Releases from September–October 2019

Great albums from around the world

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Find releases from 2018.

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 Everything Else Has Gone Wrong by Bombay Bicycle Club, out on 17 January.

Special pre-sale offer: Tame Impala – The Slow RushSpecial pre-sale offer: Bombay Bicycle Club – Everything Else Has Gone WrongSpecial pre-sale offer: Blackberry Smoke – Homecoming In AtlantaSpecial pre-sale offer: The 1975 – Notes On A Conditional FormSpecial pre-sale offer: Beck – HyperspaceSpecial pre-sale offer: Ben Watt – Storm DamageSpecial pre-sale offer: The Who – WhoSpecial pre-sale offer: Green Day – Father Of All

Leonard Cohen  |  Pink Floyd  |  Beck  |  Marconi Union  |  Blackberry Smoke  |  The Who  |  Field Music  |  Ben Watt  |  Bombay Bicycle Club  |  Green Day  |  The 1975  |  Tame Impala

 


 

Jump to: 25 October  |  18 October  |  11 October  |  4 October  |  27 September  |  20 September  |  13 September  |  6 September

 

Releases for 25 October 2019

25 October has been another stellar week for releases, and the task of picking the best 6 hasn’t got any easier. But here we go … His sixth album in just four years, Three Chords & The Truth, is further proof that Van Morrison is one of the greatest recording artists of all time and remains a creative force to be reckoned with. In the midst of a late-career creative renaissance Van proves he is very much still the Man! Swans’ fifteenth studio album, Leaving Meaning, features contributions from recent and former Swans, members of Angels Of Light, Anna and Maria von Hausswolff, Ben Frost, The Necks, Baby Dee and Jennifer Gera. At the end of Stereophonics’ world tour in September 2018, Kelly Jones was artistically spent and felt like quitting for a while. But by November a lot of new, complete songs had come to him. Kind captures some very honest performances of these songs. 2019 marks the legendary Hawkwind’s 50th anniversary, and All Aboard The Skylark is a storming return to the band’s space-rock roots. The current quartet have created a tight, psychedelic groove that runs through the spine of the album while embracing each musician’s individual talents along the way. Slow Readers Club performed tracks from across their entire discography to wild acclaim Live At O2 Apollo Manchester on 14 December 2018 in front of 3500 people – the biggest gig of their life is captured here.

Our album of the week is Colorado, the first album from Neil Young & Crazy Horse since 2012’s acclaimed Psychedelic Pill. With Nils Lofgren back, this is a special album indeed. Colorado was recorded mostly live in the studio in the Rocky Mountains and produced by Young and John Hanlon with additional mixing at Shangri-La Studios in Malibu, and mastering by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood. As with every Neil Young release, the resultant audio fidelity is nothing short of astonishing.

  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Colorado
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    • Neil Young & Crazy Horse  Colorado  CD £12.99 / 3-LP £46.99
  • Colorado is the first album from Neil Young & Crazy Horse since 2012’s acclaimed Psychedelic Pill. With Nils Lofgren back, this is a special album indeed. Colorado was recorded mostly live in the studio in the Rocky Mountains and produced by Young and John Hanlon with additional mixing at Shangri-La Studios in Malibu, and mastering by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood. As with every Neil Young release, the resultant audio fidelity is nothing short of astonishing and sounds as if one is present on the studio floor with the band during the recording.
  • Van Morrison - Three Chords & The Truth
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    • Van Morrison  Three Chords & The Truth  CD £12.99 / LP £25.99
  • His sixth album in just four years, Three Chords & The Truth, is further proof that Van Morrison is one of the greatest recording artists of all time and remains a creative force to be reckoned with. The album was written and produced by Van Morrison, and features contributions from legendary guitarist Jay Berliner and a duet with The Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley. In the midst of a late-career creative renaissance Van proves he is very much still the Man!
  • Swans - Leaving Meaning
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    • Swans  Leaving Meaning  CD £14.99 / LP £25.99
  • Leaving Meaning is Swans’ fifteenth studio album, the follow-up to 2016’s The Glowing Man. Written and produced by Michael Gera, the album features contributions from recent and former Swans, members of Angels Of Light as well as Anna and Maria von Hausswolff, Ben Frost, The Necks, Baby Dee and Jennifer Gera. Michael Gera explains: “Swans now comprises a revolving cast of musicians, all of whom, through their personality, skill and taste, contribute greatly to the arrangement of the material. They’re all people whose work I admire and whose company I personally enjoy.
  • Stereophonics - Kind
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    • Stereophonics  Kind  CD £12.99 / Deluxe CD £13.99 / LP £23.99
  • Of Kind, the new album from Stereophonics, Kelly Jones says: “Our last gig of the world tour was September 2018, in Brooklyn – I was done, had written no songs, nothing new, I thought I felt like quitting for a while. Then by November I had a load of songs that just came through me, lyrics just filling up pages, no crossings out, complete songs formed. They became a very open and to be honest, bunch of really vulnerable songs about things I hadn’t quite worked out for myself, the songs began to inform me how I was feeling. I didn’t know, or really mind if others wanted to hear them or like them, I just needed to get them out of me. So when it came to an album, I wanted to just capture honest performances of them and we recorded the album in just 11 days.
  • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
  • Hawkwind - All Aboard The Skylark
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    • Hawkwind  All Aboard The Skylark  CD £14.99 / LP £22.99
  • All Aboard The Skylark is the 32nd(!) studio album by the legendary Hawkwind, and it’s a storming return to their space-rock roots. 2019 marks the band’s 50th anniversary, and All Aboard The Skylark picks up effortlessly from their conceptual charting albums The Machine Stops (2016) and Into The Woods (2017). Musically the solid quartet of Dave Brock (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Richard Chadwick (drums), Niall Hone (bass, keyboards) and Magnus Martin (guitar, vocals) have created a tight, psychedelic groove that runs through the spine of the album while embracing each musician’s individual talents along the way.
  • Slow Readers Club - Live At The Apollo Manchester
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    • Slow Readers Club  Live At The Apollo Manchester  CD £12.99 / LP £23.99
  • Slow Readers Club release their first live album, Live At O2 Apollo Manchester. On 14 December 2018, 3500 people turned out in Manchester to watch the band perform the biggest gig of their life. The band performed tracks from across their entire discography to wild acclaim.
  • Cigarettes After Sex - Cry
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    • Cigarettes After Sex  Cry  CD £11.99 / LP £20.99
  • Cigarettes After Sex return with their highly anticipated second album, Cry. Recorded during night-time sessions in a mansion on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the album is a lush, cinematic meditation on the many complex facets of love – meeting, wanting, needing, losing … sometimes all at once. The album was self-produced, engineered by Greg Gonzalez and mixed by Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs).
  • Note: the LP will be released on indies-only coloured vinyl.
 

