing Muses  |  The Killers  |  Steven Wilson

 


 

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Releases for 30 October 2015

30 October is a huge day for new releases and could easily have included Enter Shikari, Martin Courtney, Son Volt, Maverick Sabre, Alison Moorer and more. The 8 stand-out releases are: Guy Garvey’s solo album, which confounds the stereotypes of lead-singer solo albums either being the same as the band or frankly bonkers; Matt Behringer’s (The National) El VY project, a worthwhile addition to an increasingly impressive catalogue; Otis Redding’s 12-CD Soul Manifesto, a treasure trove of one of soul’s great artists; The Jam’s Fire & Skill box set, comprising a live concert from each year of their existence; the two Van Morrison re-issues, including some unreleased gems; Roots Manuva’s frankly astonishing new album, Bleeds – expect multiple appearances on the year end best-of lists. James Morrison makes a welcome return after 4 years with Higher Than Here, but album of the week is 1989 from Ryan Adams; enough words on this one, just do your ears a favour and buy it! There are also multi-disc reissues of Alanis Morrissette’s Jagged Little Pill and The Velvet Underground’s Loaded.

  • Ryan Adams - 1989
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    • Ryan Adams  1989  CD £12.99 / LP £23.99
  • Well, Taylor Swift appears to have written Ryan Adams’s best album for a number of years. 1989 is a far superior product to the predictable heartland rock which dominated Adams’s last album. You also sense that the impact of this album could mirror his Oasis cover, namely that people will reproduce Ryan Adams cover versions of Taylor Swift originals. Adams has an enviable pedigree in retooling pop songs and on 1989, he has proved a master musical mechanic. There are several covers on here that mean you will never be able to listen to the originals again, stripped of its pop gloss Taylor Swift’s true songwriting ability is revealed. Buy this.
  • Roots Manuva - Bleeds
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    • Roots Manuva  Bleeds  CD £11.99 / LP £14.99
  • Not only one of Britain’s greatest musical artists, but one of the greatest lyricists full stop, Roots Manuva is back with a dazzling new album, Bleeds. Past collaborations with everyone from Gorillaz, The Maccabees and Leftfield to Coldcut and The Cinematic Orchestra, Rodney Smith’s influence can be heard right across the musical landscape. Now, with his sixth studio album, he has made his most concise and focused record to date, his most emotionally affecting and powerful release since his breakthrough, Run Come Save Me.
  • From the opening chords of ‘Hard Bastards’ you know Bleeds is going to be something special. The tune combines melodramatic strings and choral work with hard-hitting social comment and leaves us in no doubt that there will never be any sell-out in Manuva’s world, just a relish for being ‘a voice for those who how have little or no voice’. First Switch tune ‘Crying’ is described by Manuva himself as ‘a very paranoid fidget affair’, all tricky rhythms and deadpan delivery. Four Tet’s ‘Facety 2:11’ has already blown minds and ears on both sides of the Atlantic, a jump-cut, oddly beautiful meditation on the power of the word. ‘Don’t Breathe Out’ is an uplifting crossover moment with reggae lilt. Rodney describes ‘Cargo’, tongue only slightly in cheek, as his stadium tune and, with its emotional build, its easy to imagine a sea of lighters greeting it. From ‘Stepping Hard’, Smith unleashes a suite of emotional showstoppers, interspersed with the playground knowingness of single ‘One Thing’. The album culminates with the stunning, raw and beautiful ‘I Know Your Face’, which could leave you devastated if not followed up by the revived vigour of ‘Fighting For’.
  • One of the true pioneers and originals of British music, any album from Roots Manuva is an event. When it’s as good as Bleeds, it’s one of the musical events of the year.
  • Guy Garvey - Courting The Squall
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    • Guy Garvey  Courting The Squall  CD £10.99 / LP £17.99
  • The danger with distinctive artists so central to a band is that anything released in a solo capacity will be either being a sub-par trudge through what they are already known for or some bizarre piece of insanity that makes no sense at all. Then there’s Guy Garvey: a man who has made a career, not just with Elbow but in every aspect of his life, of working to his own set of rules. For Garvey, it seems, there is actually a purpose for such a solo album, and that is to make a truly profound statement.
  • What is he saying? Something fascinating, something different, something very personal. This is Garvey’s voice, not a collaboration or the coming together of like minds, but a series of personal notes being shared. It’s a series of experiences Garvey has held dear to himself and has now decided to share, ones that had to be said in his own personal voice and style. Central to doing this is the rhythms, with many of the tracks built almost entirely around them. And it’s this approach, this new rhythmic urgency, that changes the dynamic and tone of what Garvey is attempting so dramatically. This isn’t some completists curio, this is Garvey at his most hungry and raw, and that is always essential.
  • El VY - Return To The Moon
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    • El VY  Return To The Moon  CD £11.99 / LP £16.99
  • Members of the National and Menomena combine on a record that strikes a happy medium between the styles of those two bands. On the artwork for Return To The Moon – the first release from El VY, the collaborative vehicle of Matt Berninger of the National and Brent Knopf of Menomena and Ramona Falls – the former has eschewed his trademark solemn rags, the waistcoat being ditched in favour of a white shirt and trouser combo. It’s subtle, but telling: this album is more playful and less grand than the towering quatrains Berninger has indulged in on the day shift since 2003’s Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers. The bouncy title track sets the tone for a chic, intelligent listen. Knopf’s projects have always been more experimental than Berninger’s, and the combination frequently ends up in the goldilocks zone, finding happy mediums on the rollicking ‘Happiness, Missouri’; the beautiful ‘No Time To Crank The Sun’ and the funky ‘I’m The Man To Be’. Melodious and inventive, layered but not overly ornate: EL VY’s debut is too fully-formed to be dismissed as a side project.

 

