NEIL SEDAKA 'The Music Of My Life' [Release Date 22/06/2009]
This is the brand new studio album from Neil Sedaka. 'The Music Of My Life' is "my best collection of songs in 57 years of songwriting. It might be my last set of pop songs, as I feel I cannot top these.", said Neil." 'The Music of My Life' features 11 brand new tracks, leading off with Neil's brand new Salsa number, 'Do You Remember?', which is produced by Grammy Award Winner David Foster. Complete with a 'Greatest Hits' CD including 'Oh! Carol!', 'Breaking Up Is Hard To Do', 'Calendar Girl', 'Amarillo', 'Happy Brithday Sweet Sixteen' and many more.
LA ROUX 'Bulletproof' [Release Date 22/06/2009]
Straight off the back of her monster hit single 'In For The Kill', La Roux gets set to launch herself further into the pop stratosphere with the irresistible 'Bulletproof'. With the mixture of heart-stopping techno disco production, heart-tugging lyrics and her 80s sci-fi Blitz Kid style screaming future icon, the 21 year old South London redhead is looking and sounding more than ever like the result of an orbiting race of electro aliens that picked up a transmission of Eurythmics on MTV in 1982, subjected it to terrifying space pop experiments then finally 28 years later beaming back down their own girl-that-fell-to-earth androgynous android pop sensation. Basically, it's big. The incredible new single 'Bulletproof' precedes the debut self titled album out June 29th and looks sure to confirm La Roux is one of 2009's brightest stars.
NANCI GRIFFITH 'The Loving Kind' [Release Date 22/06/2009]
'The Loving Kind' finds Nanci Griffith at the top of her game as a songwriter, interpreter, and singer. Featuring nine songs written by Griffith and her collaborators, and four well-chosen covers, the album takes its place alongside the consistently acclaimed work of this Grammy® Award-winning, genre-defying artist.
MARVELETTES 'Forever: The Complete Motown Albums Volume 1' [Release Date 22/06/2009]
In 1961, a singing group out of Inkster High School put Motown on the national map: The Marvelettes. They were Motown's first hit "girl group", pioneers of the Motown Sound, the company's first Pop No. 1 hitmaker. Superstars of the early Motor Town Revue tours. The first Motown artists besides Smokey Robinson to co-write their own songs and so much more. Now, for the first time, their majestic rise to the top is chronicled in a beautiful new 3-CD set, Forever: The Complete Motown Albums, Vol 1. This collection brings together the group's first four studio albums 'Please Mr. Postman', 'Smash Hits Of 1962', 'Playboy' and 'The Marvelous Marvelettes', plus their only live album, the stereo 'Greatest Hits' set, and every stray single, B-side and rare cut from the early era that have been issued on various compilations through the years. Every track has been newly remastered from the original LP and single masters in the Motown vault. Among the hits: 'Please Mr. Postman', 'Playboy', 'Beechwood 4-5789', 'Forever', 'Someday, Someway', 'Too Many Fish in the Sea', 'Don't Mess With Bill' and all the rest, covering the girls' output 1961 through mid-1966. Among the rarities: the Marvelettes' short-lived stint as 'The Darnells', a Phil Spector-production soundalike; the non-album B-sides 'Tie A String Around Your Finger', 'No Time For Tears', 'A Little Bit Of Sympathy, A Little Bit Of Love', and others; the vault tracks 'Knock On My Door', Berry Gordy's 'Because I Love Him', 'I Should Have Known Better', and more; the unedited live version of 'Strange I Know', taken from the original December 1962 Apollo Theater recording that produced segments of the Motortown Revue LP, 'Live At The Apollo Vol. 1'. Their body of work is presented in a beautiful 36-page booklet that lovingly recreates the original LP artwork, alongside classic and rare images from the Motown photo archives. There's an essay by Gary Graff, an award-winning music journalist based in Detroit who has written extensively about Motown, and detailed track annotations release dates, recording info and producer credits missing from the original releases. Forever: The Complete Motown Albums, Volume 1 is a fitting tribute to the original Motown superstars.
DUFFY / VARIOUS ARTISTS 'Telstar: The Joe Meek Story' [Release Date 22/06/2009]
'Telstar' is the true story of the legendary record producer and maverick musical genius Joe Meek, creator of a string of #1 hits including 'Telstar' – the biggest selling record of its time and the first British single ever to top the US charts. Despite his musical illiteracy, Meek went on to create the weird and wonderful recordings that earned him iconic status in the world of British pop until depression, hearbreak and paranoia ultimately led to a catalysmic downfall. The film is directed by first time director Nick Moran and boasts an eclectic cast including Con O'Neil as Joe Meek supported by Kevin Spacey, Ralf Little, James Corden, Pam Ferris and JJ Feild. The soundtrack contains 20 of the best of Joe Meek's hits including 'Telstar', 'Johnny Remember Me', 'Be-Bop-A-Lula', 'Have I The Right' plus a special recording of 'Please Stay' by Duffy who makes a brief cameo appearance in the fiim.
