Category Archives: The TVD Storefront

Graded on a Curve:
Nick Drake,
Pink Moon

I watched a documentary about Nick Drake last week. It featured a bunch of folkie types spouting all kinds of flamdoodle about what made Drake’s guitar playing so unique. I’m sure many members of the musical fraternity found this technical brouhaha illuminating, but seeing as how I’m a guy who has difficulty distinguishing an acoustic guitar from a tuba, the documentary’s cumulative effect was to render me insensible.

I admit to never having much listened to Nick Drake, mostly because he sounded to me like an oh so sensitive soul singing about so sensitive stuff expressly designed to make my hardened heart cringe. In fact the only Drake song I’d ever heard before listening to Pink Moon was its title track, which Volkswagen used in an ad a while back. I really liked the song, even if I thought its opening line went, “I saw it written in the soy sauce.”

But seeing as how my girlfriend is always telling me what a poetic genius and doomed romantic figure Drake is, I finally broke down and gave his third and final LP, 1972’s Pink Moon, a listen. And turns out I love it, despite the fact that it’s the work of an oh so sensitive soul singing about oh so sensitive stuff designed to make my hardened heart cringe. Just goes to show you it’s impossible to know if you like something until you’ve actually listened to it. Which may sound like Philosophy 101 to you, but comes as something of a revelation to me.

Pink Moon followed on the heels on 1971’s lavishly orchestrated Bryter Layter, and its failure to make a dent on the pop charts led a disheartened Drake to say to hell with it and strip things down to voice, guitar and piano. The results are stark, in large part because Drake chose to work with a palette limited to varying shade of grey. And unlike Bryter Layter, Pink Moon is an intensely private affair. A writer for Melody Maker complained that the music on Pink Moon “hides from you,” which is precisely what I love about it. What I hear when I listen to Pink Moon is Nick Drake playing to an audience of Nick Drake, making you, the listener, an eavesdropper.

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TVD Radar: White Riot: The Untold Story of How a Motley Crew of Punks Stood Up Against Racism premiering 10/16

VIA PRESS RELEASE | “Shah’s film crackles with a raucous energy. Weaving together music, politics, animation and history, White Riot carries a punk infused swagger that is infectious…Shah’s documentary will not only please those unfamiliar with the punk scene, but also those looking for stories of average people challenging the status quo.”Courtney Small, POV Magazine

Britain, late-1970s. The country is deeply divided over immigration. The National Front, a far-right and fascist political party, is gaining strength. And countering this was Rock Against Racism (RAR), a movement that swept across the U.K. and Europe and culminated in a 100,000+ person march and a legendary concert event—Woodstock meets the March on Washington, punk-style. Capturing this incredible moment in time when music changed the world is the award-winning documentary White Riot from director Rubika Shah.

Expanding on her documentary short White Riot: London, Shah’s energizing film charts the rise of Rock Against Racism (RAR), formed in 1976, prompted by “music’s biggest colonialist” Eric Clapton and his support of racist MP Enoch Powell. The brisk, informative White Riot blends fresh, engaging interviews with RAR staff and musicians with archival footage to recreate a hostile environment of anti-immigrant hysteria and National Front marches.

As neo-Nazis recruited the nation’s youth, RAR’s multicultural punk and reggae gigs provided rallying points for resistance. The campaign grew from “Temporary Hoarding,” the movement’s fanzine to 1978’s huge antifascist concert in Victoria Park, featuring X-Ray Spex, Tom Robinson, Steel Pulse and, of course, The Clash, whose rock star charisma and gale-force conviction took RAR’s message to the masses. White Riot chronicles this “extraordinary fusion of culture and politics that changed society for the better.” (Jackson Caines, Glass Magazine).

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TVD Radar: Stevie Nicks 24 Karat Gold The Concert screening 10/21 and 10/25

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Trafalgar Releasing announced today that Stevie Nicks, two time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, legendary Grammy winning recording singer/songwriter supreme, will debut Stevie Nicks 24 Karat Gold The Concert, which will be released for two nights only on October 21 and 25 at select cinemas, drive ins and exhibition spaces around the world. With this film Nicks, long considered one of the most iconic live performers, provides music fans with a virtual front row seat to the magic Stevie brings to the stage in concert.

