MOTLEY CRUE 'Dr Feelgood – Deluxe Edition' [Release Date 21/09/2009]
2CD: Rated Billboard's No.1 album following release on September 1st 1989, selling 6 million copies in the U.S. alone and certified multi-platinum (officially Mötley Crüe's best-selling album, the band's fifth overall). * The title track reaches No.6 on the U.S. Billboard singles chart and is ranked No.15 on the VH1 Greatest Hard Rock Songs. * The singles 'Without You' reaches No. 8 and 'Kickstart My Heart' No.18 in the Billboard singles chart. * Contributors on the album include Steven Tyler, Bryan Adams, Robin Zander & Rick Neilsen [Cheap Trick], Skid Row and Jack Blades [Nightranger & Damn Yankees]. We're all familiar with the well worn phrase 'Sex, Drugs and Rock n' Roll', but never has this expression seemed more inadequate than when trying to encapsulate the life and crazy times of L.A.'s favourite Sleaze Metal heroes. Some say Guns N' Roses were the most dangerous band in the World. How wrong they are. The tale of Mötley Crüe is one that has been re-told and documented a'plenty over the years and it's a story that never fails to entertain, amaze, shock and repel in equal measure. One thing that often gets over-shadowed by these tales however, is the fact that the Crüe made bad ass Rock n' Roll and some of the best to come out of the California Glam Metal scene of the 80's. As you read through some of the titles ('Girls, Girls, Girls', 'Live Wire', 'Kickstart My Heart', 'Wild Side', 'Shout At The Devil') one is instantly transported back to a time when Mötley Crüe were the house band to the biggest party in the history of Rock. Time and tide hasn't seemed to slow them down either. They may be a little older (aren't we all) but they still know how to throw some of the biggest, brashest and downright lewdest parties you'll ever have the pleasure of being invited to. 'Sex, Drugs and Rock n' Roll'…that's just the entrée!
BLACK SABBATH REISSUES [Release Date 21/09/2009]
Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, Ozzy Osbourne – four names that resonate throughout Rock's recorded history as clear and sublime as the haunting bell that tolls the opening to their eponymous debut album from 1970. Collectively, they formed Black Sabbath and forged the most diabolic and hypnotic rock sound of all time. In so doing, they enslaved the minds and souls of millions of rock fans around the world and continue to do so into the new millennium. The musical genre they created also inspired countless musicians and spawned a thousand bands, all of which have attempted to emulate the Heavy Metal originators but few have come close to rival the unquiet dread inherent within the musical make-up of the Birmingham band. Today, Black Sabbath are hailed as the true creators of the Heavy Metal genre and their history and influential legacy is continually dissected and discussed within the pages of Rock publications all over the world. With the genre in such a vibrant state of health, messrs Iommi, Butler, Osbourne and Ward still revel in the occasional reunion as a continual reminder to all of their dominance over the landscape that is Heavy Metal and all its illegitimate offspring! Each remastered CD is presented in sumptuous gatefold digipak editions of the album boasting comprehensive sleevenotes by renowned Rock critic Jerry Ewing (Classic Rock & Metal Hammer magazine and TotalRock Radio) and a plethora of rare and previously unseen photographs and items of memorabilia.
'Black Sabbath Vol 4'
CD I LP: By the time Black Sabbath began work on what was to be their fourth album in '72, the conveniently titled 'Volume 4', they were very much in the ascendant. Their fan base was growing with each succeeding tour and album, and their style was firmly established. However, to the band members, the treadmill of the rock cycle – album/tour/album/tour in perpetuity – offered no challenge any more. They wanted to stretch themselves, to push the parameters of what they'd already created. So, for the new album, the band took a leap of faith into the unknown. Musically, the band weren't prepared to superglue themselves back into a comfort zone and just do what was expected of them. They wanted to go beyond the darkness and gloom which seemed to surround so much of their music until that point. Here was an opportunity to open Sabbath out to unexplored worlds, to be the band who led, rather than one of the many who merely followed. And they succeeded, as there's an elegance about 'Volume 4' which underscores the way in which the band had matured and developed, both as songwriters and musicians. Released in September '72, this was a three dimensional album, as if Sabbath were now determined to use the control they'd gained over its recording and to prove what was now possible.
