Kate Bush/Before The Dawn (Live)
Limited four 180 gram vinyl LP set. 2016 live release from the acclaimed British singer/songwriter/performer. Presented as an audacious, multi-media theatrical performance entitled Before The Dawn, the month-long, sold-out, 22-date residency at London’s Hammersmith Apollo was an unqualified triumph. Now, to the delight of Kate Bush fans around the world, comes the audio document of those mesmerizing, historic shows. The sound quality is almost unparalleled; nothing has been re-recorded or overdubbed. The three act show, containing many well-known Kate Bush songs, also included two song suites: ‘The Ninth Wave’ from Hounds of Love and ‘A Sky of Honey,’ from Aerial. Included in the show are an abundance of well-loved songs from her extraordinary career including ‘Running Up That Hill,’ ‘Hounds of Love,’ ‘And Dream of Sheep,’ ‘Waking The Witch’ and ‘Cloudbusting.’ Despite the enormous anticipation and expectations, Before The Dawn drew resounding praise from fans and critics all over the world. The New York Times called the performance ‘Dense, cathartic and physical.’ NME concluded: ‘It is no ordinary artist that can tackle life, death, synchronicity, identity, spiritual transformation, empathy and the chaos of relationships with idiosyncratic ease in the space of a few hours,’ and the U.K.’s Independent gushed, ‘Undoubtedly the most ambitious, and genuinely moving piece of theatrical pop ever seen on a British stage.’
Lauryn Hill/MTv Unplugged 2.0
Limited double 180gm vinyl LP pressing including four page insert. Lauryn Hill is best known for being a member of The Fugees and for her critically acclaimed solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which won numerous awards, broke several sales records and was listed by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest albums of all time. The acoustic MTV Unplugged No.2.0 double album from Lauryn Hill came nearly four years after the first solo album and gives an insight in her deeper thoughts and emotions about her life, artist, the judicial system (in ‘Mystery Of Iniquity’) and spiritual side. Lengthy intros, conversations and deeply personal songs like ‘Conquering Lion’ accompanied with her acoustic guitar, with the audience add to the intimate performance in her typical raspy voice. The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 and her song ‘Mystery Of Iniquity’ was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Rap Solo Performance and used as an interpolation by Kanye West for his single ‘All Falls Down’. Great acoustic songs like ‘Adam Lives In Theory’, ‘Oh Jerulasem’ and ‘I Gotta Find Peace Of Mind’ complete the album. MTV Unplugged No 2.0 was her last album and pressed in limited quantities. This reissue comes just in time for it’s 15th year anniversary in 2017.
Magnetic Fields/The Wayward Bus/Distant Plastic Trees
The sound of The Wayward Bus is quite similar to Distant Plastic Trees, filled as it is with walls of cheap synthesizers and drum machines while featuring the haunting vocals of Susan Anway. The atmosphere of the album is also, like its predecessor, filled with a sort of melancholic wistfulness. Yet there are major differences between the two records. Primarily, The Wayward Bus works in many ways as a tribute of sorts to Phil Spector and Brian Wilson. Several tracks here use the rhythms to Spector’s “Be My Baby,” while the theme of summer love often recurs. Furthermore, there is little of the out-and-out experimentation heard on the debut, while Merritt added cello and horns to his music for the first time. While there’s nothing here as gorgeous as “100,000 Fireflies,” the record is more consistent than The Wayward Bus, and the simple beauty of tracks like “Lovers From the Moon” and “Candy” rank among Merritt’s best songwriting, as does the Japanese pop pastiche, “Tokyo a Go-Go.” Anway’s last album with the group, The Wayward Bus was later released on one CD with Distant Plastic Trees.
