David Bowie – Clareville Grove Demos

David Bowie, Clareville Grove Demos/The 'Mercury' Demos

1969 was a pivotal year in David Bowie’s development as an artist, as these the new Clareville Grove and The ‘Mercury’ Demos boxsets illustrate… After the 4×7″ boxset Spying Through A Keyhole in April finally offered up official releases for unreleased David Bowie songs, these two new releases are further evidence of the extent of Bowie’s prolific workrate in 1969. As well as being the … Continue reading David Bowie, Clareville Grove Demos/The 'Mercury' Demos

Led Zeppelin – The Song Remains The Same

When Led Zeppelin refused to sanction a white-vinyl version of their 1973 live extravaganza, a rarity was born. And the boxset retains the value… Originally released in 1976, the recordings on The Song Remains The Same capture the band during a three-night stint at New York’s Madison Square Garden in late July, 1973. This audiophile reissue is a half-speed-mastered pressing across four LPs on white … Continue reading Led Zeppelin – The Song Remains The Same

Bootlegs

Vinyl's most sought-after bootlegs

Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash’s duets album. The Who’s TV special soundtrack. Rare new music by George Michael and Kraftwerk… The history of officially unreleased albums offers a fascinating glimpse into an alternative universe. John Earls bravely ventures into the deepest valleys of cratedigging to tell the stories of vinyl’s most sought-after bootlegs. One of the reasons the 50th anniversary edition of The Beatles, aka … Continue reading Vinyl's most sought-after bootlegs

Fat White Family Serfs Up!

Fat White Family – Serfs Up!

Fat White Family Serfs Up! (Domino)             Three albums in, we find South London’s favourite grotbags Fat White Family leaving the capital, and the heroin scene that had consumed some of them, and relocating to Sheffield. The result is a record that acts as a deep cleanse in more ways than one. Not only are the band in better shape, … Continue reading Fat White Family – Serfs Up!

Kevin Morby Oh My God

Kevin Morby – Oh My God

Kevin Morby Oh My God  (Dead Oceans)             A concept album about religion. Five words sure to make even the most staunch supporters of an artist feel uneasy. In the hands of a lesser songsmith, it would certainly be cause for alarm, but Kevin Morby is fast becoming one of the most articulate, nimble and productive craftsmen of his generation. … Continue reading Kevin Morby – Oh My God

The Top 40 Essential Neil Young on Vinyl

Closely rivalling Bob Dylan as the most idiosyncratic singer-songwriter of his generation, Neil Young has pinballed between acoustic folk and all-out electrified assaults on the senses via Crazy Horse and more over the past half-century. Long Live Vinyl delves into Neil Young’s estimable back catalogue and lists the top 40 Neil Young records on vinyl.         40. Americana (2012) Young reunited with … Continue reading The Top 40 Essential Neil Young on Vinyl

The Chemical Brothers – No Geography

The Chemical Brothers – No Geography

After the disappointment of the past three albums, The Chemical Brothers return to form with a banging display of renewed vitality. John Earls bows down to a late-period masterpiece Over their previous three albums, it had appeared The Chemical Brothers were content to become a heritage act operating, in the studio at least, to diminishing returns. We Are The Night was Chems-by-numbers. Further was at … Continue reading The Chemical Brothers – No Geography

Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1

The alt-rock outfit finally return with the much-anticipated first instalment of a two-piece project.  John Earls encounters a percussive return to form that looks back but only to go forward The omens weren’t good. Companion albums rarely work – U2 eventually abandoned the sequel to career nadir No Line On The Horizon, while their energetic Songs Of Experience would surely have fared better without its … Continue reading Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1

David Bowie – Spying Through A Keyhole

David Bowie – Spying Through A Keyhole

This new boxset of vinyl singles includes two early versions of Space Oddity to mark the 50th anniversary of Bowie’s debut hit. John Earls sifts through the historical document As thorough as David Bowie’s reissue campaign is, what it hadn’t explored was unreleased songs. You can own every conceivable alternative edit and a wealth of live recordings, but the songs Bowie didn’t deem good enough … Continue reading David Bowie – Spying Through A Keyhole

Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow

The New Jersey singer-songwriter has treated us to four albums of lovelorn beauty. Gary Walker discovers a bold electronic departure on her fifth. New Jersey’s Sharon Van Etten appeared an artist endlessly searching on 2012’s Tramp and sublime follow-up Are We There (2014). Those sparse records were characterised by mournful piano compositions, jagged alt-rock guitar adornments and Van Etten’s ghostly harmonies and towering, defiant vibrato. … Continue reading Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow