Music Features, Spotlights

Reissues Roundup: Record Store Day, ABBA, Bruce Springsteen

A bumper edition with an eye on RSD specials alongside the best of April (and beyond). Also starring Luther Vandross, Billy Idol, Tina Charles, Orbital, the Manics and David Bowie

musicOMH April 2024 Reissues

musicOMH April 2024 Reissues

I appreciate that it’s all gone a bit random lately, and my severe ONLY WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THAT MONTH PLEASE criteria may put potential suitors off. I’ll be honest though, real life sometimes wedges itself into proceedings, and what was planned originally as an April column PLUS a bonus Record Store Day round-up has been cut’n’shut into one glorious affair. Apologies. Normal service will return blah blah. So yeah, let’s get on with it.


Orbital - Orbital

Orbital – Orbital

Orbital. Where to start? Well, in a roundabout (hoho) way, it started with Orbital. There’d been many fantastic one-offs and several half-arsed attempts at the transfer of the club experience into full-length albums with 808 State and the like, but the chart-topping era of your Underworlds, Chemical Brothers and Leftfields replicating the rave-up began inauspiciously with what became known as ‘the green album’.

However, Orbital’s first foray into the long-player didn’t bother the Top 70 upon release. In fact it took another couple of years before it would reach anything like the Top 30. Mainly because people are clots. Paul and Phil Hartnoll wanted to make ‘proper’ albums, rather than a handful of smashes in among a soup of underwhelm. It would’ve been easy to surround tracks like Chime and Belfast with ‘will this do’, but not for Orbital.

Now, rather excitingly, they’ve fleshed out the green album with even more magic. Formats include a 4LP box set, 4CD set (both include a 60-page hardcover book), black and coloured 2LP editions, and a 2CD and cassette with bonus B-sides, remixes, live tracks and suchlike. It really is a bit of a masterpiece and it warms the heart that it’s been fleshed out into a definitive statement.


Disco Discharge - Disco Fever USA

Disco Discharge – Disco Fever USA

Around 400 years ago there was an incredible array of compilations called Disco Discharge that pulled together some of the most fantastic music ever made. Now, after Disco Discharge returned with the greatest box set of all time Box of Sin last year, they’ve reswizzled the brand with originator Mr Pinks and come back. Back. BACK!

And there’s VINYL now too with original sleevenotes, and certain amendments due to the peskiness of licensing (boo!), but it is all VERY SEXY INDEED. The first two editions are exquisiteness – Classic Disco contains Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, Rose Royce, Idris Muhammad, Bumblebee Unlimited, Change, Gary’s Gang with all bangers.

Disco Fever USA has wondrousness from Slick, Earth Wind & Fire, Celi Bee & The Buzzy Bunch, Teddy Pendergrass, Boys Town Gang, Norma Jean Wright and more. Now in sexy 7-inch-style 2CD sets and 2LP vibes. Get on them. It’s a legal requirement.


Luther Vandross - Luther

Luther Vandross – Luther

Before Luther Vandross was Luther Vandross, or at least he always was Luther Vandross, but before the ’80s smooth jams and Late Nite FM mellowness became his forte, he originally issued a pair of albums that were sort-of forgotten about when he signed to Epic and elevated into stardom a-proper.

Originally released on Cotillion Records, Luther and This Close To You are being made available commercially for the first time in over 40 years, with Luther first in April and This Close To You coming in June. They have been a holy grail for many a fan, even if the eye-watering none-more-metal artwork of Luther may have suggested he was some sort of heavy cat.

Anyway, they’re coming back and available on LP, CD, and with mugs, totes and tees on his official store. These are truly wonderful scenes, and join the dots between his work with Bowie and the fringe-fling joy of Never Too Much.


Now Yearbook 74

Now Yearbook 74

I might as well alert you to the sheer majesty of NOW Yearbook 1974, er, now. I mean, I’ve waffled on about this series before but this is bloody fantastic. You know the drill by now – 4CDs with approximately 80 tracks (82, actually – Ed) and 3LPs with roughly 40+ tracks (48 – Ed) – all chock full of amazingness.

There’s post-glam pop art sparkle with Teenage Rampage, The Man Who Sold The World, Devil Gate Drive, The ‘In’ Crowd etc. Big sister soul with When Will I See You Again, You Make Me Feel Brand New, You Are Everything, You’re The First, The Last, My Everything etc. The sideroads that would eventually bring us onto the disco highway such as Rock Your Baby, Rock The Boat, Get Dancin’ etc. The deathless radio classics of Candle In The Wind, Sugar Baby Love, Gonna Make You A Star, Band On The Run etc.

And there’s space for Wombles and Kung Fu Fighting. If an album that contains Pool Hall Richard, Emma, This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us and Tiger Feet doesn’t sound up your street then there’s no hope for you. Glorious.


Billy Idol - Rebel Yell

Billy Idol – Rebel Yell

Can we talk about Billy Idol? We’re always here for Billy Idol. And, by the looks of things, so is he. The news is that he’s issuing Rebel Yell as a 40th anniversary expansion with 2LP and 2CD editions. It’s pretty much THE Idol album you need (well, alongside all the others) and was one of the ones where America went doolally over Sir Billiam and his sneersome ways and preposterous blondness before coming back to the UK to be a success.

I mean, it includes Eyes Without A Face for a start. The ultimate summer hot city night glider. Plus the title track and Flesh For Fantasy are pretty good too. There are demos, remixes and the previously unreleased Love Don’t Live Here Anymore – yes, that Love Don’t Live Here Anymore – which was probably nixed due to Madonna covering it around the same time.

Anyway, it’s Peak Billiam.


ABBA - Waterloo

ABBA – Waterloo

You may or may not be aware that it’s 50 years since the Summer Night City hitmakers ABBA arrived into our lives winning the Eurovision Song Contest with the perky Waterloo jiver.

Not ones to ever pass up on an anniversary, they’ve reissued the accompanying album as a Half-Speed mastered 45RPM 2LP vinyl, along with a limited edition box set of the three vinyl singles originally released by Polar in 1974; the singles are also available as separate picture discs. To top it all off, there is a unique 10-inch vinyl disc featuring Waterloo in four different languages.

That’s a lotta Waterloo. And what of it? It marked the moment in time when the ABBA groop propelled into wider consciousness and would go on to make Summer Night City, and thank heavens for that.

Manic Street Preachers - Lifeblood

Manic Street Preachers – Lifeblood

Lifeblood, the sort-of semi-unloved Manic Street Preachers seventh album, as in it had its fans but it didn’t really capture the imagination that the previous outings had (“our most estranged album of all”), is coming back out as a deluxe edition to celebrate 20 years.

The Manics being the Manics have sourced no end of extras for the release which now comes as either a CD, 3CD bookset, 2LP and limited artwork prints iterations, features two brand new remixes of the lead track 1985 by hardest-working-man-in-reswizzling Steven Wilson and fellow Welsher Gwenno.

Anyway, indulge yourself. It’s one of the few anniversary releases to actually come out before its anniversary, which suggests an adherence to a catalogue that few other bands manage. Oh and possibly because their next album is coming later this year too.


Tina Charles - The CBS Years 1975-1980

Tina Charles – The CBS Years 1975-1980

*pushes sweet trolley into view*

Anyone for Tina Charles? I feel we should partake. Now, back in the early seventies she’d done session singing, appeared on the shonky Top of the Pops albums recorded her debut single with Elton John on piano and all that as well as singing on 5000 Volts’ I’m On Fire.

THEN! She made an array of tremendous disco-facing pop hits with Biddu such as I Love To Love and Dance Little Lady Dance and Dr Love which have now been compiled into The CBS Years 1975-1980. There’s a ton of stuff that’s not been on CD before too AND tracks such as the incredible Boogie Round The Clock. It’s a very splendid thing, I’ll be honest with you.

Art Pepper - Intensity

Art Pepper – Intensity

Craft Recordings have a bundle of ace jazz reissues out and it’s a cornucopia of moods. Featuring such titles as Harold Land’s The Fox, Art Pepper’s Intensity, Ron Carter’s Where?, Sonny Rollins’ Way Out West and Helen Humes’ Songs I Like To Sing among this current range, it’s well worth keeping an eye on Craft as they know their jazz reissue onions.

Holland Dozier Holland - Detroit 1969-1977

Holland Dozier Holland – Detroit 1969-1977

Holland Dozier Holland Detroit 1969-1977 is a 68-track 4CD/ 56-track 4LP retrospective celebration of the songwriting and production chops of Brian, Lamont and Eddie which they invented after their bitter departure from helming the hits at Motown in 1967.

Keen to set up their own house of hits, they created Invictus Records along with Hot Wax and Music Merchant labels, developing a whole host of names and such as Freda Payne’s colossal Band Of Gold, Chairman Of The Board’s stellar array of smashes (Give Me Just A Little More Time, (You’ve Got Me) Dangling On A String, etc.) along with Honey Cone, Glass House, Flaming Ember, 8th Day, Laura Lee & Eloise Laws. Their hit rate, alongside their gear for Motown, garnered a whopping 40+ chart-toppers, making them more prolific than Lennon and McCartney. This is some long overdue love for some actual music giants.


Bruce Springsteen - Best Of

Bruce Springsteen – Best Of

Bruce Springsteen is very much a good thing and has been a good thing for over half a century now. Also: would. He’s issuing a new Best of compilation to coincide with 50-ish years of being the beating heart of the working man (man) and it’s extremely good.

If your level of participation of Bruce is: a. quite fanciable; b: you once had a lunchtime epiphany in pub to Nebraska around 30 years ago and decided it was his masterpiece; c: toyed with playing Tougher Than The Rest really loud to impress a fancypiece and you imagine your eyes meeting and everything is just so end-of-movie sensational, and you snog their face off. However, Tougher Than The Rest is NOT on this collection, which is just violence as a decision because Bruce Springsteen with a hard-on is soooo gnnnfg (but they are available on the ‘digital deluxe’ so calm down). Or it’s probably d: you just really like Streets Of Philadelphia, Born To Run, Hungry Heart and – OH MY GOD YES – Brilliant Disguise. It’s a 2LP/ 1CD joint though, so you can pique your Bruce needs, and the digital deluxe allows you to wallow.

He’s a fucking dude, basically. 


Kate Bush - Eat The Music

Kate Bush – Eat The Music

So yeah, it’s Record Store Day time again, and there is, as usual, a ton of bits and bobs of interest. Kate Bush is the ambassador this year, and she’s issuing her 1993 single Eat The Music single as a 10-inch picture disc.

Pulp - Intro

Pulp – Intro

The superb Intro: The Gift Recordings by Pulp makes its vinyl return, this time in a fetching blue – although there were only about seven issued originally – after its first release in 1993 where it collected together numbers such as Babies, O.U., Razzmatazz, Sheffield Sex City and the Inside Susan trilogy.

Blur - Parklife

Blur – Parklife

You may also be interested in a zoetrope edition of Blur’s Parklife which is 30 this month, zoetrope action is the attraction of Lily Allen’s It’s Not Me, It’s You too as well as Steps’ Deeper Shade Of Blue remix package, or you may be one of the remaining cachet of humans who doesn’t own Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and ‘it being on picture disc’ might be the thing that turns you into a purchaser.

The Cure - The Top

The Cure – The Top

Picture discs are the thing for The Cure too, with a 40th anniversary edition of 1984’s The Top to add to the previous releases, and you’ll probably want to accessorise that with a reissue of Siouxsie & The Banshees’ live album Nocturne while you’re at it.