 

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Releases for 18 October 2019

18 October’s smashers open with Somebody’s Knocking, the outstanding new Mark Lanegan Band album, which speaks of both the driven artist’s unshakable compulsion to create and the music lover’s perpetual necessity to keep on seeking new sounds. 40 Live: Curætion-25 + Anniversary brings together two remarkable performances by The Cure to celebrate their 40-year career: a chronological trawl through their 13 studio albums at Meltdown Festival, and an epic 29-song retrospective in Hyde Park. Alter Bridge has won worldwide critical acclaim and a devoted global fan-base by blurring the line between hard rock and heavy metal, and Walk The Sky marks a creative high point for the quartet, drawing on elements of the band’s previous work to create something new. Surviving is acclaimed Arizona four-piece Jimmy Eat World’s most personal and ambitious album to date, with front-man Jim Adkins once again proving himself to be one of the most prolific songwriters in rock ’n’ roll. And The Magpie Salute return with more of their particular blend of rock ’n’ roll, psychedelic blues, rasping Americana and late-night storytelling on High Water II, which feels like a perfect continuation of its predecessor.

Our album of the week is Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2, the essential conclusion to Foals’ apocalyptic state-of-the-world address and clear album of the year contender, the first part of which was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize last week.

  • Foals - Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2
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    • Foals  Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2  CD £12.99 / LP £22.99
  • Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2 is rougher and rawer than its predecessor – and it’s essential. Foals’ creative ambition for Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 resulted in a striking state-of-the-world address in which apocalyptic lyrical themes were equalled by the sheer impact of the music. It emerged as an immediate album of the year contender, with many hailing it as the finest moment in the band’s consistently critically acclaimed career. That status was cemented when it was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize last week. Now Foals complete that artistic statement with Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2.
  • Mark Lanegan Band - Somebody’s Knocking
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    • Mark Lanegan Band  Somebody’s Knocking  CD £11.99 / 2-LP £25.99
  • There’s a line on the outstanding new Mark Lanegan Band album, Somebody’s Knocking, that sticks in the listener’s mind long after the record stops spinning: “I felt its sound / down to my darkest, deepest root.” Coming towards the close of final track ‘Two Bells Ringing At Once’ – a gorgeous hymn constructed from hazy ambient tones and swelling strings – those words seem to sum up the driven artist’s unshakable compulsion to create as well as the music lover’s perpetual necessity to keep on seeking new sounds. And Mark Lanegan is very much both of those things in one person.
  • The Cure - 40 Live: Curætion-25 + Anniversary
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    • The Cure  40 Live: Curætion-25 + Anniversary  2-DVD + 4-CD £46.99 / 2-Bluray + 4-CD £50.99 / 2-DVD £21.99
  • In 2018 The Cure performed two historic shows celebrating their 40-year career. On the final night of the 25th Meltdown Festival at London’s Royal Festival Hall in June, Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Jason Cooper, Roger O’Donnell and Reeves Gabrels performed one song from each of their 13 studio albums in chronological order, displaying the evolution of The Cure’s music live on stage. Then in July the band performed an acclaimed 29-song, 135-minute anniversary concert in Hyde Park in front of 65,000 fans – a four-decade-deep set including ‘Just Like Heaven’, ‘Lovesong’, ‘High’ and ‘The End Of The World’. 40 Live: Curætion-25 + Anniversary brings these two remarkable events together in one package.
  • Alter Bridge - Walk The Sky
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    • Alter Bridge  Walk The Sky  CD £12.99 / 2-LP £25.99
  • For more than 15 years, Alter Bridge has been known for blurring the line between hard rock and heavy metal. Building on the sound that has won them worldwide critical acclaim and a devoted global fan-base, the band now returns with its sixth studio album, Walk The Sky. This fourteen-track opus marks a creative high point for the quartet (Myles Kennedy on vocals/guitars, Mark Tremonti on guitars/vocals, Brian Marshall on bass and Scott Phillips on drums), and acts as an unofficial career retrospective, drawing as it does on elements from each of the band’s previous releases to create something new.
  • Jimmy Eat World - Surviving
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    • Jimmy Eat World  Surviving  CD £12.99 / LP £19.99
  • Acclaimed Arizona four-piece Jimmy Eat World’s new album, Surviving, is the band’s most personal and ambitious album to date, with front-man Jim Adkins once again proving himself to be one of the most prolific songwriters in rock ’n’ roll. As Adkins himself puts it, “Surviving explores some of the different kinds of weights my ego tells me I have to carry, what I see people around me choosing to carry and what I have found to be the truth when I choose to let go.
  • Note: The LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl
  • The Magpie Salute - High Water II
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    • The Magpie Salute  High Water II  CD £11.99 / LP £21.99
  • The Magpie Salute, the new(ish) band of Rich Robinson (formerly of The Black Crowes), release their second studio album. When High Water I was released in August 2018 it was the sound of old friends coming together in a union of rock ’n’ roll, psychedelic blues, rasping Americana and late-night storytelling. High Water II picks up where the band’s studio debut left off. Much of the album was written during those early recordings at Dark Horse Studios in Nashville, which has resulted an album that feels like a perfect continuation of its predecessor.
 

