Releases from November–December 2020
Great albums from around the world
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Also check out some of the great reissues of classic albums.
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Pre-sale of the week is Flat White Moon by Field Music, out on 23 April.
Releases for 11 December 2020
We kick off our final batch of recommendations for 2020 with the appropriately titled Little Bastards, an extraordinary career-spanning collection of B-sides and rarities from The Kills dating back to the band’s first singles. Sturgill Simpson, one of the most daring and acclaimed artists of our time, who has worked across genres and styles, returns to the music of his native Kentucky with his first bluegrass project, Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 1 (The Butcher Shoppe Sessions) – a mixtape for the fans. Kamasi Washington composed and produced the Emmy-nominated original score for Becoming, a powerful musical backdrop to this intimate glimpse into the life of Michelle Obama that is tighter in structure than his previous albums. What To Look For In Summer features twenty-two live performances featuring songs from across Belle And Sebastian’s 25-year career recorded at the height of their power during their 2019 tour, including tracks performed on the band’s own Mediterranean cruise, ‘The Boaty Weekender’. And, last but not least, LA-based alternative rock supergroup Puscifer, consisting of former Tool and A Perfect Circle member Maynard James Keenan alongside Carina Round, Mat Mitchell, Jeff Friedl, Mahsa Zargaran and Paul Barker, bring us their latest offering, Existential Reckoning.
Our album of the week is McCartney III (out 18 Dec), released 50 years since Paul McCartney’s self-titled first solo album. This third in a trilogy of classics was uniquely “Made in Rockdown”, mostly built from live takes of Paul on vocals and guitar or piano. Before long an eclectic collection of spontaneous songs coalesced into a stripped-back, self-produced and quite literally solo work marking the opening of a new decade, in the tradition of 1970’s McCartney and 1980’s McCartney II.
- 2020 marks 50 years since Paul McCartney released his self-titled first solo album. Featuring Paul playing every instrument and writing and recording every song, the effortless charms of 1970’s McCartney have only grown in stature and influence over time. The chart-topping album would signify not only a creative rebirth for Paul, but also as a template for generations of indie and lo-fi musicians seeking to emulate its warm homespun vibe and timeless tunes including ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’, ‘Every Night’ and ‘The Lovely Linda’.
- Today Paul announces the third album in a trilogy of classics, McCartney III. Paul’s eighteenth solo studio album follows 2018’s Egypt Station, and has been uniquely “Made in Rockdown”.
- Paul hadn’t planned to release an album in 2020, but in the isolation of lockdown he soon found himself fleshing out some existing musical sketches and creating new ones. Before long an eclectic collection of spontaneous songs would become McCartney III: a stripped back, self-produced and quite literally solo work marking the opening of a new decade, in the tradition of 1970’s McCartney and 1980’s McCartney II.
- Recorded earlier this year in Sussex, McCartney III is mostly built from live takes of Paul on vocals and guitar or piano, with his bass playing, drumming, etc. overdubbed atop that foundation. The process first sparked when Paul returned to an unreleased track from the early ’90s, ‘When Winter Comes’ (co-produced by George Martin). Paul crafted a new passage for the song, giving rise to album opener ‘Long Tailed Winter Bird’ – while ‘When Winter Comes’, featuring its new 2020 intro ‘Winter Bird’, became the new album’s grand finale.
- Speaking about the new album, Paul said: “I was living lockdown life on my farm with my family and I would go to my studio every day. I had to do a little bit of work on some film music and that turned into the opening track and then when it was done I thought what will I do next? I had some stuff I’d worked on over the years but sometimes time would run out and it would be left half-finished so I started thinking about what I had. Each day I’d start recording with the instrument I wrote the song on and then gradually layer it all up, it was a lot of fun. It was about making music for yourself rather than making music that has to do a job. So, I just did stuff I fancied doing. I had no idea this would end up as an album.”
- McCartney III’s vast and intimate range of modes and moods, from soul searching to wistful, from playful to raucous and all points between – captured with some of the same gear from Paul’s Rude Studio used as far back as 1971 Wings sessions. And Paul’s array of vintage instruments he played on the new album have an even more storied history, including Bill Black of Elvis Presley’s original trio’s double bass alongside Paul’s own iconic Hofner violin bass, and a mellotron from Abbey Road Studios used on Beatles recordings, to name but a few.
- Note: the LP is available on numbered white vinyl, exclusive to indie shops.
- Note: Release date: 18 December.
- The Kills have compiled an extraordinary career-spanning collection of B-sides and rarities entitled, appropriately, Little Bastards. The songs date back from the band’s first singles between 2002 and 2009. All of the material has been newly remastered, and marks the first ever vinyl pressing for some of these tracks.
- The compilation includes the unreleased and never-before-heard demo ‘Raise Me’ from the 2008–09 Midnight Boom era. Other highlights include ‘I Call It Art’ from the Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited covers compilation, the brilliant Midnight Boom digital bonus track ‘Night Train’, a blistering performance of ‘Love Is A Deserter’ from an XFM radio session and a handful of classic American roots songs performed with the kind of bruising delivery they’re famous for: Howlin’ Wolfs’ ‘Forty Four’, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ ‘I Put A Spell on You’ and Dock Boggs’ ‘Sugar Baby’.
- Note: The LP is available on indie-shops exclusive yellow vinyl.
