Releases from November–December 2015
Great albums from around the world
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Releases for 4 December 2015
4 December must represent the most diverse selection of new releases in 2015, from the crafted populism of Coldplay, the pure pop-soul of Jools & Ruby, Lush’s comprehensive retrospective box set, New York noise merchants Swans and the ambient doom metal of Sunn O))). Release of the week is Bruce Springsteen’s The Ties that Bind, a thorough exploration of The River period.
The Ties That Bind: The River Collection is a comprehensive look at era in which Bruce Springsteen’s legendary album The River was created. The set contains 52 tracks on 4 CDs with a wealth of unreleased material, and 4 hours of never-before-seen video on 3 DVDs. It comprises: the original The River double album; the first official release of The River: Single Album; a CD of studio out-takes from 1979–80; a two-DVD film of never-released, newly edited multi-camera footage from Springsteen’s famed 1980 show in Tempe, Arizona, long-rumoured but never seen before; rare tour rehearsal footage; a brand-new documentary, ‘The Ties That Bind’; and a coffee-table book of 200 rare or previously unseen photos and memorabilia with a new essay by Mikal Gilmore.
The River, Springsteen’s fifth album, was released on 17 October 1980 as a double album and reached number 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart. In his notes, Gilmore calls The River Springsteen’s ‘pivotal album – [the] hinge between the ambitious commotions that had preceded it and the more succinct musical riots, and sometimes terrifying storytelling, that followed.’
‘The Ties That Bind’ is a brand new 60-minute documentary produced and directed by Zimny that features an intimate interview with Springsteen in which he reflects on the tumultuous, extended period writing and recording The River. The film transitions between Springsteen telling the stories behind the music – and illustrating them with solo acoustic guitar performances – interspersed with period concert footage and rare photos of Bruce and the band in and out of the studio.
The Ties That Bind: The River Collection is packaged in a 10" x 12" box with a hardcover 148-page coffee table book containing 200 studio and live photographs – most of which have never been seen before – plus pages from Springsteen’s notebooks, single covers, images and out-takes from the original album package, and other memorabilia documenting the album. Liner notes include a new essay from journalist Mikal Gilmore, the original Rolling Stone album review from 1980, and Springsteen’s updated comments about the album from the 1998 book Songs.
Audio: 4 CDs
The River original album (20 songs on 2 CDs)
The Ties That Bind original album (10 songs on 1 CD)
The River out-takes (22 songs on 1 CD, 12 previously unreleased)
Video: 3 DVDs
‘The Ties That Bind’: 60 minute documentary
The River Tour – Tempe, 1980 live concert (Part 1)
The River Tour – Tempe, 1980 live concert (Part 2)
The River Tour rehearsals, 1980: 5 songs.
Book: 10" x 12" (horizontal) hardcover
10" x 12" hardcover outer slipcase
- Bruce Springsteen The Ties That Bind: The River Collection 4-CD + 3-DVD £74.99 SOLD OUT
Over the past two years Sunn O))) have released critically acclaimed collaboration albums with Scott Walker (Soused, 2013) and Ulver (Terrestrials, 2014). Kannon was composed in the aftershadow of these immersive collaborations, and from the broad and influential wake of Monoliths & Dimensions. Kannon emerged independently as a conceptual entity but with roots in the legacies of those projects.
Kannon consists of three pieces which form a triadic whole, and celebrates many Sunn O))) traditions: the album was recorded and mixed with close colleague and co-producer Randall Dunn in Seattle – in Studio Litho, Aleph and Avast! – and includes performances by long-term allies and collaborators Attila Csihar, Oren Ambarchi, Rex Ritter, Steve Moore and others. And at the core the composition centres around the dynamic and intense guitar and bass interplay of Sunn O)))’s founders, Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson. It’s possibly the most figurative album Sunn O))) has created, which is unusual as they usually dwell in layers of abstraction and subjectivity. On the other hand the album is the most outright ‘metal’ in years, drawing personal associations and memories of cherished albums like Panzerfaust and Twilight of the Gods again to the forefront of consciousness. At the same time it is very close to the cyclical character of mantra into which the band has evolved, the enormity of intense sensate detail and manifestation of the live in-concert face of Sunn O))), the organism that has flourished, metamorphosed and transcended tremendously over the past ten years.
The literal representation of Kannon is as an aspect of Buddha: specifically ‘goddess of mercy’ or ‘Perceiving the Sounds (or Cries) of the World’. She is sometimes known as the Guanyin Bodhisattva, amongst many other forms. There is a rich lineage behind this idea, tracing back through many Asian belief systems, with as many names and cultural personifications of the idea.. Sunn O))) commissioned critical theorist Aliza Shvartz to write a text / liner notes around these ideas and topics. She also explores the relations and perceptions to their approach to these ideas via the metonym of music and Sunn O)))’s place/approach within the framework of music and metal overall.
The black vinyl LP is packaged in immaculate tip-on gatefold sleeve by long-time comrades Stoughton Printing.
- Sunn O))) Kannon CD £13.99 / LP £23.99
Coldplay’s seventh album, A Head Full Of Dreams, features more guests than any previous Coldplay record, with Beyoncé, Noel Gallagher, Tove Lo and Merry Clayton among those appearing across its 11 tracks. It was recorded in Malibu, LA and London and produced by Norwegian duo Stargate together with the band’s long-time collaborator Rik Simpson.
A Head Full Of Dreams is the widescreen follow-up to 2014’s fragile and lovelorn Ghost Stories, Coldplay’s sixth consecutive worldwide chart topper, award winner and multi-million seller. The band chose not to tour Ghost Stories and headed straight back into the studio to record A Head Full Of Dreams.
Revitalised, they’ve made an album that’s bursting with energy, colour and big, life-affirming moments such as the deliciously ebullient first single ‘Adventure Of A Lifetime’ and the rocket-powered ‘Hymn For The Weekend’.
- Coldplay A Head Full of Dreams CD £12.99 / LP £23.99
White Light From the Mouth of Infinity is an exploration of anguish and redemption in searing laments of somber beauty.
Jarboe’s two songs, ‘When She Breathes’ and ‘Song For Dead Time’ are balanced by Gira’s aching drawl on masterpieces like ‘Miracle Of Love’ and ‘The Most Unfortunate Lie’. This majestic orchestral piece of doom-laden remorse with its swirling instrumental textures incorporates children’s voices that contrast in a most eerie way with Gira’s basso profundo. Swans are definitely not for everyone but this expanded re-release of an early seminal classic is essential for lovers of Sonic Youth and the like.
- Swans White Light From the Mouth of Infinity / Love of Life 3-CD Box set £14.99 / 4-LP Box set £ 44.99
Over the course of a decade, Lush released three studio albums – Spooky (1992), Split (1994) and Lovelife (1996) – to growing critical and commercial success. Starting out with the mini-album Scar (1989) and releasing a string of singles and EPs throughout their career, which formed the compilations Gala (1990) and Topolino (1996): two albums that would ultimately bookend their story with the tragic death of drummer Chris Acland in late 1996, leaving them too grief-stricken to continue.
Twenty years on and Lush are a band long overdue celebration. Compiled by the band themselves, Chorus is spread over five CDs and housed in a beautiful hardbound book, designed by long-time associate and former v23 collaborator Chris Bigg. With 105 tracks in total, Chorus contains their three studio albums and both singles compilations plus a wealth of previously unreleased demos, radio sessions, remixes and rarities.
- Lush Chorus 5-CD Box set £25.99
Jools & Ruby is a very special collection of tracks recorded by the boogie-woogie master Jools Holland in collaboration with the astoundingly soulful Ruby Turner. It features a selection of the duo’s favourite songs performed together in addition to a number of newly recorded tracks on this one-off album.
Jools Holland and Ruby Turner first met 22 years ago when Jools was looking for singers to join his big band. Ruby’s voice matched her big personality and the two soon became dear friends. Describing Ruby as the sister he never had, Jools even invited the singer to perform at his wedding. The duo have gone on to write music together and travelled the world with tours alongside the rest of the much-loved big band.
- Jools Holland & Ruby Turner Jools & Ruby CD £10.99
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Releases for 27 November 2015
27 November brings a select and varied batch of releases. First up is a set of the complete master recordings for John Coltrane’s absolutely essential A Love Supreme, including a fine recording of the only time that album was performed live in its entirety. Def Leppard’s first studio album in 7 years is creatively titled, well, Def Leppard; Danzig’s Skeletons is, of all things, an all-covers album. The Corrs also return with 12 brand-new songs, Wishbone Ash’s Road Works definitively showcases their live development across 4 CDs. The album of the week is of course Ty Seagall’s Ty Rex, which features a set of glorious T.Rex covers in the rambunctious style he has patented.
The Ty Rex corner of Ty Segall’s universe represents the nom-de-rock behind which the artist puts his spin on Tyrannosaurus Rex and T. Rex compositions. With previous releases now dwelling in out-of-print nether regions, the album compiles the six-song Ty Rex EP (a.k.a. Ty Rex I, originally released by Goner as a limited edition 12" for Record Store Day 2011) and the two-song Ty Rex II 7" (RSD 2013). As if this wasn’t enough of a corrective gesture, Ty Rex is expanded to include a previously unreleased cover as a bonus.
For those who missed out on this nook of Segall’s rapidly-growing footprint across the rock landscape, here is a cursory rundown: The compilation showcases a nice balance between the 1967–70 psych-folk duo incarnation as Tyrannosaurus Rex and the better-known pioneering and perfecting of glam-rock that defined the initial 1971–73 era under the abbreviated T.Rex moniker.
- Ty Segall Ty Rex CD £11.99 / LP £23.99
Impulse Records commemorate the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme with the release of a complete masters edition, including unreleased session reels and alternative versions from Coltrane’s personal collection.
The album was recorded over two days at the Van Gelder Studio, New Jersey, in December 1964. Musicians at the sessions included Coltrane’s quartet – Elvin Jones, drums; Jimmy Garrison, bass; and McCoy Tyner, piano – plus Archie Shepp and Doctor Art Davis, who joined Coltrane on the second day to re-record the opening part of the suite. The various takes, alternative versions and overdubs from these sessions make up this release.