    • Van Morrison 
  • Van Morrison - Astral Weeks (Expanded & Remastered)
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    • Astral Weeks (Expanded & Remastered)  CD £9.99
  • Astral Weeks failed to make the charts when it was released in the autumn of 1968. Over the years, however, the album has achieved a near-mythic status across generations of listeners who have ‘ventured in the slipstream’ and fallen under the music’s spell. Any best-of list is unthinkable – and worthless – without it. This version will include the mythical and long-rumoured long version of ‘Slim Slow Slider’ – the album version of which, as fellow Van obsessives will know, fades out in mid-flow before 3 minutes is up.
  • Bonus tracks (previously unreleased)
  • 1. Beside You (Take 1)
  • 2. Madame George (Take 4)
  • 3. Ballerina (long version)
  • 4. Slim Slow Slider (long version)
  • Van Morrison - His Band And The Street Choir (Expanded & Remastered)
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    • His Band And The Street Choir (Expanded & Remastered)  CD £9.99
  • Following Moondance’s breakthrough success, His Band And The Street Choir arrived in November 1970. While Astral Weeks and Moondance contemplate the cosmos and love’s rich conundrums, Street Choir resonates with a purposefully loose ebullience on songs like the Top Ten hit ‘Domino’, ‘Blue Money’ and ‘Call Me Up In Dreamland’.
  • This remastered version of the album is expanded with five previously unreleased bonus tracks, including an early, raw take of ‘Give Me A Kiss’ without piano, horns or backing vocals. Morrison’s impressive falsetto gets a workout on Take 3 of ‘Gypsy Queen,’ while the band turns up the funk on the greasy alternate version of ‘I’ve Been Working’ featured here.
  • Bonus tracks (previously unreleased)
  • 1. Call Me Up In Dreamland (Take 10)
  • 2. Give Me A Kiss (Take 3)
  • 3. Gypsy Queen (Take 3)
  • 4. I’ve Been Working (alternate version)
  • 5. I’ll Be Your Lover, Too (alternate version)
    • Otis Redding - Soul Manifesto: 1964-1970
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      • Otis Redding  Soul Manifesto: 1964-1970  12-CD box set £51.99
    • With his powerful voice and boundless energy, Otis Redding helped define the sound of Sixties soul like no other male singer. Before his untimely death, the Georgia singer recorded an unrivalled body of work with the Stax Records house band that includes such incomparable classics as ‘Try A Little Tenderness’, ‘Pain In My Heart’, and the number 1 hit ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay’.
    • Soul Manifesto: 1964–1970 offers an in-depth look at Redding’s remarkable career, including his 1964 debut, Pain In My Heart, and 1967’s King & Queen, an album he recorded with singer Carla Thomas and the last studio album released during his lifetime. The set also comes with four posthumous releases, including 1968’s The Dock Of The Bay, which topped the R&B chart that year.
    • With the albums on Soul Manifesto, Redding forever raised the benchmark for singers with his unforgettable performances on indispensable tracks like ‘Tramp’, ‘Shake’, ‘Security’, ‘Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)’, ‘I Can’t Turn You Loose’, ‘Mr. Pitiful’, and ‘Chained And Bound’.
    • The collection features the eight studio and live albums that Redding recorded between 1964 and 1967, as well as several essential posthumous sets.
    • Albums included:
    • Pain In My Heart (1964) / The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads (1965) / Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul (1965) / The Soul Album (1966) / Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary Of Soul (1966) / King & Queen – with Carla Thomas (1967) / Live In Europe (1967) / The Dock Of The Bay (1968) / The Immortal Otis Redding (1968) / In Person At The Whisky A Go Go (1968) / Love Man (1969) / Tell The Truth (1970)
    • The Jam - Fire & Skill
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      • The Jam  Fire & Skill  6-CD deluxe box set £69.99
    • It’s 40 years since The Jam’s classic line-up first started touring. The band had a phenomenal impact on pop music and wider youth culture. In their short career, they influenced a generation with their music, style, politics and inspiration.
    • With Somerset House’s current exhibition and Universal Music’s recent CD About The Young Idea, both of which trace the band’s story in hits and images, Universal/Polydor now announces a live box set that follows their journey through incendiary concert recordings.
    • Named after the legend painted on Paul Weller’s amp, Fire & Skill is a superb six-disc box set featuring six previously unreleased concerts, one from each year of their major-label career:
    1. The set starts with an early gig at London’s famous 100 Club from 1977. The featured show took place 10 months after they first played the venue in November 1976, and was recorded for broadcast on American radio ahead of the trio’s inaugural visit to the US in October 1977 for a six-date tour.
    2. A Music Machine show from 1978, featuring most of their second album, This Is The Modern World. This was The Jam’s sixth live show of the year and one of four low-key shows they played in the capital to fanfare their new single, ‘News Of The World’, under the banner ‘The London Blitz’.
    3. Reading University, February 1979. Playing material from their breakthrough third album, All Mod Cons, this was The Jam’s first live appearance of 1979, and found the band in a radically different place to their showcase at the Music Machine 12 months earlier. In that time, All Mod Cons had been released to critical acclaim, and their status as one of the New Wave’s most musically substantial and exciting bands had been secured. And Weller was still only 20 years old.
    4. Newcastle City Hall, October 1980, where the band previewed songs from forthcoming album, Sound Affects. In the time between the show at Reading University and this appearance at Newcastle City Hall 20 months later, there had been more extraordinary developments in the group’s world. Setting Sons, their fourth album, had given them a Top 3 hit with ‘The Eton Rifles’, which was followed in February 1980 with the stirring Number 1 single, ‘Going Underground’. After three years on Polydor, The Jam had finally become the biggest group in the UK.
    5. London’s legendary Hammersmith Palais, December 1981. Part of The Jam’s four consecutive nights, previewing material from the forthcoming final album, The Gift. The shows took in the innovative form of a ’60s soul revue, showcasing new acts including Bananarama, Department S and TV21.
    6. One of the band’s final ever gigs at Wembley Arena, December 1982. Late in 1982 The Jam announced they were splitting up; there would, however, be a final chance for fans to experience their astonishing live shows, with a 14-date ‘farewell’ tour announced. The centrepiece was a five-night stand at Wembley Arena (the recording here is from the second date), the 10,000-capacity shed next to the London football stadium, the biggest live venue in the capital.
    •  
    • Features
    • Packaged in mini, lift-off lid box with 72-page, full-colour hard-back book.
    • Individual gatefold wallets for the discs, designed as facsimiles of the original tape boxes.
    • Includes new essay, period photos, rare memorabilia and set of five postcard prints.
    • Remastered at Abbey Road Studios.
    • Featuring stunning live versions of all the band’s classic hits and favourites of which only 11 tracks have been previously released.
    • James Morrison - Higher Than Here
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      • James Morrison  Higher Than Here  CD £10.99 / Deluxe CD £13.99
    • Having spent the past four years away from the limelight, James Morrison returns with his fourth album, Higher Than Here. The songs on the album carefully balance reflecting the changes in his life over those four years and soundtracking your Sunday morning reflections by encouraging you to smile and reflect.
    • Alanis Morrisette - Jagged Little Pill 20th Anniversary
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      • Alanis Morrisette  Jagged Little Pill 20th Anniversary  CD £9.99 / 2-CD £15.99 / 4-CD £32.99
    • Since 1995 Alanis Morissette has been one of the most influential singer-songwriter-musicians in contemporary music. Her deeply expressive music and performances have earned her vast critical praise, 14 Canadian Juno Awards, 7 Grammy Awards (with an additional 14 nominations), a Golden Globe nomination and sales of over 60 million albums worldwide.
    • This year, her legendary album Jagged Little Pill hits its 20th anniversary. To celebrate the milestone, the multiple Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has curated a special collector’s edition of her global debut, an album that’s sold more than 33 million copies around the world and ranks as one of the best-selling albums of all time.
    • This new four-disc Jagged Little Pill: Collector’s Edition includes:
    • Disc 1: remastered audio of the original album
    • Disc 2: ten unreleased demos from the era handpicked by Morissette from her archives, recorded between 1994 and 1998, which offer a deeper and more personal look at the classic album
    • Disc 3: a previously unreleased concert from recorded at Subterranea in London on 28 September 1995, which captures Morissette at the peak of her success as she makes her highly anticipated UK concert debut. For this powerhouse performance, she was backed by her touring band (dubbed Sexual Chocolate), which featured a stellar rhythm section with bassist Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction) and drummer Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters).
    • Disc 4: 2005’s Jagged Little Pill Acoustic album.
    •  
    • The single-disc version contains the remastered album, and the 2-CD version includes the disc of demos.
    • In addition to selecting music for the set, Morissette dug into her personal collection to include never-before-seen photos and other ephemera from the time. She also contributes a new essay reflecting back on this time in her life along with stories behind the 10 demos included on Disc 2.
    • The Velvet Underground - Loaded: Re-Loaded
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      • The Velvet Underground  Loaded: Re-Loaded  5-CD + DVD box set plus 72-page book £54.99
    • One of the greatest albums of all time, The Velvet Underground’s Loaded returns as a 6-disc collection that includes:
    • • The original album remastered in both stereo and mono;
      • A generous selection of demos, early versions and alternate mixes from that era;
      • A newly remastered/re-edited version of Live At Max’s Kansas City;
      • Two high-resolution mixes, plus a surround sound mix in DTS and Dolby Digital;
      • An unreleased concert recorded in Philadelphia, May 1970.
    • Remastered stereo and mono versions of the album fill out the first two discs, along with various out-takes, and the mono mix for the unissued single ‘Rock & Roll’/‘Lonesome Cowboy Bill’. The third disc explores the creative process behind many of the songs on the album with more than 20 demos, early versions and alternate mixes.
    • Fans will be excited to hear the unreleased live performance featured on the fifth disc. It was recorded on 9 May 1970 at the Second Fret in Philadelphia by Bob Kachnycz, a fan who hitchhiked to the show and recorded it on reel-to-reel. The band was down to a trio that night: Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison and Doug Yule, who alternated between bass and drums to fill in for Moe Tucker, who was pregnant at the time.
     

     

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    Releases for 23 October 2015

    There are some fine new releases for 23 October. If you like your pop witty and exceptionally well crafted then Paul Heaton and Jacqueline Abbot’s new release, Wisdom, Laughter and Lines, is for you. Joanna Newsom’s latest, Divers, continues to prove what a singular songwriter she is. Killing Joke’s Pylon snarls in all the right places, three of a-ha’s classic albums are being reissued with extra tracks, Tracey Thorn has a very nice retrospective releases drawing together her work from 1982 until today, and veteran bluesman Walter Trout returns with the appropriately titled Battle Scars. Release of the week is the mighty Mogwai’s Central Belters, an enticing mix of old favourites and rarities across either 3 CDs or 6 LPs. Lovely!!

    • Mogwai - Central Belters
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      • Mogwai  Central Belters  3-CD £12.99 / 6-LP £50.99
    • Ah, the mighty Mogwai. Central Belters is a stunning set of career highlights and rarities, available to buy in a limited edition 3-CD box set and a limited edition 6-LP vinyl box set. The collection beings together tracks spanning the band’s 20-year career, taking in highlights from their debut long-player Mogwai Young Team (1997) all the way through to Rave Tapes (2014), the band’s first ever top 10 album.
    • Biased I may be, but everyone should own this!
    • Joanna Newsom - Divers
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      • Joanna Newsom  Divers  CD £11.99 / 2-LP £24.99
    • Divers reminds us that Joanna Newsom is, above all, an acolyte of melody and beauty in form, a crackerjack of emotional truth conveyed with undiluted immediacy. Here, the confluence of countless strings winking beneath the layers of instrumentation, biding quietly between the ranges of rhapsodic arrangement – including some by Nico Muhly, Ryan Francesconi, Dave Longstreth, and Newsom herself – there lies an intimacy seldom achieved, and simply heard. Divers dives forth with a pure love and respect for the traditions and mysteries of man, such that we can feel the surge of life itself passing over our bones as we hear the songs and sounds, the players and the arrangements. We have reached Peak Newsom. Divers is coming, to incline into your many and varied lifelines.
    • Paul Heaton + Jacqui Abbott - Wisdom, Laughter and Lines
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      • Paul Heaton + Jacqui Abbott  Wisdom, Laughter and Lines  CD £12.99 / LP £19.99
    • Wisdom, Laughter and Lines is the new album from Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott. This record is the second from Paul and Jacqui, following the critically acclaimed What Have We Become, which saw them return together on record for the first time since the days of The Beautiful South, who in the 1990s and early 2000s released a string of critically acclaimed records. Wisdom, Laughter and Lines is a wonderful contemporary record, full of lyrical wit and humour, while retaining a strong social conscience that touches on the changing social landscape of Britain.
    • Killing Joke - Pylon
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      • Killing Joke  Pylon  CD £13.99 / Deluxe CD £15.99 / 2-LP £23.99
    • With a reputation forged in fire, brimstone and magic, plus a collective view of the world that seems increasingly prophetic, Killing Joke have long been one of rock’s most iconic and influential names, with a string of revered recordings to their name.
    • Their story – and it’s an extraordinary one – dates back to 1978 and the post-punk scene of west London, where classically trained musician and vocalist Jaz Coleman, drummer Big Paul Ferguson, bassist Youth and guitarist Geordie set about establishing a new and idiosyncratic manifesto for reinventing the rock’n’roll wheel.
    • In 2009, this original line-up re-formed, and have since released Absolute Dissent in 2010, MMXII in 2012 and The Singles Collection in 2013; and now, in 2015, with the world descending ever further into chaos, comes Killing Joke’s 16th and latest studio outing, Pylon.
    • As with all Killing Joke releases, Pylon isn’t designed to accompany a quiet night at home; these 10 tracks (produced by the band and Tom Dalgety, whose recent credits include the hugely successful Royal Blood album) are very much music as ritual: raw, uncompromising and precisely targeted lyrically. While other bands of a certain vintage may struggle to maintain their edge, Killing Joke are currently delivering the best and most relevant material of their career, with Geordie’s eclectic guitar tones – delivered at arresting volume through a hollow-bodied Gibson ES-295 – continuing to define the black beating heart of the group.
    • Famously described as ‘the sound of the earth vomiting’, Killing Joke continue to be a punishing antidote to mainstream music and corporate life, with international tour dates being lined up from October onwards.
    • Elvis Costello - Unfaithful Music
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      • Elvis Costello  Unfaithful Music  2-CD £12.99
    • Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album is a compilation underscoring Elvis Costello’s new memoir, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, and was compiled and sequenced by Costello himself. This 38-track, 2-CD set contains a selection of hits and Costello’s favourite songs, including two previously-unreleased titles: ‘April 5th’, written and recorded with Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson and John Leventhal, and one of Costello’s earliest solo recordings, ‘I Can’t Turn It Off’ from 1975. The collection also features three exclusive audio book sketches that do not appear in the published memoir, and a 28-page booklet providing the complete lyrics and many unseen photographs, several of them from the MacManus family album.
    • Tracey Thorn - Solo: Songs And Collaborations 1982-2015
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      • Tracey Thorn  Solo: Songs And Collaborations 1982-2015  2-CD £14.99
    • It is hard to find a recent decade where Tracey Thorn’s voice and song-writing has not been influential. In celebration, October 2015 sees the release of a new Tracey Thorn double-compilation album entitled Solo: Songs And Collaborations 1982–2015.
    • This album deliberately isn’t called “The Best of Tracey Thorn”,’ says Tracey of the collection. ‘Many might think my best work was with Everything But The Girl, or the Marine Girls, or that I should at least include some of those tracks. But with any interesting compilation you have to have a story to tell, a unifying theme, and here the idea is contained in the single word of the title, Solo.
    • These tracks represent,’ she goes on, ‘on one hand the moments when I was working as a solo artist outside the constraints and democracy of a band, either recording tracks entirely by myself, or at least being in the driving seat, the one making all the artistic decisions. And on the other hand, those times when I guested with other bands or producers, performing as a featured solo singer, moonlighting from my regular job.
    • Solo is a snapshot of a varied and acclaimed career, and vividly highlights the contrast between the introspective, acoustic songs beginning with her fêted minimalist 1982 debut A Distant Shore and the more outgoing electronic music which saw Tracey soundtracking nights on the dance floor in the wake of Everything But The Girl’s 90s global smash ‘Missing’. After a self-imposed hiatus to start a family, Thorn returned in 2007 with the glittering folk-disco of Out of the Woods, her first solo album for twenty-five years. The more stripped-back Love And Its Opposite followed in 2010 and Tinsel and Lights, her alternative Christmas record, was released in 2012, all three recorded with producer Ewan Pearson.
    • Walter Trout - Battle Scars
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      • Walter Trout  Battle Scars  Deluxe CD £13.99 / 2-LP £24.99
    • Blues guitar virtuoso Walter Trout returns triumphantly with a new studio album, Battle Scars, on Provogue Records.
    • With bristling energy, unflagging virtuosity and lyrics that cut to the core of human hope and willpower, Walter Trout’s new album, Battle Scars, chronicles his horrific battle with liver failure. But the 12-song set, which will be released worldwide on 23 October, also captures the international guitar hero at a new high, playing and singing at the peak of his abilities, infusing even his darkest numbers with creative joy that sweeps like a beacon.

