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December’s Vinyl Reissues

Fopp's Picks

With vinyl reissues from Neil Young, Idles, Arthur Russell and more, December is shaping up to be a great month for record collectors. Here’s our picks for December.

Labi Siffre – Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying – half speed master


release date: 2nd December 2022


Labi Siffre’s third album was the first to be produced by Labi himself, who declares it to be ‘the one where it all came together… singing some of my best songs’. This new edition has been expertly cut by Barry Grint at AIR Mastering from the original stereo tapes using precision half-speed mastering. Half-speed mastering is a vinyl cutting technique that improves groove accuracy and transient information creating an incredibly detailed stereo image with a natural high frequency response. Presented in its original gatefold sleeve, pressed on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl, featuring an obi strip and housed in a poly-lined inner sleeve, with all the lyrics on the 4-page insert.

Arthur Russell – Love is overtaking me


release date: 2nd December 2022


‘Love Is Overtaking Me’, originally released in 2008 comprises 21 demos and home recordings of unreleased pop, folk and country songs from Arthur’s vast catalogue. While much critical and popular affection for Russell’s music has come about well after his untimely death from AIDS in 1992, many fellow artists believed in his genius and were drawn to collaborate with him during his lifetime. The legendary producer John Hammond (Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen) recorded Russell on several occasions; a number of these recordings can be heard on ‘Love Is Overtaking Me’.  Several other Russell projects are represented on ‘Love Is Overtaking Me’, including The Sailboats, Turbo Sporty and Bright & Early.

Neil Young – Harvest – 50th anniversary edition


release date: 2nd december 2022


His fourth solo album remains one of the most beloved in his catalogue and is full of with songs which have become all-time classics. This 50th anniversary edition features the original album; a disc of three studio outtakes from the original ‘Harvest’ sessions (‘Bad Loneliness’, ‘Journey Through The Past’ and ‘Dance Dance Dance’); and an unreleased live BBC solo performance. The box set is completed by two DVDs which provide a new glimpse into ‘Harvest’: The first is ‘Harvest Time’, an unreleased two-hour film shot during the making of ‘Harvest’, with footage from Young’s ‘Harvest Barn’ sessions in Northern California, recording sessions in Nashville and London. The second is a film of the unreleased solo BBC Concert recorded on February 23rd, 1971.






Idles – Five Years of Brutalism – Limited Edition Cherry Red Vinyl


release date: 9th december 2022


‘Brutalism’ was originally self-released in March 2017, surpassing expectations to become one of the decade’s most important debut albums. Beneath the surface of its aggressive, foreboding music and lyrics lies a level of confessional vulnerability and honesty that comfortably cemented it as an instant classic. To celebrate, the band are releasing a limited edition reissue of the debut studio album: ‘Five Years of Brutalism’. This reissue features alternative artwork designed by Joe Talbot, and is pressed on cherry red coloured vinyl.


Robbie Williams – Life Thru a Lens – 25th Anniversary Clear LP


release date: 2nd december 2022


The original eleven song debut album, available on limited edition ‘lens’ clear vinyl. The package makes the most of photographer Andy Earl’s timeless cover images, and includes a full colour inner sleeve with lyrics for all the songs. ‘Life Thru A Lens’ includes the singles ‘Old Before I Die’ (UK No. 2 April 1997), ‘Lazy Days’ (UK No. 8 July 1997), ‘South Of The Border’ (UK No. 14 September 1997), ‘Angels’ (UK No. 4 February 1998) and ‘Let Me Entertain You’ (UK No. 3 March 1998).


Mel Brown – Chicken Fat


release date: 9th december 2022


Guitarist Mel Brown’s 1967 Impulse! debut is possibly both the funkiest and most unique album ever released on the label. Brown’s clean blues picking style-honed while playing in John Lee Hooker’s and T-Bone Walker’s bands-marinates funkily with the swinging soul-jazz organ of Gerald Wiggins. Especially noteworthy are the title track, ‘Greasy Spoon’ and the simmering lament of ‘I’m Goin’ to Jackson’.



Frank Zappa – The Grand Wazoo


release date: 16th december 2022


In 1972, Frank Zappa experimented with an ‘Electric Orchestra’ concept which resulted in two albums: ‘Waka/Jawaka’ and ‘The Grand Wazoo’. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of this endeavor, ‘The Grand Wazoo’ is available here as a 1LP 180g black vinyl. Featuring Original packaging with all-analog mastering by Bernie Grundman in 2022.


John Lee Hooker – The Healer


release date: 9th december 2022


‘The Healer’ is a critically acclaimed album from the ‘King of the Boogie’ John Lee Hooker. First released in 1989, the collection features collaborations with artists including Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Charlie Musselwhite, Canned Heat, Los Lobos and George Thorogood. Hooker was 73 years of age when ‘The Healer’ came out and earned his first – of many future – GRAMMY accolades, winning Best Traditional Blues Performance for ‘I’m In The Mood’.


Artificial Intelligence – 30th Anniversary Edition


release date: 9th december 2022


For the first time on vinyl in 30 years, the legendary Warp Records compilation Artificial Intelligence is available. Includes rare early tracks by Aphex Twin (as The Dice Man), Autechre, Richie Hawtin (as UP!), B12 (as Musicology) and Alex Paterson (The Orb), the latter featuring co-production from Jimmy Cauty (The KLF).

James Brown – Soul on Top


release date: 16th december 2022


In the liner notes to this grooving 1969 album, featuring a big band led by drummer Louis Bellson and arranged by Impulse! star Oliver Nelson, the Godfather of Soul explains that he is a ‘jazz man at heart’. Brown’s soul consigliere, saxophonist Maceo Parker, helps make this a swinging, spirited and satisfying set of standards and JB hits.

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