The Best Vinyl Releases Of 2017-Part 1..

Bettye Swann-The Money Masters.

Label: Kent Soul.

Bettye Swann had the talent and potential to become one of the greatest soul singers of her generation. A remainder why can be found on The Money Masters which covers Bettye Swann’s time at Money Records, and includes singles, B-Sides and alternate tracks. The Dance Is Over a track written when Bettye Swann was still Betty Jean Champion makes a welcome return eleven years after making its debut on The Soul Of Money Records Volume 2. Just like the rest of songs on The Money Masters, they’re a reminder of Bettye Swann at the peak of her musical powers and why she should’ve become a soul great.


Black Moon Circle-Flowing Into The 3rd Dimension

Label: Crispin Glover Records.

In mid-2015 Trondheim-based Black Moon Circle announced their intention to release three albums of Studio Jamms. Just over two years later, they returned with the final instalment in this critically acclaimed series, Flowing Into The 3rd Dimension. It’s another ambitious, genre-melting adventure into sound with Black Moon Circle, and is their hardest rocking and the finest album of their five-year career. Flowing Into The 3rd Dimension is a reminder that the future of rock is in safe hands, thanks to groups like Black Moon Circle, with their pioneering and hard rocking brand of psychedelic space rock.

Brutter-Reveal And Rise. 

Label: Hubro Music.

Brothers Christian Wallumrød and Fredrik Wallumrød have both forged successful music careers since graduating from the Jazz Program at Trondheim Musikkonservatorium. Much of their time is spent working with other musicians. However, the brothers reunited to record Brutter’s sophomore album Reveal And Rise. Brutter manipulates an array of sounds whilst using sonic trickery and sleight of hands as they pose a series of questions and challenge musical norms? Brutter also let imagination run riot on Reveal and Rise, an album of anti-techno that is ambitious, cerebral, innovative, playful, witty and engaging.

Cluster-Konzerte 1972-1977. 

Label: Bureau B.

Although Cluster released seven studio albums between 1971 and 1979, they were also a legendary live band, whose marathon concerts usually lasted six hours or more. Sadly, Cluster never released a live album during the seventies. The nearest most people got to hearing Cluster live was when they heard Live In der Fabrik, a fifteen minute epic that featured on Cluster II in 1972. Since then, Cluster have never released an album of live material from the seventies. That was until the release of Konzerte 1972-1977, which features recordings from two Cluster concerts. These recordings are a tantalising reminder of what Cluster live in the seventies sounded like. Konzerte 1972-1977 is the musical equivalent of time travel, and transports the listener back to seventies, when Cluster was in their musical prime.

Cocteau Twins-Four Calendar Cafe.

Label: Mercury/UMC

For many record buyers, one of the highlights of Record Store Day 2017 was the reissue of two Cocteau Twins’ albums, including Four Calendar Cafe. It was released in October 1993, and was the seventh album from the Cocteau Twins. Four Calendar Cafe marked a move way from the ambient sound of previous albums, towards a more poppy sound. Despite that, Liz Fraser’s inimitable, dreamy vocals were even more intelligible and added a degree of mystery to an album that also incorporated elements of ambient, avant-garde and dream pop. With its haunting sound and ethereal  beauty Four Calendar Cafe, is one of the highlights of the Cocteau Twin’ eight album career.

Cocteau Twins-Milk and Kisses.

Label: Mercury/UMC

Five years after the release of Four Calendar Cafe, the Cocteau Twins returned in March 1998 with the album that was their swan-sing, Milk and Kisses. It was an album where the Cocteau Twins fused elements of ambient, avant-garde, dream pop and even rock to create music that was beautiful, dreamy, ethereal,  lush and lysergic where the world suddenly seemed a better place. Sadly, Milk and Kisses was their swan-song, and brought to an end the Cocteau Twins story. However, even today their music influences and inspires a new generation of musicians.

Come To The Sunshine: Soft Pop Nuggets From The WEA Vaults.

Label: Rhino.

Thirteen years after its initial release, and Come To The Sunshine: Soft Pop Nuggets From The WEA Vaults is still a compilation that oozes quality. It features old friends, familiar faces, new names and hidden gems. Come To The Sunshine: Soft Pop Nuggets From The WEA Vaults was a welcome release for Record Store Day 2017 and is crammed full of quality sunshine pop and psychedelia. It was one of the best reissues released on Record Store Day 2017. However, anyone wanting a copy should get one sooner than later. Come To The Sunshine: Soft Pop Nuggets From The WEA Vaults is a limited edition, with ‘only’ 5.500 copies available. Once they’re gone, they’re gone for good.

Cream Disraeli Gears

Label: Reaction.

After the success of their debut album Fresh Cream in 1968, power trio Cream returned with their career-defining sophomore album Disraeli Gears. It was released to critical acclaim in November 1969 and certified platinum in the UK and America. That was no surprise given the quality of tracks like Strange Brew, Sunshine Of Your Love, Dance The Night Away, Tales Of Brave Ulysses and We’re Going Wrong which found Cream embracing psychedelia. These tracks played their part in Disraeli Gears being hailed a classic album.

David Bowie Hunky Dory.

Label: Parlophone.

In December 1971, David Bowie  fourth album Hunky Dory, was released to widespread critical acclaim. Hunk Dory was one of the most eclectic, ambitious and innovative albums of David Bowie’s career. It reached number three in the UK, but didn’t replicate the same success in America. That was surprising given the quality of an album that opened with Changes and featuring Oh You Pretty Thing, Life On Mars and closing with the Velvet Underground inspired Queen Bitch. David Bowie’s latest musical reinvention had resulted in one of the finest albums of his long and illustrious career, Hunky Dory which is a stonewall classic.

David Bowie-The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars.

Label: Parlophone.

When The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was released in June 1972, it was loosely described as a concept album about a fictional androgynous bisexual rock star, Ziggy Stardust, who acts as a messenger for extraterrestrial beings. The album was influenced by glam rock and the album explored themes of sexual exploration and social commentary, as well as the ambiguity surrounding David Bowie’s sexuality. After being released to critical acclaim, The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars sold 7.5 million copies and became David Bowie’s second consecutive classic album.


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