     

      • a-ha  a-ha Reissue Series
    • Continuing an epic year for a-ha, the Norwegian trio marks the 25th anniversary of East of the Sun, West of the Moon with a series of remastered and expanded album reissues.
    • a-ha - East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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      • East of the Sun, West of the Moon  2-CD / DVD £15.99
    • East of the Sun, West of the Moon was the band’s fourth studio album, and introduced a darker tone that hadn’t been explored before. It reached number 13 in the European album chart, and the lead single, ‘Crying in the Rain’, hit number one in Norway.
    • The deluxe edition features the remastered original album plus an additional disc of bonus content of demos, alternate mixes and live songs, including ‘Trees Will Not Grow On Sand’, a previously unissued demo. This release will also feature a DVD of Live in South America, first released on VHS in 1993 and made available here on DVD for the very first time.
    • a-ha - Memorial Beach
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      • Memorial Beach  2-CD £13.99
    • Memorial Beach was the band’s fifth studio album, released in 1993 and hitting number one on the Norwegian album chart. The album features three top fifty UK singles for the group: ‘Move to Memphis’, ‘Dark is the Night’ and Angel in the Snow’.
    • The deluxe edition features the remastered original album plus an additional disc of bonus content of previously unissued demos, alternate mixes and writing sessions, including the song ‘Bar Room’.
    • a-ha - Stay On These Roads
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      • Stay On These Roads  2-CD £13.99
    • Stay On These Roads, the band’s third studio album, sold over 4 million copies worldwide and achieved platinum status. The lead single, ‘Stay on These Roads’, hit number one in Norway, and was in the top 10 across Europe. The album also includes ‘The Living Daylights’, made famous after featuring in the James Bond film of the same name.
    • The deluxe edition features the remastered original album plus an additional disc of bonus content of previously unissued demos, alternate mixes and writing sessions, including the song ‘Evitar’.
      • Skids - The Virgin Years
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        • Skids  The Virgin Years  6-CD clamshell box set £27.99
      • A ‘monster’ of a release – 6 CDs containing 113 tracks covering the Virgin Records career of acclaimed New Wave legends Skids:
      • Disc 1 contains their debut album, Scared To Dance, complete with eight bonus tracks, including the singles ‘Sweet Suburbia’, ‘The Saints Are Coming’ and ‘Into The Valley’.
      • Disc 2 features the original Days In Europa album from 1979, and includes singles such as ‘Charade’ and ‘Working For The Yankee Dollar’ as well as a version of Mott The Hoople’s ‘All The Young Dudes’ from a BBC Radio 1 Kid Jensen session.
      • Disc 3 contains The Absolute Game complete with the bonus Strength Through Joy LP. Includes the singles ‘Circus Games’, ‘Goodbye Civilian’ and ‘Woman In Winter’.
      • Disc 4 presents the band’s fourth album, Joy – which has never before been issued on CD – along with six bonus tracks!
      • Disc 5 sees, for the first time on CD, the remixed version of the Days In Europa album, which includes the hit single ‘Masquerade’. Also included is the BBC In Concert show from March 1979.
      • Disc 6 is another Skids collector’s dream – all five of the band’s sessions for John Peel! The 21 tracks here include many which were never re-recorded by the band, and all appear here on CD for the first time.
      • Add in a 40-page booklet full of detailed sleeve notes by band devotee Tim Barr, all overseen by the official website, and you have the ultimate Skids release!
       

       

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      Releases for 16 October 2015

      Out on 16 October, The Twilight Sad’s Òran Mór Session is a bewitching companion to last year’s acclaimed album. There are spme wonderful John Foxx’s soundscapes in London Overgrown. Alela Diane has teamed up with Ryan Francesconi to deliver a fine new release. There’s also a couple of folk releases seeing the light of day this week: first, Bellowhead mark their farewell tour by releasing a career retrospective called Pandemonuim; second, an unreleased early John Renbourn tape sees a welcome release, with sleeve notes by John himself written just before he passed. This week also sees the welcome re-release of long-out-of-print British psychedelia classic Morning Way by Trader Horne. Co-pilgrim also favour us with their third album, Slows To Go – if you’re in the area, the album launch show takes place on 25th October at The Hyde Tavern in Winchester, and it’s free! There’s also a 6-CD / 8-LP box set from Brad Mehldau, divided into four themes. Release of the week is Josh Ritter’s very fine Sermon On The Rocks.

      • Josh Ritter - Sermon on the Rocks
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        • Josh Ritter  Sermon on the Rocks  CD £12.99 / Deluxe 2-CD £15.99 / LP £22.99
      • Josh Ritter is the epitome of an experienced songwriter. After graduating from Oberlin College in 1999, Ritter devoted his life to a songwriting career, releasing albums independently and garnering word-of-mouth popularity. He eventually caught the attention of Irish songwriter Glen Hansard (writer of the song ‘Falling Slowly’ from the movie Once) and was invited to be the tour opener for his band The Frames. This resulted in Josh gaining international success, with his third record, Hello Starling, becoming a charting hit in Ireland. His songs have been featured on the TV show Parenthood, and in movies like The Other Woman and Typeface. Josh Ritter has so far released 7 studio albums, is an author, husband, father, and is considered one of the best living songwriters.
      • The Twilight Sad - Òran Mór Session
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        • The Twilight Sad  Òran Mór Session  CD  £10.99 / LP £16.99
      • Almost a year since the release of their acclaimed fourth album, Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave, The Twilight Sad return with Òran Mór Session: a collection of reworked, stripped-back versions of tracks from that album, B-sides and a cover of Arthur Russell’s ‘I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face’. The sessions act as something of a means to recap and reflect on what’s been a whirlwind past year for the band, earning rave reviews from publications including The Sunday Times, The Quietus and Q, alongside topping Drowned In Sound’s best albums of 2014 and earning a rare perfect ten from the site.
      • ‘It’s not until you assemble, no, grow, because this is nothing if not organic, the whole thing, that the jaw-dropping brilliance of the album reveals itself.’ – Drowned In Sound (10/10)
      • ‘Simple but effective, the lyrics are bleak, bitter phrases of existential loneliness and torment. His emotion hits just as potently throughout.’ – NME (8/10)
      • ‘The group’s fourth LP more than justifies [their] ascension. Where there were youthful, wayward meanderings, Graham has emerged a man, exorcising the sorrows of lessons learnt along the way.’ – The Quietus
      • Bellowhead - Pandemonuim: The Essential
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        • Bellowhead  Pandemonuim: The Essential  CD £10.99
      • Pandemonium: The Essential Bellowhead is a definitive career-spanning best-of from seminal British folk behemoth Bellowhead, and includes tracks from each of their official records. Released to coincide with their recently announced farewell tours, and due to popular demand, this career retrospective includes 13 carefully selected tracks by the 11 band members, designed to represent some of the high points of their stellar 11-year career.
      • Formed in 2004, the band scarcely imagined that one day they’d be headlining major UK and international festivals and selling out tours of major concert halls, or that they’d sell in excess of 250,000 albums, including both the highest-selling independently released traditional album of all time (Hedonism) and the highest-charting independently released UK folk album of all time (Broadside).
      • Bellowhead are the proud recipients of two silver discs and have won a total of eight BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. The band’s last studio album, Revival (2014), was released by Island Records, entered the UK Album Charts at no.12 and led to three BBC Radio 2 play-listed singles, as well as appearances on mainstream TV.
      • Co-pilgrim - Slows To Go
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        • Co-pilgrim  Slows To Go  CD £9.99
      • Co-pilgrim bring you their brand-new album Slows To Go, follow-up to last year’s critically acclaimed Plumes. The album features members of The Dreaming Spires, Mike Gale, Goldrush and Black Nielson and is released on Battle worldwide.
      • Co-pilgrim’s Mike Gale is a man on a mission. Slows To Go is the third Co-pilgrim album in three years, not to mention the two solo albums he has released in 2015 alone. Whereas Plumes and its predecessor, A Fairer Sea (2013), were in essence a collaboration between Gale and producer/multi-instrumentalist Joe Bennett (Dreaming Spires/Goldrush/Danny & The Champs), Slows To Go realises an even fuller sound, with strong contributions from the other band members. Bennett is still at the helm, and Co-pilgrim’s trademark lush harmonies are still in evidence (think classic 70s pop and The Beach Boys), but now 12-string riffs and interwoven 6-string guitar lines abound as well, with tracks like ‘Echo In My Dreams’ and ‘Save The Queen Blazer’ calling to mind Murmur-era REM or esoteric 80s cassette aficionados Cleaners From Venus; meanwhile the rolling melodic bass lines of Andy Reaney (previously Gale’s co-conspirator in cult noughties indie-slackers Black Nielson) do nothing to dispel that notion. Throw in a good dose of boy–girl call-and-response vocals on instant pop classics like ‘Sweet Murmur Of’ and ‘You Come Over, You Go’, add in the weeping slide of ‘It’s A Blue Moon’, the exhilarating pop rush of ‘Wave In The Siddy’, and the weary beauty of slow burners like closing track ‘Don’t Go Meek Into That Night’, and the result is a trip that traverses the peaks and troughs of the human condition. If A Fairer Sea was a break-up album and Plumes was an expression of grief (albeit both concealed with killer pop tunes), then Slows To Go is a reflection on where those experiences have left Co-pilgrim – all the stronger for it.
      • Trader Horne - Morning Way
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        • Trader Horne  Morning Way  CD £10.99 / LP £15.99
      • Originally released on Pye’s alt-label Dawn, Trader Horne’s Morning Way is widely agreed to be one of the unsung musical treasures of the 70s. Judy Dyble (Fairport Convention / Giles, Giles & Fripp, amongst others) and Jackie McAuley (Them) formed Trader Horne in 1969, naming their group – so the legend goes! – after John Peel’s nanny. By turns folk (‘Jenny May’), pop (‘Sheena’) and something altogether more esoteric (‘Velvet To Atone’), Trader’s only album is a shining example of the cult British psychedelic era.
      • The LP comes with high-quality download, which includes two additional non-album tracks, Here Comes The Rain and Goodbye Mercy Kelly (which are included on the CD).
      • John Renbourn - The Attic Tapes
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        • John Renbourn  The Attic Tapes  CD £10.99
      • Lovingly mastered from old tapes found in a friend’s attic, this is a vintage collection of previously unreleased rarities and early works by one of the guitar’s truly great innovators.
      • A remarkable guitarist dedicated to innovation and technical mastery who blended elements of English and Celtic folk, jazz, country blues, pre-Renaissance and Western/Eastern classical traditions, John Renbourn achieved world-wide acclaim with the band Pentangle. He was an inspirational musician who has influenced so many of today’s great guitarists.
      • The Attic Tapes represents, in John’s own words, ‘what was happening to me at the time and a reflection of the general scene’. These recordings were made in the two or three years before his first ever official release for Transatlantic Records, released in February 1966.
      • Mastered from a series of long lost tapes dating back to the early 1960s, the album not only features collaborations with Davy Graham and Beverley Martyn, it also includes a long-lost version of Davy’s classic ‘Anji’ recorded in 1962. It includes sleeve notes by John, written shortly before his death in March 2015.
      • John Foxx - London Overgrown
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        • John Foxx  London Overgrown  CD £11.99
      • London Overgrown is a project John Foxx has been working on for years, inspired by his own experiences of London – including an abandoned, overgrown Shoreditch in the early 1980s – futuristic visions of a derelict city dating back to the sci-fi of Quatermass, which he watched as a child, and a strong desire to propose ‘an actual city,’ explains Foxx. ‘A plan for London. A beautiful new overgrown city. Perhaps this may be initiated gradually, by obtaining permission to allow a street or two to become overgrown, them it may come to be seen as a Post Carbon City, a way of greening London. Let’s practice vertical gardening all over buildings everywhere. Create the Hanging Gardens of Shoreditch, The Glades of Soho, encourage London to become a truly green city. Let’s resurrect Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. Allow Hyde Park to spread through Soho to the river. Encourage Hampstead Heath to meet Richmond Park at its borders, via all the squares and gardens and rooftops, right across London …
      • The music is ambient and electronic; immersive soundscapes for an empty, overgrown city and a wordless relative of Foxx’s Cathedral Oceans.
      • Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi - Cold Moon
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        • Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi  Cold Moon  CD £10.99 / LP £15.99
      • Singer/songwriter Alela Diane and guitarist Ryan Francesconi have collaborated to create Cold Moon. The two musicians talked at a friend’s show in October 2014, chatting about how they were both experiencing creative standstills. Ryan was lacking inspiration to make more instrumental music, and Alela was at a loss for how to dive into writing a new record after the birth of her daughter. A few days later, Ryan asked Alela if she would be into collaborating and then sent her several recordings of intricate, beautiful guitar pieces. Alela listened on repeat while staring out the window at the changing leaves, initially unsure how to sing even a note over what she heard. Eventually, something clicked. Words came first, and with words, melody followed. Throughout the winter, Alela made trips across town to Ryan’s house to woodshed the songs over cups of tea. Before they knew it, they had a record--a collaboration of voice and guitar with intangible moods and resonances--a collection that calls you to reflect and be hopeful. A wintry music born in December. And so rose the Cold Moon.
      • Brad Mehldau - 10 Years Solo Live
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        • Brad Mehldau  10 Years Solo Live  6-CD box set £32.99 / 8-LP box set £134.99
      • Brad Mehldau’s 10 Years Solo Live is an eight-LP vinyl box set culled from 19 live recordings made over a decade of the pianist’s European solo concerts. It is divided into four thematic subsets of four sides each: ‘Dark/Light’, ‘The Concert’, ‘Intermezzo/Rückblick’, ‘E Minor/E Major’.
      • As Mehldau explains in his liner note for the album, ‘Although it totals around 300 minutes, the order of songs is not arbitrary, and I have tried to tell a story from beginning to end in the way I’ve sequenced it. There is a theme and character given to each four-side set.
      • Of the Dark/Light theme, he says: ‘In concerts, I find that I contrast dark and light emotional energies and highlight the way they depend on each other. Sides 1–4 focus on this dichotomy in pairs, beginning with the dark energy of Jeff Buckley’s “Dream Brother”, which is followed by the grace of Lennon/McCartney’s “Blackbird”.
      • Of The Concert he continues: ‘Although the songs on Sides 5–8 come from different concerts, on this set I arranged them in a sequence similar to that I would perform in a single concert in 2010–11.
      • I’m thinking of the penultimate movement of Brahms’s Third Piano Sonata,’ Mehldau says of the third set. ‘Rückblick means a look backward, perhaps a reappraisal. Brahms’s Intermezzo movement was a look back at what had taken place in his Sonata before moving to the final movement. Here, the listener is invited to look back to music that was recorded 10 or more years ago, in 2004 and 2005.
      • Mehldau explains that his approach to the sequence of the fourth set ‘is to focus on the rub between the keys of E minor and E major. I return to the theme of dark and light from the first set, now allowing the listener to focus on how “dark” and “light” might manifest in tonality.
      • Beach House - Thank Your Lucky Stars
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        • Beach House  Thank Your Lucky Stars  CD £12.99 / LP £20.99
      • Less than two months after the release of the much celebrated Depression Cherry, Beach House grace us all with their sixth full-length album, Thank Your Lucky Stars. ‘We are very excited, it’s an album being released the way we want,’ the band wrote on Twitter. ‘It’s not a companion to Depression Cherry or a surprise or B-sides.’ One thing’s for sure: the band are steadily climbing towards their peak creative output on this newest album.
       

       

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      Releases for 9 October 2015

      This week sees the pace of new releases drop slightly, but there are still some belters due out on 9th October. This week’s eclectic selection starts with Jesse Malin, who returns with a fine effort, Outsiders. I have fallen in love with Israel Nash’s Silver Season – a fine example of cosmic American music. Small Faces have a 5-CD box set covering their Decca Years; Tom Jones releases Long Lost Suitcase, the final effort in his trilogy and his first since 2012’s Spirit in the Room; Reverend & The MakersMirrors has been described by no less an authority than Carl Barât as their magnum opus; Nigel Kennedy gives Vivaldi’s Four Seasons a fresh perspective; and there are vinyl reissues of four of Status Quo’s early albums. However, releases of the week is John Grant’s Grey Tickles, Black Pressure – and mighty fine it is too!