'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath'
CD I LP: Upon its release in '73, 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' began achieving a feat that had, for the previous four albums and three years, eluded the Birmingham metal maestros. It started getting good reviews. Until then, the music critics had not warmed to the bare, brutal honesty of Black Sabbath's music, not least Rolling Stone critic Lester Bangs, who had described the band's debut Black Sabbath as "Just like Cream. But worse!" 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' was released on 1 December 1973 and was immediately heralded by the previously reluctant Rolling Stone magazine as "an extraordinarily gripping affair" and "nothing less than a complete success". The album reached Number 4 in the UK charts and 11 in the US charts, where it would go on to achieve Platinum sales success. From the grinding riff of the opening title track, the album showed that despite the band pushing back musical boundaries, they'd lost none of their aggression. 'A National Acrobat' and 'Sabbra Cadabra' [the latter, which featured Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman, was famously covered by Metallica a quarter of a century later] were equally heavy, imposing tracks, whilst 'Killing Yourself To Live' and the sci-fi themed 'Spiral Architect' rate as some of the band's best tracks. And even if the excellent title track was curiously rarely featured in the band's live set at the time, the gentle acoustic guitar work of 'Fluff' can still be heard as fans file out of Black Sabbath gigs the world over. Little wonder some claim 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' is the greatest album that the 'classic' line-up recorded. This is an album that oozes class from start to finish.
CD I LP: Released in July '75, Black Sabbath's sixth studio album gained another favourable review from Rolling Stone magazine who stated "Sabotage is not only Black Sabbath's best record since Paranoid it might be their best ever. Even with the usual themes of death, destruction and mental illness running throughout this album, the unleashed frenzy and raw energy they've returned to here comes like a breath of fresh air". The album is evidence that the band still weren't afraid of musical experimentation and as such, is their most varied and complex production of their formative period. With powerful signature tracks such as 'Symptom Of The Universe' and 'Hole In The Sky' which became firm fan favourites, Sabotage would reach the Top 20 in the U.K. and also number 28 in the U.S. The track 'Supertzar' with its full choir became the band's live concert intro. for many later tours and one of the band's most adventurous compositions. The resultant touring became their most successful outing and gained them an appearance on stage at the prestigious Madison Square Garden in New York.
CD I LP: Released in October of '76, 'Technical Ecstasy' was born of fire and raised in flames. At first the album drew many detractors with the fans and critics suggesting the band were running out of ideas and reaching the end of a phase in their career. And whilst it is evidence of a confusing time for Black Sabbath, there's an extraordinary strength and vitality about the music. Despite all the problems, both within the band and also around them, if one listens back to the album again today, one will hear that Black Sabbath could still work their magic in the studio. What emerged was definitely several steps removed from those far off days of their eponymous debut in 1970. But this was a band who were several years further down the musical dirt track – and one not prepared to repeat the past. Sabbath retained their trademark ability to riff and blaze like no others on the planet, but they were also expanding their universe, proving to everyone they could not only march boldly on towards the end of their first decade together, but could adapt and mature into the bargain. So, as you listen again to the charms of the album remember one thing above all else: you are privileged to be given a window into a world that never got the chance to evolve. Which is why Technical Ecstasy remains one of Sabbath's greatest triumphs and probably their most frustrating imponderable.
'Never Say Die!'