The film features a set-list of fan favorite Nicks songs from her solo career and as a member of Fleetwood Mac including “Rhiannon,” “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” “Edge of Seventeen,” “Stand Back,” “Landslide,” and more as well as rare gems from her platinum selling catalog. The film also reveals intimate storytelling and inspirations for some of the most famous and timeless songs and lyrics in music history which to this day remain part of the soundtrack to the lives of generations of music lovers. Directed and produced by Joe Thomas during Nicks’ fabled 67 city sold out 24 Karat Gold Tour, filming and recording took place in Indianapolis and Pittsburgh in 2017.

“The 24 Karat Gold Tour was my all-time favorite tour. I not only got to sing my songs but I was able to tell their stories for the first time. I love having the opportunity to share this concert with my fans. From me to you – 24 Karat Gold,” Said Stevie Nicks.

Kymberli Frueh, SVP for Programming and Content Acquisitions for Trafalgar Releasing said, “We are thrilled to collaborate with BMG and Stevie Nicks’ team on this landmark global cinema event which is sure to delight fans. Stevie’s legendary career has spanned over four decades, creating legions of fans across the generations. Her 24 Karat Gold concert tracklist features some of her greatest solo hits as well as Fleetwood Mac classics.”

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Needle Drop: Ora Violet, “Delicious”

Following in the great rock and roll tradition of crafting unrequited love songs, Ora Violet have returned with the story of a man in love with a woman who was born a man.

The ambiguous rock newcomers deliver on the promise of their previous single, landing a sonic boom of fresh rock and roll that fuses early ’70s proto punk of The Stooges and The Modern Lovers with the contemporary versatility of The Raconteurs and Queens of the Stone Age.

It’s a wily blend that defies easy categorization and an intentional move on the part of the band. “Sometimes normality, no matter how peaceful it may appear, needs to be disturbed,” they assert. “We don’t need to wear a label that when scanned will shunt us forward to the applicable box. If you want a label, just start with ‘Delicious.'”

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TVD Radar: Anthony Moore, Out vinyl debut
in stores 11/20

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Rock and roll was a relief after the rigor of Henry Cow.

That was one of the thoughts in Anthony Moore’s brain in late 1975. Of course, leaving Henry Cow had meant the dissolution of the band he’d founded, Slapp Happy, as the two groups had essentially merged over the previous year. Still, there was plenty yet to do with music, and with Anthony’s propensity for odd left turns, a solo career in the pop world seemed like a fine option to follow upon his adventure in soundtracks for experimental films, tape-based modern composition and avant-pop and experimental rock. For “the troubadour with Revoxes,” this venture into playing guitar and singing in a professional context was a new thing.

To access the pop life, Anthony signed a solo deal with Virgin – cutting sessions with producer Peter Jenner (Kevin Ayers, Roy Harper, Edgar Broughton Band) and some of Britain’s new generation of progressive musicians facilities like Abbey Road, Air and Richard Branson’s Oxfordshire getaway, The Manor. While the stars didn’t align back in the day, (the fantastic sounds recorded for OUT didn’t see release until a CD issue of the late 1990s), we’re finally making those historic recordings on vinyl with the long-lost original artwork restored.

Kicking it off with a tricky asymmetrical keyboard riff reminiscent of Eno’s Tiger Mountain phase and a belting Cale-esque vocal recounting the macho adventure narrative tone of that era’s Dylan and Roger McGuinn, “Stitch In Time” floats essential elements of the mid-70s British art-rock boom with dreamy pop effervescence.

It’s been worth the 44-year (!) wait to get Anthony’s full vision restored to OUT – an absolute lost chapter from mid-’70s, proto-new wave Britain, bringing to mind the bright and subversive sounds of Wyatt, Ayers and so many other trail-blazers from that time while providing a worthy precursor to Anthony’s celebrated 1979 LP, Flying Won’t Help.

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Demand it on Vinyl: Little Richard, The Second Coming, Lifetime Friend expanded reissues in stores 10/23

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Omnivore Recordings continues its series of expanded reissues of Little Richard’s ’70s and ’80s albums with 1972’s The Second Coming and 1986’s Lifetime Friend. Both are set for October 23, 2020 release. These collections continued the rocker’s successful album career, which followed his explosive, genre-launching run of late ’50s singles on Specialty Records: “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Rip It Up,” “Lucille,” “Keep A-Knockin’” and more, as well as his gospel recordings in the ’60s. Packaging for both titles feature photos, ephemera, and a new essay from Bill Dahl.

