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Deluxe editions

Deluxe album reissues from The Jayhawks

Album reissues: “Sound of Lies”, “Smile” and “Rainy Day Music” by The Jayhawks
Release date: July 7, 2014
Label: American Recordings / USM
Listen on: official Jayhawks website 

Hailed as pioneers of the alt-country/Americana sound, the Jayhawks emerged from Minneapolis’ mid-’80s scene with a soaring combination of folksy harmonies and power-pop melodies. The band’s status as a major influence, as well as that of being one of the best bands of its generation, are richly deserved.

The June 30th release of expanded versions of 1997’s SOUND OF LIES, 2000’s SMILE and 2003’s RAINY DAY MUSIC complete the band’s remastering of its entire back catalog. All three American Recordings/USM releases contain bonus tracks, new liner notes and expanded booklets. The albums also chronicle the band’s evolution into crunchier rock, purer pop and a sort of twangy, psychedelic vibe before coming full-circle with a spare country-rock sound.

SOUND OF LIES, SMILE and RAINY DAY MUSIC will also be released August 4th as deluxe, 2 LP vinyl editions to ensure maximum fidelity.  The deluxe vinyl reissues will be remastered on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl and also include the bonus tracks.

The Jayhawks formed in 1985 when Gary Louris was in the decidedly small crowd at the first show future songwriting partner Mark Olson did with bassist Marc Perlman and Norm Rogers (the first in a string of drummers, at least until Tim O’Reagan joined in 1995). A self-titled album was released on a local indie label and Minneapolis’ Twin/Tone released some of the band’s demos as “Blue Earth” in 1989. Legend has it that producer George Drakoulias (Black Crowes) heard the music in the background during a phone call to the label; Drakoulias eventually signed the band to Rick Rubin’s Def American records and produced “Hollywood Town Hall” (1992) and “Tomorrow The Green Grass” (1995), making the Jayhawks staples on the then-emerging adult-alternative radio format.

Olson, the folksier member of the songwriting team, abruptly left the band in 1995. The band regrouped and kept the name, but Olson’s departure and a divorce colored Louris’ dark lyrics of the subsequent Jayhawks album, “Sound of Lies.” With pianist Karen Grotberg as a permanent addition and harmony partner, Louris took advantage of his newfound freedom to experiment with ’60s pop and a more electric sound, even getting a little crunchy around the edges on “Think About It.”

Louris’ lyrics took a more optimistic, albeit cautiously so, turn on the ambitious “Smile,” produced by Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, KISS, Alice Cooper). Jen Gunderman stepped in when Grotberg left to raise a family, and this time Louris’ ventures into contemporary pop featured looping and overdubs, turning downright trip-hop on “Queen of the World,” “Somewhere in Ohio” and “(In My) Wildest Dreams.” It may have been an artistic triumph, but even with the twangy “Better Days” and “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” the album proved to be a bit much for fans of the Jayhawks’ earlier sound and came after the decline of the adult-alternative format. The headline on a New York Times story about the band asked, “What If You Made a Classic, and No One Cared?”

It was after an acoustic tour that Louris, Perlman, O’Reagan and guitarist Stephen McCarthy recorded 2003’s “Rainy Day Music,” a seeming return to form. The first four tracks are a mini masterpiece - the gently chiming “Stumbling Through the Dark” (written by Louris and Matthew Sweet), the twang-meets-“Eve of Destruction” feel of the soaring “Tailspin,” the country gospel harmonies of “All the Right Reasons” and the catchy, bittersweet “Save It for a Rainy Day” (if you’re trolling the songs on YouTube, that is indeed Mary-Louise Parker in the video). Instead of the earnest folk of the Jayhawks’ early days, there’s a sophisticated, spare sound and a Byrds/CSNY/Buffalo Spingfield vibe. Producer Ethan Johns’ credits speak for themselves - CSN, Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon, Ray LaMontagne, Crowded House, Laura Marling just to name a few.

It will be the basic lineup from the band’s 1997 shows - Louris, Perlman, O’Reagan, Grotberg and Kraig Johnson - that will tour in support of the reissues. Much of July and part of August will be spent on a mix of headlining and festival dates in Europe, followed by a fall tour of the U.S. and Canada. Confirmed dates follow; for a current list of shows go to www.jayhawksofficial.com.

Download deluxe edition tracklists here.

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20th anniversary editions for Therapy? albums, and an April tour

Deluxe edition releases: Troublegum and Infernal Love by Therapy?
Release date: 31 March
Label: UMC
Listen / more information: on official Therapy Site

Next March UMC/Mercury will release Therapy?’s 1994 tour de force, Troublegum as a superb 3 CD Deluxe Edition to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album’s original release. It will be released alongside a deluxe edition reissue of the following year’s Infernal Love. All of this will coincide with a short run of UK shows by Therapy?, also in celebration of Troublegum’s 20th anniversary.