 

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Releases for 11 October 2019

Once again we’ve winnowed 6 splendid recommendations from the chaff of 11 October’s releases. First is Giants Of All Sizes by Elbow – “an angry, old blue lament which finds its salvation in family, friends, the band and new life” – which could only have been made in the 21st century. Shiny New Model marks a lush new sonic direction for Brooklyn-based Bodega – widescreen multi-tracked guitars and a giant-sounding rhythm section complementing sharp songwriting and yearning vocal melodies. The Dead South’s new album explores the tragicomic causes and effects of iniquity, with abscessed morality, rotten motivations and conman-made magical thinking shaping Sugar & Joy into a thesis on violence and masculinity. On 23 August 1999, David Bowie played an intimate set for the VH1 Storytellers series; with David delving deep in to his catalogue to perform some tracks for the first time in decades, this has long been regarded as a pinnacle of the series. The First Recordings catches the origins of Gary Numan’s breakthrough albums, Replicas and The Pleasure Principle. Early versions of familiar songs such as ‘Are “Friends” Electric?’ and ‘Cars’ plus out-takes and Peel sessions make these fascinating documents of Numan’s early development.

Our album of the week is Two Hands, the second album in less than a year from American indie rock band Big Thief, which is every bit as good as its predecessor. Two Hands grounds itself on dried-out, cracked desert dirt, predominantly recorded live with almost no overdubs.

  • Big Thief - Two Hands
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    • Big Thief  Two Hands  CD £11.99 / LP £20.99
  • Two Hands is the second album in less than a year from American indie rock band Big Thief, and it’s every bit as good as its predecessor. Where U.F.O.F. layered mysterious sounds and effects for levitation, Two Hands grounds itself on dried-out, cracked desert dirt. The album had to be different from its predecessor, and it was predominantly recorded live with almost no overdubs.
  • Note: The LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
  • Elbow - Giants Of All Sizes
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    • Elbow  Giants Of All Sizes  CD £12.99 / LP £23.99
  • Giants Of All Sizes is the eighth studio album by English alternative-rock titans Elbow, and features guests including Jesca Hoop, The Plumedores and South London newcomer Chilli Chilton. Lead singer and lyricist Guy Garvey describes the album as: “an angry, old blue lament which finds its salvation in family, friends, the band and new life.” This is an album that lyrically takes in moments of deep personal loss while reflecting its times by confronting head-on the spectres of injustice and division not just in the UK but across the world. It’s a record that could only have been made in the 21st century.
  • The album was recorded at Clouds Hill Studio in Hamburg, The Dairy in Brixton, Studio 604 in Vancouver and Blueprint Studios in Salford, with additional recording taking place at various band members’ home studios across Manchester. As with their previous four studio albums, it was produced and mixed by keyboard player Craig Potter.
  • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
  • Bodega - Shiny New Model
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    • Bodega  Shiny New Model  CD £11.99 / LP £20.99
  • Brooklyn-based Bodega announce a new mini-album, Shiny New Model. Following the critical acclaim of Endless Scroll, this new material marks a lush new sonic direction for the group – widescreen multi-tracked guitars and a giant sounding rhythm section complementing sharp songwriting and yearning vocal melodies. Stationed between darkly absurdist tale of a wrong-headed romantic gesture and an indictment of materialism.
  • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
  • The Dead South - Sugar & Joy
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    • The Dead South  Sugar & Joy  CD £12.99 / LP £24.99
  • The Dead South’s new album explores the tragicomic causes and effects of iniquity, from bullying to criminality. Its title, Sugar & Joy – selected in the band’s style of pulling a lyric from their self-identified “weirdest song on the record” (in this case, the Gashlycrumb gothic of ‘Fat Little Killer Boy’) – speaks to that insulin spike, followed inevitably by the crash. Abscessed morality, rotten motivations and conman-made magical thinking shape Sugar & Joy into a thesis on violence and masculinity.
  • David Bowie - VH1 Storytellers
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    • David Bowie  VH1 Storytellers  2-LP £33.99
  • On the 23rd of August 1999, David Bowie played an intimate set for invited guests at The Manhattan Centre’s Grand Ballroom in New York for the VH1 Storytellers series. Ten years later, in 2009, a recording of the evening was released on CD, DVD and download. Now, 20 years on, the performance will finally be available on vinyl, with the most complete version available being released as a strictly limited-edition double LP.
  • This Bowie set has long been regarded as one of the most memorable episodes in VH1 Storytellers history, with David delving deep in to his catalogue to perform tracks such as ‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me’ for the first time in 33 years; ‘Drive-In Saturday’ from Aladdin Sane, which he had not performed since 1974; and ‘Word On A Wing’, which received its first outing in 23 years.