Naming his third album for the Reprise label The Second Coming may have been pushing the outrageousness a bit far, but considering Little Richard’s previously LP was titled King of Rock and Roll it was clear that humility was not his strongest attribute. However, it was more a nod to the album’s concept than to the ego of the artist. Producer Robert “Bumps” Blackwell and a host of studio musicians from the ’50s were joined by some of the top session players of the early ’70s to cut the album at the Record Plant in Los Angeles. Notable players included Lee Allen, Jim Horn, Earl Palmer, Chuck Rainey, and Sneaky Pete Kleinow.

This reissue contains the original release, plus single edits, and tracks from the 1971 film $ (starring Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn), composed by Quincy Jones. Richard would exit the business soon after its release to follow his religious pursuits. The Second Coming marks the end of what could be called his second musical chapter. A third would come a decade later.

After the 1984 release of his autobiography, The Quasar of Rock and Roll, Little Richard decided to come out of retirement. It had been seven years since his last record, the gospel-focused God’s Beautiful City, and more than a decade since his ’70s run of albums on Reprise (in addition to The Rill Thing, King of Rock and Roll, and The Second Coming, there was one that Reprise shelved at the time, Southern Child).

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David Johansen tries to right a ‘Sinking Ship’

PHOTO: SIKELIA PRODUCTIONS | Nearly 40 years ago, when an inept politician took control in Trinidad and Tobago after the first prime minister leader died suddenly, the calypso singer Gypsy recorded a call to action. Not only was “Sinking Ship” a hit, it preceded both the worst ever electoral defeat of George Chambers’ party in 1986 and the rise of Gypsy, also known as Winston Peters, to his own political career, as member of Parliament. Now, David Johansen, onetime lead singer of The New York Dolls and the Harry Smiths, as well as accomplished solo artist, has taken up the call for his own country.

Johansen, 70, has released his own version of “Sinking Ship,” needing to only tweak a few lyrics to have it apply to America’s political condition. “I’ve always liked the song,” Johansen told The Vinyl District over the phone recently. Having recently played it on his own wide-ranging Mansion of Fun radio show on Sirius XM, it struck him, he said. “I should sing this song and make it about the U.S.”

Out now on streaming services, “Sinking Ship” doesn’t have to provide a lot of background on its target. “He’s unhinged! He’s gonna kill us all!” he begins. “This is an S.O.S. from the U.S.A.” He substitutes Barack Obama for Trinidad’s Eric Williams as a beloved and competent former leader and adds just a few key details: “Locking children up in cages / Dog-whistling your racists / How low can we go?” The solution to righting the ship, as it was in Trinidad, is up to the citizenry. “It’s up to you, it’s up to me,” Johansen sings, as Gypsy once did.

And where there is a soundbite from a Trinidadian politician on the original, a couple of quotes from Trump appear in the new one from “You should ask China” to “It’s going to disappear one day, it’s like a miracle,” as the singer puts on a face mask.

“Sinking Ship” returns Johansen to the island sounds that fueled his biggest hit under the name Buster Poindexter, his 1987 cover of Arrow’s soca “Hot Hot Hot.” Calypso musicians are especially known for their topical songs, which helped fuel the independence movement in Trinidad and Tobago in the mid-1950s and later grew to comment on world events from artists such as Lord Kitchener to Mighty Sparrow.

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Needle Drop: WaxFeet, “Dream”

Santa Cruz-based duo WaxFeet craft lush and soulful electronica that soothes the soul.

Their breezy new single, “Dream” is light on its feet yet substantial, feeling a bit like a Zenned-out DJ Shadow. Lo-fi piano melodies drift upon a bed of ocean ambience until they are nailed down by a spry chillhop beat. The entire composition feels as if it’s summoned from the ether, with the spacey ska vocals adding the perfect world flavor to the mellow and eclectic blend.

WaxFeet is gearing up to release an EP this Fall, followed by a full LP. If “Dream” is any indication of what we can expect, these releases will be ideal vacation companions, even if you’re simply planning on taking a break from the harsh compression of modern pop.

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Graded on a Curve: Reverend John Wilkins, Trouble

Reverend John Wilkins can be described as a specialist in the sanctified blues, but that’s really only the tip of his stylistic iceberg. As the son of noted pre-war bluesman (and also ordained minister) Robert Wilkins, there is a firm North Mississippi root in his work, but more prominent is the sound of soul and even a well-integrated turn toward country gospel. Although he has been playing music and preaching for decades, Trouble is only Wilkins’ second album, but it’s an assured one, cut at Royal Studios in Memphis, TN with family and friends and engineered by Willie Mitchell’s son Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell with production by Amos Harvey. It’s out on vinyl (300 blue, 500 black) and compact disc September 18 through Goner Records.