      • John Grant - Grey Tickles, Black Pressure
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        • John Grant  Grey Tickles, Black Pressure  CD £11.99 / LP £19.99
      • John Grant’s third album, the invitingly titled Grey Tickles, Black Pressure, is a veritable tour-de-force that further refines and entwines his two principal strands of musical DNA: the sumptuous tempered ballad and the taut, fizzing electronic pop song. There are newer musical accomplishments within its panoply of towering sound, like the title track’s new steely demeanour, while the ominous drama of ‘Black Blizzard’ echoes both John Carpenter and Bernard ‘Black Devil Disco Club’ Fevre’s beautiful and icy synthscapes. The contagious, gleeful ‘You And Him’ marries buzzing rock with a squelchy electronic undertow, while orchestral drama swathes the bad-dreamy ‘Global Warming’ and the album’s gorgeously aching widescreen finale, ‘Geraldine’.
      • Jesse Malin - Outsiders
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        • Jesse Malin  Outsiders  CD £11.99 / LP £17.99
      • Fresh off the heels of New York Before The War, Jesse Malin returns with his latest album, Outsiders, born of late night recording sessions in the Pennsylvania Woods with producer Don DiLego. Far from any expectations, Outsiders presents Jesse Malin in his rawest form yet. Malin himself describes the album as ‘a record built out of optimism and disgust – one for leavers, the believers, the hustlers and the chicken hawks who could never catch us.
      • Tom Jones - Long Lost Suitcase
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        • Tom Jones  Long Lost Suitcase  CD £12.99
      • Tom Jones makes his long-awaited return with the release of Long Lost Suitcase, the third in a trilogy of albums which visit his musical roots, following 2010’s Praise And Blame and 2012’s Spirit In The Room.
      • Long Lost Suitcase weaves yet another distinctive path via a catalogue of tracks that have impacted on Tom throughout his career. The title seemed apt, as Tom has trawled through memories, recalling stories and anecdotes for his first and only biography, Over The Top And Back, and the tracks on this album comprise another outstanding collection. The album becomes ever more pertinent with track titles interwoven into the chapters of a book that resonate with reality over what has been a truly groundbreaking and unpredictable journey. Long Lost Suitcase is the heart and soul of a performer who is still willing to push the boundaries. This album comes as a CD in a jewel case with a 16-page booklet featuring rare photos of Tom’s career.
      • Israel Nash - Israel Nash’s Silver Season
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        • Israel Nash  Israel Nash’s Silver Season  CD £11.99 / LP £22.99
      • Cosmos-wrangling Americana upstart Israel Nash returns from Texas Hill Country with his Silver Season, a deeply gorgeous and wholly immersive nine-song set that plays less like an album and more like a cross-section of time and space. Nash’s fourth LP ventures farther down the acid-soaked trail blazed by 2013’s Rain Plains, arriving in lush and expansive territory. Here, this Missouri son sounds more assured than ever, supported by his highly capable band, with production inspired by psychedelic greats. Israel Nash’s Silver Season is best played loudly.
      • Kendrick Lamarr - To Pimp A Butterfly
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        • Kendrick Lamarr  To Pimp A Butterfly  2-LP £24.99
      • Third studio album by the American rapper. Featuring the singles ‘i’, ‘King Kunta’ and ‘The Blacker the Berry’ featuring Assassin, the album debuted at number 1 in the UK Albums Chart. Now available at last on double vinyl.
      • Reverend & The Makers - Mirrors
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        • Reverend & The Makers  Mirrors  CD £11.99 / LP £18.99
      • The album has already drawn praise from Noel Gallagher (Oasis) and Carl Barât (The Libertines) after recording sessions at Sheffield’s 2 Fly Studios and the Geejam Studios in Jamaica. Produced by Dave Sanderson, with additional mixing and production by Youth and Alan Smyth. ‘So I’m listening to Mirrors for the first time and I’m about 15 minutes in when it dawns on me that this is like something that sounds like nothing I’ve heard since the great concept albums of the 60’s,’ Gallagher says of the record. ‘You can always rely on the Reverend for a volley of lyrical grenades, but Mirrors is a magnum opus,’ Barât believes.
      • Nigel Kennedy - Vivaldi: The New Four Seasons
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        • Nigel Kennedy  Vivaldi: The New Four Seasons  CD £10.99
      • Nigel Kennedy’s breakthrough recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in 1989 earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the best-selling classical work of all time. It sold in excess of 2 million copies and the album remained top of the UK classical charts for almost two years.
      • Now, in 2015, Kennedy returns with a completely fresh take on The Four Seasons, but while the music sounds hugely different, his creative attitude is the same. Once again he has set out to prove that The Four Seasons can be music for all time, and in his opinion there’s no reason why Vivaldi’s masterpiece shouldn’t be opened up to embrace developments in musical instrument technology, or even new musical styles undreamt of in Vivaldi’s 18th-century world. Kennedy recorded Vivaldi: The New Four Seasons with his Orchestra of Life, young musicians who are equally at home performing classical repertoire, jazz and improvisation. Integral to the Kennedy approach is the drum programming of Massive Attack’s Damon Reece, which adds a mesmerising rhythmic pulse underneath the crisply articulated playing of the orchestra. So it’s Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, but not as we’ve known them. The rhythms, the tonal palette and the instrumentation are different, and the introduction of voices and electricity clearly move the piece into a different dimension. But creativity means change, and the last thing Nigel Kennedy will ever do is stand still.
      • Small Faces - The Decca Years 1965-67
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        • Small Faces  The Decca Years 1965-67  5-CD box set  £42.99
      • Released as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of their debut release, this stunning 5-CD box set brings together, for the first time, everything that Small Faces recorded for Decca during their 18-month record deal with the label. Housed in a rigid, deluxe, lift-off lid box set, the 5 CDs come complete with a 72-page booklet, which includes interesting and insightful liner notes by respected music journalist and Small Faces aficionado, Mark Paytress.

       

        • Status Quo  Vinyl Reissue Series
      • Status Quo - Dog Of Two Head
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        • Dog Of Two Head  LP £18.99
      • The oddly titled Dog Of Two Head featured the classic Status Quo line up of Francis Rossi (guitar,vocals), Rick Parfitt (guitar, vocals), Alan Lancaster (bass) and John Coghlan (drums). Released in 1971, it was to be their last record for Pye. Finally available again, this remastered classic is given another chance to be re-evaluated as a high point in this remarkable band’s fifty year career.
      • Status Quo - Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon
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        • Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon  LP £18.99
      • Status Quo’s third album, Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon, was released in August 1970 and has become something of a cult classic, with Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus proclaiming it a masterpiece. This was the record that ushered in Quo’s famous ‘boogie shuffle’, a sound that would stand them in good stead in the coming years. Finally remastered from the original tapes, this 45th anniversary edition is at long last available on vinyl again.
      • Status Quo - Spare Parts
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        • Spare Parts  LP £18.99
      • Quo’s second album, Spare Parts, was to be their last in the psychedelic genre. The years have been kind to this record and although the album was not a success when released in April 1969 it now has many fans. This was the last album Quo were to make before exploring more hard rock territory and their eventual transformation into a twelve bar boogie band. Released for the first time in many years on vinyl, this remastered edition casts the spotlight on the band’s most underrated record.
      • Status Quo - The Best Of Status Quo
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        • The Best Of Status Quo  LP £18.99
      • The excellent compilation The Best Of Status Quo gathers together the best of the post-psychedelic ‘boogie’ period material which Status Quo recorded for Pye. Classic album tracks rub shoulders with bona fide hits (‘Mean Girl’ and ‘Gerdundula’) and the superb non-album 45 ‘Down The Dustpipe’. Long since deleted, this essential part of the Quo canon is remastered and finally available again.
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        Releases for 2 October 2015

        There are some great new releases for 2 October – unusually for the first week of the month. Mercury Rev return with a fine new album, and the brilliantly named Eagles of Death Metal – don’t worry, it’s rock not death metal! – have a new one. The hardest-working man in blues, Joe Bonamassa, has a new live album recorded at The Radio City Music Hall in New York. Clutch bring us the appropriately named Psychic Warfare, and Squeeze are back! Cradle To Grave comes with the enormous benefit, in my book, of sounding exactly like Squeeze. Also the multi-talented Joe Jackson returns with his first album of new material for seven years. Album of the week though belongs to Lucy Ward’s very fine I Dreamt I Was A Bird.

        • Lucy Ward - I Dreamt I Was A Bird
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          • Lucy Ward  I Dreamt I Was A Bird  CD £11.99
        • I Dreamt I Was A Bird is the intimate and beautiful new record by Lucy Ward. It is an album about being earthed, grounded, and dreaming of what lies ahead; being of and for the landscape both urban and rural. All the stories are about real people and moments, inspired by incidental comments overheard in the super market queue, chance conversations with strangers, stories from Ward’s own family history and little moments in time. Musically it is an exploration of intimate acoustics flavoured with eclectic influences such as psychedelia, protest and the tradition.
        • Mercury Rev - The Light in You
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          • Mercury Rev  The Light in You  CD £11.99 / LP £21.99
        • As Mercury Rev began recording their eighth studio album in the autumn of 2013, when asked what people could expect, co-pilot Grasshopper responded, ‘Steel resonator mandolin. Timpani. Sleigh bells. All sorts of electric guitars…’ He subsequently added, ‘It is the best stuff we have done in a long, long time. Gonna be big sounding!
        • Two years on, The Light In You more than lives up to its billing. The record is filled with wondrous and voluminous kaleidoscopic detail, but also intimate moments of calm, and altogether stands up to the very best that this notable band of maverick explorers has ever created. Its ecstatic highs and shivery comedowns also reflect a particularly turbulent era in the lives of Grasshopper and fellow co-founder Jonathan Donahue, of calamities both personal and physical.
        • Editors - In Dream
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          • Editors  In Dream  CD £11.99 / Deluxe CD £13.99 / LP £17.99
        • Recorded on a remote part of Scotland’s west coast, In Dream represents yet another shift in Editors’ creative world. Permeated by atmospheric synths, dance club beats, stately keyboard runs and all manner of glitches and whirrs, along with the traditional guitar, bass, drums, and is an album driven, in frontman Tom Smith’s words, by a desire ‘to be both pop and experimental’. A superb new album that should please existing fans and critics alike.
        • Eagles of Death Metal - Zipper Down
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          • Eagles of Death Metal  Zipper Down  CD £11.99 / LP £19.99
        • EODM (Eagles Of Death Metal) is an American rock band from Palm Desert, California, formed in 1998 by best friends Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme. Despite their band name, EODM is not a death metal band. The story goes that a friend was introducing Josh Homme to the death metal genre. When he played a song by the Polish band Vader and made a claim that the song was within the death metal genre, Homme then referred to Vader as ‘The Eagles of Death Metal’. After hearing this phrase, he wondered what a cross between The Eagles and a death metal band would sound like.
        • Joe Bonamassa - Live At Radio City Music Hall
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          • Joe Bonamassa  Live At Radio City Music Hall  CD £12.99 / LP £19.99
        • In New York City on 26 August 2015, Joe Bonamassa took the iconic Great Stage at Radio City Music Hall for the first time for a sold-out, two-night run that allowed him to fulfil his life-long dream of performing in one of the world’s most legendary venues.
        • Squeeze - Cradle To Grave
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          • Squeeze  Cradle To Grave  CD £10.99 / LP £23.99
        • Squeeze, South London’s enduring purveyors of pure pop magic, release their first album of new material in seventeen years. Cradle To Grave features songs which will feature in Danny Baker’s autobiographical sitcom starring Peter Kay.
        • Clutch - Psychic Warfare
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          • Clutch  Psychic Warfare  CD £10.99 / LP £17.99
        • The title Psychic Warfare is taken from the track “X-Ray Visions” ’ states singer Neil Fallon. ‘It’s a tale about an unnamed protagonist who is forced to seek refuge in a flop house motel. He is hiding from several nefarious psychic forces, the worst of which is his own sleep-deprived paranoia.Psychic Warfare picks up where Clutch’s hugely successful Earth Rocker left off, and Clutch are in the groove yet again. This engine runs on all cylinders.
        • Joe Jackson - Fast Forward
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          • Joe Jackson  Fast Forward  CD £11.99 / LP £19.99
        • Coming out of the punk musical revolution, Joe Jackson immediately got noticed for his skill in combining raw energy, great taste and dislike of stereotypes.
        • The ever-restless songwriter travelled the world to record Fast Forward, his first collection of original songs in seven years. Originally conceived to be released as a series of EPs, the album was produced and arranged by Jackson, and features four sets of four songs recorded in four different cities – New York, New Orleans, Berlin and Amsterdam – each with a different set of first-call supporting musicians. The results rank among the richest and most rewarding music of his storied career.
         

