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Larry "Ratso" Sloman debut album out 5 April 2019

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Album release: 'Stubborn Heart' by Larry "Ratso" Sloman
Release date: 5 April 2019
Label: Lucky Number
More info: Artist website

NYC author/writer/actor Larry "Ratso" Sloman has collaborated with some of the most dynamic figures in pop culture from Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, John Cale and Leonard Cohen. Ratso also wrote the best-selling memoirs for Howard Stern, Anthony Kiedis and more. Now at 70, Ratso announces debut LP 'Stubborn Heart' out 5th April on Lucky Number. Hear the first single "Our Lady of Light" featuring Nick Cave here.

Speaking about the new album Sloman says, “If you would have told me when I was covering Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour for Rolling Stone Magazine that forty-four years later, I would be releasing my first album I would have laughed and asked for a hit of whatever it was you were smoking,” he chuckles. “Guess I’ll take that hit now.”

For the last forty-four years Larry “Ratso” Sloman has forged an impressive career as a writer of books, lyrics and, most recently, screenplays. Credited with writing features on the likes of Lou Reed, George Harrison and Leonard Cohen for Rolling Stone, Sloman was also personally invited by Bob Dylan to join his ‘Rolling Thunder Revue’ as the tour's official scribe – leading to his first book ‘On The Road With Bob Dylan’ (dubbed by Dylan as ‘The War and Peace of Rock and Roll”), and being given the moniker of “Ratso” by Joan Baez for his dishevelled appearance. He has also collaborated with the likes of Howard Stern, Anthony Kiedis and David Blaine on their best-selling memoirs, has being personally asked by Leonard Cohen to preface ‘On Tour with Leonard Cohen’, and his biography of Houdini will soon be a major-motion picture.

Ratso has also paid his dues in the tower of song, having written the lyrics for over thirty tracks with Rick Derringer (McCoys) and ex-Velvet Underground founder John Cale - including ‘Dying on the Vine’, which became Cale’s signature solo song (inspiring not one, but two novels!) - as well as acting in films as diverse as the award winning short The Black Balloon, the horror film Satan’s Little Helper, and has a large role in Martin Scorsese's upcoming Netflix documentary on Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour, out in April.. What hasn’t he done? His own album.

Now in his 70s Ratso is releasing his debut album ‘Stubborn Heart’. Produced by his close friend Vin Cacchione (of Soft Black and Caged Animals) at his studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn, ‘Stubborn Heart’ blends a classic songwriting approach with a contemporary sophistication. The album features Ratso singing on eight originals (including songs that were co-written with John Cale) and what he describes as an “audacious” Bob Dylan cover, along with the generous talents of his friends Nick Cave (who he duets with on the evocative ‘Our Lady of Light’), Warren Ellis, Sharon Robinson (Leonard Cohen’s co-writer, producer and back-up singer), Yasmine Hamdan, Imani Coppolla and more.

Reminiscing on the album Ratso says, “Everything about this project was fun. And it was always about the songs. They had been lying dormant since 1984. They deserved a life.” Each track carries a significant and often astonishing history. For instance, the John Cale collaboration ‘Dying On The Vine’, was originally conceived in hotel room off Sunset Blvd. whilst trading lines with Tom Waits and Chuck E. Weiss, whereas Sharon Robinson was convinced to sing on the record in exchange for Ratso writing the aforementioned Leonard Cohen preface for free – described by Ratso as an “old school barter.

‘Stubborn Heart’ is an album that is fittingly autobiographical, harking back to various stages of Ratso’s accomplished career and life, sung by a guy who witnessed the counter-cultural explosion of 1970's NYC and birthed forty years later within the DIY confines of Brooklyn.

His Rolling Stones fan club card long gone, Ratso’s now a card-carrying member of the American Association of Retired Persons but he’s determined to ride this new career wherever it takes him. “Maybe I can be the Jewish Susan Boyle,” he muses. “The oldest best new artist ever and if that doesn’t pan out, I can always perform on subway platforms. Hey, I can get in for half-price!”

Pre-order 'Stubborn Heart' here.

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Glen Hansard new album out 12 April 2019

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Album release: 'This Wild Willing' by Glen Hansard
Release date: 12 April 2019
Label: ANTI- Records
More info: Artist website

“This collection of songs is mainly made up of those that came through while improvising and following the melodic lines and threads. Sometimes when you take a small musical fragment and you care for it, follow it and build it up slowly, it can become a thing of wonder.” – Glen Hansard, 2019

Those who have followed Glen Hansard’s career since his Academy Award winning turn in the film 'Once' will have witnessed one artistic arc: the journey of a Dublin busker who cut his teeth on the greats - Dylan, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen – and followed the path of the troubadour to great effect. But there is another thread running through Hansard’s musicianship; in his decades as lead singer of Irish stalwarts The Frames, rock and folk ambitions coexisted with moments of strangeness, intimacy, and stillness.

Today, Hansard announces 'This Wild Willing', his fourth full-length album and a collection of songs that follows this second path, where he marries the sonic inventiveness of the best of his work in The Frames with the discipline he’s found as a songwriter and lyricist in his solo career.

Lead track 'I’ll Be You, Be Me' finds Hansard weighing the risks of such vulnerability, his restrained vocal masking the fury of the underlying instrumental’s building storm, and to which Hansard advises “on first listen, please turn it up loud in your head phones!”

Listen to lead single 'I'll Be You, Be Me' here.

“I’ll be you, be me and I’ll be you/I’ll take your truth, your lies, your secrets,” he sings, negotiating the consuming potential of desire. There is danger here, but it is without rancor or ill-will – the danger of a hare with its belly exposed. There is also a duality in the invitation: the audience is drawn in just as surely as the song’s object to the immersive world conjured by the album.

'This Wild Willing' was conceived in Paris and recorded at the French Black Box studios with producer David Odlum and a core group of musicians that includes classically-trained Iranian musicians the Khoshravesh brothers, long-time Hansard associates Joe Doyle (bass) and ROMY (piano, vocals, string arrangements), and Dublin electronic musicians Deasy and Dunk Murphy (Sunken Foal). The album is grounded in a spirit of openness to invention and experimentation.

Pre-order ‘This Wild Wiling’ here.

EU tour begins this March. Full list of tour dates and tickets here.

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Lene Lovich tour dates March 2019

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Tour announcement: Lene Lovich
Tour dates: March 2019
More info: Artist website

March 2019 sees the Lene Lovich Band taking to the road to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Lene's classic debut album ‘Stateless’. Containing the smash hit ‘Lucky Number’ and other perennial Lene favourites including ‘Home’, ‘Say When’, ‘I Think We're Alone Now’ and the celebrated ballad ‘Too Tender to Touch’, ‘Stateless’ was an immediate success when it was first released by cult post-punk label Stiff Records, and has held it's place in fans' affections for four decades. Lene Lovich’s work spent over four and a half months in the Top 40 charts after the release of her debut album in 1978 in the UK and 1979 in the US.

The tour will be fans' only chance to catch ‘Stateless’ performed in it's entirety. The show also includes other Lene favourites, such as the Thomas Dolby-penned hit ‘New Toy’, as well as a handful of songs from Lene's highly regarded second album ‘Flex’.

Dates and tickets here.

Listen to ‘Lucky Number’ here.

“It is incredibly flattering to know that people are still interested in Stateless after all these years. And it is always humbling to learn what it has meant to people on a personal level. We all have music which becomes the soundtrack to our lives, and to know that people are still listening is the highest compliment that you can ever be paid as an artist and a performer.

