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Learning To CrawlWhat is the sound of a fledgling band dealing with multiple tragedies, coming to terms with drastic changes, digging deep into its consciousness, finding resolution in hurt, and overcoming staggering odds to record a bonafide masterwork? It's the sound of every note that graces the Pretenders' Learning to Crawl. Still recognized as one of the most emotionally gripping and musically gutsy performances ever made, the smash 1984 album hasn't aged a day. And now, it sounds better than could ever be imagined.
Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes, Learning to Crawl finally possesses the combination of whisper-in-your-ear intimacy and nerve-checking toughness that it's always demanded on Mobile Fidelity's super-quiet analog LP. Leader Chrissie Hynde's voice is made viscerally apparent, wavering between vigorous determination and solemn reflection, while drummer Martin Chamber's punchy backbeats register with requisite punch. To say nothing of how fresh the effort's hit singles (Middle of the Road, Back on the Chain Gang) and incredible deep cuts sound.
The story behind Learning to Crawl is directly connected to the powerful, moving music within. After releasing two records that swept the world by storm (Pretenders and Pretenders II, the latter available on hybrid SACD from Mobile Fidelity), the group's fortunes reversed after guitarist James Honeyman-Scott was found dead of a drug overdose in 1982. Shortly thereafter, founding member Pete Fardon, fired just two days before his partner's death, also succumbed to an overdose, leaving the band's state in tatters. Would there still be a Pretenders?
Hynde answers this question with a resounding yes on Learning to Crawl, which still contains signs of the band's early, street-wise rawness but also adds new wrinkles, with more streamlined melodies, sensitive ballads, and reflective tones. Back on the Chain Gang, the Pretenders' most commercially successful hit, functioned as a bittersweet tribute to her ex-mates while the Christmas-themed 2000 Miles holds rank as one of the most effecting, penetrating love songs of Hynde's career. Throughout the record, the Pretenders are again one.
New guitarist Robbie McIntosh supplies simpler, bluesier, basic guitar lines and the foursome know how to all-out rock, with the furious Middle of the Road and socially conscious My City Was Gone testifying to a stinging, thrilling sensibility that can exist only because of the devastation that the band survived. Call it the rise of the phoenix or triumph of the human will, but any way you see it, Learning to Crawl occupies a rare territory--akin to the space referred to on the superb cover of Thin Line Between Love and Hate--that registers in the pits of the human soul.
Whether you've grown up with this album, heard it in college, or are just learning about it now, Mobile Fidelity's expertly mastered 180g LP version is the only analog edition worth owning. Hear Hynde and Co.'s cathartic, transcendent effort in all its full splendor, and, like the Pretenders, refuse to settle for less.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Middle of the Road
2. Back on the Chain Gang
3. Time the Avenger
4. Watching the Clothes
5. Show Me
7. My City Was Gone
8. Thin Line Between Love and Hate
9. I Hurt You
10. 2000 Miles$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
PretendersPretenders One of the Most Essential Debuts Ever Released: No-Nonsense 1980 Set Ranked 155th Greatest Album of All Time by Rolling Stone
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes: Added Extension, Sharper Imaging, Multi-Dimensional Soundstaging on MoFi 180g LP Place Pretenders on a Small Stage in Your Room
Pretenders' Self-Titled Record Moves Fast With Biting Hooks, Soulful Melodies, and Guitar-Charged Toughness: Includes Brass In Pocket, Precious, and Tattooed Love Boys
The milieu the Pretenders create on their groundbreaking debut didn't exist when the album came out in early 1980. Such is the magnitude of originality, creativity, and nerve the band captured on a record that captivated each side of the Atlantic and both upended and advanced tradition. The no-nonsense set also announced the arrival of the inimitable Chrissie Hynde, one of the greatest singer-songwriters in rock history, gender be damned. Equally significant, the album remains just one of two studio efforts featuring the original members before tragedy ended the lives of guitarist James Honeyman-Scott and bassist Pete Farndon.
Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity's 180g LP of Pretenders grants the influential music newfound clarity, punch, dynamics, and perspective that enhance the realism and attack of everything from Hynde's vocal snarl to the band's myriad textures. Originally recorded live in the studio at high volume levels by producer Chris Thomas, the record on this vinyl edition boasts added extension, sharper imaging, multi-dimensional soundstaging, and a crispness that practically places the Pretenders onstage in your room. Replete with detail and nuance-particularly, Hynde's singing and Honeyman-Scott's terrific array of hovering chords, colorful palettes, and inventive effects-this is a record that rewards repeat listening and full-bloom playback.
