Music Features, Spotlights

Reissues Round-up: David Bowie, Radiohead, Joni Mitchell, Fela Kuti

David Bowie - 5. Brilliant Adventure

David Bowie – 5. Brilliant Adventure (1992-2001)

It’s never ending, this reissue/ compilation lark. Every time it looks like it’s going to be a calmer month, along comes an expanded anniversary this and repressed boxes that. Not complaining though, and to be honest though, it is November and everyone is at it and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Think of this as a cheery duty, and I’m like a jolly Labrador of joy licking your face with news of unreleased bonuses and rare remixes or an over-friendly waiter explaining the chef’s specials. It’s a better mental image than picturing me excitedly, and possibly drunkenly, bellowing in your ear anyway. I dunno though. Whatever turns you on. ANYWAY…


David Bowie - Toy

David Bowie – Toy

David Bowie is back. Back. BACK! Not literally, sadly. It would probably be kind of a big deal if he was, wouldn’t it, and quite the exclusive for this column. No, what I mean is that after a break of a year, the Bowie estate are resuming with their marvellous box sets, this time David Bowie 5. Brilliant Adventure (1992-2001) (Parlophone/ ISO) which focuses on – well, the clues are there, really – his ’90s and is a whopper of a collection (18LP or 11CD) encompassing the albums Black Tie White Noise (1CD/ 2LP), The Buddha of Suburbia (1CD/2LP), 1. Outside (remastered) (1CD/2LP), Earthling (remastered) (1CD/2LP) and ‘hours…’ (1CD/1LP). Plus, BBC Radio Theatre, London, June 27th, 2000, an expanded 20 track live-up (2CD/3LP). As usual, there’s a bonus collection of bonus edits, remixes and non-album singles etc called Re:Call 5 (3CD/4LP).

The big draw – if that little lot wasn’t enough – is the official release of Toy (2LP/1CD) which was recorded after his Glastonbury 2000 performance, when he entered the studio with his band, Mark Plati, Sterling Campbell, Gail Ann Dorsey, Earl Slick, Mike Garson, Holly Palmer and Emm Gryner, to record new interpretations of songs he’d first recorded from 1964-1971. He’d hoped to issue it in 2001 but his label wasn’t having it, and any plan to bung it out to his fans there and then was thwarted. It’s said he was the cheeky sausage who leaked it online a few years later. Despite the rumours and suggestions it would emerge, it’s only now that Toy is getting its first official release. However, if you don’t fancy going the full box set in order to get it, Toy is being issued as Toy: Box (TOY BOX, geddit?) in January as a 3CD or 6x10inch LP set on its own, with a brace of alternate versions, remixes and extras. So that’s something to bear in mind when you get your vouchers at Christmas, right kids?


Radiohead - Kid A Mnesia

Radiohead – Kid A Mnesia

If you’re wondering why you can hear screaming, it’s because Radiohead have bundled together their 2000 album Kid A and 2001 follow-up Amnesiac together as one whole new package under the moniker Kid A Mnesia (XL) if you please. When Kid A first came out, lots of people wondered aloud as to where the tunes were, but it was a sort-of reaction to Thom Yorke and pals not wanting to undergo the experience that accompanied the adulation and pressures of releasing The Most Important Album Ever™ (or OK Computer to you and me) which sent them all, well, mostly Thom, a bit barmy and made the success of releasing The Most Important Album Ever™ look like a right pain in the arse. What Kid A and Amnesiac lacked in lighters-aloft smoochers, they made up for it with textures and experimentation and photo sessions where they looked like aliens.

Now, after a couple of decades, Kid A especially is now seen as an Important Album and Amnesiac was always seemingly hanging on the coattails of it. In fact, they were both rather brilliant really, and their brilliance shines more so in this new cut’n’shut release. Now in a triple cream (with 7″ vinyl centre labels and a book) via their website and… my sources tell me actually that’s sold out, so it’s just a black or red (at Indies) vinyl editions and triple CD configuration. The package is augmented with a third disc of bonus outtakes from the period with previously unreleased bits and bobs as well as a fancy-ass art book depending on how deep your love is. There are even two books composed of art and writings that Thom and Stanley Donwood created, if you’re wanting stocking fillers. There’s also a double cassette edition available from their website for a hang-on-a-minute £60, but that’s okay because it’s numbered, yeah? Smashing.


