Posts Tagged ‘Cherry Red Records’

Shoes box

Having created a grassroots buzz with their homemade proto-power pop classic Black Vinyl Shoes, Illinois band Shoes duly attracted major label interest, and they signed to Elektra Records in early 1979. Over the next three years they released a triptych of classic pop albums – Present Tense, Tongue Twister and Boomerang – and a clutch of Wurlitzer-worthy seven-inch nuggets that should have catapulted them to fame, fortune and all manner of related excess. Sadly, however, they never quite made the leap from critics’ darlings to Top Thirty success, and the band were obliged to settle for enduring cult status as power pop avatars. But while rock-star level fame and fortune never quite came their way, Shoes do have the considerable consolation of knowing that their body of work has stood the test of time far better than many of their more commercially successful contemporaries.

This 4-CD anthology of the band’s recordings for Elektra, fleshed out with a swathe of pre-album demos, “lost” songs, alternative versions and live tracks dating from the same period, is a veritable smorgasbord of perfect pop from a time when Shoes were genuine contenders for rock’s glittering prizes. Housed in a stylish clamshell box, Elektrafied contains a 32 page booklet that features rare photos and a new 10,000 essay on the band’s adventures during their sojourn with Elektra Records.

Beat Poetry For Survivalists is the new collaboration between Peter Buck and Luke Haines. Peter Buck was the guitarist for the biggest band in the world – REM. Luke Haines was the guitarist for the Auteurs. The Auteurs were not the biggest band in the world. They were pretty good though. Luke Haines also does paintings of Lou Reed.

One day, Peter Buck bought one of Luke Haines’ Lou Reed paintings. They had never met before but decided that the fates had brought them together and they should write some songs together and make an album.

Beat Poetry For The Survivalist is that album. With songs about legendary rocket scientist and occultist Jack Parsons, The Enfield Hauntings (of 1978), a post-apocalyptic radio station that only plays Donovan records, Bigfoot, and Pol Pot.

Beat Poetry For Survivalists is the new collaboration between Peter Buck & Luke Haines. ‘Jack Parsons’ is the first single and track from the new album

Peter has two new albums out this month including a collaboration with Luke Haines (ex-Auteurs) called Beat Poetry for Survivalists as well as new material with the No Ones called The Great Lost No Ones Album.

Beat Poetry for Survivalists which Peter calls “a freaked-out post-apocalyptic beast of a record,” was released on March 6yj on Cherry Red Records (UK) and Omnivore (USA) while The Great Lost No Ones Album will be released on March 27th on Yep Roc Records.

In addition, Peter will be touring in support of both records this spring,

Fickle tastes and trends aside, the Peter Wolf-produced Peace in Our Time (“King of Emotion”) was a slick, topical tour de force to mark the end of the ‘80s, and No Place Like Home (“We’re Not in Kansas”) and Buffalo Skinners (“Alone”) were all a series of terrific, hard-rocking album releases to greet the ‘90s.

But Big Country had lost its foothold on the pop charts: No Place and Skinners weren’t even released stateside, which raised the stakes for “Long Face” and tested the group’s mettle with minders, marketers, and bean-counters at Transatlantic, Castle, and Pure Records.

Formed in Dunfermline, Scotland in 1981 by the band’s guitarists and founder members Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson, Big Country quickly broke worldwide with their initial album “The Crossing”, selling over 2 million copies and receiving 3 Grammy nominations in the US. Success continued, and the band went on to put out another 5 highly regarded albums before the release of “Why The Long Face” in 1995.

With original singer Stuart Adamson at the helm, Big Country scored 17 top 30 singles in the UK, and achieved 5 gold and platinum albums during the period.

This release includes not only the full length album “Why The Long Face”, but also their live 1996 album “Eclectic”, plus a huge array of bonus tracks and band demos, including alternative and acoustic versions of classic tracks such as ‘In A Big Country’ and ‘You Dreamer’, plus a whole load of rarities including Big Country’s cover versions of Alice Cooper’s ‘Teenage Lament’, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Down On The Corner’ and Neil Young’s ‘Hey Hey My My’.