ALEX LOWE 'Hoboken Girl' [Release Date 22/06/2009]
The world's suffering from a financial meltdown and the harsh winter has well and truly taken hold, but if there's one thing that can get us through these dark times, it's the healing power of great pop music. Alex Lowe's fourth solo album, 'Hoboken Girl', sees him turning his back on the raw, rootsy Americana sound of 2006's 'Step Forward All False Prophets' and, instead, embracing classic pop influences. This time around, the former frontman of '90s indie-rockers Hurricane#1 is wearing his heart on his sleeve, rather than dragging it through a dusty desert town. Incredibly, 'Hoboken Girl' was written in four days and recorded in only three. Largely acoustic, but complemented by co-producer Steve Ransome's rippling keyboards and warm Hammond organ, it is Lowe's most soulful record yet – simple, timeless melodies with lush, spacious arrangements. Opener, 'It's Not Impossible', is one of the best songs Lowe has ever written – a gigantic, gorgeous ballad that starts like 'Dear Prudence' off The White Album and ends up as a life-affirming, gospel-tinged epic that deserves to top the charts every single Christmas time. The title track is one of the obvious highlights – a tale of angels and summer rain, but with a sad undercurrent and a shuffling country-pop feel. 'I'll Save My Soul For You' chimes like church bells, the touching, piano-led 'Shaman All Know The Truth' has Lowe embarking on an existential quest for answers, and the anthemic 'Raindancer' is an emotional story of lost love in Los Angeles. "My main influences for the album were the greatest love songs ever written – but those that were written for the doomed lover", says Lowe. You wouldn't know it from listening to it. OK, so 'And She's Gone' may have a melancholy title, but it's a sunny, jazzy stroll of a tune, with funky flutes, too. You'd also expect 'I've Been To Hell' to sound like it was on a right downer, but instead it grooves like Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition'. If you're looking for classic pop songs and some spiritual healing, then 'Hoboken Girl' is the album for you.
BABE RUTH 'Que Pasa' [Release Date 22/06/2009]
Formed in 1971, the Babe Ruth Band has undergone many personnel changes throughout its forty year history, including a stint from guitarist Bernie Marsden [who would later join the group Whitesnake]. Since its inception, the band's sound has evolved and moved with the times, influencing other genres of music and even the art of breakdancing itself – yet their music has still remained in touch with its core influences and original roots. With their latest studio album 'Que Pasa', the listener is immediately catapulted into the band's classic wall of sound, brought bang up to date for the 21st century. From start to finish, 'Que Pasa' has been painstakingly crafted to seamlessly incorporate the band's classic signature sound with subsequent influences from, amongst others, the Hip-Hop and BBoy scenes that they originally helped to kick-start. 'Que Pasa' is a landmark album for more than one reason. Firstly, it marks the first time since 1976 where the classic lineup [Jenny Haan, Alan Shacklock, David Hewitt, Ed Spevock and Dave Punshon] has reformed to record brand new material. Secondly, the album also carries with it the distinction of being the first album to contain a faithful re-recording of their most celebrated [and most covered] single, 'The Mexican'. This album marks the latest logical progression in the band's history. In the past, Babe Ruth has been credited with helping to influence the fledging New York Hip-Hop scene. In the 1970s, before Hip-Hop even had a name, DJs such as Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash would go crate-digging for the most exclusive and exciting tracks to play as part of their sets. Both played and mixed The Mexican as part of their sets, looping and beat juggling two copies to extend the eponymous breakbeat riff to several minutes in length. Kool Herc is noted for dubbing dancers at his block parties as his "B-Boys", groups of dancers who would wait for these looped breaks before performing their routines. As one of the DJs' most popular records to incorporate into their sets, both B-Boys and breakdancing were brought into existence and helped along in no small part by the Babe Ruth Band. The rerecording of this seminal crossover track means that, finally, both Hip-Hop and Prog Rock fans finally have an opportnity to hear the track brought bang up to date. The songs contained in 'Que Pasa' are based around a central theme and stylistic influence – Mexican and Latin themes are evident throughout, with the album segueing effortlessly from one track to another from the moment the listener hits their play button. From the album's initial explosion into the classic Babe Ruth sound, with the band effortlessly moving from the opening track '4 Dear Life' into the title track. From there, the album moves onto 'The Sun, Moon & Stars' followed by 'Mother Tongue', driving through to the Hip-Hop-inspired 'Doncha Wanna Dance'. After a reiteration of their classic Prog Rock sound in 'Break for the Border', the Latin themes are reprised for the deceptively soft 'Killer Smile'. '4 Letter Word' showcases the band's trademark ability to amalgamate funk, blues and soul influences into their music, with 'The Blues' gearing up the listener for the final musical assault, showcasing both the songwriting abilities of Shacklock and Haan's vocal abilities. Finally, 'The Mexican Millennium', with the classic Ennio Morricone-inspired theme interpolating through it, brings the album home and finishes the story begun with the opening track. From start to finish, 'Que Pasa' is at once an engaging concept album and also an immediately enjoyable collection of excellent tracks. Fans old and new will enjoy dipping into the album for specific tracks as much as they will enjoy listening from start to finish.
