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Fopp’s Picks

May 2024

With vinyl reissues from The streets, metallica, and David Bowie, May is shaping up to be a great month for record collectors. Here’s our picks for May.

The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come for Free – Dark Red 2LP


release date: 3rd May 2024


In celebration of 20th Anniversary of The Streets most iconic album: ‘A Grand Don’t Come For Free’ – comes a limited edition coloured repress on double vinyl (dark red). Originally released in 2004, the record features legendary tracks such as ‘Dry Your Eyes’ + ‘Fit But You Know it’ and original artworks shot by counterculture photographer Ewen Spencer. A must-cop for any fan interested in relishing in the nostalgia of early 2000s Uk Garage, spoken word and hip-hop. The second studio album from the British garage and hip hop act. It is a rap opera which follows the story of its protagonist’s relationship with a girl named Simone, alongside the mysterious loss of £1,000 from his home (the eponymous ‘grand’). The album can be considered a concept album, since the tracks on the album together in the exact order form a larger scenario overall.

metalica – St. Anger – Orange  2LP


release date: 3rd may 2024


St. Anger by Metallica, released in 2003, marks a significant departure from the band’s traditional thrash metal sound, embracing a raw and aggressive tone. Despite polarising opinions from fans and critics, St. Anger stands as a bold artistic statement, showcasing Metallica’s willingness to experiment and evolve. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States upon its release, marking Metallica’s fourth consecutive studio album to achieve this feat, and sold over 6 million copies worldwide.

nightwish – Once – Limited Edition Clear White Purple Splatter Vinyl


release date: 3rd may 2024


Once, the fifth studio album by the Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish, stands as the pinnacle of their career. Widely regarded as their most successful album to date, Once features a collection of powerful singles including Nemo, Wish I Had an Angel, Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan, and The Siren. The album’s critical acclaim and commercial success solidify its place as a landmark release in the symphonic metal genre.

David Bowie – Diamond Dogs – 50th Anniversary Edition (Half-speed Master)


release date: 24th may 2024


On 24th May, 2024, the exact day of its Golden Jubilee, Diamond Dogs will be issued as a limited edition 50th anniversary picture disc LP, pressed from the same master as the half speed version. The first single from the album, ‘Rebel Rebel’, reached number 5 in the UK and the album would also reach similar heights on both sides of the Atlantic reaching number 1 in the UK and number 5 in the USA. This new pressing of Diamond Dogs was cut on a customised late Neumann VMS80 lathe with fully recapped electronics from 192kHz restored masters of the original master tapes, with no additional processing on transfer. The half-speed was cut by John Webber at AIR Studios.

John Entwhistle  – Smash Your Head Against the Wall – translucent green vinyl


release date: 10th may 2024


Entwistle’s debut solo album, released in May 1971, was the first solo album by any member of The Who. It features John’s own version of his song “Heaven And Hell”, a highlight of The Who’s live shows. The album was engineered by Roy Thomas Baker, who went on to produce Queen. Pressed on 140 gram translucent green vinyl, and housed in the original gatefold sleeve design, this is its first time on vinyl since 1981.

amon tobin – Permutation – 25th Anniversary Reissue


release date: 31st may 2024


Amon Tobin’s critically acclaimed third album, the modern classic ‘Permutation’ celebrates its 25th anniversary with this special edition, featuring a revamped sleeve with a die-cut window on the front to view expanded inner sleeve artwork by the original designer, the legendary Kevin Foakes AKA Openmind. Originally released in 1998, ‘Permutation’ showcases some of the finest experimental breakbeats, injected with the pioneering Tobin’s idiosyncratic sounds.

Duke Ellington & Johnny Hodges – Back to Back


release date: 24th may 2024


Throughout his illustrious career, star alto-saxophone soloist Johnny Hodges ventured out on his own multiple times, yet consistently found himself drawn back to Duke Ellington’s band. Critic Michael Ullman posited that the blues classics featured in one of these ventures might have served as neutral ground, allowing Ellington’s playing to shine while granting Hodges’ irrepressible sensuality ample room for expression. This particular recording stands out as one of the finest small-group endeavours by Ellington, showcasing a perfectly integrated collection of music that effortlessly swings with the blues. The synergy between Ellington’s masterful arrangements and Hodges’ emotive saxophone playing creates a mesmerising journey that captivates listeners and solidifies the album’s status as a timeless gem in the jazz canon.

Pete Townshend – White City: A Novel (Half Speed Master)


release date: 17th may 2024


Released in 1985, ‘White City (A Novel)’ was Pete Townshend’s 5th solo album. The album tells a story of cultural conflict, racial tension and youthful hopes and dreams in the 1960s. Produced again by Chris Thomas it features guest appearances by David Gilmour, Clem Burke, and John ‘Rabbit’ Brunswick. The album which features the single ‘Face the Face’ and ‘Give Blood’ also appeared as a long form video. This black vinyl version is engineered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios using a half-speed mastering technique which produces a superior vinyl cut.

Fania All Stars – Latin-soul-rock


release date: 24th may 2024


Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Fania All Stars’ long-out-of-print album ‘Latin-Soul-Rock’, this reissue features (AAA) lacquers cut from the original master tapes and 180-gram vinyl. The star-studded roster includes the original line-up of the All Stars, and legends Jorge Santana, Mongo Santamaria, Manu Dibango, Billy Cobham and Jan Hammer. Live tracks are from the ’73 Live At Yankee Stadium and Roberto Clemente Coliseum concerts, including hits ‘El Raton’, ‘Viva Tirado’ and ‘Soul Makossa.’

Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Pictures at an Exhibition – Picture Disc


release date: 31st may 2024


Embark on a transcendent auditory voyage with thegroundbreaking ‘Pictures At An Exhibition’ by Emerson, Lake & Palmer. This iconicalbum seamlessly melds rock and classical influences, showcasing the virtuosity of ELP. The dynamic opener, ‘Promenade,’ sets the tone with its powerful symphonic energy, while the intricate ‘The Hut of Baba Yaga’ takes you on a musical odyssey.

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