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Subtitled "Barrio Breaks, East Bay Grease, Folk Funk And More From The Vaults Of Atlantic, Reprise San Francisco & Warner Brothers 1967 - 1975", "From Burbank to The Bay Area" is not only a musical trip between two locations in the sunshine state; Burbank in Los Angeles, home of Reprise / Warner Brothers Records and the vibrant Bay Area, comprising Oakland and Berkeley, then across the Bay Bridge back to San Francisco, but also a convenient way to round up some differing styles of music. Latin-tinged funky rock, latin-soul, the funky, syncopated rhythm and horn sections of Oakland's Tower Of Power and Cold Blood, a radical instrumental gem by easy listening orchestra Mystic Moods, a disparate band of singer-songwriters, funky session guys, jazzy progressive folk types and a bona-fide soul diva all add a little soulful something to the melting pot. Includes The Ides Of March, Fred Ramirez, Labelle, Tower Of Power, Jo Mama, Bamboo, Seatrain, Hard Meat, Mystic Moods and more - 20 tracks in total!

Echo & The Bunnymen

Crocodiles

Heralded upon its release (in July 1980) as the first great album of the new decade, the crucial thing about "Crocodiles" was that whilst its authors were of the Punk Generation, the record itself was a clear cut away from Punk. Grandiose, doomy, dead catchy but edgy too, the sound was a bit psychedelic with nods to Syd's Floyd, the VU's minimalism, The Doors otherworldly poeticness and dynamism and a clear fondness for the trashier sounds found on Nuggets and Pebbles. But how they got so good so fast is still astonishing (singer Mac was only 20!) This reissue collects 1981's "Shine Scotland Live EP" and some smart early versions for the first time onto one disc. And OK, I suppose you better add 'slightly Gothy' to that list of sounds! And the word 'incandescent'!

Echo & The Bunnymen

Porcupine

'Porcupine' is Echo & The Bunnymen’s most profound & personal album from their early period. Weathering band turmoil, rejections from their record company & spans of song writing drought, the group emerged with a passionate & compelling set of songs described by vocalist Ian McCulloch as “coming to terms with the opposites in me.” Following their fourth Peel session in early 1982, the band chose Ian Broudie, leader of The Lightning Seeds and co-producer of Echo’s 1980 album Crocodiles, to produce Porcupine. 

While the album includes both “The Back of Love” & “The Cutter” (two of their most upbeat & successful singles), most of the material was fairly introverted & autobiographical. Unfortunately suffering negative reviews upon release (including a misguided hate-piece in the NME), Porcupine has since become a gold standard for both the band & British underground rock from the ’80s. It’s also simultaneously their most retro album & their most forward looking. The production is full of guitar effects that must have set the mind of Kevin Shields onto the path to My Bloody Valentine’s own masterpiece, Loveless. In addition to the “The Cutter” & “The Back of Love”, Porcupine includes songs such as “My White Devil,” “Heads Will Roll,” & “Porcupine” that transcend & enlighten to this day. It’s an essential album from one of the most influential bands of the post-punk movement.

STAFF COMMENTS

Andy says: Heavy, powerful, totally original, sometimes melodic sometimes fractured post-punk rock. An amazing band.

Echo & The Bunnymen

Heaven Up Here

When this was released in June '81, the Bunnymen were the cult band in the UK. And to many of those fans this LP represents their finest hour. They loved the weirdness, because to my ears this is easily the Bunnymen's least poppy album: dark, mysterious and requiring repeated listens before it unfurls itself. From another planet, really, properly moody and complex, but out of the labyrinthine confusion of angular guitars and weirdly melodic bass, rose the truly epic "Over The Wall". An absolute classic and influence on The Roses own epic "I Wanna Be Adored". There's five bonus tracks here, including a great live version of the album's other highlight "All My Colours".

Echo & The Bunnymen

Ocean Rain

Singer Mac, ever the self-publicist, took the mickey in May '84 declaring "Ocean Rain" to be 'The Greatest Album Of All Time', on all the posters and advertisements on its release. The thing is though; it is! OK, well it's one of them! There was only one song left with the weird, turbulent dynamic (the incredible "Thorn Of Crowns"), the rest was the lushest, most tuneful blend of acoustic guitars pure romanticism, sweeping orchestral arrangements and the sweetest happy / sad songs they ever laid down. Not one duff track, the whole thing flows, and "Killing Moon" is probably their greatest ever moment. This version includes the "Life At Brian's" 7" doublepack (remember them?) from July that year, and never before released live versions of "My Kingdom" and the title track, from their best ever live event, at St George's Hall in Liverpool, in May '84. Something very special is caught on this LP. It's dazzlingly imaginative, big hearted, beautiful pop music.

STAFF COMMENTS

Andy says: An absolutely incredible pop record which overflows with mystery, magic, romance and most importantly, massive tunes! This Liverpool band were already adored, but in 1984 nobody could have predicted the huge step up in song-writing and just the sheer overall magnificence on display here. It's that classic pop thing of being heartbreaking but simultaneously life-affirming, in every song and across the whole album. One of the best LP's ever made.

Echo & The Bunnymen

Echo & The Bunnymen

Whilst only Mohammed Ali could big himself up more than Ian McCullough, the Bunnymen vocalist could also be disarmingly honest. He said they'd got straight A's at A level with "Ocean Rain", tried to graduate with this record and failed. They'd gone for a mainstream, clean rock production with all their special quirks shorn off and a lot of it misses the mark. However "The Game", "Lips Like Sugar" and "Bedbugs And Ballyhoo" are right up there with their very best. As is "Bring On The Dancing Horses" included here in its gloriously indulgent 12" extended-version-majesty.

Various Artists

After Hours

This is a brilliant collection of Northern soul stompers dug up from the Warners, Atlantic, Atco and Reprise vaults. All the tracks are picked by Northern authority Richard Searling, who also provides extensive sleeve notes. All that and a great photo of (presumably) Wigan Casino from the on the front cover!!


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Sunday Classics. New Order, Rodriguez, Vini Reilly and The Go! Team. https://t.co/KL1FeNcZ4F https://t.co/zKiZ8Ev0Hn
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Looking great Gwyneth. Seems like the perfect weather to give that @LoveRecsStores special edition vinyl a spin tod… https://t.co/58ENzhpMGg
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RT @bandgrasshopper: Our debut LP ‘Scuttle’ is one of @ClashMagazine’s ‘Top 18’ ‘phenomenal… stellar releases’ of 2020. The second pressing…
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Seems like a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Manchester - vinyl, pizza and beer. Good to see you today… https://t.co/M6gEAYUelg
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