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Archive for the ‘Echo & The Bunnymen’ Category

Wild Swans’ “Coldest Winter” Heats Up on Occultation Recordings

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The Coldest Winter for a Hundred YearsBritish postpunk band The Wild Swans, led by singer/songwriter/keyboardist Paul Simpson, have recently reissued their most recent album with a raft of bonus material.

The haunting work of Simpson first came to prominence in the late ’70s as member of the short-lived A Shallow Madness, which featured two future frontmen from the same genre: Julian Cope of The Teardrop Explodes and Ian McCulloch of Echo & The Bunnymen. His Wild Swans project has existed in three phases: once from 1980 to 1982, where the band issued one single, “The Revolutionary Spirit” (one of the final releases on Liverpool label Zoo Records) and were championed by John Peel; once again from 1988 to 1990, where they released two albums for Sire/Reprise; and finally from 2007 on, when Simpson recruited a new group of musicians to revive the group he once described as “a beautiful, holy, sexy, disturbing, dreamy nightmare about breaking into heaven to have sex with the angels.”

Signing to U.K. indie Occultation Recordings, The Wild Swans issued several singles before a 2011 LP, The Coldest Winter for a Hundred Years, came to light. The new record found the band on tour once again, in Europe and The Philippines, where the band has had a cult following for years.

This new version of Coldest Winter pairs the original album with a bonus disc of non-LP and single material as well as two previously unreleased tracks. It’s available in two formats: a standard, double-vinyl release and a deluxe package that adds the material on CD plus a collectible poster, postcard, badge and special lyric insert, all in specially-printed outer packaging. (Occultation has informed us that a third, super-deluxe format with even more goodies has actually sold out.) If this one sounds like the set for you or that special post-punk fan in your life, head to Occultation’s website and place an order. (A photo gallery is here.) After the jump, you’ll find a full track list and a preview of one of the new songs, “Maybe It’s You.”

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Written by Mike Duquette

November 8, 2013 at 14:04

Release Round-Up: Week of August 6

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SONY DSCElvis Presley, Elvis At Stax (RCA/Legacy)

Four decades after the King decamped to the famous Memphis studio to cut some country-fried soul sides, this triple-disc box set presents the fruits of those labors, greatly re-contextualized from the original albums that featured these sessions (1973’s Raised on Rock/For Ol’ Times Sake and 1974’s Good Times).

3CD box set: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
1CD highlights: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2LP highlights: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Gloria Gaynor - Love TracksGloria Gaynor, Gloria Gaynor’s Park Avenue Sound Love Tracks: Expanded Editions (Big Break)

BBR’s latest features the fifth and sixth albums by the future disco queen Gaynor, remastered and expanded. Hits here include a cover of “You’re All I Need to Get By” and some tune called “I Will Survive.”

Park Avenue SoundAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Love TracksAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Crocodiles 2LPEcho & The Bunnymen, Crocodiles (Weatherbox)

The post-punk heroes’ debut, expanded as a double-LP with hardback book packaging and bonus tracks from Rhino’s expanded remaster. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Written by Mike Duquette

August 6, 2013 at 08:32

Echo & The Bunnymen’s Deluxe Debut Making Its Way to Vinyl

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Crocodiles 2LPFans of Echo & The Bunnymen might want to check out a new release from the independent Weatherbox label: a new, expanded double-vinyl pressing of the post-punk legends’ debut LP Crocodiles.

Met enthusiastically by critics on both sides of the Atlantic upon release, Crocodiles set the framework for what would be considered the classic sound of Echo & The Bunnymen: dark lyrics and brooding vocals from frontman Ian McCulloch, jagged string work from guitarist Will Sergeant and bassist Les Pattinson and urgent drumming from Pete de Freitas (who’d recently replaced a drum machine). The album sailed into the U.K. Top 20 on a wave of great reviews, setting the Bunnymen up for even greater success as the ’80s wore on.

This 2LP version of Crocodiles features a bonus vinyl LP with 10 bonus tracks, all of which have been released on a 2003 expanded reissued released by Rhino Records. Three non-LP tracks, three early takes and the contents of the 1981 live EP Shine So Hard are featured on this bonus disc; both platters are packaged in a hardback book package with a 16-page booklet featuring input from Sergeant and Pattinson (who left the band a few years after they reunited in 1996, after a brief stint in the late ’80s and early ’90s without McCulloch) and rare photos.

The set, available on July 8, can be pre-ordered from Amazon U.K. below.

Crocodiles: Expanded Edition (Weatherbox, 2013)

LP 1: Original album (released as Korova KODE 1 (U.K.)/Sire SRK 6096 (U.S.), 1980)

  1. Going Up
  2. Stars Are Stars
  3. Pride
  4. Monkeys
  5. Crocodiles
  6. Rescue
  7. Villiers Terrace
  8. Pictures on My Mind
  9. All That Jazz
  10. Happy Death Men

LP 2: Bonus material (originally included on Sire/Rhino CD 2564-61161-2, 2004)

  1. Do It Clean
  2. Read It in Books
  3. Simple Stuff
  4. Villiers Terrace (Early Version)
  5. Pride (Early Version)
  6. Simple Stuff (Early Version)
  7. Crocodiles (Live @ Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire – 1/17/1981)
  8. Zimbio (Live @ Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire – 1/17/1981)
  9. All That Jazz (Live @ Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire – 1/17/1981)
  10. Over the Wall (Live @ Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire – 1/17/1981)

Tracks 1-2 released as Korova single SAM 128, 1980. Also included on cassette pressing of original album – Korova CODE 1, 1980
Track 3 was the B-side to “Rescue” – Korova KOW 1, 1980
Tracks 4-6 from Sire/Rhino CD 2564-61161-2, 2003
Tracks 7-10 released as Shine So Hard EP – Korova ECHO 1, 1981

Written by Mike Duquette

June 27, 2013 at 11:10