We’ve got a bunch of new and recent releases to feature this week. Fresh releases from Fleet Foxes and Cigarettes After Sex are here along with the Third Man Records “American Epic” album release series and the “American Epic: The Sessions” 3LP soundtrack from the documentary series on PBS. If that’s not enough, how about a couple stellar albums getting some limited edition reissues? Radiohead’s “OK Computer” 20th anniversary edition OKNOTOK is here in a 3LP coloured vinyl package. Also, another 20th anniversary edition re-release of the phenomenal album by Finley Quaye “Maverick a Strike”, limited to 1000 numbered copies worldwide on coloured vinyl. We just may have to crack one of these open, it’s a top 10 all time for us. Oh yeah, and Arcade Fire is coming out with a new album in July, and the lead single is now available as a 12″ to tide you over until the full release is out.
Let’s get right to it!
Mississippi John Hurt – American Epic: The Best of
Mississippi John Hurt was born in the heart of Mississippi Hill Country, along the veiny tributaries of the great American river. His moving renditions of “Frankie” and “Spike Driver Blues” were included in Harry Smith’s American Anthology of Folk Music in 1952 and were vitally influential on the Greenwich Village folk music revival of the 1960s as well as John Fahey’s development of the American Primitive Guitar genre. Single LP with single pocket tip-on jacket with soft touch finish.
Leadbelly – American Epic: The Best of
Louisiana delta native Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter is the master of twelve-string blues guitar. His story is one of high-highs and low-lows, from serving stints in prison after killing a man in a fight for a woman’s heart, but then eventually earning early release by entertaining his fellow prison-mates and penning a song for the governor, thus cementing his reputation of singing his way out of prison. Folklorists John and Alan Lomax were early supporters that brought Lead Belly to the attention of Ivy Leaguers as well as a European audience. His songs have been widely covered by artists such as Elvis, Nirvana, Johnny Cash, and the Grateful Dead. Single LP with single pocket tip-on jacket with soft touch finish.
Memphis Jug Band – American Epic: The Best of
The Memphis Jug Band, most active from 1926 into the 1950s, revolved around guitarist, harmonica player and singer Will Shade and featured a wide variety of instrumentation including harmonica, kazoo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, piano, washboard and, of course, jug. They recorded more songs than any pre-war jug band and as a result, were key in developing the jug band tradition and format. Single LP with single pocket tip-on jacket with soft touch finish.
Various Artists – American Epic: The Best of the Blues
Early geniuses of Delta Blues – Robert Johnson, Geeshie Wiley & Elvie Thomas, Son House, Charley Patton and many more have been painstakingly remastered using a mix of analog and digital technology for a hybrid sound that is simultaneously contemporary, immediate but still completely true-to-form. Single LP with single pocket tip-on jacket with soft touch finish.
Soundtrack – American Epic: The Sessions (3LP)
This is the soundtrack to “THE AMERICAN EPIC SESSIONS” directed by Bernard MacMahon. In “THE AMERICAN EPIC SESSIONS,” the team has reassembled the very first electrical sound recording system from the 1920s, and invited Jack White and T Bone Burnett to produce an album of recordings by twenty of today’s greatest artists. In this beautifully filmed musical feature, these artists are given the chance to pass through the portal that brought the world into the modern era. Engineer Nicholas Bergh has reassembled this recording system from original parts and it is now the only one left in the world. The system consists of a single microphone, a towering six-foot amplifier rack, and a live record-cutting lathe, powered by a weight-driven pulley system of clockwork gears. The musicians have roughly three minutes to record their song direct to disc before the weight hits the floor. In the 1920s, they called this “catching lightning in a bottle.” All the musical performances in this film are live. The audio you hear on the soundtrack is taken directly from the discs they were recorded to, with no editing or enhancements. American Epic: The Sessions soundtrack features Alabama Shakes, The Americans, Ana Gabriel, Ashley Monroe, The Avett Brothers, Beck, Bettye Lavettte, Bobby Ingano, Elton John, Frank Fairfield, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton, Los Lobos, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Nas, Pokey LaFarge, Raphael Saadiq, Rhiannon Giddens, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Taj Mahal, Jack White, and Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. Features : 180g Vinyl / 3LP Set / 20-page photo booklet / Trifold jacket.
Fleet Foxes – Crack-Up
Crack-Up, Fleet Foxes’ long-awaited and highly anticipated third album, comprises eleven songs, all written by Robin Pecknold. The album was co-produced by Pecknold and Skyler Skjelset, his longtime bandmate, collaborator, and childhood friend. Crack-Up comes six years after the release of Helplessness Blues and nearly a decade since the band’s self-titled debut.
