Releases from May–June 2021
Great albums from around the world
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Find releases from 2020.
Also check out some of the great reissues of classic albums.
The hottest pre-sale releases
Pre-sale of the week is For The Sake Of Bethel Woods by Midlake, out on 18 March.
Releases for 25 June 2021
Our summer sizzlers for 25 June start with Earth Trip from celebrated guitarist Ripley Johnson, who formed Rose City Band to explore his songwriting talents; the album charts a journey of personal growth and introspection with surprising honesty, and it’s a celebration of summer warmth and the great outdoors. M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger went looking for peace, and Quietly Blowing It is a retrospective of the past five years of his life, going deep and painted in impressionistic hues. The reissue of PJ Harvey’s back catalogue continues with White Chalk, originally released in September 2007, and it’s been lovingly remastered and is accompanied by collection of unreleased demos from the album. Leviathan is a new collaborative album from electronic duo The Grid (aka Richard Norris & Dave Ball) and Robert Fripp, combining Fripp soundscapes with synth, drums, programming and effects by The Grid.
Our release of the week is Boy From Michigan, the most autobiographical and melodic work to date from John Grant. In a decade of making records by himself, Grant has playfully experimented with mood, texture and sound, all the better for actualizing the seriousness of his thoughts.
- Produced by long-time friend Cate Le Bon, Boy From Michigan is John Grant’s most autobiographical and melodic work to date. Grant stopped being a boy in Michigan aged twelve, when his family moved to Denver, Colorado, shifting from rust to bible belt, a further vantage point to watch collective dreams unravel.
- Over 12 tracks, Grant lays out his past for careful cross-examination. In a decade of making records by himself, he has playfully experimented with mood, texture and sound, all the better for actualizing the seriousness of his thoughts. At one end of his musical rainbow, he is the battle-scarred piano-man; at the other, a robust electronic auteur. Boy From Michigan seamlessly marries both.
- Rose City Band is celebrated guitarist Ripley Johnson. A prolific songwriter, Johnson started Rose City Band to have an outlet to explore songwriting styles apart from Wooden Shjips and Moon Duo, where he is often not the lead songwriter. Rose City Band allowed him to follow his musical muses as they greet him and not be bound by the schedule of bandmates and demands of a touring group. Stepping out from behind the psychedelic haze that envelops his other output, Rose City Band’s lean yet richly textured arrangements lay bare the beauty of his songcraft.
- Earth Trip, Johnson reveals more of himself than ever before, colouring the project’s country-rock twang with a melancholic, wistful undertone. Earth Trip was written during a period of sudden shocks and drastic lifestyle changes for Johnson: forced to cancel extensive touring plans for 2020, the guitarist found himself home for an extended period for the first time in years. The album charts a journey of personal growth and introspection with surprising honesty, from pining for summers spent with friends to meditations on space, stillness and the splendour of the natural world. It continues Rose City Band’s celebration of summer warmth and the great outdoors, seen from a new vantage point, and with newfound appreciation for the freedom and joy that nature provides.
- “I went looking for peace,” says songwriter M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger about his new album Quietly Blowing It. “It’s not exactly a record about the state of the world or my world in 2020, but more a retrospective of the past five years of my life, painted in sort of impressionistic hues. Maybe I had the presence of mind when I was writing Quietly Blowing It to know that this was the time to go as deep as I needed to in order to make a record like this. And I got the time required in order to do that.”
- P J Harvey White Chalk
- The schedule of reissues of PJ Harvey’s classic studio albums continues with her seventh, White Chalk.
- White Chalk LP £26.99
- Leviathan is a new collaborative album from electronic duo The Grid (aka Richard Norris & Dave Ball) and Robert Fripp, combining Fripp soundscapes with synth, drums, programming and effects by The Grid.
Releases for 18 and 25 June
With labels focused on RSD, we’ve got a bijou selection of four releases for 18 June, plus an early peek at two from the enormous list due out on 25 June. First up is Consequences, one of Joan Armatrading’s most intimate and direct albums yet, and one that wears its heart – and its conscience – on its sleeve; it’s very different from 2018’s Not Too Far Away and ably illustrates the fact that she never likes to repeat herself. The double-CD/triple-LP expanded deluxe edition of Charles Mingus’ classic 1974 live album Mingus At Carnegie Hall includes over an hour of previously unreleased material sequenced in the order of the original performance, as well as never-before-seen photos and new liner notes. The two volumes of demos from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, recorded between 2011 and 2020, come to you in a lovely double pack! As front-man Stu Mackenzie says: “These recordings were never supposed to see the light of day. But here they are: loose as; sloppy as. Hopefully endearing.” On to releases for 25 June, we have Merci Miles! Live At Vienne, a previously unreleased set recorded just 3 months before Miles Davis’s death that includes two songs written by Prince: ‘Penetration’ and ‘Jailbait’. On 22 June 1971, Joni Mitchell released Blue, a masterpiece still regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, The Reprise Albums (1968–1971), collects Joni’s first four albums, newly remastered versions and, in the case of Song To A Seagull, freshly mixed. “The original mix was atrocious,” says Mitchell, “so I fixed it!”
Our release of the week is Carnage, a new album that Nick Cave & Warren Ellis recorded over a period of weeks during lockdown in an accelerated process of intense creativity that Cave describes as “a brutal but very beautiful record nested in a communal catastrophe.”. Although the pair have composed and recorded many soundtracks together, and Ellis is a long-term member of The Bad Seeds, this is the first time they have released an entire album of songs as a duo.
- 18 June: Carnage is a new album by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, recorded over a period of weeks during lockdown. Although the pair have composed and recorded many soundtracks together, and Ellis is a long-term member of The Bad Seeds, this is the first time they have released an entire album of songs as a duo.
- Cave describes the album as “a brutal but very beautiful record nested in a communal catastrophe.”
- “Making Carnage was an accelerated process of intense creativity,” says Ellis, “the eight songs were there in one form or another within the first two and a half days.”
- 18 June: Consequences is one of Joan Armatrading’s most intimate and direct albums yet, and one that wears its heart – and its conscience – on its sleeve. Her 22nd studio album to date ably illustrates the fact that Joan Armatrading never likes to repeat herself. It is very different from 2018’s Top 30 hit album Not Too Far Away.
- 18 June: This double-CD/triple-LP expanded deluxe edition of Charles Mingus’ classic 1974 live album for Atlantic Records includes over an hour of previously unreleased material sequenced in the order of the original performance, as well as never-before-seen photos by original photographer Gosta Peterson and new liner notes by jazz historian and producer Michael Cuscuna.
- 18 June: Both volumes of the Gizz demos, recorded between 2011 and 2020, come to you in a lovely double pack!
- “OK, so this one required a fair old loosening of the ego to put out there. But sometimes you’ve just gotta make yourself as small as an ant and let go… These are recordings which were never supposed to see the light of day. But here they are: loose as; sloppy as. Hopefully endearing. In truth, an insane amount of effort and love went into these songs and I feel buoyed by sharing them. I’ve shed my skin, I’m a butterfly, I’m on fire. Stu xoxox”
- 25 June: By 1991, the world’s most celebrated trumpeter could look back on five decades of musical evolution – his own, and that of the world around him. Miles Davis had found ways of marrying jazz with classical ideas, then later R&B, rock and funk, producing hybrid offspring that shaped the course of popular music and had come to define his legend. Miles Davis’ performance at Jazz a Vienne on 1 July 1991 became one of his final live performances before he passed away on 28 September 1991, and this previously unreleased set includes two songs written by Prince: ‘Penetration’ and ‘Jailbait’. The package features liner notes from music historian, journalist and producer Ashley Kahn, with art designed by Bruno Tilley.
- 25 June: On 22nd June 1971, Joni Mitchell released Blue, concluding her prolific four-album run for Reprise Records with an album considered by many to be one of the greatest of all time. Its stirring, confessional songs have been celebrated by music lovers and critics alike for decades while inspiring a wide variety of artists as diverse as Prince and Taylor Swift. Even today, its stature as a masterpiece continues to grow. Just last year, the album was named #3 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
- To celebrate the album’s 50th anniversary, Rhino is releasing The Reprise Albums (1968–1971), the next instalment of the Joni Mitchell Archives series, featuring newly remastered versions of Blue (1971) and the three albums that came before it: Song To A Seagull (1968), Clouds (1969), and Ladies Of The Canyon (1970). In the case of Song To A Seagull, the original mix has been recently updated by Mitchell and mixer Matt Lee. “The original mix was atrocious,” says Mitchell, “so I fixed it!”
- The Reprise Albums (1968–1971) will be available in a 4-LP 180-gram vinyl boxset (limited edition Of 10,000), and as a 4-CD Boxset. The cover art features a previously unseen self-portrait Mitchell sketched during the period. The collection also includes an essay by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, another artist who’s been influenced greatly by Mitchell. She writes: “In my opinion Blue is the greatest album ever made. Blue didn’t make me a better songwriter. Blue made me a better woman… No matter what we are dealing with in these times we can rejoice and know that of all the ages we could have lived through, we lived in the time of Joni Mitchell.”
Releases for 11 June 2021
We open our picks of 11 June’s crop with Sharon Van Etten, who celebrates the 10th anniversary of her breakthrough album, epic, with an expanded release featuring the original album plus a disc on which artists she admires cover one song each in their own style. Ryan Adams, one of rock’s most talented songwriters, returns with Big Colors, a striking change of direction from the last: an upbeat record rich in drums and synths encapsulating the 1980s vibe spectacularly and produced with Don Was and Beatriz Artola. Back The Way We Came: Vol 1 is a celebration of the first decade of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, curated by Noel himself, featuring tracks from the band’s three #1 albums and three acclaimed EPs plus two previously unreleased tracks including the brand-new single ‘We’re On Our Way Now’. Alessandro Cortini, recently inducted into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame for his work with Nine Inch Nails, follows his collaboration with Daniel Avery with a brand-new solo album, Scuro Chiaro, which shares themes with his highly acclaimed previous solo album, Volume Massimo. And finally, Singles (The U.A. Years+) – a 26-track best-of is a celebration of Dr. Feelgood at their absolute peak – gets a reissue on vinyl for the first time since its original release in 1989.
Our release of the week is Path Of Wellness, the new album from Sleater-Kinney, recorded in the midst of 2020’s endless turbulence – social unrest, devastating wildfires, and a raging pandemic – with the help of local musicians. The result is a provocative, powerful and poetic statement when alternative music and culture could use it the most. It’s music for an imagined togetherness.
- In the midst of 2020’s endless turbulence – social unrest, devastating wildfires, and a raging pandemic – Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker, aka Sleater-Kinney, wrote and recorded their new album, Path Of Wellness, in Portland, Oregon. They welcomed local musicians into the studio to bring their vision to life. For the first time, the band also took the reins and self-produced the eleven-track offering. The result is a provocative, powerful and poetic statement when alternative music and culture could use it the most. It’s music for an imagined togetherness.
