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Cheap vinyl from Universal

The lovelyl folk at Universal have given us a bunch of their finest bits of vinyl at cheap prices. It's not tat either. Classic back catalogue titles from the likes of Sonic Youth, Cure, REM, Elliott Smith, Nick Drake and other favourites at affordable prices.

The Cure
The Top

Universal continue in their valiant efforts to gradually reissue the whole hefty catalogue of The Cure to vinyl. The Top is their fifth album, first released in 1984. It’s an unusual entry in The Cure discography, recorded with an experimental attitude that took in psychedelia, Spanish guitar, Mid...view item »

The Jam
In The City

In The City was the album with which The Jam announced themselves to the world. Paul Weller was just 19 at the time and used the album as a outlet for his teenage frustration. The title track was the only single to be released from the album. There were also two covers: the Larry Williams blues tune Slow Down an...view item »

The Jam
Sound Affects

Sound Affects is widely thought of by critics, and Paul Weller himself, as the best record by The Jam. Their fifth album, it was originally released towards the end of 1980. It turned out to be their penultimate release and featured the singles That’s Entertainment and the Taxman-aping Start! The latter wa...view item »

Sonic Youth
Murray Street

Sonic Youth..... You're pleased to have them around still but really they haven't done much worth any salt since Goo I reckon. So the CD was inserted with great fear in to the stereo...... and I actually think it's alright. It's quite poppy and tuneful for them and I think it's the best thing I've heard from 'em since Goo. Yowsers..........view item »

Elliott Smith
Roman Candle

On Elliott Smith's debut album he seems to be still finding his own feet in terms of sound and songwriting. On later albums he most definitely sounds like Elliott Smith where his feelings were let out in his lyrics. In places on here, the music matches his distress, the best example being the foreboding "Last Call". In places his influences are ...view item »

Sonic Youth
Sonic Nurse

After 1995’s “Washing Machine” I thought that Sonic Youth went through a rather mediocre period and “Sonic Nurse”, released in 2004 marked a return to form, in my mind. Retrospective action made me reconsider 2002’s “Murray Street”, however. The album’s opener, “Pattern Recognit...view item »

Elliott Smith
New Moon

Ouch the new release of Elliott Smith's work entitled New Moon. I was so looking foward to hearing these songs but listening to it now makes me want to cry... A more melody driven acoustic guitarist you will not hear. I'm all carried with his insanely beautiful and personal whispered vocals pulling at the heart like a bird stuck on a wire. Out take...view item »

The Cure
Faith

Robert Smith has expressed his appreciation for the music of Joy Division and I would say that this album, Faith, is The Cure's Closer - dark, monotone, toy drumming with layers of anguish and compelling lyrics. "The Funeral Party" is like Joy Division's "Eternal" - dealing with loss in an effective, but origin...view item »

The Cure
Seventeen seconds

The Cure's 1979 debut Three Imaginary Boys, a strong album in its own right, did point the way toward Seventeen Seconds, in particular on tracks like "Another Day" and especially the title track. There's no denying though that Seventeen Seconds marks a major turning point for The Cure--the sound here is more thoroughly haunting, more claustropho...view item »

Grace Jones
The Disco Years

Disco motherload! Four whole LPs, containing Grace Jones’ first three albums (Portfolio, Fame, and Muse), and, crucially for disco music, the 12” extended versions of the singles. The quality is absolutely faultless, Grace herself and the genre of disco being right at the t...view item »

The Human League
Reproduction

In 1979 the Human League were a really bizarre proposition. Their early 'Dignity of Labour' EP had been a fantastic tour de force of instrumental electronica about a billion years ahead of it's time but at the time of 'Reproduction' they were welding their electronics to Phil Oakey's baritone vocals and creating unsettling pop music with jarring...view item »

The Human League
Travelogue

After making strides welding early day electronics with a strange kind of proto pop music on 'Reproduction', the Human League wasted no time in following it up but 'Travelogue' shows them treading water somewhat  - neither reaching pop nirvana nor being truly instrumental. The problems could be  summed up in opener 'The Black Hit of Sp...view item »

Portishead
Portishead

Essential three LP re-press of the 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.  ...view item »

