Posts Tagged ‘Island Records’

Flyte have returned with their brand new single “I’ve Got A Girl” another look at what’s to come with their eventual next body of work. Based on their most recent singles “Losing You” and “Easy Tiger”, “I’ve Got A Girl” is a slightly different sound than many had been expecting. It tackles something heavy and personal for the band – the departure of former member Sam Berridge.

As the band’s lead singer Will Taylor describes: Where all the other tracks on this record are about a romantic relationship coming to an end, this covers the loss of a creative one. Breaking up with a friend and band member. There’s definitely a bitterness listening back to it, but at its core is the sound of a band completely letting go and having a genuinely cathartic time. We recorded it very late at night and more than a little intoxicated,” says lead singer Will Taylor.”

The track sees the band venting through an understandably tough subject and finding a bit of a new sound for them that has some hints of their old sound just delivered in a more refined way based on where they are as artists today. Taylor gets to deliver not just one, but two guitar solos and there is a bit of a dark art-pop sound that feels very Grizzly Bear at times. But like the best artists, they keep on surprising us at every turn and yet still keeping their core sound perfectly intact.

Their new record is shaping up to be something really special and we have only gotten a few pieces of it so far. We can’t wait to get more from this record very soon.

Enjoy a listen to “I’ve Got A Girl”. Flyte, under exclusive licence to Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

Buy Online Cat Stevens - Tea For The Tillerman

Following his spiritual and artistic rebirth, and hot on the heels of his incredibly well received release, ‘Mona Bone Jakon’, Cat Stevens unveiled his second album of the year in November 1970 … and it was to become one of the defining musical statements of the new decade. ‘Tea For The Tillerman’, not only consolidated Cat’s success in the UK and forged him a glittering new career in the USA, it also set him on the road to global superstardom and gave the world songs like ‘Wild World’, ‘Father & Son’, ‘Where Do The Children Play?’ and many more.

To commemorate the album’s 50th anniversary comes this definitive super deluxe box set of Tea For The Tillerman’. With the songs’ messages as powerfully relevant today as they were in 1970, the original album is represented here on CD by a brand new 2020 remaster at Abbey Road Studios by Geoff Pesche, overseen by original producer Paul Samwell-Smith, as well as a new 2020 Mix on CD by David Hefti. It also includes, in full, Yusuf’s September 2020 reimagined ‘Tea For The Tillerman 2’ album featuring new interpretations of the classic originals. The box also includes an exclusive fourth CD of outtakes, alternate versions and demos, and a fifth featuring 25 live performances from 1971 including some recorded at the legendary LA music venue The Troubadour.

Alongside the 5CDs and gatefold vinyl LP the box also comes with a live 12” vinyl E.P. of the Troubadour recordings and, on BluRay, the original promo video of ‘Father & Son’, plus live performances, and the HD audio of the new ‘Tea For The Tillerman’ 2020 Mix. Also included is a 98-page beautifully illustrated hardcover book with extensive new sleeve notes. Finally housed in a card envelope within the box is a ‘Pick Up A Good Book’ bookmark, a Yusuf / Cat Stevens designed ‘Miles From Nowhere’ print, a reproduction handwritten lyric sheet for ‘Miles From Nowhere’, a fold-out ‘Live From The Troubadour 1970’ poster, and a ‘Tea For The Tillerman’ sticker.

Seven months after Mona Bone Jakon, Stevens released Tea For The Tillerman.  The multiplatinum album cemented the artist’s reputation and included some of his best-known hits, including “Wild World,” “Father and Son,” and timeless classics like “Where Do the Children Play” and “On the Road To Find Out.”  The deluxe 50th anniversary box packs in 5 CDs, a Blu-ray, an LP, and an etched 12″.  CD 1 includes the 2020 remaster of the original album mix, while CD 2 houses the 2020 remix (also on LP).  The recent album “Tea For The Tillerman 2″ is reprised on CD 3, while CD 4 contains demos, alternate versions, and unreleased tracks.  Among them are “Can This Be Love?” “It’s So Good,” “Love Lives in the Sky,” “The Joke,” and “Honey Man,” a duet with Elton John.  Also featured are “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out” and “Don’t Be Shy” from the still-absent-from-CD soundtrack to Harold and Maude.  CD 5 is filled with 25 live recordings from The Troubadour in L.A. (also on an etched 12″),  KCET also in L.A., the BBC In Concert performance, Beat Club, various French TV appearances, and four songs recorded at New York’s Fillmore East.  The BluRay includes the promo video for “Father and Son,” TV appearances on KCET, a trio of songs from the BBC, and performances on Beat Club and French television.  If that weren’t enough, there’s also high-res audio of the 2020 remix of Tea For The Tillerman.

Slimmer editions include a 1-CD standard edition book set with the 2020 remaster of the original album mix and a 2-CD deluxe edition with the remaster and a selection of demos and live recordings.