- Since breaking through in 2014 with his Grammy-nominated Metamodern Sounds In Country Music album, Sturgill Simpson has established himself as one of the most daring and most acclaimed artists of our time. His music stretches across genres and styles, from the psychedelic soul of 2016’s A Sailor’s Guide To Earth (Grammy-nominated for Album of the Year and winner for Best Country Album) to the fuzzed-out rock attack of Sound & Fury in 2019. Now Simpson returns to the music of his native Kentucky with his first bluegrass project, Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 1 (The Butcher Shoppe Sessions). The album, which he calls “a mixtape for the fans”, was dreamed up while he was recovering from Covid, and sees him reimagining songs from across his catalogue backed by some of Nashville’s finest acoustic virtuosos.
- Kamasi Washington composed and produced the Emmy-nominated original score for Becoming, an intimate glimpse into the life of Michelle Obama. Produced by Netflix Originals, Becoming documented a moment of profound change for the former First Lady, not only for her personally but for the country she and her husband served for eight impactful years in the White House. Washington, who joined the project in its embryonic stages, provides a powerful musical backdrop.
- Note: the gold vinyl LP is exclusive to indie shops.
- What To Look For In Summer features twenty-two live performances featuring songs from across Belle And Sebastian’s 25-year career. The recordings showcase the Scottish septet at the height of their power during their 2019 tour, including tracks performed on the band’s own Mediterranean cruise, ‘The Boaty Weekender’.
- Born somewhere in the Arizona desert, Puscifer is an electro-rock band, multimedia experience, travelling circus and alien-abduction survivors. An alternative rock supergroup from Los Angeles, the band consists of former Tool and A Perfect Circle member Maynard James Keenan alongside touring band members: currently, Carina Round, Mat Mitchell, Jeff Friedl, Mahsa Zargaran and Paul Barker. Formed in 1995 under the name Umlaut, the band’s debut EP, Don’t Shoot the Messenger, came out in 2007, followed by their debut album, “V” Is for Vagina, later the same year. This was followed by Conditions Of My Parole in 2011 and Money Shot in 2015.
- Note: the LP is available on indie shops exclusive clear vinyl (300 for UK).
Releases for 4 December 2020
Our pick of 4 December’s new albums starts with Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day, a 21-track collection from Stereophonics’ frontman Kelly Jones featuring reinterpretations and re-workings of 18 classics and deep cuts from Stereophonics and from Kelly’s 2007 solo album Only The Names Have Been Changed. Calexico are back with Seasonal Shift, a celebration of the seasonal traditions observed in Tucson around this time of year, such as Dia de Los Muertos and The All Souls Procession. Odin’s Raven Magic is an orchestral collaboration, based on a medieval epic poem, between Sigur Rós and others that premiered 18 years ago at the Barbican Centre and is now finally being released. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s sixteenth album, K.G., was composed and recorded remotely in lock-down, and is a pure distillation of the King Gizzard sound, contorting it into new shapes via defiantly non-western rock scales. Another artist who got creative in lock-down is The Pineapple Thief frontman Bruce Soord, whose The Soord Sessions Volume 4 is the last of a hugely successful series of live-streamed solo acoustic performances.
Our release of the week is Arctic Monkeys – Live At The Royal Albert Hall, which was recorded at the start of the band’s ‘Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino’ tour and features 20 of the band’s finest moments to date. All proceeds from the album will go to War Child to help fill the £2 million deficit they are facing in 2021 caused by the devastating impact of Covid-19.
- Note: All proceeds from the album will go to War Child to help fill the £2 million deficit they are facing in 2021 caused by the devastating impact of Covid-19 on their fundraising. These funds are urgently needed to support those who are worst hit by the virus.
- “On June 7, 2018 we played a very special show at London’s Royal Albert Hall. All the proceeds from that memorable night were donated to War Child in support of the vital work they do protecting, educating, and rehabilitating children who have experienced the trauma of conflict and the horror of war. The situation that was bad in 2018 is now desperate and those children and their families need our help more than ever. To enable War Child to reduce their funding deficit and continue their valuable work, we are happy to be able to release a live album, recorded that evening at The Royal Albert Hall. All proceeds will go direct to the charity. We thank all our fans in advance for their support of this release and in turn for their support of War Child.” – Arctic Monkeys.
- Recorded at the start of the band’s ‘Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino’ tour, Arctic Monkeys – Live At The Royal Albert Hall features 20 of the band’s finest moments to date.
- Tracklisting: 1. Four Out Of Five / 2. Brianstorm / 3. Crying Lightning / 4. Do I Wanna Know? / 5. Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? / 6. 505 / 7. One Point Perspective / 8. Do Me A Favour / 9. Cornerstone / 10. Knee Socks / 11. Arabella / 12. Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino / 13. She Looks Like Fun / 14. From The Ritz To The Rubble / 15. Pretty Visitors / 16. Don’t Sit Down ’Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair / 17. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor / 18. Star Treatment / 19. The View From The Afternoon / 20. R U Mine?
- Barely a year after Stereophonics last No. 1 album, Kind, ’Phonics frontman Kelly Jones releases Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day, a 21-track collection featuring reinterpretations and re-workings of 18 Stereophonics classics and deep cuts plus two songs from Kelly’s 2007 solo album Only The Names Have Been Changed and an emotional take on Kris Kristofferson’s timeless classic ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’.
- Calexico are back with Seasonal Shift, a celebration of the festive season.
- Speaking about first track ‘Hear the Bells’, Joey Burns of Calexico said: “When writing songs for a seasonal album, I wanted to include some of the aspects of celebrations and traditions observed in Tucson around early November. This song is about holding time and space for memories. Dia de Los Muertos and The All Souls Procession are two events that have influenced Southern Arizona and remembering those who’ve passed away. But it could also be about giving memories importance, too. The story could be about two lovers or two family members.”
- Note: The LP is available on indie-shops exclusive violet vinyl.
- Composed in the 14th or 15th century, Odin’s Raven Magic is an Icelandic poem in the ancient Edda tradition (Edda – a term that describes two Icelandic manuscripts of which together are the main sources of Norse mythology and Skáldic poetry). Its anonymous author clearly had an intimate knowledge of the Edda literature and mythology which alludes to a number of pagan motifs which are now lost. The poem recounts a great banquet held by the gods in Valhalla. While they were absorbed in their feasting, ominous signs appeared that could foretell the end of the worlds of the gods and men.
- The album Odin’s Raven Magic is an orchestral collaboration between Sigur Rós, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, Steindór Andersen and Maria Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir which premiered 18 years ago at the Barbican Centre, London and is now finally – almost two decades later – being released. The performance honours the poem, dramatic and beautiful, classical with a modern strike. A stone marimba was built especially for the performance by Páll Guðmundsson.
- King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard return with new album K.G., their sixteenth since forming in 2010. In the wake of a global pandemic, it’s a collection of songs composed and recorded remotely after the six members of the band retreated to their own homes scattered around Melbourne, Australia. K.G. is a pure distillation of the King Gizzard sound, one that cherry-picks the best aspects of previous albums and contorts them into new shapes via defiantly non-western rock scales.
- Note: The LP is available as a very limited indie-shops exclusive rainbow vinyl version.
- The Pineapple Thief release The Soord Sessions Volume 4, frontman Bruce Soord’s solo acoustic live performances streamed during lockdown, including ‘Versions of the Truth’, ‘In Exile’ and ‘Demons’. Over the past half-decade, The Pineapple Thief, led by musical polymath Bruce Soord and bolstered by the involvement of master drummer Gavin Harrison, has rapidly ascended to the upper echelons of Europe’s alternative rock scene.
- Not wanting to disappoint fans, Soord hatched a plan to announce an acoustic live stream. “I have no idea why I did it. Maybe it was because I wanted to give people something to take their minds off things, or maybe it was the Duvel beer I was enjoying at the time talking. Either way, as I had never done a live stream before, I had no idea how I was going to do it, let alone what I was going to play!” Everything worked out, the acoustic session happened and the solo streamed performances were a huge success. “I was pleasantly surprised how many people came to join me. It honestly felt like everyone was in the room with me. Joining in and having a bit of fun, from wherever in the world they were.”
- Over the summer, Bruce performed four live streamed sessions, and this release features the last of those sessions. Featured on this vinyl-only release are two tracks from Versions Of The Truth and some classic tracks from The Pineapple Thief that hadn’t been played live for many years. Bruce adds “To spice things up, I used my looper pedal to allow me to jam with myself. It was surprisingly easy to strip the songs down to just me and my guitars but getting it right live is another matter!”
- This exclusive LP is presented on 180g dark green vinyl, with a printed inner bag featuring photos from the session and forward by Bruce Soord.
Releases for 27 November 2020
Our soaraway six for 27 November starts with a selection of cover versions from Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong’s lockdown YouTube channel No Fun Mondays, including classics by John Lennon, Billy Bragg and Johnny Thunders. On Sunset Remixes is a limited-edition 12" featuring an eclectic selection of reworkings of stand-out tracks from Paul Weller’s recent critically acclaimed No 1 album: Skeleton Key (James Skelly), Seckou Keita, Jane Weaver, Gwenno and Le SuperHomard provide the remixes. Distant Memories: Live in London combines 2019’s Distance Over Time with 1999’s Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory, in what was one of the most anticipated and historic evenings in Dream Theater history, ultimately becoming this instant classic. Folklore, the eighth studio album by the American phenomenon that is Taylor Swift, replaces the mainstream pop sound she’s known for with a mixture of indie-folk, alternative rock, electro-folk and chamber-pop, driven by pianos and guitars. And Sunny Side Up, the second studio album from Scottish singer-songwriter Paulo Nutini and his band The Vipers, which debuted at number one in the UK charts, gets a reissue on yellow vinyl.
Our release of the week is CYR, the new album from Grammy Award-winning alternative-rock luminaries The Smashing Pumpkins. Global praise continues to pour in since the release of their current single and album namesake ‘Cyr’, which front-man Billy Corgan calls a “dystopic folly, one soul against the world sort of stuff, set against a backdrop of shifting loyalties and sped up time. To me it stands as both hopeful and dismissive of what is and isn’t possible with faith.”
- CYR is the new album from Grammy Award-winning alternative-rock luminaries The Smashing Pumpkins. The 20-track album was produced by front-man Billy Corgan and recorded in Chicago, and features founding members Billy Corgan, James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlin and guitarist Jeff Schroeder.
- Corgan said that the song ‘Cyr’ is “dystopic folly, one soul against the world sort of stuff, set against a backdrop of shifting loyalties and sped up time. To me it stands as both hopeful and dismissive of what is and isn’t possible with faith.”
- Global praise continues to pour in since the release of their current single and album namesake ‘Cyr’ – which was #1 most added at Alternative Radio first week of release – and ‘The Colour Of Love,’ both from the album. Variety applauded the songs for remaining “rooted in the now,” and for “effortlessly taking their place alongside a catalog of cherished Smashing Pumpkins classics,” while Billboard exclaimed “The Smashing Pumpkins are getting ready to smash it up once more.”