         

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        Releases for 25 September 2015

        There’s a huge number of new releases for 25 September – reducing them to 8 was quite some task! To start with, there are massive box sets from David Bowie and Queen. The pre-sales for Queen’s Studio Collection have gone amazingly well so anyone thinking of an Christmas gift (sorry!) should get in early before this one becomes out of stock. This week also sees the releases of some achingly beautiful baroque pop from Julia Holter and a stripped-down, intimate record from indie darling Kurt Vile. New Order’s first studio album for ages, Music Complete, also available on indies-only clear vinyl. Natasha Khan – she of Bats for Lashes fame – returns with the intriguing SEXWITCH, and the list is rounded off by some rollocking old fashioned rock’n’roll of ex-Georgia Satellites main man Dan Baird and his current band Homemade Sin. There’s also a six-album box set from legendary jazz-rock drummer Billy Cobham, and a vinyl reissue of Nino Rota’s iconic score for The Godfather, Part II. Release of the week is the long-awaited and much-trailed Dead Weather’s Dodge and Burn.

        • David Bowie - Five Years 1969–1973
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          • David Bowie  Five Years 1969–1973  12-CD box set £104.99 / 13-LP box set £204.99
        • Five Years 1969–1973 is the first in a series of box sets spanning David Bowie’s career. The ten-album, 12-CD / 13-LP box set features all of the material officially released by Bowie during the nascent stage of his career from 1969 to 1973. The set includes tracks that have been unavailable in any format for many years, as well as fresh remasters.
        • Contents
        • 6 original studio albums: David Bowie (a.k.a. Space Oddity)*, The Man Who Sold The World*, Hunky Dory*, The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, Aladdin Sane and PinUps*. (* New remasters)
        • 2 live albums: Live Santa Monica ’72, Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture Soundtrack.
        • Exclusive to the set
        • Re:Call 1 – a new 2-disc compilation of non-album singles, single versions and B-sides. Featuring a previously unreleased single edit of ‘All The Madmen’ and the original version of ‘Holy Holy’, which was only ever released on the original 1971 Mercury single.
        • The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars – the 2003 stereo mix by the album’s original co-producer, Ken Scott, previously only available on DVD with the LP/DVD format of the 40th anniversary edition of the album.
        • Book – the 128-page book (84-page in the larger format vinyl edition) features rarely seen photos as well as technical notes about each album from producers Tony Visconti and Ken Scott, an original press review for each album and a short foreword by legendary Kinks front-man Ray Davies.
        • Features
        • The CD box set includes faithfully reproduced mini-vinyl versions of the original albums, the CDs will be gold rather than the usual silver, there is an alternate cover for the 2003 mix of Ziggy Stardust by Ken Scott and newly originated artwork for Re:Call 1 featuring a 1973 in-studio image from renowned photographer Mick Rock.
        • The vinyl box set has the same content as the CD set, pressed on audiophile quality 180g vinyl.
        • Queen - The Studio Collection
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          • Queen  The Studio Collection  18-LP box set £299.99
        • Queen always had a special fondness for vinyl, the medium in which they first began to create, around 1970. As a matter of principle, every Queen studio album was offered at the time of original release on vinyl, even well into the era when CDs had taken over as the medium of choice for most of the public. However, the final two albums, Innuendo and Made In Heaven, were actually formatted primarily with the CD in mind, and had a longer running time, so the contents had to be edited down to fit them on to the two sides of a vinyl album. Now, especially for this edition, for the first time, these two albums have been cut at full length as double vinyl LPs – four sides each – making up a vinyl set that is complete in every way.
        • The box set offers many other special features. Most noticeable is the coloured vinyl: designed for collectors, each album has been given a different colour, in keeping with its original artwork, giving a unique record-deck experience. The coloured discs have been custom-produced especially for this set, using new material technology which ensures the sound quality is uncompromised.
        • There are more surprises in the box set: Queen II originally never had designated A- and B-sides, but ‘Side White’ and ‘Side Black’. For this new edition, the album has been cut on two separate discs, black and white, each with a custom etching on the reverse side, a nice bonus for collectors.
        • The 18-LP box set comes with a lavishly illustrated 12" x 12" 108-page hardback book which features introductions to each album, quotes from Queen themselves, hand-written lyrics, rare photographs, memorabilia, and information on singles and videos – all made possible with unlimited access to Queen’s own archive plus the personal archives of Brian May, Roger Taylor and some generous fans.
        • Albums included
        • Queen (1973) / Queen II (1974) / Sheer Heart Attack (1974) / A Night at the Opera (1975) / A Day at the Races (1976) / News of the World (1977) / Jazz (1978) / The Game (1980) / Flash Gordon (1980) / Hot Space (1982) / The Works (1984) / A Kind of Magic (1986) / The Miracle (1989) / Innuendo (1991) / Made in Heaven (1995)
        • Julia Holter - Have You In My Wilderness
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          • Julia Holter  Have You In My Wilderness  CD £11.99 / LP £18.99
        • Have You in My Wilderness was written from the heart – warm, dark and raw – and explores love, trust, and power in human relationships. While love songs are familiar in pop music, Julia Holter manages to stay fascinatingly oblique and enigmatic, with some of the most sublime and transcendent music she has ever written. Like Holter’s previous albums, Have You in My Wilderness is multi-layered and texturally rich, featuring an array of electronic and acoustic instruments played by an ensemble of gifted Los Angeles musicians.
        • This is Holter’s most sonically intimate album, with her vocals front and centre in the mix, lifted out of the layers of smeared, hazy effects. The result is striking: clear and vivid, but disarmingly personal.
        • Kurt Vile  - B’lieve I’m Goin Down…
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          • Kurt Vile   B’lieve I’m Goin Down…  CD £10.99 / LP £22.99 / 3-LP £28.99
        • B’lieve I’m Goin Down… is Kurt Vile’s sixth album, and shows Kurt both deeply introspective and briskly self-assured. As long-time fan Kim Gordon wrote in her bio for the album: ‘Kurt does his own myth-making; a boy / man with an old soul voice in the age of digital everything becoming something else,’ which is why this focused, brilliantly clear and seemingly candid record is a breath of fresh air. Recorded and mixed in a number of locations, including Los Angeles and Joshua tree, B’lieve I’m Goin Down… is a handshake across the country, east to west coast, through the dustbowl history (‘valley of ashes’) of Woody honest-straight-forward-talk Guthrie, and a Cali Canyon dead-still night floating in a nearly waterless landscape. The record is all air, weightless, bodyless, but grounded in convincing authenticity, in the best version of a singer-songwriter upcycling.
        • The 3-LP version contains six extra songs not on the album.
        • New Order - Music Complete
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          • New Order  Music Complete  CD £10.99 / LP £22.99
        • Long-awaited album Music Complete is New Order’s first full studio release since 2005’s Waiting For The Siren’s Call, and their debut for Mute. The album finds the group revitalised, and where they had previously pushed toward electronics or guitars, here the two are in balance. Music Complete also marks a return to the studio for Gillian Gilbert, this is her first album with New Order since 2001’s Get Ready.
        • The LP is an indies-only clear vinyl edition.
        • SEXWITCH - SEXWITCH
          • SEXWITCH  SEXWITCH  LP £14.99   SOLD OUT
        • SEXWITCH is the new project from Natasha Khan (a.k.a. Bat for Lashes), producer Dan Carey and Toy. The pair went record shopping and chose music from Morocco, Thailand, Iran and the USA. After translating the lyrics of their finds, the content of which cover everything from folklore and spirituality to love, sex and death, they went back into Carey’s South London studio with Toy to record the tracks live, in one session. The result was six visceral and thrilling songs that make up the album. They are all covers, the lyrics and music adapted by Khan, produced by Carey and backed by Toy’s unique musical and spontaneous style.
        • This is a limited edition of 2000 copies only on vinyl.
        • Dan Baird And Homemade Sin - Dan Baird And Homemade Sin Get Loud
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          • Dan Baird And Homemade Sin  Dan Baird And Homemade Sin Get Loud  CD £11.99 / LP £19.99
        • Nashville’s finest return with arguably their most complete album to date. Comprising ex-Georgia Satellites frontman and chief songwriter Dan Baird, fellow ex-Satellite and drummer extraordinaire Mauro Magellan, Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Warner E. Hodges, probably best known as co-founder of ground breaking alt.country rockers Jason & The Scorchers, the line-up is completed by new boy and former Bonafide bassist Micke Nilsson. The album takes a glorious romp through Baird’s lyrical landscape of rural America and its characters, musically harking back to a time when music was fun and albums were designed to be listened to as a whole . With individual tracks evoking the spirit and attitude of early ‘70s Stones, The Band and The Heartbreakers amongst others. Always tipping the hat but never derivative.
        • The Dead Weather - Dodge And Burn
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          • The Dead Weather  Dodge And Burn  CD £12.99 / LP £21.99
        • Born as a one-off collaboration between friends and tour-mates, The Dead Weather has since evolved into one of the most vital and provocative bands in contemporary rock’n’roll. Together Jack White, Alison Mosshart, Dean Fertita and Jack Lawrence have created a dark magic all of their own: a heady brew of melding heavy riffs, thick beats and blues snarl with raw soul power and unrelenting sexual energy. Dodge and Burn – the band’s third album and first full-length release in five years, which was recorded in Nashville during breaks in each member’s ever-busy schedules – sees The Dead Weather pushing their creative line of attack to its very limits on ferocious tracks like ‘I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)’ and the brutally beautiful ‘Buzzkill(er)’.
        • Billy Cobham - The Atlantic Years
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          • Billy Cobham  The Atlantic Years  8-CD box set £21.99
        • A definitive collection of Billy Cobham’s early career as a bandleader on Atlantic Records, lavishly packaged, remastered and featuring unreleased material, as well as singles.
        • The discs are packaged in a clamshell box, with each album in an individual mini-LP cardboard replica sleeve with spine and the original artwork, and a 60-page, perfect-bound booklet, with period photos and liner notes.
        • Contents
        • Disc 1: Spectrum (1973) / Disc 2: Crosswinds (1974) / Disc 3: Total Eclipse (1974) / Disc 4: Shabazz (1975) / Disc 5: A Funky Thide Of Sings (1975) / Disc 6: Life & Times (1976) / Disc 7: Live On Tour In Europe (with George Duke) (1976) / Disc 8: Inner Conflicts (1978)
        • Nino Rota - The Godfather Part II o.s.t.
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          • Nino Rota  The Godfather Part II o.s.t.  LP £27.99
        • The Godfather Part II is the Academy Award-winning soundtrack from the film of the same name, first released in 1974. This original score was composed by Nino Rota and conducted by Carmine Coppola. Rota expands upon two of the three main themes from the first film: ‘The Godfather Waltz’ and ‘Michael’s Theme’, while ‘The Love Theme’ from the first film makes a brief appearance during a flashback sequence. There are several new themes, including one for Kay (Diane Keaton), and two for the young Vito (Robert De Niro).
        • In 1974, the soundtrack won the Academy Award for original music score/original dramatic score, and it was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for best original score.
        • First pressing of 1000 numbered copies on red transparent vinyl.
         

