Music Features, Spotlights

Reissues Roundup: De La Soul, Britney Spears, Pink Floyd

March’s picks also star OMD, Bacharach & Costello, Chris & Cosey, Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, Elton John, Public Image Ltd, The Cinematic Orchestra, The Flaming Lips and more from the NOW and Habibi Funk stables

musicOMH Reissues Roundup March 2023

musicOMH Reissues Roundup March 2023

Sigh. The thing with this column is that I spend time making little lists as to what’s coming out when I hear about them, and then think ‘oh that’s a good column’. Sending myself reminders and emails about stuff sometimes months ahead of schedule. However, this month it’s been a little sad due to the sheer amount of pop people who’ve died since some of these releases were announced: Terry Hall, Burt Bacharach, Martin Duffy, Jet Black, Trugoy The Dove to name but five who are all featured. Fucking heartbreaking. So, I’ve kept it light as ever, and without further ado, and hastily before any other legend carks it, let’s get it on…


De La Soul - 3 Feet High And Rising

De La Soul – 3 Feet High And Rising

Good heavens, well it’s been a song and dance but De La Soul’s 3 Feet High & Rising is finally back out, albeit now with the bittersweetness that finally the group were about to be properly recognised as legends (well, they were already, you just couldn’t bloody hear their output online) one of them won’t be around to benefit from the love. One of the finest albums of not just hip hop but music in general, it was first released in the UK in 1989 and due to being rammed with tracks on a single vinyl, it sounded really weedy and quiet, which was a shame because it’s incredible. In fact I should check how much my original is worth now because – get me – I bought it back on day of UK release.

Anyway, the DAISY age is fully back upon us, and even made news bulletins when it was announced that it would be returning to streaming now everything sampled on it has finally been cleared. Yaroo! It’s available as either green, yellow, magenta or black 2LP, blue, green and orange cassette and silvery old 1CD. Whatever format you choose, it’s magnificent. Also, this epochal work will be followed monthly by the reissues of the rest of their catalogue which is damn fine news, as some haven’t been available for yonks.


OMD - Dazzleships

OMD – Dazzleships

It’s 40 years since OMD released Dazzleships! Gadzooks! What an album. The follow-up to the huge-selling Architecture & Morality, it baffled everyone by seemingly being a bit barmy and free of songs about Joan Of Arc on it. However, over the years its status has grown among, well, everyone, and what initially seemed like career suicide was in actual fact a masterpiece of found sound and moods, that while it sent their career a bit bandy at the time (they consciously went much poppier on the follow-up) loads of people are now like ‘OMG OMD amazing’ and it was part of the band’s reclamation of their past when they reformed. It’s now back in various formats, the key ones being two different coloured vinyl 2LP affairs in the alternate blue die-cut sleeve, with seven extra tracks of demos and live versions on the second disc. There’s also a 1CD of it if you don’t fancy all the faff. It’s bloody amazing.

Dance Craze: The Best Of British Ska Live

Dance Craze: The Best Of British Ska Live

Prior to synthesizers hoving into view, one was very taken with the thrilling and ecstatic pull of Two Tone, and for anyone too young to attend (and probably too terrified due to some of the ‘cheery’ audience interaction) the release of Dance Craze was totally the nearest any pre-teen scarfacer got to it. Now the original 1981 doc and soundtrack has been remastered and reissued and expanded, and now also on blu-ray after literal decades of being in some VHS limbo. It’s absolutely immense, with The Specials, Madness, Selecter, Bodysnatchers, Beat and Bad Manners all belting out their hits.

It’s been a bittersweet release timing-wise hearing Terry Hall on this, but if you want to get an idea of what made him such a hero in the first place, it’s his performances on this release giving an inkling to his legend. Two Tone may’ve not been built to last, as the first 18 months/ two-year rush had such an impact, the thought of keeping it up for much longer at that time would’ve besmirched the memory of what a fucking moment it was. It’s available as 2LP or 3CD with extra recordings not used on the original soundtracks, and if your knees aren’t shot to pieces then you’ll be skanking and top ranking (or something) like a good’un. Essential, obviously.


Peter Schilling - Coming Home

Peter Schilling – Coming Home

Peter Schilling is celebrating 40 years of his hit Major Tom (Coming Home) with a Best Of called Coming Home – 40 Years of Major Tom (1982-2023) which is a 2CD or 4CD deluxe, featuring Major Tom (Coming Home) in both English and German versions, several remixes and, um, some other numbers that weren’t Major Tom (Coming Home), which is a shame as Major Tom (Coming Home) is probably the key song that people will recall from Peter Schilling, the Major Tom (Coming Home) hitmaker.

