It’s absolute golden-lock, triple-certified, all-time classics this week…
Although the list is never written down and prone to change like the wind, what remains certain is that The Velvet Underground’s Loaded is and will always be a Drift Top Ten Album of All-Time. As we listen to it again this morning it is likely a top-five, actually. My god it’s good. One of the last of their meteoric career, it is just such a vibe. Breezing into life with Who Loves the Sun, Lou Reed and Doug Yule swap vocals throughout with bangers like Sweet Jane, Rock & Roll, Lonesome Cowboy Bill and ultimately some of the finest seven minutes ever recorded to tape with Oh! Sweet Nuthin'. It is just damn near perfect.
+ This limited pressing is on 140g Crystal Clear colour vinyl.
Up next this week we have Cosmic Americana from the far flung reaches of rural Oregon. The Numero label are in a really rich run of form and Allan Wachs’ Mountain Roads & City Streets is another absolute treasure. The songs were written over a decade of hitchhiking up and down the west coast, with gentle flashes of pedal steel, flute and tingly dulcimer. Simple and affecting, really great stuff.
+ Available on (very) limited 'Invisible Dog Clear’ colour vinyl.
Alongside Loaded in this loose and evolving Drift top ten is also Déjà Vu, the unbelievable second set from Crosby, Stills and Nash with the addition of course of Young. Taking the free-flowing volley of the self-titled CSN debut, Déjà Vu is bigger, broader, darker and quite possibly the most coherent set that that many writers and personalities could ever fit onto two sides of wax. Amazing songs, amazing voices and amazingly coherent considering that they often worked and recorded separately across the sessions of 800-odd hours of recording. It’s a warm sounding pressing and the artwork (including the OG foil) looks really sharp.
We’d be remiss not to use this opportunity to mention the sad passing of David Crosby last week. We get the impression that he was everything you have read about him and more. What a mercurial talent and what a legacy.
This week we have a new 2023 edition of Soul Jazz Records’ long out-of-print and absolutely banging Studio One Funk. Rare and unreleased Reggae Funk from the vaults of Studio One, pressed on limited double “Red Hot” colour vinyl.
It’s double John Coltrane for the jazz heads, with 1957’s In The Winner's Circle and 1961 blazer Olé Coltrane. In The Winner's Circle features Donald Byrd, Kenny Burrell, Art Farmer, Philly Joe Jones, Oscar Pettiford and more, also this new edition has the rare alt sleeve art. Olé contains some of the first gestures into avant Jazz, with sessions including Eric Dolphy, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Reggie Workman, Art Davis and Elvin Jones. Olé is pressed on Clear vinyl.
As part of the Low Life - Definitive Edition - release, New Order have made three of their iconic 12”s available with 2023 editions of Shellshock, Sub-culture and The Perfect Kiss.
Lastly today, another absolutely essential album, with a lavish Bootleg edition of Bob Dylan’s Time Out of Mind. Fragments: Time Out of Mind Sessions (1996-1997) The Bootleg Series Vol.17 documents his much-fabled “comeback”, with the album that won him huge critical and commercial success, plus three Grammy Awards. Outtakes, alt versions and a full album cleanup that sounds amazingly live. It’s been a reminder of how great the album is, it is in fact either my third or fourth favourite that he recorded. If you feel like guessing, we will give away a free coffee for whoever nails it.
Throughout the week we’ll be talking about new announcements (already some corkers on the website) plus albums of the week and month as we welcome in February. Good stuff.