The Cure
Three Imaginary Boys

While this album is a classic without a shadow of a doubt, I have problems with the LIlith reissue. First, 10.15 Saturday Night originally segues into Accuracy - not in this reissue. The label placed a gap in between the two and you can hear still a few milliseconds of the tail end of the first track into the second. Second, The Weedy Burton is ...view item »

The Glove
Blue Sunshine

Ok, for those of you who don't know, this record, made in 1983, was the one-off side project for Steve Severin (The Banshees) and Robert Smith (the Cure), operating under the moniker The Glove. The lead singer on most of Blue Sunshine's tracks was an obscure lady called Jeanette Landray. Robert Smith has called thi...view item »

Weezer
Make Believe

Weezer reissues! Everyone’s favourite US power-indie-pop hitmakers get pressed up to wax by Universal, getting their post-2000’s work fully available again. Make Believe was released in 2005, smashing into the popular consciousness via the super-single ‘Beverly Hills’. 180g vinyl reissue on Unive...view item »

Weezer
Maladroit

Weezer reissues! Everyone’s favourite US power-indie-pop hitmakers get pressed up to wax by Universal, getting their post-2000’s work fully available again. Maladroit is Weezer’s 2002 album, put together partly with assistance from their fans: the album cover was in fact a fan submissi...view item »

Weezer
Weezer (Red Album)

Weezer reissues! Everyone’s favourite US power-indie-pop hitmakers get pressed up to wax by Universal, getting their post-2000’s work fully available again. The Red Album is a good fun silly Weezer album, featuring both the super-catchy ‘Pork And Beans’ and the absurd / sublime &...view item »

Sandy Denny
I've Always Kept A Unicorn: The Acoustic Sandy Denny

She always... she always kept a unicorn. Bet you didn't know that about Sandy Denny, folk rock pioneer beloved for her part in the Fairport Convention of the late '60s. Here's a double LP of leafy strums anthologised for your cafe-comfy pleasure. It includes cuts from all over the place, from the&...view item »

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 ...view item »

Sonic Youth
Rather Ripped

Well I feel honoured to be able to review a new CD by some true masters of discordant alt rock. Yes, der yoof are back with their 1st album proper since 'Murray Street' and from the opener I'm hooked. Not quite the return to the psychotically twisted days of yore, rather a free & easy slanted & enchanted pop treat. Reme...view item »

Elliott Smith
An Introduction To…

The music on here is without doubt 10/10 stuff but it would be better splashing the cash on his entire back catalogue, you won't be disappointed. However, if you just want to dip your toe in the water then you could do a lot worse than this collection. It features songs from all 6 of his albums including what are arguably his two best songs, "Ba...view item »

Sonic Youth
NYC Ghosts & Flowers

Reissue of Sonic Youth’s 2000 album NYC Ghosts & Flowers. Scene leaders of no wave and noise rock in NY since beginning in 1981, they had all of their equipment nicked whilst on tour in 1999 so were forced to write without their usual modified guitars and effects. The results are quite profoun...view item »

R.E.M.
Life's Rich Pageant

Right, people listen up. R.E.M were fucking amazing. Let's just take what they did in the '80s on it's own and we have an incredible body of work. 'Lifes Rich Pageant' was the moment they went from pastoral mumblers to a potential stadium rock band and hits the sweet spot just right. The album has so many highlights that it's hard to kno...view item »

Sonic Youth
The Diamond Sea

The Diamond Sea is the majestic noise-rock centrepiece of Sonic Youth’s 1995 Washing Machine Album, one of the rare occasions the band went full-blown noise-sprawl on one of their ‘proper’ major-label albums. It is a beautiful piece though, with a lovely melodic song breaking down and stretchi...view item »

Nick Drake
Family Tree

Phwoar... More Nick Drake lovelyness with the Family Tree vinyl issue which is a double hand numbered LP on Sunbeam Records of just 1000 copies. You get 29 early home recordings for your money all recorded before the glorious Five Leaves Left LP. I quote "The songs range from folk and blues standards to early, influential compositions by his m...view item »

Laura Marling
I Speak Because I Can

"I Speak Because I Can" is Laura Marling's second album and arguably her best. Released in 2010, I view this as a massive step forward from her 2008 debut "Alas, I Cannot Swim", which did show that she had something special. I still think "Ghosts" is one of her best songs, However, she seems more consistent and confident in her performance here....view item »