The Rolling Stones/Blue & Lonesome
Double heavyweight vinyl LP pressing in gatefold jacket. 2016 release from the veteran British rock ‘n’ roll band. We all know that the Stones (as with so many ’60’s UK bands) started out rocking the blues-and this new release, recorded in just three days in London in late 2015, takes us straight back to the band’s blues roots. Their first studio album in more than a decade was produced by Jagger/Richards with Don Was and features their touring bassist Darryl Jones and keyboardists Chuck Leavell and Matt Clifford. As it should be, this down ‘n’ dirty blues album was recorded live in the studio with no overdubs: “Just Your Fool,” “Commit a Crime,” “Blue and Lonesome,” “Everybody Knows About My Good Thing,” “I Can’t Quit You Baby” (last two featuring guitar by Eric Clapton) and more classics originally done by Little Walter, Otis Rush, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Magic Sam and more.
Aaron Neville/Tell It Like It Is
Vinyl LP repressing of this classic album from the veteran soul vocalist and member of New Orleans icons The Neville Brothers. “Tell It Like It Is” is generally considered one of the greatest R&B tracks of the 1960’s, where the song resided on the top of the R&B charts for several weeks, and even reached #2 on the pop charts in the midst of Beatlemania. The identically named debut album from Aaron Neville was first released in November of 1966. Neville had been recording since 1960 but he didn’t score a solo hit until “Tell It Like It Is” sold over a million copies.
John McEuen/Made In Brooklyn
KRS-One/Return Of The Boom Bap
Double colored vinyl LP pressing including bonus seven inch single. Over two decades later, KRS One’s debut solo album Return Of The Boom Bap finally gets the reissue it deserves. Pressed for the first time on color vinyl, this double LP not only includes a bonus 7″ of Kenny Parker remixes, it also features the first-ever color sleeve on a US pressing. Stripping away the intricate production of the final Boogie Down Productions album, Sex And Violence, Return Of The Boom Bap saw the already iconoclastic rapper return to the bare bones, gritty territory of his landmark masterpiece Criminal Minded. KRS-One’s delivery, too, burned with a reinvigorated fury, spitting out his rhymes with pummeling cadences and world-wise intelligence. Although the record isn’t as focused on social activism and political protest as the latter Boogie Down albums, KRS-One never made his lyrics simplistic, nor did he turn his back on what could now be called prescient social commentary. The combination of raw beats and emotion-driven rhymes made Return Of The Boom Bap a genuine comeback for KRS-One, one of the founding figures of modern hip hop.
The Who/Live At Leeds
Half-Speed Mastering is an elaborate process whereby the source and the turntable on the disc cutting lathe are run at 16 2/3 R.P.M. The result is a record that is capable of extremely clean and un-forced high-frequency response as well as a detailed and solid stereo image. These half-speed masters of three classic albums were all cut by Miles Showell, the Mastering Engineer at the world famous Abbey Road Studios. Each album is pressed onto 180 gram heavyweight vinyl and includes a download card. The Who’s Live at Leeds, regarded by many music critics as the best live rock album of all time was released in May 1970. Having decided to record a live album two dates were arranged, one at the University of Leeds on the 14 February 1970 and the other a day later at Hull City Hall. Because of some technical issues with the Hull recording the Leeds show became the one released as the live album. Although the set at Leeds featured 33 songs only six appeared on the original 1970 vinyl release including a 14 minute version of My Generation, when remixed and released on CD in 1995 the track count increased to 14. Thirty years after the albums original release a 2CD Deluxe Edition was released featuring all 33 tracks, however, they did not feature in the running order they were performed with the complete Tommy taking up the whole of CD2. The Deluxe Edition Vinyl 3 LP set release now feature all 33 tracks in the order they were played by The Who at Leeds University back on Valentine’s Day 1970. There are only a handful of genuinely seminal live albums, but the Who’s Live at Leeds is undoubtedly one. Recorded in the comparatively intimate environs of the University refectory, Leeds, in February 1970, the two-hour-plus show was heavily truncated and clocked in at a mere 38 minutes upon it’s release as an album later the same year. Despite this, the album’s six tracks showcased the thermonuclear dynamics that established the who as the best live rock band in the world. Throughout the proceedings, The Who’s blitzkrieg barrage is propelled by the octopus limbed Keith Moon-the-loon and John Entwistle’s elasticated, dc10-booming bass, topped with Pete Townsend’s tumultuous windmilled power chords and Roger Daltrey’s howl.