- Sharon Van Ettenhas had a celebrated career since the release of her second album, 2010’s epic. On its release, epic laid a romantic melancholy over the gravel and dirt of heartbreak without one honest thought or feeling spared. Her songs covered betrayal, obsession, egotism, and all the other emotions we dislike in others and recognise in ourselves. Van Etten’s grounded and clenched vocals conveyed a sense of hope – the notion that beauty can arise from the worst of circumstances.
- To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this special album’s release, and to acknowledge the convergence of Van Etten’s present and past work, she asked fellow artists she admired to cover one song from epic each in their own style. The resulting epic Ten is a double LP featuring the original album plus a new album of covers and reimagined artwork. The featured artists include musicians Van Etten herself admired in her early days (Fiona Apple, Lucinda Williams, and Aaron Dessner and Justin Vernon of Big Red Machine), peers (Courtney Barnett, IDLES), and a younger generation of innovators (Shamir, St. Panther). What they all share is embodied by epic – a musician frankly communicating themselves through the power of music.
- “epic represents a crossroads for me as an artist. Going from intern to artist at Ba Da Bing, from solo folk singer to playing with a band for the first time and beginning to play shows on tour where people showed up. I am in awe of the artists who wanted to participate in celebrating my anniversary and reissue, from young inspiring musicians, to artists who took me under their wing, who I met on tour, and to artists I’ve looked up to since I was a teenager. Each one of these artists continue to influence my writing and provide a sense of camaraderie during this new era of sharing music.” -- Sharon Van Etten
- Ryan Adams returns with Big Colors, the second album in the trilogy, following Wednesdays! It is his 18th studio album and is a striking change of direction from the last, an upbeat record rich in drums and synths encapsulating the 1980s vibe spectacularly and produced with Don Was and Beatriz Artola. The 7-time Grammy-nominated Adams, famed for being one of rock’s most talented songwriters, has sold millions of records and produced albums for some of musics most influential artists.
- “Big Colors is the soundtrack to a movie from 1984 that exists only in my soul,” says Adams. “It’s a cliché inside a watercolour painting of neon blue smoke rising up off summer streets in the night. It’s the most New York California album I could cut loose from my musical soul, and for me as both a guitar player and songwriter, this is the zenith point dream time. While I won’t be able to match this album for its depth and broad colour forms in the future, this is the sound of my soul and a door to a place I’ll be returning to again. The treasures in our past are the shamanic visions of the future when the destination is dream zone 3000. This is that. I’m only dreaming in Big Colors now.”
- Back The Way We Came: Vol 1 (2011-2021) celebrates the first decade of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. This double album, curated and compiled entirely by Noel, includes tracks from the three #1 albums (Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Chasing Yesterday and Who Built The Moon?) and the three acclaimed EPs (Black Star Dancing, This Is The Place and Blue Moon Rising) – plus two previously unreleased tracks including the brand-new single ‘We’re On Our Way Now’.
- The album is available on limited-edition deluxe formats featuring a bonus disc including previously unreleased acoustic versions, remixes, instrumentals and an unheard demo.
- Scuro Chiaro is the brand-new solo album from Alessandro Cortini, following his recent collaboration with Daniel Avery. ‘Scuro chiaro’ means ‘dark light’, and the new album shares themes with his highly acclaimed previous solo album, Volume Massimo. Cortini recently joined the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame as the keyboard player and bass guitarist of Nine Inch Nails.
- Singles (The U.A. Years+) – a 26-track best-of is a celebration of Dr. Feelgood at their absolute peak – gets a reissue on vinyl for the first time since its original release in 1989. The band was formed in 1971 in Essex by founding members Lee Brilleaux (singer), John B. Sparks (Sparko) on bass guitar, John Martin (The Big Figure) on drums and guitarist Wilko Johnson, whose iconic and renowned choppy style of playing saw the band build huge notoriety in London’s live music scene resulting in a record deal with United Artists in 1974.
- Track list: Roxette / She Does It Right / Back In The Night / Going Back Home / Riot In Cell Block No. 9 / Sneakin’ Suspicion / She’s A Wind Up / Baby Jane / Down At The Doctors / Milk And Alcohol / As Long As The Price Is Right / Put Him Out Of Your Mind.
Releases for 4 June 2021
4 June’s aural nuggets open with Dreamers Are Waiting, the seventh studio album from Crowded House, the long-standing and much-loved vehicle for the songwriting talents of Neil Finn, which was recorded in Valentine and United Studios in LA and then remotely during the first half of 2020. If ever there was a perfect time for a new album from the outspoken, socially conscious punk rock band Rise Against, it’s right now, and their new album, Nowhere Generation, is blazing and aggressive, fusing old-school punk attitude with post-hardcore fury. James’s 16th studio album, All The Colours Of You, contains the most arena-ready tracks of their 38-year career – the sound of one of Britain’s best bands deconstructed and reassembled by one of the world’s most renowned producers, capturing the band in all their glory. ZZ Top frontman Billy F Gibbons wants to take you on a desert trip on Hardware, his third release as a solo artist, which features the guitar prowess and vocals that have made Billy a legend and shows him stretching his music landscape past the place where the road ends. Recorded direct to acetate – all live, no overdubs – Capitol Cuts: Live from Studio A captures Black Pumas brimming with pent-up energy, nearly bursting through the grooves on eight explosive tracks.
Our release of the week is Blue Weekend, the highly anticipated third album from one of Britain’s most revered bands, Wolf Alice, which sees them embrace a new-found boldness and vulnerability in equal measure, with personal storytelling at its core. Blue Weekend is the next chapter for Wolf Alice, and it’s the work of a band who raise the bar with every release.
- Blue Weekend is the highly anticipated third album from one of Britain’s most revered bands, Wolf Alice, and follows the band’s 2018 Mercury Prize-winning album Visions Of A Life. Blue Weekend sees Wolf Alice embrace a new-found boldness and vulnerability in equal measure, with personal storytelling at its core.
- For Blue Weekend, the band decamped to an Airbnb in Somerset, and it was there that they reconfigured who they were together, and set to work on some fledgling demos in a converted church. These demos evolved into Blue Weekend, a record produced by Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Björk, Brian Eno, Florence + The Machine) who has aided the band in honing their sound to an even sharper point.
- Wolf Alice’s 2015 debut album My Love Is Cool soared to #2 in the UK charts earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance. Their second, Visions Of A Life, won the 2018 Mercury Prize. Blue Weekend is the next chapter for Wolf Alice, and it’s the work of a band who raise the bar with every release.
- Tracklisting: The Beach / Delicious Things / Lipstick On The Glass / Smile / Safe From Heartbreak (if you never fall in love) / How Can Make It OK? / Play The Greatest Hits / Feeling Myself / The Last Man on Earth / No Hard Feelings / The Beach II
- Crowded House’s seventh studio album is titled Dreamers Are Waiting. The album was recorded in Valentine and United Studios in LA and then remotely during the first half of 2020.
- Crowded House is a long-standing and much-loved vehicle for the songwriting talents of Neil Finn, formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 1985 from the ashes of New Zealand’s Split Enz by Neil, Paul Hester and Nick Seymour. Their self-titled debut album on Capitol Records went on to global success with the hits ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ and ‘Something So Strong’. Those songs and many that followed are still resonating with audiences today, the former in particular being one of the most covered songs of the last 20 years.
- If ever there was a perfect time for a new album from the outspoken, socially conscious punk rock band Rise Against, it’s right now. Nowhere Generation is blazing and aggressive, fusing old-school punk attitude with post-hardcore fury. Lyrically, the eleven songs – influenced by input from vocalist Tim McIlrath’s two young daughters and the band’s community of fans – point an enormous spotlight at the social and economic deck that has been stacked against the younger generation’s pursuit of The American Dream. America’s ‘historical norm’ that ‘the next generation will be better off than the one that came before’ has been diminished by an era of mass social, economic, and political instability, and a sell-out of the middle class. The brass ring that was promised by hard work and dedication no longer exists for everyone; and, as was the case with the counterculture of the 1960s, disruption becomes the only answer for the ‘nowhere generation’.
- Nowhere Generation was recorded at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado under the tutelage of Jason Livermore, Andrew Berlin, Chris Beeble and long-time producer/engineer Bill Stevenson (Black Flag, The Descendents) who has worked with the band on nearly all of their acclaimed releases since their sophomore effort, 2003’s Revolutions Per Minute, and is often described as Rise Against’s fifth member.
- James’s 16th studio album, All The Colours Of You, contains the most arena-ready tracks of their 38-year career – the sound of one of Britain’s best bands deconstructed and reassembled by one of the world’s most renowned producers.
- Recorded in part before the Covid pandemic struck, the album was produced by the Grammy award-winning Jacknife Lee (Taylor Swift, U2, REM, Snow Patrol, The Killers). On production duties with James for the first time, he brought a fresh approach to their sound, working remotely from his studio, reimagining their early demos, and capturing the band in all their virtual glory.
- Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and ZZ Top frontman Billy F Gibbons wants to take you on a desert trip. For Hardware, his third release as a solo artist, Billy gathered a group of A-listers including drummer Matt Sorum and guitarist Austin Hanks and headed into the California desert to record in Pioneertown. Hardware features the guitar prowess and vocals that have made Billy a legend but it also shows Billy stretching his music landscape past the place where the road ends.
- Recorded direct to acetate – all live, no overdubs – Capitol Cuts: Live from Studio A captures a powerful moment in time. After months of cancelled shows, Black Pumas went to Los Angeles in the autumn and laid down eight explosive tracks at the famed Capitol Studios. The recording brims with pent-up energy, nearly bursting through the grooves on the expansive and mind-blowing seven-minute rendition of ‘Colors’. A few weeks later, the song received a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year.
Releases for 28 May 2021
Kicking off 28 May’s best releases, Scotland’s finest, Texas, make a very welcome return flexing their rock soul muscle on their exhilarating new album Hi, showing that they are a band in their prime with a set of tracks that easily rank amongst the best of their stellar career. The ever-prolific King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard release L.W. hot on the heels of the single ‘O.N.E.’ and their sixteenth studio album, K.G. – as they enter their second decade, their creative future promises to be bolder, madder and more imaginative than ever. On 50th anniversary of the original UK release of The Man Who Sold The World, the new two-CD set The Width Of A Circle acts as a complementary piece to David Bowie’s landmark entry into the 1970s, including non-album singles, a BBC In Concert session, music for a TV play and Tony Visconti remixes. Plant Test is a special, limited-edition LP of B-sides & rarities from Sports Team, available only at independent retailers in the UK. Sports Team’s debut album, Deep Down Happy, went to number 1 on the vinyl chart and was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Seamonsters, the third studio album by British indie legends The Wedding Present, was recorded in 10 days in America with producer Steve Albini and has featured in critics’ ‘best of’ lists ever since. This 2-LP reissue adds the 3 Songs, Dalliance, and Lovenest EPs and a Peel Session.
