Some words from John Reed, the compiler of our Box Set Of The Year 2017 - 'Manchester North Of England - A Story Of Independent Music Greater Manchester 1977-1993': Manchester North Of England was inspired by a cassette which Jon Ronson did with Sarah Champion back in 1988. I'd moved to Manchester in 2011 and was working with the Inspirals on their last album in 2013, when we got chatting about that cassette. From those conversations, the 7-CD box set evolved, though it took maybe three years, off and on. What was amazing was how much music came out of (Greater) Manchester during that period – much more than most other cities. Although the backbone of the compilation is indie, we tried to broaden it to include other styles (punk, pop, dance, reggae, hip hop). Due acknowledgements to sleeve-note writer Mick Middles, designer Keith Davey and Manchester Digital Music Archive for their help.

Check out these links to see our other Best Of 2017 Charts:
Click HERE for the Piccadilly Top 100 Albums 2017
Click HERE for the Piccadilly Top 20 Compilations 2017
Click HERE for the Piccadilly Top 10 Reissues / Collections 2017

And don't forget our super deluxe perfect bound 60 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, or free instore.

1 - Various Artists

Manchester North Of England - A Story Of Independent Music Greater Manchester 1977-1993

    From Buzzcocks to Britpop, Manchester North Of England is the ultimate tribute to the independent output of that most important and iconic of musical cities, with 146 tracks across seven CDs in a deluxe box set.

    Compiled by the team behind other Cherry Red box sets (Scared To Get Happy, Still In A Dream, Millions Like Us, Action Time Vision, etc.), this tells the story of how indie music exploded in Manchester after the rush of Punk and the seminal release of the Buzzcocks’ Spiral Scratch EP.

    With exhaustive sleeve-notes by the city’s leading music journalist of the era, Mick Middles, and a foreword by Mark Radcliffe, Manchester North Of England includes many of the key bands from the late 70s to the early 90s – Joy Division, The Fall, New Order, James, Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, Morrissey, John Cooper Clarke, 808 State, A Certain Ratio, Durutti Column, The Charlatans and last but not least, Oasis.

    Although the scene was dominated by blokes with guitars, which is reflected here, Manchester North Of England also doffs its cap to reggae, soul, singer-songwriters, hip-hop, avant garde, techno/industrial and dance music.

    Inspired by Bop Cassettes’ 1988 compilation (name + cover image), the box set is being presented in conjunction with MDMA (Manchester District Music Archive).

    Many of the tracks appear on CD for the first time, from the Punk explosion through Factory Records, post-punk, the jangly C86 period, Madchester, Indie-Dance and the early 90s transition into what would become Britpop.


    Darryl says: From Buzzcocks to Britpop, Manchester North Of England is the ultimate tribute to the independent output of our most important and iconic of musical cities, with 146 tracks across seven CDs in a deluxe box set.

    Widely considered to be both The Smiths’ finest work and one of the greatest albums ever made, ‘The Queen Is Dead’ has cast a significant influence over subsequent generations since it was first released in the summer of 1986.

    This reissue represents the first time that The Smiths’ back catalogue has been revisited in such a way. The album features several of the band’s finest moments including the title track and ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’, as well as the iconic singles ‘The Boy With The Thorn In His Side’ and ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’.

    ‘The Queen Is Dead’ will be released on digital and streaming formats as well as the following physical formats – all of which feature the 2017 master of the original album:

    5LP box – featuring the 2017 master of the album, additional recordings and the ‘Live In Boston’ recording. Housed in lift-off box with 2 double gatefolds and 1 single sleeve pressed on 180g heavy weight vinyl.

    Deluxe 3CD / 1 DVD box set – features the 2017 master of the album; additional recordings featuring demos, b-sides and alternative versions; the ‘Live In Boston’ album recorded at the Great Woods Center For The Performing Arts on 5th August 1986; and a DVD featuring the 2017 master of album in 96kHz / 24-bit PCM stereo and ‘The Queen Is Dead – A Film By Derek Jarman’.

    2CD – features the 2017 master of the album; additional recordings featuring demos, b-sides and alternative versions.


    Andy says: Finally The Smiths do the reissue thing PROPERLY! The greatest album ever just became even greater!!!


    2xCD Info: 2CD Digi-Pack.

    5xLP Box Set Info: 5LP 180g in Lift-off Box.

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    4xCD Box Set Info: 3CD/1DVD Lift-top Box & 12 page Booklet.

    3 - David Bowie

    A New Career In A New Town (1977 - 1982)

      The follow-up to the awarding winning and critically acclaimed DAVID BOWIE ‘FIVE YEARS (1969 – 1973)’ and DAVID BOWIE ‘WHO CAN I BE NOW? (1974 – 1976)’ will be released on 29th September and will contain a brand new remix of the 1979 album ‘LODGER’ by long time Bowie producer/collaborator Tony Visconti.

      The 13LP box features all of the material officially released by Bowie between 1977 and 1982. It includes the so-called ‘Berlin Trilogy’ of albums on which he collaborated with Visconti and Brian Eno as well as the ‘BAAL’ EP, and is closed by ‘SCARY MONSTERS (And Super Creeps)’.

      The box set, named after a track from the first of the so-called ‘Berlin Trilogy’ LOW, includes ‘LOW’, ‘”HEROES”’, ‘STAGE (ORIGINAL and 2017 VERSIONS)’ the former in the vinyl box will be pressed on yellow vinyl, replicating its original limited edition U.K. release, and the latter of which featuring two previously unreleased tracks, ‘LODGER’, ‘LODGER (Tony Visconti 2017 Mix)’, ‘SCARY MONSTERS (And Super Creeps)’, ‘RE:CALL 3’ (featuring contemporary single versions, non-album singles, b-sides and songs featured on soundtracks) and the ‘”HEROES”’ E.P., a compilation exclusive to the set celebrating the 40th anniversary of the song, which rounds up the German and French album and single versions of the track in one place for the first time.

      Exclusive to each of the box sets is ‘LODGER (Tony Visconti 2017 Mix)’. The remix was started with David's blessing before his passing in January last year. Tony Visconti has revisited the original multi-tracks at Human Studios and remixed the album with the benefit of modern technology to better highlight the album's nuances. Always a personal favourite of David's, this version of the album will also feature newly 'remixed' artwork featuring unseen images from the original cover photographic session from the archive of the Estate of photographer Duffy, working closely with his son Chris.

      Also exclusive to each box is Re:Call 3, a new compilation featuring remastered contemporary single versions, non-album singles and b-sides, and songs featured on soundtracks. The cover features a photo by Christian Simonpietri taken at Hansa Studios in Berlin during the “Heroes” sessions in 1977.

      The box set’s accompanying 84p book will feature rarely seen and previously unpublished photos by photographers including Anton Corbijn, Helmut Newton, Andrew Kent, Steve Schapiro, Duffy and many others as well as historical press reviews and technical notes about the albums from producer Tony Visconti.

      The vinyl box set has the same content as the CD set and is pressed on audiophile quality 180g vinyl.

      LP Box Set:
      84 Page hardback book
      Low (remastered) (1LP)
      "Heroes" (remastered) (1LP)
      “Heroes” E.P. (remastered) (12” Single)*
      Stage (remastered) (2LP Yellow Vinyl) *
      Stage (2017) (remastered) (3LP)
      Lodger (remastered) (1LP)
      Lodger (Tony Visconti 2017 Mix) (1LP)*
      Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (1LP)
      Re:Call 3 (non-album singles, single versions and b-sides) (remastered) (2LP)*

      * Exclusive to ‘A New Career In A New Town (1977-1982)’


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      4 - Hüsker Dü

      Savage Young Dü

        Experience the punishing sonic origins of a punk icon. Collected here for the first time, and skillfully remastered from original board tapes, demos, and session masters, this collection is an authoritative chronicling of the wellspring and maturation of Grant Hart, Greg Norton and Bob Mould—three St. Paul teenagers who’d go on to become the most heralded trio of the American punk underground. Follow the Hüskers to their earliest gigs in 1979, through extensive road dog touring, and to the start of their partnership with West Coast tastemaker SST in 1983.

        This primitive stage in the fabled career of Hüsker Dü is presented as a deluxe box set and packaged with a hardbound book crammed full of never before seen photos, flyers, and a sprawling essay with participation from the band. Spread across four LPs or three CDs, 47 of the 69 songs compiled here are previously unissued. Also included are Statues/Amusement, In A Free Land, Everything Falls Apart, and an alternate recording of the Land Speed Record set..

        “We created this blistering wall of sound—bright white radio static with occasional melody.” —Bob Mould

        “It was like rolling down a hill aware of the bumps, but focusing on blowing people’s minds and completely wearing out the audience.”—Grant Hart

        “We didn’t know what hardcore was. We just got up there and played real fast and loud.”—Greg Norton


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        5 - Kraftwerk

        3-D The Catalogue

          Released to coincide with Kraftwerk’s forthcoming June 2017 tour – their first UK dates since the breathtaking shows witnessed at the Tate Modern in 2013 – Parlophone are proud to announce the release of Kraftwerk 3-D The Catalogue on 26th May. This is the ground-breaking 3-D Kraftwerk Concert brought thrillingly to life, developed using high definition 3-D visuals, with Dolby Atmos surround sound and presented to the technological and audio standards one would associate and indeed come to expect from the pioneering Germans led by founder Ralf Hütter. For the very first time, every Kraftwerk fan can now experience a "Gesamtkunstwerk – a total work of art” in the comfort of their own home. Kraftwerk 3-D The Catalogue is released across a number of formats including: Blu-Ray, Vinyl, CD, and DVD.
          3-D The Catalogue features new recordings of Kraftwerk’s 8 classic albums performed / filmed at various locations around the world between 2012-2016 and mixed at the band’s own state-of-the-art, Kling Klang Studio, Düsseldorf


          2xLtd LP Info: 77 mins (abridged) version of full-length release containing music from all 8 albums on double heavyweight vinyl + download card.

          2xDVD Info: Blu-ray + DVD: Card slipcase, containing 6-panel digipak with 1 x 3D Blu-ray (2D compatible) and 1 x 2D DVD, each featuring the 77 mins edit, with highlights from each of the 8 albums

          4xBlu-Ray Info: 12” x 12” rigid board box set with lift-off lid, housing a 31cm x 30cm, 228-page hardback book and an 8-panel digipak in a card slipcase with 4 x Blu-ray discs containing:
          Discs 1+2: 8 album performances filmed in 3D (2D compatible). 218 mins approx.
          Discs 3+4: The tour films / projections, presented in 3D (2D compatible). 218 mins approx.

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          LP Box Set Info: 12” x 12” rigid board slipcase, housing 8 albums across 9* pieces of heavyweight vinyl + a download card (*“The Mix” is double vinyl).

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          CD Box Set Info: Rigid board box set with lift-off lid, holding 8 x capacity wallets, with 8 CDs, plus 16-page booklet.

          6 - Lift To Experience

          The Texas Jerusalem Crossroads

          The much-anticipated definitive release of Lift To Experience’s seminal double concept album, The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads, mixed as God intended.

          The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads, released by Mute on 3 February 2017 is a brand new mix of the classic album, overseen by the band and engineer Matt Pence and features rejuvenated album artwork (an homage to the Texas-based graphics design studio Pen & Pixel famed for their 90’s Southern gangsta rap album covers).


          2xLtd LP Info: Coloured double LP.

          2xLtd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

          2xCD includes MP3 Download Code.

          Box set Info: The Deluxe Vinyl Box Set includes the new double album, plus the original Lift To Experience EP from 1997 which was only ever released in Texas on CDRs and the previously unreleased classic John Peel session from 2001 plus a download of the original version of the album.

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          7 - Various Artists

          Noise Reduction System: Formative European Electronica 1974-1984

            A year in the making, Noise Reduction System reaches out into the European mainland, taking in tracks from key figures on the electronica cassette label underground alongside early releases by ground-breaking innovators. Enthralled by the mysterious synthesiser and inspired by the DIY ethos of punk, a quiet revolution took place across Europe in the late 1970s and early 1980s. From Norway to Greece, the microchip and the affordable synthesiser inspired artists for whom guitars, drums and bass had become old hat, and in home studios and art spaces across the continent electronic musicians began to stretch the boundaries of sonic experimentation. Some wanted to dance, some to relax and others to confuse and confront – all are represented here. Noise Reduction System explores every corner of this chapter in our musical history via over four hours of futurist, modern and sometimes challenging music. And who better to tell this story than the artists themselves - Noise Reduction System features sleevenotes from artists and their biographers, unseen photographs and an introductory essay by Sounds and Wild Planet legend Dave Henderson. Expect great coverage across all media - ‘Close To The Noise Floor’ ranked Top Five in several magazine’s 2016 polls.

            The sequel to last year’s critically acclaimed, strong selling ‘Close To The Noise Floor’. Journey into the origins of electronica in Europe – from early techno and electro to synth-pop, industrial, ambient and noise experiments. Includes artists from Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Romania, Slovenia, Latvia, Yugoslavia and Greece. 62 tracks across 4CDs in a 52pp hard-back book format. Over 9,000 words of artists’ sleevenotes and introductory essay by Dave Henderson (Sounds/Wild Planet/MOJO). From figureheads (Cluster, DAF, Yello, Klaus Schulze, Vangelis, Front 242) to underground outsiders. •Part primitive rave, part synthesiser porn, part history lesson!

            8 - Black Sabbath

            The Ten Years War - Deluxe Vinyl Box Set

              · 8 x LPs in original sleeves on 180g splatter-coloured vinyl. Re-mastered by Andy Pearce from the original tapes.

              · 2 x 7’’ singles - reproduced in their original sleeves.

              · A crucifix-shaped USB stick which can be worn around the neck and contains MQA high definition audio of the first eight Black Sabbath Albums.

              · Ten Year War brochure

              · Hardback book

              · 10th Anniversary 1978 Official Programme

              · 1972 Seattle Centre Arena Tour Poster

              Black Sabbath are one of the world’s most popular and enduring heavy metal bands and are constantly credited with inventing and defining the genre. With a career spanning 50 years, Black Sabbath have proven time and time again that their musical heritage is unrivalled. Having sold tens of millions of records, sold out global arena tours and bewitched millions of dedicated fans, the band have built a catalogue envied by all. The Ten Year War box set brings together the first eight Sabbath studio albums in one place, plus a swathe of other rarities, and celebrates the band’s achievements on the stage, in the studio and in the public eye.

              Including 8 vinyl LPs reproduced in their original sleeves, remastered by renowned mastering engineer Andy Pearce from the original tape and pressed on 180 gram splatter-coloured vinyl. It also include two 7’’ singles, all reproduced in their original sleeves. A crucifix-shaped USB stick is included which can be worn around the neck and contains MQA high definition audio of the first eight Black Sabbath Albums.

              Along with the audio, the box set includes The Ten Year War brochure, reproduced from the original publication, a hardback book, featuring accolades from the cream of rock royalty, coupled with photography of the band during their 1970s tours, recording sessions and photoshoots, as well as the reproduced Tenth Anniversary World Tour 1978 Official Programme and the tour poster from the 1972 Seattle Centre Arena show.

              9 - The Verve

              Urban Hymns (20th Anniversary Edition)

                Every now and again, the world of music throws up a record that is out of the ordinary, something in its timing, quality and spirit that just feels right. The Verve’s 1997 album Urban Hymns, released on September 29th 1997, was one such record. The album spawned three highly successful singles. The first was the epoch-making worldwide smash Bitter Sweet Symphony, which trailered the album and became the sound of the summer. It was followed in the UK by The Drugs Don’t Work (No. 1) and Lucky Man (No. 7).

                20 years on, the strength of the writing, the quality of the ensemble playing and sensitive production ensure the album sounds as riveting as ever and to mark this anniversary, Virgin/UMC are releasing a remastered version of the album with a bounty of bonus material - all of the accompanying b-sides (and The Verve’s b-sides were genuinely something special) plus three hours of powerful, previously unreleased live material, including the full triumphant May 1998 hometown show in front of around 35,000 fans at Haigh Hall, Wigan.

                The deluxe packages also feature new interviews with all the band and all physical releases draw on a vast array of previously unseen photography by Chris Floyd, who first travelled with The Verve on their US tour of 1994 and was granted unprecedented access during the making of Urban Hymns and beyond - up to and including the Haigh Hall show. His work brilliantly captured the band in the studio, on stage, backstage, during down time, on their video sets and tour bus. 

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Andy says: Incredible album which has mega melodies alongside deeper, darker cuts, gets remastered for its 20th anniversary. Energized melancholia, passion distilled, this is quite simply a beautiful record.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                5xDeluxe CD Info: The Super-deluxe 5 CD and DVD includes a lavish 56-page hard cover book plus poster and 5 postcards.

                FREE SHIPPING This item has FREE UK shipping!

                6xLP Box Set Info: The 6 LP Vinyl edition comes in a gatefold sleeve and includes a 20-page booklet plus download card which entitles purchaser to all audio from the super-deluxe CD box.

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                10 - Various Artists

                Milk Of The Tree: An Anthology Of Female Vocal Folk And Singer-Songwriters 1966-73

                Notwithstanding one or two isolated exceptions, it wasn't until the mid-Sixties that independent female voices really began to be heard within the music industry. The feminist movement naturally coincided with the first signs of genuine musical emancipation. In North America, Joan Baez and Buffy Sainte-Marie emerged through the folk clubs, coffee-houses and college campuses to inspire a generation of wannabe female singers and musicians with their strong, independent mentality and social compassion, while the British scene's combination of folk song revival and the Beatles-led pop explosion saw record company deals for a new generation of pop-folkies including Marianne Faithfull, Dana Gillespie and Vashti Bunyan.

                Within a year or two, the burgeoning counter-culture saw the arrival of psychedelia and folk-rock as the likes of Pentangle and (in the US) the Linda Ronstadt-fronted Stone Poneys emerged from the clubs and into the charts. But in America at least, burnout soon set in, and the era's excesses duly gave way to a quieter, more reflective musical and lyrical style. The LA rock and folk communities decamped to Laurel Canyon, in the Hollywood Hills region of the Santa Monica Mountains, to chill out in bucolic, soul-searching introspection, with sixties stalwart Jackie DeShannon's 1968 album Laurel Canyon leading the way.

                Over the course of four hours and sixty tracks, Milk Of The Tree focuses on the music made in the late Sixties and early Seventies in both Britain and North America by either female solo artists or acts with featured female vocalists. Along the way, we encounter San Franciscan psychedelia, LA folk rock, Swinging London pop-folk, electric folk, progressive folk and even folk club folk as well as (of course) a plethora of singer- songwriters (including various ladies of the Canyon) from the movement's golden age. As well as featuring most of the leading figures from both sides of the Atlantic, Milk Of The Tree includes many performers who received little attention at the time but who now have a cult reputation amongst collectors. A significant number of tracks were unreleased at the time, while the set also includes the first-ever appearance by pioneering female rock duo Emily Muff, two American girls who were based in England during the period in question but failed to land a recording contract.

                With a 44-page booklet crammed with rare photos and details of the various acts featured, the clambox-housed Milk Of The Tree is not only a fascinating social document but, we hope, a hugely entertaining snapshot of a particular time, place and frame of mind that produced some enduring, spellbinding music.

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