CD I LP: Towards the end of 1977, Black Sabbath were in a state of turmoil. Problems of all description were having an adverse effect on the band's ability to function and finally Ozzy Osbourne could take no more and would quit at the end of the 'Technical Ecstasy' World Tour. Briefly replaced by ex-Savoy Brown vocalist Dave Walker and resulting in the first line-up change since the band began ten years earlier, Walker's tenure would however, be extremely short lived and Ozzy returned to resume lead vocal duty and a re-location to Toronto, Canada for recording sessions and the resultant 'Never Say Die!' album. Despite continuing problems both internal and external, the title track would impact on the singles chart and reach number 21 in June 1978 and would secure an appearance for the band on the influential chart show, Top Of The Pops. Not since 'Paranoid' in 1970 had Black Sabbath enjoyed such coverage. A second single, 'Hard Road' also got to 33 in the charts but the resultant full album release during October 1978 was met with mixed reaction from the die-hard fans despite further strong material on offer in the shape of 'Johnny Blade' and 'Junior's Eyes'. The clarion call provided by the album's title might have been a mission statement for the band members to rise above their problems despite all the odds but unfortunately, 'Never Say Die!' would prove to have the very opposite effect and during the U.S. tour for album, Ozzy would leave his band mates a second time and seemingly now for good as he plotted to put together a new band project called Blizzard Of Ozz with Quiet Riot guitar virtuoso, Randy Rhoads.
BEASTIE BOYS 'Hello Nasty' [Release Date 21/09/2009]
2CD: Beastie Boys' 'Hello Nasty' digitally remastered for the 1st time * The CD version includes 22 album tracks, plus a 21-track bonus disc with bonus tracks, in an eco-friendly 10 panel package. * The CD includes a bonus disc of b-sides and rarities [also remastered]. * Bonus disc contains 7 never before released tracks, plus skits & remixes. * The original artwork has been faithfully restored in this 10 panel eco-friendly 2 CD set * Contains the hit song 'Intergalactic' and the hit song 'Body Movin'' Original Album Review From www.allmusic.com: 'Hello Nasty,' the Beastie Boys' fifth album, is a head-spinning listen loaded with analog synthesizers, old drum machines, call-and-response vocals, freestyle rhyming, futuristic sound effects, and virtuoso turntable scratching. The Beasties have long been notorious for their dense, multi-layered explosions, but Hello Nasty is their first record to build on the multi-ethnic junk-culture breakthrough of Check Your Head, instead of merely replicating it. Moving from electro-funk breakdowns to Latin soul jams to spacy pop, Hello Nasty covers as much ground as Check Your Head or Ill Communication, but the flow is natural, like Paul's Boutique, even if the finish is retro-stylized. Hiring DJ Mix Master Mike (one of the Invisibl Skratch Piklz) turned out to be a masterstroke; he and the Beasties created a sound that strongly recalls the spare electronic funk of the early '80s, but spiked with the samples and postmodern absurdist wit that have become their trademarks. On the surface, the sonic collages of Hello Nasty don't appear as dense as those on Paul's Boutique, nor is there a single as grabbing as "Sabotage," but given time, little details emerge, and each song forms its own identity. A few stray from the course, and the ending is a little anticlimactic, but that doesn't erase the riches of Hello Nasty – the old-school kick of "Super Disco Breakin'," and "The Move"; Adam Yauch's crooning on "I Don't Know"; Lee "Scratch" Perry's cameo; and the recurring video game samples, to name just a few. The sonic adventures alone make the album noteworthy, but what makes it remarkable is how it looks to the future by looking to the past. There's no question that Hello Nasty is saturated in old-school sounds and styles, but by reviving the future-shock rock of the early '80s, the Beasties have shrewdly set themselves up for the new millennium.
IAN HUNTER 'You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic' [Release Date 21/09/2009]
2CD: 'You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic' was originally released worldwide in April 1979 on Chrysalis Records and was Ian's first release with the label. The former Mott the Hoople front man had launched his solo career in 1975. On 21st September 2009, EMI Records is marking the 30th Anniversary of this amazing album with a deluxe re-mastered package containing the original LP with bonus tracks plus an extra disc featuring unreleased live performances from the period. The celebration is fully justified on three counts – 1) because this remains Ian's biggest selling international solo album, 2) because the live tapes have remained rare treasures in Hunter folklore until now and 3) because the songs are just SO good. The album title came about when Ian's musical partner [former Mott the Hoople and David Bowie guitarist] Mick Ronson found the slogan 'You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic' scrawled on a New York toilet wall. Mick proposed that they use the phrase for Ian's record and then decided to retain it. So Hunter 'traded' the title for a joint writing credit on the song 'Just Another Night'.
OCEANSIZE 'Feed To Feed' [Release Date 28/09/2009]
3DVD/4CD Set: * The first DVD release of UK´s leading innovators of rock * After the huge success of their third album 'Frames', Oceansize are now releasing their first ever DVD. But not only a DVD. 3 DVDs plus 4 CDs in a high class DVD cover pack plus 20-page booklet. * This material was recorded during a special weekend when the band played all three studio albums live in front of an enthusiastic fan crowd. This strictly limited 3 DVD, 4 CD box set is taken from a series of three gigs the band played at Manchester's Roadhouse in October 2008 to celebrate their tenth anniversary as a band. Each gig was dedicated to a single Oceansize album – 'Effloresce', 'Everyone Into Position' and 2007's hugely acclaimed 'Frames'. As well as nine hours of visual footage the box set also contains 3 audio CD's and a 4th bonus audio disc [with encores]. The band have compiled the ultimate Oceansize DVD and CD package. "Here is a record of 3 shows Oceansize played last year to celebrate our tenth anniversary of existence in this star spangled business. In the illustrious surroundings of Manchester's pokey but precious Roadhouse (where we rocked the foundations many years before our mild and sluggish ascent into not-even-D-list infamy), we performed our three albums live, not to mention a bunch of b-sides and the quite-fucking-long-in-itself-actually 'Music For Nurses' EP. We played virtually every song we've ever written. So that kind of makes it nearly four albums worth, really. The Roadhouse gigs were the best in our history ('IMHO' as they say on the internet). Sure we've played to much bigger audiences, of literally TENS more, but the Roadhouse, for those nights, was ram-jammed full of rabid, enthused, passionate and downright bespectacled Oceansize fans from all over the world. One chap even chose to piss himself rather than walk 10 paces to the toilet and lose his place at the front of the crowd. That's the level of dedication we inspire. And so here it is. The inevitable DVD/CD boxset. Clocking in at about 9 hours(!), the whole spine-tingling, throat shredding, bowel loosing thrill of it all is captured here forever. Every bum note. Every forgotten lyric. That bit where i missed a cue cos i forgot where my fucking volume control was. That massive bead of sweat that lingers on the end of Steve's nose for minutes on end. The unflattering camera angles (all 5 of them). Every fucking Oceansize album to date performed LIVE. In your home. Next, I plan to remove all the mirrors from my house. On completion of this epic project I never ever wish to see my own face again. Enjoy it, for fucks sake." – Mike Vennart
PARADISE LOST 'Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us' [Release Date 28/09/2009]
CD I Ltd CD I Ltd LP: After celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2008 with the release of their much praised live DVD/2CD 'The Anatomy Of Melancholy', as well as exclusive live shows surrounding this event with Anathema and My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost now return with the highly anticipated follow-up to 2007's 'In Requiem': the brand new studio album 'Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us'. 'In Requiem' owed a lot of its phenomenal success – the album charted at #12 in Germany as well as in Sweden, The Netherlands, France, Italy, Greece, Finland, UK and many other countries – to its increased heaviness and the band's unique feel for gloomy melodies. The album was hailed by critics as the band's most metallic effort since the classic albums 'Icon'  and huge-selling 'Draconian Times' , but the brand-new opus 'Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us' strikes an even darker path! For the first time in the band's history, guitarists Greg Mackintosh and Aaron Aedy have used 7-string guitars and decided to record with Jens Bogren [Katatonia, Opeth] at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden. The new album was recorded with session drummer Peter Damin, who has now been permanently replaced by Adrian Erlandsson [Cradle Of Filth, At The Gates, The Haunted]. The album title, which contrasts the spiritual term "faith" with the bitter reality of "death", hints at the stark musical twists and turns on the