- Note: the LP is available on record shops exclusive baby-pink vinyl.
- Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong is set to release his covers series No Fun Mondays into a 14-song collection. No Fun Mondays sees Armstrong putting his signature melodic-punk spin on the songs that have formed the soundtrack to his life, including classics by John Lennon, Billy Bragg and Johnny Thunders.
- The No Fun Mondays series launched in March on Green Day’s YouTube channel. Like many musicians, Armstrong expected to spend much of this year on the road, touring in support of Green Day’s chart-topping February album, Father of All… However, once the Covid-19 pandemic forced him to put those plans on pause, Armstrong got busy with a different kind of work. “While we’ve all been in quarantine I’ve been reflecting on the things that matter the most in my life: family, friends, and, of course, music,” he says. “I figure if we have to spend this time in isolation at least we can be alone together.”
- Note: the LP is available on indie-shops exclusive baby blue vinyl.
- On Sunset Remixes is a very special limited-edition heavyweight 12" featuring 5 remixes of stand-out tracks from Paul Weller’s recent critically acclaimed No 1 album.
- This eclectic collection was selected by Paul himself, with each reworking creating a fresh twist on the original track.
- One of the singles originally taken from On Sunset, the sublime ‘More’, is given a dreamy, other-worldly remix by Skeleton Key, which is an alias for James Skelly of Liverpool band The Coral.
- Senegalese drummer Seckou Keita creates a beautifully stripped back version of ‘Rockets’ featuring his added vocals and sparkling delicate strings, whilst acclaimed psych-folk singer Jane Weaver also plays with ‘Rockets’ but gives it a completely different mind-bending trippy feel.
- Welsh songstress and synth player Gwenno contructs a minimalist and atmospheric sound on ‘Old Father Thyme’, creating a trance-like and abstract version. Le SuperHomard – whose singer, Julie Gros, appeared as guest vocalist on ‘More’ – give the album’s title track their own special French je ne sais quoi, conjuring up disco balls in plush nightclubs.
- Distant Memories: Live in London brings together selections from 2019’s Distance Over Time, in concert with the complete performance of 1999’s Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory, in what was one of the most anticipated and historic evenings in Dream Theater history, ultimately becoming this instant classic. The entirety of the band’s ‘The Distance Over Time Tour: Celebrating 20 Years of Scenes From a Memory’ is a testament to their fans’ long-term appreciation and love for the band.
- As the band explain: “Whether you had a chance to see this tour in person and want to relive what was hopefully an awesome concert experience, or are enjoying the performance on video for the first time, Distant Memories very accurately and very beautifully captures the energy and excitement we all felt together at the Apollo this past February. We are beyond proud to offer this release with brilliant sound, visuals and artistic presentation, thanks to our talented mix engineer, director, visual artist and art director who we all value beyond words.”
- Folklore is the eighth studio album by the American phenomenon that is Taylor Swift. The album was created in isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic, with production from Aaron Dessner (The National), Jack Antonoff (Bleachers) and Swift herself. Departing from the mainstream pop sound of Swift’s previous releases, Folklore is an indie-folk, alternative-rock, electro-folk and chamber-pop album driven by pianos and guitars.
- Note: the LP is available on clay-coloured vinyl.
- Sunny Side Up is the second studio album from Scottish singer-songwriter Paulo Nutini and his band The Vipers, which debuted at number one in the UK charts.
- Note: The LP is available on yellow vinyl.
Releases for 20 November 2020
Our six smashers for 20 November start with Live In Maui, a concert from 1970 with a blu-ray featuring the documentary ‘Music, Money, Madness... Jimi Hendrix In Maui’, which chronicles the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s storied visit to Maui and how they became ensnared with the ill-fated Rainbow Bridge movie produced by their controversial manager Michael Jeffery. The 16-song collection From An Old Guitar features features rare and unreleased studio performances that Dave Alvin recorded over the years, mixing originals with interpretations of other peoples’ songs, and ranging from acoustic blues and ballads to electric bar-room blues, folk-rock and even a little country-rock. Shadow Of Fear is the first studio album from Cabaret Voltaire in 26 years. Sole remaining member Richard H. Kirk has formed this new album from a series of pulverising live shows, dancing across techno, dub, house, 1970s Germany and general esoteric explorations coupled with mangled vocal samples. Live Drugs is unlike anything previously available in The War On Drugs’ catalogue: the first volume to capture the band’s live interpretations, this is a document showcasing the evolution of their live show over the years and is sequenced to reflect how a typical 70-minute set would flow. Nights Of The Dead – Legacy Of The Beast: Live In Mexico City was recorded during the Iron Maiden’s visit there in September 2019, and includes songs which have never made it to a live CD before, plus classics that haven’t been included in their live set releases for many years.
Our release of the week is Idiot Prayer, a solo piano recital by Nick Cave, recorded at the iconic London venue Alexandra Palace in June. In it, Nick plays songs from his extensive back catalogue, including rare tracks that most fans will be hearing for the first time. The songs are taken from across the breadth of Cave’s career, including early Bad Seeds and Grinderman, right through to the most recent Bad Seeds album, Ghosteen, and the performance has had rave reviews from critics and fans.
- Idiot Prayer is a solo piano recital by Nick Cave, recorded at the iconic London venue Alexandra Palace in June. In it, Nick plays songs from his extensive back catalogue, including rare tracks that most fans will be hearing for the first time. The songs are taken from across the breadth of Cave’s career, including early Bad Seeds and Grinderman, right through to the most recent Bad Seeds album, Ghosteen.
