Music

THE BEATLES – THE CHRISTMAS RECORDS (7 X 7″ SINGLES ON COLOURED VINYL) – Released 15th December)

£71.99 - Limited Edition 7 x 7” singles on coloured vinyl & 16 page booklet

£71.99 – Limited Edition 7 x 7” singles on coloured vinyl & 16 page booklet

By 1963 The Beatles had more fans than they could possibly hope to play to in concert and the numbers were growing every year. To keep in touch with these fans – Beatle People as they became known – a fan club was launched with the first edition coming in 1963. For Christmas that year, it was decided that The Beatles would record a special Christmas message to these fans and that it would be sent out for free as a flexi single with the Christmas newsletter.
From then on right through to Christmas 1969, The Beatles would continue to record a special message every year, sometimes taking a day of studio time during recording sessions and each was sent out as a flexi disc.
This was not a hi-fi listening experience, but to the fans it was an unforgettable moment of fun and insight into the character of their four favourite band members who they felt had never forgotten them no matter how big and globally successful they became. They were never officially released commercially although in 1970 they were compiled onto one disc to be sent to the fan club members in the USA that year.
This box brings together all these messages as a collection of 7 x 7” singles, remastered from the best possible source in the archive (often the original master tape) and presented here on a range of individual coloured vinyl. The 16 page book contains the newsletters from each edition as well as an introductory essay from Beatles historian, Kevin Howlett.

> > TRACKLISTING / VINYL COLOUR:

7” SINGLE 1 – SOLID WHITE

The Beatles Christmas Record (1963)

7” SINGLE 2 – TRANSPARENT RED

Another Beatles Christmas Record (1964)

7” SINGLE 3 – SOLID BLUE

The Beatles Third Christmas Record (1965)

7” SINGLE 4 – TRANSPARENT YELLOW

Pantomime Everywhere It’s Christmas – The Beatles Fourth Christmas Record (1966)

7” SINGLE 5 – TRANSPARENT GREEN

Christmas Time (Is Here Again) – The Beatles Fifth Christmas Record (1967)

7” SINGLE 6 – TRANSPARENT / CLEAR

The Beatles Sixth Christmas Record (1968)

7” SINGLE 7 – SOLID ORGANE

The Beatles Seventh Christmas Record (1969)

Frank Turner – Songbook (Released *15th December)

£31.99 - 3 LP set

£31.99 – 3 LP set

‘Songbook’ is a retrospective on Frank’s illustrious career thus far, including the highlights from his six studio albums which span back 10 years, as well as new ‘Songbook versions’ that take the form of acoustic and reimagined versions of classic tracks.

We also have a brand new track “There She Is” which we’ll be releasing as a single – this track will also have a ‘live video’ featuring never-before-seen footage from Frank’s 2,000th gig spectacular which took place in Nottingham last year.

LP1

A

Four Simple Words
I Still Believe
The Next Storm
Recovery
The Road – Songbook Version
B

Long Live The Queen
Glorious You
Plain Sailing Weather
I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous
Wessex Boy
LP2

A

The Opening Act Of Spring
Polaroid Picture
Mittens
If Ever I Stray
B

The Way I Tend To Be
The Ballad Of Me and My Friends
Photosynthesis
Get Better
There She Is
LP3

A

Polaroid Picture (Songbook version) – Re-record
The Way I Tend To Be (Songbook version)
Glorious You (Songbook version)
Josephine (Songbook version) – Acoustic
Polaroid Picture (Songbook version)
B

Love 40 Down (Songbook version)
I Am Disappeared (Songbook version)
Broken Piano (Songbook version)
Long Live The Queen (Songbook version)
The Ballad Of Me and My Friends (Songbook version)

Neil Young + Promise of the Real – The Visitor (Released 5th January)

£30.99 - Limited LP

£30.99 – Limited LP

In addition to new single “Already Great,” the 10-track ‘The Visitor’ also includes Young’s patriotic “Children of Destiny,” which the rock legend surprise-released on the 4th of July. Young recorded that song at Hollywood, California’s famed Capitol Studios alongside Promise of the Real – led by Willie Nelson’s son Lukas – and a 56-piece orchestra; in total, 62 musicians played on the track.

The Visitor, also arrives less than a year after Young released his solo Peace Trail in December 2016; earlier that year, Young and Promise of the Real unleashed their double-disc live LP, ‘Earth’.

1. Already Great
2. Fly By Night Deal
3. Almost Always
4. Stand Tall
5. Change of Heart
6. Carnival
7. Diggin’ a Hole
8. Children of Destiny
9. When Bad Got Good
10. Forever

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever To Tell (15th Anniversary Remastered Deluxe Edition) (Released 12th January)

£38.99 - 180 g LP and Newspaper Lyric posters

£38.99 – 180 g LP and Newspaper Lyric posters

YEAH YEAH YEAHS have announced details of a vinyl reissue of their seminal, ground-breaking debut, Fever To Tell.

