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Classic vinyl

Established critical faves from this century and the last. We're not keen on them all, but they're definitely popular. Take a look at our Norman Records' Essentials collection too - we vouch for every one of those.

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Alice Coltrane
Journey In Satchidananda

Alice Coltrane was the wife of jazz god John Coltrane. Her piano skills were utilised in the last few ensembles he put together. She was also a graceful harpist, and Mr. Coltrane was a great admirer of her playing. Journey In Satchidananda, from 1970, sees her exploring the many-stringed axe bringing serenity, mysticism and spiritualism to the fore. Charlie Haden, known for his time in the game-changing Ornette Coleman Quartet, played bass. LP on Impulse.

Amy Winehouse
Back To Black

Back To Black was the second and final album by Amy Winehouse. It was regarded as a classic pretty much upon on its release. Here she found her ideal musical partner in Mark Ronson whose soulful production was the perfect backdrop to her incredible voice. Contains Rehab, Love Is A Losing Game and Tears Dry On Their Own.
  • Vinyl Double LP (5369109)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Aphex Twin
Richard D James

In a career full of brilliant music, this could possibly be one Aphex Twin's high-water marks, widely popular at the time of release. It introduced his pulverising 'drill and bass' techniques, moving him away from his acid 'n' ambience beginnings. Contains several classics such as 'Cornish Acid', 'Girl/Boy Song' etc. 

Aphex Twin
Selected Ambient Works 85-92

Not sure that you need us to introduce this one to you. The album that broke Aphex Twin to the masses (relatively speaking), Selected Ambient Works 85-92 starts with two genuinely sublime pieces of music, ‘Xtal’ and ‘Tha’, which your collection literally cannot be without. The whole thing is great though, whether for solo listening late at night or for esoteric dancefloors. An absolute classic.

Arcade Fire
Funeral

They used to actually be a phenomenal band and Funeral is all the proof you need. Full of gang chants and guitar twitches, big band fever and Springsteen suburbia, the Arcade Fire made a hopeful and triumphant rock record that fully deserved to be loud. With a handful of indie rock's best tunes on it, it traversed a whole lot of death and even a bit of romance -- "Crown of Love" is still their best, most heartfelt moment.

Arctic Monkeys
Whatever People Say I Am

Debut album from Los Angeles' neé Sheffield's finest from back when they were four scrappy kids with big fringes, before the smart shirts and slicked back hair. Even now the young Alex Turner's lyrics are genuinely impressive in how vivid a vision of the People's Republic of South Yorkshire they can create. 

Arthur Verocai
Arthur Verocai

Well for once, the press release -- "one of the greatest albums ever made" -- sounds less like the usual over-enthusiastic blurb (hyperbole) and more in keeping with widely-held muso opinion. Arthur Verocai's self-titled solo record was a masterpiece produced, directed and created by the self-taught musician. Original copies of the 1972 classic recorded in Rio de Janeiro now fetch a heck of a lot of £££'s so here is a repress of the 2012 re-master supervised by the maestro Verocai himself. Truly music that transcends genre. Comes packaged in replica gatefold with artwork true to the original. On Mr Bongo records.

Autechre
Tri Repetae

Tri Repetae is the third album by legendary British electronic duo Autechre.  The album is considered one of the best and most influential electronic albums of the '90s and first showcases the way in which the duo combined totally different elements of dance music such as jungle and industrial and blended them into a unique whole.

Beck
Odelay

Beck's famed record of folk pop, hip-hop and gleeful harmonica turntablism gets a reissue through its original label Bong Load! This alternative gem crossed a lot of paths, each united under the boy's smirky vocal, blending the mainstreams of rock and electronic into one neat package. A now old-school classic from the guy who will be a head-in-a-jar come the year 3000.

Belle and Sebastian
If You're Feeling Sinister

This, I guess, was Belle and Sebastian's "breakthrough" album. The debut was so limited at the time that in those pre-internet days it took until the release of this before many people caught on. It's one of their most consistent albums with some right crackin' tunes as they say especially stuff like 'Mayfly' which showed they could provide some kind of cheerier version of Nick Drake.  This album, alonside all their others is being re-issued to celebrate a brand new album, on its way soon. 

Big Star
Radio City

'Radio City' is the second record from the historically unsuccessful rock 'n' roll act Big Star, who have recently risen to revisionist critical acclaim, and were the focus of the 2012 rockumentary 'Nothing Can Hurt Me'. Fronted by Alex Chilton, Andy Hummel and Jody Stephens, 'Radio City' shows off the band's dedication to writing power pop hooks, as well as their affection to the British pop bands like the Kinks, who they most thoroughly tried to be like.   Tracks: O My Soul Life Is White Way Out West What's Going Ahn You Get What You Deserve Mod Lang Back Of A Car Daisy Glaze She's A Mover September Gurls Morpha Too I'm in Love with a Girl

Black Sabbath
Paranoid

Paranoid was the second album by influential british hard rock band Black Sabbath. It was originally released in 1970. It is notable for containing some of the band’s most famous tracks such as War Pigs, Iron Man and the title track which also reached the top spot in the singles charts back when you needed to shift a few units to do so.

Blur
Modern Life Is Rubbish

Modern Life Is Rubbish announced Blur as a serious proposition. They carved out an identity, both musically and image-wise for themselves that moved away from the indie-by-numbers of their debut album, Leisure. It earned them comparisons of great Englishness previously characterised by The Kinks and Small Faces, thus kicking off the whole Britpop thing. Features the singles For Tomorrow and Chemical World.

Bob Dylan
Highway 61 Revisited

Colombia are reissuing Legacy Editions of a whole brace of classic Bob Dylan albums, not that they seemed at risk of falling out of print. Highway 61 Revisited dates from 1965, and marks the point on record where Dylan moved firmly towards rock forms. Includes ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ and ‘Ballad Of A Thin Man’.
  • Vinyl LP (88875146301)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Bob Dylan
Blonde On Blonde

Colombia are reissuing Legacy Editions of a whole brace of classic Bob Dylan albums, not that they seemed at risk of falling out of print. Blonde on Blonde was recorded in Nashville in 1966, and stretches to full-on double-album length. Includes favourites like ‘Just Like A Woman’ and ‘Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands’.

Bob Dylan
John Wesley Harding

John Wesley Harding, released in 1967, is a key album for Bob Dylan, as it finds him taking a left-hand turn from his beat-poet electric music into the territory of folk, country, and God. But as this is only the first step in that direction, it makes a good introduction into that period of the great man’s catalogue. Reissued on vinyl by We Are Vinyl.

Bob Dylan
Blood On The Tracks

Definitely regarded as Bob Dylan’s greatest album of  the ‘70s and beyond and right up there with his ‘60 work, Blood On The Tracks is allegedly a masterwork of confessional songwriting. Bob Dylan, however, denies that the songs were about his life. Whatever, it’s a great album and would look lovely nestled in with all your other LPs. LP on Columbia.

Bon Iver
For Emma, Forever Ago

For Emma, Forever Ago is the 2007 debut album by Bon Iver, who at the time consisted solely of Justin Vernon. After his band DeYarmond Edison split, and he’d suffered a bout of serious illness, he set off for a cabin in the woods to write and record the album. The resulting recording is now a firmly established classic and appeared at the top of many critics ‘best of’ lists at the end of 2007.

Brian Eno
Ambient 1: Music For Airports

Groundbreaking stuff here from Brian Eno. Ambient 1: Music For Airports was released in 1978 and marks the first time when the word ‘ambient’ was used in connection with this kind of music. Eno made the album by layering tape loops. His intention was to make a soundscape that would cut through anxieties and tension in an airport. Half-speed master. Cut at 45 rpm on heavyweight vinyl.

Burial
Untrue

By the time Burial's second album surfaced, his reputation had grown to underground stardom, even if his identity was still a secret. 'Untrue' continued the story of the twilit inner city, loneliness and distant threats informing a melancholic rhythmic atmosphere, and is now seen as a landmark in electronic music.

Burial
Burial

When the debut Burial album popped onto radars over the world, divided opinion soon gave way to cult status. An unlikely pairing of screwed up garage beats, moody bass and morose ambience heralded an era of genuinely emotive but strange dance music, cementing the album as a contemporary electronic classic. 

Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
Safe As Milk

50th anniversary edition of this classic debut from the Captain and his merry travellers. Though the title could be seen as tongue in cheek, this is the group at their most accessible with their blues-influenced work only just fraying at the edges. We're still a long way from Trout Mask Replica but this is a brilliant work and has been re-issued to celebrate its half century. 

Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
Clear Spot

Don Van Vliet’s reputation mostly rests on the mind-bending knottiness of Troutmaskreplica and similar work, but he could also dial down the weird and dial up the blues. 1972’s Clear Spot is his most successful attempt to nail a compromise between groove-driven blues rock and his inimitable creative eccentricities. There’s the title track’s swamp eco-blues, the Stax soul of Too Much Time, the acid rock rush of Sun Zoom Spark, and a couple of delicate psychedelic love songs. Still plenty of surreal tomfoolery afoot, like Zoot Horn Rollo’s slide showpiece Big-Eyed Beans from Venus, and those Little Golden Birdies - look at them! A good entry point into the Beefheart universe on 180g vinyl.

Catherine Wheel
Chrome

'90s shoegazers Catherine Wheel were one of the few shoegazers to truly cross over to the American market. They did this by simply rocking out. 'Chrome' showcases them rockifying their previously dreamy sound with heavy big riffing guitars, growly impassioned vocals and thumping drums. Here's your chance to hear it all again.

Coldplay
Parachutes

The beginning times of what would become an enormous unstoppable rock behemoth. It's got all the good early hits on it like 'Trouble' and 'Yellow' and the deliciously spectral 'Don't Panic'. These soft rockers could certainly pen a haunting tune back then before it all got a bit stadium. Perfect for a late night weep into your cellphone.  

David Bowie
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars

Parlophone reissued a range of David Bowie albums in the Five Years boxset in 2015: now these nice 180g vinyl versions are being released individually too. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars needs no introduction, being one of the best-known albums of an enormous cultural icon. This release uses the 2012 remastered versions of the tracks.
  • Vinyl LP (0825646287376)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Depeche Mode
The Best of Volume 1

Well this has a much different track listing than the 'best of' I have on tape with a few album tracks thrown in for good measure yet it still has all the brilliant singles from 'See You' to 'Everything Counts' and 'Enjoy the Silence'. Originally released in 2006, now is your chance to get it again on triple vinyl.  

DJ Shadow
Endtroducing.....

DJ Shadow’s sample-built 1996 debut album Entroducing….. has all the drama you’d expect from a title with ellipses two-thirds longer than the standard. As tense as it slaps, this is truly one of the the best instrumental trip/hip-hop albums ever made. The deluxe edition comes with expanded liner notes, photos, alternate versions, and remixes from the likes of Kuedo and Teklife.

Dr. Dre
The Chronic

The Chronic was Dr. Dre’s first solo album after the break-up of seminal gangsta rap group NWA. It was the centrepiece of the Death Row label’s output and brought great success upon its release in 1992. Dre used The Chronic to fire a few shots at former NWA member and Ruthless Records owner Eazy-E following an argument over money. The Chronic also featured Snoop Doggy Dogg and served as a platform from which to build his own career.

Dusty Springfield
Dusty In Memphis

A few years ago (I say ‘a few’ I probably mean 20) I read an opinion, I think in the NME, that the 10-second intro to Son Of A Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield is the greatest 10 seconds of music ever recorded. It’s hard to argue with as it is very good indeed. Dusty Springfield released Dusty In Memphis in 1969 and utilised the talents of the city’s finest session musicians. It was produced by Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd and is thought of as her best work, and is arguably one of the best albums of all time.

Echo & The Bunnymen
Ocean Rain

'Ocean Moon' was initially released in 1984 by Echo & The Bunnymen, who are now recognised as one of the most formative post-punk bands. The record carried on the band's interest in using ornamenting arrangements to complement their despondent sound, including a string section, a la what the Waterboys did in order to make their simple rock music cinematic. It's arguably the softest entry in the Echo discography. Tracks: Silver Nocturnal Me Crystal Days The Yo-Yo Man Thorn of Crowns The Killing Moon Seven Seans My Kingdom Ocean Rain

Elastica
Elastica

In 1994 you would have thought that Elastica would have gone on to become something quite special but instead they dribbled to a halt. Still they released one classic album that although was dangerously derivative at times had the type of killer tunes that filled those indie discos. Vinyl reissue includes a bonus fanzine and flexi disc. 

Elliott Smith
Either/Or: Expanded Edition

Twenty years on from its initial release, Elliott Smith’s much-beloved third album Either / Or receives an Expanded Edition reissue. As well as the original album in remastered form, this edition adds a disc of 1997 live recordings and as-yet-unreleased studio recordings. Double CD reissue out on Universal, with a double vinyl edition to follow in May.

Eminem
The Marshall Mathers LP

The Marshall Mathers LP was the second album by Eminem and was originally released in May 2000. It’s widely regarded as the rapper’s best album and was critically well received at the time of release. It also contains the tracks The Real Slim Shady and Stan, which features Dido on vocals.

Eno
Another Green World

Another Green World is Brian Eno's third solo album and marks the beginning of his move from rock-based compositions to the ambient work he pursued in the late '70s. It contains some of his best known tracks such as St Elmo's Fire and the beautiful title track and is notable for guest spots from Robert Fripp, John Cale and Phil Collins. 

Eno
Here Come The Warm Jets

Here Come the Warm Jets was Brian Eno's debut solo album, credited under the name Eno it marked a continuation from the glam/art rock of Roxy Music but with a much more experimental bent. Tracks like the storming opener Needles in a Camel's Eye and Baby's On Fire anticipate the forward thinking art rock later to explored by David Bowie and the more out there post punk bands. 

Four Tet (Fourtet)
Rounds

Ten years since the original release, Domino reissue Four Tet's Rounds on CD and vinyl. This masterwork of leftfield beats, sampling and melodic sound construction came at a pivotal point in Four Tet's journey to fame. On the reissue the album comes with a bonus live recording of a performance in Copenhagen.

Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand

Honestly, who knew we'd look back on this one as fondly as we do? Franz Ferdinand's first record seemed hell-bent on compacting as many hooks as was feasibly possible in a post-punk record, with "Take Me Out" a prime example of overdoing it for the best results. Not much else needs be said about this record of smirking gloom hits.

