This is the sort of thing I can get behind.
A wonderful double single by The Soft Boys, courtesy of one of the best record labels in America, Yep Roc.
Having ended up on Creation Records, which I took as a bit of a validation, I was keen to get as far away from all those "w" words that had followed my group around, and to make it as clear as I could that this was a rock & roll thing, not some "eccentricity". I had my shades and I had my fringed suede jacket and I had the Weather Prophets rhythm section.
In the last flickering days before Marriage and Acid House would change the world Kizzy and I hung out in his dealer's flat in Islington and WALKED to the studio in Waterloo everyday. The sessions were chaotic and funny. At one stage Kizzy arrived 56 hours late for a mix, having been held by the Police under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
David has this down right as a sort of self-justificatory thing. What disappoints me is that it came out sounding so SMOOTH and tidy. I'd hoped it would be more harsh and mad. I guess perhaps it's the saxes, which, I recall, enraged some reviewers. Sonic Boom does good things on Susie (that's 4 of them big ballads at least, now), that was more the idea. Still, not to slag O'Higgins, who began a lengthy association with the JBC on this recording.
This sold rather well, which was pleasing, and seems widely liked. I can't fuck with that, but I had hoped that it would be more a "change of direction" than it was. But I like Fishcotheque; I wish there more records as good as it.
XTC's Go 2 album and the "extra" EP factored in as well. XTC were a prolific band, always laden with great songs and never at a loss for tracks or brilliance.
After Barry Andrews left the band, they carried on with Dave Gregory.
"Meccanik Dancing (Oh We Go!)"
"Battery Brides (Andy Paints Brian)"
"Life Is Good in the Greenhouse"
"Jumping In Gomorrah"
"I Am the Audience"
"Meccanik Dancing (Oh We Go!)"
"Battery Brides (Andy Paints Brian)"
"Life Is Good in the Greenhouse"
"Jumping In Gomorrah"
"I Am the Audience"
"Are You Receiving Me?"
"Dance With Me, Germany" [dub version of "Meccanic Dancing (Oh We Go!)"] – 3:17
"Beat the Bible" [dub version of "Jumping in Gomorrah"] – 2:06
"A Dictionary of Modern Marriage" [dub version of "Battery Brides (Andy Paints Brian)"] – 2:27
"Clap Clap Clap" [dub version of "I am the Audience"] (Moulding) – 2:17
"We Kill The Beast" [dub version of "The Rhythm"] (Moulding) – 2:05
And there you have it. White text on a black background, courier type, but very much a send-up of the marketing of music and bands. By the late 1970s, album art was in its heyday. XTC couldn't be bothered, even thought their subsequent records came with fantastic covers.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor ‘The Song Diaries’ – the new album out 15th March 2019
The Orchestral Greatest Hits
Pre-order the new album now & receive 5 tracks immediately including ‘Love Is You’ plus the Orchestral and Orchestral Disco Versions of ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ and ‘Take Me Home’. 19 incredible tracks including ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’, ‘GrooveJet’, Take Me Home’ plus ‘Love Is You’
The album includes orchestral versions of 6 x Top 10 hits plus many more fan favourites
“Joyous, exhilarating reinvention and reminiscence” - Evening Standard ****
Available on CD, Limited Deluxe Digipack CD, 180g Gatefold Double LP and Limited Edition Gatefold ‘Baby Blue’ Coloured Double LP
140g double LP, gatefold
1. GrooveJet (Orchestral Version)
2. Take Me Home (Orchestral Version)
3. Murder On The Dancefloor (Orchestral Version)
4. Move This Mountain (Orchestral Version)
5. Music Gets The Best of Me (Orchestral Version)
6. Mixed Up World (Orchestral Version)
7. Catch You (Orchestral Version)
8. Me and My Imagination (Orchestral Version)
9. Today The Sun's On Us (Orchestral Version)
10. Heartbreak (Make Me a Dancer) (Orchestral Version)
11. Bittersweet (Orchestral Version)
12. Not Giving Up On Love (Orchestral Version)
13. Young Blood (Orchestral Version)
14.Love Is a Camera (Orchestral Version)
15. Wild Forever (Orchestral Version)
16. A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed (Orchestral Version) (Bonus Track)
17. Love Is You (Bonus Track)
18. Take Me Home (Orchestral Disco Version) (Bonus Track)
19. Murder On The Dancefloor (Orchestral Disco Version) (Bonus Track)
She has never been given her due in America, and sort of reminds me of another version of Kylie Minogue - a tremendous artist who lives in the pop/dance music/fashion world who should really be a bigger star but sort of already is.
