Bob Dylan: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid/Planet Waves/Street-Legal

They may not be acclaimed Dylan landmarks, but these three reissues of albums released between 1973 and 1978 reveal some often-overlooked gems. Bob’s gradual reconnection with his muse via first soundtrack album, Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid has an understated charm. The Spanish guitar-flecked acoustic instrumental Main Title Theme (Billy) sets out Dylan’s stall before the tumbleweed atmospherics of the sleepy Cantina Theme. Turkey … Continue reading Bob Dylan: Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid/Planet Waves/Street-Legal

Rock and Roll Circus

Steve Harnell cracks the whip over the soundtrack of the 1968 extravaganza, now including a previously unheard version of The Beatles’ Revolution featuring John Lennon with The Dirty Mac. The Stones sat on this TV special recorded in December 1968 for almost 30 years, narked by the fact they were upstaged on the night by The Who, Taj Mahal and one John Winston Lennon. When … Continue reading Rock and Roll Circus

Talk Talk – The Colour of Spring

In the early 80s, Talk Talk seemed destined to be remembered as one of many bands marketed cynically as New Romantics by record companies who were far more concerned with short-term gain than significant creative and commercial development. Third studio album The Colour Of Spring would change all that, and as Neil Crossley explains, it would propel the band from synth-pop wannabes towards boldly experimental … Continue reading Talk Talk – The Colour of Spring

Pete Fowler – “the inspiration behind the illustrator…”

Vibrant illustrations from Pete Fowler made Super Furry Animals’ record sleeves became synonymous with the band’s playfully subversive image. Christopher Barrett finds out what inspired the man himself. Often mixing psychedelic landscapes, unusual beasts and references to technology, Pete Fowler’s awesome artwork has been used across the vast majority of Super Furry Animals’ albums, videos and merchandise. His brightly coloured creations for the band were … Continue reading Pete Fowler – “the inspiration behind the illustrator…”

Bluedot Festival

Bluedot 2019 Jodrell Bank  18-22 July Falling asleep on the final night of the fourth Bluedot festival in the shadow of the spectacular Lovell telescope, listening to the sounds of the Apollo 11 transmissions being beamed around Jodrell Bank, we’ve witnessed another stellar weekend. It’s a sign of the festival’s growing status in the UK festival calender that despite this year’s event being lashed with biblical … Continue reading Bluedot Festival

Bruce Springsteen – Western Stars

Bruce Springsteen’s 19th album opens with Hitch Hikin’, a song which perfectly defines his evergreen charms. There’s no grandstanding, no drama, just an acoustic guitar – and, soon, strings and piano – backing a weathered voice as it describes life on the road and the faces encountered there. It is, in fact, as peaceful and heartfelt as Valentine’s Day, the track which closed Tunnel Of … Continue reading Bruce Springsteen – Western Stars

The Flaming Lips – King’s Mouth

Originally released as a Record Store Day vinyl-only offering this year, The Flaming Lips now unleash the King’s Mouth as their 15th official album. As has become customary for the band, it’s a sonic move that feels in line with their constant sense of unpredictability. While all the music is new and original, it shares a thematic thread with singer Wayne Coyne’s recent work in … Continue reading The Flaming Lips – King’s Mouth

Blue Note Review – Volume Two Spirit & Time

Legendary jazz label Blue Note continue to set a high bar with 
their subscription-only vinyl boxsets. This second volume, once again curated by Blue Note President Don Was, expands on the first, following subscriber feedback to include 
a second classic catalogue reissue album. Limited to 2,000 copies, there’s an exclusive 
2LP 180g vinyl compilation showcasing the label’s drumming roster – highlights include the wonderful Brian … Continue reading Blue Note Review – Volume Two Spirit & Time

Sonic Youth – Battery Park, NYC: July 4, 2008

Over the course of a feedback-heavy career spanning 30 years, Sonic Youth journeyed from callow, underground no wave noiseniks to experienced major label mainstream hit-makers, but, to their credit, somehow never lost their own sense of effortless cool along the way. Maybe it was a New York City thing, maybe it was a testament to the power of a good pair of sunglasses and a … Continue reading Sonic Youth – Battery Park, NYC: July 4, 2008

Bob Marley – Legend 35th Anniversary Edition

The biggest-selling reggae album of all time. 15 million copies shifted in the US alone and more than 30 million worldwide. 500 weeks on the Billboard chart… You may wonder how many people are left on Planet Earth without a copy of this undeniably stellar greatest hits collection.  The justification for the latest reissue is the 35th anniversary of its original release, in addition to … Continue reading Bob Marley – Legend 35th Anniversary Edition