Johnny Cash
American V: A Hundred Highways

Johnny Cash's 93rd album (he was busy) was released posthumously, and is the fifth in the American series. A selection of covers from artists such as Gordon Lightfoot, Bruce Springsteen and Hank Williams. As with all the America albums, Cash's sultry trademark vocals add a touch of dark authenticity to the hand-picked songs. Available on 180g vi...view item »

Beck
Guero

Guero was the sixth or ninth album by Beck, depending on how you count ‘em and was originally released in 2005. It was produced by The Dust Brothers who also produced his classic Odelay album and also features the Brazilian Tropicalia influences he first showed on Mutations. Cont...view item »

George Harrison
Electronic Sound

Some may believe that George Harrison was a somewhat underrated Beatle, but he really was one of the more sophisticated members. His ashes were cremated in a traditional Hindu service in India, which went hand in hand with his beliefs as a human - love and peace, I guess. Upon its release back in 1969 the otherworldly Moog soundscapes of...view item »

R.E.M.
Green

The release of Green: 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition recognizes and celebrates the achievements of the band’s critically acclaimed sixth full studio album. Available in either a 180g vinyl re-mastered LP, or a re-mastered deluxe edition 2CD including poster and postcards, this release is simply a must have for all R.E....view item »

R.E.M.
Eponymous

It is indeed a compilation as Jack notes in his review below and perhaps doesn't flow as well as their albums but this was my introduction to R.E.M when I was nobbut a youth and I enjoyed following their trajectory from oddball pastoral post punk janglers on the opening 'Radio Free Europe' to the closing chart-ready dash of 'It's the End of the ...view item »

Stereophonics
Language.Sex.Violence.Other?

On their fifth album Language, Sex, Violence, Other? Stereophonics returned to their rockier sound, some people even regard it as a return to form, after a couple of more acoustic led albums. It was the first with new drummer Javier Wayler and features the number one hit Dakota along with Superman, ...view item »

The Chemical Brothers
Dig Your Own Hole

Between this, their second album and 'Exit Planet Dust', their debut, we have some of the best most iconic electronica of the mid-nineties. I feel that a lot of the elements of this album haven't aged as well as those on their first album, such that 'Elekrobank' and 'Don't Stop The Rock' sound really dated now. Having said that, the fantastic 'S...view item »

The Chemical Brothers
We Are The Night

The Godfathers of British electronica, The Chemical Brothers, have repackaged their sixth and stonewall classic full-length release - We Are The Night. Boasting its original sleeve artwork, this re-release is a must for any fan of one of the most inspiring, unique and pioneering groups their genre...view item »

The Chemical Brothers
Come With Us

Wedged between Hey Boy Hey Girl and Galvanise was It Began In Afrika-ka-ka-ka Or rather between Surrender and Push The Button, came Come With Us. Perhaps their last psychedelic-tinged album before completely breaking into techy big beat smash hits. Reissue of their 2001 album on double heavyw...view item »

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 r...view item »

The Chemical Brothers
Push The Button

Yeah, what can I say? I was totally underwhelmed by this yawn-fest of an album. I really enjoyed 'Galvanize', and i really had high hope for this album but 'Galvanize' is literally the only decent track here and it makes me think that the Chemical Brothers just did this album on autopilot, the tracks just meander and don't make a point, let alon...view item »

The Chemical Brothers
Further

I think that the Chemical Brothers really took a step back before they created this album and decided to do something a little bit different - here we have a well crafted album! The ebb and flow of the record makes sense, spins a web of whimsy and tells a story (well at least until the 2 last tracks). Great for headphone music when you're in a r...view item »

James Blake
James Blake

Oh shit, I got the man of the year, I better be goddamn respectful! That Klavierwerk EP was definitely a masterstroke in post-club dynamism & stunning downtempo bliss. I'm thoroughly loving some of the musical tricks he employs on this, his much-heralded eponymous debut. He makes very interesting moves in the "beats department", playing outs...view item »

Portishead
Third

I have to say I was mightily impressed by that Portishead single. So much so I couldn't wait for the album. Here's their imaginatively 3rd album called 'Third' which is available on CD, 2LP and special box set thing including the double LP, a P shaped USB stick with the album on, videos and other shite, the machine Gun 12" and an art print. All wra...view item »

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