Cited by Rolling Stone as the 155th Greatest Album of All Time, Pretenders took shape via the vision of the Ohio-born Hynde and chemistry she achieved with three Brits circling the same punk orbit-one that saw the frontwoman work with the Sex Pistols and briefly embark on a serious music-criticism career. Indeed, while Hynde is the unquestionable leader of the gang, the Pretenders are the sum of their total parts, displaying rapport and interaction that never came together more convincingly, naturally, or emotionally as it does on their debut. Honeyman-Scott's ringing arpeggio tones seamlessly combine with Hynde's no-muss sass, sensuality, and soulfulness. Similarly, the rhythm section contributes considerable thump and classically styled explosiveness. Together, the four sound like no other band.
Such distinctiveness helps explain why Pretenders remains as contemporary now as it did 30-odd years ago.Schooled in the era's raw, unfiltered English punk yet equally versed in rockabilly, new-wave pop, and British Invasion rock, the band orchestrates songs that overflow with keen hooks, sexual swagger, and ear-catching melodies. Courtesy of the aggressive guitars and leather-tough cool, Pretendersmoves fast, Hynde's assertive deliveries and take-notice lyrics jolting the senses with a lethal mix of sophistication, toughness, tenderness, rebelliousness, and romance.
With Honeyman-Scott playing the Richards to her Jagger, Hynde operates on pure instinct. She throws down the gauntlet on the corrugated pulse of Precious, proves she can hang with even the roughest boys on the energetic bounce of Tattooed Love Boys, and, on the smash hit Brass In Pocket, spouts self-aggrandizing claims that she would back up for decades to come. Yet Hynde and the Pretenders' appeal goes much deeper than brazenness. Akin to her guitarist's unconventional phasing and treated effects, the singer never abides by rules or stereotypes as she balances the gutsiness and attitude with sensitivity (Lovers of Today), compassion (the jangling Stop Your Stopping), and vulnerability (Kid).
Pretenders is not only one of the most impressive album debuts in history, it's one of the most essential records, independent of genre or timing, ever made. Hear this energetic music in the finest-possible fidelity it's ever enjoyed.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Precious
2. The Phone Call
3. Up the Neck
4. Tattooed Love Boys
5. Space Invader
6. The Wait
7. Stop Your Sobbing
9. Private Life
10.Brass In Pocket
11.Lovers of Today
12.Mystery Achievement$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Let's Pretend We're MarriedLet's Pretend We're Married was the final US single from Prince's 1982 album 1999.1. Let's Pretend We're Married
2. Irresistible Bitch$12.9912 Vinyl Single - Sealed Buy Now
The Shaw Tapes: Live In Detroit 5/27/88"The best garage band in America since the '60s. Very primitive they made
people with Les Pauls and Marshall amps look like idiots."
- Jack White
Recorded at a party in a Detroit storefront in 1988, this live recording of the
Gories captures the band at their apex. The ferocity, intensity and grit that come
through this record is a testament to why the Gories oeuvre has been heavily
mined for the past two decades by hundreds of poseurs, pretenders and johnny-come-latelys
The dual-guitar attack of Dan Kroha's smooth Fender Jaguar and
Mick Collins screechy Kent Videocaster, coupled with the snare-less, cymbal-less,
bass drum-less primitive drumming of Peggy O'Neill forms a perfect meld of
40's blues, 50's R&B, 60's garage and 70's punk. Dare we say it, but in terms of
in uence and reach, the Gories were the Velvet Underground of their day1. Nautiloid Reef
2. Leavin' Here
3. I Think I've Had It
4. To Find Out
5. Boogie Chillen
6. Real Cool Time
7. Charm Bag
8. Sovereignty Flight
9. Again and Again
10. Thunderbird ESQ
12. Train Kept a Rolling
13. I Just Wanna Make Love to You / Give Me Love$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Win Hands DownArmored Saint are a colossus, and Win Hands Down will long be remembered as one of the seven wonders of modern metal. The album - the band's seventh studio offering in a career spanning more than three decades - is all things Armored, a vintage crush of classic power propelled by a cathartic blast of life in the year 2015. This is Armored Saint, and this is nothing short of magnificent.
