Doctor Who – The Evil Of The Daleks

Although 97 episodes of 1960s Doctor Who are missing, most of their soundtracks survive. Their new availability alternates between animating the stories on DVD and, since March, releasing them on vinyl with bridging narration read by an original cast regular. Feted among fans, Patrick Troughton’s The Evil Of The Daleks is a great choice for vinyl: infamously featuring a gang of humanised Daleks who take … Continue reading Doctor Who – The Evil Of The Daleks

Mort Garson – Mother Earth’s Plantasia

  In 1978, Brian Eno made Music For Airports – a revolutionary moment in the history of ambient music – but two years before that, Mort Garson made music for plants. Yes, a record of piano and electronic music that was designed to be played for the benefit of houseplants. The subtitle of the album is “warm earth music for plants… and the people that … Continue reading Mort Garson – Mother Earth’s Plantasia

Neil Young – Tuscaloosa

Returning to the tour that birthed his least favourite album – 1973’s live effort Time Fades Away – Neil Young’s latest Archives release is an 11-song snapshot of a University of Alabama show with The Stray Gators (soon-to-depart drummer Kenny Buttrey makes the cut here). Although we only hear half of the setlist played that night, a clear performance arc can be heard. Much of … Continue reading Neil Young – Tuscaloosa

Mikey Dread – At The Control Dubwise

Mikey Dread (real name the more prosaic Michael Campbell) was reggae’s renaissance man, equally adept as a DJ, toaster, vocalist and producer – he is probably best known for his work with The Clash on their Sandanista triple. This Transparent Red, 180gsm edition revisits the golden age of dub, with the legendary Mikey Dread centre stage. At The Control Dubwise was originally released in 1979 … Continue reading Mikey Dread – At The Control Dubwise

Travis – The Man Who

Type Travis into Spotify today and the Scottish four-piece are no longer the first artist to pop up  – that’s Travis Scott, natch. It would have been a completely different story if the platform had been around in 1999. As a 20th anniversary bonus, not only are they releasing this, their 3.5 million-selling second album, but also an album of their breakthrough 1999 Glastonbury performance, … Continue reading Travis – The Man Who

Ian Brown – Unfinished Monkey Business

Ian Brown’s first solo outing after the dissolution of The Stone Roses was a rough and ready ride. Its primitive playing and jarring production were the result of Brown taking too much on his own shoulders. Yet that’s part of the charm, and after the Roses’ sorry ending, it was a welcome arrival. My Star, with its NASA samples and Aziz Ibrahim’s EBow solo remains … Continue reading Ian Brown – Unfinished Monkey Business

Desmond Dekker & The Aces – 007 Shanty Town

It took two years from when Desmond Dekker won his record deal until he was finally in front of the mic at the Studio One recording studio in Kingston, Jamaica. In the meantime, he’d been working as a welder – where he spotted the talents of a fellow worker… one Bob Marley. That’s another story, though. When Dekker finally got down to business in the … Continue reading Desmond Dekker & The Aces – 007 Shanty Town

Ian Dury & The Blockheads – Do It Yourself

40 years on from his debut album as credited with The Blockheads, Do It Yourself gets the reissue treatment (again). On top of the vinyl, it also comes with two  CDs containing all of the singles, B-sides, demos, videos and a live concert recorded in 1979 on DVD. Revisiting the album captures a vital period in Ian Dury’s remarkable career. From the infectious pub-rock funk … Continue reading Ian Dury & The Blockheads – Do It Yourself

Terry Hall – Laugh

With the reissue rights to Terry Hall’s 1994 solo debut Home being discussed, Demon go straight to his 1997 follow-up, currently his only other solo release. Like on Home, Hall plays it straight. Co-writers including Stephen Duffy, Sean O’Hagan and The Smiths’ Craig Gannon offer melancholic pop that fits in with Laugh’s finale, a seemingly unambiguous cover of Todd Rundgren’s I Saw The Light. Damon … Continue reading Terry Hall – Laugh

In Time – The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003

While R.E.M.’s former label IRS bashed out compilations every 15 minutes, In Time was the first ‘best of’ released by Warner. By 2003, R.E.M. had released seven albums for the label, so narrowing In Time down to 16 old songs inevitably meant frustrating omissions, no matter which R.E.M. you preferred. Rockist fans would have wanted Star 69 or Radio Song; lovers of Michael Stipe’s contemplative … Continue reading In Time – The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003