Our release of the week is Cavalcade, the dynamic, hellacious and inventive follow-up to black midi’s widely praised 2019 debut Schlagenheim, which scales beautiful new heights, pulling widely from a plethora of genres and influences, reaching ever upwards from an already lofty base of early achievements.
- black midi’s new album, Cavalcade, is a dynamic, hellacious and inventive follow-up to 2019’s widely-praised Schlagenheim, “a labyrinth with hairpin-turn episodes and lyrics full of dourly corrosive observations” (New York Times, Best Albums of 2019). It scales beautiful new heights, pulling widely from a plethora of genres and influences, reaching ever upwards from an already lofty base of early achievements.
- Texas make a very welcome return with their exhilarating new album Hi, flexing their rock soul muscle with a set of tracks that easily rank amongst the best of their stellar career. Scotland’s finest, Texas are a band in their prime, fuelled by the swagger of their recent acclaimed collaboration with the Wu-Tang Clan.
- The ever-prolific King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard release L.W. hot on the heels of the single ‘O.N.E.’ and their sixteenth studio album, K.G. (the second of the band’s explorations into microtonal tunings), as well as a live album recorded at San Francisco venue The Independent during the band’s 2016 US tour. As the band enter their second decade – and their frontman still only thirty years old – the creative future of the band, as showcased on L.W., promises to be bolder, madder and more imaginative than ever.
- This week sees the 50th anniversary of the original UK release of The Man Who Sold The World, David Bowie’s landmark entry into the 1970s. The album not only began the collaboration with guitarist Mick Ronson that would continue with such Bowie classics as Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, it kicked off a 10-year run of indispensable albums stretching all the way to 1980’s Scary Monsters.
- The 2020 re-release of The Man Who Sold The World restored the album’s intended title Metrobolist, while featuring a new mix by original producer Tony Visconti. Taking its name from the album’s opening track, which was named after a painting by Bowie’s friend George Underwood, the new two-CD set The Width Of A Circle acts as a complementary piece to that album. Its 21 tracks feature non-album singles, a BBC In Concert session, music for a TV play and further Visconti remixes wrapping up David’s recordings from 1970 and revealing the first sonic steps toward Hunky Dory.
- The CDs are packaged in a DVD-sized case and accompanied by a 104-page book.
- Tracklisting (* denotes previously released):
- CD 1:
- The Sunday Show introduced By John Peel (recorded on 5 February 1970, broadcast on 8 February 1970)
- 1. Amsterdam*
- 2. God Knows I’m Good*
- 3. Buzz The Fuzz
- 4. Karma Man
- 5. London Bye, Ta-Ta
- 6. An Occasional Dream
- 7. The Width Of A Circle*
- 8. Janine
- 9. Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud
- 10. Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed*
- 11. Fill Your Heart
- 12. The Prettiest Star
- 13. Cygnet Committee*
- 14. Memory Of A Free Festival*
- Performed by David Bowie and The Tony Visconti Trio (a.k.a. The Hype)
- CD 2:
- The Looking Glass Murders aka Pierrot In Turquoise
- 1. When I Live My Dream
- 2. Columbine
- 3. The Mirror
- 4. Threepenny Pierrot
- 5. When I Live My Dream (Reprise)
- 6. ‘The Prettiest Star’ (Alternative Mix) – Single mix released on 6 March 1970 on Mercury Records MF 1135. This is the unreleased alternative mix created for promotion in the US market.
- 7. ‘London Bye, Ta-Ta’* – Originally recorded and rejected as the follow up single to ‘Space Oddity’. This mono mix was finally released on the Sound & Vision box set in 1989.
- 8. ‘London Bye, Ta-Ta’ (1970 Stereo Mix)* – This stereo mix of the above remained unreleased until the reformatted reissue of the Sound & Vision box set in 2003, replacing the mono mix.
- 9. ‘Memory Of A Free Festival’ (Single Version Part 1)*
- 10. ‘Memory Of A Free Festival’ (Single Version Part 2)* – The re-recorded electric version of the closing track from the David Bowie (aka Space Oddity) album released as a single on Mercury Records 6052 026 on 26 June 1970.
- 11. ‘Holy Holy’* – This non-album single A side, backed by the album version of ‘Black Country Rock’ from The Man Who Sold The World album, was released on Mercury Records 6052 049 on 15 January 1971.
- Sounds Of The 70s: Andy Ferris Show (recorded on 25 March 1970, broadcast on 6 April 1970)
- 12. Waiting For The Man
- 13. The Width Of A Circle
- 14. The Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud*
- 15. The Supermen (Bowie At The Beeb vinyl only)*
- Performed by David Bowie and The Hype
- 2020 Mixes
- 16. The Prettiest Star (2020 Mix)
- 17. London Bye, Ta-Ta (2020 Mix)
- 18. Memory Of A Free Festival (Single Version – 2020 Mix)
- 19. All The Madmen (Single Edit 2020 Mix)
- 20. Holy Holy (2020 Mix)
- Plant Test is a special, limited-edition LP of B-sides & rarities from Sports Team, available only at independent retailers in the UK. Independent retail has been at the heart of Sports Team’s output, having had the biggest vinyl sales for a debut British artist in 2020, with their album Deep Down Happy going to number 1 on the official vinyl chart in its week of release. Th album was described as “a debut as wry, energetic and charismatic as their inexhaustible live presence has always promised”(L&Q) and “an album soaked in teen spirit, Sports Team are the complete package” (DORK), and went on to be nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize.