- “Cave’s solo live stream could be the most the beautiful and sombre performance he’s ever given.” (The Telegraph)
- “Cave’s performance in an empty hall, with just piano and voice, seems to try and ward off the terrifying silence of the Covid-19 age.” (The Guardian)
- “Gravitas echoes beautifully in the void of an empty Alexandra Palace.” (Evening Standard)
- “The dramatic minimalism of this setting is perfect for an expressive face, and such powerfully emotional songs.” (The Arts Desk)
- Tracklisting: 1. Spinning Song / 2. Jubilee Street / 3. Far From Me / 4. Idiot Prayer / 5. Sad Waters / 6. He Wants You / 7. Brompton Oratory / 8. Higgs Boson Blues / 9. Palaces Of Montezuma / 10. Stranger Than Kindness / 11. Into My Arms / 12. Girl In Amber / 13. The Ship Song / 14. Man In The Moon / 15. Nobody’s Baby Now / 16. Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry / 17. Black Hair / 18. (Are You) The One That I’ve Been Waiting For? / 19. Galleon Ship / 20. Waiting For You / 21. The Mercy Seat / 22. Euthanasia
- Live In Maui is a concert from 1970 with a blu-ray featuring the documentary ‘Music, Money, Madness... Jimi Hendrix In Maui’. The film chronicles the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s storied visit to Maui and how they became ensnared with the ill-fated Rainbow Bridge movie produced by their controversial manager Michael Jeffery.
- Note: The LP box set will be released on 11 December.
- The 16-song collection From An Old Guitar features studio performances that Dave Alvin, some recorded over the years for his own albums or for tribute albums – but mainly they’re just things he did for the pure kicks of playing music he loves with musicians he loves and admires. The songs range from some originals to interpretations of compositions by dear friends like Peter David Case, Chris Smither and the late Bill Morrissey to tunes written by heroes like Willie Dixon, Bob Dylan, Lil Hardin Armstrong, Earl Hooker and Marty Robbins.
- The music ranges from acoustic blues and ballads to electric bar-room blues, folk-rock and even a little country-rock. There are contributions from dearly departed comrades like Chris Gaffney, Amy Farris and Bobby Lloyd Hicks as well as from old Blasters pals like Gene Taylor along with various members of The Guilty Men/Women/Ones plus help from brilliant accompanists like Greg Leisz, Cindy Cashdollar and Bob Glaub.
- Shadow Of Fear is the first studio album from Cabaret Voltaire in 26 years. Richard H. Kirk is the sole remaining member; he’s released many acclaimed solo albums, having invented bleep techno via his groundbreaking work in Sweet Exorcist. Kirk has formed this new album from a series of pulverising live shows. The tone and personality of Cabaret Voltaire is ingrained in its core as it dances across techno, dub, house, 1970s Germany and general esoteric explorations coupled with mangled vocal samples.
- Note: the LP is available on limited-edition purple vinyl.
- Culled from over 40 hard drives of recorded live shows spread out across years of touring behind multiple critically acclaimed records, Live Drugs is unlike anything previously available in The War On Drugs’ catalogue. The first volume to capture the band’s live interpretations, Live Drugs is a document showcasing the evolution of their live show over the years. Additionally, Live Drugs is a portrait of the enduring relationship between Adam Granduciel and Dominic East. A long-time friend, guitar tech and stage manager, East is Live Drugs’s co-producer and the presence Granduciel credits as holding everything together.
- Sequenced to reflect how a typical 70-minute set would flow, Live Drugs thrives on live set staples immortalised on record for the first time. This includes ‘Buenos Aires Beach’ from the band’s 2008 full-length debut, Wagonwheel Blues, and the long-time musical interlude flowing between ‘Under The Pressure’ and ‘In Reverse’ – which bookend 2014’s Lost In The Dream. There’s also the band’s essential cover of Warren Zevon’s ‘Accidentally Like A Martyr’ – a song “so true, you should ever be lucky to write a song that simple,” according to Granduciel.
- Note: the LP is available on indie-shops exclusive opaque purple vinyl.
- Containing over 100 minutes of incredible music, Nights Of The Dead – Legacy Of The Beast: Live In Mexico City was recorded during Iron Maiden’s three sold-out arena shows there in September 2019 and is a celebration of their Legacy Of The Beast World Tour, which began in 2018 and will finish next summer in Europe.
- Iron Maiden founder and bass player Steve Harris comments:
- “When the final leg of our 2020 Legacy tour this summer had to be cancelled due to the Covid pandemic, the whole band was very disappointed and deflated and we know our fans felt the same. We’d been really looking forward to bringing the show to even more countries and although we’ve been able to reschedule most of our European own-shows for 2021, we thought we’d take a listen to the recordings from the tour so far and see if we could create a definitive live album souvenir that everyone, everywhere could enjoy. I’m very pleased with the results, especially as this set list includes songs which have never made it to a live CD before, such as ‘For The Greater Good Of God’, and other older songs like ‘Where Eagles Dare’, ‘Flight Of Icarus’, ‘The Clansman’ and ‘Sign Of The Cross’ which haven’t been included in our live set releases for many years.
- “We’ve never released a live album from Mexico before and I think this recording does justice to the passion and joy of our Mexican fans who always give us such a fantastic welcome whenever we play there.”
Releases for 13 November 2020
Our lockdown lovelies for 13 November start with Power Up, the long-awaited 17th studio album from AC/DC, produced once again by Brendan O’Brien. Charged up for a new decade, AC/DC proudly maintain their signature sound and all of its powerful hallmarks. Brian Eno’s musical contribution to film and TV has always been lauded, and some of this iconic work is collected in Film Music 1976–2020, which features over an hour of classic Eno compositions and includes several previously unreleased tracks. Weird! is Yungblud’s most emotionally complex body of work to date: a wildly eclectic collage of sound, with Queen-inspired harmonies, Beatles-esque chord progressions, elements of dance-punk and glam-rock and hip-hop and metal. Through Shaded Woods is a new opening for Lunatic Soul – the solo studio music project of multi-instrumentalist Mariusz Duda: completely devoid of the electronics of previous releases, it’s refined and rich-sounding. Paloma Faith had written most of a new album before Covid-19 swept the world. When she went into lockdown, she ripped all those songs up and started afresh and, on Infinite Things, she ruminates on sickness and loss as well as exploring relationships and love.
Our release of the week is Starting Over, the new studio album from Chris Stapleton, which examines life’s simplest joys and most serious struggles. The resulting album is both timely and timeless, speaking to and transcending the current moment in ways unimaginable even while it was being created.
- Starting Over, the highly anticipated new studio album from Chris Stapleton, is an album of startling prescience – completed in late February only days before the shutdown began. Across its fourteen tracks are songs that examine life’s simplest joys and most serious struggles. Alongside eleven written by Stapleton with both longtime friends and new collaborators are three carefully chosen covers: John Fogerty’s ‘Joy Of My Life’ and Guy Clark’s ‘Worry B Gone’ and ‘Old Friends’. The resulting album – both timely and timeless – speaks to and transcends the current moment in ways unimaginable even while it was being created.
- The album finds Stapleton back in his second home, Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A (with additional work done at Muscle Shoals Sound and Compass Sound Studio), surrounded by his trusted collaborators as well as some new faces. Produced by Dave Cobb (who also plays acoustic guitar), the record features his beloved wife, Morgane Stapleton (vocals, tambourine), with longtime bandmates J.T. Cure (bass) and Derek Mixon (drums). Special guests include legendary musicians Mike Campbell (electric guitar), Benmont Tench (Hammond B3 organ) and Paul Franklin (pedal steel) as well as the Nashville Urban Choir who are featured on ‘Watch You Burn’, written by Stapleton and Campbell.
- Power Up is the long-awaited new album from AC/DC, the band’s 17th studio album. For Power Up, the band reunited with producer Brendan O’Brien who helmed the double-platinum Black Ice in 2008 and the gold Rock Or Bust in 2014. Charged up for the next decade, AC/DC cut twelve new tracks for the album, proudly maintaining their signature sound and all of its powerful hallmarks.
- Power Up was announced with the release of the album’s first single, ‘Shot In The Dark’, and features the lineup of Angus Young (lead guitar), Brian Johnson (lead vocals), Cliff Williams (bass guitar), Phil Rudd (drums), and Stevie Young (rhythm guitar) firing on all cylinders once again.
- The limited edition, one-of-a-kind deluxe Power Up box set is the ultimate fan package. Hit the button on the side of the box and watch the flashing neon AC/DC logo light up while the opening bars of ‘Shot In The Dark’ blast out of the built-in speaker. Inside the box is the full CD package in a soft-pack with a 20-page booklet that features exclusive photos and USB charging cable allowing the box to remain powered up and on display. The yellow-vinyl LP is exclusive to indie shops.
- Tracklist: Realize / Rejection / Shot in the Dark / Through the Mists of Time / Kick You When You’re Down / Witch’s Spell / Demon Fire / Wild Reputation / No Man’s Land / Systems Down / Money Shot / Code Red.
- This long-awaited collection brings together 17 tracks from Brian Eno’s most recognisable film and television work spanning 5 decades.
- Eno’s music has been used in hundreds of films and he has composed more than 20 soundtracks for some of the best known directors in the world, including David Lynch, Danny Boyle, Peter Jackson, Michelangelo Antonioni, Derek Jarman and Michael Mann. Compositions such as ‘Ship In A Bottle’ in The Lovely Bones, ‘Prophecy Theme’ from Dune, ‘Deep Blue Day’ in Trainspotting, ‘Late Evening In Jersey’ in Heat, ‘Beach Sequence’ in Antonioni’s last film Beyond The Clouds and ‘An Ending (Ascent)’ from Al Reinert’s ground-breaking For All Mankind have contributed significantly to memorably iconic scenes. Eno has also scored extensively for television, including all 3 series of the gritty UK crime drama Top Boy, for which he received a Bafta, and Danny Boyle’s Mr Wroe’s Virgins, which earned him and his brother Roger a Bafta nomination.
- This release features over an hour of classic Eno compositions and includes several previously unreleased tracks.
- Weird! is Yungblud’s most emotionally complex body of work to date. He recorded it at studios in London and Los Angeles with Cervini, Greatti and another frequent collaborator, Matt Schwartz (Cold War Kids, Bullet For My Valentine, Massive Attack). True to Yungblud’s fierce refusal to box himself in, Weird! embodies a wildly eclectic collage of sound: Queen-inspired harmonies, Beatles-esque chord progressions, elements of dance-punk and glam-rock and hip-hop and metal.
- Note: the LP is a version exclusive to record shops.
- Lunatic Soul is the solo studio music project of creator, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Mariusz Duda.
- Through Shaded Woods is a new opening for Lunatic Soul, with it not only being considered the most refined and richest sounding album, but also the brightest and most positive in their discography to date.
- On album number seven, Duda extends his musical explorations to include dark Scandinavian and Slavic folk, referencing bands like Heilung or Wardruna. Following the heavily electronic soundscapes of previous albums Fractured and Under The Fragmented Sky, Through Shaded Woods is completely devoid of electronics and is the first album in Duda’s back catalogue on which he plays all instruments.
- Paloma Faith wrote most of the songs for Infinite Things before the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world. When she went into lockdown, she ripped them all up and started afresh. She spent her downtime creating, learning to engineer her own music and just thinking about the world. The enforced downtime was creatively fruitful and taught her that she had been on a sort of conveyor belt of music and promo. The lockdown gave her the space to take stock of her frenetic career, and decide what is meaningful to her. She is emerging from lockdown with a new sense of her priorities which has seen her reconnect with her roots steeped in creativity.
- As well as exploring relationships and love, the album is also a rumination on sickness and loss.
- Note: the LP is available on white vinyl, exclusive to record shops.
Releases for 6 November 2020
6 November marks the 50th Anniversary of the North American release of David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World, the beginning of a lasting and fruitful collaboration with Mick Ronson. The 2020 re-release of the album under its original title Metrobolist (it was changed at the last minute in 1970) has been remixed by original producer Tony Visconti, with artwork by Mike Weller, the man behind the controversial “dress” cover. Wilco’s third album, Summerteeth, arrived in March 1999 to glowing reviews for its daring arrangements, lush harmonies and revealing lyrics, and this expanded reissue features a brand-new Bob Ludwig remaster of the original album plus hours of unreleased studio and live recordings. Craig Charles has introduced a new generation to soul and funk old and new via his 6Music and Radio 2 shows. His Trunk Of Funk Vol. 1 blends personally selected 21st-century disco, soul, funk and Afro grooves with some old-school classics and rare grooves. Return To Greendale features a live concert from 2003 on which Neil Young and Crazy Horse were joined on stage by a large cast of singers and actors to perform Neil’s story of how a dramatic event in a small town affects the people living there. Disco is the first new album from Kylie since 2018’s Golden, which hit number 1 in both the UK and Australia. Kylie’s 2019 Glastonbury performance was the most-watched TV moment in the festival’s history.
Our release of the week is the expanded 15th-anniversary reissue of British Sea Power’s majestic second album, Open Season, which includes additional live sessions, B-sides and rarities from the period and extensive new sleeve notes. If you don’t already know this classic, now is the perfect time to check it out.
- British Sea Power’s majestic second album, Open Season, get a reissue on the 15th anniversary of its original release. The expanded reissue includes additional live sessions, B-sides and rarities from the period and extensive new sleeve notes. The double LP format is a one-off pressing, housed in a gatefold sleeve: the first disc on blue vinyl, with the second being a zoetrope picture disc.
- The majority of the original album was recorded by Mads Bjerke (Spiritualized, Primal Scream, Girls Aloud) and mixed by Bill Price (Sex Pistols, The Clash, Sparks). Two tracks were recorded and mixed by Graham Sutton (The Delays, Bark Psychosis) and Phill Brown (Sly Stone, Led Zeppelin, Talk Talk).
- Disc 1: It Ended on an Oily Stage / Be Gone / How Will I Ever Find My Way Home? / Like a Honeycomb / Please Stand Up / North Hanging Rock / To Get to Sleep / Victorian Ice / Oh Larsen B / The Land Beyond / True Adventures
- Disc 2: It Ended on an Oily Stage (recorded for the Mark Radcliffe Show on BBC Radio 2 – First broadcast on 31st March 2005) / How Will I Ever Find My Way Home? (recorded for the Mark Radcliffe Show on BBC Radio 2 – First broadcast on 31st March 2005) / Don’t You Want to Be a Bird? (recorded for the Gideon Coe on BBC Radio 6 – First broadcast on 28th March 2005) / When I Go Out (recorded for the Gideon Coe on BBC Radio 6 – First broadcast on 28th March 2005) / Crystal Horse (originally appeared on ‘It Ended On An Oily Stage’ CD Single 2) / Over in the Corner (originally appeared on ‘Please Stand Up’ CD Single 1) / How Will I Find My Way Home? (Organ Version) (originally appeared as a hidden track on Open Season CD) / How Animals Work (Mike Hedges Version – previously unreleased) / Runaway (originally appeared as ‘Gale Warnings in Viking North’ on ‘Please Stand Up’ 7") / Green Grass of Tunnel (originally appeared on ‘It Ended On An Oily Stage’ CD Single 1) / Grey Goose (originally appeared on ‘Please Stand Up’ CD Single 2) / Chicken Pig (True Adventures Instrumental Demo) (originally appeared on ‘Please Stand Up’ CD Single 2) / I Am a Cider Drinker (originally appeared on the split 7" single by British Sea Power and The Wurzels)
- November 2020 marks the 50th Anniversary of the North American release of David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World – the beginning of a 10-year collaboration with guitarist Mick Ronson that would produce indispensable albums such as Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, all the way through to 1980’s Scary Monsters.
- Originally titled Metrobolist, the album’s name was changed at the last minute. The 2020 re-release of the album under its Metrobolist moniker has been remixed by original producer Tony Visconti, with the exception of the track ‘After All’ which Tony considered perfect as is, and is featured in its 2015 remaster incarnation.