The fist-pumping adrenaline rush starts with the title track and escalates from there, Win Hands Down delivering an album-opening rally cry that re-introduces the players after their five year sojourn since the release of La Raza in 2010. As always, they are the same Saints we've grown to know and love - frontman John Bush and bassist Joey Vera, guitarist Phil Sandoval and his brother, drummer Gonzo Sandoval, and guitarist Jeff Duncan - five masters of metal that combine to forge one of the genre's most criminally-unsung forces.
When we started work on this record, I said, 'Let's pretend we are a really big band and can do whatever we want', says Bush of the spark that ignited Win Hands Down. Technology allows us that luxury, and we can take that luxury when it comes to writing. In the end, we know who we are, so we don't have those boundaries that other bands might have - you push yourself, dig deep and write stuff that makes you feel happy and fulfills you. That's really important, and I think it came through. This means a lot more to us than just, 'We made a rock/metal album...'LP 1
1. Win Hands Down
3. An Exercise in Debauchery
4. Muscle Memory
5. That Was Then, Way Back When
1. With a Full Head of Steam
2. In an Instant
4. Up Yours$33.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
I Bet On SkyThere is nothing quite like a Dinosaur Jr. album. The best ones are always recognizable from the first notes.
And even though J tries to trip us up by smearing Don't Pretend You Didn't Know with keyboards, it's clear from the moment he starts his vocals that this is the one and only Dinosaur Jr., long reigning kings of Amherst, Massachusetts (and anywhere else they choose to hang their toques).
I Bet on Sky is the third Dinosaur Jr. album since the original trio - J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph - reformed in 2005. And, crazily, it marks the band's 10th studio album since their debut on Homestead Records in 1985.
Back in the '80s, if anyone has suggested that these guys would be performing and recording at such a high level 27 years later, they would have been laughed out of the tree fort. The trio's early shows were so full of sonic chaos, such a weird blend of aggression and catatonia that we all assumed they would flame out fast. But the joke was on us.
The trio has taken everything they've learned from the various projects they tackled over the years, and poured it directly into their current mix. J's guitar approaches some of its most unhinged playing here, but there's a sense of instrumental control that matches the sweet murk of his vocals (not that he always remembers to exercise control on stage, but that's another milieu). This is head-bobbing riff-romance at the apex. Lou's basswork shows a lot more melodicism now as well, although his two songs on I Bet on Sky retain the jagged rhythmic edge that has so often marked his work. And Murph...well, he still pounds the drums as hard and as strong as a pro wrestler, with deceptively simple structures that manage to interweave themselves perfectly with his bandmates' melodic explosions!1. Don't Pretend You Didn't Know
2. Watch The Corners
3. Almost Fare
4. Stick A Toe In
6. I Know It Oh So Well
7. Pierce The Morning Rain
8. What Was That
10. See It On Your Side$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Souled Out (Awaiting Repress)JhenÉ Aiko's full-length is a testament to the power of patience. Though she's only 26, the Los Angeles native has been at it for more than a decade - first, inauspiciously, as a satellite artist hovering in the orbit of prefab new-jack teens B2K. When pretending to be Lil' Fizz's cousin didn't bring her R&B domination, she took time off to finish school, start a family, and develop her songwriting chops, which led to increasingly high-profile collaborations with the likes of Drake, Miguel, and Kendrick Lamar.
Much of Souled Out is far more pop-friendly than last year's Sail Out EP (which yielded ''The Worst,'' her first Billboard Hot 100 moment), but Aiko's lush, glowing compositions do take time to reveal themselves. Take ''W.A.Y.S.,'' which opens with a lazily strummed guitar, then welcomes in a distant, ominous drum march. Slowly, everything widens and deepens as Aiko croons like a millennial shaman, ''You have got to lose your mind/Just to find your peace of mind.''
That process repeats itself throughout Souled; the more you give in to tracks like the hypnotic, undulating ''To Love & Die'' and the gently lapping ''Eternal Sunshine,'' the more they take hold. Had Aiko followed the muse she was chasing as a teen, ''The Pressure'' would probably have been turned into a disposable piece of Hot 100 radio bait. Instead, like much of Souled Out, it's an otherworldly neck-snapper - the coolest party soundtrack for a parallel dimension where the future of R&B arrived a long time ago.