In all it’s a fitting celebration for these landmark albums that not only brought Cat Stevens/Yusuf newfound attention worldwide, but also cemented a sound that would take hold in the ’70s and continue to influence musicians to this day.  The 50th anniversary editions of Mona Bone Jakon and Tea For The Tillerman are available for pre-order now, due to ship close to the December 4th release date.  You can peruse the track listings and place your orders below!  And check out the new singles, “I Want Some Sun” and “Can This Be Love,” to whet your appetite. 

Buy Online Cat Stevens - Mona Bone Jakon

Back in 1970 and following a period of illness and recuperation, singer-songwriting troubadour Cat Stevens re-emerged with a new record deal with Island Records and a spiritual and artistic rebirth. ‘Mona Bone Jakon’, his first album for Island, showcased a markedly different change in direction for Cat, unveiling with it a remarkable set of new  compositions that included classics like ‘Trouble’, ‘Maybe You’re Right’ and the UK hit single ‘Lady D’Arbanville’.

To commemorate the album’s 50th anniversary comes this definitive super deluxe box set of ‘Mona Bone Jakon’. Sounding as fresh as the day it was recorded, the original album is represented here by a brand new 2020 remaster of ‘Mona Bone Jakon’ by Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road, overseen by original producer Paul Samwell-Smith 2020 on CD, as well as a new 2020 Mix by David Hefti on both CD and LP. The set also includes an exclusive third CD of previously unreleased demos, and a fourth featuring 18 live performances from 1970/71.

This box is rounded out with a live 12” etched vinyl E.P. of a rare audience recording of ‘Live At Plumpton Jazz & Blues Festival’ from August 1970, and with a BluRay disc featuring the original promo video of ‘Lady D’Arbanville’, plus eight live TV performances, and the HD audio of the new Mona Bone Jakon 2020 Mix. Also included is a 98-page beautifully illustrated hardcover book with extensive new sleeve notes. Finally there’s also a selection of memorabilia including Island Records press kit, two Island press photos, a replica 1970 Plumpton Jaxx and Blues flyer, a Cat Stevens tour sticker and ‘dustbin’ greetings card and pop art print in a card envelope. 

Hitting shelves that day will be 50th anniversary editions of Mona Bone Jakon and Tea For The Tillerman.  Released within 7 months in 1970, these albums saw Stevens redefining his sound.  Following a battle with tuberculosis and a lengthy stay at in the hospital, Stevens had begun looking inward, exploring literature and meditation, and reflecting on who he was as an artist.  Beginning on these two albums, he stripped away many of the production excesses of his late-’60s Deram albums in favour of a more soulful, introspective sound that would dovetail with the burgeoning singer-songwriter movement.  This metamorphosis began with Mona Bone Jakon, produced by ex-Yardbird Paul Samwell-Smith and featuring long time collaborator Alun Davies on guitar along with John Ryan on bass and Harvey Burns on drums.

The 4-CD/Blu-ray/LP 50th anniversary box set edition of Mona Bone Jakon features a new remaster of the original mix (overseen by Paul Samwell-Smith) on CD 1, a 2020 remix by David Hefti on CD 2, and on LP, unreleased demos on CD 3 (including the new single “I Want Some Sun”), and 18 live performances on CD 4.  Among the live performances are legendary television appearances on French TV, Beat Club in Germany, and two different BBC sessions.  Another highlight is a 6-song set from the Plumpton Jazz and Blues Festival in August 1970 which sees Stevens tackling songs from Mona Bone Jakon, the as-yet-released Tea For The Tillerman, and even “Changes IV,” which would appear on Teaser and the Firecat in 1971.  The Plumpton set is also featured on an etched LP in the set.  Rounding out the Mona Bone Jakon box is a Blu-ray disc featuring high-resolution audio of the 2020 mix, plus the original promotional video for “Lady D’Arbanville,” television appearances on Pop Deux and other French TV programs, as well as “Maybe You’re Right” from BBC’s In Concert series and “Lady D’Arbanville” on Beat Club.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a deluxe box set without some memorabilia.  Inside the Mona Bone Jakon box you’ll find a replica Island Records press kit, two Cat Stevens press photos, a replica flier for the 1970 Plumpton Jazz and Blues Festival, a tour sticker, greeting card, and a pop art-inspired dustbin print.

Slimmer editions of Mona Bone Jakon will also be available.  The 1-CD standard edition will feature the 2020 remaster of the original album mix housed in a book set.  A similarly presented 2-CD deluxe edition pairs this remaster with a disc of studio demos and live highlights.

Richard and Linda Thompson

Richard and Linda Thompson’s early recordings together have attained an almost mythical status and their first three acclaimed Island Records classics will now be available again on vinyl from September 11th through UMC/Island. “I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight” (1974), “Hokey Pokey” (1975) and “Pour Down Like Silver” (1975) have been pressed on 180 gram vinyl and will come with a Download Code. These seminal works, ground-breaking at the time, have influenced generations of artists and firmly established Richard and Linda Thompson as major figures on the British folk scene.

Richard and Linda Thompson: I Want To See The Bright Lights

Recorded in May 1973, but not released until 1974 due to an international oil shortage, I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight is a dark and eclectic affair. Richard and Linda share vocals and many of the album’s twelve tracks would become firm fan favourites, including: ‘When I Get To The Border’, ‘Calvary Cross’, ‘We Sing Hallelujah’  and ‘The End of The Rainbow’, ‘Down Where The Drunkards Roll’,  ‘Has He Got A Friend For Me?’, ‘The Great Valerio’ and the title track. Now considered a classic album, it did little to trouble the charts on its original release but was very well received by the music press. Geoff Brown of Melody Maker proclaimed: “Richard Thompson is… the most accomplished guitarist in this land… He’s written some masterful songs, here and Linda, has performed them as perfectly as we’ve a right to expect”.

Despite now being considered a Classic Album, sales of ‘I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight’ were modest and did little to trouble chart. It was, however, very well received by the music press: “Richard Thompson is… the most accomplished guitarist in this land… He’s written some masterful songs, here and Linda, has performed them as perfectly as we’ve a right to expect”. Geoff Brown – Melody Maker

“These are songs which are going to be sung, and sung and sung. Not just heard by Richard and Linda, but by you, me, everybody. They have the mark of greatness upon them” Karl Dallas – Folk Review

Richard and Linda Thompson: Hokey Pokey

Richard and Linda’s 2nd LP from 1974 is now pressed on 180gram vinyl and contains a Download Code. Released in 1975, ‘Hokey Pokey’ is a much jollier release than its predecessor, ’I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight’. Richard always envisaged Hokey Pokey’ as “a music-hall influenced record”. He was a big fan of Harry Lauder and Gracie Fields, and this inspiration can be seen in the Victorian style cover by Shirt Sleeve Studio, and is audible on the title track, “”Hokey Pokey”” and also ‘Georgie On A Spree’.

A mixture of darkly comic songs like “Smiffy’s Glass Eye” and the more world weary nature of ‘I’ll Regret It All In The Morning” and “A Heart Needs A Home”. There are also more sombre songs such as ‘The Egypt Room” which Richard described as “half way between The Coasters ‘Little Egypt’, George Formby, and Dickens by way of Patricia Highsmith”.

Also released in 1975, Richard and Linda’s third LP Pour Down Like Silver became known as ‘The Sufi album’ due to Richard’s recent conversion to Islam. It is a more restrained and spartan album compared to its lusher sounding predecessors and contains some of Richard’s most beautiful songs including ‘For Shame Of Doing Wrong’, ‘Beat The Retreat’ and ‘Dimming Of The Day’, with ‘Hard Luck Stories’ probably the most musically upbeat song on the album.

Richard and Linda Thompson: Pour Down Like Silver

The record was warmly received with Rolling Stone observing: “Pour Down Like Silver is the kind of album that makes listening to music worthwhile, a record of such rare beauty and scope that one honestly feels privileged to hear it.” And Angus MacKinnon of the NME concluded that:  “through its exploration of extreme disillusionment, ‘Pour Down Like Silver’ remains a considerable and deeply moving achievement”.

Artist’s website: https://www.richardthompson-music.com/

Image may contain: 1 person, playing a musical instrument and guitar, text that says 'JOHN MARTYN'

John Martyn’s best songs had an intensity and raw emotional power that earned him a cult following which remains strong even today. Martyn was a musical maverick, a bitingly honest songwriter, and one of the most brilliant acoustic guitarists of his generation.

One of Martyn’s biggest technological innovations was his use of Echoplex delay, which allowed him to build layers of guitar. The technique was ahead of its time, and has been cited as an inspiration by U2’s The Edge. As well as influencing contemporaries such as Eric Clapton, Martyn’s work has earned him adoration from artists as varied as Beck, Joe Bonamassa, and Beth Orton. Although Martyn never had a hit single, some of his best songs, including the folk anthem “May You Never” and the ethereal “Solid Air,” are modern classics.

His finest work was for Chris Blackwell’s Island Records, who called Martyn “a true one-take man.” Blackwell gave the musician the time and backing to create a very personal sound. Although Martyn was a powerful live performer, dazzling with his guitar work and his extraordinary smoky, sweet-voiced inflections, he instinctively understood what was needed for music to come alive in a recording studio. As a result, he left a series of enduring albums from a volatile four-decade career.