 

    • Gary Numan  The First Recordings
  • The First Recordings catches the origins of Gary Numan’s breakthrough albums, Replicas and The Pleasure Principle.
  • Gary Numan - Replicas – The First Recordings
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    • Replicas – The First Recordings  2-CD £15.99 / 2-LP £29.99
  • In late 1978, just after Tubeway Army’s debut album was released, Gary Numan was booked into a small studio in London’s Chinatown. Two stereo master tapes were produced, containing eleven tracks. A month later they again went to Gooseberry Studio and recorded an additional three tracks, including ‘Are “Friends” Electric?’ and ‘Replicas’. At the same time, the band recorded a session for the BBC’s John Peel show, taping alternate versions of three songs from the December recordings. Finally Numan returned to an upgraded studio, Marthus Music, in February to overdub and remix the Gooseberry recordings into their released versions. Only one alternative out-take still exists (‘Down In The Park’), and it is included on Replicas – The First Recordings.
  • Gary Numan - The Pleasure Principle – The First Recordings
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    • The Pleasure Principle – The First Recordings  2-CD £15.99 / 2-LP £29.99
  • Even before the single ‘Are “Friends” Electric?’ was released, Numan had recruited a permanent drummer and keyboard player and demoed an album’s worth of new material between April 9–12 1979 at Freerange Studio in London’s Covent Garden. This was supplemented by a second session, probably in June, that yielded four further songs and two re-recordings. Following the hectic schedule of promoting ‘AFE?’, Numan recorded a new session for John Peel the day after the single hit number 1 on the UK charts. Rather than record as Tubeway Army, the session was credited to Gary Numan and the group name abandoned at the peak of its success. As before, rather than promote the current album, Numan chose to record four new songs. While the album Replicas hit number 1, Numan was busy recording a follow-up in Marcus Music Studio. From the surviving tapes there are six mixes marked as out-takes and these have been included in the CD package of The Pleasure Principle – The First Recordings. The discs have been sequenced with the stronger, second Freerange demo preceding the first session but all tracks are in the order of the tapes.
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    Releases for 4 October 2019

    Our 6-release distillation from 4 October, the biggest release week for many months, starts with All Mirrors, which tracks the artistic voyage of the wonderful Angel Olsen from collaborator to her magnificent, cryptic-to-cosmic solo work to the bands she formed. But all along, Olsen was more concerned with a different kind of path, and, on All Mirrors, she takes an introspective deep dive towards internal destinations and revelations. Wildwood Kin is the self-titled second studio album from the West-Country trio, and is self-titled because it captures the band’s artistic vision so completely: it is a beautifully reflective body of work, characterised by the band’s distinctive harmonies, evergreen folk-rock melodies and moments of riotous energy. The music Kacy & Clayton make is inextricable from where they grew up: on their third studio album, Carrying On, they sing about the kind of people you’d find in Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan (population: very few), with a bittersweet acknowledgement that this music has taken them far from home. Under Your Sky is second studio album from Yorkshire’s The Sherlocks: it’s a tighter, brighter, ultra-modern alt-rock record with stylistic swerves into new wave, ’80s textures and all-out feedback freak-outs. Live In The City Of Angels is a 40-track career-spanning live album recorded on Simple Minds’s last tour, featuring tracks from 1980’s Empires And Dance right through to 2018’s Walk Between Worlds.

    Our album of the week is Ode To Joy, the umpteenth studio album from mighty Chicago folk-rock luminaries Wilco. The album follows on from and contrasts with 2016’s rather sombre Schmilco, and is everything the title suggests: according to frontman Jeff Tweedy, the record is ‘full of really big, big folk songs, these monolithic, brutal structures that these delicate feelings are hung on’.

    • Wilco - Ode To Joy
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      • Wilco  Ode To Joy  CD £12.99 / LP £22.99
    • Ode To Joy is the umpteenth studio album from mighty Chicago folk-rock luminaries Wilco. The album follows on from and contrasts with 2016’s rather sombre Schmilco, and is everything the title suggests: according to frontman Jeff Tweedy, the record is ‘full of really big, big folk songs, these monolithic, brutal structures that these delicate feelings are hung on’.
    • Note: the LP is available on indies-only pink vinyl, limited to just 750 copies in the UK.
    • Angel Olsen - All Mirrors
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      • Angel Olsen  All Mirrors  CD £11.99 / LP £22.99
    • All Mirrors tracks the artistic voyage of the wonderful Angel Olsen: her beginnings as a collaborator shifted seamlessly to her magnificent, cryptic-to-cosmic solo work, and then she formed bands to play her songs, and her stages and audiences grew exponentially. But all along, Olsen was more concerned with a different kind of path, and, on the vulnerable All Mirrors, we can see her taking an introspective deep dive towards internal destinations and revelations.
    • Note: the LP is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
    • Wildwood Kin - Wildwood Kin
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      • Wildwood Kin  Wildwood Kin  CD £12.99 / LP £20.99
    • Wildwood Kin is the self-titled second studio album from the West-Country trio: sisters Emillie and Beth and their cousin Meghann. The album is self-titled because it captures the band’s artistic vision so completely. The most striking thing about the album is just how natural it sounds: it is a beautifully reflective body of work, characterised by the band’s distinctive harmonies, evergreen folk-rock melodies and moments of riotous energy. The voices of the three young women harmonise effortlessly – there are shades of Simon & Garfunkel, Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac, and the churchy cadences of the first Fleet Foxes album in the beautifully gentle folk-rock melodies.
    • The album’s lyrics address profound themes like love, loss and spirituality in an unforced fashion. Above all, there is a spirit to the record that is as wild and free as the moors that Wildwood Kin grew up on. The album features a number of co-writers from sessions in Los Angeles, Nashville and Oxfordshire, including Gabrielle Aplin, Angelo Petraglia (Taylor Swift, Lissie, Kings of Leon), and Alex Davies (Sigrid, Birdy, Kodaline), and was produced by Ian Grimble (Bear’s Den, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Viola Beach, Daughter), with lead single ‘Never Alone’ written with and produced by Ed Harcourt.
    • Kacy & Clayton - Carrying On
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      • Kacy & Clayton  Carrying On  CD £11.99 / LP £18.99
    • The music Kacy & Clayton make is inextricable from where they grew up. On their third studio album, Carrying On, they sing about the kind of people you’d find in Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan (population: very few). The hills, barns and remoteness of the area are in these songs, with a bittersweet acknowledgement that this music has taken them far from home.
    • Note: the LP is available as an exclusive indies-only version.
    • The Sherlocks - Under Your Sky
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      • The Sherlocks  Under Your Sky  CD £12.99 / LP £22.99
    • Under Your Sky is second studio album from The Sherlocks, an alternative rock band from Yorkshire. With The Coral’s James Skelly at the desk, Under Your Sky is a tighter, brighter, ultra-modern alt-rock record with stylistic swerves into new wave, ’80s textures and all-out feedback freak-outs.
    • Simple Minds - Live In The City Of Angels
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      • Simple Minds  Live In The City Of Angels  2-CD £12.99 / Deluxe 4-CD Box set £15.99 / 4-LP Box set £45.99
    • Live In The City Of Angels is a 40-track live album recorded on Simple Minds’s last tour. The set includes tracks from throughout their four-decade career, from 1980’s Empires And Dance right through to 2018’s Walk Between Worlds.
    • Simple Minds – Live In The City Of Angels box set
     