The release will be the original album newly remastered by Stephen Marcussen on black 180g audiophile vinyl for the first time ever and five newspaper lyric posters with exclusive photos by Nick Zinner, Spike Jonze, Lance Bangs, Julian Gross, Patrick Daughters and Cintamani Calise

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Wrong Creatures (Released 12th January 2018)

£23.99 - x 2 LP

£23.99 – x 2 LP

For a select few, rock’n’roll is a life sentence. It’s in every muscle in your body, it’s in every thought you have, it’s written all over your face. When you arrive at Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s headquarters in East Hollywood, you know you’re sidling up to the home of some of rock’s most primal prisoners. In the driveway there are motorcycles. In the living room there is gear splayed everywhere; random bits of drum kits, a pedal steel guitar, stacks of vinyl. Answering the door is a bleary-eyed, chain-smoking Peter Hayes (guitar, vocals) and his co-habiting bandmate Leah Shapiro (drums). In walks bassist Robert Levon Been too, Hayes’ BRMC co-founder, dark shades on, an even darker all-black ensemble. As a trio, they seem forever unsettled, even in the safety of each other’s companies. They take time over answers, seeking for perfect responses. It’s the same approach they have to rock’n’roll. If the end result is not flawless, they’re not interested.

In this house is where they’re currently putting the finishing touches on their forthcoming eighth album, the follow-up to 2013’s ‘Specter At The Feast’. Titled ‘Wrong Creatures’, it began in the summer of 2015. Shapiro was six months clear of a brain surgery. The trio had come off a tour and began sketching out new songs in their private lockout space appropriately nicknamed ‘The Bunker’ in North Hollywood. “Just mumble tracks, inside big walls of noise” explains Hayes, lyrics would often morph out the sounds later.

For Hayes, in particular, this record proved to be one of the more tumultuous given the length of time it’s taken from start to finish. “This one’s been so long I have come around the other side,” he admits. “I’ve gone from hating it to enjoying it.” A hesitant sense of pride is shared among them. On a good day, BRMC remains a democracy. Their lifestyle is anti-establishment, and it’s reflected in their approach to being a band, too. There is no chief lyricist, for instance. That makes for a delicate balancing of egos. “We’ve always been anti frontman,” reasons Hayes.

Sharing the load, however, doesn’t necessarily make the task at hand any easier. The longer BRMC exist, the deeper they have to search to mine the gold dust. The difference between them and your typical band is that they work themselves into the ground to get there. “Every record gets a little harder figuring out what to say, trying not to repeat yourself,” admits Hayes. The reason for their cantankerous relationship with critics is a result of being their own harshest judges. “We beat the shit out of ourselves trying to come up with something meaningful. So when someone else beats the crap out of it we’re like, ‘Yeah that’s fair.’”

Back to ‘Wrong Creatures’ though… Once the trio had enough “mumble” tracks to get going, they’d move into their LA studio to record properly. Where most of this album could be described as an Angeleno affair, some of the songs are older. ‘Spook’, for instance came from writing sessions in Santa Cruz and was recorded out in Joshua Tree. ‘Bandung Hum’ was started in Indonesia on tour. Writing on the road, however, is never the most optimum place. It was back home where they toiled and drove themselves to breaking point. Producer Nick Launay came in to assist. Famed for his work with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire and most significantly here Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Launay became a fundamental part of the BRMC machine, providing the band with a sounding board.

“Your perspective goes away when you’ve been down the rabbit hole for too long,” admits Shapiro. “Having someone come in and say that it’s good and you can stop working yourself to death… If we don’t have a sounding board like that we’ll never stop working. We’ll stay in that rehearsal studio forever.”Hayes chuckles to himself. “We’re stuck up our own ass a bit much.”

Despite the travails of pushing themselves to evolve, this time they found that they could lean on all the different iterations of BRMC over the years. As a band that’s refused to be locked into one genre, they found a sense of freedom in their abilities to float from bluesy rock’n’roll, to psychedelia and back to a more rootsy Americana sound. ‘Wrong Creatures’ takes a journey throughout rock’s history, taking unlikely twists and turns, both peppered with historic influences but also having one foot firmly in the present. Their biggest focus remains in developing their own musicianship, never resting on their laurels, preparing to enhance the live experience they can offer fans. “We caught some cool performances on this record,” says Hayes.

‘Little Thing Gone Wild’ – a dirty, rollicking ride of big licks and heavy bass – is the first taste for the album. It’s also the inspiration for the LP’s title, drawing on a lyrical passage. “Lord you hear me loud into my soul speaker, why won’t you let me out, you’ve got the wrong creature’. Somehow this was a reoccurring theme throughout this album though,” says Been. “That feeling of always being locked inside yourself, and you’ve always gotta scratch and claw your way out. With some gnawing sense that maybe we’re all just built wrong? Maybe we’re not all these precious divine beings, and we want to believe we’re cut from some sort of better cloth, but we usually just wind up like all the other pigs rolling around in each others shit fighting over a few truffles. Who knows though, maybe somewhere along the line god just got us wrong.”