album. From the foreboding mid-tempo crunch of 'As Horizons End' over the drivingly heavy 'I Remain' to the schizophrenic 'Frailty' and the majestic title-track, the album is characterised by a clash of seething rage, symbolised through Nick Holmes' gruffer vocals and melancholic despair evoked through the captivating guitar play of Greg Mackintosh. The song 'Rise Of Denial' is easily the most aggressive track the band has written in years, the riffs in 'Living With Scars' even have a certain old school death metal edge to them, yet Paradise Lost never fail to add enough of their unbelievably skilled sense for accessibility and effective songwriting. The epic anthem 'Last Regret' for instance is destined to become a new live sing-a-long. Since their conception in 1988, Paradise Lost have not only founded the genre gothic metal with 1991's 'Gothic', but also diligently defined and daringly transcended it. From the crawling, harrowing doom of their debut 'Lost Paradise'  to the electronic sounds of 'One Second'  over to the dark rocking punch of 'Paradise Lost' , the band's entire career has been accompanied by the desire to evolve and stay ahead of musical trends and fashions. 'Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us' easily and proudly continues this successful tradition and clearly points out that Paradise Lost are one of the few outstanding acts working hard and earning their legendary status by the power of the song.
HOCKEY 'Mind Chaos' [Release Date 28/09/2009]
CD I LP: There's plenty to love about 'Mind Chaos', the debut album from Portland guitar heroes, Hockey. Packed with radio-friendly pop tunes, it frames a band enthrall to folk rock, indie pop and dancefloor-friendly shakedowns. Hitch these influences to a collection of catch-all choruses and guaranteed festival anthems and this Portland four piece have delivered a record seamlessly built to a summer blueprint. "I wanted to write songs that grabbed you immediately," says singer-songwriter in chief, Benjamin Grubin. "Each one should hit the spot within 10 seconds. We've always written music that we liked, rather than music that we thought other people would like. It seems to have paid off so far." The nuts and bolts of this pop ethic can be located in the bedrooms of Grubin and bass player, Jeremy "Jerm" Reynolds. Having struck up a friendship between lectures at the University of Redlands in 2004, the two bonded through a mutual love of classic lyricists. Bob Dylan was the ice breaker, but there were other unlikely pleasures too, including Talking Heads, C+C Music Factory and hip hop titans, Wu Tang Clan. The result of this union was an interesting creative path that took their early bedroom recordings ("guitars, drum machines and vocals") to Spokane – the northwest town located near Portland, Oregon. Here, the duo swapped computers for a more traditional recording set up and drafted in guitarist, Brian White and drummer, Anthony Stassi. What followed was a fast track to success. With an armoury of songs and a US tour behind them [completed with a tour van that ran on vegetable oil], the band scored a major label deal with Virgin in 2008, gathered word of mouth acclaim a year later with shows at T in The Park and Glastonbury, and drew comparisons with US luminaries The Strokes and LCD Soundsystem. "We went for it," says Grubin. "We'd played the student tours where you drove in a van for hours only for three people to show up and watch. After five years of being a band we decided we weren't going to wait for things to happen to us. We were going to make things happen for us." 'Mind Chaos' matches this positive work ethic. An effervescent pop tablet, it fizzes with call-to-arms choruses, dirty guitars and club friendly disco beats. There are flashes of pop rock ('Too Fake'), dance funk ('3am Spanish') and the Elton John-style, piano stomp of 'Preacher'. 'Song Away' is a radio smash in waiting; 'Learn To Lose' carries an infectious soul groove. Overall, it's an eclectic sketch of a band brimming with ideas. Grubin is pretty pleased with it too. "I wanted to give the record some character and a personality that changed with each song," he says. "I think we've done that. We've made the album we always wanted to make. Now we want people to dance to it."