Please ignore my vacant stare, but who in the name of all that is holy has been screaming for this to come out?
Recorded between Fez in Morocco, Dublin (HQ), New York (Platinum Sound Recording Studios) and London (Olympic Studios) and produced by Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois and Steve Lillywhite, No Line On The Horizon debuted at number 1 in 30 countries across the globe in 2009.
Lead single ‘Get On Your Boots’ was followed by ‘Magnificent’ and ‘I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight’. The album has been fully remastered with two additional remixes added to celebrate its 10th Anniversary – ‘Magnificent (Wonderland Remix)’ by Pete Tong and Paul Rogers and ‘I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight’ (Redanka’s ‘Kick the Darkness’ Vocal Version).
I can’t think of a less interesting U2 album than No Line on the Horizon. It is the dishwater cafe of U2 albums, the one I think no one would miss (apart from that whole Lemon thing where they put out seven or eight versions of it and the running time equaled an album, basically). There’s nothing on this album I would miss, but that’s just me, I guess.
Since it has been a decade, is there anything U2 have done in this century that rises to the level of being essential as far as their catalog is concerned? I would put Achtung Baby at the top of it all, and everything sort of winds itself down from there. I guess I just don’t like any of the new stuff, so take this all with a grain of salt.
I see that the Electric Fetus, a record store in South Minneapolis, has been given a “best in the nation” rating by Rolling Stone, and it jarred a lot of memories for me.
Twenty-odd years ago, it wouldn’t even be in the top five for best record stores in the Twin Cities. It was always a good record store, in my opinion, and great for catalog titles, but definitely not one of my go-to stores.
In no uncertain order, I preferred these options:
Garage D’or in South Minneapolis. I bought so many rare and interesting things here, it’s not even funny. My double cassette version of the Church’s Hindsight came from there, and I remember how the clerk “forgot” to put it in the bag. Thanks again, dirtbag, but I still have it. Oh, wait, I had to go get it on CD as well because, hello, cassettes? Anyway, one of my favorites.
Let it Be in downtown Minneapolis. Easily, the most comprehensively stocked store in the ‘Cities. Tons of great stuff. Never had enough money to go there much, but you could get AMAZING stuff there.
Roadrunner Records in Bloomington. A regular stop on the way home and an important store. I got the Electrafixion album there, and tons of other stuff. They were great when I traded in stuff.
Oar Folkjokeopus. I actually spent more time in the co-op they had in the basement, but oh well. An incredible selection of 45s by obscure bands was had there, and I remember getting bootleg R.E.M. albums there. A must.
Tatters and Platters. A defunct gem, but essential for anyone who cares about music and fashion. This is where you could get second-hand clothes and first-rate music, specializing in British romance and new wave. Is there anything wrong with wanting obscure singles by Love and Rockets? Nope.
I thought Down in the Valley sucked, and I felt like I got ripped off any time I went in there. I remember what it was like to go into Sam Goody’s (sucked!) and I remember a pawn shop on West Lake Street where they had tons of great, great records. I used to go into Hymie & Hazen’s a lot, and that place was really for the jazz crowd who liked 78 rpm records. If you were into heroin and confusion, hey, there you go. Special mention for the store in St. Paul whose name I cannot recall, but I shopped there in the late 1990s before I left the Twin Cities for good and came back.
Positively Fourth Street in Dinkytown was where I went a few times, but, really, I can’t remember it being anything more than disappointing. Same for Flip Side in St. Paul, which, back in the day, had an outsized reputation.
Best Buy and Circuit City had a retail war in the 1990s. There was a time when you could get ten dollar albums at Best Buy, and their bins were always heavily stocked. You go in there now, and they can’t get rid of CDs fast enough. And Circuit City is long dead and buried. There was a brief heyday there, and then it all went south. It gave way to Tower Records (I shopped at the one in Annapolis, Maryland) charging $19 for the new Gomez record. No thank you, jackasses.
As I was moving on from the ‘Cities, there were Cheapo stores everywhere, and the main thing they specialized in was buying up all of the CDs no one could afford to keep. They created this underground economy for people who bought an album, taped it, and then traded it in for cash. All of that collapsed thanks to Napster. Yay!
I went to the Fetus several times, but moved on quickly because it catered to the classic rock / KQ92 crowd. I needed the rare imports and the British stuff. They just didn’t have it.
My memory is fuzzy because I just don’t think about Minneapolis anymore. Did not enjoy living there, do not have good memories, but I still have tons of vinyl, CDs and cassettes that I have never parted with. All of that was purchased in the Twin Cities. I have maybe added thirty or forty pieces of vinyl since I stopped shopping for records by 1994 or so. If never end up back there, I’m fine with it. I live within 90 minutes of standing inside of Waterloo Records in Austin, Texas and, to me, that’s the best record store I’ve ever been in. Waterloo will cure what ails you.
Oh, and this will blow your mind. I read through this thread and saw stuff I had to come back here and add. How did I forget Northern Lights?
Bauhaus are releasing their live LP Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape for Record Store Day and I think it would be a wonderful acquisition if you can get your hands on it. You may be underwhelmed by the quality but, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter because it’s the coolest shit ever to play this stuff in the dark when you’re trying to think about your problems.
When I got this album, along with Mask, I immediately became frustrated with Bauhaus. Then, I went and got their other albums, and fell in love with everything they have ever done. This is one of those bands where I buy everything they do, up to and through all of the Love and Rockets stuff, of course. Casual fans just need their greatest hits. Some of the deep tracks get a little ponderous, but so does everyone who made a lot of music in the 1970s and 1980s.
Record Store Day is coming, and sometimes assholes ruin it by gobbling up all of the good stuff. Go fight for what’s yours and don’t let them pull their capitalistic bullshit on you.
Led Zeppelin have announced a reissue of ‘The Song Remains The Same’.
If you have ever subjected yourself to the whole film, then you know what to expect. The dreamy, almost surreal introduction, the hammering performance, and then you start wondering, "should this song really be twenty minutes long?"
I have very little interest in post-Achtung Baby U2, but this is a great idea:
U2 have announced the vinyl reissue of three of their classic releases, including their 2000 album ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’.
The three records in question – 1985’s ‘Wide Awake In America’ EP, 1997’s ‘Pop’, and ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’ – will be all be remastered and pressed on 180-gram vinyl for the reissue, with each record set to be packaged in a sleeve which faithfully reproduces the original release’s artwork.
Both ‘Pop’ and ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’ will come with a lyric booklet, while all three reissues will include a special download card.
All three reissues are due on April 13, and pre-order is available now through U2’s official store.
They won't do this, of course, but they really should expand the number of tracks and make Wide Awake in America a proper album. Leave the first side the way it is, and add between five and seven live "bonus" tracks from that era. The tour that U2 undertook to promote The Unforgettable Fire produced a slew of live performances that, when you hear them as bootlegs, are really just astounding. Every U2 show from that era was an event, and it's a shame they are not releasing those recordings in their proper format.
U2 have decided to re-work an old song and release it in conjunction with Record Store Day. They are celebrating everything Joshua Tree related and why not? What other album kicked as much ass as this one did?
Red Hill Mining Town is a bit of a "lost" single for the band. They didn't release it in America because, well, their best stuff from the late 1980s just didn't go down with this demographic. The U2 of 1988 and 1989 was very successful touring Australia and New Zealand, and they were immensely bummed by the critical backlash against Rattle and Hum, of which, there won't be a celebration in this country in a few years when it turns 30. Which is sad because I loved that album. It gave you original songs and live versions and the film itself was an incredible testament to what they could do live. It was full of songs. What's not to love about a band that is generous with songs? Where everyone else was stingy, U2 was giving away as much of itself as it could. For that, they earned nothing but scorn.
