Out this week, all of the records that you need on your shelf this week in one handy place.
Check out the albums that get our fopp stamp of approval below.
The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead: Remastered
“Re-issue! Re-package! Re-package! Re-evaluate the songs,” sang Morrissey 30 years ago on Paint A Vulgar Picture. Since The Smiths’ split in 1987, there have been more than enough compilations celebrating their legacy, but amazingly this is the first ‘deluxe’ edition of a Smiths record. Four years ago it was voted the greatest album of all time in NME, so it seems as good a place as any to begin what will hopefully be an extensive reissue campaign.
The original 10-track album gets a full remaster, but the treasures are on the second disc, with demos, early takes and a storming full version of the record’s title track with even more Marr wah-wah action. There are slightly different lyrics on I Know It’s Over and a more acoustic vibe on the demo of Frankly Mr Shankly, which is arguably better than the slightly over-cooked original. Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others and There Is A Light That Never Goes Out are present as beautiful early takes, while even the alternate mix of The Boy With The Thorn In His Side is worth the price of admission.
Contemporaneous B-sides are also included, such as Rubber Ring and Asleep – their original segue included for the first time in years – and the stunning instrumental Money Changes Everything, and there’s a lively set from Massachusetts on Disc Three. The band, complete with Craig Gannon on second guitar, are pepped-up and energetic, their medley of Rubber Ring and What She Said particularly exciting. Morrissey’s playing the fool a little too much, rolling his rs and making squawking noises whenever he feels like it – which is often – but the final, emotional seven minutes of I Know It’s Over is a knock-out ending.
“Double-pack with a photograph,” sang Morrissey on Paint A Vulgar Picture, “extra track and a tacky badge…” Unlike the cash-in he’s singing about there, this deluxe edition is more than worth a look.
Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band – Adiós Señor Pussycat
Michael Head’s first new album in over 11 years is beautiful and evocative. The record is the culmination of four years of hard work. Equal to his finest moments, Adios Senor Pussycat will undoubtedly only further cement his reputation as one of this generations greatest songwriters. Since a selfimposed hiatus in 2008, Michael has been working with a fluid concept of an ever-rotating band format to provide a flexible platform for the range of his new live and recorded works.
Under the guise of Michael Head and The Red Elastic Band in 2013, they released their sought after debut EP, Artorius Revisited, and followed this with a double A sided 7”, Velvets In The Dark / Koala Bears in 2015. A soulful and poetic genius, fate, bad luck and circumstance had often conspired to deny him his rightful dues. Loved and lauded by fellow artists and critics alike since starting out in the early 1980s with The Pale Fountains.
John Carpenter – Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998
John Carpenter is a legend. As the director and composer behind dozens of classic movies, Carpenter has established a reputation as one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of modern cinema, as well as one of its most influential musicians. The minimal, synthesizer-driven themes to films like Halloween, Escape From New York, and Assault on Precinct 13 are as indelible as their images, and their timelessness was evident as Carpenter performed them live in a string of internationally sold-out concert dates in 2016.
Anthology: Movie Themes 1974–1998 collects 13 classic themes from Carpenter’s illustrious career together on one volume for the first time. Each theme has been newly recorded with the same collaborators that Carpenter worked with on his hit Lost Themes studio albums: his son, Cody Carpenter, and godson, Daniel Davies. Anthology is a near-comprehensive survey of Carpenter’s greatest themes, from his very first movie, the no-budget sci-fi film Dark Star, to 1998’s supernatural Western, Vampires.
George Michael – Listen Without Prejudice
George Michael‘s second solo album, 1990’s Listen Without Prejudice, Vol 1, reissued across a number of formats, including a 3CD+DVD super deluxe edition box set.
The super deluxe comprises the original album remastered, a CD of the audio of George’s 1996 MTV Unplugged performance (remastered), a bonus disc of B-sides, mixes and rarities and a DVD (NTSC, region free) of UK TV’s Southbank Show special from 1990.
The The – Radio Cineola: Trilogy
The The’s busy 2017 gathers pace with the release of the Radio Cineola: Trilogy box set, a run of screenings for The Inertia Variations documentary at the ICA in London, Home in Manchester, The Watershed in Bristol and The Showroom in Sheffield along with their first live dates in 16 years. The box set contains the new single, (featuring Johnny Marr), poetry, and interpretations of the band’s past work as well as material from Radio Cineola – the online broadcast hosted by The The’s constant member Matt Johnson.
The three albums are based upon 12 or 24 hour time-cycles and ‘as interlinked as Borromean rings’. The End of the Day contains ‘songs, interpretations and performances’, The Inertia Variations houses ‘poetry, soundscapes and spoken word’ and Midnight To Midnight offers ‘electronic scores, political commentaries and broadcasts’.
Also Out This Week
Basement 5 – 1965-1980 / In Dub
Destroyer – Ken
Europe – Walk The Earth
Hall & Oates – Timeless Classics
Nick Lowe – Party Of One
Nick Lowe – Pinker & Prouder Than Previous
Pet Shop Boys – Elysium Further Listening
Pet Shop Boys – Yes Further Listening
Margo Price – All American Made
Slipknot – Day Of The Gusano: Live In Mexico
Jessie Ware – Glasshouse
Zombie Zombie – Livity