         

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        Releases for 18 September 2015

        Up for release on 18 September we have a crop including new albums from Keith Richards and Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, plus a re-release of the legendary live performance by Rory Gallagher’s Taste at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. David Gilmour has come up with a new one with lyrics from Polly Sampson which is being released across all formats – about the only format he hasn’t used is tape! The very definition of a metal super-group, Metal Allegiance, have released a noisy debut. Also spare some ear space for Roseau, a debut effort that defies genre but deserves a listen. Plus let’s not forget Southampton’s very own Creeper with their debut 12", The Callous Heart. The release of the week is Nashville Obsolete, the second album by Dave Rawlings Machine, complete with the sainted Gillian Welch.

        • Dave Rawlings Machine - Nashville Obsolete
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          • Dave Rawlings Machine  Nashville Obsolete  CD £10.99
        • Nashville Obsolete is the highly anticipated second album from Dave Rawlings Machine. Recorded on analogue tape at Woodland Sound Studios in Nashville, Tennessee and produced by Rawlings, Nashville Obsolete features seven original compositions written by Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, which highlight the brilliant musicianship of Rawlings and Welch on lead vocals and guitar, along with Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers) on bass, Willie Watson on vocals and guitar and guest appearances from Brittany Haas (fiddle) and Jordan Tice (mandolin).
        • David Gilmour - Rattle That Lock
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          • David Gilmour  Rattle That Lock  CD £11.99 / CD+DVD £18.99 / CD+Bluray £24.99 / LP £22.99
        • Rattle That Lock is David Gilmour’s fourth solo album and follows his 2006 Number 1 album, On An Island. Primary lyricist is Gilmour’s long-term writing partner, Polly Samson, and it is co-produced by David Gilmour and Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera. It is released in four different formats, all of which include a 22-page photo/lyric booklet containing artist photographs by Kevin Westenberg and album session photographs by Polly Samson.
        • Keith Richards - Crosseyed Heart
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          • Keith Richards  Crosseyed Heart  CD £11.99 / LP £23.99
        • Crosseyed Heart is the new solo album from the Stones’ riffmaster – his first in 23 years! Backed by The X-Pensive Winos, featuring Ivan Neville, Waddy Wachtel & Steve Jordan, songs include ‘Illusion’ (with Norah Jones).
        • Chris Cornell - Higher Truth
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          • Chris Cornell  Higher Truth  CD £11.99 / Deluxe CD £12.99 / LP £24.99
        • Higher Truth is the latest release from the acclaimed, multiple Grammy Award-winning, Golden Globe-nominated singer and songwriter Chris Cornell. He was a chief architect of the 90s grunge movement and remains one of the most iconic rock voices of all time. Higher Truth showcases Cornell’s constant evolution as a master songwriter, lyricist and musical craftsman: telling human stories, which transcend musical genres. Inspired by the stark arrangements of musicians like Nick Drake, Daniel Johnston and White Album-era Beatles, Cornell creates a musical universe, with Higher Truth unlike anything he has done before.
        • Creeper - The Callous Heart
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          • Creeper  The Callous Heart  12" £9.99
        • Last seen supporting The Misfits, The Callous Heart is local boys Creeper’s debut release, and on Warner’s Roadrunner Records to boot. A slice of riffage to make the heart glad! Grab one before they are famous!
        • Taste - What’s Going On – Live at the Isle of Wight
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          • Taste  What’s Going On – Live at the Isle of Wight  CD £9.99 / LP £22.99
        • Originally formed in Cork, Ireland in 1966 by Rory Gallagher, Taste had a brief but influential career, releasing two studio albums in 1969 and 1970, before disbanding shortly after their legendary appearance at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival – a performance captured on this album. This expanded CD includes four additional tracks which were not included on the original 1971 release. Rory Gallagher would go on to enjoy an acclaimed and highly successful solo career and this electrifying show by Taste is an early example of Rory s justified reputation as the ultimate live performer.
        • Metal Allegiance - Metal Allegiance
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          • Metal Allegiance  Metal Allegiance  CD £9.99 / CD+DVD £12.99
        • Never has one entity encapsulated so many components of the heavy metal community’s continued vibrancy and dedication to the lifestyle than the collective fittingly called Metal Allegiance. Now, this collective unleashes an album as pulverizing, energetic, atmospheric, and awe inspiring as fans of the jaw-dropping list of associated bands should expect.
        • More than an experiment, a one-off or a mere ‘super-group’, Metal Allegiance is an experience. D. Randall Blythe (Lamb Of God) lends his blistered pipes to ‘Gift Of Pain’, which features duelling solos from Alex Skolnick (Testament) and Gary Holt (Exodus, Slayer). Troy Sanders (Mastodon, Killer Be Killed) sets an ominous vocal mood with the vintage Pink Floyd-infused ‘Let Darkness Fall’, with Rex Brown (Pantera, Kill Devil Hill) pitching in on additional bass duties. The blend of melodic power from Doug Pinnick (King’s X) and the metalcore bite from Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed, Kingdom Of Sorrow) on ‘Wait Until Tomorrow’ blends as seamlessly as the duet between Mark Osegueda (Death Angel) and Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) on ‘Scars’ or the somber intensity of ‘Dying Song’ featuring Philip Anselmo (Pantera, Down).
        • The album was produced by Alex Skolnick, Mark Menghi, David Ellefson and Mike Portnoy, and mixed by Josh Wilbur (Lamb Of God, Avenged Sevenfold, Gojira). ‘We really surrounded ourselves with good people and good musicians,’ says Menghi. ‘That’s the whole point of it. It’s not about egos, it’s not about who is a better player. It’s more about, “Who is a good person?” That’s the foundation of Metal Allegiance.
        • Roseau - Salt
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          • Roseau  Salt  CD £10.99 / LP £12.99
        • Roseau, a.k.a. Kerry Leatham, has made the brilliant debut album she’s long promised to.
        • Written and recorded in the space and quiet of the Essex countryside, Salt contains music both elemental and intimate. Its sonics were inspired by a chance exploration of a giant abandoned warehouse beside a walk Leatham loves. Finding herself in a vast space with only an old car tyre, an extinguished bonfire and some bottles and sticks, she screamed, threw bottles, sang, stomped, hit the tyre with the sticks, and made as many sounds as possible – then she came back, day after day, to record them.
         

         

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        Releases for 11 September 2015

        11 September sees some fine efforts with the return of 80s pop gods Duran Duran, brand-new studio albums by The Stereophonics, Ben Folds and Craig Finn, a really fine album by Patty Griffin and the aptly titled Repentless by Slayer. In addition, Bring Me The Horizon’s fifth album heralds a brave new direction for the band. Album of the week caused me even more angst than usual as I’ve had to choose between Low, Beirut and the Sheffield Sinatra, Richard Hawley, but I finally came down on the side of Duluth, Minnesota’s Low with their great new release, Ones And Sixes.