- Kyle Anderson (Entertainment Weekly)1. Brave
2. To Love & Die (Feat. Cocaine 80s)
3. Beautiful Ruin
4. It's Cool
5. Lyin King
7. The Pressure
8. Eternal Sunshine
9. Limbo Limbo Limbo
12. Pretty Bird$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Sunset MotelBeginning with Millican, 1998's self-released debut, Reckless Kelly emblazoned a reputation as no-nonsense insurgents capable of raising the rafters while still retaining the heart, soul and sentiment that can only come from honesty, soul and conviction. With every album that followed - Under the Table and Above the Sun (2003), Wicked Twisted Road (2005), Bulletproof (2008), Somewhere in Time (2010), the Grammy-nominated Good Luck & True Love (2011) and the Grammy-winning Long Night Moon (2013) - they've affirmed that commitment, not only in their devotion to essential Americana, but by emulating its very definition as well. No individual or any ensemble, and certainly no poser or pretender better exemplify what that broad genre is all about than this band called Reckless Kelly.
Nowhere is that more evident that on the group's new album Sunset Motel, an effort that effectively sums up their strengths while marking a new milestone as well. It's been 20 years since the group's founding, and while they've had to fight for wider recognition, fans, critics and contemporaries have been quick to sing their praises.1. How Can You Love Him (You Don't Even Like Him)
4. Sunset Motel
5. The Champ
6. One More One Last Time
7. Forever Today
9. Give It Up
10. Who's Gonna Be Your Baby Now
11. Moment in the Sun
12. Sad Songs about You
13. Under Lucky Stars$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
AAARTH (Pre-Order)AAARTH makes a statement unlike its predecessors. Drawing inspiration from a worldwide climate of political and social uncertainty the band transplanted themselves in Utah's vivid natural landscape immersed in a collage of colors and light, the ever fluid and expansive Southwestern sky mirroring our rapidly-changing world. The deep burnt-orange rocks and canyons became touchstones as the band formed the sonic landscapes of AAARTH. From soaring choruses to percussive pulsating guitars, The Joy Formidable paint an 11 song musical tapestry deftly balancing a sound as grounded as their ancient surroundings and as elusive and mind-bending as a gloaming desert sky.
AAARTH first came to life on the road penning lyrics and recording selected parts in hotel rooms around the world. They self-produced and mixed most of the album in their mobile recording studio. This critically adored trio is comprised of Ritzy Bryan (lead vocals, guitars), Rhydian Dafydd (bass, backing vocals) and Matt Thomas (drums, percussion). Formed in North Wales 10 years ago, each album they've released has been a joyful adventure and reflection of their fearless creative discovery and self evolution. The Joy Formidable has always refused to be fenced in or fit in. That restless and boundless artistic journey continues on their fourth album, an arresting and unapologetic tour de force that finds a band at its apex with no sign of getting comfortable.
Certainly, the road to AAARTH hasn't always been easy. Staying together as a band for 10 years requires immense tenacity and passion, both of which The Joy Formidable have never lost. That same tenacity echoes in their new unrelenting affecting musical treatise. The songs, melodies, and arrangements on AAARTH soar seamlessly from the personal to the epic sometimes in loneliness, vulnerability, disillusionment, joy,and redemption, but all the while refusing to deny the persistence of our own and other's imperfectly beautiful humanity. Fernando Chamerelli's evocative album art frames this vibrant, diverse, and playful melodic and lyrical collage.
While the sounds build the mood at the heart of this album are haunting songs that don't let go, "Cicada (Land On Your Back)" draws on the shamanistic influence of Utah, infusing the melody with a lingering psychedelic impression. "We wanted some kind of rebirth, the way you do in a tribal drug ceremony," Rhydian says. "We wanted to lose ourselves and start again." These themes of feeling lost and letting go only to reconnect with yourself thread through the songs. In "All and All" these themes are echoed, as the guitars hypnotically build into a crashing tide of reckless abandon, hope, yearning, and desperation.
There's one little part of me
that doesn't want to let go
It's easier to be the old me
I'm tired of staring down the price of bravery
All in all there's something missing
All in all there's something you can do
I won't play it down or pretend I haven't found
Because all in all there's something in you
The album is book-ended by two songs that calls for a world less divided, offering a dual desire that we take on the challenge to find love and forgiveness across entrenched divisions, while reminding us that healing journey cannot happen unless we also allow forgiveness and love for ourselves. "Y Bluen Eira," written in Welsh, invokes a white feather, a symbol of weakness in British history, and a snowflake. "It's very easy to write off a whole group of people just by labeling them," Ritzy notes. "That leads to a lack of communication and isolation. If we can be curious and courageous, then maybe we will find conversation across the spectrums that divide us and maybe even find new patterns to heal our world and ourselves".