     

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    Releases for 27 September 2019

    27 September is another cracking week for new releases, and it was tough to distill them down to six – still, here we go! Michaela Anne has long been lauded for her timeless voice and narrative depth, and Desert Dove takes that to the next level: it’s confessional and unforgettable without being saccharine or self-indulgent, and showcases her stellar voice and distinct vision. There’s a deep climatic unease running through In The Morse Code of Brake Lights that’s matched only by the sheer musical glee with which The New Pornographers address the prevailing mood of the moment – this is an album in which foreboding and bliss somehow go hand in hand. New Frontier is the excellent new jazz-fusion album by The Steve Howe Trio that showcases the instrumental talents of Steve, drummer Dylan Howe and organist Ross Stanley, and features three compositions co-written with Steve’s former Yes band-mate Bill Bruford. Sturgill Simpson’s fourth album, Sound & Fury, comes with a promise! This “sleazy, steamy rock’n’roll record” is a marked departure from 2016’s acclaimed, Grammy-winning A Sailor’s Guide To Earth. Southern rockers Whiskey Myers stretch their collective wings like never before on their eponymous new album, which could just be the finest, most focused statement from to date, full of soulful story-telling packed with real dynamics and blistering guitar firepower.

    Our album of the week comes from Beth Hart, who is as real as it gets. Rather than airbrushing her image and concealing her blemishes, she throws down her cards. On War In My Mind, this Grammy-nominated talent is at her most raw on a record that embraces her merits and flaws, channels her bittersweet head-space and spins gold from her demons.

    • Beth Hart - War In My Mind
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      • Beth Hart  War In My Mind  CD £12.99 / Deluxe CD £20.99 / LP £22.99
    • Beth Hart is as real as it gets. At a time when other musicians polish their songs, airbrush their image, conceal their blemishes, deny their age and bury their darkest secrets, this is one artist who throws down her cards and invites you to either love her anyway or take a walk. And with War In My Mind, this Grammy-nominated talent has never served herself up so raw, on a record that embraces her merits and flaws, channels her bittersweet head-space and spins gold from her demons.
    • Note: the LP is available on coloured vinyl.
    • Michaela Anne - Desert Dove
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      • Michaela Anne  Desert Dove  CD £12.99 / LP £23.99
    • Michaela Anne has long been lauded for her timeless voice and narrative depth, and Desert Dove takes that to the next level. The songwriting is confessional and unforgettable without being saccharine or self-indulgent. The tracks call to mind Michaela’s diverse influences – everything from Stevie Nick’s powerful voice and Fleetwood Mac’s vibey arrangements to the Dixie Chicks’ incredible balance of conviction and catchiness – all showcasing her stellar voice and distinct vision.
    • The New Pornographers - In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights
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      • The New Pornographers  In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights  CD £13.99 / LP £22.99
    • What happens when a nation that was born to run, and to rev engines into the wild frontier, runs into the full stop that is our current social and political climate? The answer, my friend, is somewhere In The Morse Code of Brake Lights, as The New Pornographers would have it on their eighth album. There’s a deep climatic unease running through these 11 tracks that’s matched only by the sheer musical glee with which the band addresses the prevailing mood of the moment. This is an album in which foreboding and bliss somehow go hand in hand.
    • The Steve Howe Trio - New Frontier
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      • The Steve Howe Trio  New Frontier  CD £12.99 / LP £22.99
    • New Frontier is the excellent new studio album by The Steve Howe Trio, founded by celebrated Yes guitarist Steve Howe and featuring Dylan Howe on drums and Ross Stanley on organ. This is a fine work that showcases the instrumental talents of the three musicians and reflects the jazz-fusion side of Steve Howe’s musical personality. Notably, the album also features three compositions co-written with Steve’s former band-mate Bill Bruford.
    • Sturgill Simpson - Sound & Fury
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      • Sturgill Simpson  Sound & Fury  CD £12.99 / LP £24.99
    • Sturgill Simpson’s fourth album, Sound & Fury, comes with a promise! The album – which Simpson describes as “a sleazy, steamy rock’n’roll record” – is a marked departure from 2016’s acclaimed A Sailor’s Guide To Earth, which won Best Country Album and was nominated for Album of the Year at that year’s Grammy Awards.
    • Whiskey Myers - Whiskey Myers
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      • Whiskey Myers  Whiskey Myers  CD £13.99 / 2-LP £25.99
    • Whiskey Myers is the eponymous new album from these emotive southern rockers that sees them stretching their collective wings like never before. This follow-up to 2016’s Mud could just be the finest, most focused statement from Whiskey Myers to date, representing these East Texas musicians’ core values across 14 finely crafted tracks of soulful story-telling packed with real dynamics and blistering guitar firepower.
     