        • Low - Ones And Sixes
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          • Low  Ones And Sixes  CD £11.99 / 2-LP £24.99
        • Ones And Sixes is the new album from the Duluth-based trio of Alan Sparhawk, Mimi Parker and Steve Garrington, collectively known as Low.
        • In our 20+ years of writing songs, I’ve learned that no matter how escapist, divergent, or even transcendent the creative process feels, the result is more beholden to what is going on at the moment. It’s hard to admit that one is so influenced by what is in front of us. Doesn’t it come from something magical and far away? No, it comes from here. It comes from now. I’m not going to tell you what this record is about because I have too much respect for that moment when you come to know it for yourself.’ – Alan Sparhawk.
        • White vinyl ‘Loser’ edition available exclusively to independent retailers. Double LP housed in a slipcase with exclusive art and insert not included in the standard vinyl edition. Vinyl edition includes a digital download.
        • Beirut - No No No
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          • Beirut  No No No  CD £10.99 / LP £19.99
        • Zach Condon and his band Beirut release their fourth album, No No No, via 4AD. Coming four years after The Rip Tide and recorded over a two-week period during one of the coldest New York winters, with blizzard after blizzard raging outside, No No No is Condon’s most vibrant and spirited record to date.
        • Limited edition blue vinyl LP available exclusively to independent retailers. Limited to 1000 copies.
        • Patty Griffin - Servant of Love
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          • Patty Griffin  Servant of Love  CD £12.99 / LP £16.99
        • Servant of Love is Grammy-Award-winning singer-songwriter Patty Griffin’s tenth album, and the first to be released on her new self-owned imprint in conjunction with Thirty Tigers.
        • In Servant of Love, Patty digs deep into folk and roots tradition with its grounding in the experience and rhythms of the everyday, but she also writes in the vein of another tradition, less often mined: the transcendentalism of writers like Emerson and Whitman. Grounding itself in the natural world and finding patterns there which speak both to human experience and to the call of the spirit, Griffin’s new album weaves an elemental spell out of the stuff of life.
        • Stereophonics - Keep The Village Alive
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          • Stereophonics  Keep The Village Alive  CD £11.99 / deluxe 2-CD £14.99 / LP £20.99
        • Keep The Village Alive comes hot on the heels of 2013’s acclaimed, platinum-selling Graffiti On The Train. Once again Kelly Jones has written all the songs and shared production duties with long-time collaborator Jim Lowe. The album was recorded at ICP Studios in Brussels and at Stylus Studios in London. Since winning a Brit Award for Best New Group in 1998, Stereophonics have gone from strength to strength, consistently delivering outstanding music over several decades, a band consistently at the very top of their game.
        • They are the eighth group to achieve five consecutive UK number one albums – the others being The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, ABBA, Genesis, Oasis, Blur and U2. They have career sales of over 10 million albums including six platinum or multi-platinum albums and the quadruple-platinum best-of collection, Decade In The Sun. The band have also had eleven top ten singles, including the phenomenal number one single ‘Dakota’.
        • Slayer - Repentless
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          • Slayer  Repentless  CD £10.99 / CD+DVD £12.99 / CD+Bluray £15.99 / LP £12.99
        • Two-time Grammy-winner Slayer have been described as one of the great American rock bands of the last 30 years, with their membership of ‘The Big Four’, the four bands that defined the thrash metal genre – along with Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax – securing their place in music history.
        • Few bands come close to matching the intensity that Slayer bring to their live shows. With songs that mirror the turmoil and aberrations of our society – God’s terrifying global genocide, the chaos of our broken political system, the hideous minds of serial killers – Slayer remain crushing and brutal, steadfastly refusing to cater to the mainstream.
        • Available in the following formats: standard jewel-case CD; CD+DVD / CD+Blu-ray set in inverted cross digipack featuring full-length Slayer concert and ‘making of’ documentary; gatefold LP.
        • Richard Hawley - Hollow Meadows
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          • Richard Hawley  Hollow Meadows  CD £11.99 / LP £22.99
        • Following the success of his hugely acclaimed 2012 album Standing At The Sky’s Edge, Richard Hawley releases his eighth studio album, Hollow Meadows.
        • Recorded at Sheffield’s Yellow Arch Studio in spring 2015, Hollow Meadows sees Hawley return to the classic, sophisticated songwriting and subtle arrangements that made him so widely loved and revered in the first place. Meditating on such themes as ageing, fallibility and relationships, much of the album shares a brooding, yet wistful and romantic atmosphere in keeping with his early albums Late Night Final and Lowedges.
        • Bring Me The Horizon - That’s The Spirit
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          • Bring Me The Horizon  That’s The Spirit  CD £11.99 / LP £18.99 / LP box set £24.99
        • The fifth album from Bring Me The Horizon marks a development in their sound, marking a change from a sound undeniably rooted in metal to a sound full of ebb-and-flow dynamics inspired by indie rock, alternative music and pop in an evolution from artsy metalcore to cinematic pop rock. That’s The Spirit is a loose concept album about life’s darker moods, such as depression, and a way of making light of it. Influences include Jane’s Addiction, Panic! at the Disco, Interpol and Radiohead.
        • For perhaps the first time, Bring Me The Horizon have produced a record with no throwbacks to the Suicide Season days of outrageous mosh calls and down-tuned riff insanity.
        • Duran Duran - Paper Gods
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          • Duran Duran  Paper Gods  CD £12.99 / deluxe CD £14.99 / LP £23.99
        • This is Duran Duran’s fourteenth album – yes, fourteenth, how did that happen? Anyway this new release is unashamedly redolent of their 80s pomp, with sneering guitar riffs and pounding synth licks a-plenty. Whilst there are guest appearances from the likes of Nile Rodgers, John Frusciante and the ubiquitous Mark Ronson, this sounds like nothing other than Duran Duran.
        • Ben Folds - So There
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          • Ben Folds  So There  CD £12.99 / 2-LP £23.99
        • Ben Folds takes a turn on his forthcoming album, So There. He embraces strings and chamber music yet still maintains a passion for pop. So There consists of eight chamber pop songs with the very talented yMusic ensemble and a 21-minute piano concerto performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.
        • Ben Folds’ meeting and recording with yMusic became the bridge between the classically themed concerto and the contemporary chamber rock songs that live in harmony on So There. The combination is an inspired body of work on both small and grand scales.
        • Craig Finn - Faith in the Future
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          • Craig Finn  Faith in the Future  CD £11.99 / LP £22.99
        • Craig Finn (of The Hold Steady) releases his new solo album, Faith In The Future, through Partisan Records. Josh Kaufman produced the record in the cosy, rustic confines of Woodstock’s Isokon recording studio and helped Finn stretch the boundaries of his songwriting with confidence, invention and ambition to realise what will be a defining moment in his career.
        • At times stark and spare, at other times vibrant and dynamic, Faith In The Future is Finn’s most compelling collection thus far, each song a powerfully alluring and subtly nuanced composition wedded to his distinctive short story narratives.
        • Much of the material on Faith In The Future was written after the death of Finn’s mother and, while none of the songs directly address that loss, the themes of perseverance and finding redemption can be found throughout the album.
         

         

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        Releases for 4 September 2015

        Goodies released on 4 September include a new studio album by the indefatigable Public Image Ltd., an incendiary live album by Public Enemy, the sweet jazz/soul of Lizz Wright, and a third studio album – and who, frankly, thought they’d get that far? – by The Libertines. This week’s album of the week was a bit of a toss-up between Iron Maiden’s epic new release, The Book of Souls, and The Arcs’ dreamy, slinky debut, with The Arcs just shading it.

        • PiL - What the World Needs Now
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          • PiL  What the World Needs Now  CD £12.99 / LP £19.99
        • What the World Needs Now is the tenth studio album from legends Public Image Ltd. (PiL). The 11-track album follows the huge critical success of 2012’s This is PiL, the band’s first album in 17 years. In winter 2014 PiL returned to Steve Winwood’s Wincraft studio in the Cotswolds to record a new album. Commenting on the album, John Lydon says: ‘Buy now while stocks last.’ The artwork for the album, partly inspired by Native American Hopi characters, was designed and painted by John Lydon.
        • Iron Maiden - The Book Of Souls
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          • Iron Maiden  The Book Of Souls  2-CD £12.99 / 2-CD casebound book £14.99 / 3-LP £29.99
        • Iron Maiden’s hugely anticipated new studio album, The Book Of Souls, is set for release on 4th September. The band’s 16th studio album since their eponymous 1980 debut charted at #4 in the UK, The Book of Souls is Iron Maiden’s first ever studio double! It was recorded in Paris with their longstanding producer Kevin ‘Caveman’ Shirley in late 2014, with the finishing touches added earlier this year. The band’s iconic mascot, Eddie, returns on the stunning cover art created by Mark Wilkinson.
        • Iron Maiden bassist and founder member Steve Harris has contributed to seven of the tracks – six of them with Maiden’s guitarists and one sole composition – and this is also the first time since 1984’s Powerslave that an Iron Maiden studio album has featured two tracks written solely by Bruce Dickinson, one of which is the longest song Maiden has ever recorded! It also features two Dickinson/Smith collaborations.
        • In a career achieving sales of over 90 million albums worldwide, Iron Maiden’s previous album, 2010’s The Final Frontier, was the band’s most successful chart-wise to date, reaching No. 1 in 28 countries including the UK, and was their highest chart debut in the US at #4 in the Billboard 200.
        • The Arcs - Yours, Dreamily
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          • The Arcs  Yours, Dreamily  CD £12.99 / LP £22.99
        • Yours, Dreamily is the debut album by The Arcs, who are Dan Auerbach, Leon Michels, Richard Smith, Homer Steinweiss and Nick Movshon. It’s a great slab of loose, catchy psych-rock blues. The whole album is propelled with a slinky timeless feel by Dan Auerbach’s falsetto and the lush backdrop provided by the rest of the musicians.
        • Lizz Wright - Freedom & Surrender
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          • Lizz Wright  Freedom & Surrender  CD £12.99
        • Lizz Wright says: ‘This album is about the circuitous dance we all make from the beginning to the end. Something amazing and terrifying happened to me as I entered into my 30s. I realised that I had run far off the course of my scripted plans, my projections for who I’d be, what I’d be doing, and how it would feel at this point. Then, the realisation the mapped trail couldn’t be recovered. A hound without a hunt, I was captured by unfamiliar woods far from earshot of the original game and players. Untethered by marriage with a scrap pile of maternal designs that never took root, I found myself forced, thank goodness, to let go.Freedom & Surrender is about what happens when you let go.
        • Public Enemy - Live from Metropolis Studios
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          • Public Enemy  Live from Metropolis Studios  2-CD £12.99 / 2-LP £25.99
        • On August 6, 2014, hip-hop legends Public Enemy performed at London’s world-renowned Metropolis Studios in the most intimate gig of their career. Live from Metropolis Studios is released as a 2-CD audio set and a black vinyl 2-LP set.
        • The Libertines - Anthems for Doomed Youth
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          • The Libertines  Anthems for Doomed Youth  CD £12.99 / Deluxe CD £14.99 / LP £16.99
        • The Libertines return with their highly anticipated third studio album, Anthems for Doomed Youth, having just made a surprise triumphant return at the Glastonbury Festival, on the Pyramid stage on Friday night (26th June). This is their first album in eleven years, and was produced by Jake Gosling and recorded at Karma Sound Studios, Thailand.
        • The Libertines are: Peter Doherty, vocals/guitar; Carl Barât, vocals/guitar; John Hassall, bass guitar; and Gary Powell, drums.
        • Riverside - Love, Fear and the Time Machine
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          • Riverside  Love, Fear and the Time Machine  Deluxe 2-CD £14.99
        • Love, Fear and the Time Machine is Riverside’s sixth studio album, their finest hour and an absolute milestone of atmospheric progressive rock. Ten fantastic songs are included in its 60-minute playing time. The limited edition mediabook includes the ‘Day Session’ bonus disc, with an extra 5 songs.
         

         

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