From the contagiously sweeping sonic feast of "You Can't Give Me" to the careening and addictive "All and All", (possibly one of the more wrenching and beautiful rock ballads since the Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Maps" shattered male dominated rock radio over a decade ago), their new record grasps its listener tight and refuses to let go. NME has written that, 'The Joy Formidable has always sounded so much bigger than the stages they inhabit'. With the release of AAARTH later this year, we are poised for the moment where the size of this band's stages, may just yet, catch up with their sound. For a band who never coveted nor chased mainstream success a much wider audience awaits and, as always for this Welsh trio, it arrives on their timeline and will be met on their own terms.1. Y Bluen Eira
2. The Wrong Side
3. Go Loving
4. Cicada (Land On Your Back)
5. All In All
6. What For
7. The Better Me
9. Dance Of The Lotus
10. You Can't Give Me
11. Caught On A Breeze$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
HeavenFat Possum Records is excited to present the new album, Heaven, from the celebrated New York quintet The Walkmen. The record is the band's sixth and was produced by Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Shins, Band of Horses) in Seattle.
The Walkmen just celebrated their 10th anniversary and are still comprised of the same members that started the group in 2001: drummer Matt Barrick, multi-instrumentalist Pete Bauer, singer Hamilton Leithauser, guitarist Paul Maroon and bassist Walter Martin. The Fleet Fox's Robin Pecknold sings harmonies on two songs on the record.
When describing Heaven, Leithauser portrays a band hitting maturity, comfortable in its mastery, after a decade together. "The detachment you can feel throughout our younger records is gone. We felt like it was time to make a bigger, more generous statement. Adds Maroon, "When you're starting out, you're sitting there trying to come up with a big idea, but after a while, you learn about the process of writing. You learn about your friends in the band and how they work best."
It's been ten years since the Walkmen made their debut album, Everybody Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone. Ten years since they mixed the lovingly recorded analog tapes down to the cheapest CD burner they could find. Ten years since Leithauser snapped Maroon's arm in a celebratory wrestling match. Ten years since critics attached them to a New York scene they never wanted any part of. In the spring of 2011, the band played a series of 10th anniversary shows that demonstrated how far they have outstripped their peers: two sets over two hours, no filler, rapturously received. In contrast, fellow graduates from New York's celebrated rock revival class of '02 have burned out or faded from view.
The Walkmen are the great New York band of their generation, and in Heaven, they have delivered their third killer album in a row. Although Leithauser argues that "our biggest accomplishment is just being here," they are making the best music of their career and filling their largest venues yet. Heaven is a definitive statement of purpose and commitment, from a band at the peak of its powers that is finally winning the recognition it deserves. LP includes a digital download card.1. We Can't Be Beat
2. Love Is Luck
4. The Witch
5. Southern Heart
6. Line By Line
7. Song For Leigh
9. Jerry Jr.'s Tune
10. The Love You Love
12. No One Ever Sleeps
13. Dreamboat$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
180 Gram Grey Vinyl
1000 Only Limited Edition
Unbelievable 29th Studio Album from Space Rock Pioneers: Hawkwind!
Straight from the furthest reaches of space and time, comes another dose of the mind altering substance that is HAWKWIND. Back once more to delight and astound us mere mortals with their timeless blend of Hard rock and Psychadelia, blown into orbit on the back of a rocket ship; HAWKWIND once again prove they are the Masters of the Universe.
With exclusive tracks, ranging from the re-imagining of classic hits like Sunship and Seasons to brand new, previously unheard tracks like Lonely Moon this is a tour de force of space rock, unlikely to be matched or surpassed by any young pretenders. As if tirelessly producing such an abundant catalogue wasn't enough of a badge of honour, receiving the Lifetime Achievement award for services to Prog Rock has firmly cemented Dave Brock, and HAWKWIND, as two of Britains greatest musical exports.LP 1