The set on each night will feature Troublegum in its entirety plus a host of other musical treats from around the same era of their recording career, and will include rarely heard B sides, the ShortSharpShock, Face the Strange and Opal Mantra EPs.

The dates are:

  • 02/04 Bristol, Trinity
  • 03/04 Manchester Academy 2
  • 04/04 Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
  • 05/04 Nottingham Rock City
  • 07/04 Glasgow, The Classic Grand
  • 08/04 Norwich Waterfront
  • 09/04 London Scala
  • 11/04 Southampton, The Mo’ Club 

The support on the tour will be hotly-tipped British rockers, Lonely The Brave.

The tightly wound punk-metal of Troublegum propelled Therapy? into the UK Top 5, sold 750,000 copies worldwide and spawned no less than five Top 40 singles ('Turn', 'Nowhere', Die Laughing', Trigger Inside' and 'Screamager', the lead cut from the 1993's Shortsharpshock EP), landing the band a Mercury Music Prize nomination in the process.

The black-hearted melancholia of 1995's Infernal Love was a radical departure for the trio. Bound together by Belfast-born DJ David Holmes' cinematic soundscapes, the album was a brooding, twisted, heroically unhinged affair.

More recently, Therapy? have enjoyed success with their 2012 album A Brief Crack of Light, and they have spent the last eighteen months touring mainland Europe, UK, Ireland and beyond. Not content to sit on their laurels they are currently working on a new studio album due for release in late 2014.

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Jane's Addiction: Live in NYC - album / DVD out 8 July

Album /DVD  release: Jane’s Addiction: Live In NYC
Release date: 8 July 2013
Label: Capitol / UMC

From the beginning, Jane's Addiction have thrown the most unique parties in rock, mixing a fierce musicality with theatrical flair onstage. 2012 saw the band — who’ve always outrageously combined electricity, sex and danger — return to the stage in support of their acclaimed album The Great Escape Artist (Capitol Records).

Live in NYC was filmed in New York City at Terminal 5 on December 29th, 2012 during a special run of North American shows—called “Theatre of the Escapists”- with the band performing in intimate venues, most of which are classic theatres. The alternative rock pioneers — frontman Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins, along with Chris Chaney on bass — captured this immersive theatrical experience on tape and are making available via Live in NYC on multiple formats. 

“We chose to play as many of the great theatres that we could find because we wanted to immerse the audience in a unique experience unlike any they have ever seen at a rock show,” said FARRELL in the band’s tour announcement.  “Expect an orgy of musical and visual delights. We like orgies, and hope you do too.”

The album will be released on the following formats: Digital, DVD and Blu-ray (running time 69 mins),  DVD & CD, CD – both with 12 page booklets and sticker and also double vinyl LP – which is the first live vinyl release since 1987's self-titled on Triple X Records.

Track list

  • Whores
  • Ain't No Right
  • Just Because
  • Ted, Just Admit It...
  • Been Caught Stealing
  • Irresistible Force (Met The Immovable Object)
  • Up the Beach
  • Ocean Size
  • Three Days
  • Mountain Song
  • Stop!
  • Encore: Jane Says

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The Teardrop Explodes: 'Wilder' reissued as expanded two-disc edition

Albm re-issue: Wilder by The Teardrop Explodes
Release date: June 24th 2013
Label: Mercury / Universal Music Catalogue 

Wilder was the second and final album by The Teardrop Explodes, originally released in November 1981 and a radical, post-punk classic that’s ripe for reappraisal. Ambitious, colourful and catchy and with more ideas at play than most groups could conjure up in a lifetime, like so many great albums, it simply confused people in its audacity.

At the start of the year, Reward had given the Teardrops their only Top Ten hit but amidst all the publicity that always surrounded the group, Wilder reached only a disappointing 29 in the charts. The first extracted single Passionate Friend, despite two appearances on Top of the Pops, barely scraped into the Top 30. Within a year of Wilder’s release, the group had split up.

This new edition features the original album in all its glory, plus a second disc compiled and sequenced by Julian Cope containing all the related singles, B-sides and BBC radio sessions. Cope also provides a track by track guide while Dave Balfe, the Teardrops’ original keyboard player, foil and sometime nemesis to Cope, along with guitarist Troy Tate provide further notes; Balfe’s essay is a particularly honest and revealing account of the recording process.