“May You Never,” “Sweet Little Mystery,” “Fine Lines,” “Don’t Want to Know,” “Couldn’t Love You More”
As a youngster, Martyn was a fan of the guitar styles of blues men such as Mississippi John Hurt and Skip James. He developed his own hard plucking, dextrous style to accompany his brooding, introspective lyrics. The combination became a trademark of much of Martyn’s best work in the 1970s. His most enduring song is perhaps the catchy “May You Never,” which appeared on the 1973 album “Solid Air”. Fellow folk guitar maestro Richard Thompson, who played with Martyn in this era, said, “you could put it into a hymn book.” Martyn’s friend and occasional collaborator Clapton covered “May You Never” on his 1977 album Slowhand.

Martyn was born Ian David McGeachy, taking his stage name when he moved from Scotland to London in 1967. He recorded accessible, melodic tunes throughout his career, including “Sweet Little Mystery” from 1980’s Grace and Danger. Martyn oozed ease, something evident on “Fine Lines,” a song which featured his ad-libbed comment that “it felt natural” – an aside retained on 1973’s Inside Out album – as he slid into a tender song about friendship and loneliness. The album was made with “no self-consciousness… probably the purest album I’ve made musically,” said Martyn.

The son of two light opera singers, John Martyn’s best songs often saw him using his voice like an instrument, especially when he was repeating phrases. He sings impressively on “Don’t Want to Know,” also from Solid Air, which was written in Hastings with the help of his first wife Beverley Kutner. Another good introduction to Martyn’s back catalogue is “Couldn’t Love You More,” from 1977’s One World, which featured his long-term collaborator and bass player Danny Thompson. On the surface, it’s a sweet romantic ballad but, in typical Martyn fashion, there is an ambiguous undertow to the tender lyrics, suggesting a lover who has nothing more to give. With Martyn, the darkness usually held back the light.

“Solid Air,” “Go Down Easy,” “Small Hours”
Martyn was a musician who brought the intensity of a live performance to studio work. “Solid Air,” the mesmerizing title track to his most popular album, was written for his friend Nick Drake, shortly after the release of Drake’s masterpiece Pink Moon. In the years since Drake’s death in November 1974, the song has turned into a kind of requiem for the talented singer-songwriter, who was just 26 when he passed away.

Martyn once said that he loved jazz saxophone players – he raved in particular about Ben Webster – and the singer’s deftly-phrased delivery gelled magnificently with the tenor saxophone playing of Tony Coe on “Solid Air.” Coe was a sought-after session man who had recorded with jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie and Art Farmer. “John Martyn would smooth in his entries like a saxophone. It was almost like an actor’s voice,” John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick, the keyboard player who performed on the album told Graeme Thomson, author of an excellent biography entitled Small Hours: The Long Night of John Martyn.

“Go Down Easy” is another song from Solid Air that has an atmospheric appeal. It’s worth listening closely to the way Martyn and upright bass player Thompson interact throughout. Thompson once said that playing with Martyn was like “a natural musical conversation.” The arrangement of the song, which was recorded like a live jam session, allowed Thompson’s deft playing to entwine with Martyn’s guitar playing in what is a masterclass of intonation.

John Martyn’s best songs often had a hypnotic, free-form grace, something evident on One World, the triumphant album he recorded at Chris Blackwell’s house Woolwich Green Farm in the summer of 1977. The project started in Jamaica, involving singer and producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, when Blackwell made the rare decision to produce Martyn. He got the best out of the singer. The title track featured a haunting guitar solo, while the epic, soothing “Small Hours,” which is just under nine minutes, is one to let wash over your brain.

(“Bless the Weather,” “One Day Without You,” “Hurt in Your Heart,” “Our Love,” “Angeline”)
“Bless the Weather” is a fierce love song and a good example of the way Martyn explored the flaws and frailties of the human heart. As his career went on, Martyn’s compositions grew progressively bleaker. The man who wrote the warm-hearted “One Day Without You” (“One day without you/And I feel just like some lost ship at sea”) in 1974 was a different beast to the man who went into the studio six years later to record Grace and Danger. By that point, Martyn was trying to make sense of “a dark period in my life,” one that included divorce and addiction.

The pain came out in eviscerating confessional songs such as “Hurt in Your Heart” and “Our Love.” Martyn is quoted in Thomson’s book as saying that the songs on Grace and Danger were “probably the most specific piece of autobiography I’ve written. Some people keep diaries, I make records.”

Although Grace and Danger marked the last true high point of Martyn’s album-making, he returned to the theme of lost love with “Angeline,” on 1986’s Piece by Piece. Although “Angeline” is a more melodic offering than “Hurt in Your Heart,” it is full of passion and sorrow. Island released it as a single, but it’s worth seeking out live versions, where Martyn extended the song considerably.