Fugees
The Score

Classic album reissue alert. Remarkably, The Score is the final album from Fugees. Well, go out on a high right? Continually rated as one of the best rap/r&b/hip hop albums of all time, The Score retains its danceability and intricacy to this day. Reissued by Columbia who initially released the album in 1996. A double vinyl LP.

Gang of Four
Entertainment!

Entertainment was the the debut album by Leeds post-punk band Gang Of Four. It was originally released in 1979. The band incorporated elements of funk, dub and reggae into their choppy and angular punk sound. Features the tracks Damaged Goods, At Home He's A Tourist and I Found That Essence Rare.

Genius / GZA
Liquid Swords

Enduring rap classic and many a person's odds-on favourite for best Wu-Tang solo record, it is called Liquid Swords and it's by GZA/Genius. Known as a continuation on the grainy, filmic sequences of 36 Chambers, this record continued to switch dialogue and snarling snare beats for GZA to impose his narrative on. It was produced by RZA like all good Wu things.

Iggy & The Stooges
Raw Power

It's called 'Raw Power', but much of the conversation around this seminal punk rock record from Iggy Pop & The Stooges is about its recording. Originally mastered by David Bowie, it got the remaster treatment from Iggy himself just over a decade ago, showing off both's approach to these ferocious songs. Both are available on this reissue from Music On Vinyl, but concentrate on the songs, yeah?

Iggy Pop
Lust For Life

Iggy’s second solo album came hot on the heels of the similarly Bowie-produced, but stylistically very different The Idiot (both 1977). With the Sales brothers on bass and drums and Carlos Alomar and Ricky Gardiner on guitars, this is much more of a rock album, but one that doesn’t at all resemble the Stooges. The title track and The Passenger are now almost omnipresent, but the record is full of delights - sleazy (Sixteen), daft (Success), or somewhere between comical and emotionally devastating (Turn Blue).

Interpol
Turn On The Bright Lights

The formidable debut from Interpol, Turn On The Bright Lights, which turns 15 this year. In that early-2000s city environment, the New York post-punk revivalists dished out generous helpings of gloom, brooding vocals and those headily dark basslines that we’re still enjoying now. LP or CD on Matador.

Japan
Tin Drum

David Sylvian fronted arty-odd-synth-pop-new-wavers Japan originally released their fifth and final album Tin Drum in 1981 through Virgin. This half-speed mastered edition is available as a single LP as per the original, or a 2LP edition cut at 45 RPM for a better noise floor. Includes the singles Ghosts and The Art of Parties, as well as the ever infectious Talking Drum.

Jeff Buckley
Grace

Despite a number of archival and live albums, Grace was the only full studio album released by Jeff Buckley. Still, high points of the singer-songwriter's celebrated but tragically short career - 'Last Goodbye', 'Hallelujah', 'Lover, You Should Have Come Over' - were part of the collection, and deservedly so.

Johnny Cash
I Walk The Line

Classic Cash from 1968! I Walk The Line actually features re-recorded versions of various songs that were already favourites by this point, such as the title track, originally recorded in 1958. Johnny was still in very fine form at this point, and I Walk The Line makes for a great early hits collection. Reissued on vinyl by Columbia.

Johnny Cash
At Folsom Prison

At Folsom Prison is one of the most beloved Johnny Cash recordings. The music here, more than on any other recording is imbued with his grit, his spirituality and his wry sense of humour. The set list was put together especially for the concert and the songs deal with subjects that would likely be close the inmates thoughts. It was because of this album that Johnny Cash earned the moniker The Man In Black.

Johnny Cash
Greatest Hits - The Sun Records Years

This is not a Best of Johnny Cash album. If you’re looking for one, look elsewhere because here we only have the Greatest Hits. Only the greatest from the great man himself and all from his great period at Sun Records between 1955 and 1961. Released to mark the 60th anniversary of Cash’s first LP from 1957, the roll call of singles remastered from their original tapes on this LP is a delight; “I Walk The Line”, “Cry! Cry! Cry!”, “Folsom Prison Blues”, “Ballad Of A Teenage Queen”, but to name of few. The 180g vinyl comes with liner notes by the president of Sun Records. A truly great celebration!  

Joy Division
Closer

Second and final LP by doomed Salford post-punk band Joy Division, this is perhaps most often cited their greatest moment. Recorded shortly before the untimely death of singer Ian Curtis, whose health deteriorated rapidly during the making of this album, and produced by Martin Hannet. Limited edition vinyl reissue. 

Joy Division
Unknown Pleasures

Debut album by Salford post-punkers Joy Division. Recorded in April 1979, Martin Hannet's unique production techniques and Ian Curtis's doomed lyrics and monotone vocal lend the album a downbeat greatness that has been often emulated yet rarely surpassed. One of only two albums recorded by the band before Curtis's tragic suicide in 1980. 

Joy Division
Substance 1977-1980

Funny when you reach the stage in a band’s life (or afterlife in this case I suppose) when even the compilations are being reissued. That said, the material remains crucial, always good to have the stuff available on wax. Substance 1977-1980 contains most of your Joy Division favourites, and has been expanded by two tracks.

Kraftwerk
Autobahn

This is Kraftwerk’s fourth album, though it’s treated by the band as their year zero, and not entirely without justification. Though retaining “real” instruments like flute, piano, guitar and violin, this marks the start of Kraftwerk as a focused, conceptually defined, electronic entity. The side-long, Beach Boys-inspired title track and the mix of ambient soundscapes and melodic pieces on side two all share an airy, utopian feel. This is the digital remaster on vinyl.

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin

If you were to assemble a hard rock band you’d probably want John Bonham on drums, John Paul Jones on bass, Jimmy Page on guitar and Robert Plant on vocals. That’s what Led Zeppelin did and they were arguably the best hard rock band there’s ever been. Their self-titled debut was released in 1968 and thus cemented the band’s place in rock history forever. Various vinyl and CD versions available.

Led Zeppelin
II

Led Zeppelin II is the second album, believe it or not, by Led Zeppelin. They are, as many people would tell you, widely regarded as the greatest rock band of all time. II is the album with Whole Lotta Love and Heartbreaker on it - so what more do you need to know? It’s essential stuff…..and now, it’s available in a variety of spiffy vinyl and CD versions.

Led Zeppelin
Physical Graffiti

This deluxe edition of Led Zeppelin’s sixth studio album ‘Physical Graffiti’ marks the fortieth anniversary of the original vinyl release in 1975. As with every Led Zeppelin deluxe edition, 'Physical Graffiti' has been remastered by guitarist Jimmy Page and also includes a disc of previously unreleased material including rough mixes of ‘In My Time Of Dying’ and ‘Houses Of The Holy’.

Led Zeppelin
IV

Led Zeppelin's 'IV', known colloquially as "the one with Stairway To Heaven On It", was the band's fourth record (uh, yes?), and saw them surge back from the relative obscurity of 'III'. It stands as one of the high watermarks of hard rock and saw the band cross into folk and prog more consistently. Get the Led out in 2014, because I hear that's the done thing.

Leonard Cohen
Songs of Leonard Cohen

Almost 50 years ago, Leonard Cohen made the move from writing poetry and novels into songwriting, releasing his debut album. Songs of Leonard Cohen is full of crucial numbers like ‘Suzanne’ and ‘So Long, Marianne’, that no student of song can really be without. Plus, can you really do without that cover shot of Laughing Len peering out at you from the shelf? 180g vinyl reissue.
  • Vinyl LP (88875195611)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Love
Forever Changes

Forever Changes by Love was one of a number of classic and highly original albums that were released in 1967. Led by Arthur Lee, the band were hampered by drugs and failing relationships, but the difficult atmosphere seems to have been the right one in which to make a classic. Apparently Neil Young was penciled in to produce the album, but the job fell to Bruce Botnik instead, turns out he did a decent job.  

Marvin Gaye
What's Going On

Immediately recognisable from the cover alone, What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye feels like an album that was never not there. The soothing and enthralling tracks like Mercy Mercy Me and What’s Happening Brother, feel like they have always existed somewhere, a testament to Gaye’s effortless craftsmanship and one of the myriad of reasons why this has become a classic LP and one that deserves to be in any respectable collection.  

Massive Attack
Blue Lines

Ah 'Blue Lines'. That time hip-hop, reggae, R&B, and soul all together under the mysterious cinematic umbrella of Massive Attack. The first time their special blend of breakbeats, sampling and rapping was heard and it's presence is still being felt 25+ years on. The usual guests are in place, Horace Andy, Tricky, Neneh Cherry and of course Shara Nelson on the stone cold classic 'Unfinished Sympathy'.  

Max Richter
The Blue Notebooks

Max Richter stands at the forefront of the modern classical movement that has enjoyed prominence for most of this century. The delicate, emotionally arresting compositions on his second album confirmed his status, and are here re-released with updated artwork on LP and CD, sounding just as wonderful as before.

Miles Davis
Kind of Blue

It may seem ironic that the biggest-selling album in jazz history is such a subtle and understated beast - perhaps less so when you consider it as a sublime masterpiece of subtlety and understatement. Improvisation is an enigmatic and elusive thing, especially at the envelope-pushing level captured here, with Miles and sidemen forging ahead and abandoning the strictures of hard bop for the relative freedom of a modal approach. Even for musicians of the calibre of Coltrane and Bill Evans, there’s a special unplannable magic here, where every player is utterly in the zone and in synergy. They all unleash majestic lines like it’s the easiest thing in the world. Kind of Blue is no daunting, towering edifice - it doesn’t insist on itself, but is a gently seductive and laidback entity. It’s beautifully recorded record too, and one of the nicest vinyl experiences you can have.

Miles Davis
Bitches Brew

'Bitches Brew' is a jazz standard living outside of jazz standards, believed to be one of the best ever made. Miles Davis originally recorded the record of long jazz fusion tracks in 1970; here, the original master tapes have been used to reissue the music as a double LP via Mobile Fidelity. 'Bitches Brew' is recommended for fans of improvisation and weird compositional stories (Davis "arranged his band in a semi-circle" and conducted them vaguely - sounds like he might have heard 'Trout Mask Replica' once or twice). Perhaps the most experimental of Davis' works.    Tracks: Pharaoh’s Dance Bitches Brew Spanish Key John McLaughlin Miles Runs the Voodoo Down Sanctuary

Morrissey
Bona Drag

This 1990 compilation of Morrissey’s first run of singles and b-sides made for one of his best albums. Besides the hits (Sudehead, Everyday Is Like Sunday, November Spawned A Monster), he’d continued the Smiths tradition of hiding the odd gem on a b-side or the flip of a 12” (the self-deprecating Disappointed comes to mind). The expanded edition adds a few previously unreleased numbers, bringing the total to 20. Remastered 20th anniversary edition on CD or double LP.

Morrissey
Vauxhall And I (20th Anniversary Definitive Master)

When Steven Patrick’s fourth album was released in 1994, it felt like his most well-rounded and mature work. The intervening years haven’t called for any revision of that assessment. While it might have less bite than the Mick Ronson-produced Your Arsenal, the sound is warm and epic. Guitarists Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte work as solid and inventive co-writers to the master of his domain, who at this point is still expressing relatable emotions amid the bitterness. The album spawned three superior singles, The More You Ignore Me the Closer I Get, Hold On to Your Friends and Now My Heart is Full. If this isn’t one of your top three non-comp solo Moz albums, you thought List of the Lost was a cracking read. On CD with a bonus live disc, or heavyweight vinyl.

N.W.A.
Straight Outta Compton

Reissue Heavyweight 180 gram LP with download card on UMC. This is a reissue of the 20th anniversary edition, and if I need to tell you any more about this then get bloody clicking. This is vital hip hop. Type it into youtube, and start your life already. With the biography film coming up later this year, you better get your homework done, otherwise you ain’t cool.

N.W.A.
Efil4zaggin

‘Efil4zaggin’ aka ‘Niggaz4life’ is the second and final studio album from gangsta rap collective NWA as the group disbanded later the same year after the departure of Dr Dre. With a line up featuring four of the collectives original members (after the departure of Ice Cube) the album was an instant rap classic reaching Billboard 200’s #1 spot in the second week of it’s original 1991 release.

Neil Young
On The Beach

On The Beach is probably one of Neil Young’s lesser known albums, but it is right up there with his best work. Originally released in 1974 it was less commercial than its highly successful predecessor, Harvest - a typical curve ball from a man who doesn’t like to stand still for too long.

Neil Young
Harvest

"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.  

Neil Young
After The Gold Rush

Neil’s 1970 masterpiece is sublimely balanced. The lonesome piano stoner anthem of the title track, the eerie / uplifting Don’t Let It Bring you Down, Only Love Can Break Your Heart’s hippy wisdom, a pair of Crazy Horse rockers, and a few weepies. There’s not a song here that wouldn’t be an essential setlist inclusion for most artists, but this is Neil we’re talking about. Hence the charming miniatures Cripple Creek Ferry and Til the Morning Comes are relatively overlooked and Tell Me Why rarely gets a live airing. The recent remaster was a revelation and best of all on vinyl.

New Order
Power, Corruption & Lies

New Order’s second full-length achieves a fine balance between electronic and guitar-based music. While the preceding Movement LP was the work of a band who couldn’t quite shake off the weight of their past as Joy Division, Power, Corruption and Lies and the contemporary Blue Monday 12” saw them define a singular identity. We All Stand and Leave Me Alone still have the guitar-driven angst of old, but the Blue Monday variation 5 8 6 and Ecstasy were ground-breaking forays into a Hi-NRG-influenced sequencer-driven style, enhanced by the unmistakable lead basslines of Peter Hook. Also Barney got over his reticence and became a proper lead singer. Housed in a high-concept, die-cut Peter Saville sleeve, it’s still an utter joy today. This Rhino vinyl reissue includes a download code.

Nick Drake
Made To Love Magic

The catalogue of Nick Drake has always been nicely curated and this 2004 compilation just does enough to justify its existence. It contains lots of early and alternative versions of some of Drake's best known songs but the main talking point is the appearance of an unheard composition 'Tow the Line', possibly the last song he ever performed. As always the haunting English folk provides a snapshot to a leafier time that no longer exists.   

Nick Drake
Family Tree

Nick Drake has always been an intimate listen, but never more so than on this collection of rarities and lo-fi home recordings. Family Tree includes a number of treats, from a gorgeous cover of Jackson C. Frank’s ‘Blues Run The Game’ to some songs by Nick’s mother, Molly Drake. Double LP reissue.

Nick Drake
A Treasury

A Treasury is a fifteen track compilation of songs by the incomparable folk singer/songwriter Nick Drake. It was originally released in 2004. It includes tracks from his three studio albums Bryter Layter, Five Leaves Left and Pink Moon and one tracks from his odds-and-ends album Time of No Reply. Drake sadly died in 1974 aged 26 following an overdose.

Nick Drake
Pink Moon

Pretty much one of the most beautiful albums ever made. Just Nick, his ever fluid guitar playing, husky voice and on one track, a slither of piano. Listen to it late at night, on the headphones and admire the wonderful natural way the album was recorded. The songs are exquisite, odd at times, soothing at others. To me, the best Nick Drake album more because what isn't on it than what is. 

Nick Drake
Bryter Layter

Bryter Layter should obviously be in your record collection, and luckily you don’t have to spend £1,000,000 on a crackly old dog of a copy anymore. Island have faithfully remastered and reissued this beautiful thing from the (almost) original master tapes, and packaged it so it’s just like how your Dad would have bought it back in the day. PLUS you get high-res digital files of the tunes, as well as all sorts of trinkets and gubbins to help you imagine like you was there in 1971, baby.

Nico
Chelsea Girl

This is the first Nico solo album and a long long way away from the inspired but terrifying avant churn of albums like Desertshore. Here she is in full on folk mode and with covers of songs by the likes of Lou Reed, Jackson Browne and Tim Hardin this is a lovely pastoral work of art that stands on it's own as her one moment of real conventional music making.   

Nirvana
Bleach: Deluxe Edition

Nirvana going round for the first time. 'Bleach' was the beginning of the famed grungers infinite ascendency, and it's now reissued as a lovely deluxe edition with more anthemic dejection than you could ever wish for: a live recording of their Portland show in 1990 (with a few surprises and covers), plus an obscenely long booklet of once-private photos. In summary: Nirvana, Bleach, deluxe.

Nirvana
Nevermind

Of Nirvana’s three studio albums, the middle one, Nevermind, is probably the most well known, but it is after all, the one that got them noticed. It kicked down the doors and allowed everybody through. Their mix of classic rock and punk was sprinkled with magic dust by the then unknown producer Butch Vig. It was also the first album to feature the now Foo Fighter, Dave Grohl on drums. It is great.

Oasis
Definitely Maybe (Remastered)

Oasis’ debut album, Definitely Maybe is released on increasingly ostentatious formats for its 20th anniversary. The double vinyl LP contains the original album and comes with a download of bonus content. The triple CD box set contains the original album with all the original b-sides, rare and unreleased tracks from the same era and the non-album single Whatever, which 'borrows' the melody from Neil Innes’ Idiot Song. Definitely Maybe is also available as a single CD.

Oasis
(What’s The Story) Morning Glory? (Remastered)

Following on from 'Definitely Maybe', Big Brother are reissuing Oasis' second record and Britpop standard, 'What's The Story (Morning Glory)'. It will be available as CD, double LP or deluxe CD - the latter of which includes a 56 page hardback book, demos of "Hello" and "She's Electric", a replica 12", a replica cassette and a bunch of live tracks.  Just what the world needs, eh?

Paul and Linda McCartney
Ram

Universal have a full brace of Paul McCartney reissues to show off. 1971's Ram is Paul’s first record made with his wife Linda McCartney, and it is widely interpreted as a dig at John Lennon: Ram was of course being recorded and released in the aftermath of the break-up of some band called The Beatles. CD and LP reissues.

Paul Weller
Stanley Road

I don't know which Paul Weller album this is. It doesn't really matter. If you like him you'll be interested in getting it on vinyl. Whether you can afford the £32.99 asking price is another matter. The music industry screwed itself up in the past by charging £16 for CDs that cost pennies to make. Looks like they are off the same way with vinyl. Obviously this format is more expensive to produce so a higher retail price is understandable but this is really taking the piss especially when there are no extras and nothing deluxe. 

Pavement
Slanted & Enchanted

This was the Pavement I liked. A sloppy sprawling lo-fi charm fest taking heavy influence from the Velvet Underground and the Fall but stumbling blinking in the sun with classic melodies glinting through the fuzzy production and madcap drumming. On top of that add Malkmus wordplay and you get an eternal classic.   

Pink Floyd
The Dark Side Of The Moon

As literally one of the best-selling albums of all time (741 consecutive weeks in the charts!), you probably already have a copy of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon don’t you? But this new reissue has been remastered, and is pressed to 180g vinyl, and comes in a rather fetching package with a few extra bits. Revisit 1973 in luxury. Released by the band’s own Pink Floyd Records.

Pink Floyd
The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

Piper at the Gates of Dawn was the debut album by Pink Floyd and their only album to be recorded under the stewardship of founding member Syd Barrett. It was released in 1967 - Barrett was fired midway through the recording of its follow-up A Saucerful of Secrets. Piper at the Gates of Dawn is highly regarded as a British psychedelic classic and definitely their most wonderfully strange recording.

Pixies
Come On Pilgrim... It's Surfer Rosa

Well there's no doubt that these are two of The Most Important Indie Rock Records Of All Time. Both are absolutely exceptional, in particular 'Surfer Rosa' which pretty much turned everything I knew on its head in my teenage years. 30 years after the event we get this luxury box set of both records plus a live show from the era. No new demos or whatever, but tasty and very collectable nonetheless.
  • Vinyl Triple LP (4AD0084LP)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Coloured vinyl

Pixies
Doolittle

Second album from alternative rock stalwarts, Pixies. Doolittle is like when you see something disgusting, and you’re brain can’t quite decide if you want to keep looking at it and show it to everyone you know, or shut your eyes and hope it goes away. Surreal, catchy, dirty, noisy and really, really good. 

PJ Harvey
Let England Shake

PJ Harvey’s eighth LP, released in 2011. Claimed to be influenced by an eclectic range of artists, from Salvador Dali and T.S. Eliot to The Velvet Underground. Polly Jean uses her flexible vocals and eclectic musical styles to create a haunting reflection on war and England’s relationship with it. LP or CD on Island.

Portishead
Portishead

Essential Bristolian soundtracky trip-hoppers second LP from back in 1997.  This is the one that eschewed their debut's occasional pop moves and delved deep into sample-delica and disturbing textures. It's an intimate and occasionally frightening listen full of regret and pathos between the grooves.  

Portishead
Third

Portishead have kept a low profile in the nine years since Third was released. Will they ever release another album? If not, the savage trip-hop trailblazers certainly ended with something special. Reinterpreting all sorts from krautrock to folk song, the album’s menacing unease still haunts today. No wonder an entire town was named after them!

Portishead
Dummy

Island is reissuing Portishead's seminal trip-hop album, 'Dummy'. Originally released in 1994, their first record is a collection of dark and sonorous electronic tunes inspired by rock music , jazz and hip-hop alike. 'Dummy' helped synthesize a new sound that became essential to the Bristol scene, coinciding with bands such as Massive Attack to put West Country trip-hop on the map. It also garnered a few hits, including "Numb". 

Primal Scream
Screamadelica

We’ve got reissue copies of Primal Scream’s seminal Screamadelica album to suit all tastes! As well as the 2CD and the heavyweight double vinyl editions (remastered by the band and Kevin Shields), we also have the 4CD version, which throws in remixes, the Dixie Narco EP and a live show! In a hardback book-style cover. Generous.

Prince
Sign 'O' The Times

Look people, this is literally Sign ‘O’ The Times by Prince. Arguably this is the purple one at the very peak of his hit-making powers. This Warner Bros reissue doesn’t appear to be remastered, and doesn’t come with a brace of demos / live tracks / whatever. It just makes an über-classic album available on wax again. Double LP.
  • Vinyl Double LP (0075992557719)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Prince and the Revolution
Purple Rain

The best way to celebrate the memory of the suddenly-departed Prince surely isn’t to read through hundreds of obituaries and thinkpieces. Do it right, and listen to some of the good man’s music. Purple Rain, the soundtrack to his 1984 film, is packed with uber-classics, like the title track and ‘When Doves Cry’. LP reissue on Warner Bros.

Public Enemy
It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

No hiphop collection should be without the 1989 breakthrough LP from PE. Chuck D’s lyrics and delivery matched with The Bomb Squad’s confrontational production represented a new high-water mark as to what rap could be capable of. The track listing is jaw-dropping - Bring the Noise, Don’t Believe the Hype, Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos, Rebel Without a Pause.... She Watch Channel Zero?! samples Def Jam labelmates Slayer, though it’s ironic to hear Flavor Flav being judgmental about viewing habits, having since been responsible for one of the worst sitcoms in TV history. Still, no questionable late career choices can overshadow this explosive statement of righteous black rage and defiance, that’s utterly uncompromising and iconic from the title down. Almost an hour’s worth crammed onto this LP but it sounds phenomenal.

Public Enemy
Fear Of A Black Planet

Chuck D. and Co.’s third album will hit 25 in 2015, so this vinyl reissue couldn’t come any sooner. In fact, Fear of a Black Planet hasn’t been repressed since 2000! Really, there’s very little that can be said about Public Enemy that hasn’t been said already -- deadly serious political raps coupled with still incomparable wall-of-sound production courtesy of the Bomb Squad. What more could you want from a hip-hop album?

Pulp
Different Class

Following the recent renewal of interest in Britpop comes the reissue of Pulp's widely revered 1995 LP 'Different Class'. Pressed onto 180g vinyl, this special issue comes with an insert featuring Cocker's bitingly deft lyrics. Alluding to society and the British class system, 'Different Class' was definitely of its time, but still resonates today.       

R.E.M.
Life's Rich Pageant

New R.E.M. reissues are afoot, getting some of that early I.R.S. Records material back into circulation. Life’s Rich Pageant was the band’s fourth album, first released in 1986, when Stipe and co. were still young, hungry and indie. Includes their cover of The Clique’s song ‘Superman’. Reissued by Universal.

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