All material contained within has been freshly remastered especially for this release. It Comes packaged in a clam shell box set, with booklet containing full sleeve-notes documenting the band’s activities throughout the release of the album.

Suffice to say, ...Long Face didn’t broaden Big Country’s audience as intended. Following a similar fate as The Seer seven years prior, the disc—packed with muscular, melodic guitars and bold, book-smart verses—sated core fans but didn’t yield any radio hits or MTV mainstays like “In a Big Country” and “Fields of Fire.”

The album’s under-performance on the charts never really warranted it being overlooked by listeners (who by now had latched on to Nirvana, Dave Matthews, and Pearl Jam) or its dismissal in the annals of rock history.

That injustice is precisely what makes Cherry Red’s reassessment so crucial.

Handsomely packed in a sturdy yellow case (instead of original powder blue) with another photogenic Doberman on front, the 4CD set  “Why the Long Face” 2018 includes not only the remastered ’95 album, but three extra CD’s worth of bonus Big Country tracks, demos, covers, and in-concert cuts from that era (1994-1996).

Disc One contains the album proper—fourteen tracks of sparkling guitar (clean and crunchily distorted), robust rhythms, and intelligent lyrics (about love, regret, and hope), all anointed by another serving of the same hardy, anthem-like refrains that made Big Country famous.

Opener “You Dreamer” rides high on a bagpipe-esque guitar riff and rugged, dirty power chords (courtesy Adamson and Bruce Watson) before introducing Stuart’s vignette of forgotten souls in pizza shops (where “prescription junkies” “watch the window fill with flies”). It’s an electrifying ode to shattered dreams that ponders a plethora of what-ifs and what-might-have-been…yet—in true Big Country form—keeps positive rather than give up the ghost to adversity.

“Is this the way that you believed your life was gonna turn out?” muses Adamson (quite possibly about himself). “Is this the better world that you were making all those plans for?”

Then there’s the typical (but effective) valentines to both imagined paramours (“One in a Million,” “Send You”) and humanity at large (“Message of Love”), reflections on personal triumphs and private travails (“I’m Not Ashamed,” “Wildland in My Heart”), and sundry entries (“Sail Into Nothing,” “”God’s Great Mistake,” “Post Nuclear Talking Blues”) that couple the Dunfermline four-piece’s penchant for outdoor themes (nature, freedom, adventure) and affinity for its signature Scottish sound into upbeat, zeitgeist-sensitive zingers.

Disc Two is jam-packed with bonus tracks including single edits of “Dreamer” and “Ashamed,” early / alternate takes of “One in a Million,” and acoustic versions of old standbys “In a Big Country” and “All Go Together.” There’s also a bunch of extra songs that didn’t make the album (but might’ve popped up on the band’s Rarities series later), like “Crazy Times,” “Ice Cream Smile,” and “Bianca.” This is also where fans will find working versions recorded by Adamson, Butler, and company at House in the Woods studio in Surrey (“Hardly a Mountain,” “Can You Feel the Winter”).

Disc Three is a digitally-retouched edition of the in-concert Eclectic album released by Castle Communications in the year following …Long Face. Recorded live at Dingwalls in London in late March of ’96 (and long since out-of-print), the album shines with a mix of old and then-new Big Country classics (“River of Hope,” “Where the Rose is Sown”), all rendered before an elated audience. Also on the menu here is an assortment of choice cover songs that speak to the band’s early influences (The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire,” Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My,” CCR’s “Down on the Corner.” The smoldering set (with bassist Tony Butler and drummer Mark Brzezicki underpinning the guitar hysteria with glorious grooves) also features guest spots by British vocalist/actor Bobby Valentino, rocker Steve Harley (of Cockney Rebel), and American soul singer Kym Mazelle.

The Long Face prototype is represented by Disc Four: This is where collectors and curators will discover working versions of the tunes that would be polished up later for the final version of the album. Workshopped at various locations in Scotland and England (Audiocraft, Riverside, Chapel, HITW), this missing-link record presents some of Adamson’s best ideas in a stripped-down format. But most the program is dominated by near-finished “jam” versions of “Dreamer,” “Message,” “Ashamed” and other stand-outs that sound—unlike most demos or garage versions—almost as concise (in performance) and as crystalline (in production) as the finished Long Face LP.