Limited vinyl LP pressing. Originally released 20 years ago on June 18, 1996 on DGC, Odelay was Beck’s breakthrough follow-up to his platinum bow, Mellow Gold. Selling more than two million copies in the U.S., the double-platinum-certified Odelay featured classics that loom large in Beck’s live sets to this day, including ‘Where It’s At, ‘ ‘Devils Haircut’ and ‘The New Pollution.’ Odelay won two Grammy Awards in 1997, Best Alternative Music Album and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for ‘Where It’s At, ‘ and was Beck’s first album to be nominated for Album of the Year the top honor his most recent album Morning Phase took home last year. Produced by Beck with collaborators the Dust Brothers, Mario Caldato Jr., Brian Paulson, Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf, Odelay continued to demonstrate and expand upon Beck’s eclectic stylistic palette. It was universally praised upon it’s release, named Album of the Year in both Rolling Stone and the prestigious Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics’ poll, as well as the U.K. New Musical Express’ critics’ poll, where the album represented Beck’s platinum breakthrough in England. In 1998, Q magazine readers voted Odelay one of the greatest albums of all time, while Rolling Stone ranked it in it’s 2003 list of the ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time, ‘ and #9 on it’s list of the ‘100 Best Albums of the 90s.’
Limited double vinyl LP pressing including digital download. Beck’s seventh album, Sea Change, signified a dramatic musical shift in sound and tone from it’s predecessor, the funky, R&B-influenced Midnite Vultures, and as it’s title suggested, was a profound transformation. Inspired by the dissolution of a longtime relationship, Beck transformed his sadness into both his most personal and beautiful record to date, trading his trademark sample-filled songs and impressionistic, irreverent lyrics for pensive melodies, sweeping strings and direct, confessional lyrics. Produced by Nigel Godrich, the album, which peaked at #8 on the Billboard 200, was made with a full band which included guitarist Smokey Hormel, keyboard player Roger Manning, drummer Joey Waronker; Beck’s father, David Campbell, provided string arrangements. While widely praised upon release in 2002, the album has only grown in stature. Rolling Stone’s David Fricke hailed it as ‘the best album Beck has ever made,’ adding it’s his Blood On The Tracks, and the record was listed in their 2009 definitive list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and the 100 Best Albums of the 2000s. In SPIN’s 10-year anniversary piece, they declared it ‘the best melancholy album of the millennium’ while The Guardian called it ‘his masterpiece.
Limited vinyl LP pressing. Beck kept fans and critics guessing about how he’d follow up Sea Change and in 2005 released the genre-mashing Guero which shot to #2 on the Billboard Top 200-his highest charting album to date. Beck’s eighth album saw him reuniting with the Dust Brothers with an assist from producer Tony Hoffer (Midnite Vultures), for a tour de force of Latin rhythms, rhymes, guitars, beats, samples, 8-bit electronics, turntables and vocoder for a fun and freewheeling ride through rock, hip-hop, boss nova, country-blues and soul. Album opener and lead single, ‘E-Pro’ went to # 1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart, while ‘Girl,’ ‘Hell Yes,’ ‘Go It Alone’ (featuring Jack White on bass) and more became instant fan favorites. The album was a hit with critics as well with New York magazine enthusing, ‘Beck integrates his personae into a fairly seamless whole, and his knack for synthesizing disparate musical elements (hip-hop, robot funk, blues, country, jazz, garage rock, etc.) extends beyond samples and individual tracks. The songs migrate smoothly from one to the next; there aren’t any throwaway numbers to sabotage the album’s momentum; the whole thing coheres,’ while Rolling Stone dubbed it ‘his liveliest and jumpiest music in years.’