Everywhere else, they ate it up, but this country hated that album. Go figure. There's great stuff on it, and All I Want is You is their best single of the 1980s, by far.
Stories like this remind me that there's a renaissance going on in the music business, and it is centered around making quality vinyl records that hipsters buy and don't listen to:
Down an industrial road in southeast Nashville, framed by yellowing, beige-box warehouses, is a building dressed in incongruous, deep-ocean-blue tiling. A burnt-orange sign above its steel-and-glass doors reads UNITED RECORD PRESSING. Inside is where the first Beatles record in America was pressed, where Wayne Newton was fêted as a 16-year-old whippersnapper with an unfathomable jawline. Berry Gordy, founder of Motown, was provided an apartment there. Racist hotel owners didn't want his money.
After more than five decades, vinyl records won't be made there anymore.
In a post yesterday on Instagram, United Record Pressing wrote: "Spending the last workday at the historic United Record Pressing roaming the rooms of Motown Suite before moving to the new facility." Historic Nashville, an organization that looks to preserve spaces exactly like United Record Pressing, called the news "shocking and sad."
United Record Pressing's operations may be moving to a new space -- in a statement to Billboard, a company spokesperson calls the company's new digs "a game-changer" -- the size of which can conservatively be estimated at two football fields, but the history of its original location is, probably, not going anywhere. Its owners write of having "every intention to honor and preserve it," and a recent push to save Nashville's classic spaces, in no small part owed to Historic Nashville's lobbying, has been successful.
If just one of the handful of remaining producers of vinyl records in Europe or North America was to go offline for a few months, the backlog in work would be huge. They're selling records like crazy all over the world. The question is--who's listening to them?
This is the E-mail I received after getting the second Stone Roses single, Beautiful Thing.
THIS ITEM WAS INACCURATELY ADVERTISED AS BEING LIMITED TO 5000 UNITS. THE VINYL SINGLE WAS MANUFACTURED TO ACCOMMODATE ALL TERRITORIES AND THE UK ALLOCATION FOR THIS WAS 5000 UNITS BUT A TOTAL OF 6000 UNITS WERE MANUFACTURED GLOBALLY.
The message goes on to ask me if I want to send it back for a refund.
Who would return a 12" vinyl single because they made 6,000 of them instead of 5,000? Whoever would do that is an asshole.
I am a bit ticked off that they included no B-sides on the two new releases. When you order All For One or Beautiful Thing, you get the single track and nothing more. Given that there have been numerous live performances, I wish they had thrown 3-4 live tracks on these releases as B-sides. At a minimum, there should be an official release of the version of Fool's Gold that appears in Made of Stone.
This is an impressive set, and it compares favorably with the Chorus box set, which I absolutely love. There aren't many bands who can say that they're able to deliver their discography in one package anymore because there is the usual label switch to contend with. Lush, thankfully, did not leave 4AD and try to continue with a different music label so it makes it easy to put out something beautiful like this and have it be "complete" in every sense of the word. Now would be a good time for the BBC to issue a double or triple disc of their sessions and live shows.
All three of the studio albums and the two compilations? Wow.
You know, if I had it in me, I'd open up a record store and try to get involved in things like this:
Radiohead have announced a huge streaming event, releasing a web page with a few intriguing details.
Put up on the 'A Moon Shaped Pool' website, the page features a large map with a title of 'Live From A Moon Shaped Pool'. The description reads:
A UNIQUE RADIOHEAD EVENT TAKING PLACE ON FRIDAY JUNE 17 AT RECORD STORES GLOBALLY. FEATURES AN EXCLUSIVE DAY LONG AUDIO STREAM FROM THE BAND, COMPETITIONS, INSTRUCTIONAL ARTWORKS AND MORE.
To me, it makes obvious sense to try to tap into a network of similar record stores and try to organize everyone for promotional purposes. To stream the music into select stores--not a bad idea. You can count on increased traffic in and out of the stores if you're also offering physical product or a guaranteed slate of releases, similar to what they do for record store day.