So if you know Stuart Adamson and Big Country only by their earliest “essential” hits, now’s as good a time as any to revisit the well and get acclimated with the group’s strong, inspirational, and sorely-overlooked middle catalog. And there’s never been a better opportunity to take those first steps than with this respectfully-rendered Long Face deluxe box.

Cherry Red Records are repressing the 29 track expanded edition of The Armoury Show’s ‘Waiting For The Floods’ CD, available 10th January. This 2CD 29 track compilation includes the original album, plus 7″ & 12″ mixes and many b-sides.

This collection features various versions of the band’s singles: ‘Castles In Spain’ (album / single DJ edit and 12″ Wubb Dug mix), ‘We Can Be Brave Again’ (album / single remix / extended version), ‘Glory Of Love’ (album / single DJ edit / Universal mix), ‘New York City’ (single / N.Y. A Go Go mix / John Robie remix / John Robie Dance mix).

Other bonus material features the b/sides: ‘Innocents Abroad’, ‘Is It A Wonder’, ‘Catherine’, ‘A Gathering’, ‘Ring Those Bells’, ‘Higher Than The Instrumental’, ‘Tender Is The Night’ and ‘Whirlwind’ spanning 1984-1987. Also included, from the cassette version of the original release, is ‘Jungle Of Cities’.

The album has been remastered and the CD booklet will feature many of the original sleeves and a full UK discography.

The Armoury Show were formed in 1983. Richard Jobson and Russell Webb came from the ashes of The Skids. John McGeoch had enjoyed stints in Magazine and Siouxsie & The Banshees. John Doyle also had been in Magazine who had disbanded in 1981. The band signed to Parlophone and released six singles including a second outing for ‘Castles In Spain’ and the one full studio album “Waiting For The Floods”.

No photo description available.

Journey through the music of a generation in one of the UK’s most vibrant and creative cities.

Sheffield in the 1970s…. a city in decline, its steel mills and factories closing and its vast housing estates beginning to crumble. Even the city’s two football teams were both experiencing the worst form in their long histories. An unlikely setting, then, for a musical revolution, but aren’t they always? As it transpired, in the aftermath of punk this industrial backdrop, alive with frustrated young talent and peppered with accessible and affordable rehearsal and performance spaces, became a hotbed of uniquely informed new bands that challenged both the constraints of genre and the dominance of music from London, Liverpool and Manchester.

Dreams To Fill The Vacuum charts the revival of Sheffield and its music in the latter half of the 1970s and throughout the 1980s, from The Human League to Pulp, via Aardvark, Pax and Native Records, and onto the chart successes of Heaven 17, ABC, Thompson Twins and many others. Featuring cornerstone contributions from the city’s brightest stars – Oakey, Cocker, Ware, Marsh, Hawley, Newton and co – alongside many more lesser-known legends, this is a tale of a city and its people rediscovering itself.

Packed with first-hand artist sleeve notes, insightful essays, revealing imagery and brilliant, essential music, Dreams To Fill The Vacuum offers a story in need of telling.

In the late 70s, the city’s bands set out to create the sound of the future – while trying to avoid getting beaten up. Jarvis Cocker and other leading lights recall a revolutionary scene Sheffield in 1977 had a slight feeling of being the city of the future,” recalls Jarvis Cocker. “I didn’t realise that it was all going to go to shit. It was Sheffield before the fall.”

That pre-fall year is the starting point for a new box set: Dreams to Fill the Vacuum: The Sound of Sheffield 1977-1988. Familiar names appear – Pulp, Heaven 17, the Human League, ABC – but they are joined by a wealth of other acts, such as I’m So Hollow, Stunt Kites, They Must Be Russians and Surface Mutants, spanning punk, post-punk, indie and electronic with that droll outsider energy particular to South Yorkshire.In 1977, Paul Bower was producing a local fanzine, Gun Rubber, and playing in the Buzzcocks-indebted 2.3. Like Cocker, he recalls the late-70s as being a time of optimism and flux. “There’s this myth of northern miserablism, that everything was shut down and shit,” he says. “But it wasn’t – that came later. It was a really interesting, bustling and creative time.”

Sheffield had plenty of dirt-cheap “little mester” workshops, once used by master craftsmen working in the city’s cutlery industry, and these provided room for bands to move in and experiment. Bower’s band 2.3 shared a space with the Future, an early incarnation of the Human League that featured Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh along with Adi Newton before he formed Clock DVA. “We were enamoured with the New York scene,” says Ware. “In our own little way we were imitating the Exploding Plastic Inevitable.” Bower describes it as: “Andy Warhol’s Factory in the land of Bobby Knutt.”

The pioneering industrial and electronic outfit Cabaret Voltaire had been active since 1973. “They were the godfathers of Sheffield’s new music,” says Simon Hinkler, who played in bands such as TV Product and Artery, as well as producing early Pulp. “You can’t overstate how important they were.” Ware echoes this. “They were our mentors,” he recalls. “Their methodology and lifestyle was something we aspired to. Not so much musically, but as a template for doing your own thing.”

Formed in 1984, Dinosaur Jr carved a singular path through the latter half of the 1980s and early 1990s, issuing a number of highly influential albums in the process before finding a home with Sire Records. Cherry Red Records has announced details of an epic Dinosaur Jr. album reissue campaign coming this September: The four Warner period ’90s albums ‘Green Mind’, ‘Where You Been’, ‘Without A Sound’ and ‘Hand It Over’ have been lovingly remastered, expanded and reissued on coloured double vinyl and double CD editions, with related singles, b-sides and previously unreleased material. The entire collection is available now

Dinosaur Jr. consisted of J Mascis on guitar and vocals, Lou Barlow on bass and Murph banging the drums. Their first album came out in 1985 and they had a huge underground hit with the 1988 single Freak Scene. Lou Barlow left shortly afterwards to form the highly regarded Sebadoh,

“Without A Sound”, was their sixth record, emerged in the summer of 1994, in the wake of personal bereavement and the departure of longtime drummer and founder member Murph.

Performed primarily by J Mascis, “Without A Sound” continued the band’s growth in popularity and commercial achievement, reaching #44 in the US (their highest ever album placing there) and featuring the hit singles ‘Feel The Pain’ and ‘I Don’t Think So’. Released to positive reviews, “Without A Sound” also took Dinosaur Jr around the world, including dates in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and into the mainstream as the group contributed ‘Blah’ to the hit US TV show Melrose Place.

Collected together with related B-sides, unreleased mixes and a complete live recording made in London in 1994, and accompanied by in-depth sleevenotes from Mojo’s Keith Cameron (based on recent and exclusive interviews with J Mascis), this edition provides a glimpse of a band at the height of their international appeal and accessibility.

“Hand It Over”, their seventh record, appeared in the spring of 1997 following a lengthy absence, and would prove to be the band’s final album-length offering for a decade.

Performed primarily by J Mascis, “Hand It Over” appeared at a time of declining international interest in American alternative rock, but nevertheless received widespread approval and appreciation amongst critics and reviewers. The album was accompanied, unusually, by an EP of non-album songs recorded for the Matt Dillon movie Grace Of My Heart and, later, a vinyl only ‘I’m Insane’ 7” single, all of which are collected here alongside a previously unreleased concert recording made in Stockholm and two tracks performed for ABC TV in Australia.

Dinosaur Jr carved a singular path through the latter half of the 1980s, issuing three highly influential albums in the process before finding a home with Sire Records, who issued “Green Mind” in 1991 as the alternative American rock scene the band had long been part of exploded globally.

Produced by a stripped down line-up of the group (in fact, J Mascis himself plays almost everything), the album and Sire’s international reach took Dinosaur Jr’s reputation to a new level, aided by the singles ‘The Wagon’ and ‘Whatever’s Cool With Me’, a non-album EP of new material and live recordings, all of which are included here alongside a previously unreleased live recording capturing the group at the Hollywood Palladium in June 1991.

Critically lauded on release, “Green Mind” remains one of the band’s strongest collections, and a firm fan favourite.

‘Where You Been’, their fifth record, emerged in 1993, at the height of enthusiasm for grunge and the alternative American rock scene the band had long been part of.

Produced by a new line-up of the group (longtime drummer Murph and new bassist Mike Johnson completing the three-piece), the album became the band’s most successful up to that point, reaching #50 in the US (where it sold over a quarter of a million copies) and #10 in the UK album charts, and spawning the hit single ‘Start Choppin’.

Released to unanimously positive reviews, and containing many tracks that would become staples and fan favourites, ‘Where You Been’ continued Dinosaur Jr’s global ascent, being issued simultaneously across the US, Europe, Australasia, Asia and South America.

Collected together here on vinyl for the first time with related singles, B-sides and John Peel session recordings,

To celebrate the deluxe reissue campaign of Dinosaur Jr.’s classic Warner Years albums ‘Green Mind’, ‘Where You Been’, ‘Without A Sound’ & ‘Hand It Over’ via Cherry Red Records, singer & guitarist J Mascis spoke to Keith Cameron from MOJO Magazine about recording these much loved albums.

Order the Warner Years albums reissued on deluxe gatefold 2LP & deluxe expanded 2CD editions

This 2CD compilation may well gain first prize as the longest titled album this year, its release also extends the long running USP of being in some way linked to The Cramps, but specifically the fabled record collection of Lux and Ivy; this is an arena that has been well serviced over the years by the wonderful ‘Born Bad’ series, the ‘Songs The Cramps Taught Us’ releases and also by the infamous ‘Purple Knif’ and ‘Vip Vop Tapes’, the later of which were actually put together by Lux for a radio show.

‘Good For Nothin’ Tunes’ contains 50 tracks “enthused over by Lux and Ivy”, with sleeve notes by Dave Henderson from Mojo Magazine; quite how we know these tracks were actually enthused over by either Lux or Ivy remains a mystery; Lux has been gone for over 10 yrs, and Ivy almost immediately became somewhat reclusive; so whilst actually approval from The Cramps legends is largely missing, I think we can be sure that had they heard them, they would most definitely have liked them.

“If the boogie-woogie kills me, I don’t mind dyin” hollers Tender Slim during his rockin blues opener “Don’t Cut Out On Me”, originally released as a double A-side in 1962, though was re-issued as a bootleg green vinyl 7” in 2015, Slim hailed from South Carolina and went under an array of similar names including Fender ‘Guitar’ Slim, Tender Joe Richardson, however by 2007 he was known as Deacon Richardson and releasing material entitled “We’re Still on This Mission Praising God” which suggests he’d long given up on hellfire rockabilly!

Dave Hill was the stage name of actor David Hess, who in 1956 recorded the original version of the Otis Blackwell composition “All Shook Up”, Hill provided a solid vocal delivery whilst Ray Ellis And His Orchestra delivered the driving music which was released via the Aladdin label on a 10” shellac disc (a decent copy of which would set you back at least £50) the following year the track became a worldwide #1 hit for Elvis Presley.

Dave Hill

Witchcraft is always a popular theme of these compilations, this one is no different; we get Betty Lavette‘Witchcraft In The Air’, a standard soul voiced stomper, Lavette had a lengthy recording career, much of her material has been subject to CD reissue on labels including Charly RecordsEartha Kitt dabbled with the spooks during ‘I’d Rather Be Burned As A Witch’ which came out in 1959 and cemented her status as the foil to the girl-next-door charms of Doris Day.

Bobby Bare‘Vampira’ is pure 50’s sexploitation set to a swing beat which includes a raunchy almost spoken word fade out, a real highlight is ‘Slave Girl’ by Ray Ethier; Ethier remains a complete unknown on the rockabilly scene despite him being lead guitarist for Ben Hewitt, he also recorded this on 7” under his own name; it’s an absolute belter, twanging guitar, slap bass and reminded me of Glen Glenn. Sadly, matters of the heart intervened, Ray fell in love with a lady by the name of Patricia June and married her. Pat telling Ray that is was either her or the guitar… he chose her!

J.J. Jackson & The Jackels provide plenty of “ooh-ahh” chanting during this hump-dancer soul tinged classic, that has recently been released by Norton Records and was included on the 2009 compilation ‘The Roots Of The Cramps’ which at least provides a genuine Lux & Ivy related link.

The Poets ‘Dead’ is a genuinely strange record, a seriously twisted doo-wop vibe complete with horror lyrics and accompanying screams and lupine howls that no doubt terrified audiences in 1959; this is a cleaned-up recording, an original of which would set you back at least £20.

Scott Engel provided this album title with his 1958 B-side to his ‘Kathleen’ single, his label clearly liked the track as they again put it on the B-side of the following years ‘Livin End’ 7”, why if they liked it so much didn’t they flip it to the A-side… I guess it matters not as a few years later Engel would change his name to Scott Walker and moved to the UK as The Walker Brothers sought success from this classic rockabilly belter to the 2014 Walker written album with Sunn O))) is one hell of a journey!!

Ronnie Dee Dawson began his recording career with ‘Action Packed’ a pure rockabilly scorcher in 1959 when he was just 20yrs old, he had however been a French horn player for his father’s dance band The Manhattan Merrymakers, quite where he picked up the middle name Dee is a mystery, he was christened Ronnie Monroe Dawson and also recorded as Snake Munroe, and The Blonde Bomber, he benefitted from the 80’s rockabilly revival and continued to tour up until his death in 2003 age just 64.

The Savoys ‘Domino’ was originally titled ‘Domino (Just For Kicks)’ and came out in summer 1959, the source clearly being Roy Orbison’s ‘Domino’ which predated it by 3yrs, these days a lawsuit would follow, how times have changed; no matter how long the world keeps spinning there is unlikely to be a track as odd as ‘Bernice (Part 1)’ by Brother Theodore, a true out there spoken word oddity, sonorous Germanic voice delivering a stream of consciousness monologue with ham B-movie scary sounds.

Disc 2 contains gems from The Del-Tones, who’s ‘Knees Shakin’ is a sultry guitar instrumental with some neat boogie-woogie piano, whilst Richie Deran ‘Girl And A Hot Rod’ is a genuine rockabilly belter as our boy believes he can satisfy his teenage angst with as the title proclaims a “girl and a hot rod” – originally released on the Pontiac label in 1960, this was Deran’s only release which is a real shame as this is the perfect blend of snare heavy rock ’n’ roll and youthfully yelped rockabilly.

Its back to the weird stuff with Glenn And Christy, their sole release being ‘Wombat Twist’ which came out on Sonic Records label in 1962, the label was based in LaGrange, Illinois though there is no information as to where either Glenn And Christy came from or even who they were; for reasons best known to them they delivered a sort of spoken word lyric over a damn fine rockin groove that features some neat guitar work.

For the really way out there stuff, few come close to Jack Paar; his track ‘Blue Wiggle’ defies description and to be polite would be described as a novelty record, the track was originally a B-side released via RCA Victor in 1958. Paar was a former radio and TV talk show host who is probably best known for being the second host of The Tonight Show. During his earlier days Paar worked at WGAR in Cleveland. By chance, he was working the night Orson Welles did his infamous War of the Worlds broadcast. Paar apparently even tried to calm down the panicked listeners by saying, “The world is not coming to an end. Trust me. When have I ever lied to you?” The A-side ‘Funny What You Learn From Women’ as also included and is equally odd as we hear Paar accompanied by a whistler detailing what he learnt from the fairer sex!

Hasil Adkins should be familiar to anyone with even a mild interest in both The Cramps and obscure primitive rock ‘n’ roll, Adkins was a self-taught one-man band. The reason for this was because when he first heard Hank Williams on the radio he didn’t know there was a band behind Hank, he mistakenly thought that Hank Williams played all the instruments, and set out to do the same; he is featured here with his debut 7” ‘She Mine’ which was credited to Hasil Adkins & His Happy Guitar when released in 1962.

The Revels ‘Dead Man’s Stroll’ appeared on the earlier Righteous “Magnificent: 62 Classics From The Cramps’ Insane Collection” so quite why its needs another outing I’m unsure.
Dave Gardner was an interesting character, he flunked out of university after a single term of input as a Baptist Minister, before becoming a comedian, though this was curtailed when arrested for dope possession and later tax evasion, some of these wilder traits are evident on his ‘Mad Witch’ single from 1957.

Charlie Feathers should also be familiar to Cramps followers, and on ‘Tongue Tied Jill’ he described said lady as “my real gone chick” on this mono recording from 1956, a genuine barn yard nascent rockabilly blast with all the appropriate yelps and hollers.

Milton Feher closes the album with ‘Walking Without Effort’ a track lifted from an album ‘Relaxing Body And Mind: The Relaxation Record’ which came out in 1962, and was marketed as a therapeutic record; Feher without any musical accompaniment narrates advice on life, love and beyond; the album came out on Folkways Records, a label that became one of the worlds largest independent labels, and is currently owned by The Smithsonian Institute. As one of the terms of that deal, the Smithsonian agreed to keep all titles in print, which they continue to do to this day under the Smithsonian Folkways banner, as such you can get a new CD of the album for under £10!!

In total you get 50 slices of madcap vinyl that includes rare B-sides, introductions to dance crazes you had never heard of, and general madness, all of which has been sourced from the best available originals then subtly remastered, its a great compilation that showcases the driven and possibly unhinged belief of some of the artists and labels that released this stuff; there is genuine passion, blood, sweat and other dubious substances within the majority of these recordings, and for that reason alone this collection should be applauded, and lets hope we have now exhausted the Cramps tie in and similar tracks are just released for their own sake in the future.

• Featuring super rare sides, howling rockabilly, juvenile delinquent anthems, a host of dance trends, plenty of haunting weirdness and lots of hi-octane rock ‘n’ roll.

• Including Eartha Kitt, Ernie K Doe, Ronnie Dawson, Bobby Bare, Scott Engel (later of The Walker Brothers), Ken Nordine and Charlie Feathers.

• Plus beatnik blues and the crazed excess of Portuguese Joe, Myron Lee And The Caddies, The Poets, Charles Senn and Mike Page’s ‘Long Black Shiny Car’.

• Along with the awesome ‘Wombat Twist’ by Glenn And Christy and Harvey Hurt’s stupendous ‘Big Dog Little Dog’ – it’s hit after hit.

Cherry Red is putting out a 4CD 80 track set that celebrates the independent side of the UK’s post punk synthpop boom that took place between 1978 and 1984. The collection is called Electrical Language and it also comes with a booklet featuring the sleeve notes from many of the recordings and words from the artists themselves. The collection includes several household names such as OMD, The Normal , Human League, Thomas Dolby and Fad Gadget in addition to underground artists from the era.

This collection also contains some hidden gems from Mute Records, Rough Trade, 4AD, Survival Records and of course, Cherry Red. Cherry Red Records say this about the collection,

A broad church from the outset, this synth-pop movement wasted no time in embracing players from all corners of the musical dressing up box. From guitar groups drafting in a keyboard playing friend and the progressive rockers using their expensive banks of electronics in new ways to the modernists and the Thatcherists, full of unabashed aspiration, and the punks – arguably the purest punks of them all – who discarded the guitar and the drum kit overnight in their pursuit of something fresh that their generation could truly call their own. All were welcome, and all contributed to the many different directions synth-pop would mutate in over the coming five or six years.

‘Electrical Language’ captures this time and place in microscopic detail. The uptempo would-be hits with suburban nightclub aspirations, the science and technology enthralled proto-techno workouts and the otherworldy experiments are all here, sitting comfortably amongst each other in some cases, jostling for position in others. This was a post-punk revolution of another kind, played out on a stage free of the traditional boundaries and limitations, entirely alien to anybody over twenty-five and enthralled by the new and the exotic. For the first time in a while, the future looked bright, albeit illuminated with electric light.

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One of the pioneers of Progressive Music – or Prog Rock as it’s more widely known – is a UK band from the early years of Rock’s infancy. Their name is Van der Graaf Generator. This band still works together with their last album, Do Not Disturb, released back in 2016. Overall, this influential band released thirteen albums from 1968 through 2016 (thus far).  Their first album, “The Aerosol Grey Machine”, welcomed the band to the public.

The album was originally intended as a solo album by the band’s lead singer and main songwriter, Peter Hammill. When the band signed with Charisma Records, a deal was worked out whereby The Aerosol Grey Machine would be released under the Van der Graaf Generator name, in return for Mercury Records releasing Hammill from his earlier contract with it.

The Aerosol Grey Machine. Originally issued in 1969, The Aerosol Grey Machine adequately sets the stage for the great Van der Graaf Generator classics to follow. This 50th Anniversary Edition of this debut will feature new remastering and the addition of rare and previously unreleased bonus tracks to round out the  planned 2CD reissue.

For this reissue, eight extra tracks that include two previously unreleased 1967 demos, two single issues, and four BBC Sessions live performance tracks from a November 1968 session. A booklet with photos, notes, credits, an essay, and a new Pete Hammill interview.  Also included will be a replica Pete Hammill-designed poster from 1968.

A 180g-weight vinyl LP is also planned for reissue that will include the new remaster of the classic debut. It will come with a packed in 7″ vinyl single of the rare and withdrawn “People You Were Going To” with a B-side of “Firebrand”. The LP will be presented in a classic gateway sleeve with the UK artwork that was unissued.

Esoteric Recordings proudly announcing the release of a new re-mastered 50th Anniversary Limited Edition boxed set of the classic debut album ‘Aerosol Grey Machine’ – available for order now, and to be released April 26th via Esoteric Recordings.
Features the re-mastered album, an additional CD of rare & previously unreleased tracks, demos & BBC sessions, a facsimile 180g vinyl LP of ‘The Aerosol Grey Machine’ (cut at Abbey Road Studios), housed in the impossibly rare unreleased British gatefold sleeve design, a 7-inch single of the very rare withdrawn release ‘People You Were Going To’ b/w ‘Firebrand’, a lavish book with an essay by Sid Smith & exclusive interview with Peter Hammill, and a replica 1968 poster designed by Peter Hammill.

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From the makers of the Junkshop Glam genre defining Velvet Tinmine, Glitterbest and Boobs compilations… comes this book ending box set.

60 tracks of the finest slices of JSG in its various guises, as established by collectors around the world over the past decade. Including tracks from the USA, New Zealand, Netherlands, Sweden, Iceland, Australia as well as homegrown UK. Some previously unreleased, many first time on CD.

Themed by arch JSG collector and musician Phil King into three groups; Rock Off! for the heads down boogie sounds; Tubthumpers & Hellraisers for the footstomping hand clapping pop pounders; Elegance & Decadence for the mascara masquerading gender bending weird and wonderful.

The box set sweeps up a colourful array of musical renegades and nomads as they moved and shook the scene, such as: first Juicy Lucy vocalist Ray Moon, ex-New York Dolls Rick Rivets band The Brats, Baby Grande the forerunners of The Church, TV Smith pre-Adverts in Sleaze , Jimmy Edwards a cohort of Jimmy Pursey in Sham 69 in earlier solo mode and, as in house producer of Steve Elgin at Dawn, ex- Spider From Mars Woody Woodmansey, 60’s northern soul chanteuse Glo Macari backed by Slowload who get their own track as produced by Vic Maile, actor Richard Strange as Kid Strange in Doctors of Madness, Angel produced by Mick and Andy from The Sweet. Plus stalwart pop auteurs Jonathan King and Mike Berry.

Some further context comes from inclusion of relevant cuts by Mott The Hoople, Hello, Iggy & The Stooges, Be Bop Deluxe, Third World War.

Three discs in individual wallets, housed in a clam shell box, which also includes a 36 page booklet.

The booklet contains a fascinating and highly-informative 2000 word essay from an authority on the genre – Tony Barber – the bassist with the Buzzcocks.