Jessie Ware - Tough Love (Record Store Day Edition)

Jessie Ware – Tough Love (Record Store Day Edition)

Emma Bunton’s A Girl Like Me and Jessie Ware’s Tough Love (with bonus remixes) both make their vinyl debut in this year’s event, and modern futurists will be giddy at the opportunity to get Ladytron’s Light & Magic and La Roux’s ace Trouble In Paradise on vinyl too.

Propaganda - Present Die 1000 Augen Des Dr Mabuse

Propaganda – Die 1000 Augen Des Dr Mabuse

However, the old guard will be queueing up for the rather spectacular Die 1000 Augen Des Dr Mabuse (Volume 1) by Propaganda, which collects previously not-on-vinyl mixes of the sensational – and, gulp, 40 years old – Dr Mabuse. Or OMD’s Junk Culture Companion with B-sides, remixes and demos from their 40 year old album too.

Soft Cell’s Non-Stop Extended Cabaret is the housing for all the 12-inch versions of their iconic debut album, with a couple that have never been on vinyl before plus additional recent reswizzles of Memorabilia. Another act going extended are Fun Boy Three whose, um, Fun Boy Three Extended brings together all the 12-inch mixes of their singles. Howsabout Kim Wilde’s Special Disco Mixes? Six of the remixes were commissioned especially and all 10 are made available on vinyl for the first time exclusively for Record Store Day on a transparent red vinyl.

The Flirtations - Still Sounds Like

The Flirtations – Still Sounds Like

Best known for their Nothing But A Heartache, although the festive Christmas Time Is Here Again is pretty special too, The Flirtations release their first album of new material in 55 years, Still Sounds Like The Flirtations which should be a special treat. 55 years. Man.

Would sir/madam be interested in The Story of The Who? First released in 1976, it has long gone into legend as the definitive Who collection, and now comes in pink and green vinyl. Likewise Sonic Youth’s Hits Are For Squares, which was a CD first available in Starbucks if you please, and contained star-chosen selections off each of their albums and is the nearest to a Greatest Hits.

Schooly D - Saturday Night The Album

Schooly D – Saturday Night The Album

If you spent the late ’80s in a sort-of hip hop/ funk arena, you might be enthralled by JVC Force’s Strong Island and Jimmy Castor Bunch’s It’s Just Begun coming out on 7-inch vinyl. Maybe you’ll be keen on Schoolly D’s Saturday Night! The Album in a yellow pepper coloured variant. What about Boogie Down Productions’ 1990 Edutainment or the 1991 Nature Of A Sistah by Queen Latifah – both back out after long being unavailable.

Musik Von Harmonia

Musik Von Harmonia

Harmonia’s Musik Von Harmonia is 50(!) and that’s now available as a 2LP set with a second disc of contemporary remixes so that’s jivey. Scott Walker’s Tilt has been done as a half-speed master because it’s incredible.

David Bowie - Waiting In The Sky

David Bowie – Waiting In The Sky

It’s not Record Shop Day without David Bowie, and this year’s offering is Waiting In The Sky (Before The Starman Came To Earth), which is an 11-track first draft of what became The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars with Round And Round, Amsterdam, Holy Holy and Velvet Goldmine – all of these tracks will be known to anyone vaguely conversant with the whole Bowie thing, and it’s a fascinating look at what COULD HAVE BEEN.

Oh God. The problem with RSD is where does one stop? Tricky’s Angels With Dirty Faces on orange vinyl? Young Fathers’ 10th anniversary of Dead with a new sleeve? Air’s Kelly Watch The Stars sexy pic disc? Dr Alban’s It’s My Life on vinyl? Christophe’s Les Mots Bleus? At The Drive In’s In Casino Out? Cat Stevens’ Izitso? Nancy Sinatra’s How Does That Grab You Darling?

Well, how does THAT grab YOU darling, eh? Hahaha. And that’s all you’re getting off me this month.

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