The Pretenders - Pretenders

Pretenders – Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde has been rifling through the archive and gone and expanded the first two Pretenders albums (1979’s Pretenders and 1981’s Pretenders II) for reissue this month on Rhino. Firstly, the vinyl editions now come in red (Pretenders) and white (II) variations, and they’re effectively the classic albums themselves just remastered and whatnot.

The real meat can be found on the triple CD editions which come in 12inch book-style packaging complete with rare pics and an essay from Will Hodgkinson, as well as containing added B-sides, radio sessions, exclusive outtakes and live tracks. They’re really very special (special) so speci… (stop it – Ed)

Joni Mitchell - Joni Mitchell Archives - Vol. 2: The Reprise Years (1968-1971)

Joni Mitchell – Joni Mitchell Archives – Vol. 2: The Reprise Years (1968-1971)

Following the success of last year’s superlative box set, Joni Mitchell Archives – Vol. 2: The Reprise Years (1968-1971) (Rhino) is a 5CD (or website exclusive limited 10LP set) hoping to repeat that by focusing on Joni Mitchell’s coming of age as an artist.

Unsurprisingly, it’s a completely brilliant enterprise, almost six hours of unreleased home, studio, and live recordings including Mitchell’s performance at Le Hibou Coffee House in Ottawa on 19 March 1968 that was recorded by Jimi Hendrix and a concert at the Paris Theatre in London on 29 October 1970 that was broadcast on the BBC. There are sketches of songs that would end up on her landmark Blue album as well as a complete concert from Carnegie Hall. There’s also a 3LP option which is just the Carnegie Hall show too. All told, she’s a goddess and everything about this release is amazing. 


Now Yearbook 1984

Now Yearbook 1984

What’s the greatest year for music? Don’t call us, it’s not a phone-in. And anyway, you’re all wrong as the correct answer is 1984. Okay, so what’s the best compilation to reflect the greatest year in pop? Well -we’ve got this covered dear viewer – it’s the Now Yearbook 1984 (Sony/ UMC). Yus, even a cursory glance at the tracklisting (78 tracks on 4CD/CDBOOK and blue vinyl 42 track 3LP) is enough to excite anyone with a pulse. Look at it – Two Tribes! Let The Music Play! Dr Mabuse! Just Be Good To Me! Self Control! The Reflex! Careless Whisper! Wood Beez! The Killing Moon! Thieves Like Us! Smalltown Boy! Together In Electric Dreams! White Lines! You’re The Best Thing! Madam Butterfly (Un Bel Di Vedremo)! – sheesh, I need a lie-down just after writing that.

This is quite frankly brilliant, and this particular correspondent is thrown back to the days of feeling a bit funny watching the Relax video, dabbling with hair dye and unable to find the right girl yet, oh, and of course the ever-present threat of nuclear war. As was the case of the 1983 Yearbook, it’s a limited run so I recommend that you grab it while you can. In fact, relive your Armageddon-worrying teenage fears and scarper to your preferred retailer for a copy. It is absolutely essential no-fucking-about album-of-the-year-level stuff. 


Fela Kuti - London Scene

Fela Kuti – London Scene

There are two Fela Kuti albums from 1971 – London Scene and Live! (Partisan) being reissued this month to mark their 50th anniversary. The first, London Scene, was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with a band that included Tony Allen, Igo Chico, Maurice Ekpo and Lekan Animashaun.

The second, Live! With Ginger Baker, sees Kuti and his band playing, um live with Ginger Baker. The Live! package also features an extended drum solo between Tony Allen and Ginger Baker from the 1978 Berlin Jazz Festival, and, ye gads, both parts(!) of the solo appear together on this new reissue for the first time. 

Arthur Russell - Iowa Dream

Arthur Russell – Iowa Dream

Rough Trade have got together with Audika Records and are starting a series of Arthur Russell reissues! First up this month are World Of Echo and Iowa Dream will be released on vinyl and CD.