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions - Mainstream

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Mainstream

Lloyd Cole & The Commotions were bloody terrific, weren’t they. A thinkier and far sexier proposition than their peers BITD. Anyway, I say this because their three albums – Rattlesnakes, Five Easy Pieces and Mainstream – are all coming out on vinyl again over the next few months, starting with that superb debut. I can’t stress how amazing it is, and if you dig it, then I dig you TOO baby.

Elton John - Honky Château

Elton John – Honky Château

Elton John’s Honky Château is coming out again for its 50th anniversary (albeit a year late, but pressing plants and covid yada yada) it’s the home of Rocket Man, Honky Cat and Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, and it was the album that took him into superstardom. Hurrah! It comes as a 2LP and 2CD set with the CDs offering outtakes from the original session tapes and eight live recordings from a Royal Festival Hall show in 1972, although the vinyl doesn’t have the live stuff. There’s also a 1LP gold vinyl edition on the D2Cs.

The Cinematic Orchestra - Every Day

The Cinematic Orchestra – Every Day

The Cinematic Orchestra celebrate 20 years of their Every Day album this month. It featured the jazz/ soul/ hip hop nucleus outfit’s guests such as Fontella Bass, Kiesha Johnson and Roots Manuva. It comes as a 2LP and deluxe red 3LP with four extra tracks from the album’s period. It was a hugely acclaimed affair at the time, and stands up fantastically now. It’s pretty special all told.


David Cunningham - Grey Scale

David Cunningham – Grey Scale

A few years before David Cunningham became a popstar with The Flying Lizards, he recorded an album called Grey Scale which was a world of lo-fi experimentation and minimalism recorded using whatever instruments took his fancy regardless of his ability on them allowing for some kind of tonal freedom and sound collage. Inspired by the likes of Cornelius Cardew, Gavin Bryars and Michael Nyman as well as free improvisers Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, David Toop and Paul Burwell, Grey Scale is something else.

Take this sleevenote to side one’s Error System suite: “The players play a repeating phrase. As soon as one player makes a mistake that mistake is made the basis of his repetition unless it is modified by a further mistake. Thus each player proceeds at his own rate to change the sound in an uncontrollable manner. On no account should ‘mistakes’ be made deliberately to introduce a change into a performance. In short – sustain your errors.” I dunno about you, but that’s sounding positively erotic. Back on 1LP for the first time in 45 years, go get it instantly.

Alan Braxe, Fred Falke & Friends - The Upper Cuts

Alan Braxe, Fred Falke & Friends – The Upper Cuts

The Upper Cuts by Alan Braxe & Friends was first released in 2005 and collected together some of the blinding numbers Braxe made with Fred Falke such as Intro and Rubicon alongside reswizzles of Shakedown’s At Night and Stardust’s Music Sounds Better With You, which Braxe contributed to. It’s now out as a 2023 edition with bonus numbers such as his remix of Britney Spears’ Anticipating and two new tracks including Never Coming Back, which features Annie. Oooh. Available as a 2LP (black or pink/blue) or a 1CD. It’s sensational, and a whole party in one package.

Now That's What I Call 60s Pop

Now That’s What I Call 60s Pop

Fab! Gear! Groovy! Yep, Now That’s What I Call 60s Pop is whopping joy of a 56-track 3LP and 89-track 4CD with smashes from Simon & Garfunkel (Mrs Robinson), Bob Dylan (Positively 4th Street), David Bowie (The Laughing Gnome), The Beach Boys (Do It Again), The Monkees (I’m A Believer), Jeff Beck (Hi Ho Silver Lining), Stevie Wonder (I Was Made To Love Her), Elvis Presley (Wooden Heart), The Who (My Generation) and John Lennon & Yoko Ono (Give Peace A Chance) alongside lesser compiled gems such as Stone Poneys & Linda Ronstadt’s Different Drum, Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin’s perv-up Je T’aime Moi Non Plus, Astrud Gilberto & Walter Wanderley’s Call Me and Little Peggy March’s I Will Follow Him (Chariot). In fact, it’s hard to imagine what’s actually missing (well, aside from The Beatles, but those fuckers rarely license anything out. They’re a bit like The Depeche Mode of the ’60s). Anyway, it’s utterly wonderful and is a superb love letter to one of pop’s greatest decades.


The Stranglers - Feline

The Stranglers – Feline

The Stranglers are bringing out a 40th anniversary edition of Feline this month. The 1983-released album was their first for Epic, after several happy years on UA, and the first new material since Strange Little Girl. The 2LP or 2CD editions come with nine bonus tracks each, including edits, remixes, B-sides and full-length reswizzles.

Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Again

Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood – Again

Nancy & Lee Again was the second collaboration by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood. Originally released in 1972, it was a little more dramatic and moody than their first collection with songs such as Dolly Parton’s Down From Dover, Congratulations (about a soldier returning from Vietnam) and the stripped-back Got It Together. The key hit from the album was Did You Ever? Is almost lighthearted fluff in comparison. The reissue comes on vinyl with two extra tracks Think I’m Coming Down and the previously unreleased Machine Gun Kelly. It’s also on CD and, if you’re that kinda cat, 8-track.

The Sisterhood - Gift

The Sisterhood – Gift

The Sisterhood’s Gift was essentially the second album by The Sisters Of Mercy. After their 1985 debut, Andrew Eldritch and Wayne Hussey set about writing new songs, but Eldritch wasn’t really into repeating their previous work and wanted to work outside of the rock space (man), and Hussey’s work was all but rejected by Eldritch leading to him clearing off to invent The Mission, thus leaving Eldritch and Doktor Avalanche to ‘do a Dare’ and come back with Floodland. Things didn’t go well post-split with The Mission first going under The Sisterhood name, and so Eldritch put paid to that by knocking up an album using The Sisterhood name first. However he wasn’t allowed to sing on it due to his Warners contract and got James Ray and Patricia Morrison in to do the honours instead. The good news is that it’s coming back out on vinyl, MC and CD so that’s got to be a boon for any Sisters fans.


Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon

“Why oh why is the person I’m constantly unpleasant to not responding to my illiterate WhatsApp messages?” is a hypothetical question we all face from time to time. Almost as if, like any family, there’ll always be someone in a belligerent and narky mode, and they’ll be instantly playing the victim the minute you call them out on it. Apropos of nothing, it’s the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon, which handily is coming back out in a remastered form. Obviously DSOTM is quite famous for selling several copies and saving The Pink Floyd from The Dumper, and its cosmic treatise on, like, I dunno, ‘things’ has long resonated with people who would benefit from leaving the house occasionally as well as those who enjoy a round of light drugs.

As history has shown, Pink Floyd got on TERRIFICALLY with each other and there’s been no sign of any of the members turning into colossal arseholes in the years since this came out. This new variant is a box set which includes vinyl, CD and 5.1 and hi-res stereo mixes on two blu-rays and a DVD. There’s a Live At Wembley Empire Pool show from November 1974 also available separately, and there are two replica 7-inch singles (Money/ Any Colour You Like and Us And Them/ Time). There’s also a 160-page book and extra ephemera replicated. There are even posters with the vinyl. So tl; dr (no one does, babe) is the box set, LP of Wembley and CD of Wembley too. The box set is approximately £250.

The Flaming Lips - Fight Test

The Flaming Lips – Fight Test

While you wait for the box set of Yoshimi, The Flaming Lips are also bunging out vinyl editions of two EPs – Fight Test and Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell on ruby red and dark green vinyl respectively. These two EPs feature five tracks each and at a reasonable £29 are… oh hold on, not as one package, these are £29 EACH. So almost £6 per song. Um, right you are.

The Kinks - The Journey Part 1

The Kinks – The Journey Part 1

The Kinks have been going 60 years! I know, it barely seems like five minutes since they first arrived. To celebrate this milestone, The Journey Part 1 is a specially curated collection by the surviving members showcasing not just the hits, but key album tracks and oddities to make it interesting. There’s a 36-track 2CD, and 30-track 2LP with a book featuring photos, artwork and track-by-track insights from the band.


Ace Of Base - Beautiful Life

Ace Of Base – Beautiful Life

Anyone who has ever asked the question “I wonder if there’s some kind of box set wherein I can enjoy 24 versions of Ace Of Base‘s All That She Wants” will have their worries catered for this month with the release of Beautiful Life, a 26CD box set of all their singles. Nothing if not thorough, each CD features every B-side and remix (some even unreleased). There’s only about 40+ different songs among the 341 tracks, with 50 previously unreleased, but fans will lap it up nonetheless and good for them, yeah?

Felt - Gold Mine Trash

Felt – Gold Mine Trash

Two compilations by Felt are being issued on vinyl this month in new sleeves and in coloured variants. 1987’s Gold Mine Trash collected together selections from their Cherry Red gear and includes ONE OF THE GREATEST SINGLES EVER aka Primitive Painters, and Bubblegum Perfume features 20 tracks recorded for Creation. They are both, obviously, very listenable and amazing, and it can only be a matter of time before the same treatment is afforded to the Denim output. Let’s hope so.