To start, we should shed light on the achievements of Reverend Robert Wilkins, first as a blues singer and guitarist for the Victor and Brunswick labels from 1928-1936 including such major sides as “Old Jim Canan’s,” “Rollin’ Stone” (an influence of Muddy Waters’ later bombshell of the same title), and “That’s No Way to Get Along,” this last one likely better-known in its later gospel version, reworked, extended and renamed by Wilkins as “Prodigal Son” (covered by The Rolling Stones on Beggars Banquet).

If reliably placed in the country-blues category, Robert Wilkins is more aptly classified as a songster in his pre-war days, with the breadth of his talent well expressed by Yazoo’s compilation The Original Rolling Stone. This is all worth mentioning in relation to his son John (one of seven children), as Trouble thrives on diversity while keeping a firm grip on Southern gospel tradition with an underpinning of Hill Country blues (Wilkins has been a pastor at Hunter’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Como, MS since 1983).

What is Hill Country blues, you might be asking? In short, it’s a rhythmically driving, often hypnotic style from the North Mississippi region that’s distinct from the sound of the Delta; its celebrated exemplars include Fred McDowell, R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Robert Belfour, and Jessie Mae Hemphill. The North Mississippi fife and drum bands (Sid Hemphill, Othar Turner, Napoleon Strickland) are closely related to the Hill Country style.

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TVD Radar: Jimmie Vaughan, The Pleasure’s All Mine–The Complete Blues, Ballads and Favorites Collection 3LP in stores 10/30

VIA PRESS RELEASE | A decade ago Jimmie Vaughan released his definitive album Blues, Ballads and Favorites. It was a stunning collection of 15 of his favorite songs, from Billy Emerson’s “The Pleasure’s All Mine” to Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away,” and featured guest vocals from band members Lou Ann Barton and Bill Willis. Vaughan followed the album up in 2011 with More Blues, Ballads and Favorites, digging deep into the music that had helped shape his life in the blues. On October 30, 2020, the Last Music Co. will release a special 3-vinyl LP set of these two albums titled The Pleasure’s All Mine, spotlighting the music of one of the true pioneers in showcasing the roots of American music. It will also be available on a 2-disc CD collection.

“When I talk about country and blues, they’re the same thing,” Vaughan says. “Muddy Waters and Hank Williams, Webb Pierce and Jimmy Reed. When I was a kid, I didn’t understand the difference. Everybody was always asking me, ‘Why do you want to play blues? Why don’t you play country?’ But I would listen to the country guys and they would be doing a Jimmy Reed song. They’re playing the same lick. And Ray Charles, Little Milton, Guitar Junior, Lonnie Brooks, B.B. King — they all did country songs. Is Bob Wills country blues or jazz? And the answer is, it’s American music. I’m tired of trying to pigeonhole everything. I want to bring it together; it comes from the same place.”

When Jimmie Vaughan was a young teenager in Oak Cliff, Texas, his father told him to take guitar lessons if he wanted to really learn the instrument. But when Vaughan’s teacher told the guitar student it wasn’t going to work because the student “was too far gone” to learn from the lesson books, Jimmie knew he was on his own. Which was perfect for him, because the blues would be his teacher for life. For those who find themselves living inside this true American music, it becomes a way of life, something that provides a musical force to follow forever.

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TVD Radar: A Reggae Session concert film streaming now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Gathered together for one unforgettable night in 1988, reggae legends and rock royalty spanning two generations met at historic Fort Charles, Jamaica for a musical event that would reverberate around the world. A Reggae Session, impressively captured by ten cameras, featured Jimmy Cliff, Toots Hibbert, Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, Sly & Robbie, and Bunny Wailer performing their greatest hits, alongside talented chart-toppers such as Santana, The Neville Brothers, and Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders and local bands such as 809 Band, Solomonic All Stars, and Dallol and Oneness.