(“Over the Hill,” “Dancing,” “Singin’ in the Rain”)
Although some of John Martyn’s best songs have a mordant, disturbing quality, he was also a witty stage performer, capable of recording exuberant, joyful songs. The acclaimed comedian Billy Connolly, who was a folk singer himself in the mid-1960s in Scotland, remembered Martyn as “a good laugh.”

One of Martyn’s most uplifting songs is “Over the Hill,” from Solid Air, on which Richard Thompson plays mandolin. Martyn’s song, which describes a homecoming, was written about the final part of a journey into Hastings, the train ambling through the countryside before revealing the seaside town.

Island released his 1977 song “Dancing” as a single, and this Afrobeat paean to the joys of the life of a travelling, stay-out musician, is truly infectious. Martyn was never enamored with the old-fashioned image of British folk music – which he scornfully dismissed as “the dingly-dangly-dell of life” – but he was a fan of nostalgic songs that put “a smile on your face.” He frequently performed “Singin’ in the Rain,” both live – where he encouraged singalongs – and in the studio, including his 1971 version on Bless the Weather.

(“Wining Boy Blues,” “The Glory of Love,” “I’d Rather Be the Devil,” “Spencer the Rover”)
Martyn was a gifted interpreter. He even cut a whole album of covers – 1998’s The Church with One Bell – which featured songs written by Randy Newman, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Elmore James, and Bobby Charles. Martyn grew up loving Jelly Roll Morton’s “Wining Boy Blues” and he recorded his own version early in his career, along with a touching take on Billy Hill’s “The Glory of Love,” a song first made famous by Benny Goodman in the 1930s.

One of his most spell-binding performances was of Skip James’s “Devil Take My Woman,” which Martyn retitled “I’d Rather Be the Devil” for Solid Air and turned into a passionate six-minute tour-de-force, full of the electronic effects from the tape device known as the Echoplex. Although Martyn had originally played straight acoustic versions of the song – which he’d learned at Les Cousins Folk Club in London in 1969 – his recorded version was the finest example of his experiments with Echoplex, something that started with the 1970 album Stormbringer! By 1973’s Solid Air, it had become a key part of his repertoire, his skill with it even earning praise from Bob Marley. “Bob was totally blown away,” Blackwell is quoted as saying in Thomson’s book.

Although Martyn rarely covered traditional songs, his version of “Spencer the Rover,” a folk song that had origins in the northern English county of Yorkshire, is sublime. Martyn, who named one of his sons Spenser, always enjoyed singing what was, perhaps, a romanticized version of his own wild wanderings.

Martyn’s roving days came to an end in 2003, when he had his right leg amputated below the knee because of a burst cyst. He continued performing until 2008, using a wheelchair. When Martyn received a lifetime achievement award at the 2008 BBC Folk Awards, Clapton was quoted as saying that the innovative Martyn was, “so far ahead of everything, it’s almost inconceivable.”

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, text that says 'THE LATHUMS APRIL 2021 THU SOCIAL MANCHESTER RITZ SUGARMILL GLASGO GARAGE SHEFFIELD SHEFFIELD UNIVERSITY FOUNDRY MAY 2021 NEWCASTLE RIVERSIDE NOTTINGHAM RESCUE ROOMS WED FAT WED EEDSECKET STUDENTS' UNION CARDIFF 02 ACADEMY LONDON ELECT BALLROOM'

Britains most well-loved new rising band has announced their biggest shows to date, spanning from Glasgow to London. The 13-date, nationwide run goes on sale to the band’s fervent, and growing, fanbase on Fri 31th July 2020 at 10am.

The emergence of the melodic indie band from Wigan has thrilled those waiting patiently for new heroes of emotive guitar music. An 18-month journey from playing bars to selling out their first headline tour in just one day, signing to Island Records on the way, made for a breathless first chapter.

The Lathums’ beg-for-a-ticket live shows have become legendary amongst those ‘in the know’ fans enjoying the ride as it has gathered pace. Delivering pure joy and tall tales, the four talented friends from the overlooked fringes of Greater Manchester netted streaming figures in their millions with a string of independent releases prior to signing their deal with Island.

Rushing into 2021 with a run of rescheduled support dates in the UK and Europe with Blossoms and domestic engagements with Paul Weller, and a full list of dates for The Lathums Spring Tour 2021. Having sold out previous hometown shows in 60 seconds, all tickets for upcoming dates are set to be snapped up just as quickly. The group are hitting up numerous iconic venues,

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This incarnation of Fairport Convention comprising lead vocalist Sandy Denny and newcomers Dave Swarbrick and Dave Mattacks, together with founder members Richard Thompson on lead guitar and some vocals, Simon Nicol on rhythm guitar and Ashley Hutchings on electric bass, rehearsed and put together the album “Liege & Lief” over the summer of 1969 at a house in Farley Chamberlayne, near Braishfield, Winchester, launching its material with a sold-out concert in London’s Royal Festival Hall on 24th September that year. Liege & Lief  was the fourth album by the English folk rock band . It is often credited, though the claim is sometimes disputed, as the first major “British folk rock” album, It is the third album the group released in the UK during 1969, all of which prominently featured Sandy Denny as lead female vocalist (Denny did not appear on the group’s 1968 debut album). 