World Of Echo first arrived in 1986 and the album was subsequently reissued and remastered by Audika to include previously unreleased material in 2005, while Iowa Dream is a collection of demos, home recordings and lost songs dating from the early ’70s through to the mid-’80s. As you can imagine with all things Arthur Russell, they are great, beautiful, glorious things to lose yourself in and swoon over. There are more releases scheduled in 2022, and if you’ve ever sat on the fence or procrastinated about diving into the world of Arthur, then now is as good an opportunity as any. 


Billy Joel - The Vinyl Collection, Vol 1

Billy Joel – The Vinyl Collection, Vol 1

The guy has had no need to release anything new for a few decades now, and no doubt his worldwide airplay takings across any given 24-hour period would be enough to live quite comfortably on, but with a catalogue as celebrated as his is, everybody needs at least one Billy Joel album in their collection. Although you’d have to be a real fan to want to part with £170 for a series of albums quite easily found in second hand shops, and with better artwork too.

However if you’re fully paid-up member of the Billy barmy army, then fill your boots as The Vinyl Collection, Vol 1 (Sony Legacy) is, um, a collection of vinyl featuring his albums Cold Spring Harbor (1971), Piano Man (1973), Streetlife Serenade (1974), Turnstiles (1976), The Stranger (1977) and 52nd Street (1978) alongside the 1981 live album Songs in the Attic and a previously unreleased live album Live at the Great American Music Hall that won’t be available elsewhere* (*trans: will probably turn up as a standalone Record Shop Day thing at some point).


Lenny Kaye - Lightning Striking

Lenny Kaye – Lightning Striking

He’s a bit of a legend is Lenny Kaye. He’s been Patti Smith’s guitarist for many years, worked with James, R.E.M., Allen Ginsberg and more, and he compiled the incredible Nuggets compilation. Anyhoo, he’s written a book called Lightning Striking which is part memoir, part rock history, and you know what? He’s only gone and compiled an accompanying collection for ace ol’ Ace Records, that’s what!

And – oh boy – it’s a corker. A 48-track 2CD history of rock, taking in phenomenal turns such as Elvis Presley, Mudhoney, The Clash, Joe Meek, The Stooges, Fats Domino, Patti Smith (natch) and perhaps one of the most exciting records ever made, Lou Christie’s Lightnin’ Strikes. Quite honestly, you don’t need anything else (well you do, otherwise this column is basically me pissing in the wind).

Air - 10,000Hz Legend

Air – 10,000Hz Legend

Do you remember that time in 2001 when Air followed up Moon Safari with 10,000 Hz Legend and everyone was a bit ‘Oh’ and a lot of people were more ‘Yaroo’ at it? Well anyway, it’s back at in a 3CD edition to celebrate 20 years. I know, it does seem like yesterday but we have to accept the march of time is not our friend here, although time itself has been kind to 10 000 Hz Legend.

In this new edition via PLG, they’ve stuck The Way You Look Tonight (a previously Japan-only thing) and made the second disc full of live and demo items, and the third slice is actually a blu-ray affair with the album remastered in a Dolby Atmos surround mix. Unfortunately, there’s no sign of the accompanying remix album Everybody Hertz, and this has already been put out on vinyl recently (well, 2015) so they’ve not expanded that with a second disc or owt, but one is not here to quibble. If the idiocy of modern existence hasn’t moved you to riot, then the non-release of a remix album certainly won’t.


Erasure - I Say I Say I Say

Erasure – I Say I Say I Say

Let’s go over to Dudley on the Iconic Electronic Duos Signed To Mute desk now, and see what’s a-happening there. Dudley! Show us what you got! Well, Ian… I Say I Say I Say, what do you call the sixth Erasure album? Oh no, hang on, that doesn’t work as a joke. Apols. (YOU’RE LOSING THE VIEWERS DUDLEY!)

What I meant to say was that Erasure’s sixth album, 1994’s I Say I Say I Say is coming out this month in an expanded 2CD edition (Mute/ BMG). The duo’s fourth Number 1, it was produced by Martyn Ware and features such top numbers as I Love Saturday and Always. The second disc features B-sides, remixes, live versions and radio sessions and is quite a treat.

Goldfrapp - Head First

Goldfrapp – Head First

Elsewhere, Goldfrapp’s 2010 opus Head First (Mute/BMG) is coming out on a transparent magenta vinyl edition, following on from the reissues of Black Cherry, Supernature and Seventh Tree in coloured variations.

There’s a special-pre-order price offer on over at the ‘Frapp site too, which is a boon for anyone watching their coins in these trying times. Am I right Ian? *rips off mask* Yes Dudley, thanks for that. Let’s never do this again.

Olivia Newton John - Physical

Olivia Newton John – Physical

Here’s a Fancy That! for you. Did you know that Olivia Newton John’s Physical is the biggest-selling single of the ’80s in America? Well, it was. How wild is that? Bigger than We Are The World and beating two other 1981 smashes Bette Davis Eyes and Endless Love, and spent a (then) record 10 weeks at Number 1. Don’t say this column is not educational.

To celebrate this, and well, the 40th anniversary of Olivia’s album of the same name, and spearheading a forthcoming avalanche of well-deserved reissues from her catalogue, Physical arrives in an expanded 2CD/1DVD package, with 21 bonus tracks alongside the original 10- track album, including B-sides, unreleased bonuses and tracks recorded for various soundtracks during the period, with several new-to-CD.

The DVD comprises the original Grammy-winning video album – including the iconic pervsome promo for the title track – made for each track of Physical and a live show from Utah recorded during her 1982 tour. Olivia has teamed up with Primary Wave, who have done a grand job on this reissue, and it bodes well for future archive releases. Alas, you’ll have to wait until May 2022 for the vinyl version, but until then, LET ME HEAR YOUR BODY TALK.


Cat Stevens - Teaser And The Firecat

Cat Stevens – Teaser And The Firecat

Join me do, now, as we go back in time because Yusuf / Cat Stevens‘ landmark record Teaser And The Firecat (UMC/Island) is coming out as a 50th anniversary box set. Made when Yusuf/ Cat was quite the fancy piece, it includes 41 previously unreleased audio tracks and 21 live video performances on disc for the first time across a 4CD/Blu-ray/2LP and 7-inch super deluxe box. There’s also a 2CD version with a second disc of edited highlights from the box, and there’s just the basic ol’ 1CD/1LP version if all the hoots and clicks of the extras are a bit too much for you Yusuf/ Cat-wise.  

Gary Numan - 45x15

Gary Numan – 45×15

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy spending some time with several seven inches. Gary Numan fans clearly do too, seeing as their prayers have finally been answered with the release of 45X15 (Beggars), a 15-disc box focusing on his first 15 singles from That’s Too Bad (the first of four as part of Tubeway Army) through to Sister Surprise in 1983. All the biggies such as Are Friends Electric, Cars, Complex and I Die: You Die are here, and they come in variants of red, blue and green vinyl in a nice box to keep them all in.

Autechre - Chiastic Slide

Autechre – Chiastic Slide

Autechre-mania continues a-pace this November, with the duo reissuing 1997’s Chiastic Slide and 1998’s LP5 on vinyl through Warp this month in 2XLP and wide-spined, embossed sleeves. Both albums have been out of print for two decades, which is rum state of affairs for a pair of albums that sound like tomorrow. Or at least next week.

Roxette - Joyride

Roxette – Joyride

HELLO! YOU FOOLS! I LOVE YOU! Not my words – but the sentiment is there, lovers – but those of beloved Swedish duo Roxette, who are releasing their 1991 opus Joyride as a box set – a Roxette boxette, if you will. Now in 1LP in a gatefold sleeve available as a marbled orange, or even black vinyl and 3CD and 4LP vinyl box set which have 35 bonus tracks including 12 previously unreleased songs including various demos and works in progress. 

Mud - The Albums 1975-1979

Mud – The Albums 1975-1979

Heeeeeeey. YEAH! Mud, who were one of the greatest bands to walk Earth, see their albums compiled as, well, Mud: The Albums 1975-1979 (7Ts) as a 4CD set this month.