Far from being near nostalgia, taking the album out on the road for its anniversary year is a way of saying thank you, both to the fans who have appreciated it for so long, and also to the songs themselves, which have meant so very much to me and gave me such a wonderful start on this journey.” - Lene Lovich, November 2018

The Lene Lovich Band were formed in 2012 by Lene and guitarist Jude Rawlins and have been performing across Europe to much acclaim ever since. The Stateless 40th Anniversary Tour kicks off in the UK in March of 2019 and sees the band performing across the country for the first time since appearing as special guests of the Psychedelic Furs in 2017.

A new version of ‘Stateless’ is currently being recorded by the band and will be released to tie in with the tour, marking Lene's return to the studio after a 13 year hiatus.

More on Lene Lovich

Lene Lovich was born Lili-Marlene Premilovich in Detroit, Michigan, to an English mother and an American father of Yugoslavian descent. At age 13 her father developed health problems and so the family relocated to Hull, England. Later on she began to perform in cabaret clubs in London as a dancer, recorded screams for Hammer Film Productions to dub onto their horror-films, wrote lyrics for French disco artist Marc Cerrone (including the sci-fi dance hit ‘Supernature’) and worked in various theatre productions.

After finding her feet in the post-punk and new wave developing in the UK, Lovich's musical style combined her own quirky inventions with contemporary punk rock and new wave styles.

Biography by Tony R. Vario

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Marvel collector's editions albums out 7 December 2018

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Album release: Universal and Marvel Comics collector's edition hip-hop vinyl reissues
Release date: 7 December 2018
Label: UMe
More info: Urban Legends website

  • Featuring GZA, LL Cool J and 50 Cent.

Deluxe collector’s editions (limited to 3000 copies) include double colour vinyl with 3D lenticular print of Marvel’s variant cover artwork, along with a copy of the limited-edition corresponding Marvel comic book that ties in with the artwork.

Urban Legends, the urban catalogue platform of Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), and Marvel Comics are collaborating to bring together the mighty, epic worlds of comics and hip-hop with an ongoing exclusive album series that will feature variant covers for select collector’s editions of some of the record label’s most legendary hip-hop releases. The first releases in this joint series, out December 7, are Iron Man standing behind cracked glass for 50 Cent’s incendiary 2003 debut, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’; the Punisher replicating LL Cool J’s famous stance on the cover of his 1990 album Mama Said Knock You Out; and Iron Man duelling Maestro, mirroring the cover of GZA’s second studio album, Liquid Swords.

Marvel Comics originally debuted these album art-inspired images as comic book variants for many of their top comic titles in 2015, reinterpreted by a number of fan-favourite comic book artists. Now Marvel’s highly successful variant comic book cover series will be combined with UMe’s vast catalogue that includes the most revered and influential albums in hip-hop history.

In making this announcement, Bruce Resnikoff, President/CEO, UMe, said, “Marvel comics have always occupied a special place in the hearts of hip-hop fans – both media continue to serve as source of expression, escapism and inspiration for generations of super fans around the world.”

Andre Torres, Vice-President, Urban Catalogue and Head of Urban Legends, adds: “There is an undeniable heroism that consistently runs through the veins of both art forms and I’m excited to help weave these iconic narratives together in a way that celebrates their art and introduces new fans to their genius.”

Daniel Fink, Executive Director, Business Development at Marvel, said, “Marvel’s hip-hop variant covers celebrated the music industry in a whole new way, combining the creativity of original album art and the Marvel Universe to create one-of-a-kind pieces of art. We’re excited to collaborate with UMe to bring these variants back for fans of these iconic albums.”

Each album release will boast a pair of collectable options, the first one being a double colour vinyl Variant Cover Collector’s Edition that replaces the album’s original image with Marvel’s variant hip-hop cover art.

Second, a Deluxe Variant Cover Collector’s Edition will sport the featured album itself housed in a gate-fold LP with the variant cover printed directly on the front. The deluxe collector’s edition will include double colour vinyl, along with a copy of the limited-edition corresponding Marvel comic book that ties in with the artwork. The deluxe version will also include a 3D lenticular print of Marvel’s variant cover artwork. Each initial Collector’s Edition will be capped at 3,000 units.

UMe plans to release hip-hop variant albums each quarter, distributing them to traditional record stores and retail channels, as well as directly to consumers. The initial limited-edition runs will be capped at 5,000 units each.

Pre-order the first three titles:

  • 50 Cent Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ here

  • LL Cool J Mama Said Knock You Out here

  • GZA Liquid Swords here

Released in 2003 by Shady/Aftermath/Interscope, 50 Cent’s debut, Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, was the year’s bestselling album worldwide. It stormed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with more than 872,000 copies sold during its first week of release. Featuring the acclaimed No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 singles "In da Club" and "21 Questions,” and the Top 5 "P.I.M.P.," the album is six-times platinum-certified by the RIAA. The exclusive hip-hop variant cover inspired by this album was originally drawn and coloured by Brian Stelfreeze for Invincible Iron Man #1 in 2015.

LL Cool J’s fourth studio album, Mama Said Knock You Out, drew praise from critics worldwide, lauding the album’s hard-hitting, soulful jams. Released in 1990 by Def Jam, the multi-platinum album’s chart-topping and GRAMMY®-winning title track is an iconic hip-hop staple. The exclusive hip-hop variant cover inspired by this album was originally drawn and coloured by Tim Bradstreet for Punisher #1 in 2016.

Released in 1995 by Geffen, GZA’s second solo studio album, Liquid Swords, peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The platinum-certified album is critically acclaimed, recognised as one of the best hip-hop albums of all time and as a particularly strong solo release by a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. The exclusive hip-hop variant cover inspired by this album was originally drawn by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz and coloured by Chris Sotomayor for Contest of Champions #1 in 2015.

About Urban Legends/Universal Music Enterprises (UMe)

Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) is the centralised U.S. catalogue and special markets entity for UMG. Working in concert with all the company’s record labels, UMe provides a front-line approach to catalogue management, a concentration of resources, opportunities in new technologies, and an emphasis on strategic marketing initiatives to engage all types of consumers across multiple entry points and platforms.

Urban Legends is a multi-platform website that honours the past 30 years of Universal Music Group's (UMG) urban catalogue. The label imprint and platform, which came to fruition in late 2017, celebrates the artists and music at the heart and soul of hip-hop, with commentary by noted music writers and the artists themselves.

Nobody forgets the album that changed their life—that one song that defined the moment. Urban Legends remembers and re-imagines what it means to be a fan, helping music lovers fall in love with their favourites all over again. We celebrate our icons, our culture, our style, our legacy, our music—and why it matters.

About Marvel Comics

Marvel, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years. Marvel utilises its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit here.

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Placebo 20th anniversary WYIN fan-site

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New website: ‘Without You I’m Nothing’ by Placebo
More info: WYIN website

Placebo celebrate 20 years of their iconic album ‘Without You I’m Nothing’ with the launch of new fan-site featuring new interviews and exclusive content

October 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Placebo’s iconic second album ‘Without You I’m Nothing’. In celebration, the band have launched a fan-site which not only brings together classic live performance footage and photographs from the era, but exclusive new content and new interviews as well. Importantly, it has been created as a place for fans to share and contribute their own photos and memories of what the album means to them. View the new site here.

There is also the chance for fans to win one of two 12” ‘Without You I’m Nothing’ (ft. David Bowie) vinyl singles, and one of five ‘Without You I’m Nothing’ heavyweight vinyl albums, simply by tagging a post on Twitter or Instagram with #WYIN20.

Critically and commercially a significant record at the time, ‘Without You I’m Nothing’ led to plaudits worldwide, gaining platinum status, and birthing two UK Top 5 singles in ‘Pure Morning’ and ‘You Don’t Care About Us’. The single version of the album’s title track famously featured vocals from David Bowie. Thematically, ‘Without You I’m Nothing’ remains an incredibly personal piece of work, making this 20-year milestone the perfect time to listen again, share memories, and talk about a record that continues to mean so much to so many.

