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Bonnie Raitt's classic "Nick of Time" to be reissued on special edition vinyl

Album re-issue: “Nick of Time” by Bonnie Raitt
Release date: 21 July 2014
Label: Capitol / USM

On July 21, Capitol Records/USM will release a special vinyl-only edition of Bonnie Raitt’s classic “Nick of Time” in honor of the album’s 25th anniversary. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s tenth album still stands as her signature work and as a turning point in her legendary career. It topped the Billboard 200 album chart, sold five million copies, and won three GRAMMY® Awards, including “Album of the Year.” Rolling Stone ranked Nick of Time as number 230 on its list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

The Nick of Time - 25th Anniversary album was remastered from the original analogue tapes, overseen by both the albums producer, Don Was and engineer Ed Cherney and is being released on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl.

“Personally, I think it may be the best record of my career” says Raitt. “Every record has its charm and its significance, but I think we finally got it right — I could finally say, ‘Yeah, that’s what I had in mind.’ As a mixture of styles, reflected in one record, it was a really good version of what I do.”

“Nick of Time” came along at a fortuitous moment for Raitt, following a difficult few years in which she had been dropped by her long-time label, Warner Bros, and got sober and healthy. The album was produced by Don Was, which initiated a working relationship that went on for several projects (the 1991 follow-up, Luck of the Draw, sold over seven million copies), and spawned four singles, including the hit “Thing Called Love.” Nick of Time was bookended by two landmark Raitt original compositions: the opening title track, a powerful mediation on aging, and the closing cut, “The Road’s My Middle Name,” a rollicking update of the blues that captured her life as a traveling performer.

“It’s a particularly great batch of songs,” says Raitt, “and the synchronicity of finding these songs when I did—the emotional connection and the gratitude that I had to be given another shot—I think that shows. It was kismet to have it come out this well.”

More than just a best-selling artist, respected guitarist, expressive singer, and accomplished songwriter, Bonnie Raitt has become an institution in American music. The recipient of ten GRAMMY® awards—including “Best Americana Album” for her most recent release, 2012’s Slipstream—she appears on Rolling Stone’s lists of both the Greatest Singers and Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Over the years, Raitt has contributed to over 100 album projects, collaborating with the likes of B.B.King, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, and Stevie Wonder. Yet it is the breakthrough of Nick of Time (which received an additional GRAMMY® nomination when it was remixed for Surround Sound in 2004) that serves as the cornerstone of her body of work.

“The success of Nick of Time brought me a level of freedom, and the opportunities to do everything I had wanted to do,” says Raitt. “Nearly every gift in my life now is, in so many ways, because of what happened with that album and the GRAMMYs®. Definitely one of the greatest highlights of my life.”

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The Motown 7s Box - Volume 2: music from classic artists on 7" singles

Box set release: The Motown 7s Box - Volume 2 
Release date: 2 June, 2014
Label: Universal 

Following on from the overwhelming success of Volume 1, USM is proud to present ‘The Motown 7s Box Volume 2’.

Once more we celebrate “The Sound Of Young America”. As with Volume 1, many of the tracks included here were never released at their time of recording, for a variety of reasons.  Some got pushed to one side as albums usually only contained 12 songs and a few more were usually cut at the session - sometimes other Motown artists were given the songs and other versions were released, or it was simply a matter of the tracks being “rejected” at the weekly A+R meeting held with Berry Gordy and his team of songwriters and producers. The result: a source of brilliant recordings to release on highly desirable 7s.

From Universal: “For Volume 2 a few changes to the box packaging have been made. We have adapted the label copy insert into a more substantial four page card leaflet.  Vinyl will also be manufactured at Optimal to give the authentic push out centre hole of the time.  Sleeves will be paper rather than gloss card.  The selection of tracks again represent highly sought after vinyl releases compiled by journalist and DJ Richard Searling.  Boxes will be limited edition and numbered.”

Single 1

Jimmy Ruffin - He Who Picks A Rose
Huge Northern Soul favourite legally available for the first time

Gladys Knight & The Pips - If You Ever Get Your Hands On Love
Only ever on CD previously, a mid-60s delight that now gets its first legal release on a 45

Single 2

Stevie Wonder - I Want My Baby Back
Previously on LP / French EP only, another first timer on a 45 

The Contours - Take Him Back If It Makes You Happy
Featuring lead vocals from Dennis Edwards - highly sought-after and never before on a 45

Single 3

The Spinners - We’re Gonna Be More Than Friends
Recently discovered in the Hitsville vaults - first time ever on a single

Kim Weston - You Can Do It
Previously CD on, a great dancer discovered in the tape library recently