2. Assault & Battery
3. Golden Void
4. Where Are They Now?
5. Sonic Attack
6. Demented Man
7. We Two Are One
8. We Took The Wrong Step
1. Master Of The Universe
3. The Sentinel
4. Its All Lies
6. The Chumps Are Jumping
7. Lonely Moon
8. Sunship$37.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Foo Fighters Greatest Hits (Awaiting Repress)With 15 years, 6 platinum-plus albums and as many Grammys under their collective belt, the Foo Fighters now mark off yet another milestone in their ascension to quintessential American rock royalty, an eagerly awaited Greatest Hits package. Foo Fighters Greatest Hits will feature two brand new tracks; Wheels which made its live debut at President Obama and the USO's July 4 barbeque at the White House honoring military heroes, and Word Forward, both recorded especially for this collection at the band's own fabled 606 studio complex with producer Butch Vig. The new tracks not only hold their own alongside individual Grammy winners The Pretender, All My Life and Learn To Fly and perennial Foo favorites Best Of You, Times Like These, My Hero, Everlong and more, but they perfectly round out an overview of the Foo Fighters' illustrious output to date and hint at what's yet to come.1. All My Life
2. Best Of You
4. The Pretender
5. My Hero
6. Learn To Fly
7. Times Like These
9. Big Me
11. Long Road To Ruin
12. This is a Call
13. Skin and Bones
15. Word Forward
16. Everlong (acoustic)$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Freddie Mercury: Messenger Of The Gods - The Singles (Box Set)Box Set Features 13 x 7" Singles On Colored Vinyl
Includes Booklet Featuring Previously Unpublished Photos
Freddie Mercury was a man of many talents and many different sides. The songs he wrote for and with Queen filled stadiums around the globe and have rightly gone down in history, but he also embarked on a solo career that took him from the clubs of Munich and New York to the great opera houses of the world.
He was the ultimate showman, but he kept his private life away from the prying eyes of the media; a larger than life rock star who loved disco, classical music and ballet. He was a restless spirit, a true chameleon who reveled in his own contradictions.
All the different sides of this iconic musician can be found on Freddie Mercury: Messenger Of The Gods - The Singles. Fittingly released on Mercury Records for the world outside North America, and on Hollywood Records in North America, this box set brings together all 13 of Freddie's solo singles on individually coloured vinyl.
From his debut solo single I Can Hear Music, released under the name Larry Lurex, through the dance floor-influenced solo anthems of the 80s and up to his collaborations with legendary Spanish opera singer Montserrat CaballÉ including the timeless Barcelona, this is a journey through the career of a unique talent.
Born Farrokh Bulsara on the East African island of Zanzibar on September 5, 1946, the rechristened Freddie Mercury was already a star in his own mind by the time he formed Queen with Brian May and Roger Taylor in 1970. Where his band mates had studied astrophysics, dentistry and electronics at college, Freddie majored in stardom.
His first solo single actually emerged a week before Queen's own debut 7". Released in 1973 and credited to Larry Lurex in a nod to the fashionably flamboyant noms de rock of the glam era, the Beach Boys cover I Can Hear Music and its B-side, Goin' Back, were recorded as a favour towards a musical project by Trident Studios' house engineer Robin Geoffrey Cable, in 1972.
As Queen's career rocketed towards the heavens, Freddie poured his energies into the band. It would be more than a decade before he released his second solo single, the pulsating, electronic Love Kills. Originally released in 1984, Love Kills was a collaboration with famed Italian disco producer Giorgio Moroder for the soundtrack to Moroder's update of the groundbreaking 1927 silent movie Metropolis. A Top 10 UK hit, it found Freddie moving away from Queen's traditional sound, paving the way for what he would do next.
Released in 1985, Freddie's debut solo album, Mr Bad Guy, fully explored the music he had fallen in love with in the dance clubs of Munich and New York. The four hit singles released from that album - I Was Born To Love You, Made In Heaven, Living On My Own and Love Me Like There's No Tomorrow, all of which are included in the Messenger Of The Gods box set - crackled with playfully hedonistic energy, but they also hid a more serious side to Freddie. Here was a man who craved the good times but wanted something deeper as well.
Within two years, he had abandoned the sound of the clubs for the music of the opera house - though not before releasing both the epic single Time, the theme to the lavish stage musical of the same name produced by Dave Clark, and his outrageous (and strangely revealing) Top 5 cover of The Platters' 1965 hit, The Great Pretender.
In 1987, he dived headlong into the world of opera and classical music with the towering single, Barcelona. A duet with legendary Spanish soprano Montserrat CaballÉ, an idol of Freddie's, it came about after the opera star asked him to write a song about her home town.
Barcelona remains one of the most momentous hit singles not just of Freddie's career but in pop history. Not only did it lead to an album of collaborations between these two huge talents, but the title track was also chosen as the official anthem of the 1992 Olympics. That song, together with the two other singles taken from the album, The Golden Boy and How Can I Go On, are all included as part of Messenger Of The Gods with their original B-sides.
In October 1988 Freddie and Montserrat were invited by the King and Queen of Spain to perform Barcelona on the steps of Barcelona's National Palace of Montjuic at the open air La Nit festival which was staged to mark the arrival of the Olympic Flag from Seoul.
But sadly, Freddie would not live to see the fruits of his collaboration with Montserrat CaballÉ showcased at the Barcelona Olympics. He passed away on November 24, 1991, just seven months before the Games took place. The grand opening ceremony was a fitting tribute to a man who thrived on spectacle.
Messenger Of The Gods is completed by two posthumous singles, In My Defence and Living On My Own (No More Brothers Radio Mix), the latter of which became Freddie's first solo number 1 and was the biggest selling European single of the year in 1993.
Had he lived, it is anyone's guess where this most restless and protean of singer's muses would have taken him. But Messenger Of The Gods - The Singles is a towering legacy, a collection of songs which will never lose their stature of classics and will live on forever.Disc 1 - Blue Colored Vinyl
(a) I Can Hear Music - Larry Lurex (1973)
(b) Goin' Back - Larry Lurex
Disc 2 - Orange Colored Vinyl
(a) Love Kills (1984)
Disc 3 - Yellow Colored Vinyl
(a) I Was Born To Love You (1985)
(b) Stop All The Fighting
Disc 4 - Red Colored Vinyl
(a) Made In Heaven [Single Remix] (1985)
(b) She Blows Hot And Cold
Disc 5 - White Colored Vinyl
(a) Living On My Own [Single Edit] (1985)
(b) My Love Is Dangerous
Disc 6 - Red Colored Vinyl
(a) Love Me Like There's No Tomorrow (1985)
(b) Let's Turn It On
Disc 7 - Cyan Colored Vinyl
(a) Time (1986)
(b) Time [Instrumental]
Disc 8 - Orange Colored Vinyl
(a) The Great Pretender (1987)
(b) Exercises In Free Love [Freddie's Vocal]
Disc 9 - Clear Colored Vinyl
(a) Barcelona [Single Version] (1987)
(b) Exercises In Free Love [Montserrat's Vocal]
Disc 10 - Gold Colored Vinyl
(a) The Golden Boy [Single Edit] (1988)
(b) The Fallen Priest [B-Side Edit]
Disc 11 - Green Colored Vinyl
(a) How Can I Go On [Single Version] (1989)
(b) Overture Piccante
Disc 12 - Neon Pink Colored Vinyl
(a) In My Defence (1992)
(b) Love Kills [Wolf Euro Mix]
Disc 13 - Yellow Colored Vinyl
(a) Living On My Own [No More Brothers Radio Mix] (1993)
(b) Living On My Own [Julian Raymond Album Mix]$139.997 Inch Colored Vinyl Box Set - 13 Singles Sealed Buy Now
The Wild Hunt (Out Of Stock)2nd Pressing Of This 2013 Black Metal Breakthrough
Pressed On 180 Gram Black Vinyl
2xLP Gatefold Sleeve
Includes A 2 Page Lyric Sheet And Premium Black Inner Sleeves
Watain are Swedish black metal band from Uppsala, formed in 1998. The Wild Hunt, originally released in August of 2013, it's the most important album of their career. Unique. And ambitious. It put them in a league of their own and emancipated beyond their genre peers. With mixing duties handled by the faithful Tore Stjerna at the famous Necromorbus studio in Alvik (Sweden), "The Wild Hunt" marks another gigantic achievement and most importantly once again ups the ante compared to WATAIN's extremely well received previous releases.