Provocation aside, ‘Wrong Creatures’ is an exercise in getting back to the core of BRMC’s alchemy. From the Cave-esque murder balladry of ‘Haunt’ to the garage punk of ‘Little Thing Gone Wild’, it runs the gamut of classic rock, allowing BRMC to flex every muscle in their armour. They remain opaque about the songs’ greater meanings, fearful of past misunderstandings. “I find myself writing about death a lot,” says Hayes. “I find myself having a discussion with death, which sounds dark. For me, it’s dark humour.” Talking about mortality allows Hayes to explore life’s great mistakes and regrets. Channelling them through rolling riffs and dirge-laden rhythms, however, extolls the demons within. It’s a great catharsis for the band, and it’s a great unifier for their audience who can also seek solace in the emotional heft.

Ultimately, BRMC are survivors during an era where rock’n’roll can often be overshadowed by garish pop and domineering hip-hop. Having come out the other side of years’ worth of internal drama and their fair share of good and bad press, BRMC have learned how to cut out all the noise and concentrate on what matters. “We are truly an island – insular and our own thing,” says Been. “Most rock bands are like couples that got married way too young, knocked out 12 kids immediately, and eventually ends up hating each other sooner or later, but you also share this magic and history that can’t always be measured. Your kids are the songs though, and no matter what band fights there are, you keep coming back, you keep falling in and out of love together, because of this thing that you share and love.” They half-smile at each other. “It’s brutal but it’s also beautiful.”

The most beautiful part of it is that even this far down the line, they can still surprise themselves. “There’s a strange thing that happened on this record where I connected more to music rather than words and that gave me something,” says Hayes. “It pulled on my heart string.” As dark and heavy as things get for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, there’s still a ray of light.

Shame – Songs of Praise (Released 12th January)

£19.99 - Indies Only Limited Sky Blue LP

£19.99 – Indies Only Limited Sky Blue LP

Shame thrives on confrontation. Whether it be the seething intensity crackling throughout debut LP Songs of Praise or the adrenaline-pumping chaos that unfolds at Shame’s shows, it’s all fueled by feeling. NPR’s Bob Boilen noted, “Of the 70 bands I saw at this year’s SXSW, the band Shame seemed to mean what they played more than any other.” Comprised of vocalist Charlie Steen, guitarists Sean Coyle-Smith and Eddie Green, bassist John Finerty, and drummer Charlie Forbes, the London-based five-piece began as school boys. From the outset, Shame built the band up from a foundation of DIY ethos while citing The Fall and Wire among its biggest musical influences. Utilizing both the grit and sincerity of that musical background, Shame carved out a niche in the South London music scene and then barreled fearlessly into the angular, thrashing post-punk that would go on to make up Songs of Praise, their Dead Oceans debut. From “Gold Hole,” a tongue-in-cheek takedown of rock narcissism, to lead single “Concrete” detailing the overwhelming moment of realizing a relationship is doomed, to the frustrated “Tasteless” taking aim at the monotony of people droning through their day-today, Songs of Praise never pauses to catch its breath.

Starcrawler – Starcrawler (Released 19th January)

£16.99 - Indies Only White LP

£16.99 – Indies Only White LP

Starcrawler are a Los Angeles rock band who formed in 2015 when 18-year-old lead vocalist Arrow de Wilde first met guitarist Henri Cash at their Echo Park high school. Shortly thereafter they were joined by the rhythm section of Austin Smith (drums) and Tim Franco (bass). The foursome play with squalling riffs and thundering beats and their incendiary live shows, fronted by de Wilde’s otherworldly magnetism, are truly captivating. Gigwise (UK) recently stated that “Starcrawler are simply the most exciting – and best – band Rough Trade have
signed in years.”

Recorded by Ryan Adams on analog tape at his Pax-Am studio, the ten songs on the album prove that yes, they ARE making rock and roll exciting again! Ryan has been tweeting up a storm about them saying things like “This starcrawler record is gonna peel the paint off your brain!” and “Starcrawler are so f***ing insanely good. Soon they will rule this galaxy.”

After signing to Rough Trade earlier this year, they quickly released their debut single Ants, which caught the ear of Elton John who played the track on his Beats 1 radio show. Soon after, they were on the cover of LA Weekly – their hometown paper. The headline was “With Fake Blood and Frenetic Songs, Starcrawler make rock feel dangerous again”. In the article, Arrow describes that “bands are boring nowadays” and that “there’s no mystery”. That helps explain a little bit of why their shows have become the stuff of legend. They also recently played LA’s CalJam Festival, which is curated by Dave Grohl (Starcrawler was the first band he reached out to, and he raved about them the next day on KROQ.) Gerard Way is also a fan, describing them as a “mix of 70’s theatricality and Stooges electricity.”

Available to independent retailers on white coloured vinyl