Single 4

Brenda Holloway - We’ll Keep On Rolling
A storming piece of LA recorded Northern Soul - first time on a 45 legally

The Temptations - Angel Doll
Only previously ever available on the highly collectable “Emperors of Soul” 4CD American box set

Single 5

Marvin Gaye - My Love For You
A magical recording from Marvin’s mid 60s period - never on a 45 before

The Four Tops - I’m Grateful
H D H magic from their “Second album” , now huge in the clubs, never released on a single before

Single 6

The Isley Brothers - Sure Is A Whole Lotta Woman
Recently discovered 1966 recording, never on a single-until now 

Barbara McNair - I Know Better
Previously unreleased on vinyl, superb version of the Marvelettes and Gladys Knight song 

Single 7

The Velvelettes - That’s A Funny Way
Never on a 45 before - highly in demand

The Originals - Don’t Stop Now
Sought after track, previously album only gem from 1969

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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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Nick Drake's 'Bryter Later' is reissued by Island Records

Album reissue: Bryter Later by Nick Drake - remastered and boxed vinyl edition
Release date: 13 April 2013
Label: Island  

Continuing the ReDISCovered boxed vinyl series of Nick Drake’s albums, Island Records presents Nick Drake's second album, Bryter Later, in a format similar to that used for the release of Pink Moon in 2012. The album itself is a near exact replica of the original 1970 release, pressed on heavyweight audiophile vinyl, and remastered at Abbey Road from master tapes by the album's original engineer John Wood.  Although the first generation master tapes were found to be unusable, Wood had made a safety copy of the album in 1970 and it is from this that the new album has been struck.

The vinyl comes in an Island card inner bag in a single pocket textured sleeve, just as the original release would have done. In addition it is housed in a box containing a copy of the original shop poster, a smaller 'Live' poster/brochure and a reprint of Nick's handwritten set list together with reproductions of the master tape reel and tape box lids.

The album also comes with a selection of downloadable electronic formats, including either high-resolution files, the usual MP3 files or unique Dubbed-From-Disc files for an authentic playback experience.

About Bryter Later

First released in November 1970, Bryter Layter expands on themes introduced by Drake in his debut album Five Leaves Left (1969). Principally featuring Nick on vocals and guitar performing his own original material, and using the same production team of Joe Boyd, John Wood, and orchestrator Robert Kirby, Bryter Layter is unusual in that it contains three instrumentals. Musicians on the album include members of Fairport Convention, The Beach Boys and John Cale. Fresh from producing former Velvet Underground bandmate Nico, Cale played on and arranged two songs, including Northern Sky – the song described by NME in 2004 as “the greatest English love song of modern times”.

Though Bryter Layter met with an indifferent set of media reviews when it was released, it went on to be included in the Rolling Stone top 500 albums of all time and reached 23 in Q magazine’s 100 Greatest British Albums Ever chart.

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Public Enemy: 25th Anniversary Vinyl Collection released

Vinyl collection release: Public Enemy, 25th Anniversary Collection
Release date: 15 April 2013

Public Enemy are one of the most influential, controversial and radical hip hop groups of all time. True pioneers, the band revolutionised hardcore rap in the late 80’s with a trailblazing blend of political themes and innovative music production. 

As lead MC Chuck D tackled all kinds of social issues in his rhymes, particularly in the black community, the group brought an intoxicating musical mix with comic ‘hype man’ Flava Flav and the epic unrelenting cut-and-paste beats of their production team, the Bomb Squad. With a militant outlook and lyrical content condoning revolutionary action and social activism, Public Enemy initially gathered much controversy but soon won widespread acclaim to be regarded as the most influential band of their time. 

The Public Enemy 25th Anniversary Vinyl Collection celebrates a landmark 25 years since the band’s first release, bringing together the complete original Def Jam studio album catalogue on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl, in a limited edition box set.

Including iconic hip-hop anthems such as Public Enemy No 1, Bring The Noise, Fight The Power, Welcome To The Terrordome, 911 Is a Joke and He Got Game, the set features the albums Yo! Bum Rush The Show (1987), It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (1988), Fear Of A Black Planet (1990), Apocalypse 91…  The Enemy Strikes Black (1991), Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age (1994) and He Got Game (1998);

Public Enemy remain true hip hop legends, marking their landmark 25-year career achievement with a nomination to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Key features of set

  • 12” LP vinyl box set combining the complete set of original Def Jam studio albums
  • Released to mark the band’s 25th Anniversary
  • Features 6 original albums, on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl

Format / info

  • Vinyl Box Set **LIMITED EDITION / INITIAL ORDER ONLY** – 9x12” LP
  • Catalogue number - UPC: 0600753408780
  • Label: IDJ
  • Rights: Worldwide excluding US & Canada

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