END OF YEAR REVIEW 2020

TOP 20 REISSUES/COLLECTIONS

This year’s number one reissue achieved the unlikely accolade of uniting both ends of our multigenerational spectrum in total adoration. Occupying the top spot since January, Pale Saints’ 30th Anniversary Edition of “The Comforts Of Madness” wrapped Martin and Javi in its celestial shimmer all year long. There was a superb showing from hometown heroes as quintessential releases from The Charlatans, New Order, Joy Division and The Fall came back to the racks in expanded and definitive form, while new versions of all-time greats from Iggy Pop, Prince and John Coltrane rub shoulders with modern classics from The National and Gil Scott-Heron.

As ever, whether you dig on hip hop or punk rock, synth or psych, jazz, funk, folk or indie, your new favourite record lurks somewhere within this list…

Piccadilly Records Compilation 2020
Vinyl fans rejoice! We’re delighted to announce that we’re once again releasing a compilation LP, jam-packed with 12 tracks cherry picked from this year’s Top 20 albums. All for the bargain price of £9.99 again!
'Piccadilly Records Compilation 2020' is available to order here now.

Check out these links to see our other Best Of 2020 Charts:
Click HERE for the Piccadilly Top 100 Albums 2020
Click HERE for the Piccadilly Top 20 Compilations 2020

And don't forget our super deluxe perfect bound 92 page full colour End Of Year Review Booklet is available now too, beautifully designed yet again by Mark Brown Studio, you can pick up a physical copy here, free instore or view online here.

1 - Pale Saints

The Comforts Of Madness - 30th Anniversary Edition

    On the eve of a post-Thatcherite Britain, the Pale Saints, alongside the likes of Lush, Ride and Slowdive, were ushering in a new wave of British indie. And in 4AD, they found a perfect home for their music - an exciting & undeniable meld of noise and dream-pop.

    Their debut album, The Comforts of Madness, didn’t disappoint, now standing as one of the best of its era. Pitchfork placed it in their Best 50 Shoegaze Albums Of All Time saying, “There’s a restless urgency, particularly when the volume swells and the rhythms intensify. That energy not only keeps (it) vital, it emphasizes Pale Saints’ inventiveness, how they channelled softness and rage into something distinctive.”

    Nearly 30 years on and The Comforts of Madness is finally getting the reissue treatment. Having been remastered, a faithful LP repress on black vinyl is being released as well as double CD and double clear vinyl editions, both of which come with a bonus disc of previously unreleased demos and the band’s only John Peel Session, recorded in 1989.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: This year, my new year’s resolution was “don’t buy records, save money instead”. Everything was going swimmingly for the first two weeks of January - until one grim Friday when ‘The Comforts of Madness’ received its 30th Anniversary reissue. Like a dry January defeated by an old friend’s 30th birthday bash, I cracked and splurged, and did so with good reason.

    Visually, ‘The Comforts of Madness’ is instantly recognisable as a Vaughan Oliver creation. Familiar shapes and textures shimmer under a psychedelic sheen, all petals and whiskers and shadow; the tracklist splattered across the back like a mystic incantation (“way the fell. deep sleep, the sun. time in sight.” Amen.)

    Opening track “Way The World Is” crashes in like a horseman of the apocalypse, while the much-anthologised “Sight Of You” still sounds every bit as fresh and swooning as Martin assures me it did 1990. Across the album, crushing shoegaze guitars ebb and flow, bass lines worm and drums fizz, only letting up for tender moments like the balladic “Little Hammer”. It’s a sprawling LP of ambitious indie, pushing both instruments and the mixing desk to extremes, masterfully streamlined into a near-continuous soundscape with each song graciously giving way to the next.

    The bonus disc of unreleased live sessions and alternative recordings lifts the magic curtain slightly, revealing the band behind the sonic wizardry and dream-pop production - this version of Pale Saints is more earnest yet every bit as melodic, with shades of The Smiths, early MBV, and even The Beach Boys permeating the lower-fi recordings. They provide a warm and welcome counterpoint to the soaring album proper, and are well worth checking out and marvelling over.

