Vinyl Release

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Steve Sutherland  |  Sep 01, 2018
It was an album the singer hated, while the reaction of the music press was at best lukewarm. All wrong, says Steve Sutherland, who hears the 180g reissue of the LP

'The first time I heard the album, I cried.' It's rare but not entirely unknown for a musician to disown their own work. Lee Mavers wanted nothing to do with his one and only La's LP [HFN Nov '17], claiming the finished article did not represent the melodic visions gambolling in his brain. And Paul McCartney famously baulked at all the lush orchestration Phil Spector lavished on The Beatles' Let It Be.

Steve Sutherland  |  May 22, 2020
Digging into the darker, tragic side of America's history, Steve Sutherland sets the context for this live recording, now reissued as a 50-year celebratory LP on 180g vinyl

Once upon a time there was a country which called itself the United States Of America – a gross misnomer because it couldn't have been more disunited if it tried. It was first largely populated by white people who had landed in ships and stolen the land from its original inhabitants. They then kidnapped and imported boatloads of people from Africa and the like to do all their heavy lifting. These slaves had no wages and no rights.

Steve Sutherland  |  Oct 06, 2020
Two of the band's principals were found dead from drug overdoses. Steve Sutherland tells the sad story and welcomes this 1965 album as an orange vinyl reissue!

At 11 o'clock in the morning of Sunday the 15th of February 1981, the police were called to a quiet side-street in the upscale neighbourhood of Forest Hills, San Francisco. There they found a beat-up beige 1971 Mercury Marquis. All four doors were locked, and slumped in the front seat behind the steering wheel was a body. An empty Valium bottle was discovered in the pocket of a coat on the back seat.

Steve Sutherland  |  Jan 15, 2021
As this 1987 LP appears on 180g vinyl Steve Sutherland recalls his interview with Prince back in 1981. Did their meeting influence the singer's signature behaviour?

Maybe I should shoulder some of the blame. It was me, after all, who declared in a Melody Maker review of his previous album, Parade, that Prince was God's gift to music or some such nonsense.

Steve Sutherland  |  Jan 23, 2020
The sad story of Donny Hathaway's demise is told by Steve Sutherland as he listens to the acclaimed 1972 Atlantic album, recently reissued on 180g vinyl

Did he jump? Did he fall by accident? This we will never know. What's for sure is that late in the evening of the 13th of January 1979 Donny Hathaway's body was found on the sidewalk outside the 44-storey art deco Essex House Hotel at 160 Central Park South in Manhattan, NYC. He had plunged there from his room on the 15th floor. His death was ruled as suicide.

Steve Sutherland  |  Jun 11, 2019
Part concept album, part concoction of West Coast rock and jazz... Steve Sutherland hears the 180g reissue of an LP from 1970 with lessons we can learn from today

If there's a lazier fellow on the face of God's green earth than Jimmy Page, boy, I'd sure like to meet him. Yes, that Jimmy Page, guvnor of Led Zeppelin and hitherto legendary guitar god – it's the 'hitherto' bit that gets my goat.

Steve Sutherland  |  May 18, 2021
Steve Sutherland looks back to the '90s and a group heralded before they'd even released a record. Some thirty years on, their debut LP is reissued on 180g vinyl

It's April 1992 and Suede are the cover stars of the (now defunct) weekly music paper Melody Maker which is running a headline that heralds them as 'The Best New Band In Britain'. This is about to cause quite a hullabaloo, not only because most people have never heard of Suede but also because the band hasn't even released a record so far.

Steve Sutherland  |  May 14, 2020
A song with a kick, but for all the wrong reasons, as Steve Sutherland reassesses a ska album from 1970, which has recently been re-released on 180g vinyl

We could begin with Plato, or even Aristotle, but Oscar Wilde it is. In his 1889 essay, The Decay Of Lying, the great man took umbrage with the Greeks' philosophy of mimesis which said that all true art mimics nature. On the contrary, quoth Oscar, 'Life imitates art' and that is roughly how it felt – very roughly as it happens – one sunny Saturday lunchtime in April, 1972, when I got my head kicked in.

Steve Sutherland  |  Feb 12, 2020
He just couldn't cope, says Steve Sutherland as he counts out the 'aha's and listens to the recent 180g reissue of the Liverpool band's post-punk debut LP

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha aha…'

Steve Sutherland  |  Jul 20, 2020
Steve Sutherland relives the fateful night when four of The Bar-Kays flew with Otis Redding in 1967, the plane diving into icy Lake Monona. The album is on 180g vinyl

The next thing he knew he was floating. Freezing cold and floating. His head hurt. There was blood. He heard a noise. Then another. Cries in the distance. Cries for help. He began to go under and he splashed around, found a seat cushion and desperately clutched it to his chest to help stay afloat – he'd never learned to swim.

Steve Sutherland  |  Nov 01, 2018
Steve Sutherland tells how the duo tweaked their covers, wrote some originals but finally fell out by the 1970s as he hears the 180g reissue of their debut LP

So many stories, where-oh-where to begin? Maybe we could start on the 14th of July 1973 at that fateful gig at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, when Don's so hammered that he's butchering the songs and Phil smashes his guitar in frustration, tells the crowd he's tired of being an Everly Brother and says that they, in fact, died as a meaningful entity ten years before – thus revealing the fraught fabrication behind all those celestial harmonies. It was an acrimony so strong that it kept them full-on apart for the entire next decade.

Steve Sutherland  |  Nov 11, 2019
There's not a dud among all nine tracks here, declares Steve Sutherland as he listens to the recent 180g reissue of Jonathan Richman's proto-punk debut LP

According to that top old egghead Brain Eno, 'The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band'. One of those is a weird young man from a place called Natick, some 17 miles West of Boston, Massachusetts. The little guy's name is Jonathan Michael Richman and he was once so obsessed with The Velvet Underground that he quit school and skipped off to New York to seek them out.

Steve Sutherland  |  Aug 22, 2019
This band of talented '60s musicians were one of those rare breeds – a British folk supergroup. Steve Sutherland revisits their hit LP from 1969, reissued on 180g vinyl

Way back in the mists of time, before every rapper and R&B star worth his, or her, ice degraded it all by cottoning on to the commercial boost of cramming all their releases with famous guests, there was this strange and rare phenomenon called The Supergroup.

Steve Sutherland  |  Sep 15, 2020
Their 1974 riposte to criticism, which Steve Sutherland finds a mixture of downright goodies with a sprinkling of duds is remastered on 180g vinyl from pure analogue

The Rolling Stones have just released their first original track for eight years. 'Living In A Ghost Town', started some time ago when the band could convene together in a swanky recording studio and hastily rounded off with isolated overdubs. It's getting a bit of a pasting from the online community who are having a lot of fun mocking Mick Jagger and Co for moaning about being stuck at home when they live in mansions with acres of land, hot tubs and snooker rooms, etc.

Steve Sutherland  |  Mar 26, 2021
As the Coventry group prepare their second LP things are already starting to fall apart... Steve Sutherland listens to the half-speed-remastered 40th anniversary reissue

Here they are, Britain's most successful and influential breakthrough band, revered by the critics, adored by the fans, unashamedly copied by start-up bands… But Jerry Dammers, the geezer in charge, wants to mess with the magic and do something quite worryingly different.

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