Not just any old set, this week is full of essentials and all-time favourites.
Last Friday was 03.03.23, the third of the third of the (twenty) third and most fittingly De La Soul day, with the band’s iconic debut LP - 3 Feet High And Rising - once again available after a long time in the vaults (in no small part due to the legalities of clearing all those rich and vivid samples that make it). Released on March 3rd 1989, the album is a psychedelic tapestry of samples, tones, snippets and lots of peace and love, with flashes of Hall & Oates, Steely Dan, The Turtles, Cymande, Otis Redding and more. In retrospect it’s hard to clock just how groundbreaking it was, the jump-off point in many ways for alternative Hip Hop. Seminal, culturally iconic and still so fresh. All-time essential, long live the Daisy Age!
+ In stock now on CD and double Black vinyl.
+ A reminder that the Yellow and Magenta colour vinyl editions are delayed and will be with us later this month.
We’re spoiled with riches this week, with another all-time classic alongside De La Soul in the racks. American Beauty is the Country-rich fifth album from Grateful Dead, arriving unbelievably just six months after their equally magnificent Workingman's Dead. Without losing any of their psychedelic energy, the band almost entirely swapped tools and traded jams in bluegrass and folk stylings. Such tight and focused songs and such a joyous vibe, this one is just perfect form start to finish.
+ Pressed on 140-Gram, “Limeade” colour vinyl. Features the original album track list using the (2020) 50th Anniversary remastered audio.
Fat Possum make a very much in-demand pressing of Clean this week, the proper debut LP from Nashville’s Sophie Allison under her Soccer Mommy name. Raw but surprisingly accomplished, this one really stands up well five years on.
+ Pressed on limited Olive Green colour vinyl.
More gold on the World of Echo label this week with Gone By Fall: The Collected Works of The Shapiros. As the liners so brilliantly explain; “The Shapiros may only have existed for a few weeks, during August 1994, but during that brief window of opportunity, the quartet recorded twelve gorgeous pop songs”.
We’re going to try and get a stack more of these as it really has such a magic energy.
A double on Decca / Blue Note with pianist Andrew Hill’s revered Dance With Death and trumpeter Carmell Jones’ The Remarkable Carmell Jones. Released at either end of the sixties, both albums are fascinating insights into the Blue Note story and the diversity of the work they released.
Both albums are in stereo and released as part of the Tone Poet Vinyl series. Produced by Joe Harley and mastered by Kevin Gray from the original analog master tapes, they are both pressed on 180g vinyl at RTI. They feel lush.
Lastly today, we have a nice handful of Morning/Evening as part of the Four Tet reissues. Released in the Summer of 2015, it is composed of two 20-minute pieces that progress beautifully from morning to evening, to morning to evening, to morning to evening as you keep flipping the record. Skittering drum patterns and beautiful textures; it feels like he truly captured the change in light. Really gorgeous and highly recommended.
Enjoy taking those in and we’ll see you shortly.