Disc two is effectively an alternative version of the album, the BBC sessions presenting many key songs in a noticeably different form, closer to how the group used to play them live. One the eve of recording Wilder, bassist Alfie Agius and keyboard player Jeff Hammer (both of whom play on the radio sessions) were jettisoned, leaving only Cope, ever-faithful drummer Gary Dwyer and guitarist Tate. Dave Balfe then returned, whereupon he and Cope proceeded to rearrange virtually every song with a much greater emphasis on synths and experimentation, and with a far more downbeat complexion than the well-crafted psychedelic pop that was their trademark.

The radio sessions also include songs which didn’t make it on to the album; Cope’s take on John Cale’s I’m Not The Loving Kind and the powerful Screaming Secrets, a live tour de force which the group never nailed in the studio. Cope would eventually record it for St Julian.

Disc two also rounds up the B-sides to the three singles taken from Wilder: the infectious Passionate Friend, the punchy, brass-led Colours Fly Away, and the exquisitely plaintive Tiny Children, plus the non-album single You Disappear From View, a last-ditch reversion to the Reward formula, released in 1983 after the group had split up. It’s a rich and varied selection including the more challenging Christ Vs Warhol and Window Shopping For A New Crown Of Thorns, the charming, atypical Rachel Built A Steamboat, Suffocate (a re-recorded version of the song which only appeared on the US version of Kilimanjaro) and a full-on, live Sleeping Gas, recorded at Club Zoo.

Amidst the disbelief and surprise at Wilder’s poor showing, Club Zoo was an outrageously excess all areas six week stint at the tiny Pyramid Club in Liverpool featuring the Wilder line up of Cope, Balfe, Dwyer and Tate plus new bassist Ronnie Francois. Designed to break in the new band, it was more a dress rehearsal for the American tour that followed - a fraught, drug-fuelled disaster which saw the group unravel to a point from which they never really recovered.

Few groups promised as much as The Teardrop Explodes in those heady post-punk days; even fewer groups scaled the same dizzy creative heights. Wilder was their mountain top.

Track Listing

CD1 – Original Album

  • Bent Out Of Shape
  • Colours Fly Away
  • Seven Views Of Jerusalem
  • Pure Joy
  • Falling Down Around Me
  • The Culture Bunker
  • Passionate Friend
  • Tiny Children
  • Like Leila Khaled Said
  • …And The Fighting Takes Over
  • The Great Dominions

CD2 – B-Sides and BBC Sessions

  • Christ Versus Warhol (B-side ‘Passionate Friend’)
  • Rachael Built A Steamboat (B-side ‘Tiny Children’)
  • Suffocate (B-side ‘You Disappear From View’)
  • Window Shopping For A New Crown Of Thorns (B-side ‘Colours Fly Away’)
  • Ouch Monkeys (B-side ‘You Disappear From View’)
  • East Of The Equator (B-side ‘Colours Fly Away’)
  • Sleeping Gas (Live from Club ZOO, December 1981) (B-side ‘Tiny Children’)
  • The In-Psychlopedia (B-side ‘You Disappear From View’)
  • You Disappear From View
  • Soft Enough For You (B-side ‘You Disappear From View’)
  • Pure Joy Wins Out Again (BBC Session, Peel Plus, 1981)
  • Like Leila Khaled Said (BBC Session, Peel Plus, 1981)
  • I’m Not The Loving Kind (BBC Session, Richard Skinner, August 1981)
  • The Culture Bunker (BBC Session, Peel Plus, 1981)
  • …And The Fighting Takes Over (BBC Session, Richard Skinner, August 1981)
  • Better Scream / Make That Move (BBC Session, Richard Skinner, August 1981
  • Bent Out Of Shape (BBC Session, Richard Skinner, August 1981)
  • Screaming Secrets (BBC Session, Richard Skinner, August 1981)

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New box set from Universal - Scott Walker: The Collection 1967-1970

Box set: Scott Walker - The Collection 1967-1970
Release date: Universal
Label: June 3rd 2013

Together for the first time, Scott Walker’s first five solo albums on vinyl and CD. Cut and mastered from the original tapes and presented with their original artwork, The Collection showcases Scott’s self-written material alongside his much-documented interpretations of composers such as Jacques Brel.

The five albums brought together here, released by Scott Walker between 1967 and 1970 are: Scott, Scott 2, Scott 3, Scott 4 and 'Til The Band Comes In. One of the most unique and intriguing artists to emerge in the 60s, these albums are essential to understanding the compelling and fascinating artistry of Scott Walker.

The CD set comes in a hardback, lift-off lid, box-set, each CD recreating the original album artwork and with new, extensive sleeve notes on each album plus rare photos. The comprehensive 16 page booklet is written by Rob Young who edited last year’s compendium No Regrets: Writings on Scott Walker.

The deluxe 5-LP box set features the original album artwork and includes an 11-inch print replicated from Scott 2, plus a 48-page booklet containing Rob Young’s essay. All five LPs come in 180gm heavyweight vinyl. Scott 3 and Scott 4 are reproduced in the original gatefold jackets. In addition there are four interviews courtesy of Rock's Back Pages: Keith Altham – Scott Walker Hides Away In a Gloom World, NME 1970; Chris Welch – Scott: I’m Going to Japan By Train, Melody Maker, 18 May 1968; Keith Altham – Scott Walker: His Own Worst Enemy, NME, 1969 and Chris Welch – Scott Walker Comes In From The Cold, Melody Maker, 1970.

Scott Walker’s first solo album, simply titled Scott, released in September 1967, appeared before The Walkers Brothers’ final official concert (at least until their subsequent mid-seventies reunion).  As with all the albums in this collection, it has to be seen in a context of Walker wanting to escape the pop stardom of The Walker Brothers where his moody reclusiveness was in sharp contradiction to their teen-idol success. The group’s final album, Images (April 1967) had featured three compositions credited to Scott Engel alone, and it was clear his ambitions lay in this direction: as a composer as well as vocalist.

As Rob Young observes in his accompanying notes, Scott “saw him attempting to let go of the schmaltzy ‘big sound’ of The Walkers; Scott would turn out to be a curious, occasionally uncomfortable marriage of three distinct modes: the middle-of-the-road covers made popular by the likes of Tony Bennett, Tim Hardin, Frank Sinatra and Petula Clark; the very different-styled arrangements of Jacques Brel songs; and Walker’s own compositions. It’s the weird chemistry between these approaches that makes Scott – and all four solo albums that followed – such beautifully unsettling experiences.”

On the strength of the Walker Brothers dedicated fan base, Scott charted at number 3, Scott 2 would actually reach number 1 and Scott 3 was another number chart entry. The same eclectic mix of covers and original compositions provided the direction for Scott 2, released March 1968, which opened with Brel’s swaggering Jackie. The song’s reference to ‘opium dens, authentic queers and phoney virgins’ earned Walker a controversial ban from daytime BBC broadcasts, and scheduled TV spots were cancelled. Released as a single, Jackie peaked at 22. He would have two further hits – Joanna and The Lights of Cincinnati, his final chart single in July 1969; neither was included on any album and it was clear Walker preferred to distinguish these more commercial offerings from his more ‘serious’ works.

When discussing the music on Scott 3, released in March 1969, Scott Walker referred critics to grand symphonic works by Beethoven, Brahms and Shostakovich. This was, indeed, serious business from an artist who, in the same month, fronted his own six-part BBC television series, titled simply Scott.

Scott 4, November 1969, did not include the name ‘Scott Walker’ on its sleeve, and the LP label credited the songs to ‘Scott Engel’. It was the only time he used that name professionally, on the first record to be entirely filled with his own compositions (there wouldn’t be another such until 1995). Scott 4’s failure to chart is partly explained by the release just a few months earlier of Sings Songs From His TV Series which reached No. 7 in July 69. The contradictions between Walker the serious artist/songwriter and the more mainstream singer of MOR songs still persisted and continued to haunt him.

Scott Walker’s fifth album, released in 1970, abandoned numerical titling and was named after one of the featured songs, ’Til The Band Comes In. It has since slipped under the critical radar, largely because five of the fifteen tracks are Vegas-friendly, country-tinged covers. The time is now ripe for its reappraisal; Walker’s own writing, the first ten songs on the album, form a kind of Scott 5 in all but name and it’s probably no accident that the covers were held back until the end.

’Til the Band’s uneven mix of originals and covers points directly to what happened next for Scott Walker. As he entered the 1970s, he seemed to lose control of his career direction; two albums of covers followed in the early 70s - The Moviegoer and Any Day Now, then two country-tinged collections in 1974 – Stretch and We Had it All, which saw Walker’s MOR sensibilities come to the fore.  This culminated in the unexpected revival of The Walker Brothers, which began with 1975’s No Regrets. The three year reunion did, however, lead to the masterstroke of Scott’s four tracks on the Walker Brothers’ subsequent (and this time final) album, Nite Flights. These tracks effectively ushered in a whole new phase of uncompromising creativity, enhanced by another solo album, Climate of Hunter in 1984. This, in turn, pointed the way forward to the more challenging direction Scott Walker would adopt in the 1990s and continue into the twenty-first century, on records like Tilt, The Drift and Bish Bosch.

Walker remains as fascinating and compelling an artist today as he was in 1967 when this classic cycle of albums was initiated. He has influenced every generation since kick-started in the 80s by Julian Cope (who compiled an album under the title The Godlike Genius of Scott Walker) and Marc Almond. You can hear the influence of Scott Walker’s in present day bands such as the Last Shadow Puppets and Elbow.

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'Pop Art' and 'Velveteen': reissues from Transvision Vamp

Reissues (2CD sets): Pop Art and Velveteen by Transvision Vamp
Release date: 25 March 2013
Label: Universal

Late March sees the release of Transvision Vamp’s first two highly successful album releases from the late 1980s, Pop Art and Velveteen. The albums are being released as 2-CD sets, each featuring a bonus disc of B-sides and rarities. 

Signing to MCA in 1986, British rock-pop act Transvision Vamp enjoyed massive chart success in the UK and abroad before disbanding in early 1992. In late 1987 they released a cover version of the Holly and the Italians song, Tell That Girl To Shut Up; a few months later their follow-up single, I Want Your Love, made number 5 in the UK charts. Their debut album, Pop Art was released in October of that year, reaching the British Top 5.

Pop Art was Transvision Vamp’s debut album and is celebrating its 25th anniversary with this 2CD re-issue. Led by the forthright Wendy James, backed up by the songwriting of Nick Sayer and musical muscle of Dave Parsons and Tex Axile, the band provided a splendid antidote to the Stock-Aitken-Waterman dominated pop charts of the late 80s. In the brief finger of time after the breakthrough of acid house and before Madchester, the group brought some old-fashioned punk sparkle to the charts. 

The album’s big single I Want Your Love was perfection itself – big, brash, stupid, loud, funny, clumsy, short, spiky, and became a huge hit.  With its snarling guitars and punk rush, it all seemed incredibly exciting, certainly to teenage audiences who had missed out on new wave the first time around. 

Pop Art was released in October 1988 and reached No. 4 on the UK charts, where it spent 32 weeks. This expanded edition, through all its mixes, BBC sessions and B-sides demonstrates how hard the group worked and how much intelligence went into their 15 minutes of fame. It was a bold start for a group that were destined for big things and had the chutzpah to put their money where their mouth was. 

With its hatful of influences and a barrel load of swagger, Velveteen is the absolute definitive article for the group: 1989 was the group’s high-water mark. Singles were stripped off it and it cruised to the UK No. 1 album slot.  

Baby, I Don’t Care was the first single with its cheeky appropriation of the Troggs’ Wild Thing riff and signalled the group’s brief imperial phase. It was a superb hard rocker, full of the requisite joie de vivre of a band achieving their goals.  This was followed by The Only One, bright, synthesizer driven pop; Landslide Of Love, a tremendous Phil Spector homage; and Born To Be Sold, their ultimate list song, stating how artists from Elvis to Margot Fonteyn were there to be sold, and culminated with James singing Sayer’s words that she was going to make her own history.

Velveteen was released in June 1989. It was big, bold, brash, a bit daft, funny and exhilarating, all the things that rock’n’roll is supposed to be.  And Transvision Vamp had rock’n’roll in spades.

Today, with all its bonuses, session material and b-sides, it is a vibrant flashback to when Transvision Vamp were there at the cutting edge, with all the exuberance, passion, anger and naïveté that pop breakthrough acts possess.

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Legendary, but never-before-released Rolling Stones film is made available

Box set release (Blu-ray / DVD / CD): Charlie is my Darling – Ireland 1965 by The Rolling Stones
Release date: 5 November 2012
Label: ABKCO/Universal

ABKCO Films/Universal Music Catalogue are proud to join in the celebration of the Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary by announcing exclusive details of the release of the legendary, but never before officially released film, The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling – Ireland 1965. The film marked the cinematic debut of the band, and will be released in Super Deluxe Box Set, Blu-ray and DVD configurations worldwide on November 5. 

The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling – Ireland 1965 was shot on a quick weekend tour of Ireland just weeks after (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction hit #1 in the charts and became the international anthem for an entire generation. Charlie is my Darling is an intimate, behind-the-scenes diary of life on the road with the young Rolling Stones, featuring the first professionally filmed concert performances of the band’s long and storied touring career, documenting the early frenzy of their fans and the riots their live performances incited.

Charlie is my Darling - Ireland 1965 showcases dramatic concert footage – including electrifying performances of The Last Time, Time Is On My Side and the first ever concert performance of the Stones counterculture classic, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. Candid, off-the-cuff interviews are juxtaposed with revealing, comical scenes of the band goofing around with each other. It’s also an insider’s glimpse into the band’s developing musical style blending blues, R&B and rock-n-roll riffs, and the film captures the spark about to combust into The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World. 

The film was produced by Stones’ manager/producer Andrew Loog Oldham who enlisted director Peter Whitehead to travel with the group and film them as (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction rocketed the band to the pinnacle of the U.S. and U.K. charts. Whitehead, who would later capture “swinging London” in Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London, crafted a 35-minute version of the film (director’s cut) that would surface, from time to time over the years, usually seen with grainy visuals and out of phase music. Later, Oldham put together a 50-minute producer’s cut that was first seen in the 1980s. As noted, both the director’s and producer’s cut are part of the DVD, Blu-ray and Super Deluxe Charlie is my Darling release. 

The GRAMMY® winning team of producer Robin Klein and director Mick Gochanaur developed the new 65 minute version after researching and locating additional film footage shot by Whitehead and uncovering a source of first generation audio recordings of the band’s concert performances. Painstaking work was done on restoring the footage to come up with the new film that offers a coherent narrative and gives the viewer unprecedented access to the Rolling Stones’ original line-up – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Brian Jones and Bill Wyman – on stage live and captured, literally, in trains, planes and automobiles as well as backstage and in smoky hotel rooms where they candidly discuss their future. Never-before-seen footage of the band’s early songwriting process is also included as motel rooms host impromptu songwriting sessions and familiar classics are heard in their infancy as riff and lyric are united.  

The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling – Ireland 1965 Super Deluxe Box Set  includes both DVD and Blu-ray discs that incorporate the new 2012 version of the film as well as the director’s cut and producer’s cut, plus significant unseen additional performance and other footage shot in Dublin and Belfast in September of 1965, bonus content. The set also includes two audio CDs, one of which is the film’s soundtrack album and the other a compilation of 13 live recordings the band made over the course of their 1965 UK tour.  A 10” vinyl record of the live material is also part of the package, as well as a replica poster heralding the September 4, 1965 date they played in Belfast. The Super Deluxe box is housed in an ingeniously designed luxurious “soft touch” package, each featuring one of over 200 Limited Edition numbered and enlarged cells randomly inserted from the film. There is also a stunning 42 page Collector’s Edition hardcover book that includes 14 never before seen, and painstakingly restored exclusive photographs, including the key art, of the band from the Irish Photo Archive/Lensmen Photo Archive as well as colour photos taken by Marc Sharatt, the Stones’ tour photographer. Reprints of vintage newspaper and magazine articles from the UK and Irish press that offer accounts of the dates and attendant mayhem are included as are essays from American rock journalist and Rolling Stone Magazine staffer David Fricke and GRAMMY® and Academy Award® winning Irish singer/songwriter/actor Glen Hansard. A featured recollection from Reverend Donor Macneice, who was recently located living in Thailand and whose attendance at the ’65 Belfast show nearly cost him his job after he was spotted on the local news is also part of the package. 

Both individual Blu-ray and DVD editions of the package mirror the discs featured in the Super Deluxe Box comprising the 2012 version, the director’s cut and the producer’s cut. Simultaneously, there will also be a digital-only release of the 2012 edition of The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling – Ireland 1965.

The world premiere of The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling – Ireland 1965 will take place this Friday, September 29 at the 50th New York Film Festival with Andrew Loog Oldham in attendance.  

November 2012 broadcast premieres are being scheduled for the US and the UK, as well as worldwide theatrical screenings.

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Nico - The End, 2 CD edition

Album release: 2 CD version of Nico's The End
Release date: October 1, 2012
Label: Universal 

Nico's 1974 album, The End, was her fourth solo release, her fifth collaboration with John Cale (including The Velvet Underground & Nico) and her third with him as producer. John Cale had signed a new contract with Island records in 1973 and Nico was also brought to the label by A&R man Richard Williams, although The End would be only full album she recorded for the label.

The album was recorded in 1973 at Sound Techniques in London, with John Wood (who had also engineered the earlier Desertshore) and Cale. He chose Brian Eno and Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music to work on the album with him; between them they provided the entire instrumental framework for Nico and her harmonium. The album was recorded quickly; the arrangements were mostly Nico’s own and Cale was impressed by the new way she enriched her phrasing with Arabic flourishes which he was able to complement with Middle Eastern style percussion.

The End, remastered here for the first time, was a definite move away from the stark, almost classical sound of Nico and Cale’s collaboration on The Marble Index, and the folk motifs employed on Desertshore. It completes her glorious triptych with John Cale.

Island included Nico on the bill of the specially-prepared publicity concert which also launched new LPs from Cale, Eno, and Kevin Ayers. The concert took place at London’s Rainbow Theatre on June 1, 1974 - this date became the title of the resulting live album released only three weeks later. Nico performed two tracks from her new album, The End and a previously unreleased version of Das Lied der Deutschen. Both tracks can be heard on this new edition.

Nico also had a champion in John Peel, appearing twice on his programme during this period. Her first Peel session was recorded on 2 February 1971, ostensibly to promote Desertshore, but she debuted one new song, Secret Side, which was later recorded for The End.  This session was released on vinyl by Strange Fruit but has long been deleted.  Peel invited Nico on the programme again on 3 December 1974. The recording of this session, along with the tracks Secret Side and The Valley of the Kings, which she performed on The Old Grey Whistle Test have been unreleased until now. The Strange Fruit tracks make their CD debut here.