By far, it is their most diverse record to date and vocalist E. is adamant about "each album bringing a story on its own. There's never been a question of continuing wherever we ended with the previous one." So if to some the opening instrumental 'Night Vision' picks up nicely where 'Waters of Ain' left off on "Lawless Darkness" and the album's first single 'All That May Bleed' has classic WATAIN written all over the place, these eleven songs offer plenty of devilish surprises. The trio (rounded up by P. on strings and H. on drums) has never ever compromised their sound nor their vision to "mainstream black metal" and "The Wild Hunt" is another vivid proof of that. This sonic and lyrical tour-de-force explores the band's classic roots like Bathory or Dissection ("being quite a retrospective record, that record is permeated by things that meant a lot to us in the past so no reason to try to hide them") while also being truly their own. And who else than WATAIN could have come up with such an intimate song like 'They Rode On' where for the first time they dare using clean vocals? "I piss on those so-called artists who adapt themselves in order to reach bigger audiences. The main reason why we achieved all that we did is that we never betrayed our initial vision, not because we ever pretended to write more 'accessible' music. That specific song is just us being brutally personal and honest. It shows another important facet of the WATAIN world."LP 1
1. Night Vision
2. De Profundis
3. Black Flames March
4. All That May Bleed
5. The Child Must Die
6. They Rode On
1. Sleepless Evil
2. The Wild Hunt
4. Ignem Veni Mittere
5. Holocaust Dawn$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Temporarily out of stock
Bad Self Portraits (Out Of Stock)Bad Self Portraits, taking its cues from the social media "selfie" phenomena, is a startling record, one that shows the group tightening up its songwriting chops and presenting a much more unified statement, front to back. Lead singer Rachael Price sounds as disaffected a woman scorned as ever, and, though she throws some of the vocal leads to her male counterparts, particularly on the song "Seventeen", she's still as commanding (and, as someone else in Review Land has noted, LOUD) a presence as ever. But Bad Self Portraits is notable for dialing down some of the jazziness of their previous full length - you have to get a few tracks in before you hear the group's distinctive horns and Bridget Kearney's thick thunk-a-thunka stand-up bass lines don't really get a chance to shine until third track "Better Than". Bad Self Portraits, then, is a much more streamlined and rockist affair. Even though it doesn't reach the same heights, in terms of bowling you off your feet and knocking you over with infectiousness, as Lake Street Dive did, it is still an excellent record, and one that sees the group emerging as much more mature and self-confident. Bad Self Portraits shucks the adage that anything released in the depths of winter is dross.
What makes Bad Self Portraits particularly astonishing is that it naturally follows from previous releases in a logical progression. While the Fun Machine EP seemed at the time to be merely a stop-gap release meant to tide fans over to this slightly more than three year wait between proper albums (Lake Street Dive was released at the end of 2010), it now makes a great deal more sense in terms of providing a direction for the group. When the band covered Hall & Oates' "Rich Girl" on that affair, it was merely a means of setting up the grandiose statement of the infectious piano led "Rabid Animal", which is probably my favourite thing on the record although it is, alas, the briefest at two minutes and change. Still, that shouldn't sell the rest of the album short. The gorgeous rock number "Stop Your Crying" (no, not a cover of the Pretenders' "Stop Your Sobbing" or a certain Bob Mould song from Black Sheets of Rain) is insanely propulsive and invites you to clap along. The countrified "You Go Down Smooth", the song the band performed on Colbert, rambles and careens in equal measure. It is, to quote the lyrics sheet, a "special treat". "Better Than", with its seeming time signature shifts in certain measures, shows the band's willingness to experiment with off-kilter sounds. And when Price sings "I have lived a privileged life, but I have seen my share of strife", on "What About Me", you feel it; right in the gut.
What makes Lake Street Dive so special is that, even though the band members are talented individuals in their own right, they are able to interplay and lock together to form a solid backbone to their music. Price, in particular, isn't even 30 years old yet and has the razor sharp wit and wisdom of a woman a decade ahead of her. It's impressive that the band can sound as tight as they do, as Kearney moonlights in other outfits (Joy Kills Sorrow, Cuddle Magic). If anything, Bad Self Portraits is another outstanding release from a really crucial and important group who is on the cusp of shedding its relative anonymity for bigger and better stages. While I doubt Lake Street Dive is ever going to headline stadium tours, their years of playing scuzzy bars (which impacted their selection of name) is clearly well, well behind them. Bad Self Portraits is an awesome addition to the band's catalogue, and I cannot be effusive enough in my love for this group, self-deprecation be damned, that can make you feel so wonderful to be alive and breathing. Lake Street Dive has that kind of effect on listeners, and it's blistering.
- Zachary Houle (Pop Matters)1. Bad Self Portraits
2. Stop Your Crying
3. Better Than
4. Rabid Animal
5. You Go Down Smooth
6. Use Me Up
7. Bobby Tanqueray
8. Just Ask
10. What About Me
11. Rental Love$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock