Most bands have an album that defines them, but many have also produced other classic albums that often seem to slip through the net and don't get the recognition that they deserve.
As part of the Record Store Day initiative we've collected together 30 fabulous albums in order for you to "Fill The Gap" in your record collection.
Blue Note President Don Was says, “Two years ago, we began remastering the jewels of the Blue Note catalogue in hi-def resolutions of 96k and 192k. In order to develop a guiding artistic philosophy for this delicate endeavor, we donned our lab coats, ran dozens of sonic experiments and carefully referenced every generation of our reissues. Ultimately, we decided that our goal would be to protect the original intentions of the artists, producers and engineers who made these records and that, in the case of pre-digital-era albums, these intentions were best represented by the sound and feel of their first-edition vinyl releases. Working with a team of dedicated and groovy engineers, we found a sound that both captured the feel of the original records while maintaining the depth and transparency of the master tapes... the new remasters are really cool!
While these new versions will become available in digital hi-def, CD and Mastered for iTunes formats, the allure of vinyl records is WAY too potent to ignore. This year, Blue Note - along with our friends at Universal Music Enterprises - is launching a major 75th Anniversary vinyl Initiative that is dedicated to the proposition that our catalogue should be readily available, featuring high quality pressings and authentic reproductions of Blue Note's iconic packaging. Although this program begins in celebration of Blue Note's 75th Anniversary, our catalog runs so deep that we will faithfully be reissuing five albums a month for many years to come!”
With 2014 marking the 20th anniversary of its original release, ‘Definitely Maybe’ will be the first reissue in the series. ‘(What’s The Story?) Morning Glory’ and ‘Be Here Now’ will follow later this year.
‘Definitely Maybe’ was originally released in August 1994 and was an immediate critical and commercial smash. The fastest selling debut album ever (at the time), it went seven-times platinum in the UK (over 2 million copies), and sold 5 million worldwide. Containing the classic debut single ‘Supersonic’ - released April 1994 - and subsequent singles ‘Shakermaker’, ‘Live Forever’ and ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’, ‘Definitely Maybe’ frequently appears on Best Album Of All Time polls, including a No.1 placing in a 2008 Q Magazine poll of the Greatest British Albums.
STAFF COMMENTSAndy says: Come onnn, come onnnn, come onnnn, YEAH, YEAH, YEAAAHHHHH!
FORMAT INFORMATION2xLP Info: Remastered double heavyweight vinyl. Includes download code for album, bonus unreleased tracks and rarities.
CD Info: Remastered including brand new artwork.
STAFF COMMENTSAndy says: Initially perceived as a disappointment, simply because The Clash's debut was so inspiring. With hindsight, this is a really good Rock record, and therein lies people's disgruntlement: less Punk, more Rock, but this is a band that always pushed forwards.
FORMAT INFORMATION2xLtd LP Info: The LP comes on 180gm vinyl with download codes.
STAFF COMMENTSAndy says: Superb second solo album, produced by Phil Spector.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP Info: 180 gram heavyweight vinyl.
STAFF COMMENTSAndy says: A less euphoric, less quirky record, but I think that was definitely required. They still rock but there's more control. As ever, this just overflows with melody, and song for song I'd say this is a much better album than "Neon Bible". They're as poetic and emotive as Bruce at his best, but with a load of really smart post-punk/ alt rock influences instead of classic rock'n'roll ones. A proper, beautiful band. A splendid LP. You're gonna love it.
FORMAT INFORMATION2xLP Info: Double vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.
2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.
All things wonderful about Sly & The Family Stone in the first years of their existence came together on their 1969 album 'Stand!'. The enthusiasm, the blurring of lines, the testing of boundaries; it all blends together in the funk of the Family Stone…
"Stand!" is one of those records that came to define the flower power generation; the activism in "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey", the psychedelic pulsating dance rhythms in "I Want To Take You Higher", the spirit of belonging in "Everyday People". "Stand!" isone of the most sampled records in hip hop and R&B. This is the pinnacle of Sly The Family Stone's career, and it has a rightful place in music history.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP Info: Limited 180g pressing in gatefold sleeve.
re-mastered for vinyl in Spring 2018.
The album is presented on heavyweight clear vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with printed inner bag. The iconic cover art has been re-worked and updated by guitarist Reg Smithies.
This packaging is restricted to one thousand copies, with any future runs only being available in regular sleeve.
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: 180 gram clear vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.
From its deadpan sleeve to the peculiar choice of structuring - the album features three separate live versions of the horrific "Slug Bait" (including a wonderful clip of a DJ screaming at the audience after a Throbbing Gristle gig) and four more straightforward cuts of "Maggot Death" - "Second Annual Report" is a startling document. This reissue also includes the lengthy improvisation "After Cease to Exist" and both sides of the subversive "United / Zyklon B. Zombie" single.
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: Limited edition white vinyl. Includes stickers and inserts plus a digital copy with additional audio.
2xCD Info: Remastered edition - includes 1976-77 bonus CD.
Originally released in 1994, this was Pavement's second album, and it signaled the end of Pavement seeing themselves as a recording experiment and the beginning of Pavement as a full time touring band. One of the casualties of this change was the eccentric and usually drunk drummer Gary Young (included here are eight tracks of pre-album Gary Young sessions), whom was replaced by Steve West who bought a greater stability to the line up. The new line up recorded "Crooked Rain Crooked Rain" in NYC, and it proved to be an instant indie classic, packed with superb tracks including singles such as the awesome "Cut Your Hair", "Range Life" and "Gold Soundz".
Its influences emanate from old glam and post-punk records, with the hooks and immediacy of perfect pop — it was sensual yet intellectual, cheap yet sophisticated, retro yet modern — with each seeming paradox giving the music weight instead of weighing it down: with Jarvis Cocker’s wry comments on life in Sheffield, where desperation, sex, and crime are always on the surface, creating evocative images with an appropriate amount of drama and a surplus of flair! The album contains their first top 40 hit in the UK – Do You Remember the First Time? and Lipgloss.
This deluxe 25th anniversary reissue edition is pressed on 180-gram heavyweight 2-disc set for extra audio quality! Includes enhanced packaging – housed in sumptuous gatefold sleeve with printed inner bags and was remastered at Abbey Road – supervised by Steve Mackey (Pulp bass player and producer). Steve later went on to produce for MIA, Florence + The Machine, Arcade Fire etc.
STAFF COMMENTSDarryl says: Detroit brother / sister duo's second album. Fantastic heavy raw blues that bring to mind Royal Trux / Blues Explosion at their best.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP includes MP3 Download Code.
This is one of four albums released by taken from the Siouxsie And The Banshees extensive studio catalog, each album appearing as it should on glorious 180-gram black vinyl.
Three years on from their Mercury Prize winning debut, Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith are back with a new album, ‘Coexist’, and a new perspective.
Where ‘XX’ lent in close to whisper in your ear, ‘Coexist’ gazes warmly in your eyes. Much has happened to lead to this point: most pertinently, they’ve grown up.
STAFF COMMENTSRyan says: Even more dazzling than their last! The vocals are intimate & soulful while subtle club rhythms chug along nicely to give it all just the right amount of impact.
FORMAT INFORMATIONVinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.
The album debuted at #34 on the Billboard 200, her highest charting album at the time.
Backing band The Memphis Rhythm Band includes Teenie Hodges, Steve Potts, Dave Smith, Rick Steff, Doug Easley, Jim Spake, Scott Thompson and Susan Marshall. String arrangements were contributed by Harlan. T Bobo and Jonathan Kirkscey.
‘The Greatest’ won the 2006 Shortlist music prize, making Marshall the first woman to win the honour. It was also named Number 6 Best Album Of 2006 by Rolling Stone Magazine.
Remastered by Chris Potter (co-producer of the band’s ‘Urban Hymns’) the original album comes amply augmented by all of the legendary pre-album EP tracks, associated acoustic versions, as well as two previously unreleased BBC radio sessions and two excellent previously unreleased studio albums – ‘South Pacific’ and ‘Shoeshine Girl’.
The album will also be available on vinyl.
STAFF COMMENTSAndy says: There was a lot of excitement around the release of (the)Verve's debut album. This was because they were a completely unique proposition back at the dawn of the nineties. There were elements of Shoegaze, but mainly this was drifting, blissed-out psyche rock. A classic band was born!