Gone were the covers of songs by Bob Dylan and others, replaced by electrified versions of traditional English folksongs (“Reynardine”, “Matty Groves”, “The Deserter”, “Tam Lin”), new compositions by band members but with a “traditional” feel (“Come All Ye”, “Farewell, Farewell”, “Crazy Man Michael”), and the first of a long line of instrumental medleys of folk dance tunes driven by Dave Swarbrick’s violin playing. The virtuoso fiddle and mandolin player Swarbrick, was a little older than the rest of the band, had already been in a successful duo with guitarist Martin Carthy. After his appearance on Unhalfbricking, he joined Fairport full-time. Much of the traditional material had been found by Hutchings in Cecil Sharp’s collection, maintained by the English Folk Dance and Song Society, although Swarbrick has elsewhere claimed credit as the source of the traditional material used.

Also rehearsed and/or recorded, but omitted from the final album, were versions of The Byrds’ “Ballad of Easy Rider”, the traditional ballad “Sir Patrick Spens” with Sandy Denny on lead vocals, and “The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood”, a Richard Fariña lyric he had set to a traditional Irish melody, the last two of which were to appear in different arrangements on later albums by Fairport Convention and Sandy Denny, respectively.

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Liege & Lief is composed of two Middle English words: liege meaning loyal and lief meaning ready. The cover, a gatefold in grey and purple, featured cameo images of the band along with track listing and credits. On the inside of the original gatefold cover, a set of illustrated vignettes told the story of ten different aspects of English traditional music and folklore, including notes on customs such as pace-eggers and the Padstow hobby-horse, as well as collectors such as Francis James Child (of “Child Ballads” fame) and Cecil Sharp.

The band toured the UK for several months, also visiting Denmark, performing the Liege & Lief material before recording it in the studio (also including a performance recorded for BBC radio’s Top Gear). However, in November 1969, even before the album was released on 2nd December, both Hutchings and Denny quit the band: Hutchings to further pursue traditional music in a new band Steeleye Span, and Denny to form her new venture Fotheringay, with more emphasis on her own original compositions.

 “Liege and Lief” won the award for Most influential Folk Album of all time.

In 2007 a double album “Liege and Lief Deluxe Edition” was released; the second album consisted mainly of BBC radio live performances and two stylistically uncharacteristic outtakes, the great American songbooks standards “The Lady Is a Tramp” and “Fly Me to the Moon”.

The Band:
Sandy Denny – vocals
Dave Swarbrick – fiddle, viola
Richard Thompson – electric & acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Simon Nicol – electric, 6-string & 12-string acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Ashley Hutchings – bass guitar, backing vocals
Dave Mattacks – drums, percussion

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bombay bicyle club album cover collage

Believe it or not, Bombay Bicycle Club have been around for quite some time, over 10 years. It’s also been 10 years since the release of their debut album I had the blues but I shook them loose, which set the band off on their musical journey. Since then they have accomplished in releasing five albums, quite the feat wouldn’t you say? So in natural fashion I’ve decided to rank them worst to best (None of them are bad).

I Had the Blues but I Shook them Loose (2009)

This record put Bombay on track and in the minds of future adoring fans. At the time it was released there was a bit of a clamouring for a good indie album for people to take notice of. I Had the Blues but I Shook them Loose hit the spot for a lot of folk, as their unique sound and vocals stood them apart from a lot of the bands. Also the arrangements of the songs were interesting, which driving this point even further home. Songs like ‘Lamplight’, ‘Cancel on me’ and ‘Always like this’ have become pillars in the Bombay setlist, sending the crowd into a frenzy whenever their showcased. Bombay Bicycle Club released their astonishing debut album ‘I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose’ (recorded by long-term producer Jim Abbiss) through Island records.

It’s a beautifully literate and ambitious debut. From the dizzying My Bloody Valentine / M83 swoops and morning-after ruefulness of the LP’s opening song to the open-tuned, appalachian folk feel of the record’s closing track, the album thrums with subtle invention and quiet emotional intensity. Fans of Bloc Party, Broken Social Scene and Bon Iver – or any mildly sensitive soul with a fondness for ricocheting guitar chords – will be utterly beguiled. Indie rock rarely gets to enjoy its innocence these days, but Bombay Bicycle Club know that’s exactly what makes it precious. Jamie and Jack formed Bombay Bicycle Club after spending their early teens trying to sneak into 18+ gigs together. they were dissuaded at first by Jamie’s guitar-playing dad, Neill Maccoll (son of Ewan, sister of Kirsty), who once told Jack he should become a plumber rather than a musician if he ever wanted to make a decent living. Then Neill heard the astonishing cache of songs Jack had amassed in his bedroom with garageband and a cheap guitar, and instantly changed his mind, offering to produce Bombay Bicycle Club’s first LP.

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Flaws (2010)

Bombay’s acoustic release in flaws is magical. Jack’s gentle voice combined with melodic fingerpicking is something which can only be enjoyed. With an acoustic version of ‘Dust on the Ground’ and title track ‘Flaws’ you get to hear the band at their most calm and mellow. This was an odd release for their second album, with their first being so bold and abrupt. It really took people off the scent of another loud indie band, giving the band some added depth.  I always find I need to be in a mood for slow paced acoustic songs which isn’t very often. Flaws’ is the stunningly beautiful, acoustic album by Bombay Bicycle Club. ‘Flaws’ is characterised by a delicate, heart-swelling beauty and lightness of touch throughout. Those that had Bombay Bicycle Club pegged merely as an indie band may need to re-think.

Intricate, finger-picked guitar lines and ethereal melodies pull at the heart strings on new songs such as ‘My God’, the startlingly pretty ‘Leaving Blues’ and title track ‘Flaws’ (a duet with Lucy Rose). On other tracks – ‘Rinse Me Down’ and ‘Many Ways’ – skittering drum rhythms and distant banjo lines drift in, but in the main, it’s a naked intimacy that makes these songs dazzle. the album’s final track, ‘Swansea’, is perhaps the most exciting in terms of where Bombay Bicycle Club will take their sound next.

All the music for ‘Swansea’ was written by Jack, but uses some of the lyrics from a Joanna Newsom track of the same name. A simple folk ballad that opens with plaintive guitar and vocals, swells and morphs into something altogether different, as a synth counter melody slowly floats into reverb-rich vocals and echo chamber drum rhythms.

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A Different Kind of Fix (2011)

This album has some of Bombays best work on it without doubt, which is why it deserves to maybe be the album to start with. From the start of the album with the opening to ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep’ you feel as if you’re walking into the clouds as you feel an atmosphere of calm all around you. The duet on ‘Lights Out, Words Gone’ will forever be a favourite of mine on vocals alone, but the simple musicality adds to it. The album doesn’t take on this slow pace as a theme, with Bombay switching it up a few times. Songs like ‘Your Eyes’, ‘Leave It’ and ‘Bad Timing’ are a keen reminder of the bands wilder side.

‘Shuffle’ also features on this album, which will always be among my favourite BBC song. Their joyous sounds built into the track brings an entire audience to life, like putting colour on a blank canvas. A Different Kind of Fix is the bands third album from London’s Bombay Bicycle Club, following the critically acclaimed indie of debut I Had the Blues But I Shook them Loose and the Ivor Novello-nominated sparse folk of Flaws. Recorded in Hamburg, London and Atlanta, A Different Kind of Fix sees the guitars firmly plugged back in for album number three, but added to the mix are synths, sampled loops, layered vocals from all four band members and washes of reverb throughout.

Production-wise, the album reunites BBC with Jim Abbiss–who produced their debut–and also introduces them to Ben Allen (noted for his work with Animal Collective) whilst lead singer, Jack Steadman co-produces throughout. The album Includes first single, “Shuffle”, “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep” and “Take The Right One”. Towards the end of the song you have the magical call and response of “you gave to me all I know / I will stay here, I will not go’ where Jack lights up the crowd and everything feels perfect. Some may disagree with this choice to make this their best album, but from back to front it’s pretty flawless listen.

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So Long, See You Tomorrow (2014)

When this album was released it was 3 years since we heard from the band, so when the release came around it was a major deal. The record saw the band adjust their style slightly, introducing much more musical elements into the songs, operating at one of the highest peaks of their powers. ‘Luna’ was released prior to the record, and I remember it receiving mixed reviews – me included. Yet, when the album was released it was all okay.

The usage of dual vocals and harmonies were beautiful throughout the album, with some perfect vocal contrasted performances on ‘Home by now’, ‘Luna’ and ‘Eyes Off You’. This was released at great time for me, which is probably why it ranks so high, but from start to finish I can semi-confidently say I know all the words and reflects some very special moments . It might seem odd to describe Bombay Bicycle Club as veterans given that nobody in the band is older than 24, but this is their fourth album, which is something of a landmark achievement in today’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-them climate. The Bombay Bicycle Club story is something that isn’t meant to happen any more – a band given the space by their label, Island, to evolve with each release. The album was produced by Jack in the band’s studio in London, making it their most personal record to date. There was always purpose from the beginning to bring everything together for this album, to tell a story from the first track through to the finale with everything interconnecting as a complete body of work.CD – Limited digipack.180 Gram Gatefold vinyl.Boxset – Digipack version of the album on CD, Heavyweight 12″ vinyl, exclusive box-set only 7″, 12×12″ 24-page song and story book.

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Everything Else Has Gone Wrong (2020)

From the announcement of the album in late 2019, I already expected a lot and it delivered on most fronts. With some stand out songs like ‘Eat Sleep Wake (nothing but you)’ and ‘Everything Else Has Gone Wrong’ it really defines the sound of the album, as Bombay deviate slightly from their previous record. Yet, there’s a lack of consistency throughout the tracks with some not really hitting, making it feel a little loose. Perhaps this is due to me not having much time with it, but from an early perspective I get the feeling these tracks won’t grow on me as much as their predecessors did. Everything Else Has Gone Wrong is the eagerly anticipated follow-up to the British band’s acclaimed number 1 charting, Mercury Music Prize nominated fourth album, So Long, See You Tomorrow released back in 2014.
The new album was largely recorded out in the US alongside Grammy Award winning producer John Congleton (St. Vincent / Sharon Van Etten / War on Drugs). It features the band’s euphoric new single, “Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You)”.

Speaking of the record’s title, vocalist/guitarist Jack Steadman explains: “This is an album for anyone who’s ever turned to music in a time of need. It’s about the solace one can get from listening to music or playing music. For me personally it’s about the frustration of not being able to express myself to others, of leaving conversations feeling dissatisfied and misunderstood. Music’s the way I’m able to truly express myself”.

Bombay Bicycle Club have continued to grow, develop and evolve since the release of their debut album, I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose, back in 2009 when they signalled their arrival as young teenagers. Rarely in recent years has there been a British guitar band who have the craft and ability to avoid categorisation whilst uniting hundreds of thousands of fans across the globe. With an innate ear for melody and invention, the four-piece are a very welcome return to the fold just as British guitar music makes a timely renaissance.

Overall BBC’s world is at high standard whichever album you choose to listen to.

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I love Flyte why this band are not hugely known and selling loads of records is the understatement of all time. They’re a three-piece band presently with the addition of a occasional Stave sister  with my heart in their hands and their hearts on their sleeves. Their debut record “The Loved Ones” felt like a secret between the few, me and the band, Will Taylor and the band continually charmed and surprised. It’s a gorgeous, passionate, musically beautiful album. It’s desperate and haunting. It’s one of those covers that covers your bones. But enough about their album. The band have been touring and demoing a new collection of songs for the last six seven months and “Easy Tiger” is among them .

“Easy Tiger” is a break-up track. It’s a predator with a thorn in its paw. It’s brought low, it’s humble, it’s sad. It’s brilliant for all of that. Will Taylor has a giant vocal register, but he is so subdued on this track, the emotionalism is totally carried by the instrumentation. The music is anxious in “Easy Tiger,” while the melody is steady, rhythmic and calm. It’s the embodiment of trying to keep your cool while you see an ex at a party.

Give Flyte the love they deserve today. I reckon a new record will be dropping soon from them, so listen to The Loved Ones and their 2019 EP White Roses (If you can get a copy… I Can’t for love or money, Will )after you give “Easy Tiger” a listen.

It’s another woozy, moody exhale, “Easy Tiger is an ideal turbulent indulgence to soundtrack our moments of doubt and trouble. I fell in hard for this UK band Flyte, Iv’e seen them maybe eight-ten times and they still astonish me everytime. Please also listen to their White Roses EP and its truly breathtaking title track – one of my all-time favourites tracks for the year – and you couldn’t ask for a more striking, well-executed return than “Easy Tiger.” Soothing yet unsettling all at once, the song was written as a precursor to the emotional overhaul of a breakup, however its message feels all the more universal today. Easy tiger: This is only gonna get worse

Music video by Flyte performing Easy Tiger. under exclusive licence to Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited

 

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“Easy Tiger” is the group’s first new release since last year’s White Roses EP, and arrives with a video directed by BAFTA-winning director Mark Jenkin.

Vocalist Will Taylor says of the song, “When I wrote “Easy Tiger” I was exorcising shame, heartbreak, jealously; almost impossible emotions to process, I almost regretted writing it. There’s a darkness and an emotional brashness to Mark’s work that suited the song perfectly. It would have been hard to trust anyone else with it.”

Jenkin says of the accompanying visual, “The challenge was to make something that felt amorphous – to create something that has a tactile feel to it, is a single artefact, something that feels like a found film and something that is timeless, abstract and unidentifiable in some ways. For me, what’s exciting is those limitations – this is where my strength is, the great unknown.

Flyte’s “Easy Tiger” single is out now on Island Records.

Band Members: Will Taylor, Nick Hill, Jon Supran, Sam Berridge