Careful though, as the ‘1975-1979’ part of the title suggests, this is very much post-imperial phase gear – look, pal, when you’ve created the highpoint of civilisation that was Tiger Feet, you can sit back, yeah? – with the featured long players are Use Your Imagination, It’s Better Than Working!, Rock On and As You Like It, which between them yielded hits such as Show Me You’re A Woman, L-L-Lucy, Lean On Me and Shake It Down. Among the bonus tracks are two rare singles recorded under the name of Roly – ROLY! Amazing – which appear for the first time on CD. 


Nirvana - Nevermind

Nirvana – Nevermind

Almost as good as late-period Mud were Nirvana, who you may or may not have realised recently, celebrated 30 years of their second album Nevermind (UMC/Polydor). It was quite popular apparently. No? Well, whatever, it’s now being reissued in new remastered super deluxe editions.

There’s the original vinyl album now in a gatefold sleeve, which comes with a bonus 7″ of Endless Nameless, which was the hidden track added to the CD once it started selling BITD; a 2CD variation with a second CD of live tracks as well as a 5CD/ 1XBLURAY box with four live sets from California, Japan, Melbourne and Amsterdam (which also forms the content of the Blu Ray) and that’s also what forms the 8LP box with bonus 7″. There are 70 unreleased tracks across this release, which will no doubt attract any deep-pocketed supporter of this particular KC and his Sunshine Band. 


Once Upon A Time In The West Midlands

Once Upon A Time In The West Midlands

Alright bab? Brumming is real this month, with Cherry Red’s magnificently titled 3CD set Once Upon A Time In The West Midlands – The Bostin’ Sounds Of Brumrock 1966-1974. Featuring the evolution of some of the area’s biggest acts – Judas Priest, The Move, Moody Blues, ELO, Slade, Traffic etc – it also finds time for some fascinating curios from, well, I’ve never heard of them but based on the names they must be amazing – Ptolomy Psycon, Hard Meat, Craig, Simon’s Secrets and Velvett Fogg. It is, as they say, bostin’.

Slade - Slayed?

Slade – Slayed?

While we’re in that neck of the woods, this year has seen coloured vinyl reissues of Slade’s albums. I don’t have to tell you how tremendous they were, do I? Okay then – first act since The Beatles to have singles go in at Number 1 (not just one, but THREE IN A YEAR)! Fairly illiterate song titles! Noddy Holder’s mirrored hat! A deathless festive anthem! A spectacularly dark film! A drummer who was in a terrible car crash and done his head in but he was back performing about three months later! Dave Hill in general! – they had the LOT.

Their 1972 classic Slayed? (yellow splatter vinyl), 1974’s Old New Borrowed And Blue (red splatter) are completed this month with 1974’s Slade In Flame (yellow AND red splatter) all on BMG. ALL essential capsules of one of the greatest and slightly overlooked bands of all time. They’re unlikely to ever reform – if you’d written Merry Xmas Everybody, you’d put YOUR feet up – and there appears to be about nine iterations of Slade out and about on the circuit these days, so remember them this way. (You’ll also notice I’ve refrained from the obligatory mention of ‘It’s Chriiiiistmaaaaas’ because a level of decorum is what sets me apart from savages.)


The Eccentronic Research Council presents Wayward Freaks From A Synthetic Street Volume 1

The Eccentronic Research Council presents Wayward Freaks From A Synthetic Street Volume 1

A compilation of note this month is the merry The Eccentronic Research Council presents: Wayward Freaks From A Synthetic Street Volume 1 (Desolate Spools) which not only celebrates a decade at the coalface of grimy northern futurism for the ERC, it also showcases an array of fellow travellers such as New York’s God Hole, Sheffield’s legendary Wet Man, the fantastic and tremendously-named Damp Carpet as well as the semi-fictional The Valhalla Dale WMC Band, an ERC supergroup if you will, featuring Sean Ono Lennon. It’s perhaps not for all the family, but if spending some time with musical miscreants sounds like your bag then this is not to be missed.