- Seamonsters, the third studio album by British indie legends The Wedding Present, was recorded in 10 days in America with producer Steve Albini, giving the album a rougher, harsher overall sound than the group’s earlier albums. It was well received on release and has continued to be featured in critics’ ‘best of’ lists such as the Guardian’s 1000 Albums To Hear Before You Die (“one of the most excoriating, exhilarating British indie albums of the 90s”).
- The 2-LP package includes the studio album alongside the 3 Songs, Dalliance, and Lovenest EPs plus the John Peel BBC Radio 1 Session from 1991 featuring versions of four songs from the album.
- The expanded artwork has been put together by Hitch, the original designer, and the whole project has been overseen by the band’s leader David Gedge.
Releases for 21 May 2021
We’ve got something special for 21 May. At long last, the three iconic albums released by My Bloody Valentine – 1988’s innovative Isn’t Anything, their flawless masterpiece Loveless and 2013’s reunion work m b v – are being reissued, along with a collection of EPs and rare tracks! Intruder is a companion piece to 2017’s Savage on which Gary Numan imagines an apocalypse in which the planet has had to start purging itself of humanity. Cheerful! And Showtunes is a continuation of Lambchop’s explorations of new sound worlds, with echoes of the Great American Songbook or some of the works of artists like Tom Waits, early Randy Newman or even Gershwin or Carmichael.
Our release of the week is Seeking New Gods, the seventh solo album from Gruff Rhys, which reflects on the inhuman timescale of a mountain’s existence and the intimate features that bring it to mythological life, about people and civilisations and the spaces people inhabit over periods of time, how people come and go but the geology sticks around, about memory and time.
- Seeking New Gods, the seventh solo album from Gruff Rhys, was recorded following a US tour with his band and mixed in Los Angeles with superstar producer Mario C (Beastie Boys).
- The album concept was originally driven to be the biography of a mountain, Mount Paektu (an East Asian active volcano). However, as Gruff’s writing began to reflect on the inhuman timescale of a peak’s existence and the intimate features that bring it to mythological life, both the songs and the mountain became more and more personal.
- “The album is about people and civilisations and the spaces people inhabit over periods of time, how people come and go but the geology sticks around and changes more slowly. “I think it’s about memory and time,” suggests Gruff of Seeking New Gods’ meaning. “It’s still a biography of a mountain, but now it’s a Mount Paektu of the mind. You won’t learn much about the real mountain from listening to this record but you will feel something, hopefully.”
- My Bloody Valentine Classic Album Reissues
- At long last, the three iconic albums released by My Bloody Valentine are being reissued, along with a collection of EPs and rare tracks!
- Isn’t Anything CD £11.99 / LP £25.99 / Deluxe LP £27.99
- Intruder is the first new music from the iconic and influential Gary Numan since 2017’s Savage: Songs From a Broken World, which charted at #2 in the UK.
- Whereas Savage depicted earth as a barren wasteland in which humanity and culture had been largely crushed by the effects of global warming, Intruder presents a fresh but complementary narrative. It’s a philosophical examination of a potential future apocalypse: the planet can only survive by purging its inhabitants. Intruder was recorded between sessions at Numan’s home studio in Los Angeles and at the Bath studio of producer Ade Fenton, who produced four critically acclaimed albums for Numan: Jagged, Dead Son Rising, Splinter and Savage.
- Kurt Wagner’s signature brittle baritone is back, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to get a nostalgic alt.country album. Showtunes is a continuation of Lambchop’s explorations of new sound worlds and opens up another chapter. Each track is an exciting journey with an uncertain destination.
- With Showtunes, as he has done so many times throughout his varied and fascinating career, Kurt was experimenting with something new. In late 2019 he took simple guitar tracks and converted them into midi piano tracks. It was a revelation that from those conversions he was able to manipulate each note and add, subtract, arrange the chords and melody into a form that didn’t have any of the limitations he had with his previous methods of writing with a guitar.
- Removing these limitations led to a surprising new sound, something akin to showtunes but with edges sanded down and viewed through Kurt’s own specific lens. It’s a genre he was none too fond of, with the exceptions of a few Great American Songbook type of stuff or some of the works of artists like Tom Waits, early Randy Newman or even Gershwin or Carmichael. “I’d always wanted to make songs with a similar feel but my skills were limited until now,” says Wagner.
- “Anyone can be in Lambchop (so long as they behave themselves)” – Kurt Wagner
Releases for 14 May 2021
We open 14 May’s selection of tasty treats with Fat Pop (Volume 1), the brand-new album from Paul Weller, who is in the midst of an unbelievably prolific purple patch: this new album is an absolute scorcher, and among his most compelling. The Black Keys’s tenth studio album, Delta Kream, celebrates the band’s roots, featuring eleven Mississippi hill country blues standards, including songs by R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, that they have loved since they were teenagers. With Afrique Victime, the prodigious Tuareg guitarist and songwriter Mdou Moctar rips a new hole in the sky – boldly reforging contemporary Saharan music and ‘rock music’ by melding guitar pyrotechnics, full-blast noise and field recordings with poetic meditations on love, religion, women’s rights, inequality, and Western Africa’s exploitation at the hands of colonial powers. Phoebe Bridgers’ latest 12", Copycat Killer, features 4 exclusive new orchestral arrangements of songs from her wildly acclaimed Punisher album that are sure to delight existing fans and give new listeners a sense of what makes her one of the most special artists today. In his tenth year with Acid Jazz, the ever-prolific Matt Berry has crafted a psych masterpiece, once again proving that his artistic ambition, and progression, knows no bounds: Blue Elephant is arguably his best album to date, and performed entirely – except the drums – by Matt himself.
Our release of the week comes from Sons Of Kemet, who follow 2018’s Mercury Prize-nominated breakout release Your Queen Is A Reptile with Black To The Future, which features guest vocalists and instrumentalists including Kojey Radical, Moor Mother, Angel Bat Dawid, Joshua Idehen, D Double E, and is one not to be missed!
- Sons Of Kemet returns in 2021 with their new album, Black To The Future, the follow-up to 2018’s Mercury Prize-nominated breakout release Your Queen Is A Reptile. This is their fourth record, and their second on Impulse! Compared with Your Queen Is A Reptile, this album has featured vocalists and more of an emphasis on fuller compositions and arrangements. Guest artists include Kojey Radical, Moor Mother, Angel Bat Dawid, Joshua Idehen, D Double E.
- We may be cursed to be in the midst a global pandemic, buffeted by all of its stresses and pain. But everyone knows that art provides succour, that music is the most reliable balm. And for many there is further significant comfort to be drawn from the knowledge that Paul Weller is in the midst of an unbelievably prolific purple patch. Paul Weller will not let us down when we need him most.
- Fat Pop (Volume 1) is Paul’s 16th solo album since his self-titled debut in 1992, released just under twelve months after June 2020’s magnificent, chart-topping On Sunset. It’s not hyperbole to state that this new album is an absolute scorcher, and among his most compelling.
- The Black Keys release their tenth studio album, Delta Kream. The record celebrates the band’s roots, featuring eleven Mississippi hill country blues standards that they have loved since they were teenagers, before they were a band, including songs by R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, among others. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney recorded Delta Kream at Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound studio in Nashville; they were joined by musicians Kenny Brown and Eric Deaton, long-time members of the bands of various blues legends. The album takes its name from William Eggleston’s iconic Mississippi photograph that is on its cover.
- Auerbach says of the album: “We made this record to honor the Mississippi hill country blues tradition that influenced us starting out. These songs are still as important to us today as they were the first day Pat and I started playing together and picked up our instruments. It was a very inspiring session with Pat and me along with Kenny Brown and Eric Deaton in a circle, playing these songs. It felt so natural.”
- With Afrique Victime, the prodigious Tuareg guitarist and songwriter Mdou Moctar rips a new hole in the sky – boldly reforging contemporary Saharan music and ‘rock music’ by melding guitar pyrotechnics, full-blast noise and field recordings with poetic meditations on love, religion, women’s rights, inequality, and Western Africa’s exploitation at the hands of colonial powers.
- Listeners to the album are beneficiaries of the staggeringly powerful do-it-yourself musical ethic of Mdou Moctar – the man and the band – who’ve worked so hard to bring the spirits of families and communities in Niger to the West. Afrique Victime sounds and feels like a Tuareg hand reaching down from the sky, and we are very lucky for this chance to get lifted.
- Copycat Killer is a 12" featuring 4 exclusive new versions of songs from Phoebe Bridgers’ wildly acclaimed Punisher album. Collaborating with arranger Rob Moose (Sufjan Stevens, The National, Bon Iver, Vampire Weekend, Jay-Z), these are brand-new orchestral arrangements of the songs ‘Kyoto’, ‘Savior Complex’, ‘Chinese Satellite’ and ‘Punisher’, all given a luscious revamp that is sure to delight any fans of Phoebe’s album and serve as perfect gateway for new listeners into what makes her one of the most special artists of 2020 and beyond.
- In his tenth year with Acid Jazz, the ever-prolific Matt Berry has crafted a psych masterpiece, once again proving that his artistic ambition, and progression, knows no bounds.
- Blue Elephant follows the acclaimed Top 30 album Phantom Birds, and is arguably his best album to date. Recorded during the summer of 2020, the new album is testament to Matt’s exceptional musicianship, production skills and songwriting prowess. Every instrument on the album – with the exception of drums, supplied by Craig Blundell – is played by Matt, including guitars, bass, a variety of keyboards and synthesizers (piano, Wurlitzer, mellotron, Moog, Hammond, Vox and Farfisa organs).
- This music soundtracks an album that explores themes surrounding today’s close scrutiny in all its bewildering, objectifying and unnerving experiences. Very much a conceptual and, therefore, continuous long-player, the infectious grooves come to the fore on standout tracks ‘Summer Sun’, heavy-psych instrumental ‘Invisible’, the three-part ‘Blues Inside Me’, which encompasses a psych journey through a late ’60s and early glam filter mixed with the propulsive ‘Like Stone’.
Releases for 7 May 2021
7 May’s six smashers start with Latest Record Project: Volume 1: a 28-track delve into Van Morrison’s ongoing love of blues, R&B, jazz and soul, his 42nd record and his most dynamic and contemporary album in years. Musical pioneer Moby revisits highlights from his 30-year career on Reprise with new arrangements for orchestra and acoustic instruments, helped by a stellar line-up of guest artists from across the musical spectrum. Archive Series Volume No. 5: Tallahassee is the lost-in-time debut album from Iron & Wine, recorded three years prior to his first release, strangely confident and more polished than The Creek Drank The Cradle. Cooked up in the Blue Note Lab, RMX presents last year’s band-defining masterpiece, GoGo Penguin, re-imagined through the filter of some of the world’s finest producers and remixers, including Squarepusher, Cornelius and Yosi, James Holden, Portico Quartet, Clark and Nathan Fake, Rone, Machine Drum, and Manchester’s own Graham Massey (808 State) and new discovery Shunya. And finally, education entertainment recreation is a brand-new live album from New Order, recorded at London’s Alexandra Palace on 9 November 2018 at the band’s only UK show of that year and featuring their latest acclaimed album, Music Complete, some early dancefloor bangers and Joy Division’s finest work.
Our release of the week is one of 2021’s most highly anticipated albums. Squid’s debut, Bright Green Field, is a work of towering scope and ambition: deeply considered, paced and intricately constructed. Some bands might be tempted to include previous singles on their debut – and the band had already released ‘Sludge’ and ‘Broadcaster’ in 2020 – but instead Bright Green Field is completely new material. This sense of limitlessness and perpetual forward motion is one of the the key ingredients that makes Squid so loved by fans and critics alike.
- Squid’s debut album, Bright Green Field, is one of 2021’s most highly anticipated albums. It’s an album of towering scope and ambition: deeply considered, paced and intricately constructed. With all band members playing such a vital and equal role, this album is very much the product of five heads operating as one.
- Some bands might be tempted to include previous singles on their debut – and the band had already released ‘Sludge’ and ‘Broadcaster’ in 2020 – but instead Bright Green Field is completely new material. This sense of limitlessness and perpetual forward motion is one of the the key ingredients that makes Squid so loved by fans and critics alike.
- Latest Record Project: Volume 1 is a 28-track delve into Van Morrison’s ongoing love of blues, R&B, jazz and soul. It’s his 42nd record and his most dynamic and contemporary album in years.
- Musical pioneer Moby’s new album, Reprise, finds him revisiting and reimagining musical highlights from his 30-year career. Together with the Budapest Art Orchestra, he has re-envisioned some of his most recognisable rave classics and anthems with new arrangements for orchestra and acoustic instruments. He’s also joined by a stellar line-up of guest artists from across the musical spectrum, including Alice Skye, Amythyst Kiah, Apollo Jane, Darlingside, Gregory Porter, Jim James, Kris Kristofferson, Luna Li, Mark Lanegan, Mindy Jones, Nataly Dawn, Skylar Grey and Víkingur Ólafsson.
- Archive Series Volume No. 5: Tallahassee is the lost-in-time debut album from Iron & Wine – a collection of songs recorded three years prior to his official Sub Pop debut, The Creek Drank The Cradle (2002), a period before the concept of Iron & Wine existed and principal songwriter Sam Beam was studying at Florida State University with the intent of pursuing a career in film.
- Tallahassee documents the very first steps on a journey that would lead to a career as one of America’s most original and distinctive singer-songwriters. Creek arrived like a thief in the night with its lo-fi, hushed vocals and intimate nature, while Tallahassee comes almost inversely with a strange sense of confidence. Perhaps an almost youthful discretion that likely comes from being too young to know better and too naïve to give a shit. The recordings themselves are more polished than Creek and give a peek into what a studio version of that record might have offered up.
- Cooked up in the Blue Note Lab, RMX presents last year’s band-defining masterpiece, GoGo Penguin, re-imagined through the filter of some of the world’s finest producers and remixers. For RMX the idea was both simple and inspired: commission a remix of every track from last year’s album and present a total re-imagination of the record; a remix, or as the band title it, a RMX. In the end they went one better, with a remix of every track (and two of one) plus a remix of the track ‘Petit_a’, which was originally released only in Japan before surfacing on their Live From Studio 2 digital EP.
- The idea behind RMX was also the catalyst for a remarkably inspired collaboration; the Manchester trio’s music has always drawn heavily on electronica (alongside jazz, indie and classical influences) and so commissioning ten of their favourite artists from that world to rework their music made perfect sense – and the results are spectacular, one of the very best remix projects you will hear anywhere. Amongst the many highlights are Squarepusher’s thumping remix of ‘F Maj Pixie’, alongside Japanese producers Cornelius and Yosi creating sublime new landscapes with the band’s music on ‘Kora And Embers’. James Holden assembles an epic synth odyssey around ‘Totem’ and Portico Quartet produce a sympathetic reworking of ‘Don’t Go’. Band faves Clark and Nathan Fake produce inimitable reworkings as does noted French producer Rone, while American producer Machine Drum turns ‘Atomised’ into dance floor-friendly belter. Finally, the band have not forgotten their hometown – Manchester is well represented, with remixes from elder statesman and dance music legend Graham Massey (808 State) and new discovery Shunya, whose enigmatic reworking of ‘To The Nth’ almost steals the show.
- education entertainment recreation is a brand-new live album from New Order, recorded at London’s Alexandra Palace on 9 November 2018 at the band’s only UK show of that year. Sonically spectacular and spanning 2 hours 20 minutes, the show joyously mixes New Order classics, their latest acclaimed studio album Music Complete and Joy Division’s finest work.
- Opening with ‘Singularity’ from Music Complete, they eased back in time to 1993’s ‘Regret’, ‘Love Vigilantes’ from 1985’s Low-Life and ‘Ultraviolence’ from 1983’s Power, Corruption And Lies. Later, they demonstrated their power over the dance floor with sublime performances in the manner of their celebrated extended 12-inch remixes – on ‘True Faith’, ‘Blue Monday’ and ‘Temptation’ – before a four-song Joy Division mini-set to end the evening.
Other releases for 2021
Find releases from 2020.
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