FORMAT INFORMATIONBox set Info: 4-disc (3CD/1DVD) boxed Super Deluxe Edition.
Originally released in an edition of 1,000 vinyl LPs as part of a college music business course, Belle & Sebastian's 1996 debut "Tigermilk" rapidly became a highly sought-after collector's item. Reissued in 1999 to combat a flood of expensive bootlegs, the album shows that the band's later acclaim was not unfounded.
Nine of the 10 tracks feature main songwriter Stuart Murdoch's winsome vocals, a mix of acoustic andelectric instrumentation and a grab-bag of pianos, horns, flutes, and hand claps. The odd one out of the bunch is "Electronic Renaissance", an electronic keyboard knockabout that recalls Depeche Mode's more insistent moments from the Vince Clarke era. Standouts among the other tracks are "Expectations", the tale of a square peg at school who is 'known for being strange/Making life-size models of the Velvet Underground in clay', the lyrically wistful but musically charged "She's Losing It", and "I Don't Love Anyone", which references Felt, a band Belle & Sebastian cites among its influences.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP includes MP3 Download Code.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP Info: An authentic reproduction of the 1972 first pressing, with original gatefold sleeve plus bonus voucher with a choice of download formats.
Despite baffling reviewers by not continuing with his genre twisting hip-funk beats, this is a truly beautiful work. Musically it sees Beck returning to his folk roots but with superb production (by Nigel Godrich) that gives the songs a lush melancholic gloss. It grooves still, but it's laidback and the words of sadness, loss and longing complete the magical picture. Part acoustic and part orchestral, the songs are some of Hansen's most personal and touching, as well as melodically dreamlike and engaging. If you loved his cover of "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime" on 'Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind', then prepare yourself for a whole album of similarly imagined originals. Dismissed by the majority of critics at the time as half-baked, with no single releases or press interview to support it, "Sea Change" quickly became a very special record at our shop and was unanimously voted the Piccadilly Records Album of the Year back in 2002.
1974's "New Skin For The Old Ceremony" saw Cohen taking a turn away from the spare sound of his earlier releases, with such numbers as "Chelsea Hotel #2", "There Is A War" and "A Singer Must Die" featuring expanded instrumental arrangements and some of the most expressive vocal performances of Cohen's career.
Over the span of eight years he, along with Blackwing Studios house engineer/ co-producer, John Fryer, and a rotating cast of musicians, created original works, musical links and reinterpretations of impeccably curated songs; introducing a new audience to the talents of a previous generation including Big Star, Tim Buckley, Roy Harper, Spirit, Gene Clark, Dino Valenti, Rain Parade, Emmylou Harris, Syd Barrett and Colin Newman, amongst others.
This Mortal Coil’s debut album It’ll End In Tears (1984) forged the template; helping to crystallise 4AD’s emerging signature sound whilst shining a light on some of their stable with Cocteau Twins, Colourbox, Dead Can Dance and The Wolfgang Press all involved. The line-up was completed by arranger Martin McCarrick, violinist Gini Ball, Howard Devoto of Buzzcocks / Magazine fame and Cindytalk’s Gordon Sharp.
Pitchfork recently named it one of the best Dream Pop albums ever, a moment which “catalysed 4AD’s ascendance from the stilted poetics of goth rock to the kings of gauzy transcendence.”
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd LP Info: The new deluxe vinyl version differs from the original release with its artwork reimagined by Ivo Watts-Russell and Vaughan Oliver (4AD’s long-time visual partner). Presented in beautiful, hand finished and high-gloss gatefold sleeve, using remastered audio made from the original analogue studio tapes by the late, great John Dent.
Deluxe CD Info: This deluxe CD edition is manufactured by the Ichikudo company in Japan, packaged in striking gatefold paper sleeve, printed to the highest standard. Originally made available as part of a highly limited boxset back in 2011, this new version differs by being UHQCDs (Ultimate High Quality Compact Disc) rather than HDCDs (High Definition Compatible Digital).
FORMAT INFORMATIONDeluxe LP Info: Half speed re-masters on 180g vinyl with a download code.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP Info: 140g black vinyl.
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