Paul Weller - Illumination Let’s have a vinyl trolley dash now, and Paul Weller, a man who has been seemingly at it non-stop this year what with Fat Pop and a live-at-the-Barbican release imminent, has reissued two early 00ze albums onto vinyl for the first time through Craft Recordings: 2001’s Days Of Speed, which saw him tackle various hits across Europe acoustically, is a pleasing round-up of all the hits up to that point; and 2002’s Illumination, which was his sixth album and featured guest performances from Carleen Anderson, Jocelyn Brown, Kelly Jones and Noel Gallagher.

Inspiral Carpets - Life

Inspiral Carpets – Life

Speaking of Noel Gallagher, which technically we weren’t but a theme is a theme so bear with me yeah? he was once the roadie for Inspiral Carpets, and they are reissuing their first two albums this month. 1990’s Life (Cow/ Mute) was a Number 2 smash and seeing as we’re among friends here, I was quite a fan of at the time to the extent that I have a signed Dung 4 cassette, saw them numerous times and when it was my day off at Our Price in Norwich once, they popped into the store as they were playing the UEA that night and an enterprising colleague got them to sign a copy of Life for me. Ah, the folly of youth and having hair, eh readers? Anyway, that’s coming out on a gold vinyl. The 1991 follow-up The Beast Inside is also coming back out, but this time pressed as a double purple vinyl. So well done them.

The Primitives - Lovely

The Primitives – Lovely

Further foot soldiers of indie can be found in The Primitives, whose first three albums are arriving back on Demon after an absence of almost three decades. They were led by the *sigh* lovely Tracy Tracy (which I suspect, dear reader, was not her real name) and sprung from the shambly indie era with a slight menace and vague-Velvets approach to girl group schmindie, and as was the case back then, appalled early fans when they sold out and signed with RCA. How dare they want greater success and earn money! What were they thinking?

There’s the 1988 Lovely, which contained their Top 10er Crash, along with reworked versions of Thru The Flowers and Stop Killing Me on blue vinyl; 1989’s Pure, which heralded the likes of Way Behind Me and Sick of It on white vinyl; and also *slightly startled that they were still going at this point* 1991’s Galore on red vinyl which was their last album before they knocked it on the head until 2009. 


The Fascinating World Of Electronic Music

The Fascinating World Of Electronic Music

The Fascinating World Of Electronic Music (We Are Busy Bodies) is an album that was first released in 1959 by the Dutch duo Kid Baltan & Tom Dissevelt and was a combination of jazz and electronic textures that predates pretty much everything – to give you an idea of how ahead it was, a then-12-year-old Ralf Hutter attended one of their shows and, suitably inspired, went off and formed Kraftwerk (eventually). It’s wonky, thrilling and a bit incredible.

If you’re one of those of the opinion that Bernard Parmegiani was quite a dish, want to dig something that makes Pierre Henry sound like a copyist, or want to stare at your watch when Radiophonic Workshop rock up a few years later and say ‘got here eventually, then’ you’re going to love this. David Holmes has sampled them and David Bowie loved it too. (Mind you there was a time when Bowie loved cavorting around in a tight knitted leotard, so swings and roundabouts as to how you regard his recommendation.)

Gerry Mulligan - Night Lights

Gerry Mulligan – Night Lights

Slightly newer than that, but don’t get your hopes up futurists, is Gerry Mulligan’s 1963 album Night Lights is one of the baritone saxophonist’s finest works and has been polished up for a vinyl release by New Land this month. It’s literally late-night smooth-moods and is effectively the jazz dad of that whole movement, although not hugely known. He played with Miles Davis and Chet Baker, so yeah – he was properly hip and happening “daddio”.

Atakora Manu - Omintiminim : Afro Highlife

Atakora Manu – Omintiminim : Afro Highlife

To Ghana now, and Atakora Manu’s rare ’80s albums Omintiminim and Afro Highlife are issued on CD by BBE this month. Atakora started his career in 1961 forming the Princess Trio and then guitarist with the brilliantly named United Ghana Farmers’ Council Drama Troupe.