     

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    Releases for 20 September 2019

    First up for 20 September’s not-so-secret six is Why Me? Why Not, a clear upgrade on As You Were but not a radical departure from it, to the relief of Liam Gallagher’s loyal fans. Liam says “The most radical thing I can do is do it better every time. Some other bands and singers want to try it! It’s harder than doing a new South American opera disco song, that’s for sure.” Nice dig at his bro there! Samantha Fish, whose prodigious gifts as a genre-bending songwriter and electrifying guitarist have inspired tremendous critical acclaim and earned her an abundance of awards, is poised for a major breakthrough with her edgy roots-music album Kill Or Be Kind. While Keane singer Tom Chaplin found solo success, Tim Rice-Oxley’s life fell apart. From the ashes, Tim wrote an album’s worth of personal songs, which the other band members were drawn to immediately. Cause And Effect, the band’s first album in seven years, is the result. Morning In America consists of 7 songs recorded during the sessions for Mudhoney’s 2018 album, Digital Garbage, including alternate versions of stand-out tracks and several outtakes. Nine is the confusingly named eighth studio album from pop-punkers Blink-182, and is replete with the usual guitar hooks and singalong choruses. The band remain as vital and relevant as they ever were.

    Our release of the week is Jaime, the stunning solo debut from Brittany Howard, frontwoman and guitarist in Alabama Shakes and one of music’s most celebrated figures, who has boldly decided to explore new directions, with diverse instrumentation and arrangements and intimate, revelatory lyrics.

    • Brittany Howard - Jaime
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      • Brittany Howard  Jaime  CD £11.99 / LP £20.99
    • Jaime is the stunning solo debut from Brittany Howard. Says Howard “I turned thirty and I was like, ‘What do I want the rest of my life to look like?’ Do I want to play the same songs until I’m fifty and then retire, or do I do something that’s scarier for me? Do I want people to understand me and know me, do I want to tell them my story? I’m very private, but my favourite work is when people are being honest and really doing themselves.
    • As the frontwoman and guitarist in Alabama Shakes, Howard has become one of music’s most celebrated figures – the band has won four Grammys (out of its nine nominations), and she has performed everywhere from the Obama White House to the main stage at Lollapalooza, where she sang with Paul McCartney at his invitation. But for Jaime, Howard boldly decided to explore new directions, with diverse instrumentation and arrangements and intimate, revelatory lyrics.
    • Liam Gallagher - Why Me? Why Not
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      • Liam Gallagher  Why Me? Why Not  CD £12.99 / Deluxe CD £14.99 / LP £23.99
    • Good things come to those who wait: Why Me? Why Not is a clear upgrade on As You Were but not a radical departure from it, which will come as a relief to Liam Gallagher’s loyal fans. Liam himself says “The most radical thing I can do – as if I’d ever say radical normally! – but the most radical thing I can do is do it better every time. Some other bands and singers want to try it! It’s harder than doing a new South American opera disco song, that’s for sure.” Nice dig at his bro there!
    • Note: the LP version is available on indies-only coloured vinyl.
    • Samantha Fish - Kill Or Be Kind
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      • Samantha Fish  Kill Or Be Kind  CD £12.99
    • Samantha Fish’s prodigious gifts as a genre-bending songwriter and electrifying guitarist have inspired tremendous acclaim from critics and her peers and have earned the young artist an abundance of awards. Now, Fish is poised for a major breakthrough: her edgy album Kill Or Be Kind is sure to establish Fish as a potent force in roots music.
    • Keane - Cause And Effect
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      • Keane  Cause And Effect  CD £12.99 / Deluxe CD £15.99 / 2-LP £26.99
    • The birth of Keane’s first album in seven years came as a surprise even to them. Singer Tom Chaplin had released two solo albums, The Wave and Twelve Tales Of Christmas, but missed his old sparring partner, Tim Rice-Oxley. “I found myself wondering how I had come to let this very enigmatic and important relationship in my life drift,” says Chaplin. Meanwhile Rice-Oxley found his life falling apart. From the ashes, he had written an album’s worth of personal songs, fuelled by humour as well as pain. When Chaplin, bassist Jesse Quin and drummer Richard Hughes heard the songs, they were drawn to them immediately, both sonically and lyrically. Cause And Effect is the result.
    • Mudhoney - Morning In America
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      • Mudhoney  Morning In America  LP £18.99
    • Morning In America consists of 7 songs recorded during the sessions for Mudhoney’s 2018 album, Digital Garbage. They include ‘Let’s Kill Yourself Live Again’ (an alternate version of the Digital Garbage stand-out ‘Kill Yourself Live’, and the bonus track for the Japanese CD version of that album), ‘One Bad Actor’ (a new version of Mudhoney’s track on the limited-edition, and now very sold-out, SPF30 split 7" with Hot Snakes), album outtakes ‘Snake Oil Charmer’, ‘Morning In America’ and ‘Creeps Are Everywhere’, plus ‘Ensam I Natt’ (‘So Lonely Tonight’, a Leather Nun cover) and ‘Vortex Of Lies’ from a very limited EU tour 7".
     

     

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    Releases for 13 September 2019

    Our first selection for 13 September comes from The Lumineers, whose latest, III, is a concept album spanning three generations of a fictitious family: audacious and darker in tone than anything the band have ever done, it mixes raw emotional themes with ear-catching melodies, moving masterfully in new artistic directions. Sam Fender has the guitar and the cheekbones of a supermodel; but, crucially, he really can write songs; on Hypersonic Missiles, these range from the usual male obsessions to male suicide, the spice epidemic and fear of nuclear disaster – like a more brooding Killers coupled with a boyish, brass-loving Bruce Springsteen, albeit more Newcastle than New Jersey. Days Of The Bagnold Summer began life as an award-winning graphic novel, became a feature film and is now a wonderful, rich, bittersweet and warmly welcoming original soundtrack by Belle And Sebastian consisting of eleven brand-new songs plus re-recorded versions of two classics. Metronomy Forever’s length gives proper breathing room to its 17 tracks, which display Metronomy’s innate skill for blending off-kilter funk, energising club vibes and esoteric pop, interspersed with some mood-setting, glistening and melodic electronica. Korn’s new release, The Nothing, is a bit of a concept album. Vocalist Jonathan Davis elaborates: “Deep within our Earth lives an extraordinary force, dynamic and polarizing, pulling at us every moment of our lives. There is a miraculous and small realm within this vortex where where balance exists, and here the soul finds its refuge.” That’s some concept!

    Our album of the week is Beneath The Eyrie, the eleventh full-length album from iconic alternative band Pixies. Sessions for the album took place at Dreamland Recordings near Woodstock, New York and – unusually – the band documented every minute of the process, which makes up a 12-part podcast. But more to the point, the album’s a good ’un!

    • Pixies - Beneath The Eyrie
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      • Pixies  Beneath The Eyrie  CD £11.99 / Deluxe CD £13.99 / LP £23.99
    • Beneath The Eyrie is the eleventh full-length album from iconic alternative band Pixies. Sessions for the album took place at Dreamland Recordings near Woodstock, New York and – unusually – the band documented every minute of the process, which makes up a 12-part podcast. But more to the point, the album’s a good ’un!
    • Note: the LP is available as an exclusive indies-only version.
    • The Lumineers - III
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      • The Lumineers  III  CD £11.99 / 2-LP £27.99
    • The Lumineers’s latest, III, is a concept album spanning three generations of a fictitious family known as the Sparks, each of the three chapters focusing on one main character in the album’s storyline. III is audacious: every note, every syllable, and every moment of silence in between is emotionally charged. In tone, the album is darker than anything the band have ever done. Mixing raw emotional themes with their ear-catching melodies, expressive vocals and their trademark acoustic sound, III moves masterfully in artistic directions not before travelled by the band.
    • Sam Fender - Hypersonic Missile
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      • Sam Fender  Hypersonic Missile  CD £11.99 / LP £20.99
    • Sam Fender has the guitar and the cheekbones of a supermodel; but, crucially, he really can write songs. On his debut full-length album, Hypersonic Missiles, these range from the usual male obsessions to male suicide, the spice epidemic and fear of nuclear disaster. Fender’s songs are lethally catchy – like a more brooding Killers coupled with a boyish, brass-loving Bruce Springsteen, albeit more Newcastle than New Jersey. And his voice is nothing like the pigeon-warble of his peers, often vaulting to Jeff Buckley levels of vulnerability.
    • Belle And Sebastian - Days Of The Bagnold Summer
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      • Belle And Sebastian  Days Of The Bagnold Summer  CD £12.99 / LP £19.99
    • Days Of The Bagnold Summer began life as an award-winning 2012 graphic novel by Joff Winterhart, was turned into a feature film and is now a wonderful, rich, bittersweet and warmly welcoming original soundtrack by Belle And Sebastian. The album features eleven brand-new songs, as well as re-recorded versions of the classics ‘Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying’, originally appearing on 1996’s If You’re Feeling Sinister, and ‘I Know Where The Summer Goes’, from 1998’s This Is Just A Modern Rock Song EP.
    • Metronomy - Metronomy Forever
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      • Metronomy  Metronomy Forever  CD £12.99 / 2-LP £24.99
    • Metronomy Forever is long. Its length is born from a desire for breathing room, from not wanting to stuff the hits together like a bunch of petrol-station roses – a modern way of listening to music. Metronomy’s innate skill for blending off-kilter funk, energising club vibes and esoteric pop is interspersed with some mood-setting, glistening and melodic electronica on the 17 tracks. The band’s leader, Joseph Mount, called upon a variety of inspirations for this album.
    • Korn - The Nothing
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      • Korn  The Nothing  CD £12.99 / LP £25.99
    • Korn’s new release, The Nothing, is a bit of a concept album. Vocalist Jonathan Davis elaborates: “Deep within our Earth lives an extraordinary force. Very few are aware of the magnitude and significance of this place where good/evil, dark/light, bliss/torment, loss/gain and hope/despair all exist as one – pulling at us every moment of our lives. It’s not something we can choose to navigate, but rather an awareness of this ‘presence’ that surrounds us with every breath, as if we are being watched at every moment. It’s the place where black and white energies attach themselves to our souls, and shape our emotion, choices, perspective and ultimately our very existence. There is a miraculous and small realm within this vortex and it’s the only place where balance between these dynamic and polarizing forces exists – where the soul finds its refuge.
     

     

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    Releases for 6 September 2019

    Our picks for 6 September kick off with a bit of a treat: Echo & The Bunnymen release all of the tracks they recorded for the legendary John Peel Sessions during their formative years between 1979 and 1983, many of which never appeared on their albums, as the band used the sessions to experiment with new material. The Highwomen is a country supergroup – Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Natalie Hemby and Maren Morris – and on their debut they explore in vivid colour and humour the nuances of being a woman in 2019, following themes such as motherhood, resilience, loss, heartache, and including possibly the first openly gay song in country music. Black Star Riders’ fourth studio album, Another State Of Grace, builds on the accomplishments of All Hell Breaks Loose, The Killer Instinct and Heavy Fire – a canon that has paved the way for this band to be recognised as a powerful force in contemporary rock’n’roll. Free is the follow-up to Iggy Pop’s 2016 rocker Post Pop Depression – and, in true Iggy style, the new album is completely different! Iggy has described the album’s creation process as something liberating, that “just kind of happened.” With more than 118 million records sold, countless gold awards received and top 10 singles all over the world, there really is no need to introduce Status Quo. In spite of all that success, however, the band has always remained very down-to-earth and, after more than half a century, they rock like they have never done before on Backbone, their 33rd studio album.

    Our album of the week is Lost Girls, another brilliant full-length in the incredible, acclaimed discography of Bat For Lashes, aka Natasha Khan. Her fifth album mixes heavy bass lines, synth arpeggios, Iranian pop beats and cascading choruses with some of her finest songwriting to date. This is Khan dreaming up her own fully formed parallel universe, creating an off-kilter coming-of-age film in which a powerful female energy casts spells and leaves clues for us to follow.

    • Bat For Lashes - Lost Girls
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      • Bat For Lashes  Lost Girls  CD £11.99 / LP £20.99 / Cassette £11.99
    • Lost Girls is the fifth studio album from Bat For Lashes – aka Natasha Khan. It’s another brilliant full-length in Khan’s incredible, acclaimed discography, mixing sounds she’s always loved – heavy bass lines, synth arpeggios, Iranian pop beats, cascading choruses – with some of her finest songwriting to date. This is an album full of romance, an homage to Los Angeles, to being a kid in the ’80s, to films that touched and changed her life.
    • Spanning 10 tracks, Lost Girls sees Khan dreaming up her own fully formed parallel universe, creating an off-kilter coming-of-age film in which gangs of marauding female bikers roam our streets, teenagers make out on car bonnets and a powerful female energy casts spells and leaves clues for us to follow.
    • Note: the LP version is available on indies-only clear vinyl with red/pink splatter.
    • Echo & The Bunnymen - The John Peel Sessions 1979–1983
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      • Echo & The Bunnymen  The John Peel Sessions 1979–1983  CD £12.99 / 2-LP £24.99
    • Echo & The Bunnymen present an archival dig through all of the tracks they recorded for the legendary John Peel Sessions during their formative years between 1979 and 1983. Many of the 21 songs in this collection did not appear on their albums, as the band actually used the sessions to experiment with new material.
    • Track listing: 1. Read It In Books / 2. Stars Are Stars / 3. I Bagsy Yours / 4. Villiers Terrace / 5. The Pictures On My Wall / 6. All That Jazz / 7. Over The Wall / 8. All My Colours / 9. That Golden Smile / 10. Heaven Up Here / 11. Turquoise Days / 12. Taking Advantage / 13. An Equation / 14. No Hands / 15. Silver / 16. Seven Seas / 17. The Killing Moon / 18. Nocturnal Me / 19. Watch Out Below / 20. Ocean Rain / 21. My Kingdom
    • The Highwomen - The Highwomen
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      • The Highwomen  The Highwomen  CD £12.99 / 2-LP £30.99
    • The Highwomen are Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Natalie Hemby and Maren Morris – four women in the midst of stellar careers – and this collaboration represents as super a supergroup as you could ever wish for. The 12 songs on this eponymous album explore in vivid colour common themes such as motherhood, resilience, loss, heartache and humour, and include ‘If She Ever Leaves Me’, which may be the first openly gay song in country music. It’s an audio diary of the nuances of being a woman in 2019.
    • Black Star Riders - Another State Of Grace
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      • Black Star Riders  Another State Of Grace  CD £11.99 / LP £23.99
    • Black Star Riders’ fourth studio album, Another State Of Grace, builds on the accomplishments of All Hell Breaks Loose, The Killer Instinct and Heavy Fire – a canon that has paved the way for this band to be recognised as a powerful force in contemporary rock’n’roll.
    • Iggy Pop - Free
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      • Iggy Pop  Free  CD £12.99 / LP £22.99
    • Free is the follow-up to Iggy Pop’s 2016 rocker Post Pop Depression – and, in true Iggy style, the new album is completely different! Iggy has described this project as something liberating, and that the feeling of being, as the album title puts it, Free is important to him. He also described the album’s creation process as something that “just kind of happened,” alluding to the album’s themes of freedom.
    • Note: the LP is available on limited sky-blue vinyl.
    • Status Quo - Backbone
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      • Status Quo  Backbone  CD £12.99 / LP £22.99
    • With more than 118 million records sold, countless gold awards received and top 10 singles all over the world, there really is no need to introduce Status Quo. In spite of all that success, however, the band has always remained very down-to-earth and sympathetic. After more than half a century of existence, they are still the convincing live band they have always been, and now they rock like they have never done before. Backbone is the group’s 33rd studio album, featuring songs drawn from the classic partnership of Rossi and Young as well as contributions from the rest of the band.
     

     

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