Chris & Cosy -  Muzik Fantastique!

Chris & Cosy – Muzik Fantastique!

The incredible Chris & Cosey have a remastered limited edition vinyl series coming out this month, which sees many of their influential albums available for the first time, or for the first time in decades. Forming in 1981 when Throbbing Gristle split up, and who they are now the last remaining members of. Originally released as CTI (Creative Technology Institute), 1981’s Elemental 7 – available here for the first time in 40 years – is the soundtrack to the film of the same name released on Cabaret Voltaire’s Doublevision video imprint and comes in green vinyl. 1993’s Muzik Fantastique! will also receive its first ever vinyl issue in March, followed by 2007’s Feral Vapours Of The Silver Ether which was the second Carter Tutti album and also makes its vinyl debut here.

Inspiral Carpets - The Complete Singles

Inspiral Carpets – The Complete Singles

I think I once mentioned that I was a bit nuts for Inspiral Carpets a while back, and, well, they’re releasing The Complete Singles this month and it’s as good a moment as any to recall their amazingness. It’s a 2LP or 3CD set covering their 24 singles ‘to date’ and the third CD is a selection of remixes that you can, hem hem, ‘cut a rug’ to.

Telex - Telex

Telex – Telex

Telex by Telex is a 6LP box of everything the Belgian trio released in a long-playing arena with albums Looking for Saint-Tropez (1979), Neurovision (1980), Sex (1981), Wonderful World (1984), Looney Tunes (1988) and How Do You Dance? (2006). They’ve been remastered by Dan Lacksman and Michael Moers and all come in different coloured vinyl as well as a 12-page book. How splendid.


A Way To Make A Living: The Dolly Parton Songbook

A Way To Make A Living: The Dolly Parton Songbook

Ace brings A Way To Make A Living – The Dolly Parton Songbook, which showcases the iconic country legend’s songwriting with a selection of covers of her work by the likes of The Incredible String Band, RuPaul & Michelle Visage, The White Stripes, Tina Turner and Glen Campbell. It’s testament to her genius that such an array of acts can take her songs and create magic.

Public Image Ltd - PIL

Public Image Ltd – PIL

Public Image Ltd’s debut album First Issue is a-coming out on red vinyl because it’s 45 years old this year, and I’m also highlighting this because PiL > The Sex Pistols. That’s hardly a daring and shocking statement, really though is it? I’m hardly completely binning the Belsen Was A Gas hitmakers there, am I. I’m just stating facts. Anyroad, this version includes a fold-out poster, sticker and insert, along with a download card for full album, non-album single B-side The Cowboy Song and an unedited October 1978 BBC audio interview with John Lydon where he probably says both Fuck AND Bugger.

Genesis - BBC Broadcasts

Genesis – BBC Broadcasts

Genesis At The BBC is exactly that, a collection of radio broadcasts across the myriad of the band’s line-ups over the years with vocal input from Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and the other one. It’s a 53 5CD or 24-track 3LP joint, curated by Tony Banks with highlights such as stuff from Knebworth and whatnot. An essential purchase for anyone who has ever worn a lawnmower on their head.

The Free Music

The Free Music

The latest Habibi Funk release sees the label heading off to Libya to bring to attention the marvellous ’70s disco sounds of The Free Music. Basically, the band formed around Najib Alhoush, whose Ya Aen Daly (a cover of the Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive) was included in their second compilation.

The Free Music made 10 albums flavoured by disco, soul, funk and reggae, and yet none of these self-financed albums are on Discogs (trust me, I looked) due to the complex political situation in Libya at the time. You can believe it when Habibi Funk say that they could have selected several collections from The Free Music’s catalogue which explains the ‘Vol.1’ in the title of Habibi Funk 021: The Free Music. The album comes as a limited-edition blue vinyl of 340, so don’t dawdle, sausages, or as a CD with a booklet featuring more extensive background on The Free Music and Najib Alhoush, including words from Najib’s son, Yousef. Educate yourself, yeah?


Britney Spears - Blackout

Britney Spears – Blackout

It’s Britney, bitch. In fact, it’s a LOT of Britney, er, bitch. Nine of Ms Spears’ albums are being reissued on vinyl across March/ April, including several that didn’t even get the vinyl treatment at the time outside of the US. They’re all coloured vinyl and are being released in batches of three across the next few months, with …Baby One More Time (1999) (Pink vinyl), Oops!… I Did It Again (2000) (Neon Violet), Britney (2001) (Yellow); then (THE ABSOLUTELY ICONIC) Blackout (2007) (Orange), In the Zone (2003) (Blue), Circus (2008) (Red); finished with Britney Jean (2013) (Blue Marble), Femme Fatale (2011) (Light Grey Marble) and Greatest Hits: My Perogative (2004) (Pale Yellow). Amazing.

New Musik - From A To B, The Sony Years New Musik: From A To B – The Sony Years is 4CD box set bringing together all of New Musik’s three studio albums – From A To B, Anywhere and Warp – as well as a disc of B-sides, single edits and remixes. It features the amazing singles Living By Numbers and This World Of Water and these releases saw the band utilising samplers and electronic equipment way ahead of its time. There’s an interview with head Musik Tony Mansfield, who went on to produce numerous acts, and is a neat round-up of an often overlooked band.

The Greatest Soul/Funk & Disco 12″ Singles Of The '70s And '80s

The Greatest Soul/Funk & Disco 12″ Singles Of The ’70s And ’80s

The Greatest Soul/Funk & Disco 12″ Singles Of The ’70s And ’80s is a 42-track 4CD set released by Robinsongs and, phew, it’s just fabulous. It even contains the first publicly available 12-inch (Double Exposure’s Ten Percent from 1976, seeing as you’re asking) alongside the more obvious toe-taps such as Earth, Wind & Fire with The Emotions’ Boogie Wonderland, Change’s Searching, Freeez’s Southern Freeez, T-Connection’s Do What You Wanna Do, Rose Royce’s Is It Love You’re After and SOS Band’s Just Be Good To Me, there’s Aquarian Dream’s You’re A Star, CJ & Co’s Devil’s Gun, Ultrafunk’s Gotham City Boogie, Chaz Jankel feat. Brenda Jones’ You’re My Occupation and more. It’s a super trove of goodness and with detailed notes by Charles Waring. Fantabulous.


The Velvet Underground - Loaded

The Velvet Underground – Loaded

The Velvet Underground’s Loaded is coming out again, but BIG. Phew. First up: what a fucking album. Originally released in 1970 it was Lou Reed’s last album with the group. In fact purists will say that it was the last Velvet Underground album period as people talk about the follow-up Squeeze (whom the band Squeeze got their name from, fact fans) as something that never happened. Which is kinda weildly to say ‘this thing that exists didn’t happen’ like some moon landing truthers or whatnot. But also: it was bloody awful. Basically Loaded: Fully Reloaded Edition is pretty much the 45ht anniversary edition which came out on CD but now spread across a 9LP box set with four 7-inch singles and features three different versions of the original studio album: remastered stereo and mono mixes, plus a full-length version that contains extended takes of Sweet Jane, Rock & Roll and New Age.

Another two discs feature early versions and demos, and the remaining four discs contain live shows (Live At Max’s Kansas City and Live At Second Fret, Philadelphia) from around the album’s release. The four 7-inch singles are Head Held High/ Train ’round The Bend, Rock & Roll/ Lonesome Cowboy Bill, Sweet Jane/ Rock & Roll and Who Loves The Sun/ Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ in various replica incarnations. It’s exclusive to Dig Music and there’s only – geddit – 1,970 copies made. Again though: WHAT a fucking album.

Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello - The Songs Of Bacharach & Costello

Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello – The Songs Of Bacharach & Costello

The Songs of Bacharach & Costello is literally that. Compiled by Elvis Costello, it features everything the duo wrote and performed together such as the genuinely magnificent Painted From Memory album and its highlight God Give Me Strength. This exhaustive and gorgeous release features that as well as Taken From Life. The 45-song set also includes live performances of Burt Bacharach and Costello performing several of the songs from Painted From Memory, as well as other Bacharach numbers, with orchestras in New York and London; Costello performing stripped down versions of the songs on his Lonely World Tour with Nieve; and a selection of Bacharach and Hal David songs Costello has performed and recorded over the years.

It comes as a deluxe 2LP/ 4CD set, with 19 previously unreleased tracks and a massive essay by Costello, as well as truncated 2CD and 2LP editions featuring Painted From Memory with a few extras. I mean, there’s plenty of superb and fantastic ways to celebrate Bacharach with a catalogue such as his, but you can’t go far wrong with this. Beautiful.


Anyway, that’s your lot for this month… and indeed the next few months, as I have a book to finish writing so I’m buggering off on hiatus to, um, finish it as I have a slightly deafening chorus of people saying get on with it. I’ll probably pop back occasionally to check that you’re all behaving yourselves and, more importantly, actually missing me (lol). You’re welcome to keep in contact and make me smile on the usual channels. As Al Martino once sung, ‘Please, please don’t cry. This is just adios and not goodbye.’ Love on ya x

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