Showbiz soon arrived when as part of Kakaiku No 2 Band he had a few hits before knocking it on the head for a few years before he was rediscovered when working as a recording engineer, and soon encouraged to give music another crack. Omintiminim and Afro Highlife feature his blend of traditional ‘palmwine’ highlife with electronic experimentation and is a joy from start to finish.


Os Brazoes - Os Brazoes

Os Brazoes – Os Brazoes

Record Store Day is having a Black Friday event this year, and instead of rioting over a television, they’ve taken the gentler step of releasing a host of special vinyl goodies. There are numerous titles, as you can imagine, and while we don’t judge if you DO fancy obtaining a repress of Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas Everyone toe-tap, we thought it best to spotlight a handful of the most interesting as there are things like ‘full details on the website’ which bypass turning this into an XL document.

First up Rio De Janeiro’s Os Brazoes’ eponymous album from 1969 is issued in an orange splatter vinyl variation, and is a psychedelic samba freak out and judging by the sleeve, they’re not to be fucked with. While I’m using the word ‘psychedelic’ may I offer Tickets For Doomsday: Heavy Psychedelic Funk, Soul, Ballads & Dirges 1970-1975 which is a collection of, well I’ll just hand it over to the label on this occasion… ‘a recollection and rumination of what might befall the human race made especially salient by the past year’s trials and tribulations as performed by prison funk ensembles, Krautrock legends, Turkish teenagers, Icelandic prog-rock bands and even E-40’s uncle, the man to first distribute No Limit, and the creator of this album’s title track, St Charles “Chucky” Thurman.’ Well, that’s just DANDY, is it not? You heard. 

Shocking Blue - At Home The Singles

Shocking Blue – At Home The Singles

There’s also the tremendous Dutch rockers Shocking Blue, whose At Home: The Singles album comes in pink vinyl and features the original versions of Venus and Love Buzz among many other fuzzed out and groovlin’ knockers. Yes, I said knockers.

The Shangri-Las - Best Of The Shangri-Las

The Shangri-Las – Best Of The Shangri-Las

Another essential compilation is Best Of The Shangri-Las with 25 newly remastered tracks including genuinely iconic numbers such as Leader Of The Pack, Remember (Walkin’ In The Sand), Give Him A Great Big Kiss and I Can Never Go Home Anymore. It comes in a ‘tailpipe exhaust’ colour vinyl which I genuinely have no idea about but sounds quite sexy. You can make like Amy Winehouse and trouble your flatmates by playing it repeatedly while drinking heavily and go on to make Back To Black. Or something.

Belle and Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister

Belle and Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister

And finally for Black Friday, Belle and Sebastian’s If You’re Feeling Sinister (Jeepster) is out for a 25th anniversary revamp on coloured vinyl, and it’s pretty much perfect as albums go. Originally recorded over 10 days in 1996 and featuring no singles, it pretty much shot them into the stratosphere* (*got them noticed and people raved about it).

There are numerous other releases on Black Friday from the likes of Dusty Springfield, Ben Watt, Angelo Badalamenti, Cranes, Lana Del Rey, Leonard Cohen and more. Ask your mum, or perhaps more helpfully, consult the internet for more information.


Kylie Minogue - Disco (Guestlist Edition)

Kylie Minogue – Disco (Guestlist Edition)

Let us go out on a high this month, and there’s no one better than Kylie Minogue to get high with. You know what I mean. She’s deluxed up last year’s joyous Disco album into what she’s now calling Disco: Guest List Edition (BMG). Yaroo! First up there’s a 2CD edition which has the original album and four bonuses on the first, and a second disc featuring collaborations with Years & Years, Dua Lipa, Gloria Gaynor and Jessie Ware alongside a series of remixes and this is also available on a 3LP set too.

A 3CD/DVD/Blu-ray deluxe edition adds The Infinite Disco Livestream performance. Over on Kylie’s official store, there was a slipcase and slipmat set where you could, um, slip the new 3LP but that’s probably gone now, or you could go for a purple vinyl edition of the album too. That’s a whole heap of partying in your pants. What a woman.


And on that note, join me next month for some more enthusiastic typing when we’ll be showcasing The Doors, Travis, Communards, Can, Depeche Mode and Baxter Dury among others. Godspeed!

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