In A Reggae Session, Bunny Wailer delivers electric versions of “Roots, Radics, Rockers and Reggae,” and “Rise and Shine.” Ziggy Marley, son of the Kingston-born icon, performs a pulsating “Conscious Party,” which was from his first album which had just been released when the concert was filmed. The Pretenders’ Hynde, steps lively on “Waiting in Vain,” and “Steppin’ Razor,” in tribute to Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. Grace Jones, whose return to her native Jamaica for the concert marked her first performance there in more than a decade and was greeted with a hero’s welcome, delivers a rousingly fun “My Jamaican Guy.” Toots Hibbert lays down a high-energy Jamaican version of John Denver’s “Country Roads,” and a memorable call and response “5446 Was My Number,” which commemorated Mandela’s years in prison (5446 was his inmate number) during the harshest years of that country’s oppressive apartheid rule.

The Neville Brothers, joined by Carlos Santana on guitar, thrill with two passionately performed songs, “My Blood In South Africa” (again echoing the worldwide movement underway in 1988 that ultimately brought about the end of apartheid and began the long and ongoing process of reconciliation in South Africa) and “It Ain’t No Use.” Finally, Jimmy Cliff brings along his own fire-eater for his then newly released “Hanging Fire,” and the show’s stars all join him onstage for the finale, “The Harder They Come,” and there is unbridled joy and celebration among the performers and entranced audience.

A Reggae Session, a Delilah Films production, produced by Stephanie Bennett and Albert Spevak and directed by Stephanie Bennett and Thomas D. Adelman, originally aired in the U.S. on Cinemax, as part of the legendary “Cinemax Sessions” series.

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System of a Down’s Shavo Odadjian,
The TVD Interview

LIVE PHOTOS: MATTHEW BELTER | Aside from being a multi-talented musician and bassist for that little-known band called System of a Down, Shavo Odadjian is a serial entrepreneur whose clothing lines and cannabis company are on a steep upward trajectory.

In this exclusive interview with TVD, Shavo opens up about his early years in music, his latest musical collaboration North Kingsley, as well as his megabrand 22Red. (Stick around long enough and you might even learn which of Shavo’s 20,000 albums is one of his most prized childhood possessions.)

Shavo, how’d you get your start in music?

Well, I started around 12, 13 years old, something like that. Prior to that, I kept asking my parents for an instrument because I just loved music. I was born in Armenia and was 5 years old when we moved to America and think it was like the old mentality of life, “If he becomes a musician, he’s going to be a starving artist.” That was my parents. They always wanted me to go to school and become a doctor, lawyer. You know what I mean? The old school mentality.

I didn’t get my first instrument until I was a preteen, where my grandma actually bought it for me and snuck it into our house. It was a Kramer XL guitar, and I loved that thing. She got a guy to give me two lessons across a two-week period. By the time he was already on lesson 2 of whatever he was teaching, I had already picked up what he had taught me and then some. It’s like I knew all the chords already. I loved that guitar and I played it all the time, not very well, but I did it. I had the passion for it. It wasn’t like, “Oh, now, I got to start doing this.” It wasn’t that. It was like, “Hell yeah. Finally, after so many years I’ve been asking for an instrument.” Before that, I used to bang on pots and pans, played the tennis racket in front of mirror.

Who inspired you early on in your career?

I was a big Kiss fan. It wasn’t because of the music, but because of their theatrics. And it’s crazy, because at the time, the era that I found them, Kiss was not big at all. They were on their way down. I got here in ’79 and they already had done that whole disco thing and were beginning to fall apart. It was during the Music from The Elder release that I discovered them. It wasn’t a big record, probably one of their worst though. They sold like 10,000 copies after selling millions prior to that. But it wasn’t just Kiss or that genre that inspired me. I was a skater. I loved punk rock—the Ramones, the Misfits, Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains. You know, the ’70s and ’80s punk era.

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Graded on a Curve: Jeremy D’Antonio, “Spinning Wheels” EP

Jeremy D’Antonio, who currently hangs his hat in San Geronimo, CA, has been in few bands over the years, but with the “Spinning Wheels” EP he’s stepping out as a solo artist. More descriptively, he’s embracing the singer-songwriter mode of expression while dipping into the reservoir of old-school country, but with a satisfying grasp on that long tradition and an appealing lack of hang-ups over authenticity. There is rich vocalizing, solid playing from an assembled crew that includes a few gents who played with Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, and four songs that hold up nicely next to a full-bodied John Prine cover. It’s out September 18 on clear vinyl through Track Records.

Of Jeremy D’Antonio’s prior bands, the ones that folks are most likely to know are Tiny Television and San Geronimo, with the former having morphed into the latter after a move from San Francisco. But before that, while D’Antonio was living in Colorado, he was in the heavily Dischord Records-inspired Fahrenheit 451; it’s unclear if that unit ever recorded (as you might imagine, their choice of moniker makes web research a wee bit difficult), but they did once open for Fugazi, which D’Antonio relates as a fond memory.

This youthful, punk-inclined background contrasts pretty sharply with the sound heard on “Spinning Wheels,” but I’ll suggest that D’Antonio’s range of activity, as he’s additionally a contributor to Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh’s current live band, helps build the foundation of this EP’s success. Another block in the architecture is sequencing, as “Sad and Blue” kicks off the record in a honky-tonk-infused vein and with a touch of humor in the lyrics.

The opening line, “I’m sorry that I left you on your birthday,” led me to think of something Steve Goodman might’ve penned in the early ’70s, but just as noteworthy is how the cut finds D’Antonio’s strumming and singing joined by the pedal steel of Jay Dee Maness, the piano of Malcolm Burn, the drumming of Jim Christie, the guitar of Eugene Moles, and the bass of Lindsey Brown, plus some backing vocal enhancement in the choruses (the credited singers are Jessica DeNicola, Jen Corte, and Darren Nelson).

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TVD Radar: U2, All That You Can’t Leave Behind 20 anniversary vinyl reissues in stores 10/30

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Island Records, Interscope, and UMe today announce the 20th Anniversary reissue of U2’s global smash hit album All That You Can’t Leave Behind. This multi-format anniversary edition release, featuring a brand new 12-track remaster of the record, and a 51-track Super Deluxe box set is to be released on the actual date of the 20th anniversary, October 30, 2020. The anniversary also sees the release of an acoustic version of “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of.”

All That You Can’t Leave Behind is the tenth studio album from U2. Released in October 2000, the original 11-track record included the hit singles “Beautiful Day,” “Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of,” “Elevation,” and “Walk On” and went to Number 1 in 32 countries around the world. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno and recorded in Dublin and France, All That You Can’t Leave Behind won 7 Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Album, and is the only album in history to have multiple tracks win the award for Record Of The Year (“Beautiful Day” in 2001 and “Walk On” in 2002).

The brand new remaster of the album is available as a 12-track version and includes an additional track “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” in all formats of the reissue.

Super Deluxe Box Set highlights include:

• A 32-page hardback book from longtime friend and collaborator Anton Corbijn featuring many previously unseen images of the band along with hand-written notes by Anton, plus a double-sided poster.

• 39 additional bonus tracks, including remastered B-sides (“Summer Rain,” “Always,” “Big Girls Are Best,” “Don’t Take Your Guns To Town”).

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TVD Radar: The Style Council, Long Hot Summers: The Story of The Style Council 3LP
in stores 10/30

VIA PRESS RELEASE | The Style Council was emblematic of its creator. Paul Weller, smart, fearless, audacious, with a social conscience totally unafraid to push the possibilities of pop. With their generous slew of U.K. chart hits, The Style Council were one of the defining pop bands of the ’80s. And they didn’t need big hair to get there.

And now, finally Long Hot Summers—the long-awaited and eagerly anticipated definitive career anthology teaming with all the greatest hits and more is released on October 30th. Named with a nod to the band’s biggest hit, Long Hot Summers is endorsed and co-compiled by Paul Weller himself. As well as the huge U.K. hit “Long Hot Summer,” the album also includes the band’s sterling debut top 5 U.K. single “Speak Like A Child” as well as other masterpieces such as the languid “You’re The Best Thing,” “Ever Changing Moods,” and dance floor filler “Shout To The Top.”

Long Hot Summers includes two unreleased tracks—an intriguing demo of the U.K. top 5 single “My Ever Changing Moods” with strings, and the extended, 5-minute plus version of “Dropping Bombs On The Whitehouse.” Of course, it also includes all the band’s classic singles—12 U.K. top-20 hits—including the debut single “Speak Like A Child” and the utterly sublime “Long Hot Summer.” The album also features key album tracks and fans’ favorites such as “Headstart For Happiness” (full tracklisting below).

Long Hot Summers features rare photos, an introduction by Paul Weller, a new essay by Lois Wilson, and sleeve-notes from ‘super-fan,’ actor Martin Freeman. The album was remastered at Abbey Road Studios.

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