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Glen Frey and JD Souther album out 28 September 2018

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Album release: Longbranch/Pennywhistle by Glen Frey and JD Souther
Release date: 28 September 2018
Label: Geffen/UMe

Los Angeles – August 3, 2018 – Longbranch/Pennywhistle, the legendary 1969 collaboration between late Eagles co-founder Glenn Frey and longstanding songwriting partner, JD Souther, will make its CD debut as well as return to vinyl for the first time in nearly 50 years on September 28 via Geffen/UMe. The album has been remastered and remixed by acclaimed producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner (Eagles, Steely Dan, Toto) and Souther. Released earlier this year as part of the Glenn Frey box set 'Above The Clouds: The Collection', the eponymous album is being made available as a standalone CD and on 180-gram black vinyl for the first time ever. Pre-order Longbranch/Pennywhistle here.  

Longbranch/Pennywhistle represented the budding essence of a songwriting team that would tap into something quite intuitively special that eventually took flight on such well-loved and enduring Eagles tracks to come such as 'Best of My Love', 'New Kid in Town', 'Heartache Tonight' and 'The Sad Café'. Agrees Souther, “Longbranch/Pennywhistle gives you some sort of foundation for what’s to come.”

Produced by Tom Thacker, Longbranch/Pennywhistle boasts an impressive list of top-tier collaborators including rockabilly guitar legend James Burton, slide maestro Ry Cooder, pedal-steel legend Buddy Emmons, Wrecking Crew pianist Larry Knechtel, session drummer Jim Gordon, bass master Joe Osborn, and fiddle player nonpareil Doug Kershaw.

A second album was never cut and the band subsequently broke up. Frey went on to co-found the Eagles, occasionally with Souther’s songwriting pen and vocal harmonies in tow, while Souther mainly focused on a successful solo career (“You’re Only Lonely,”) and the occasional duet with the likes of James Taylor (“Her Town, Too”) and Linda Ronstadt (“Prisoner In Disguise”), in addition to authoring signature hits interpreted by the likes of Dixie Chicks (“I’ll Take Care Of You”) that yet again served to redefine the country genre.

Forever intertwined together in Longbranch/Pennywhistle, Souther and Frey will always represent the pioneering So Cal-transplanted songwriting duo who opened the door on a genre that ultimately knows no limits. Songs like album standouts 'Kite Woman' and 'Run, Boy, Run' serve as the literal seeds of the country-rock movement Frey and the Eagles perfected to a T.

“Glenn Frey was my roommate, best friend, and first songwriting partner in Los Angeles,” Souther says. “We knew we were onto something original, as are most young musicians, including our soon-to-be friends and collaborators Jackson Browne and Don Henley; but quite honestly, we were just trying to do our best work in a very competitive environment. If in doing that we evolved a new architecture of some sort, fine, but remember we were all listening carefully to each other and to the giants before and among us. We listened to Miles, Hank Williams, Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Trane, Bach, Cole Porter, Tim Hardin, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, and Carole King to name a few. We always said that if you want to make great music you should listen to great music. This album was our freshman project."

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Bob Marley 'Kaya' anniversary edition out 24 August 2018

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Album reissue: 'Kaya' by Bob Marley
Release date: 24 August 2018
Label: The Marley Family/Island Records/UMC
More info: Band website

On the 24th of August, The Marley Family, Island Records, and UMC will collectively proclaim the sun is shining in celebration of 40 years of Kaya, Bob Marley & The Wailers’ historic March 1978 release. The album's themes of love and peace have resonated across the world and the record reached the top 5 in the UK albums chart upon original release.

This most special anniversary edition will feature Stephen “Ragga” Marley’s exciting and vibrant new 'Kaya 40' mixes of all ten tracks from the original album alongside its original mixes in 2CD and 180-gram 2LP configurations. (The digital version will be a standalone release of Stephen’s mixes only.) The album will also be available as a limited edition 180-gram 2LP green vinyl version exclusively here.

Listen to the new mix of 'Is This Love' here.

Recorded in London concurrently with the material that ultimately comprised 1977’s Exodus — a record proclaimed by Time Magazine in 1999 to be the Best Album of the 20th Century — Kaya is the perfect sonic-sibling bookend that shares all the joy, spirit, and literal DNA of some of Marley’s most ground-breaking material. Kaya contains a number of the most enduring, heartfelt songs in the entire Marley canon, including 'Is This Love', 'Easy Skanking', and 'Sun Is Shining'.

'Kaya' was initially released just one month ahead of Bob Marley & The Wailers headlining the legendary One Love Peace Concert at The National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on 22nd April 1978, an event that featured 16 of reggae’s biggest acts. One Love Peace was heralded as Marley’s triumphant return to his native soil, following his long exile in London after having fled the country as a result of a December 1976 assassination attempt at his Kingston homestead.

The album was recorded with the then-new configuration of The Wailers that comprised brothers Carlton and Aston 'Family Man' Barrett on drums and bass, Tyrone Downie on keyboards, Alvin 'Seeco' Patterson on percussion, and the I Threes — Rita Marley, Marcia Griffiths, and Judy Mowatt — on backing vocals, along with newest member Julian (Junior) Marvin on guitar. Two of Kaya’s songs had previously appeared in different arrangements on 1971’s Soul Revolution — the title track, and 'Sun Is Shining'.

Stephen's goal in mixing 'Kaya 40' was to create a balance that drew heavily from the original versions. Using Bob’s vocals from demos from original 'Kaya' sessions that were recorded at different tempos, Stephen synched the vocals with alternate takes and layered it over different instrumental arrangements.  Stephen tried to keep the flavor as authentic as possible. To mix the album, he used a similar minimal approach, basing his version heavily off the classic analog concepts they used in the 1970s.

Bob Marley’s artistic legacy forever endures, and the 40th anniversary edition of 'Kaya' only serves to reinforce just how much we all share the shelter of this special music.
 

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Creedence Clearwater Revival 50th anniversary video release

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Video release: 'Fortunate Son' by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Release date: Out now
Label: Craft Recordings
More info: Band Facebook

Craft Recordings proudly announces the 50th anniversary of America’s greatest rock band, Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was in the summertime half a century ago that CCR, a group that would reach sky-high success while retaining a resolutely rootsy, earthbound sound, released their debut album. This marked the beginning of an incredible legacy that was formed over just four years of unbridled creative output (1968-1972).

CCR's canon has become a staple in the Great American Songbook. Songs like 'Bad Moon Rising', 'Down on the Corner', 'Have You Ever Seen the Rain', 'Proud Mary', and 'Up Around the Bend' have been ingrained into the pop-cultural consciousness—not just as classic rock staples, but as American standards.

As the United States speeds towards another anniversary of its own on 4th July, Craft is kicking off the CCR50 campaign by releasing an official music video (the first ever) for one of the band’s most enduring classics, 'Fortunate Son', a song as vital now as ever.

Beyond its anti-war sentiment, 'Fortunate Son' is an anthem for the 99%ers, condensing a critique of elitism and class privilege into three simple, but powerfully defiant words: It Ain’t Me. Craft partnered with director Ben Fee (Band of Horses, The War on Drugs, The Lumineers, Aesop Rock) to give a whole new generation a visual entry point into the world of Creedence.

The song already has an undeniable place in history as one of the most visceral, attention-grabbing protest tunes of the Vietnam era. With the new video, Fee extends the reach of 'Fortunate Son' even further. "For me, protest right now is just showing pure positivity in the face of division and anger." Says Fee, “I wanted to highlight the community and positivity that everybody shares…I wanted to show what America feels like when you actually hit the road and drive throughout the states."

Though the Vietnam war is decades away in the rearview mirror, the people CCR were speaking for in the song are still the heart and soul of America, and they're still the underdog, facing a whole new set of challenges. So, Fee turned the video into a celebration of their indomitable spirit, giving viewers a glimpse of the broad array of characters comprising the patchwork that is our country at its core.

In spotlighting the diversity and unconquerable spirit of America's so-called 99%, Fee created a concept as relevant to today's world as it is to the original 1969 setting of "Fortunate Son." "I met so many beautiful people," says Fee of the folks he shot for the video. "I went to the Taos Pueblo people, into their land, and met with the war chief, and they were very big fans of CCR. They were so welcoming because they knew the song and the band, and they really loved the idea of protest through positivity." 

Click here to watch the video.

Fee’s video road trip took him across the country, from Los Angeles to Miami and all points in between. The footage captures people across America of diverse ages, cultures, ethnic backgrounds and locations (including Florida, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, California, Washington and Hawaii) to document the true spirit that makes up the fabric of the United States, for which CCR have been the soundtrack for 50 years.

In addition to the video, the half-century celebration will continue in the coming months to fill out the CCR story even further. Craft will be honouring the band’s musical legacy via a diverse array of media, products and events; including a special release coming this autumn. The fête will also provide fans with new ways to engage with CCR online–sharing their memories, streaming new content, and diving deeper into the band’s legendary history. Stay tuned to CCR50.com for more details, coming soon.

In the meantime, you can dig in to more from the Creedence Clearwater Revival catalogue (and build your 4th July playlists) via Apple Music (click here for the Essentials) or Spotify (click here for This Is).

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1968 self-titled debut album introduced the world to guitar-playing brothers John and Tom Fogerty, drummer Doug Clifford, and bassist Stu Cook, four young men out of El Cerrito in the San Francisco Bay Area. Though they emerged in a place and time where trippy psychedelic visions were the order of the day, CCR bucked the trends and instead tapped into a rich, traditional seam of American music that connected to blues, country, rockabilly, gospel, folk and R&B.

While their contemporaries were unfurling mind-bending musical excursions with elaborate productions, Creedence crashed into the upper rungs of the album and singles charts with songs that wasted nary a note or word, overflowing with raw soul and unbridled energy. Although the band members were only together for four years under the Creedence Clearwater Revival appellation, they managed to accomplish more than many artists do in their entire career – they released 14 Top 10 hits, six Platinum albums, and one Gold in just four intensely prolific years, all powered by John Fogerty's gut-level growl, with Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford providing just the right kind of gritty, in-the-pocket punch to propel CCR's vision.

The band's West Coast origins notwithstanding, Fogerty's voice contained echoes of everything from the Chicago blues bite of Howlin' Wolf to the Alabama twang of Hank Williams and the Memphis swagger of Elvis Presley, creating an archetypal example of Americana decades before anybody ever thought of using that term to define a musical genre.

For all the indelible guitar hooks and commanding vocals the CCR catalogue contains, their songs are more than catchy tunes. CCR was a people's band in more ways than one; hand in hand with the accessibility that made their music relatable to just about everybody, there was a strong sense of identification with America's common folks, the ones whose stories were told in the songs.

On tunes like 'Born on the Bayou' and 'Green River', Creedence harnessed the sonic hoodoo of almost dangerously deep, “swamp rock” grooves to propel vivid New Orleans imagery. 'Long As I Can See the Light' floats luminously with the kind of sanctified soul feel that we've come to expect only from the South. And the spry country two-step of 'Lookin' Out My Back Door' finds its feet in Nashville, at least in a spiritual sense. While CCR's signature song, "Proud Mary," is a Southern-soaked riverboat travelogue, with stops in Memphis and the Crescent City.

Even some of the covers of Creedence's tunes have become part of history—Ike & Tina Turner's sped-up, R&B-slathered 1971 recording of 'Proud Mary' almost rivaled the original in popularity. And an astonishing array of artists, from Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson to R.E.M. and the Ramones, have recorded 'Have You Ever Seen the Rain', to home in on the reach of just one of their profusely covered songs.

The group also performed a historic headlining set at Woodstock, and toured the world before disbanding in 1972. CCR's music endures today – still in popular rotation on the radio, and heard regularly in films and TV shows. Having sold over 30 million albums in the U.S. alone, Creedence received a rare Diamond certification from the RIAA in 2016, marking 10 million units in sales for their 1976 compilation album, Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits.

The appeal of Creedence Clearwater Revival isn't tied to any one era or milieu; whether it's 50 years ago or 100 years from now, all you need is a pair of ears to pick up on their sound. As John Fogerty once sang on a certain 1969 hit single, "Over on the corner there's a happy noise/People come from all around to watch the magic boys."

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Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real - new video out now

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Video premiere: 'Carolina' by Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real
Release date: Out now
Label: Fantasy Records
More info: Band website

  • Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real premiere their new video 'Carolina' (featuring Lady Gaga) with Rolling Stone. 
  • Band perform at The Garage, London on 10 July 2018.

Following the release their new, self-titled album via Fantasy Records, UK tour dates and a critically acclaimed appearance at C2C, Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real have now premiered a new video for album track 'Carolina' with Rolling Stone.

After a decade on the road, on their own and playing behind the legendary Neil Young, Lukas Nelson & POTR have developed into one of America’s most dazzling live acts, attracting a deeply devoted following.

With influences that range literate Texas songsmiths like surrogate ‘uncles’ Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings, to J.J. Cale, The Band, Clapton-era Delaney & Bonnie, Neil and of course, Lukas’ dad Willie Nelson, the new album has been hailed as a major leap forward by publications around the world including Rolling Stone, Associated Press, UNCUT, Mojo, Classic Rock, Country Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Texas Monthly, American Songwriter, Uproxx, All Music and many more.

Recorded at The Village Studios in West Los Angeles, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real was produced by John Alagia (Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer) and features the band’s new six-piece line-up: Lukas Nelson (guitar, vocals), Tato Melgar (percussion), Anthony LoGerfo (drums), Corey McCormick (bass, vocals) along with new members Jesse Siebenberg (steel guitars, Farfisa organ, vocals) and Alberto Bof (piano, Wurlitzer, B3). Jess Wolfe and Holly Lessig of the indie-pop group Lucius contribute angelic background vocals on five tracks and Lady Gaga added stirring vocals to 'Carolina' and 'Find Yourself'.  Elsewhere, the lilting, Glen Campbell inspired gem, 'Just Outside of Austin' features a classic Willie Nelson guitar solo, and piano from Lukas’ 86-year-old Aunt Bobbi.

Praise for ‘Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real’:

  • “At 28, Lukas is the real deal and deserves to be treated seriously independent of his father's legacy.” — Associated Press
  • "Lukas Nelson's live show is a thing to behold, full of frenetic energy and the singer-guitarist's infectious charisma." — Rolling Stone
  • “The sextet’s latest displays a newfound confidence, brokering country-soul, Southern rock, and R&B with some panache.” — UNCUT
  • "This self-titled affair mixes rattling good Southern soul with country-rock"
  • —Daily Express
  • “The band’s best work...the record is a huge leap forward for Nelson, whose improved songwriting prowess is evident." — Entertainment Weekly
  • "Lukas is a force to be reckoned with." — Uproxx

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Old Crow Medicine Show new album out 20 April 2018

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Album release: 'Volunteer' by Old Crow Medicine Show
Release date: 20 April 2018
More info: Band website

Grammy award-winning American Roots band Old Crow Medicine Show has announced the release of their upcoming album 'Volunteer', due out April 20th. The album was recorded at the historic RCA Studio A and produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson). Since the release of their last Grammy-winning studio effort Remedy, Old Crow Medicine Show has taken their versatility to another level, by not only reinterpreting Bob Dylan’s seminal album 'Blonde On Blonde', but also collaborating with pop sensation Kesha. Volunteer is yet another fine example of how Old Crow Medicine Show remains one of the most vibrant and forward thinking traditional bands of their time.

Listen to new singles 'Flicker & Shine' 'Dixie Avenue'

'The songs on 'Volunteer illustrate themes that resonate far beyond Old Crow Medicine Show’s diverse fan base, while also showcasing the depth in the group's songwriting. An album highlight 'Look Away' inspired by The Rolling Stones, is Ketch Secor’s homage to his love for the history, both sorrowful and joyful, of the South. 'A World Away' is an upbeat homage to refugees, an extremely relevant subject matter that Secor has been writing about since he was young. 'Dixie Avenue' pays a playful tribute to the Virginia location where Secor and bandmate Fuqua fell in love with music. The album’s final track, the bittersweet love song 'Whirlwind', could easily tell the tale of how Old Crow Medicine Show built a successful career from the ground up. 

Old Crow Medicine Show consists of Ketch Secor, Critter Fuqua, Cory Younts, Morgan Jahnig, Chance McCoy and Kevin Hayes. The traditional string band incorporated electric guitar for the first time since 2004 (when Dave Rawlings put a Telecaster on the band’s classic 'Wagon Wheel'), on 'Volunteer', and the album also features Joe Jackson Andrews on his haunting pedal steel.

Celebrating their 20th anniversary, Old Crow Medicine Show is coming off a busy year of touring in support of their latest release, the highly acclaimed '50 Years Of Blonde On Blonde', a rootsy tribute to the Bob Dylan classic. The band also recently collaborated with 2018 Grammy nominee Kesha for CMT’s Crossroads.

Old Crow Medicine Show’s recent accomplishments, demonstrate that they still have the hunger to evolve and thrive in a variety of musical settings. While trends in music have come and gone, Old Crow Medicine Show has maintained their sense of integrity, continuing to share their infectious hybrid of traditional mountain music across the country.

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Martha Reeves & The Vandellas London show 11 March 2018

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Concert announcement: Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Concert date: 11 March 2018
Venue: Village Underground, Shoreditch
More info: Artist website

When looking for the perfect embodiment of the Motown sound and style, few fit the bill as well as Martha Reeves & The Vandellas. It was 1963 when they moved from being Marvin Gaye's original backup singers to stars in their own right with the trifecta of ‘Come and Get These Memories’, ‘Heat Wave’, and ‘Quicksand’. Over the next decade, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas would be a consistent presence on the music charts, as well as on television and top venues across the US and abroad.

In March 2018, they are headed to Village Underground to celebrate 50 years since the release of their hit single ‘Jimmy Mack’ with what promises to be a legendary live performance. The show will have support in the form of Butch Leake, of The Drifters, who themselves have had a myriad of unforgettable hits such as ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’, ‘Saturday Night At The Movies’, ‘Under The Boardwalk’, ‘Come On Over To My Place’, ‘On Broadway’, and many more.

Tickets on sale now

With the unmistakable voice that helped define ‘The Sound of Young America’, Reeves reigns as one of music's most beloved and acclaimed artists. Reeves and her Vandellas - her sisters, Lois (who joined the group in 1967) and Delphine (who came aboard in 1980) - have been recognised with the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award as well as a Grammy and induction to the Hall Of Fame for the signature track ‘Dancing In The Street’ which also made Rolling Stone’s ‘Greatest Songs Of All Time’.

Their hits are a thing of legend: In addition to the aforementioned, they include the gospel-tinged ‘Nowhere to Run’, the soul favourite ‘My Baby Loves Me’, the pop anthem ‘Jimmy Mack,’ and the classic ‘My Baby Loves Me’. While best known for up-tempo, foot-tapping, spirit-lifting tunes, Reeves' shows are often highlighted by beautiful renderings of Billie Holiday's ‘God Bless The Child’, her driving original blues ‘Watch Your Back’, and the perennial showstopper, ‘Love Makes Me Do Foolish Things’.

Martha Reeves and The Vandellas’ distinctive, upbeat, and uplifting music brought together pop and soul, white and black, old and young, like never before, and continues to do so to this day.

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Joan Baez 2018 tour and new album out 2 March 2018

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Album release: 'Whistle Down The Wind' by Joan Baez
Release date: 2 March 2018
Label: Proper records
More info: Artist website

Legendary singer, songwriter, activist and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Joan Baez, will release a new album 'Whistle Down The Wind' (Proper Records) on March 2 2018. Produced by three-time Grammy® Award winner Joe Henry and recorded over ten days of sessions in Los Angeles, 'Whistle Down The Wind' gathers material by some of Baez’s favourite composers. Pre-order the album here.

In conjunction with the new album, Joan will undertake an extensive 2018 world tour, including UK and ROI dates in March and May. Speaking of the tour, which will begin on March 2 in Stockholm, Baez says “While 2018 will be my last year of formal extended touring, I’m looking forward to being on the road with a beautiful new album about which I am truly proud.  I welcome the opportunity to share this new music as well as longtime favourites with my audiences around the world.”

Joan last performed in the UK in 2014 when she sold out 4 nights at London’s Royal Festival Hall, following a sold out 21 date tour in 2012. Watch Joan Baez performing Diamonds and Rust.

'Whistle Down The Wind' is Joan’s first new studio album in a decade, since 2008’s critically acclaimed, Grammy®-nominated 'Day After Tomorrow', which was produced by Steve Earle.  Its release ignited an extraordinary decade of achievement by Joan, including: the PBS 'American Masters' series premiere of her life story, Joan Baez: How Sweet The Sound (2009), which underscored the 50th anniver­sa­ry of Joan’s debut at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival.  Joan’s seminal debut album of 1960 was honoured by the National Academy of Record­ing Arts & Sciences in 2011, which inducted it into the Grammy® Hall Of Fame; and subsequently by the Library of Congress in 2015, which selected it to be preserved in the National Recording Registry. That same year, Amnesty International bestowed its highest honour on Joan, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, in recognition of her exceptional leadership in the fight for human rights and she was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April 2017.

Record-breaking years of touring in the recent past included Joan’s first tours in three decades in both Australia (2013) and South America (2014).  Joan’s 75th birthday was celebrated at New York’s Beacon Theatre in January 2016, where she was joined by Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris and a host of others. 

Joan’s first solo exhibition of paintings was presented in Mill Valley, CA in 2018.  The collec­tion celebrated 'Mischief Makers' – portraits of risk-taking visionaries who have brought about social change through non-violent action.  The entire exhibit was subsequently purchased by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and donated to Sonoma State University, where it will eventually be displayed at an envisioned new social justice learning centre on campus.

Joan Baez remains a musical force of nature of incalculable influence.  She marched on the front line of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King, shined a spotlight on the Free Speech Movement, took to the fields with Cesar Chavez, organised resistance to the Vietnam War, inspired Vaclav Havel in his fight for a Czech Republic, saluted the Dixie Chicks for their courage to protest the Iraq war, and stood with old friend Nelson Mandela in London’s Hyde Park as the world celebrated his 90th birthday. Joan’s earliest recordings fed a host of traditional ballads into the rock vernacular, before she unselfconsciously introduced Bob Dylan to the world in 1963.  Thus began a tradition of mutual mentoring that continues on 'Whistle Down The Wind', and which will reverberate long into the future across Joan’s lifetime of recordings.
 
 

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Glen Hansard January 19, 2018

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Album release: 'Between Two Shores' by Glen Hansard
Release date: 19 January 2018
Label: Anti-
More info: Artist website

Marking his third solo album, singer-songwriter Glen Hansard will release 'Between Two Shores' on January 19, 2018 via Anti-. Following up 2015’s GRAMMY nominated Didn’t He Ramble, and his 2012 solo debut Rhythm and Repose, the ten-track collection was produced by Hansard himself for the first time.The culmination of more than six years of writing and recording, 'Between Two Shores' came together in only a matter of weeks.

This past March, Hansard booked himself time at Black Box Studios in France with the original idea of taking inventory of his songbook. Working again with former Frames bandmate and producer David Odlum, Hansard was in search of a direction for his next record. As he trove through his previous sessions, various ideas and home recordings, a sketch of an unplanned record began to take shape.

The aptly titled 'Setting Forth' became the catalyst for the direction Hansard hoped to achieve with 'Between Two Shores'. Recorded with drummer extraordinaire Brian Blade and members of his Fellowship Band the song tackles themes of self-doubt in a time when it’s impossible not to be riddled with uncertainty. The album’s lead track 'Time Will be the Healer' is a hopeful plea to a forlorn lover that also speaks to the way forward in the current social climate. Indeed, it would be impossible not to in some way address the politics of the day, which Hansard does in 'Wheels on Fire' and its refrain of 'We will overcome!'

Listen to 'Time Will Be The Healer' here.
Pre-order 'Between Two Shores' here.

While the record truly came together in France, 'Between Two Shores' features material captured in New York and Chicago with a revolving cast of musicians. In addition to Blade, the record also features Thomas Bartlett, Brad Albetta and Rob Moose who appeared on much of Rhythm and Repose. However it’s Glen’s touring band - Joseph Doyle, Rob Bochnik, Graham Hopkins, Justin Carroll, Michael Buckley, Ronan Dooney and Curtis Fowlkes - that feature most prominently and take centre stage on tracks like the upbeat E Street shuffle of 'Roll On Slow' and the Van-tastic 'Why Woman'.

The album’s title comes from Hansard's ongoing love of sailing and the sea. When one is equal distance between their starting point and their destination they are in essence “between two shores.” A less than ideal time to wonder whether you should turn back or continue on, but a thought that inevitably rears its head.

With 'Between Two Shores' Hansard has managed to capture that feeling of the big soulful sound of his large touring band while still retaining the intimate introspective nature of his acoustic shows. To which way the wind will blow on his next record remains to be seen.

Hansard is a founding member of The Frames who celebrated 25 years as a band in 2015. He is one half of The Swell Season, which also features pianist Marketa Irglova. Together in 2007 they wrote the music for and starred in the movie Once. The song “Falling Slowly” from the film was awarded the Academy Award for Best Original song. In 2013 the film was adapted for Broadway as Once,The Musical, winning eight Tony Awards including the top musical prize itself and an Olivier award in London for outstanding achievement in music.

Hansard is perpetually on tour with dates for the rest of 2017 and many more to come in 2018 on his website.

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs vinyl reissue out 20 October 2017

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Album release: 'Fever To Tell' by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Release date: 20 October 2017
Label: Interscope Records / UMe
More info: Band website

Yeah Yeah Yeahs have announced details of a vinyl reissue of their seminal, ground-breaking debut, 'Fever To Tell', on October 20th through Interscope Records / UMe. The album will be available as a Limited Edition Deluxe Box, Standard LP, and Digital deluxe and standard re-mastered editions. Pre-Order for all editions from Sept 26th, with release on October 20th. 'Shake It', a previously unreleased track from the Fever To Tell era, is available as an instant grat now via all digital formats. 

Speaking about the release, the New York trio said, “A friend of a friend kept asking if we were ever gonna put Fever To Tell out on vinyl as it hasn’t been on vinyl in 10 years. That’s not right. So here it is on vinyl for the first time in 10 years plus a time capsule of photos, demos (1st ever recorded,) a mini film documenting our near downfall and other fun memorabilia, from the turn of the century NYC, made with love + the usual blood, sweat + tears of Yeah Yeah Yeahs.”

One of the finest debut albums of recent times, Fever To Tell was released in 2003 and was influential in shaping the sound of the early aughts and beyond. Prior to its release, Karen O, Nick Zinner and Brian Chase had already established themselves as a ferocious live force; 'Fever To Tell' introduced a band who could play thrilling and frenetic rock’n’roll one minute and captivating, hushed ballads the next. Its meld of scuzzy riffs, angular grooves and hypnotic hooks set a template that was often imitated over the next decade but the album’s rare chemistry isn’t easily replicated. It’s a snapshot of an era that sounds just as mesmerizing as it enters its 15th anniversary in 2018.

In celebration of and in addition to the reissue, the band has announced shows in Los Angeles (The Fonda Theatre, October 25) and Brooklyn (Kings Theatre, November 7).  These two exclusive underplays join the two previously announced 2017 festival appearances.  Tickets for Los Angeles and Brooklyn dates go on pre sale with the vinyl pre order September 26th, and general on-sale September 29th. 

'Fever To Tell' will be released on two physical formats:

The Deluxe Box will be signed and numbered and limited to 2,000 copies worldwide. It contains the original album newly remastered on 2LPs, with nine unreleased demos, eight B-sides and rarities, and five newspaper lyric posters. It also comes with a 164-page hardbound photo book of Nick Zinner’s personal photos and includes pages from Karen O’s personal notebox, an embroidered iron-on patch, sticker, one photo card from Nick Zinner’s personal collection that all three members will sign and a custom champagne cork 8GB USB stick that includes over ninety minutes of video content as well as the twenty-nine audio tracks on the vinyl. To top it all off, all boxes will be wrapped in red fishnet stockings. The first 500 Deluxe Box buyers will receive a bonus cassette with 4 additional exclusive, unreleased demo bonus tracks with handwritten labels by the band.

The LP and Newsprint version contains the original album newly remastered by Stephen Marcussen on black 180g audiophile vinyl for the first time ever and five newspaper lyric posters with exclusive photos by Nick Zinner, Spike Jonze, Lance Bangs, Julian Gross, Patrick Daughters and Cintamani Calise.

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The Jam 'In The City' 40th anniversary box set out 20 October 2017

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Album release: 'In The City' by The Jam
Release date: 20 October 2017
Label: USM-Polydor
More info: Band website

In May 1977, a young 3-piece rock group from Woking in Surrey appeared on Top Of The Pops with an explosive single called In The City. The song fizzed with the energy and sense of purpose and is one of the most incendiary debut singles ever. At the same time, The Jam released their exhilarating debut album, also called 'In The City', and in the very same year it’s follow up 'This Is The Modern World'. To celebrate this 40th anniversary USM-Polydor release a five-disc box set featuring both albums re-mastered as well as unreleased demos and live recordings.

The Jam became one of the most popular bands to emerge from the English punk rock scene of ’77 and had a phenomenal impact on pop music and wider youth culture. In their short career, they achieved 18 consecutive Top 40 singles in the UK (including 4 number 1s) and released 6 ground-breaking albums and went on to influence a generation with their music, style, politics and inspiration

Disc 1 - ‘In The City’ - Debut LP from May 1977 – A raw and powerful album that announced the arrival of The Jam, with their 18 year old lead singer Paul Weller sowing the seeds for what the was in store for the future. The Jam's music at this time owed a lot to the harmonies of Motown, the energy of  Dr Feelgood and early Who but with the anger of the current Punk scene. Although Weller's band was obviously headed in a different direction, this debut sits alongside the first albums by The Clash and the Sex Pistols as one of the definitive records from the era. The album includes hit single In The City (which gave the band their first Top Of The Pops appearance, included on the DVD), live favourite (and suggested single) Art School and Paul Weller’s most ambitious early song – Away From The Numbers.

Disc 2 – ‘Demos’ includes 11 demos made for the first album – 6 of which are previously unreleased.

Disc 3 – ‘This Is The Modern World’ the follow-up album, released a few months after debut in late 1977, with iconic Gered Mankowitz cover shot. This hastily released follow-up to In The City has long been the topic of debate among Jam fans. It might not be up there with later classics such as All Mod Cons & Sound Affects but time has been very kind to this album. It clearly paved the way for the refined brilliance of the later albums which possibly wouldn’t have happened without it.  Includes the rousing hit single The Modern World and some of Weller’s early introspective gems – Life From A Window and I Need You (For Someone), as well as The Combine, a track that pointed markedly towards the next album All Mod Cons.

Disc 4 – ‘Live’ includes the previously-unreleased concert from the ‘Nashville’ – September 10th 1977, featuring material from the first two albums. Also features the two legendary John Peel sessions from 1977.

Disc 5 – a DVD featuring TV appearances from the likes of Top Of The Pops and So It Goes plus promo videos from 1977. Includes performances of the hit single All Around The World (which did not appear on either LP)

Includes stunning 144-page book, featuring new liner notes, period photos and a wealth of cuttings, reviews and memorabilia from 1977.

Five LP-style CD wallets with printed inner bags – ‘In The City’ will feature the US version of the LP inner sleeve, also using a Martyn Goddard out-take photo. ‘This Is The Modern World’ will feature an alternative Gered Mankowitz cover image. Also includes five postcards. All housed in a ‘rigid, lift-off lid’ box.

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Sex Pistols ‘Never Mind The Bollocks', anniversary edition out 27 October 2017

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Album release: ‘Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols’
Release date: 27 October 2017
Label: USM/UMC
More info: Band website

It is now almost 40 years to the day since the Sex Pistols ‘Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols’ was released and to mark this significant anniversary USM/UMC are proud to revisit the out-of-print super deluxe edition of the album, which was originally issued in 2012.

Released in limited numbers at the time, this set is widely considered to be the definitive collection. This new, budget priced smaller-sized edition still boasts 3CDs which include the original studio album with 1977 B-sides, a disc of outtakes and one disc of 1977 live material. Additionally there is a DVD featuring 1977 footage of the band playing live from the infamous boat party held on the River Thames, London, the Winter Gardens, Penzance in Cornwall and the Happy House, Stockholm, Sweden.

Bringing it all together is a 48-page hardback book with narrative from music journalist Pat Gilbert plus rare photos from Bob Gruen, Barry Plummer, John Tiberi and Dave Wainwright.

Condensing the very essence of 1977, 'Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols' is the only studio album by the group, released amidst a furore of controversy and outrage, following their being dropped by not one but two record labels, banned from gigging in most parts of the UK and swearing live on TV. From its iconic day-glo cover designed by Jamie Reid in collaboration with the Sex Pistols to its risqué title which led to an infamous court case which the band won, the album encapsulates a moment in time when the Sex Pistols set the world of music on fire.

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Steve Miller Band 'Ultimate Hits' collection out 15 September 2017

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Album release: 'Ultimate Hits' by Steve Miller Band
Release date: 15 September 2017
Label: Capitol/UMe
More info: Band website

Billboard streams 'Seasons', an unreleased Steve Miller Band rarity from the upcoming 'Ultimate Hits' collection.

Going through a warehouse crammed with 50 years of archival material yielded things Steve Miller had forgotten about, as well as things he didn't even know existed, as he prepared for his new catalog deal with Capitol/UMe and the upcoming Ultimate Hits set.

Among those was the previously unheard, lush but also austere version of 'Seasons', from sessions for 1969's Brave New World album. "I had stopped looking around for 'Seasons,'" Miller tells Billboard, "and we were going through mixes and cassettes and looking for thins and we found this version of it -- and I thought it was better than the original one. I didn't even know it existed. I don't even remember doing it. I have a really good memory; I usually remember almost everything I've done but I was just really surprised by that version of it. I think it's the best version, so I was happy to find it."

Ultimate Hits, due out Sept. 15 in single- and double-disc deluxe versions, feature three and eight unreleased tracks, respectively. The compilation, personally curated by Miller, is the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's first gambit under his new deal, which puts his entire nearly 50-year output under the same roof.

"I had controlled different parts of (the catalog),and I had different companies around the world releasing it here and there," Miller says. "The 50th anniversary is coming up next year, so we decided it was time to just start looking at everything and put it all together, and create a situation where we can have one company represent it worldwide and coordinate all the reissues and everything. It's turned out to be a really good idea."

A vinyl box set, also with bonus tracks, is being prepared for 2018, along with more touring to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his first two Steve Miller Band albums, Children Of The Future and Sailor. And Miller confirms that his vaults -- which he considered simply throwing out until his wife and some archivists intervened -- are brimming with treasures. "There's a lot of things that Paul (McCartney) and I did, probably eight or nine things that we recorded that I never released," Miller says. "There's some really interesting pieces with Brian Wilson, and there's some great blues stuff that I did with Cannonball Adderly that's more of a blues-jazz project.

"There's a lot of live performances with lots of great artists that I toured with over the years," he continues. "There's some really good stuff with Paul Rodgers and Neal Schon...Oh gosh, there's just so much of it. There's lots and lots of live shows with different artists."

Miller, who also serves on the Board of Jazz at Lincoln Center and on the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Musical Instrument Department -- won't only be putting out archival music, either. "I'm writing new material now," he says. "I'm still interested in making records and recording music. I think just taking all this time took at this huge archive and study it and pull things together, it makes you want to write some more things. The best part of it is I haven't lost my appetite for the work. And now we're planning next year's tour and I'm really excited about all that stuff." 

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John Lee Hooker 5 CD retrospective out 29 September 2017

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Album release: 'King Of The Boogie' by John Lee Hooker
Release date: 29 September 2017
Label: Concord Bicycle Music
More info: Artist website

Los Angeles, CA – Craft Recordings, the Catalogue division of Concord Bicycle Music, is proud to announce the release of 'King Of The Boogie', a career-spanning retrospective, honouring blues icon John Lee Hooker. Due out September 29th, the five-CD set delves deep into the catalogue of the influential artist, featuring not only his iconic hits, but also rarities, live recordings and several previously unreleased tracks. Housed in a 56-page book, the collection includes a wide selection of photos, taken throughout the musician’s life, plus new liner notes by writer and John Lee Hooker historian Jas Obrecht, as well as by the artist’s longtime manager and friend, Mike Kappus. 

John Lee Hooker (1917-2001) was born 100 years ago today, near Clarksdale, Mississippi to a sharecropping family. Throughout the years, there has been some academic debate about his original birth year. However, The Hooker family maintains 1917 as the de facto date. Says daughter Zakiya Hooker, “As we all know there was no great push for accuracy back then in that portion of the community. But we just stick to what my father told us, which was what he was told by his mother.” 

As a young man, Hooker worked his way up north to Detroit to pursue his passion of music. By 1948, the artist had a hit on his hands with one of his earliest recordings, 'Boogie Chillun’'. From there, Hooker would record over 100 albums throughout the course of his six-decade-long career, building a diverse collection of fans along the way: from folk musicians and beatniks, to the stars of the British Invasion. The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana are among those who cite Hooker as a major influence. In his liner notes, Mike Kappus recalls that, “Everyone who knew John Lee Hooker loved him and felt privileged to be in his presence. While he influenced generations of musicians with his incomparable style, that impact on musicians stepped up to yet another level once they got to know and, universally, love him.” 

In his later years, as the bluesman found himself in one of the busiest, most productive eras of his career, Hooker was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Blues Hall of Fame and Memphis Music Hall of Fame; was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and took home four GRAMMY® awards, plus a coveted Lifetime Achievement award in 2000. 

Tasked with narrowing down Hooker’s vast catalogue into five CDs, box set producer Mason Williams curated the collection to narrate the artist’s story. “Even at 100 songs, this set is just a snapshot of John Lee Hooker’s incredible and influential career,” says Williams, “but one that takes you on the long journey he took from his early days in Detroit, to his time in Chicago recording for Vee-Jay Records and up through his later collaborations with Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt and Santana, among others.” 

King Of The Boogie will be released as part of a year-long, multi-partner centennial celebration, honouring the music and influence of John Lee Hooker, and will be a companion piece to an exhibit of the same name, which kicks off today at the GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi.  John Lee Hooker: King Of The Boogie includes Hooker’s performance outfits, guitars, photos, awards and, of course, his music. The exhibit will be on display through February 2018, before travelling west to the GRAMMY Museum® at L.A. LIVE. Additional centennial partners include The Blues Foundation, The Delta Blues Museum, Living Blues, Oxford American, the John Lee Hooker Estate, and Epiphone Guitars, who are currently planning the release of a limited-edition John Lee Hooker Zephyr Outfit sometime in early 2018. John Lee’s daughter, Zakiya, has worked closely with all partners on her father’s centennial events, and affirms, “Today, on what would have been my father’s 100th birthday, I am so thrilled to see him celebrated—both with the exhibit, as well as with the announcement of this special collection of music. I know that his fans will be excited to hear rare performances, and to read the touching words of his longtime manager, Mike Kappus, as well as those of the wonderful Jas Obrecht. It was a pleasure to watch this box set come together, and I can’t wait to see it shared with the world.”

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Indigo Girls to tour the UK July 2017

Tour announcement: Indigo Girls to tour the UK
Tour dates: July 2017
More info / tickets: Band website

Twenty years after they began releasing records as the Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have politely declined the opportunity to slow down with age. With a legacy of releases and countless U.S. and international tours behind them, the Indigo Girls have forged their own way in the music business. Selling over 14 million records, they are still going strong. Amy & Emily are the only duo with top 40 titles on the Billboard 200 in the '80s, '90s, '00s and '10s. They are now proud to announce they will be touring the UK this July including dates in Manchester, Bristol, and London as well as a main stage slot at the prestigious Cambridge Folk Festival on the 28th of July. 

After signing to Epic Records in 1988, the Indigo Girls released their critically acclaimed eponymous album to thunderous praise; it remained on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart for 35 weeks, earned double platinum status, received a Grammy nomination for “Best New Artist” and won “Best Contemporary Folk Recording.”  They were overnight folk icons who continued to live up to the high standards they’d set for themselves: they’ve since released 14 albums (3 platinum and 3 gold), received six Grammy nominations and have won one. Indigo Girls have toured with innumerable star acts including Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez, R.E.M., Sarah MacLachlan, Natalie Merchant, Jewel and Mary Chapin Carpenter. 

The duo has balanced their long, successful musical career by supporting numerous social causes – the Indigo Girls don’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk.  Having established an intensely dedicated fan base, the duo continues to remain relevant and attract new fans. With their latest release, 'Beauty Queen Sister', released on IG Recordings distributed by Vanguard Records, Emily Saliers and Amy Ray have secured their spot as one of the most legendary musical acts of this generation. 

In 2015 Indigo Girls released their 14th studio album, 'One Lost Day', produced by Jordan Brooke Hamlin and mixed by Brian Joseph. 

Press reaction to date

“The Indigo Girls operate as powerfully as at any time in their career, on a set of uncommonly strong songs performed with the kind of typically understated Nashville polish that affords their signature harmonies the full spotlight.” – The Independent (UK) 

“Along with Simon & Garfunkel and The Everly Brothers, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers rank at the very top of all-time great duos.” – The Boston Herald

‘Their voices soar and swoop as one, alternately raucous and soothing. When they sing together, they radiate a sense of shared purpose that adds muscle to their lanky, deeply felt songs.' - Rolling Stone
 

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Bob Dylan 'No Direction Home' 10th Anniversary edition released 28 October 2016

Film release: 'No Direction Home: Bob Dylan' by Martin Scorsese
Release date: 28 October 2016
More info: No Direction Home Store

HOLLYWOOD, CA – Capitol Records is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Martin Scorsese’s award-winning documentary 'No Direction Home: Bob Dylan', by releasing a Deluxe 10th Anniversary Edition of the film on October 28th that will mark its first release on Blu-ray (standard DVD is also available).  These 10th Anniversary Editions of the film all feature 2 1/2 hours of bonus and never-before-seen content, including extended scenes from the film and full-length interviews with Scorsese, Dave van Ronk and Liam Clancy.   

Both formats are also available in a Special Edition Deluxe Box that will include both Blu-ray and DVD versions of the film and bonus content, as well as an exclusively produced Bob Dylan magazine that features reproductions of historical articles about the artist, plus three high-quality lithographic photo prints of Dylan, all in a deluxe portfolio. 

All configurations of 'No Direction Home' are available for pre-order at the official No Direction Home Store, and will be available for purchase on Amazon.com on October 28 and for pre-order in the weeks leading up to that date.  Retailer Best Buy will also carry an exclusive Blu-ray that includes a limited edition Bob Dylan poster with all purchases.  Digital versions of the film will be available for download at iTunes and other digital HD retailers on October 25, and will be available for rental on November 8 and streaming on November 22.  A newly-produced trailer for this release can be viewed here.  
 
Produced by Jeff Rosen (American Roots Music) and Nigel Sinclair (The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years),  along with Susan Lacy (American Masters) and Anthony Wall (BBC Arena), the 3 ½-hour film focuses on Dylan’s life and music from 1961 to 1966, detailing the artist’s journey from his hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota through his emergence in the folk music scene of New York’s Greenwich Village to his controversial decision to go “electric” and his rise to the pinnacle of international fame and cultural impact.   No Direction Home: Bob Dylan features rare performance footage and interviews with artists and musicians whose lives intertwined with Dylan’s during this era, while Dylan himself talks openly and extensively about this critical period in his career in interviews shot exclusively for this film. 

The film features rare treasures from Dylan’s extensive film, tape and photograph collection, including footage from Murray Lerner’s film Festival documenting Dylan’s performances at the 1963, 1964 and 1965 Newport Folk Festivals, previously unreleased outtakes from D.A. Pennebaker’s famed 1967 documentary Don’t Look Back, and interviews with Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Maria Muldaur, and many others. 

The film met with enthusiastic audience reception and universal critical acclaim when it first premiered on PBS, BBC and other prestigious international outlets in the autumn of 2005 and simultaneously released on DVD.  Roger Ebert wrote in the Chicago Sun Times, “[The film] creates a portrait that is deep, sympathetic, perceptive and yet finally leaves Dylan shrouded in mystery, which is where he properly lives.”  Frazier Moore of Associated Press called it, “a film I recommend not only to Dylan devotees and neophytes alike, but also to anyone trying to reconnect with where America was then, and grasp where it is today.”  The Hollywood Reporter’s Glenn Abel wrote that the film was, “as good as it gets in music documentaries,” while Variety’s Phil Gallo predicted that “some of the footage will startle even the most dedicated Dyalnologists.” 

'No Direction Home: Bob Dylan'; A Martin Scorsese Picture is a production of Spitfire Pictures, Grey Water Park Production, Thirteen/WNET New York and Sikelia Productions, in co-production with Vulcan Productions, BBC and NHK. 

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