It would be a good idea to continue to organize and establish a network like this so that other bands can promote releases in this way? What record store is going to say no to Radiohead? Who's going to say no to a chance to increase foot traffic through the store? Once you establish this network, look at sales--do they make a difference or are people going to your online store to buy your music?
Selling vinyl is still problematic because there are only a handful of pressing plants in the world and they are working overtime to keep up with demand. We're a couple of industrial accidents away from having little or no production capacity in the entire world.
I mean, open a record store or build, from scratch, a vinyl record pressing plant with modern technology? Where would you put your money?
In order to show some appreciation for the reformation of Belly, 4AD have put together a re-release of their debut album Star. They're putting it out on white marbled vinyl and it includes updates and all of that. A classic! A really, really good album that should have been the foundation of a long and illustrious career that ended up being cut short just a few years later.
There was a gold rush at Sony and the other majors, and it’s hard to shake the feeling that the labels are trying to sell their archive a third time, this time to middle-aged buyers who can remember buying vinyl, naturally switched over to the CD, sold or threw away their old vinyl and aren’t completely happy with streaming today. A look at the vinyl section of a large Berlin store proves the shelves are full of reissues of old titles, mostly from major labels. Record players can be purchased right at the checkout. There’s nothing wrong with that – music should be sold in the formats that meet customer demand. But there are indicators that the majors are actively trying to secure substantial vinyl production capacity at the remaining pressing plants. How? By paying in advance. There might even be presses completely reserved for certain companies. That techno EP can wait – Led Zeppelin can’t. In the course of researching this article, we received emails that confirm such requests by the majors.
If this is the case – and the pressing plants are denying it – it would mean that the majors are attempting to buy their way into an industry that they played a significant role in destroying. And they are attempting once again to starve the indie labels, the very labels that never gave up on vinyl. On Record Store Day, when the shops are full of specially-made vinyl records and customers wait in line for these limited editions, the pressing plants have already had many hard weeks of work leading up to it. Who knows how many machines were quickly patched-up in lieu of a proper repair? Nobody has time to take a breath. The next releases are already on standby, and the machines continue to run at a furious pace.
But the vinyl production process isn’t only slowed down by the pressing plants – there are many steps long before a record is pressed that are also subject to complications. “The problem is the monopolization,” says Andreas Lubich, a mastering engineer and vinyl expert from Berlin. “There are currently many good mastering studios that prepare music for vinyl and also take care of the recording themselves. But the cutting machines are old and have to be used with a great deal of care. Replacement parts are rare and the secondhand market prices are unfathomable. Only a handful of people can repair them. They travel around the world throughout the year and have more to do than they can handle. In the worst case this means that a machine will lie idle for many weeks.”
The trouble starts before that. “There are only two companies worldwide that produce lacquers. One of these companies is a one-man operation in Japan run by an old man who produces the lacquers in his garage. It’s excellent quality, but who knows how much longer he can and especially will want to continue to do this. When we are in contact with him, we attempt to order as many lacquers as we can in order to stock up as much as possible. You don’t really know when you will reach him again. The other company is in the USA and serves a large portion of the market. It is practically a monopoly. This is not good for business.”
Music retailer HMV has revealed that they sold one vinyl player every minute in the week running up to Christmas.
As reported by The Scotsman, the company also predicted vinyl sales of around two million in 2016 as the ‘vinyl revival’ continues.
Ian Topping, Chief Executive of HMV, said: “Entertainment products form a major part of the Christmas shopping list. The gift of the year in 2015, though, has to be a turntable as we have seen a huge resurgence in the sales of vinyl.”
Gennaro Castaldo, spokesman for industry body the BPI, stated, “Having faced near-extinction in 2007, when only 205,000 LPs were sold, it’s likely we’ll see the best part of two million copies purchased this year.”
He continued: “While some fans are buying vinyl simply to own and collect it, many, naturally, want to be able to enjoy its warm, authentic sound, but unfortunately no longer have access to turntables. So it’s no surprise if retailers are reporting a surge in demand for record players as one of the ‘must-have’ Christmas gifts this year.”