    ‘The Comforts of Madness’ is from start to end, front to back, 1990 to 2020, a chaotic, ethereal, and epic work - and to these ears, at least, it might just be the 4AD album.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xColoured LP Info: Deluxe clear vinyl double LP includes unreleased demos & 1989 John Peel Session.

    2xCD Info: Deluxe double CD includes unreleased demos & 1989 John Peel Session.

    2 - The Charlatans

    Between 10th & 11th - Expanded Edition

      Beggars Arkive is excited to announce the reissue of Between 10th and 11th, the second album by The Charlatans.

      Available on double clear vinyl and double CD, the reissue contains the original album plus remastered tracks from the oft-bootlegged live show from Chicago in 1991, known as Isolation 21.2.91, a holy grail amongst fans.

      Between 10th and 11th was originally released in 1992 and feature the UK Top 20 hit (and biggest US single) “Weirdo”, as well as singles “Tremolo Song” and “I Don’t Want To See The Sights”

      “A certifiable classic” - PopMatters.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      says: Though there were mixed opinions on the new direction The Charlatans had taken on the darker ‘Between 10th & 11th’, the naysayers proved to be absolutely in the wrong with Flood’s production and a dreamier, shoegazy edge still sounding just as fresh today as it did at the time. A superbly written and formative album which includes one of my all-time favourite Charlatans tunes, “Weirdo”.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xColoured LP Info: Double clear vinyl.

      3 - New Order

      Power, Corruption & Lies - Definitive Edition

        Following last year’s inaugural box set, Power Corruption & Lies is the next Definitive Edition to chronical the history of one of the UK’s most enduring and influential groups.

        The box which includes an LP, two CDs, two DVDs and a book, features the album remastered for the first time from the original analogue tape masters on LP, and CD. The Extras CD contains previously unreleased writing sessions from New Order’s Manchester rehearsal rooms and the 1982 John Peel Session for the BBC. The DVDs capture New Order live during 1982 & 83 at The Hacienda and Kilkenny, the 1984 Play at Home Channel 4 TV documentary and other rare live & TV performances. Finally a beautiful 48 page hardback book of rare photos and brand new essay from Dave Simpson completes the Peter Saville designed box.

        Power, Corruption & Lies was recorded in 1982 at Britannia Row Studios, Islington and produced by New Order.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: One of New Order’s finest albums gets the Definitive Edition treatment. Following on from last year’s ‘Movement - Definitive Edition’, Rhino present a stunning Peter Saville designed box set including an LP and CD of the original album remastered for the first time from the original analogue tape masters, an extras CD containing previously unreleased sessions, two DVDs featuring live and TV performances and a sumptuous hardback book of rare photos and a brand new essay from Dave Simpson.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        FREE SHIPPING This item has FREE UK shipping!

        4 - Gil Scott-Heron

        I'm New Here - 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition

        In February 2010, the late, legendary musician, poet and author Gil Scott-Heron released his thirteenth, and last, studio album. First conceptualised in 2005, and ultimately produced by XL Recordings head Richard Russell during New York recording sessions that commenced in January 2008, "I’m New Here" was Scott-Heron’s first album in thirteen years and found him sounding as vital, boundary-pushing and insightful as ever before.

        In addition to the original album, this 'I'm New Here' 10th Anniversary Edition features two unreleased tracks - a cover of Richie Havens’ 'Handsome Johnny’ and a previously unheard Scott-Heron song 'King Henry IV’ - as well as a selection of other recordings from the original I’m New Here sessions that were only previously available on a rare, vinyl only deluxe version of the LP.

        "Ten years ago I was in the midst of recording “I’m New Here” with Gil. There was a lot more to the experience than it was possible to process at the time, and there was some great material that never made it onto the album. Our cover of “Handsome Jonny” was the last recording Gil and I made on the last day of the last session for “I’m New Here”, at Clinton Studio in Hell’s Kitchen, NY, on September 19, 2009. Gil had introduced me to the original version of the song, explaining how Richie Havens had performed it in his opening set at Woodstock some forty years earlier, and we added it to a list of material we were considering for the album. In the end we recorded some of these songs, like Bobby Blue Bland’s “I’ll Take Care Of You”, Bill Callahan’s “I’m New Here” and Robert Johnson’s “Me and the Devil”, and didn’t get round to some others, including Joy Divison’s “Disorder”." - producer Richard Russell

        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: A Piccadilly Records Album Of The Year back in 2010. There's little that can be said about this legendary outing from XL head Richard Russell and the great GSH that hasn't already been said, it's an absolutely essential listen, and this expanded edition makes it even more so. A wildly groundbreaking and influential recording.

        5 - John Coltrane

        Giant Steps - 60th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

          John Coltrane is one of the most renowned jazz artists and influential saxophonists in music history

          Within the span of less than three weeks, John Coltrane completed his work with Miles Davis on what would become the bestselling jazz title in history (Kind of Blue) and embarked on his first record with Atlantic that would become the landmark recording Giant Steps.

          Saying farewell to bebop, "Giant Steps" was Coltrane's second album to be recorded for the Atlantic label, and marked the first time that all of the pieces on a recording had been composed by him. The recording exemplifies Coltrane's melodic phrasing that came to be known as 'sheets of sound', and features the use of a new harmonic concept later to be known as 'Coltrane changes'. The set features early versionss of "Naima", "Cousin Mary", "Mr PC", "Spiral", and "Syeeda's Song Flute".

          A remastered, deluxe 180g 2-LP and 2-CD, each with the original album plus a bonus disc of alternate takes and versions – including rehearsal and incomplete tracks, as well as false starts – only previously included in The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings of John Coltrane boxed set.


          STAFF COMMENTS

          says: There are few artists more important to the history of jazz than John Coltrane, and ‘Giant Steps’ is one of the reasons why. From bebop to the development of free-jazz, you can hear the influence that Coltrane took in, and in turn his influence on the world of music. Now, we get a deluxe double album reissue with an extra disc of unheard outtakes. It’s a no-brainer for any jazz fan.

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xDeluxe LP Info: 2-LP configuration features a 12” x 12” 12pp booklet, packaged in a replica of the original 1969 stereo pressing, with a 12” x 12” album cover insert included.

          2xDeluxe CD Info: 2-CD configuration is a 6-panel, 2-pocket digi that features a 24-page booklet.

          6 - The National

          High Violet - 10 Year Anniversary Expanded Edition

            Originally released in May 2010, the critically acclaimed fifth studio album features the now-classics “Terrible Love”, “Bloodbuzz Ohio”, “England”, and perennial show closer, “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks.” In addition to the 10 original tracks, the triple LP package includes a third LP which includes tracks never before available on vinyl, including “Wake Up Your Saints,” an alternate version of “Terrible Love”, “Walk Off” and more.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            says: The National are going to cause a stir whenever any of their music gets a reissue, and the 10 year anniversary edition of High Violet did that by being both riotously essential (“Terrible Love” and “Bloodbuzz Ohio” are worth it for the entry price alone), and beautifully packaged.

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            3xColoured LP Info: Triple marbled white & purple/violet vinyl.

            7 - Prince

            Sign O' The Times - Remastered

              Overflowing with musical ideas and topical lyrics that sound just as relevant today as they did when they were initially released, Prince’s iconic double album Sign O’ The Times captured the artist in a period of complete reinvention. The final 16-track album included just some of the countless songs Prince recorded in the prolific period of 1985-1987, which saw the dissolution of his band The Revolution, the construction of his innovative recording complex, Paisley Park, and the creation (and ultimate abandonment) of the albums Dream Factory, Camille, and Crystal Ball.

              This September 25, The Prince Estate, in partnership with Warner Records/Rhino UK, will reissue Sign O’ The Times. This limited edition 2LP peach vinyl set and 2CD set will feature the classic album remastered for the very first time by Prince’s original mastering engineer Bernie Grundman.


              STAFF COMMENTS

              says: Recorded during the most productive era for the most prolific musician of all time, ‘Sign O’ The Times’ is probably Prince’s magnum opus. Overflowing with ideas, hooks and slinking funk, the Purple One tackled the personal and the political while setting the template for every good R&B album released since.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              2xColoured LP Info: 2xLP 180g Peach Coloured Vinyl on the initial run only.

              2xLP Info: 2x black vinyl edition.

              8 - African Head Charge

              Drumming Is A Language 1990 - 2011

                A companion set to the acclaimed Environmental Holes & Drastic Tracks set issued in 2016 that anthologised the early years of African Head Charge, this picks up the story in 1990 with what many fans regard as the band’s masterpiece, Songs Of Praise, plus 3 more studio albums, a ton of bonus tracks (including an entire disc of early 90s outtakes) and 36 page booklet. Each disc in an individual reverse board card wallet housed in a high quality outer slipcase. 

                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: The bedrock might still be provided by master Nyabinghi percussionist Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah and spiky dub genius Adrian Sherwood but the music in this set expands on their earlier material, bringing greater coherence to their sound and journeying further and deeper into dub. Psychedelic Africa at it's finest, every bit as essential as its predecessor.

                9 - Iggy Pop

                The Bowie Years

                  1977 the story of Iggy Pop and David Bowies Collaboration on two of the most iconic albums of the decade is told in a new seven CD box set which features the albums remastered, a disc of out takes and Three discs of live recordings officially released (with the endorsement of Iggy Pop) for the first time.

                  In 1977, Iggy Pop signed with RCA Records and with the help of David Bowie the two of them wrote and produced The Idiot and Lust for Life, Iggy Pop’s two most acclaimed albums as a solo artist, the latter featuring one of Pop’s best-known songs “The Passenger”.

                  Among the songs David Bowie and Iggy Pop wrote together were “China Girl”, “Tonight”, and “Sister Midnight”, all of which David Bowie performed on his own albums later on (the last being recorded with different lyrics as “Red Money” on the album Lodger). David Bowie also played keyboards on Pop’s live performances, some of which are featured on the album TV Eye Live in 1978.

                  This set has been mastered from the best possible sources, and contains a 40-page booklet written by the Guardians Michael Hahn with contributions from the musicians who played on the records and fans who talk about the influence the albums had on them.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  says: Iggy Pop’s ‘The Idiot’ and ‘Lust For Life’ are two of the most instantly recognisable albums in rock history, and with David Bowie behind the desk, it’s really no surprise. Without this collaboration, the musical landscape may be entirely different. Seminal works all round.

                  10 - The Fall

                  The Frenz Experiment - Expanded Edition

                    Beggars Arkive is excited to reissue The Fall’s 10th studio album, 1988’s THE FRENZ EXPERIMENT. Available as an expanded edition on CD and LP, the releases both contain the original album, plus singles and B-Sides. The notes included with both formats contain brand new interviews conducted by Daryl Easley in May 2020.

                    “I was clearing out the other day and I came across a review of Frenz Experiment, saying how this could have been great, how it could have been like T. Rex’s Electric Warrior. I never attempted to make an album like T-Rex. I don’t see the point in anybody trying to make an album like T-Rex, although people do. I don’t mind it when journalists make fair comparisons, when they’ve done their homework. But comparing Frenz to Electric Warrior is plain daft.”
                    - Mark E Smith, Renegade – The Lives And Tales Of Mark E Smith, 2008

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    says: Beggars Arkive re-issue The Fall’s 10th studio album, 1988’s ‘The Frenz Experiment’. Released at the height of their mainstream popularity, this expanded edition (on vinyl and CD) features the monstrous “Hit The North” as well as the cover versions of “Victoria” and “There’s A Ghost In My House”, alongside firm fan favourites like “Carrier Bag Man”, and “Bremen Nacht”.

                    11 - Elliott Smith

                    Elliott Smith - Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition

                      The impact of Elliott Smith ’s music holds no bounds. He has been championed, covered, and sampled by artists from Billie Eilish to Pearl Jam to Frank Ocean and his distinct, solemn sound reverberates in the work of the National, Phoebe Bridgers and Bon Iver. To commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Elliott Smith’s self-titled second solo album, Kill Rock Stars/UMGI is set to release the Elliott Smith: Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition on the 28th August, 2020.

                      The package includes a revelatory new remastering of the original Elliott Smith record and a bonus disc of the earliest known recording of Smith performing as a solo act, from September 17, 1994 at Portland’s café and “art salon” Umbra Penumbra. The albums come encased within a 52-page coffee table book with handwritten lyrics, reminiscences from Smith’s friends and colleagues about his life at the time he was writing and recording this album, and two dozen previously unseen photographs from the era by JJ Gonson, who shot the image on the album’s cover (the original photo that became the cover is also seen here for the first time).

                      When Elliott Smith was released in July 1995, it was so dramatically out-of-step with the later stages of grunge—and with the indie rock and Riot Grrl sounds associated with the Kill Rock Stars label—that it was completely ignored by the press but championed by artists from the Beastie Boys to Fugazi. “I’ve always felt like this record is underappreciated,” says Kill Rock Stars founder Slim Moon. “A lot of people overlook Elliott’s first two records—they think of them as a prelude to the bigger albums that followed—but when you go back, you discover they’re really great. This is Elliott’s most fragile and delicate music, and we wanted to honor that with a special and beautiful package.”

                      For this release, producer/engineer Larry Crane, the official archivist for the Smith family, dug through files, reels, cassettes, and DAT tapes to find the closest sources to the original Elliott Smith first-generation mix downs and spent days to carefully transfer and clean up the audio from the Umbra Penumbra high-quality cassette provided by Casey Crynes. “There are fan-traded MP3s out there of this show, but when people hear what I was able to extract from this original tape, they’ll be shocked,” says Crane.

                      The Umbra Penumbra show gives a sense of the contrast between Smith’s live and studio approaches. “He was goofier on stage, making jokes and messing with his own words,” says Gonson. “He worked the words very carefully—he was very admiring of Joni Mitchell and how she wrote. So it was fun, you’d hear a song and then it would change.” What emerged from this challenging creative evolution was a set of songs with the intimacy and intensity of an acoustic-based singer-songwriter and the gut-punch power of a rocker.

                      Smith’s joy and connection to the creative community in Portland, his home at the time, is beautifully documented by the photos and reminiscences in this new package. A few years after Elliott Smith was released, the singer himself looked back on the album that in many ways laid the groundwork for his image and his triumphant, ultimately tragic career. “I think that record gave me a reputation for being a really dark, depressed person,” he said, “but I think I’m just about as happy as all the other people I know. Which is occasionally.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      says: Another hugely important album turns 25 years old, and we finally get a repress to go with it! Elliott Smith’s self titled 1995 outing was a perfect distillation of solemn acoustic balladry and taut, folky melodicsm always teetering on the edge of breakdown, but beautifully balanced and performed.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      2xDeluxe LP Info: 52 page hard cover photo book with black fabric wrap with black and white foil stamping + 2 x 180g black vinyl.

                      2xDeluxe CD Info: 52 page hard cover photo book with black fabric wrap with black and white foil stamping + 2CD's.

                      12 - Piper

                      Summer Breeze

                        Led by guitarist/vocalist Keisuke Yamamoto, Piper was formed in Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. A move to Tokyo was followed by the release of their first single on Yupiteru Records, thanks to original guitarist Yuji Suzuki who had became an A&R man for the label. Citing British bands like Wishbone Ash and Camel as influences, Yamamoto and Piper nevertheless conjured up classic American sounds on Piper’s recordings, utilizing unusual recording techniques and new technologies like Linn drums to effortlessly blend styles of funk, soul and fusion and simultaneously evoking summer vibes, autumnal breezes, and wintery shimmer.

                        Summer Breeze is Piper’s second album, originally released in 1984 on Yupiteru. Inspired by the sounds of Masayoshi Takanaka and Tatsuro Yamashita, as well as the concept of “BGM” (background music) championed by YMO, Summer Breeze was a conscious about face from their debut to create a new signature sound and become masters of summery resort vibes. Its smooth sounds belie the bevy of experimentation utilized on the recording, from vocoders and drum programming to recording guitars direct through the board. Even the iconic cover art, with the surfer wearing an impossibly short crop top, is deceiving in its simplicity – it was one of the most expensive jackets produced by the label at the time, due to its use of special spot colors and custom handlettering. The original album featured the marketing copy “Good Weather! Good Sounds!” which perfectly encapsulates the sounds contained on the album.


                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        says: Originally released in 1985, this sophisticated Japanese classic from Piper has been at the top of the collective wantlist for years. Serving the City Pop cocktail with a resort twist, Summer Breeze shimmies through synth pop, fusion and AOR grooves to deliver a sound as iconic as that surfer’s crop top.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        Ltd LP Info: Newly Remastered for Vinyl.
                        LP Includes Huge 24" x 24" Fold Out Poster.

                        13 - The Kills

                        Little Bastards

                          The Kills have compiled an extraordinary career spanning b-sides and rarities album titled, appropriately, Little Bastards. The songs date back from the band’s first 7-inch singles in 2002 through to 2009. All of the material has been newly remastered for release on 2 x LP, CD & Digital and marks the first ever vinyl pressing for some of these tracks.

                          The compilation includes the unreleased and never-before-heard demo “Raise Me” from the 2008-2009 Midnight Boom era. Other highlights include “I Call It Art” from the Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited covers compilation, the brilliant Midnight Boom digital bonus track “Night Train,” a blistering performance of “Love Is A Deserter” from an XFM radio session and a handful of classic American roots songs performed with the kind of bruising delivery they’re famous for: Howlin’ Wolfs’ “Forty Four,” Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell on You” and Dock Boggs’ “Sugar Baby.”

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          says: It always amazes me when a band releases a b-sides album that could easily have held an album’s worth of material. In the case of the new Kills retrospective, ‘Little Bastards’ (named after a presumably disobedient Roland 880 sampler) it could easily have been two albums worth.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive transparent neon yellow vinyl.

                          2xDeluxe LP Info: Indies exclusive transparent neon yellow vinyl with signed 5x7 print.

                          14 - PJ Harvey

                          Dry - Remastered Vinyl Edition

                            Dry is the debut studio album by English singer-songwriter and musician PJ Harvey, originally released on Too Pure Records on 30 March 1992. The album was recorded at The Icehouse, a local studio in Yeovil. Critically lauded both on release and retrospectively, the album contains the singles “Dress’ and ‘Sheela-Na-Gig’

                            Back in print for the first time in almost 20 years, Beggars Archive on behalf of Too Pure Records is pleased to announce the re-issue of Dry on vinyl. The album was remastered by the original producer “Head” and has been replicated to the original version as much as possible. 

                            Pitchfork – “On her debut, Polly Jean Harvey matched Patti Smith’s incandescence with Bessie Smith’s lasciviousness, outplayed everyone on the British indie circuit, and became an instant star - 9.2”

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            says: Available on vinyl for the first time in 20 years, PJ Harvey’s ‘Dry’ was a kick in the spine for indie music of the time, and remains as uncompromisingly raw and sonically hulking as it did back then.

                            15 - Joy Division

                            Closer: 40th Anniversary Edition

                              Limited edition 40th anniversary version of the band’s second and final studio album, pressed on 180g crystal clear vinyl.

                              Originally released in July 1980 on Factory Records, the album reached number 6 in the UK Charts. In the same year, the album was voted number 1 in NME’s 1980 Albums of the Year poll.

                              Closer was recorded in March 1980 at Britannia Row Studios in Islington, London. It was produced by the highly praised Martin Hannett whose distinctive production style utilised unorthodox sound recording and technology.

                              STAFF COMMENTS

                              says: The totally essential second and indeed final album from Joy Division, and to celebrate its 40th anniversary Rhino have released a stunning clear vinyl edition. No extra unreleased tracks, but when the original album is this good, who needs them!

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: 180g 12” 1LP on Crystal Clear Vinyl.

                              16 - L7

                              Smell The Magic - 30th Anniversary Edition

                                This 30th-anniversary edition of the ‘90s underground rock classic Smell the Magic includes all 9 songs from the album, remastered and available together on vinyl for the first time ever! A multitude of rock music scenes populated the expanse of Los Angeles in 1989: hardcore punk, industrial goth, roots rock, and Sunset Strip hair metal, to name a few. L7 fit into none of them, creating their own unique blend of punk and hard, hooky rock loaded with humor and cultural commentary. Originally released in 1990, Smell the Magic is a a landmark of '90s feminist rock.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                says: If you’ve listened to the radio in the last 30 years you can hear all sorts of examples of how much L7 influenced other acts, and this 30th anniversary reboot of their incendiary second album is a remastered gem in the weirdo goth-rock crown.

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                Coloured LP Info: Indies-only Loser edition on neon orange vinyl.

                                17 - Suede

                                Beautiful Ones: The Best Of Suede 1992 - 2018 - Boxset Editions

                                  From their early singles and their 1993 Mercury Music Prize-winning debut album to their break-up in 2003, Suede were a fixture in the single and album charts, and in the music press too. They scored twenty hit singles and five hit albums (three of which debuted at # 1), and a double album of B-sides even charted at # 9.

                                  The band reformed for a one-off charity concert in 2010 and decided to make it permanent – they have released three new studio albums since 2013.

                                  Compiled by the band, this best of features the huge 90s hits like “The Drowners”, “Metal Mickey”, “Animal Nitrate”, “Stay Together”, “The Wild Ones”, Trash, “Filmstar”, “Beautiful Ones”, “Saturday Night”, “She’s In Fashion”, “Everything Will Flow” and “Can’t Get Enough”. The collection brings the story up to date with tracks from the three recent albums, including “Life Is Golden”, “It Starts And Ends With You” and “Outsiders”.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  says: A definitive look at one of the country’s most enduring acts. Compiled by the band themselves, ‘Beautiful Ones’ is presented as stunning six LP and four CD box set editions or as trimmed down double LP and CD editions.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  6xLP Box Set Info: Coloured vinyl.

                                  FREE SHIPPING This item has FREE UK shipping!

                                  18 - The Blue Nile

                                  High

                                    To complete their reissue programme The Blue Nile again worked alongside long term producer/engineer partner Calum Malcolm.

                                    This 2CD deluxe set, features all nine tracks remastered plus a bonus disc featuring four previously unreleased songs plus two extended remixes - over 32 minutes of new music!

                                    Also available for the first time on vinyl (full album,9 tracks, remastered) completing the series of catalogue re-issues.

                                    The Blue Nile hope you fully enjoy them!!

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    says: Scotland’s kings of sophisti-pop complete their reissue series with 2004’s ‘High’, an album which found a heartbroken Paul Buchanan once again staring at city lights through rain soaked windows. As emotive and immersive as any of their early work, this is well worth a first time on vinyl and expanded CD release.

                                    19 - Shirley Scott

                                    One For Me

                                      Presenting Shirley Scott’s deeply personal album, ‘One for Me’ - a defiant tribute to the music she always desired to create but was shrouded by the demands of her vibrant career. Thoughtful curation of the band, tracks, and completely self-funded, this project set off on an innovative trajectory supported by Harold Vick on tenor saxophone and Billy Higgins on drums. Originally released on the revolutionary artist-owned label, Strata-East Records, in January 1975, this unique project is available to enjoy again on Arc Records.

                                      The impetus for this record was a real desire for Shirley to express herself more freely and create something for herself, taking back the power she’d seemingly relinquished throughout her career. Maxine Gordon, Scott’s close friend, and executive producer on the original record, expresses that they often had intimate discussions about how Scott was being told what to play, what to wear, how to look and how to speak in public for many years. Having had enough of these restrictions, she created this record to please no one but herself. As Scott expresses on the back of the original LP sleeve:

                                      “All of the music recorded in this album is both personal and very purposeful to me, because it is the first step toward honesty about what and how I want to play. I’ve done a lot of other albums, a lot of different ways for a lot of different people and now, with the help of the Creator, in whom all things are possible, I have done one for me too.”

                                      Having self-raised funds to make the record, with complete control over the masters, and with her dream band together, Scott recorded at Blue Rock Studio in November 1974. Harold Vick, often referred to as one of the “unsung tenor saxophonists” of his time, was cherry picked to bring Scott’s vision to life. Throughout his career, he released records on Blue Note, RCA as well as performing and recording with a string of legendary artists such as Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin. Completing the dream trio was highly sought out drummer Billy Higgins, who is the most recorded drummer in the history of Blue Note Records, having played on 45 Blue Note albums. The key to their success was that Higgins tuned his drums to fit with the organ’s bass sound which, of course, Scott played with her feet.

                                      Scott was also known as “Little Miss Half-Steps,” a name given to her by tenor saxophonist George Coleman, (who wrote a composition by that name in her honor) - she regularly played with both George & Harold. Coleman is known to have admired Scott’s half-steps (when you play two adjacent keys on the organ or piano) and their close bond and mutual respect is solidified on this record through a track titled ‘Big George’ - specifically written for Coleman.

                                      “Queen of the Organ”, Shirley Scott was born in Philadelphia in 1934 and lived there most of her life until her early death in March 2002 at the age of 67. Having mastered the piano at an early age, Scott switched from piano to organ at the tender age of 21. Scott had a legendary recording career as a leader with 45 albums mainly released on Impulse and Prestige and is often remembered for her work with Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and Stanley Turrentine. Boasting a thriving career as a musician and composer, Scott progressed to a professor at Cheyney University in her later years. She was a treasured mother and grandmother, and a cherished friend of music scholar, Maxine Gordon, who’s honour it is to collaborate with Arc Records on shining a new bright light on this monumental body of work.

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      says: Arc Records dig into the Strata-East archives to bring this jazz masterpiece back into the spotlight. Originally released in 1975, the self funded LP saw Shirley Scott, ably assisted by Harold Vick and Billy Higgins, breaking free of industry rules and expectations to release the music she wanted to hear. Now once again we can hear it too.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      Ltd LP Info: We're only getting a handful of these so don't snooze!

                                      20 - McCarthy

                                      The Enraged Will Inherit The Earth

                                        Originally released in 1989. The Enraged Will Inherit the Earth is a musical molotov cocktail that’s a mixture of power chords and virile, virtuous lyrics.

                                        The songwriting is tightly forged and their knack for producing raw pop is at its finest here. The Enraged Will Inherit The Earth is a powerful weapon that didn’t get enough of a user base to make its intended impact. If the question was ever proposed, “can art be a weapon?” I think this album answers with a bold and resounding “yes.”

                                        Including the singles Boy Meets Girl, So What; Should The Bible Be Banned; Keep An Open Mind Or Else & This Nelson Rockerfeller. 

                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                        says: With poppy hooks and progressions hidden beneath a cover of driven politicism and anti-war sentiment, McCarthy presented a fascinating and enjoyable juxtaposition of styles and production techniques. This new remaster includes an extra LP AND an extra 7” too!

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        2xColoured LP Info: This limited edition set contains the original LP plus a 10 track bonus LP and a bonus 7” with 2 previously unreleased tracks.
                                        Remastered and pressed on colour vinyl with a reworked sleeve by original designer Andy Royston.


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