A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters includes a 32-page book featuring an essay by Ashley Khan, photographs taken at the session, as well as detailed notes and musical sketches by Coltrane.
- John Coltrane A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters 3-CD £19.99
Def Leppard is the band’s eleventh studio album – the first since 2008’s Songs From the Sparkle Lounge. From the instant hooks of album opener and first single ‘Let’s Go’ to the bass groove of ‘Man Enough’, from the anthemic ‘Sea Of Love’ to the beautiful album closer and future classic ‘Blind Faith’, from the instant hit of ‘Dangerous’ to the acoustic ‘Battle Of My Own’, this is timeless Def Leppard: fourteen tracks that will delight fans and win over a whole new generation alike.
Def Leppard have always known how to write hits, and this album is packed with them. The album was produced by Def Leppard with longtime producer/engineer Ronan McHugh.
Formed in Sheffield in 1977, Def Leppard have gone on to be one of the UK’s greatest-ever rock bands. They have sold over 100 million albums worldwide in a career that spans five decades.
- Def Leppard Def Leppard CD £11.99 / LP £18.99
Legendary classic rock band Wishbone Ash, famous for their twin guitar sound, present Road Works, a very special live box set, never released before commercially. Led by front man Andy Powell, the King of the Flying V.
Volume 1: Recorded at The Grand in Clitheroe on 13 October 2010.
- Wishbone Ash Road Works 4-CD Box set £14.99
Volume 2: Recorded at the Fabrik in Hamburg on 21 February 2011.
Volume 3: Recorded at various shows on the German tour of January and February 2012.
Volume 4: Features the live performance at Ashcon on 1 November 2014 where Wishbone Ash performed the complete album Live Dates.
The Corrs step back into the limelight with their stunning new album, White Light: their first new studio record in over a decade.
The album features 12 brand-new songs that exquisitely mix that endearing, classic Corrs sound with modern pop and traditional Irish folk music. Highlights are many and include the gently political ‘Ellis Island’, a song already praised by Bono; and the evocative ‘Gerry’s Reel’, an instrumental dedicated to their late father, Gerry Corr, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
- The Corrs White Light CD £10.99
The long-awaited covers record, Skeletons, is finally here! Danzig’s first album release since Deth Red Sabaoth, five years ago, Skeletons contains 10 cover versions of tracks by Black Sabbath, Elvis Presley, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, The Troggs, The Everly Brothers and many more.
- Danzig Skeletons CD £12.99
Takk was Sigur Rós’s fourth album and the one where they finally got happy, albeit in their own inimitably beautiful and deeply inscrutable way. This is the record that gave the world ‘Hoppipolla’, a song which cemented Sigur Rós’s reputation for being the go-to band for anyone wanting a sense of hope and exultation in their film/TV show. The record also harboured moments of definitive Sigur Rós drama in singles ‘Glosoli’ and ‘Saeglopur’, and high beauty in ‘Se Lest’ and ‘Svo Hljott’.
Takk – which means ‘thank you’ in the band’s native Icelandic – quickly became the band’s biggest-selling album around the world, fuelled by Hoppipolla’s usage in the BBC’s Planet Earth nature series. Sung in a mixture of Icelandic and the wordless Hopelandic, Takk was recorded by the band with producer Ken Thomas in 2005 at their Sundlaugin studio in the Icelandic countryside.
For the first time since its initial release, the vinyl record comes packaged on 2 x 12" plus 1 x single-sided etched 10". The album artwork is the original debossed and die-cut sleeve, with printed inner sleeves, all done to the band’s exacting specifications. All vinyl is 180 gram. Extremely limited indie-stores only release.
Limited to 1000 copies worldwide. Now sold out – sorry!
- Sigur Rós Takk LP (Yes, LP!) £45.99 SOLD OUT
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Releases for 20 November 2015
Released on 20 November, Adele’s 25 is her first for four years, and it will be interesting to see how happiness has affected her music! Enya’s very fine Dark Sky Island is worth a listen, as is Roger Waters’s very personal take on alienation in the soundtrack of his concert performance, The Wall. Queen mine their history with a live album from ’75, which comes with a DVD. The Who release a fine live package of this summer’s Hyde Park show. Newton Faulkner releases his latest, Human Love, and the box set of The Mission’s seminal Floodland will thrill their fans. Release(s) of the week is the re-issue of the first four albums from the much-underrated Comsat Angels: a really fine band getting the well-deserved deluxe treatment.
Adele is set to release her highly anticipated new album 25, the first new music she has released since her Oscar-winning single ‘Skyfall’ in 2012.
Adele says: ‘My last record was a break-up record and if I had to label this one I would call it a make-up record. I’m making up with myself. Making up for lost time. Making up for everything I ever did and never did.’
Tracklisting: Hello / Send My Love (To Your New Lover) / I Miss You / When We Were Young / Remedy / Water Under The Bridge / River Lea / Love In The Dark / Million Years Ago / All I Ask / Sweetest Devotion.
