Scorpio, if you must know

I was definitely annoyed about something earlier and I was going to rant about it on here. Seems to have slipped my mind now. Although I can muster a mild amount of ire for the ‘limited edition’ version of the new Spiritualized album. My complaint is not with the music; it sounds exactly like you’d expect a Spiritualized album to sound – Quiet, loud, quiet, loud, discreet drugs reference, quiet, loud, blatant drugs reference, quiet, loud, invocation of the good Lord, quiet. No, my problem is with what you actually get for the extra few quid you have to pay on top of the normal edition. It’s a slim hardback book, with some photos of medical equipment. The CD is slotted into a little cardboard sleeve page at the back of the book. That’s it. I’ve had some slightly shite special editions in the past, but this one is the ultimate. To be six quid more than the normal version but to have bugger all meaningful to add AND a case that’s a sod to store is taking the piss. So, if you’re after that album, stick to the normal CD or the double vinyl.

To follow up from Monday, the Richard Swift album is enjoyably odd. I wouldn’t be so brash as to say there are any actual songs on there, but there’s some fabulous crashes, bangs and noodles as he gets out of his system whatever it is he feels he must prior to unleashing his next solo album proper. Good quality vinyl pressing too. Audio samples here.

Thought it was worth pointing out a new re-release programme by Stateside Records. If, like me, you’re rather fond of Cannonball Adderley, then you’ll be aware that plenty of his stuff is quite hard to track down. I was rather pleased to see a compilation covering the Axelrod era on sale during my Bank Holiday browsing, entitled ‘Walk Tall’. It appears to be available online for a little more than bugger all. Off you go, I’ll wait.

Anyway, I noticed one other new Adderley release alongside it, the concept album of sorts, ‘Soul Zodiac’. I wondered at the time if this would mean a reissue programme for the albums from this era, including the much-vaunted, ‘The Black Messiah’. Well, yes and no. ‘Soul Zodiac’ is the only one getting a physical release, but a stack of other albums from that era are now available for download as 320kbps mp3s from the Stateside Records online shop. Regular readers will be aware of my mixed feelings about download-only releases. Ultimately, if the music isn’t going to be out there any other way then I’ve no problem with them, even if I’d rather a CD or vinyl. However, with these, I can understand that the record company wouldn’t expect to sell that many and are therefore testing the water with one CD, whilst offering us muso types the chance to get our ears wrapped around some quality music. I’ve yet to download, but I suspect that ‘The Black Messiah’ will be on my hard drive sooner rather than later. They’re not the first label to do this, I know, but this is the first time it’s happened where I’ve actually been interested in the product for sale.



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