ELIAS VILJANEN 'Fire-Hearted' [Release Date 22/06/2009]
Perhaps better known as lead guitarist and shredder extraordinaire with Finnish power-metal pioneers Sonata Arctica, Elias Viljanen has been playing guitar since the age of eight. Inspired by KISS, Metallica, Slayer and Joe Satriani to name but a few, Viljanen began his illustrious shredding career in 2001. Featuring 12 new tracks including 'The Last Breath Of Love' [with guest vocals by Marco Hietala of Nightwish & Tarot] and 'Kiss Of Rain' [with vocalist Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica], 'Fire-Hearted' combines strong melodies and catchy song-writing with consistently blazing fretwork. Also appearing on the album are Jari Kainulainen on bass [Evergrey, ex-Stratovarius], Mikko Siren on drums [Apocalyptica] and Henrik Klingenberg on keyboards [Sonata Arctica]. Commenting on the album, Viljanen states that:- "It's been 4 years since my last album came out, and 'Fire-Hearted' is a musical journey through those years. I had the pleasure of working with talented musicians that I really admire… It's a blessing to hear musicians that I'm a fan of playing my songs, it makes the music more alive, if you will."
MR SCRUFF 'Keep It Unreal' [Release Date 29/06/2009]
* The re-mastering of the classic Scruff album and sessions to mark the 10th anniversary of its release. * The remastered version of Mr Scruff's 'Keep It Unreal' includes the hits 'Get A Move On', 'Spandex Man' and 'Fish' plus six previously unreleased tracks.
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE 'Summertime Clothes' [Release Date 29/06/2009]
**Strictly Limited to 500 Copies so Out Requests ONLY** 'Summertime Clothes' is the second mind-blowing single to be taken from Animal Collective's universally acclaimed album, 'Merriweather Post Pavilion'. 'Summertime Clothes' is a deliriously warm and instantly infectious track with a euphoric refrain, which is "so brilliant, so full of joy that it's confounding" – Plan B. Remixes are courtesy of Hyperdub's elusive and spooky beatmaker Zomby, LA's 'Ambassador Of Boogie Funk' Dam-Funk, and South London breakbeat and dubstep producer LD.
THE BIG PINK 'Stop The World' [Release Date 29/06/2009]
What the critics are saying: "They just keep getting more exciting" – NME "Big blissed-out beats, opaque guitar noise and achingly sweet melody" – The Times "All the hype feels justified" – Metro "Deliciously deviant" – Uncut. 'Stop The World' begins with that The Big Pink crackle, that calm before the storm introduction. Then the avalanche begins and you're swept up into some musical nirvana, an all-encompassing sound that takes the listener into Robbie Furze and Milo Cordell's soul and feedback-drenched world. 'Stop The World' follows in the success of their first single on 4AD, 'Velvet', which received glowing reviews and plays on Jo Whiley's Radio 1 slot, as well as being Single Of The Week on Edith Bowman's show. The Big Pink are currently in New York, recording what will become their as-yet untitled debut album, set for release later this year. Recording is taking place at the legendary Electric Ladyland Studios, with the band producing the record themselves, with Rich Costey set to mix the album.
OTIS LEE 'Hard Row To Hoe' [Release Date 29/06/2009]
* A rarer than rare Northern Soul re-issue. Fully licensed on the new Soul Magic label. * The excellently hard and bright analogue mono sound quality has been meticulously preserved. A fantastic example of 60's R&B / Northern Soul – the record tells the story of a hard bitten life working on a cotton field set to the most extraordinarily funky beat. The track has a very original theme and execution that draws the listener in. Uplifting and very danceable, a tale of perseverance. Little is known about the journey of Otis Lee as an artist. Originally released on the Quaint record label [Quaint 001] it appears that Otis Lee had a limited recording career. The record was available for around £10 on the Northern Soul scene in the late 70's and early 80's but the limited amount of copies have entered collections and the status of this record has exploded over the years meaning the few remaining copies in circulation now fetch between £750 and £1000.