- Adele 25 CD £10.99 / LP £16.99
Enya will embark upon a new chapter in her spectacular career with the release of her new album, Dark Sky Island. Enya’s creative triumvirate – Enya herself, producer and sound engineer Nicky Ryan and lyricist Roma Ryan – started work on the album in the spring of 2012. Inspired by Roma’s work on a series of poetry books themed around islands and specifically the island of Sark’s decision to be designated as a dark sky island, the album’s title track was the first song to be written for the collection.
The album’s buoyantly optimistic first single ‘Echoes In Rain’ possesses an irresistible surge of globe-trotting euphoria which made it an obvious choice as the album’s lead track. While it shares the adventurous themes of Enya’s breakthrough hit ‘Orinoco Flow’, its rhythmic march instead celebrates the anticipation of a journey’s end. ‘Echoes in Rain’ also shares another coincide with its famous predecessor. Back in 1988, ‘Orinoco Flow’ was the final song that was recorded during sessions for the ‘Watermark’ album and it went on to become a global success. This time around, ‘Echoes in Rain’ was the final track to be completed for the album and has also been chosen as the lead single.
Sonically, Dark Sky Island is a collection that’s both incredibly diverse and innately unified by the production: almost Spector-esque in its lavish, wide-screen multi-tracked layers of sound. Opening track ‘The Humming’ is an immediate highlight as it subliminally works its infectious magic within the course of a single listen. By contrast, ‘Even In The Shadows’ pulses with an insistent rhythm; the hymnal ‘I Could Never Say Goodbye’ is sparse in its reflective beauty; while ‘Sancta Maria’ blends synthesisers and classical instrumentation to create an ethereal soundscape that comfortably sits in both the past and the future. It’s almost a history of sound encapsulated in four hypnotic and otherworldly minutes. “This album has a theme of journeys,” states Enya. “Journeys to the island; through the length of a lifetime; through history, through emotions; and journeys across great oceans. So although it’s not a ‘themed’ album, as such, we nevertheless have an underlying connection between songs.”
- Enya Dark Sky Island CD £11.99 / Deluxe CD £13.99 / LP £21.99
Trust the Pink Floyd mainstay to attempt something ambitious. This release documents Roger Waters’s 2010–13 solo tour. Amid the concert’s logistical shock and awe The Wall’s themes – fear of state and bomb alike – continue to resonate, and their off-kilter framing here further reveals the extent to which Waters’ generation was shaped by conflict. If it risks, at more than two hours, being over-long, such indulgence will presumably be no issue for prog lovers.
Based on the groundbreaking Pink Floyd concept album, The Wall could be called a concept concert: it’s a state-of-the-art show that dazzles the senses, combined with an intensely personal road trip that deals with the loss Roger has felt throughout his life due to war. It is an exultant ride of a rock-and-roll concert, and delivers an unforgettable, deeply emotional experience.
- Roger Waters The Wall CD £14.99 / 3-LP £24.99
The much-bootlegged footage from Queen’s Hammersmith Odeon concert – originally broadcast live to an audience of millions on BBC TV and radio on Christmas Eve night in 1975 – has been completely restored for the release, entitled A Night at the Odeon.
The concert – the final date of Queen’s A Night at the Opera UK tour – captures the band in typically flamboyant form, with plentyof pyrotechnics, a finale featuring balloons, confetti and blow-up dolls falling from the roof and a vintage display of showmanship from late frontman Freddie Mercury.
- Queen A Night At The Odeon 2-CD £12.99 / 2-CD+DVD £19.99 / 2-LP £35.99
The Comsat Angels 4 Vinyl Reissues CD 10.99 / LP £19.99
The Comsat Angels 4 Vinyl Reissues CD 10.99 / LP £19.99
The Comsat Angels 4 Vinyl Reissues CD 10.99 / LP £19.99
- The Comsat Angels 4 Vinyl Reissues
- Named after the J.G. Ballard story of the same name, The Comsat Angels were born in the UK’s post-punk era. One of the most underrated acts of the early 80s, the Sheffield four-piece twinned together sparse, economical musicianship and a large sound. While other bands of the era with a big sound, such as U2, Simple Minds, Echo and the Bunnymen and the Teardrop Explodes, achieved mainstream success, The Comsat Angels never made the breakthrough into the main arena. Perhaps too dark for populist tastes at the time, their music has been described as ‘abstract pop songs with spare instrumentation, many of which were bleak and filled with some form of heartache.’
- Unjustly overlooked for their important contribution to music, their influence however, is enormous; the haunting atmospherics and simply played but expansive nature of their music has has a direct effect on countless post-punk revival bands, including Blacklist, Bell Hollow, Editors and Interpol.
- The Comsats’ first three albums all receive the deluxe treatment: the introspective, but absorbing debut album Waiting For A Miracle; the intense, monumental follow-up Sleep No More and the understated and equally under-rated third, Fiction.
- Also, reissued for the first time, is the long out-of-print album Chasing Shadows, which lists Robert Palmer (a constant champion of the band) as co-producer.
- These albums prove beyond all reasonable doubt that while commercial recognition may have eluded the Sheffield-based quartet, they still accumulated one of the most enviable, enduring and unsung catalogues known to rock.
- Included in the deluxe editions are non-LP singles, demos and BBC radio session tracks, plus booklets with rare photos, memorabilia and detailed liner notes.
- The Comsat Angels 4 Vinyl Reissues CD 10.99 / LP £19.99
Filmed on 26 June this year as The Who celebrated their fiftieth anniversary, this stunning show from London’s famous Hyde Park is a triumphant return to their home city. On a glorious summer evening the band delivered a brilliant performance of all their greatest hits in front of a 50,000 strong crowd. With a series of stunning backdrops making full use of the huge screens surrounding the stage and an exceptional light show this is a Who concert on a grand scale but as Pete Townshend says at the start of the show “You’re a long way away … but we will reach you!” He’s absolutely true to his word.
Filmed in high definition and simultaneously released on DVD, Blu-ray, DVD + 2-CD set, DVD + 3-LP set and in a Deluxe Edition. Includes ‘My Generation’, ‘Pinball Wizard’, ‘Baba O’Riley’, ‘Pictures Of Lily’, ‘I Can’t Explain’, ‘You Better You Bet’, ‘Who Are You’, ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, ‘Join Together’, ‘The Kids Are Alright’, ‘I Can See For Miles’ and many more!
- The Who Live In Hyde Park 2-CD+DVD £16.99 / 3-LP + DVD £29.99
Since his debut number 1 album, Hand Built By Robots, featuring hit single ‘Dream Catch Me’, in 2007, Newton Faulkner has released three further Top 10 albums, including the number 1, Write It On Your Skin, in 2012.
Human Love is mixed by Cenzo Townshend (The Maccabees, Jungle and George Ezra) and features a host of further high-profile credits. ‘Step In The Right Direction’ is produced by Cam Blackwood (George Ezra, London Grammar, Florence and the Machine), ‘Far To Fall’ was co-written by Ed Drewett (One Direction, The Wanted, Olly Murs) and ‘’Shadow Boxing’ was produced by the Australian duo Empire Of The Sun.
- Newton Faulkner Human Love CD £11.99
The first phase of The Sisters Of Mercy came to an end when the band broke up soon after finishing the tour for their 1985 debut, First And Last And Always. Undaunted, the group’s founder and frontman Andrew Eldritch continued to make music, aided by his ever faithful drum machine Doktor Avalanche. The Sisters of Mercy came back stronger than ever in 1987 with their second album, Floodland, an even bigger commercial and artistic breakthrough.
The second incarnation of The Sisters – which featured bassist Patricia Morrison of Gun Club and The Damned – explored new sonic avenues on Floodland. The tone was still dark and brooding, but now the guitars shared space with keyboards and the rich orchestrations of producer Jim Steinman (Meat Loaf) on tracks like ‘This Corrosion’ and ‘Dominion/Mother Russia’. When the album was released in November 1987, it climbed the charts in the UK where it reached the Top Ten.
Along with the studio album, Floodland Era Vinyl box set includes a trio of 12" singles from that era: ‘This Corrosion’, ‘Dominion’ and ‘Lucretia My Reflection’. It features a different mix of the title track, along with the non-LP B-sides ‘Torch’ and ‘Colours’.
The 12" version of the second single ‘Dominion’ also appears in this set. It contains a different mix of ‘Dominion’, as well as three additional tracks: ‘Untitled’, ‘Sandstorm’ and their unique cover of Hot Chocolate’s ‘Emma’. The third single, ‘Lucretia My Reflection’ is represented here by the nine-minute 12" version from 1988 that features the B-side ‘Long Train’, originally recorded in 1984. This new boxed set marks the digital debut of several of the songs featured on the 12" singles.
- The Sisters Of Mercy Floodland Era Vinyl box set 4-LP 180g box set £48.99
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Releases for 13 November 2015
13 November presents a fine eclectic mix all the way from Johnny Marr to Gong! The latest from Neil Young’s vaunted archive series presents Neil & The Bluenotes live; the soundtrack to Montage of Heck, a new documentary about Kurt Cobain, presents a fascinating glimpse into his creative process; a CD / DVD package from an acclaimed live show at the Blues Alley Jazz Club showcases Eva Cassidy’s astonishing voice; if you’re collecting the David Bowie 40th anniversary 7" pic discs, then Golden Years is an essential purchase. Brad Mehldau’s 10 Years Solo Live gets its CD release, and is well worth a listen for jazz fans. The Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy box set includes remastered versions of the three seminal Gong albums: Angels Egg, Flying Teapot and You. Release of the week almost went to Back To The River, a new Kent Records compilation of of Southern Soul classics from the well known to the utterly obscure – 4 hours will fly by as you listen! – but it’s just beaten by Johnny Marr’s Adrenaline Live.
Johnny Marr’s debut live solo album, Adrenalin Baby, documents his energetic live performances over the past three years across a double album.
