Releases from November–December 2017
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.
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Pre-sale of the week is Love Is A Basic Need by Embrace, out on 9 March.
Calexico | First Aid Kit | Black Rebel Motorcycle Club | Skids | Shame | To Kill A King | Of Mice & Men | Magnum | Tommy Emmanuel | Tune-Yards | Go Team | Starcrawler | Ty Segall | Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa | Machine Head | Marmozets | Turin Brakes | Django Django | Nils Frahm | Stick In The Wheel | Embrace
Releases for 1 December 2017
There are plenty of exciting releases coming out in December. We start off with On Air, which showcases the early vibrancy of The Rolling Stones live, including eight performances not released officially before, and is arguably the Stones at their early, raw peak. U2 return with Songs Of Experience, a companion piece to 2014’s Songs Of Innocence, the two titles drawing inspiration from English poet William Blake’s ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’. Neil Young responds to the current state of turmoil in the USA on The Visitor, on which his musical journey surprised even himself; the result is his most diverse album since Harvest in 1972, another time when America was in the throes of becoming unhinged. Neil Young didn’t blink then, and he isn’t blinking now. Dan Michaelson follows up last year’s critically acclaimed Memory with First Light (8 December), for which he wrote during each day’s first moment of consciousness before past, future, cynicism and memory come into focus; reflection on those moments informed the songs. Van Morrison’s new studio album, Versatile – his 38th – arrives less than three months after Roll With The Punches, and finds the Irish crooner shifting to from blues to jazz standards, interspersed once again with Morrison originals. In November 2015 the legendary New Order returned to play two nights at a sold-out Brixton Academy in support of their new album, Music Complete. The second of the two shows is now released as NOMC15. The Greatest Gift Mixtape (8 December) is a mixture of outtakes, remixes and demos from Sufjan Stevens’s 2015 album Carrie & Lowell, including four previously unreleased new songs, available on translucent yellow vinyl only.
Our album of the week is From ‘A’ Room: Vol. 2, which continues Chris Stapleton’s rise to becoming one of the true stars of modern American country music. Ridding himself of the tired old clichés that abound in that genre, Stapleton makes astonishing music grounded in country history but forever looking forward.
- The second instalment from the Chris Stapleton ‘From ‘A’ Room’ sessions with producer Dave Cobb at Nashville’s historic Studio ‘A’ is here. From ‘A’ Room Vol. 2 will follow up Vol. 1, which went straight to number 1 on its release in May, became country music’s first record released in 2017 to be certified gold, and has sold over 500,000 copies so far. The album also was voted Album of the Year at the 2017 CMA Awards.
- Note: the LP will be released on 22 December.
- On Air is a collection of rarely heard radio recordings from the formative years of The Rolling Stones. The songs, including eight the band have never recorded or released commercially, were originally broadcast on bygone UK BBC shows such as Saturday Club, Top Gear, Rhythm and Blues and The Joe Loss Pop Show between 1963 and 1965.
- These flashbacks offer an insight into the band as a vital and constantly surprising live unit. Such was the frequency with which they visited BBC studios in the ’60s, the group constantly set out to offer listeners something different. As well as songs that never appeared on singles or albums, there are seven tracks that were debuted over the airwaves before featuring on albums or EPs.
- U2 return with their hotly anticipated new studio album, Songs Of Experience. This release completes a stellar year for the Dublin band, following their return to stadiums with the critically acclaimed, sold-out The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 playing to 2.4 million fans in just 51 shows across Europe and North and South America, as well as the successful 30th anniversary re-issue of The Joshua Tree.
- The new album – their 14th – is the companion piece to 2014’s Songs Of Innocence, the two titles drawing inspiration from English poet William Blake’s ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’.
- The standard CD contains 13 tracks, the deluxe CD 17 tracks and the 2-LP vinyl 16 tracks.
- When Neil Young entered Shangri La Studio with the band Promise Of The Real a few months ago, there was a lot of images and feelings careening around his soul. The United States was heading in a direction Young had never seen, even though up until then he thought he’d seen it all. But something different was happening, and it had got inside his music. “I’m a Canadian by the way and I love the USA,” he sings on the first song ‘Already Great’.
- The ethos of The Visitor can be summed up in the refrain of ‘Already Great’, in which Young insists: “Already great, you’re already great. You’re the promised land, the helping hand. No wall. No hate. No fascist USA. Whose street? Our street.” From those words, Neil Young was ready to take a musical journey on The Visitor like he had never taken before. It was one where he’d even surprise himself, always the mark of a creative leap. By the end of the recording sessions, he knew he’d made his most diverse album going all the way back to Harvest in 1972, when America was also in the throes of becoming unhinged. Neil Young didn’t blink then, and he is not blinking now.
- Note: the LP will be released on 5 January.
- First Light is the follow-up to last year’s critically acclaimed Memory, and Dan Michaelson’s first album away from his band The Coastguards since 2011’s Sudden Fiction. Created in close collaboration with orchestral arranger Arnulf Lindner, aka Skeleton Key, First Light focuses on the day’s first moment of consciousness before past, future, cynicism and memory come into focus. Though considered by Michaelson to be “the most unpleasant moment of any day,” the opportunity to write at this time became the working practice for the record and, as the writing progressed, reflection on those moments informed the songs further.
- Recorded over three weeks at The Premises Studios in London, First Light features eight violins, four violas, two cellos, two double basses and the odd flash of trombone, all constantly shifting above, below and either side of Michaelson’s staple vocal style. Although First Light finds Michaelson experimenting with a full orchestral palette, echoes of his inspirations and life-long heroes still rise to the surface.
- Note: this album will be released on 8 December.
- Van Morrison’s new studio album, Versatile, arrives less than three months after his 37th album, Roll With The Punches.
- While Roll With The Punches found Morrison reinterpreting the work of blues and soul legends like Sam Cooke, Bo Diddley and Little Walter, Versatile will see the Irish crooner shifting to jazz standards like George and Ira Gershwin’s ‘A Foggy Day’ and ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me,’ Cole Porter’s ‘I Get a Kick Out of You’ and ‘Unchained Melody,’ popularized by the Righteous Brothers.
- Like Roll With The Punches, the covers on Versatile are interspersed with Morrison originals; the singer penned six new songs for this album, plus an arrangement of the traditional ‘Skye Boat Song’.
- In November 2015 the legendary New Order returned to play two nights at a sold-out Brixton Academy in support of their new album, Music Complete. The Guardian said that New Order “shimmer through an untouchable back catalogue of electro alchemy… just when it was needed, they have delivered us a profoundly life-affirming evening.”
- The second of the two shows was captured by Live Here Now, and is now released as NOMC15 (‘New Order Music Complete 15’). The CD is available as a deluxe limited edition package, and features iconic new artwork by Warren Jackson.
- The Greatest Gift Mixtape is a mixture of outtakes, remixes and demos from Sufjan Stevens’s 2015 album Carrie & Lowell. This collection serves as a companion piece to the Carrie & Lowell Live album released earlier this year, and as an expansion of the original album. In the same way that the live show featured re-interpretations of the songs from Carrie & Lowell, the mixtape unveils new remixes by several longstanding collaborators including Roberto C. Lange (aka Helado Negro), Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), and James McAlister (aka 900X). The album also features Sufjan’s own remix of ‘Drawn to the Blood’.
- The mixtape also features four previously unreleased new songs, ‘official’ outtakes from Carrie & Lowell recorded at the same time as the album: ‘Wallowa Lake Monster,’ ‘The Hidden River Of My Life,’ ‘City Of Roses,’ and ‘The Greatest Gift.’ This new material, in its investigation of love, life, death, God, and the beautiful state of Oregon, serves as a contemplative companion to the original album.
- Note: this album will be released on 8 December.
Releases for 24 November 2017
24 November brings 6 lovely recommendations for you. Who Built The Moon? is the eagerly anticipated new album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, two years in the making and featuring guest appearances from Paul Weller and Johnny Marr; inspired as much by French psychedelic pop as it was classic electro, soul, rock, disco and dance, it’s an “exhilarating collection of placid instrumentals, hypnotic, eastern-influenced grooves, gutsy balcony-shakers and widescreen, cinematic walls of sound”. Hello Sammy bears the marks of extensive musical expeditions far from Bella Hardy’s Peak District home; Bella returned from living and working in Nashville and Yunnan, South West China with a musical suitcase overflowing with new lyrical and musical ideas, the changes to her life flowing through every word and note of this accomplished and grown-up record. Squeeze return with a new album which manages to be both reassuringly familiar and intriguingly different: The Knowledge offers up another dozen examples of high-quality Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook song-craft. Samantha Fish delivers some of her most compelling music to date with her fifth studio album, Belle Of The West, a deeply soulful, personally charged 11-song set that showcases her sublime acoustic guitar skills as well as her rootsy, emotionally resonant songwriting. A Brand New Me pairs classic vocals from some of the most iconic songs that Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin recorded for Atlantic Records with new arrangements performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; the result is another timeless record that retains the soul, groove, and gospel power of Franklin’s revered talent.
Björk said of her ninth studio album, Utopia: “If we’re gonna survive not only my personal drama but also the sort of situation the world is in today, we’ve got to come up with a new plan. If we don’t have the dream, we’re just not gonna change. Especially now, this kind of dream is an emergency.” We’re not entirely sure what that means, but it’s Björk and that’s enough to make it our release of the week!
- Utopia is the ninth studio album from the iconic artist Björk. Talking about the album this summer, she explained that: “Maybe that’s why it became a utopian theme – if we’re gonna survive not only my personal drama but also the sort of situation the world is in today, we’ve got to come up with a new plan, If we don’t have the dream, we’re just not gonna change. Especially now, this kind of dream is an emergency.”
- Note: The Digipak CD comes in a 6-panel Digipak with a 22-page booklet.
- Who Built The Moon? is the eagerly anticipated brand new studio album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
- The former Oasis star spent two years collaborating with producer, DJ and composer David Holmes on the record, which also features guest appearances from Paul Weller and Johnny Marr. Said to be inspired as much by French psychedelic pop as it was classic electro, soul, rock, disco and dance, the follow-up to 2015’s acclaimed Chasing Yesterday has been described as an “exhilarating collection of placid instrumentals, hypnotic, eastern-influenced grooves, gutsy balcony-shakers and widescreen, cinematic walls of sound”.
- Track listing: Fort Knox / Holy Mountain / Keep On Reaching / It’s A Beautiful World / She Taught Me How To Fly / Be Careful What You Wish For / Black & White Sunshine / Interlude (Wednesday Part 1) / If Love Is The Law / The Man Who Built The Moon / End Credits (Wednesday Part 2)
- Note: the LP is a white vinyl version only available in record shops.
- Hey Sammy is the long-awaited ninth solo album by singer-songwriter Bella Hardy, a record that bears the stamps of extensive musical expeditions far from her home of Edale in the Peak District.
- In the time since 2015’s 5-star reviewed With The Dawn, Bella temporarily relocated to Nashville where she became immersed in Music City’s culture of collaborative song-writing and also worked happily in the company of horses as a ranch hand. Two music-finding trips to Yunnan Province in Southwest China also saw this BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year Award winner return with a suitcase overflowing with new lyrical and musical notions. These radical changes of life and perspective flow through every word and note of the 11 new songs on Hey Sammy – a glorious, accomplished, grown-up record.
- Squeeze return with a new album which manages to be both reassuringly familiar and intriguingly different. The Knowledge offers up another dozen examples of high quality Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook song-craft, and is the perfect curtain-raiser for a massive UK, US and Australian tour.
- Two years on from the critically acclaimed Top 20 success of Cradle To The Grave (the band’s first set of new songs this century), The Knowledge finds our heroes broadening their musical canvas, as evident on the opening ‘Innocence In Paradise’ with its pedal steel and cinematic atmosphere evoking images of the mythical western. But don’t be wrong-footed by that curveball compass point, because Squeeze are still very much part of the fabric of South London.
- “You should always get outside of the box,” says Samantha Fish while discussing her boundary-breaking new album, Belle Of The West. “Challenging yourself is how you grow.”
- Having already made it clear that she’s more interested in following her heart than she is in repeating past triumphs, Samantha Fish delivers some of her most compelling music to date with Belle Of The West, her fifth studio album. The deeply soulful, personally charged 11-song set showcases Fish’s sublime acoustic guitar skills as well as her rootsy, emotionally resonant songwriting. “To me, this is a natural progression,” she notes. “It’s a storytelling record by a girl who grew up in the Midwest. It’s very personal. I really focused on the songwriting and vocals, the melodies and emotion, and on bringing another dimension to what I do. I wasn’t interested in shredding on guitar, although we ended up with a few heavier tracks. I love Mississippi blues; there’s something very soulful and very real about that style of music, so this was a chance to immerse myself in that.”
- In January 1967, a 24-year old Aretha Franklin signed to Atlantic Records and began one of the most legendary runs in music history, releasing five US hit singles in that year alone. We celebrate the 50th anniversary of Franklin’s historic signing with an opportunity to hear her classic Atlantic masters like never before. A Brand New Me pairs classic vocals from some of the most iconic songs that the Queen of Soul recorded for Atlantic Records with new arrangements performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, with brand new backing vocals led by Grammy-winning singer Patti Austin. The result is another timeless record that retains the soul, groove, and gospel power of Franklin’s revered talent. Among the standout tracks are newly re-imagined versions of classics like the Billboard #1 R&B hits ‘Respect’, ‘Think’, ‘Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)’, and ‘Angel’.
Releases for 17 November 2017
17 November brings a perky and delightful batch of new releases your way. The End is a celebration of Black Sabbath’s final home-town concert at Birmingham’s Genting Arena on 4th February 2017, the most emotionally charged show in their history, packed with hits from throughout their career. The incorrigible Morrissey returns with Low In High School, his first studio album since 2014, on which he shows his talent for combining political statements and beautiful melodies, capturing the zeitgeist of an ever-changing world. Book Of Souls: Live Chapter is a document of Iron Maiden’s gargantuan world tour in support of their most recent album, and it’s a faithful record of a epic show. A Pocket Of Wind Resistance is Karine Polwart’s first studio album for more than 5 years: a poetic meditation on midwifery, sanctuary and solidarity that combines elements of memoir, essay, myth, sound art and song and is poignant, unflinching and beautiful. In Wembley Or Bust, we see Jeff Lynne and ELO filling Wembley Stadium with one of the greatest rock & roll spectacles of all time, complete with bells, whistles and spaceships – and many of the most beloved songs of our lifetime. World-renowned rockers Barenaked Ladies release Fake Nudes, their fifteenth studio album, of which frontman Ed Robertson said: “I’m incredibly proud of this … record, where all band members shine. It’s incredible to feel so excited about something 29 years into our career.”
Sharon Jones sadly died in 2016, but before she left us she recorded one last album, Soul Of A Woman, which is our release of the week. The 11 songs presented here reveal that the emotion, dynamics and drama of Jones’s voice remained at full power into her final days. Her vocals are nuanced with vulnerability and the signature toughness that never allows you to forget that she is steering the ship. The finished album captures a singer and band at their peak.
- In the year prior to her death from pancreatic cancer in 2016, Sharon Jones toured and performed tirelessly, and was also the subject of Miss Sharon Jones!, an acclaimed documentary by Oscar-winning director Barbara Kopple. Yet somehow, the beloved, heroic soul singer found time to complete a studio album.
- The eleven songs on Soul Of A Woman reveal that the emotion, dynamics and drama of Jones’ voice remained at full power until her final days. The songs on the album exemplify two distinct sides of the band’s sound. Side One showcases grittier, bluesier material like ‘Matter Of Time’ and ‘Sail On!’, which give Sharon the room to flex her vocal prowess and creating a ‘liveness’ that few studio albums possess. Side Two presents a more sophisticated orchestral mood: tracks like ‘When I Saw Your Face’ and ‘These Tears (No Longer For You)’ capture a soft vulnerability in Sharon’s vocals that draws you deep inside, and yet they remain nuanced with the signature toughness that never allows you to forget she’s steering the ship.
- The finished product is an album that captures a band and a singer at their peak.
- Note: the LP is on indies-only red vinyl.
- Almost five decades ago, the toll of a bell and rolling thunder heralded an ear-splittingly monolithic riff. In that moment, Black Sabbath and the enduring sound of heavy metal were forged. The band embarked on what Ozzy describes as “the most incredible adventure you could think of,” a journey that would go on to define a genre.
- The End is a celebration of Black Sabbath’s final home-town concert at Birmingham’s Genting Arena on the 4th of February 2017 – an unforgettable farewell show from one of the biggest bands in the world.
- With a set list packed with hits including ‘Iron Man’, ‘Paranoid’, ‘War Pigs’ and many more, the fans lucky enough to be there were wowed as the band delivered the most emotionally charged show in their history. Now you too can experience this incredible performance.
- Low In High School is Morrissey’s first studio album since 2014 and was recorded at La Fabrique Studios in France and at Ennio Morricone’s Forum Studios in Rome. The record is produced by Joe Chiccarelli (who has worked with Frank Zappa, The Strokes, Beck and The White Stripes, to name a few). Morrissey’s talent for combining political statements and beautiful melodies is more prevalent than ever on Low In High School, capturing the zeitgeist of an ever-changing world.
- Note: the LP version is an exclusive indies-only green vinyl.
- Iron Maiden’s gargantuan world tour in support of The Book Of Souls covered thirty-nine countries across six continents, and was witnessed by over two million fans. Now the band are documenting that tour with the release of The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter.
- Produced by Tony Newton and Iron Maiden founder member and bass player Steve Harris, the 16-track album is a faithful record of an epic show from the tour. It includes six songs from The Book Of Souls along with many other classics and fan favourites.
- A Pocket Of Wind Resistance is the first studio album from the acclaimed Karine Polwart for more than five years.
- A Pocket Of Wind Resistance, created alongside sound designer Pippa Murphy, is the studio adaptation of Polwart’s rave-reviewed ‘Wind Resistance’ show, which premiered at Edinburgh International Festival in 2016. In association with The Royal Lyceum Theatre and Edinburgh International Festival 2016, Karine wrote, musically directed, and performed Wind Resistance, a critically acclaimed debut work for theatre. A poetic meditation on midwifery, ecology, sanctuary, and solidarity, it combines elements of memoir, essay, myth, sound art and song.
- Wind Resistance was described by The Telegraph in a 5-star review as: “poignant, unflinching and beautiful.”
- Jeff Lynne, one of the most successful recording artists, songwriters and producers of all-time, leads his ELO in their triumphant concert for a massive audience at Wembley Stadium on 24 June 2017.
- In Wembley Or Bust, we see Lynne and his remarkable musical ensemble filling Wembley Stadium with one of the greatest rock & roll spectacles of all time, complete with bells, whistles and spaceships, and most importantly, many of the most beloved songs of our lifetime, from vintage ELO classics like ‘Mr. Blue Sky’, ‘Livin’ Thing’ and ‘Evil Woman’ to ‘Do Ya’ from his days with The Move, ‘Handle With Care’, which he recorded with the Traveling Wilburys, right through ‘When I Was A Boy’ from his latest ELO masterpiece, Alone In The Universe. Now in Wembley Or Bust – directed by Paul Dugdale – music lovers ‘All Over The World’ can hear Jeff Lynne bringing all of his magnificent rock & roll dreams to life in a giant stadium, and winning big in every way.
- With over 14 million albums sold, multiple Juno Awards and Grammy nominations, world-renowned rockers Barenaked Ladies announce the release of their fifteenth studio album, Fake Nudes. The new album features fourteen freshly minted tracks, including ‘Bringing it Home’ – written by BNL frontman Ed Robertson and Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra – and the catchy ‘Lookin’ Up’, written by Robertson, Griffin and Sam Hollander (who has co-written with Weezer, Fitz & The Tantrums and Train).
- “I’m incredibly proud of this collection of songs,” says Ed Robertson. “This is a record where all band members shine. It’s incredible to feel so excited about something 29 years into our career. I’m excited to get out and play these songs live.”
Releases for 10 November 2017
First of our recommended releases for 10 November is singer, songwriter, musician and producer Taylor Swift’s long-awaited and highly anticipated 6th studio album, Reputation, which includes the number one single ‘Look What You Made Me Do’; we refer any doubters to the Ryan Adams cover of Taylor’s album 1989, which revealed what a great songwriter she is. British soul singer Joss Stone decided to record an album driven by the dynamic rhythms of Africa; she assembled an all-star ensemble up from all corners of the music world and composed spontaneously, with Stone keeping her own creative process separate from the four musicians, and this became the self-titled debut release of Project Mama Earth. The Savage Young Dü box set is a journey through the young life of Hüsker Dü, including early recordings, sessions and live performances as well as their classic early single ‘Statues’ – an essential look inside an incredibly influential band. At last year’s annual Morsefest in Nashville, the original line-up of Spock’s Beard, and current members, performed their critically acclaimed concept album, Snow, in its entirety – now Snow Live gives fans worldwide the chance to experience it. The Corrs are back with a wonderful new album, Jupiter Calling, produced by T-Bone Burnett; it’s ambitious, earthy and outspoken, and guaranteed to earn them renewed respect as musicians and songwriters.
Our release of the week is Phases by Angel Olsen, which features never-before-heard demos, B-sides, and rarities from various elusive releases. Phases balances tenacity and tenderness and acts as a deep dive for long-time fans, as well as a fitting intro to Olsen’s sprawling sonics for the uninitiated.
- Phases is a collection culled from the past several years of work by Angel Olsen, including the new song ‘Special’, recorded during the My Woman sessions, as well as ‘Fly On Your Wall’, previously available on the download-only anti-Trump compilation Our First 100 Days. The collection also features never-before-heard demos, as well as B-sides, rarities, and covers from various elusive releases throughout the years.
- Balancing tenacity and tenderness, Phases acts as a deep-dive for longtime fans, as well as a fitting introduction to Olsen’s sprawling sonics for the uninitiated.
- Singer, songwriter, musician and producer Taylor Swift has announced her long-awaited and highly anticipated sixth studio album, Reputation, which includes the number one single ‘Look What You Made Me Do’.
- The all-star Mama Earth lineup of Joss Stone (vocals), Nitin Sawhney (guitar), Jonathan Joseph (drums), Étienne M’Bappé (bass/guitar) and Jonathan Shorten (keyboards) release their debut EP, Mama Earth.
- The project started when British soul singer Joss Stone and her former musical director Jonathan Joseph hit on the Mama Earth concept of an album driven by the dynamic rhythms of Africa. A band was assembled from all corners of the music world. The 5 musicians convened at Stone’s house. Music was spontaneously written on the spot, without any preparation. In the meantime, Stone purposefully kept her own creative process separate from the four musicians: “So it was, like, ‘You guys do you, and I’ll do me – then we’ll put it together.’ And that’s the way it worked. ‘The whole project is about Mother Nature. It’s supposed to be from her perspective.’”
- Just ten days after they came together – and following a powerful co-production from all five band members – the Mama Earth sessions were over. And yet, you sense that the story of this fascinating band is only just beginning. Impulsive, dynamic and sometimes downright dangerous, this is an album unlike anything else in the five musicians’ respective CVs, unprecedented in the clinical modern music scene – and sure to make waves. “I guess this album is essentially how I think of music,” considers Sawhney. “It was all about being open to the moment. I think that’s really what I loved about this project. To me, Mama Earth is what music should be about, really.”
- Savage Young Dü is a journey through the young life of Hüsker Dü including early recordings, sessions and live performances as well as their classic early single ‘Statues’/‘Amusement’.
- Note: The release comes housed in a deluxe box set with a book of photos and memorabilia.
- At last year’s annual Morsefest in Nashville, the dream of every Spock’s Beard fan in attendance came true. The band’s original lineup and current members performed the critically acclaimed double-disc concept album, Snow, in its entirety. It was a moment in time fans never thought they’d ever get a chance to see. Snow was the last album that Neal Morse recorded with the band before quitting in 2002. Now Snow Live gives fans worldwide of Spock’s Beard and Neal Morse the chance to experience that night for themselves.
- Note: The album comes complete with a deluxe art book.
- The Corrs are back with a wonderful new album, Jupiter Calling, produced by T-Bone Burnett.
- Twenty years on from the release of their all-conquering second album, Talk On Corners, and two years after their acclaimed gold album White Light, The Corrs return with an album that is ambitious, earthy and outspoken: an album guaranteed to earn them renewed respect as musicians and songwriters.
Releases for 3 November 2017
Our batch of recommended releases for 3 November is smaller than usual, but still perfectly formed.
There are very few musicians for whom the description ‘legendary’ is appropriate, but Richard Thompson is one of those few; Live At Rockpalast features two shows recorded in ’83 and ’84, spread over 3 CDs and 2 DVDs, and is both a delight to the initiated and a great entry point for the uninitiated into one of the great UK singer-songwriters. Sam Smith follows his global smash In The Lonely Hour with The Thrill Of It All; expect trademark soaring vocals and starry collaborations. Either Way, It’s The Best Of The Twang features the best of their four studio albums – the soundtrack to thousands of people’s lives over the last decade – selected by The Twang themselves, and it’s a definitive document of one of the most exciting and engaging stories in music. Deep Purple celebrate the success of inFinite with The inFinite Live Recordings Vol. 1, a 3-LP box set that perfectly captures Purple in their natural environment, live on stage. Von Hertzen Brothers return with War Is Over, their most compelling album to date, mixing rich vocal harmonies with a modern progressive guitar sound.
Release of the week is the 13th edition of the Bob Dylan Bootleg Series, Trouble No More. This volume showcases the music Dylan wrote and performed during 1979–81, one of the most surprising, controversial and inspired periods of his career. The set includes 14 unreleased songs and a multitude of unreleased performances and is a worthy addition to a genuinely great musical series.
- Trouble No More (1979–1981) is the latest chapter in the highly acclaimed Bootleg Series. This volume showcases the music Bob Dylan wrote and performed during one of the most surprising, controversial and inspired periods of his career.
- As the 1970s ended and the 1980s began, Dylan responded to the changing of the decades with a trilogy of albums – Slow Train Coming (1979), Saved (1980) and Shot Of Love (1981) – of spirit-filled songs of praise, worship and devotion. These songs were as deeply personal and packed with poetics as any Dylan had ever written, but the force of conviction and power of faith evident in these performances baffled segments of Dylan’s fan base (just as Dylan’s ‘going electric’ had alienated folk purists in 1965).
- The live concerts from this crucial epoch in Dylan’s history contain some of the most intensely jubilant and transcendent performances of his career. Trouble No More offers fans and music lovers the opportunity to experience fully for the first time this extraordinary chapter in Bob Dylan’s musical journey.
- With the exception of ‘Ye Shall Be Changed’ (released in 1991 on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 1-3), none of the tracks on Trouble No More have been previously released. This collection debuts 14 previously unreleased songs and a multitude of unreleased live performances, rare studio out-takes and more.
- Richard Thompson, the pioneer of British folk-rock, was voted one of the best guitarists of all time by US magazine Rolling Stone: “His acoustic picking is just as killer,” they wrote.
- In 1983, Thompson went on tour to promote his album Hand Of Kindness. For the show on 12 December 1983 at the Hamburg Markthalle, television station WDR set up cameras to record the event for the music show ‘Rockpalast’. Among the musicians were Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg and Dave Mattacks, who had played with Thompson in Fairport Convention more than ten years before.
- On 26 January 1984, Thompson and his band played in the French luxury resort Cannes. Gerry Conway, now drummer with Fairport Convention, replaced Dave Mattacks, and Rory McFarlane came in on bass for Dave Pegg. In both concerts it is evident how well the musicians know each other, as they build an integrated whole with Richard Thompson and give him the lightness and the leeway to fully unfold his potential.
- The two concerts featured in Live At Rockpalast are essential listening for every Thompson fan.
- The Thrill Of It All finds Sam Smith once again working alongside close friend and long-time collaborator Jimmy Napes, plus Timbaland, Malay, Jason ‘Poo Bear’ Boyd and Stargate. He also collaborates with the unsigned artist YEBBA on the song ‘No Peace’.
- Either Way, It’s The Best Of The Twang is the real story of the band, featuring the massive hits ‘Either Way’, ‘Wide Awake’ and ‘Two Lovers’ alongside the best of their four studio albums as chosen by The Twang themselves. The soundtrack to thousands of people’s lives over the last decade, this album is the definitive document of one of the most exciting and engaging stories in music.
- Deep Purple are releasing The inFinite Live Recordings, Vol. 1, produced by Bob Ezrin, as a special 3-LP box set to celebrate the success of inFinite. This performance was recorded at Hellfest 2017, the biggest metal festival in France, and contains a brand new previously unreleased 80-minute live performance.
- Von Hertzen Brothers, one of the most influential and important rock acts to emerge from Finland in recent times, return with War Is Over, their most compelling album to date, which mixes soaring rich vocal harmonies and modern progressive guitar-driven rock to brilliant effect.
- Three of their previous albums charted at Number 1 in Finland. With this album, the three brothers are building on their longstanding domestic success and are branching out internationally. The band have similarly built a great reputation as an exceptional live act, opening for the likes of Foo Fighters, Neil Young and 30 Seconds to Mars, and touring Europe and the UK with the likes of Opeth, as well as playing key slots at some of Europe’s biggest and most prestigious festivals.
Other releases for 2017
Find releases from 2016.
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