Arcade Fire – Everything Now (12” Single)
The first single from the forthcoming album of the same title. 12″ – Limited 180 Gram Orange Vinyl. Get your pre-orders in now for the full album which is to be released on July 28th.
Finley Quaye – Maverick a Strike
Music On Vinyl, in cooperation with Finley Quaye and Sony Music, have released a 20th anniversary edition of the legendary album Maverick A Strike.
Originally released in 1997 during the heyday of the leftfield/alternative scene, Finley Quaye’s debut Maverick A Strike struck a chord with many. Fusing Dub, Reggae, Pop, Triphop and Indie, his amalgam of styles resonated throughout the music world like no other record at the time.
“Sunday Shining” and “Even After All” became instant hits and reached the UK top 20.
Maverick A Strike went gold less than three weeks after its release and led directly to Finley’s BRIT Award victory for Best Male Solo Artist. The album is now certified multi-platinum. Eventually no less than three additional singles became global hits; “It’s Great When We’re Together”, “Your Love Gets Sweeter” and “Ultra Stimulation”.
This 20th anniversary edition of Maverick A Strike is pressed on flaming orange and yellow swirled vinyl. Strictly limited to 1000 individually numbered copies!
Cigarettes After Sex – Cigarettes After Sex
Cigarettes After Sex front-man Greg Gonzalez had a clear vision for his band’s debut album, a gorgeously cinematic work released via Partisan Records. After the phenomenal online break-out success of “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby” and the subsequent re-discovery of an earlier Cigarettes EP (“I.”) from 2012, the Brooklyn transplant (originally from El Paso) wanted to project his worldview on to a bigger screen, a broader canvas. As Greg explains, “This is like the novel or feature-length version of Cigarettes. I wanted it to feel like a complete work, where some of the imagery repeats – like it’s all in the same world. It’s very much a fulfillment of the feelings in the short works.”
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Radiohead – OKNOTOK – Limited Blue Vinyl (3LP)
Rescued from defunct formats, prized from dark cupboards and brought to light after two decades in cold storage… OKNOTOK will be issued June 23 on XL Recordings, coinciding (roughly) with the original 1997 release date(s) of Radiohead’s landmark third album, OK COMPUTER. OKNOTOK features the original OK COMPUTER twelve track album, eight B-sides, and the Radiohead completist’s dream: “I Promise,” “Lift,” and “Man Of War.” The original studio recordings of these three previously unreleased and long sought after OK COMPUTER era tracks finally receive their first official issue on OKNOTOK. All material on OKNOTOK is newly remastered from the original analogue tapes. OK COMPUTER was originally released on various dates ranging from May to July 1997. Produced by the band and Nigel Godrich, the album is widely cited as one of the greatest works of Radiohead’s–or any artist’s–catalogue and was the first Radiohead record to reach #1 in the UK and to be nominated for the Album of the Year GRAMMY. The album features singles “Paranoid Android,” “Karma Police,” “Lucky” and “No Surprises. In 2015, The National Recording Registry selected OK COMPUTER to be preserved in the Library of Congress as a recording that has proven “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The Library of Congress wrote of OK Computer, “On their third album, Radiohead create an information-age dystopia characterized by psychopaths, corrupt politicians, ill-behaved consumers, tyrannical robots, airline disasters, car crashes and failed safety protocols. For the album, the band had mostly stripped away such alt-rock signposts as personalized lyrics, sinus-clearing guitars and thunderous bass and drums. The ghosts of the Pixies and Nirvana have been decisively exorcised. The presence of fin de siècle electronic dance music, jazz, 20th-century classical and dub are all palpable”.
Here’s this week’s list of restocks and additions to our new vinyl selection here at Backbeat.
Adele – 21
Adele – 25
Alice In Chains – MTV Unplugged
Bahamas – Is Afie
Beastie Boys – Solid Gold Hits
James Brown – 20 All Time Greatest Hits!
Coldplay – A Rush Of Blood To The Head
John Coltrane – Coltrane
John Coltrane – Lush Life
Cult – Pure Cult: The Singles
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
Feist – Reminder
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
Billie Holiday – Lady Sings the Blues
Billie Holiday – Velvet Mood
Howlin’ Wolf – Moanin’ in the Moonlight
Howlin’ Wolf – Howlin’ Wolf
Etta James – At Last!
King Tubby – Shalom Dub
Pearl Jam – Ten
Pearl Jam – Vitalogy
Pearl Jam – Vs.
Nina Simone – At The Village Gate
Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Zombies – Odessey & Oracle