Although critically well received, The End sold poorly and Nico was dropped by Island; she wouldn’t get another recording contract for almost a decade, recording only two further studio albums before her death in 1988.

The End remains one of Nico’s most remarkable records and brilliantly complements her two previous solo albums produced by John Cale. This trilogy undoubtedly represents Nico’s best work, a unique statement from an artist with an uncompromising musical vision.

Track listing

CD 1

The Original Album remastered for the first time 

01: It Has Not Taken Long (4: 11 )
02: Secret Side (4:08)
03: You Forget To Answer (5:07)
04: Innocent and Vain (3:51)
05: Valley of the Kings (3:57)
06: We’ve Got The Gold (5:44)
07: The End (9:36)
08: Das Lied Der Deutschen (5;28 )

CD 2

01: Secret Side (4:05) – John Peel Session, 20 February 1971 – First Time on CD
02: We’ve Got The Gold (4:00) - John Peel Session, 3 December 1974  – Previously Unreleased
03: Janitor of Lunacy (4:36) - John Peel Session, 3 December 1974 – Previously Unreleased
04:  You Forget To Answer (4:32) - John Peel Session, 3 December 1974 – Previously Unreleased
05: The End (9:07) -   John Peel Session - 3 December 1974 – Previously Unreleased
06: Secret Side (4:07) – Old Grey Whistle Test – 7 February 1975 – Previously Unreleased
07: Valley of the Kings (3:34) – Old Grey Whistle Test - 7 February 1975 – Previously Unreleased
08: Das Lied Der Deutschen (5:37) June 1 1974 – Previously Unreleased
09: The End (9:14 ) - from June 11974 

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Universal marks 45th anniversary of 'The Velvet Underground and Nico' with deluxe six-CD collection

Super Deluxe six-CD collection features previously unreleased recordings from Factory rehearsals, Scepter Studios acetate, live performances

"Modern music begins with The Velvets.” - Lester Bangs

When The Velvet Underground & Nico album was released in March 1967 on Verve Records, with its Andy Warhol-designed, peel-off banana cover, it was far from a chart-topper. In fact, as the quote attributed to Brian Eno famously put it, the album may not have sold many copies, “but everyone who bought it formed a band.” And its reputation as a groundbreaker has only increased over the four-and-a-half decades since its original release. 

Universal Music / Polydor will celebrate the now-iconic album’s 45th anniversary on October 30 2012 with a multi-format, worldwide release on October 29th and 30th that includes stereo and mono versions remastered from the original tapes, previously unreleased recordings of the band’s rehearsals in Warhol’s Factory and the subsequent rare April 1966 Scepter Studios recordings captured on acetate which feature early, alternate versions of songs later issued on the album.

A limited-edition, super deluxe six-CD box set will also feature a previously unavailable November ’66 live concert performed by the Velvets’ original, five-person lineup — Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Moe Tucker and Nico — at the Valleydale Ballroom in Columbus, Ohio, and Nico’s Chelsea Girl, an album released in October 1967 (seven months after the Velvets’ disc) which featured all the members of the band as well as a teenage folksinger named Jackson Browne. It also includes an 88-page booklet with a new essay by band biographer Richie Unterberger. All remastering, tape transfers and digital assembly was overseen by veteran A&R producer Bill Levenson at the prestigious Sterling Sound Studios in New York; Levenson has been involved with previous Velvet Underground reissues for more than 30 years, working on VU and Another VU in the ’80s, the banana-covered box set in the ’90s and UMG’s first expanded, deluxe edition of The Velvet Underground & Nico in 2002.

This six-CD set captures the Velvets in a crucial period in their development, covering the band’s Factory rehearsals in January ’66, the original Scepter recording sessions that April, then a live show in November, leading up to the March ’67 release, almost a year after the album was finished. Nico’s Chelsea Girl, which came out seven months later in October, completes the set’s almost two-year arc, chronicling the band both before and directly after its historic debut. 

The super deluxe set allows fans to compare the mono and stereo versions of the album. Longtime Velvets aficionados have touted the mono mix because of its lo-fi quality, with the music coming off even tougher as a result of its compression. 

The Velvet Underground & Nico album has achieved many honours since its release: The Observer placed it number 1 in 50 Albums that Changed the World; Uncut placed it at number 1 of 100 Greatest Debut Albums; it was placed in the top 10 of Mojo's 100 Greatest Albums Ever Made and it continues to consistently top UK polls. 

In the US, the earned the original band a slot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Rolling Stone placed it at number 13 on the list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in November 2003, dubbing it “the most prophetic rock album ever made”; Spin Magazine placed it atop its list of the Top 15 Most Influential Albums of All Time that same year and the album is one of 225 recordings in the prestigious Library of Congress National Recording Registry. In Czechoslovakia, the band gave its name to the Velvet Revolution, which overthrew the Communist regime in that country. Globally, the album is seen just like Sgt. Pepper’s and Pet Sounds, as a seminal, influential high-water mark in rock music history.

Universal will release the album worldwide simultaneously in six different physical and digital versions. Aside from the Super Deluxe edition, The Velvet Underground & Nico will be available in a brand-new two-CD Deluxe Edition which includes a stereo version of the album along with a separate disc of the Factory rehearsals and Scepter Studios sessions. There will also be a digital exclusive and a one-CD original stereo album remaster in both physical and digital form (alongside a remastered vinyl edition).

The deluxe edition and digital reissue of The Velvet Underground & Nico is not only for hard-core fans, but for anyone who wishes to trace the two-year development of a world-class band in the process of creating one of the greatest albums in rock history through rare and previously unreleased recordings.

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Neil Diamond's 'Hot August Night' - 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

Neil Diamond Hot August Night

Album reissue: Neil Diamond, 'Hot August Night' - 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Release date: 6 August 2012
Label: Universal

This is gonna be special. I promised that before I came back to this theater that we would do things for you that you would not forget for a while and that’s what we’re about tonight.” – Neil Diamond, 1972

On August 24, 1972, a young singer/songwriter by the name of Neil Diamond took over Los Angeles’ beautiful Greek Theater for 10 sold out nights. The legend of Neil Diamond the performer was unquestionably born on that night; Diamond and his band were at the peak of their game; and this would be captured forever on the two-record set Hot August Night, which changed his life and his legacy. One of Diamond’s most successful albums worldwide, the multiple platinum album in the US spent a mind-blowing 29 weeks on the top of the charts in Australia. Hot August Night is one of the most celebrated and acknowledged albums of his career and arguably one of the greatest live albums ever recorded.

Now, as impressive and wide-reaching as the scope Diamond showcases on the original recording, Hot August Night - 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition will be released on July 30, 2012 through Universal Music and covers an even greater array on this re-mastered edition. The new edition features signature hits and fan favourites as well as three previously unreleased recordings, plus stage banter and band introductions unearthed from the archives of 40 years ago: a complete aural experience capturing that magical night.

“This album captures the very essence of Neil Diamond - his vocals, his showmanship, his artistry and his rapport and command of an audience. His original album is a classic. We are honored that he has entrusted us to expand his masterpiece and deliver a deluxe edition that showcases that entire night’s show.” said Bruce Resnikoff, President/CEO, Universal Music Enterprises.

Extra tracks

The unreleased material includes A Modern Day Version Of Love where Diamond shows off all of his skills as a masterful vocalist with this gorgeous rendition of his 1968 chestnut. The Randy Newman-penned I Think It’s Going To Rain Today is a genteel ballad in which Diamond displays his humanity, almost speaking the soft words against the backdrop of a sparse, but theatrical arrangement. And finally there’s Gitchy Goomy, which he introduces as a philosophy lesson to a child learning about life. And like all great children’s tales, this one has just the right mix of morality and infectious fun. Also included are the previously unheard band introductions, nearly ten minutes of a great showman putting on a class in the increasingly lost art of stage banter and showmanship. 

Across a musical career spanning nearly five decades, Neil Diamond has sold more than 125 million albums worldwide, has had 56 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100, including 37 top 10 singles and 16 top 10 albums. A Grammy Award-winning artist, Diamond has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and is a recipient of the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award. Among Diamond’s many other honors, he has received a Golden Globe Award and 13 Grammy nominations and he was named the 2009 MusiCares Person of the Year. Diamond is currently on tour, with a special stop scheduled in August at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, where it all began.

Track listing

Disc 1

1. Prologue
2. Crunchy Granola Suite
3. Done Too Soon
4. Dialogue
5. Solitary Man
6. Cherry Cherry
7. Sweet Caroline
8. Porcupine Pie
9. You’re So Sweet
10. Red Red Wine
11. Soggy Pretzels
12. Gitchy Goomy*
13. And The Grass Won’t Pay No Mind
14. I Think It’s Going To Rain Today*
15. Shilo
16. Modern Day Version Of Love*
17. Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon
18. Walk On Water
19. Kentucky Woman
20. Stones
21. Musician Intros*

Disc 2

1. Play Me
2. Canta Libre
3. Morningside
4. Song Sung Blue
5. Cracklin’ Rosie
6. Holly Holy
7. I Am…I Said
8. Soolaimon/Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show 

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