Adrenalin Baby was recorded primarily at his Brixton Academy and Manchester Apollo shows during the ‘Playland’ tour in support of Johnny’s Top 10 solo albums The Messenger and Playland. In addition to material from his solo albums, Adrenalin Baby also features takes on The Smiths’ classics ‘The Headmaster Ritual’, ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’, ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’ and ‘How Soon Is Now?’ The collection is completed by Electronic’s ‘Getting Away With It’ and Johnny’s interpretation of ‘I Fought The Law’.
‘I wanted to capture the atmosphere and feeling of the last couple of tours,’ says Johnny. ‘It’s been a special time and the album is a document for fans who were there, and for people who haven’t seen me and might want to check out what the shows are about. I like live records when they’re a good listen, It’s turned out really well.’
- Johnny Marr Adrenaline Baby CD £13.99 / LP £21.99
This live archive release from the rock legend was recorded at various shows during Neil Young and Bluenote Café’s 1988 This Note’s For You tour. This superb live set documents one of Neil’s most funky and heartfelt periods, featuring seven unreleased songs – ‘Soul of a Woman’, ‘Bad News Comes to Town’, ‘Ain’t it the Truth’, ‘I’m Goin’’, ‘Crime of the Heart’, ‘Doghouse’, ‘Fool for Your Love’ – and a searing 19-minute version of the immortal ‘Tonight’s the Night’ at The Pier in New York City. Young’s band featured on the release includes a full horn section as well as bassists Rick Rosas and Billy Talbot, keyboardist Frank Sampedro and drummers Chad Cromwell and Ralph Molina.
- Neil Young Bluenote Café: Live CD £12.99 / 3-LP £34.99
Hailed as one of the most innovative and intimate documentaries of all time, Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck is the only fully authorised portrait of the rock icon. The highly anticipated soundtrack album, compiled from various early, raw cassette recordings made by Kurt alone, allows a rare, unfiltered glimpse into Cobain’s creative progression from early song snippets and short demos to musical experiments and, ultimately, pieces of songs or lyrics that eventually appeared on later Nirvana albums. This 31-track deluxe soundtrack showcases tracks from the documentary including spoken word, demos and full songs.
- Kurt Cobain Montage of Heck CD £12.99 / 2-LP £24.99
Nightbird is Eva Cassidy’s ultimate tour-de-force: 31 songs recorded in one night at the Blues Alley jazz club in Georgetown, DC. Encompassing the full spectrum of Eva’s gospel, blues, jazz and folk roots, Nightbird showcases the breadth and depth of one of the world’s finest singers.
The recordings have been remixed and remastered from the original tapes resulting in the most sonically engaging Eva Cassidy release to date. Of the 31 songs, 12 are previously unreleased including the title track, ‘Nightbird’, as well as the jazz standards ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)’ and ‘Fever’. Of the 12 unreleased tracks, 8 are previously unheard songs. These include ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’, ‘Route 66’, ‘Late in The Evening’, ‘Baby I Love You’ and ‘Caravan’.
The DVD features 12 performances from the night, including ‘Over The Rainbow’, ‘Time After Time’, ‘People Get Ready’, ‘Nightbird’ and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’. The concert footage has undergone painstaking restoration resulting in a mesmerising viewer experience.
A vinyl/CD / DVD package is planned for release at a later date.
- Eva Cassidy Nightbird 2-CD+DVD £11.99
Golden Years will be the last of the David Bowie 40th anniversary 7" picture discs for 2015.
Originally released on 21 November 1975, ‘Golden Years’ had a lot to live up to: 1975 was a good year for Bowie chart action. ‘Fame’ had given Bowie his first US number 1, and the re-release of ‘Space Oddity’ became Bowie’s first UK number 1. ‘Golden Years’ made it into the Top Ten in the UK, peaking at #8. Nevertheless, it was a great advert for the upcoming Station To Station album, even though it was a bit of a curveball stylistically. The generally upbeat flavour of ‘Golden Years’ didn’t begin to hint at the emotionally cold Thin White Duke who was waiting in the wings of 1976.
Both sides feature photos by Steve Schapiro. The AA side is a previously unpublished shot.
- David Bowie Golden Years – 40th Anniversary Picture Disc Series 7" £9.99
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.’
This set is also available as an 8-LP vinyl box set.
- Brad Mehldau 10 Years Solo Live 6-CD box set £32.99
Kent’s first anthology of Southern Soul – the award-winning Take Me To The River – was critically and publicly acclaimed in equal measure. It has gone on to become one of the best-selling items in the Ace catalogue and continues to sell well more than half a decade after its release.
Southern Soul has so many stories to tell that a second collection was inevitable. Back To The River has taken the premise of its predecessor and expanded its brief to bring you soul not only from the south, but also southern-styled music from the north, east and west of the United States. As before, the 75 tracks run the gamut from well-known classics to little-known and highly valuable obscurities, topped off with a generous helping of previously unissued titles by familiar names. The booklet abounds with rare photos, and once again each of the 75 tracks gets its own individual annotation. Some of the greatest names in soul music can be heard at their best in a total playing time that runs just a fraction under four hours. Kent’s commitment to Southern soul remains as strong as ever and there’s much more of it to come in the future.
- Various Artists Back to the River: More Southern Soul Stories 1961–78 3-CD £29.99
For the first time ever, Gong’s quintessential trilogy – Flying Teapot, Angels Egg and You – have been remastered from the original tapes and gathered together in a lavish package as Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy. Maintaining the incredible sound quality and repackaging of 2015’s critically acclaimed Camembert Electrique remasters, each album has been digitally remastered by Nick Robbins at SoundMastering Studios. The hardback CD edition features exclusive content including 60 pages full of artwork, rare photos, sleeve notes by Mojo magazine’s Mark Paytress and more, together with a fourth CD of bonus material, including both sides of Gong’s impossible-to-find debut single on BYG Records, released only in France in 1970.
Dedicated to the memory and ongoing legacy of Daevid Allen, Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy will be released in November 2015 to coincide with Gong’s ‘You Can’t Kill Me’ series of concerts in the UK and other territories around the world.
- Gong Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy 4-CD £38.99 / 6-LP £45.99
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Releases for 6 November 2015
6 November sees a re-recording of the seminal songs from Natalie Merchant’s Tigerlily called Paradise is There, Billy Gibbons graces us with his first solo effort which has, of all things, a distinctive Latin American feel to it, shoegaze legends Ride return with a re-release of the genre creating album Nowhere, including extra tracks, Björk has found a typically idiosyncratic way of presenting her career high Vulnicura using strings-only arrangements! I’m really liking Jamie Woon’s woozy minimal soul on Making Time. Both Ellie Goulding and Seal return with finely crafted pop albums worthy of a bit of ear time. Release of the week is The Bootleg Series Volume 12: The Cutting Edge 1965–66, which highlights a ferociously creative period of Bob Dylan’s life – the 6 CD version of course!
Between 1965 and 1966 Bob Dylan recorded three albums that many believe changed the course of modern music: Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde. The Cutting Edge 1965–1966: The Bootleg Series Volume 12 takes you inside the studio during the recording of those three albums. With a staggering wealth of unreleased songs, outtakes, rehearsals and alternate versions, The Cutting Edge provides a unique insight into a legendary icon’s creative process.
The six-CD deluxe edition features over 100 previously unreleased tracks. Includes alternate versions of songs such as ‘Desolation Row’, ‘Visions Of Johanna’, ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ and the complete 16-take session for ‘Like A Rolling Stone’. It is packaged in a slipcase with a separate 120-page hardcover book with exclusive photography and liner notes.
- Bob Dylan The Bootleg Series Volume 12: The Cutting Edge 1965–1966 2-CD £16.99 / 6-CD box set £104.99 / 3-LP £109.99
Natalie Merchant’s Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings is a collection of all-new recordings that revisits Merchant’s multi-platinum solo debut, Tigerlily, originally released in 1995 following her departure from 10,000 Maniacs. The accompanying DVD contains a memoir-style documentary film stuffed with live performances, archival footage, and interviews with musicians, friends, and fans about the influence the songs of Tigerlily have had over the past 20 years. International tour dates to support the release will be announced soon.
Tigerlily was described by the New York Times in 1995 as ‘an anomaly in a music scene in which reckless female performers reign supreme’. The album sold more than five million copies worldwide and featured the popular hit singles ‘Carnival’, ‘Wonder’, and ‘Jealousy’. Paradise Is There presents the songs as they have evolved over the past two decades of live performance. Joining Merchant on the album, which she produced herself, are her long-time band members Gabriel Gordon (guitar), Jesse Murphy (bass), Uri Sharlin (piano and accordion), and Allison Miller (drums), as well as a string quartet – Scot Moore (violin), Shawn Moore (violin), Marandi Hostetter (viola), and Stanley Moore (cello) – plus Sharel Cassity (saxophone), and guest vocals by Simi Stone, Gail Ann Dorsey, and Elizabeth Mitchell.
‘Tigerlily is the most significant album I’ve made because it defined me as an independent songwriter after 12 years in 10,000 Maniacs,’ Merchant explains; ‘It also created a bond between me and an audience that has supported and sustained me for 20 years. I decided to make the Paradise Is There album and film for them, to honor the journey that we, and these songs, have all taken. Songs have new life breathed into them every time they are sung. Time has changed them as much as it has changed me.’ She continues, ‘I wanted to record these songs again because it seemed unfair to confine them to the way that they were performed in the studio in 1995. They are so versatile, whether I strip them bare or enhance them with strings, and they lend themselves so well to re-arrangement. There are several songs from Tigerlily – ‘Carnival’, ‘Wonder’, ‘Beloved Wife’, ‘River’, and ‘Cowboy Romance’ – that remain at the core of my live shows. They still have relevance to me and, by the response they receive, I can tell that they still resonate with my audience,’ Merchant says. ‘I’ve spent a full year preparing this album and film, and the process gave me a chance to take the measure of everything that’s happened because of Tigerlily. The distance this music traveled once it left my hands is humbling, and I am moved by how many lives it has touched along the way.’
- Natalie Merchant Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings CD £13.99 / CD+DVD £19.99 / 2-LP £29.99
Mighty shoegaze legends Ride re-release Nowhere with extra tracks! Widely considered one of the greatest albums not only of the ‘shoegaze’ genre, but of the 90s, Nowhere features classic tracks including ‘Vapour Trail’, ‘Polar Bear’ and Dreams Burn Down’. The 15-track album version features three tracks from the Fall EP, released 25 years ago, in September 1990, in the lead up to Nowhere, plus four songs from the Today Forever EP, which came out the week of the Town & Country Club show in March 1991. This show was part of a short UK tour to support Today Forever, the first new material from Ride since Nowhere.
- Ride Nowhere CD+DVD £29.99 / LP £26.99
A string version of Björk’s highly-acclaimed eighth studio album, Vulnicura.
The original version of Vulnicura layered the boom and crack of electronic beats with an intense vocal melody and incredible string arrangements by Björk, which have been performed live with a fifteen-chair orchestra. The new version comprised solely strings, with new violin solos by Una Sveinbjarnardottir and strings by a viola organista.
To perform some of the arrangements, Björk used the only viola organista in the world – an instrument designed by Leonardo Da Vinci but not built until after his death. The instrument uses a friction belt to vibrate individual strings, similar to a violin, with the strings selected by pressing keys on the keyboard, like an organ. The instrument was recorded in Krakow, Poland.
- Björk Vulnicura Strings CD £10.99
Jamie Woon’s new release is a beguiling mix of minimal soul and woozy New Orleans jazz, as only Jamie can. This album feels like a late night with a glass of Jack Daniels kind of thing, which is no bad thing!
The LP will be released on 11 December.
- Jamie Woon Making Time CD £11.99 / LP £20.99
The debut solo album from Billy Gibbons, ZZ Top guitarist/vocalist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, who is backed on this unique outing by a handpicked group of musicians dubbed The BFGs.
As the title may suggest, the album takes on a bit of an Afro-Cuban flavour that may come as a surprise to some Gibbons fans and followers. The concept for Perfectamundo, which was produced by Gibbons and Joe Hardy and recorded in Houston, Los Angeles, Austin and Pontevedra, Spain, originated with Gibbons’ invitation to perform at the 2014 Havana Jazz Festival, delivered by his Argentina-born, Puerto Rico-raised friend and musical collaborator Martin Guigui. While he was unable to make it to Cuba, Billy did commence exploring the potential for an Afro-Cuban inflected album project at his Houston studio. The first track finished for Perfectamundo took its title from a business card from a newly opened Cuban eatery called Sal Y Pimienta (salt and pepper), which Billy presented to his engineering crew.
- Billy Gibbons Perfectamundo CD £11.99 / LP £21.99
Delirium is the follow-up to 2012’s Halcyon, which cemented Ellie Goulding’s status as a global artist. The sound of the album is that of an artist at the top of her game. ‘A part of me views this album as an experiment – to make a big pop album,’ she says. ‘I made a conscious decision that I wanted it to be on another level.’
Delirium is an expansive pop album. Songs such as ‘Devotion’, ‘On My Mind’, ‘Don’t Panic’ and ‘Don’t Need Nobody’ are monumental anthems that retain a personal intimacy: epic tracks with a heart and soul. That balance is displayed most devastatingly on ‘Army’, a track written about her best friend Hannah. The album features 16 tracks, with an additional 6 on the deluxe version. Delirium is the work of an artist who is seizing her moment, and Goulding has never sounded more assertive and in control.
- Ellie Goulding Delirium CD £9.99 / Deluxe CD £12.99
Throughout 7, Seal explores love and all of its implications, idiosyncrasies, and intricacies.
‘The album concerns the most sung about, most talked about, and most documented emotion – love,’ he explains. ‘I tried to capture all of the wonderfully different dynamics of love, whether it’s the anger, the acceptance, the bliss, the sadness, the elation, or the recklessness. It’s this emotion and the ways it makes us feel. It’s about the extreme joy and the extreme regret as well as all of the crazy things love makes us do.’
7 restarts Seal’s storied partnership with Trevor Horn, which began with his 1991 number 1 debut album, Seal, and continued with the huge number 1 follow-up, Seal II (1994), 1998’s Human Being, 2003’s Seal IV and, most recently, Soul 2 (2011). As a result, there is an unspoken yet unbreakable bond between them.
One of the album’s highlights is ‘Every Time I’m With You’, which begins with a stark piano melody punctuated by Seal’s instantly recognisable croon before it builds into a climactic, soulful refrain that resounds over a rich musical panorama.
‘I just tried to imagine the one thing your significant other would most want to hear from you,’ he says. ‘You ask your partner, “Why do you love me? Why are you with me?” and the response is, “There are many reasons, but one of the main reasons is, every time I’m with you, I feel wanted.” I can’t think of many things that are more beautiful, which I’d either want to say or hear. It was my attempt at being romantic! Whether or not, I achieved it, only time will tell,’ he laughs.
- Seal 7 CD £10.99
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Other releases for 2015
Find releases from 2016.