- The Metrobolist 50th anniversary artwork has been created by Mike Weller, the man behind the historically controversial “dress” cover which Mercury Records refused to release.
- As with the Space Oddity 50th anniversary vinyl, as well as a 180g black vinyl edition, it will come in a limited edition of 2020 handwritten numbered copies on white vinyl (#1–1970) and on gold vinyl (#1971–2020), randomly distributed.
- Wilco’s third album, Summerteeth, arrived in March 1999 to glowing reviews for its daring arrangements, lush harmonies and revealing lyrics. More than 20 years later, the Chicago-based band is expanding one of its best with multiple collections packed with hours of unreleased studio and live recordings.
- The 4-CD set starts with a brand-new Bob Ludwig remaster of the original album (making its CD debut) along with an entire disc of unreleased studio out-takes, alternate versions and demos that chart the making of the album from songwriting demos to alternate studio arrangements to finished masters. The two remaining discs in the CD version of Summerteeth (Deluxe Edition) feature a previously unissued live show.
- The 5-LP set features the remastered studio album as well as the unreleased demos, alternates and outtake recordings pressed on 180g vinyl, along with an exclusive performance from early 1999 titled ‘An Unmitigated Disaster’, a previously unreleased live in-store performance at Tower Records on 11 March 1999.
- Craig Charles has been a soul and funk fan since his teenage years in Liverpool, going to see local heroes The Real Thing live, and wearing out his shoe leather dancing in the city’s many underground clubs. Craig has been sharing that passion for the music via his 6Music and BBC Radio 2 shows and DJ nights for nearly 20 years.
- His brand-new Trunk Of Funk compilation series blends up-tempo club classics with fresh music from the cream of the contemporary soul and funk scene, and will be Craig’s very first vinyl release – a beautiful, double-vinyl gatefold LP – and he’s certainly excited about it, stating; “I can’t wait to bring you big beats, bass lines and booga-bloomin-loo! Presenting The Craig Charles Trunk Of Funk Volume 1 as my first ever vinyl release has put a proper wiggle in my walk!”
- This collection of 21st-century disco, soul, funk and Afro grooves includes tracks from contemporary heroes of the scene such as Monophonics, Amp Fiddler and The James Taylor Quartet, and is also peppered with some old-school classics and rare grooves from legends such as Roy Ayers, PP Arnold, Miriam Makeba and Patrice Rushen. Craig has personally selected and sequenced this collection to take the listener of a musical journey, the closest thing to having Craig visit and personally DJ for you in the comfort of your own home!
- Track listing: 1. Soul A Go Go – Soul Messin Allstars ft Josh Teskey / 2. Superfly (Sam Redmores’ Exclusive ‘Trunk Of Funk’ Edit) – Amp Fiddler feat Dames Brown / 3. Boogie Down – Roy Ayers / 4. Hold My Hand – Laneous / 5. Pata Pata – Miriam Makeba / 6. African Rhythms – Oneness Of Juju (Exclusive ‘Trunk Of Funk’ Edit) / 7. Medicated Goo – PP Arnold / 8. Take A Shot – The Fantastics! Ft Sulene Fleming / 9. Give Me The Night ft Xantone Blacq – Juan Laya and Jorge Montiel / 10. Out Of The Ordinary ft Mike Keat and The Bevvy Sisters – The Republic Of Persevere / 11. Forget Me Nots – Patrice Rushen – / 12. People Get Ready ft Natalie Williams and Noel McKoy – The James Taylor Quartet / 13. Hangin’ On – Monophonics / 14. The Old Place – Nick Waterhouse / 15. Victory! – Michelle David and the Gospel Sessions / 16. Beggin’ – Magnus Carlson / 17. Telling You Lies ft Jam Jam – Alex Opal / 18. Help Me ft Ian Whitelaw – Badge And Talkalot / 19. The Only Difference – Beatchild and The Slakedeliqs / 20. Clap Hands – Honeyfeet.
- Return To Greendale is the next instalment in Neil Young’s Performance Series and features a concert (audio and on film) from the historic and unique 2003 tour supporting the release of the Neil Young with Crazy Horse album Greendale.
- On the 2003 tour, Neil Young and Crazy Horse were joined on stage by a large cast of singers and actors to perform the story Neil Young wrote about the small town of Greendale and how a dramatic event affects the people living there. The ten songs from the powerful original album are performed in sequence, with the cast speaking the sung words – adding to the intensity of the performance.
- The live album Return To Greendale is released in several formats: double LP, double CD, and a limited-edition deluxe box set that includes a Blu-ray of the full concert, a DVD of Inside Greendale (the making of the album documentary), 2 LPs and 2 CDs.
- The film of the ambitious live show captures the vibrancy of Neil Young and Crazy Horse on stage in a unique multi-media experience. It seamlessly blends together the live performance, the actors portraying each song, with the story occasionally enhanced by scenes from the Greendale – The Movie.
- Disco is the first new album from Kylie since 2018’s Golden, which hit number 1 in both the UK and Australia. Collectively, Kylie’s singles have spent over 300 weeks in the Official UK Singles Chart Top 40 and she has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide. Kylie has multiple awards and accolades to her name, including 3 BRIT Awards, 2 MTV Music Awards and a Grammy. Her 2019 Glastonbury performance was the most-watched TV moment in the festival’s history.
- Note: the limited-edition deluxe CD features four bonus tracks and media book with additional photography and lyrics. The LP is available on transparent blue vinyl, exclusive to record shops.
Other releases for 2020
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