Reprise Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records
Ladies Of The Canyon was the third album by Joni Mitchell, originally released in 1970. The album is more artistically expansive than her previous albums, giving a glimpse of what she’d later become on albums such as Blue and The Hissing Of Summer Lawns. It is notable for containing two of her most popular songs: Big Yellow Taxi and Woodstock. LP on Reprise.
Blue by Joni Mitchell is a masterpiece. Originally released in 1971, the album was inspired by travel, it was partly written on her travels around Europe, and her ailing relationship with Graham Nash. Joni ended the relationship whilst writing the album which added a melancholic tone, making it a truly heartfelt collection of songs. An absolute must have for any collection. LP on Reprise.
"That's not the real Neil" barked a particularly discerning Neil Young fan when I dared to suggest that 'Harvest' was my favourite album. Proper fans may prefer 'Trans' but for any newcomer to Neil Young, this is the one to start with. It's a lovely late '60's folk album with a consistent feel throughout and a sound that set the blueprint for his sporadic 'sensible' albums over the years. Just because it's popular it shouldn't be dismissed.
I'm sorry to say that this is my favourite movie of all time. Howard Shore's soundtrack to the first edition in the Rings trilogy captures both the overcast darkness and total tweedom of Tolkein's novels. Since director Peter Jackson loves his extended versions and drawn out releases, why not release an OST this heaving with content?
Reissue of Fleetwood Mac’s classic eponymous 1975 album, the first they released with their most iconic line-up, and which laid the foundations for their world-beating future. The album is available on CD, deluxe CD, and in a very deluxe box set featuring alternate takes, live recordings, and a surround and stereo mix.
- Vinyl LP box set (0081227940768)
Neil Young + Promise Of The Real
For many years now, Neil’s M.O. has been to rush into the studio and unburden himself of whatever his latest preoccupation might be. Unsurprisingly, this time it involves the current occupant of the White House. Young’s always had a habit of proclaiming his US patriotism, but here at least, the title undercuts the irony of his status as a Canuck blow-in.
Judging by the preview tracks, his intent is to combat the crassness and divisiveness in American politics with rousing affirmations of positivity and defiance. The dense clutter of Already Great and the orchestral bombast of Children of Destiny don’t give much indication as to what the album as whole will be like, but it’s reasonable to expect a couple of gems in there. and that Promise of the Real will lend the songs their mixture of comparatively youthful energy and rootsy swagger.
On 'A Letter Home', Young retreats into his folk traditions after a couple of years incorporating drone, psychedelia and noise into his records and live sets. This record was recorded at Jack White's Third Man studio, in the kind of pay-per-use recording booth you would've found way back in the day. Young stepped in and recorded these covers of folk standards, only using his guitar and the occasional piano accompaniment from White. Among the covers are Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe", Bob Dylan's "Girl from the North Country" and the good old "On the Road Again". 'A Letter Home' is interspersed with Young reading out a letter he's written to his late mother. Bless you, Neil.
The Motherload is the first single from Mastodon’s sixth album Once More ‘Round The Sun. The four-piece from Atlanta, GA explore themes of recurrence such as loss in death and being reborn. Chunky riffs, atmospheric soundscapes and a high-powered vocal triumvirate create the perfect slab of hard rock that Mastodon have hewn their reputation from.
The Motherload is available on 12" picture disc.
Neil "Pono" Young goes from the plumbing extreme depths of lo-fi folk traditions with 'A Letter Home' to the sleek, obsessively well-produced and tailored 'Storytone', in which he plays with a 92-piece orchestra. Young's work in the past has always landed somewhere between sparse and raw, but this record is symphonic, putting Young's voice in a crowd of a hundred other musicians who make it sound like he's marching through the streets.
- Vinyl Double LP (0093624932390)
'Once More 'Round The Sun' is Mastodon's sixth record, produced by rock and metal professor Nick Raskulinecz, who has worked with a variety of crossover metal bands, including Deftones, as well as proggier outfits like Rush. The record continues to push a version of Mastodon into the public with clean vocals, catchy riffs and an ear for mainstream rock, though certain tracks like "High Road" retain their penchant for sludgy metal with dark tones. Brann Dailor has said what he really wanted 'Once More 'Round The Sun' to be is "huge and weird". Features contributions from the Coathangers and Scott Kelly of Neurosis.
Once More 'Round the Sun
Chimes at Midnight
Asleep in the Deep
Feast Yopur Eyes
Diamond in the Witch House
- Vinyl Double LP (0093624912132)
- Vinyl Double LP (0093624929345)
- Coloured vinyl
The Spotlight Kid is Captain Beefheart’s sixth album, initially released in 1972 with the Magic Band naturally in tow. Following straight on from Trout Mask Replica and Lick My Decals Off, Baby, this record finds the music slowing down somewhat, letting Beefheart sink into some woozy swampy vibes. 180g vinyl reissue on Rhino.
Zwan (Smashing Pumpkins/Billy Corgan/Pajo)