February 4, 2022

This Month's Vinyl Picks: February 2022
by James
James

by James Forryan

hmv London; 04/02/2022

Bio

"Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

This Month's Vinyl Picks: February 2022

Johnny Marr, Fela Kuti and jazz guitar legend Joe Pass are amongst the best new vinyl releases coming this month...

Fever Dreams Pts. 1-4 - Limited Edition Turquoise Vinyl

Johnny Marr - Fever Dreams: Parts 1-4

BMG

Whatever his erstwhile bandmate might have to say about it, former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr hardly needs the help of Morrissey or anyone else to highlight his talents. While his trademark, jingle-jangle style employed during the Smiths years influenced a generation of Britpop pretenders during the decades that followed in their wake, Marr has long since diversified his guitar-playing skills via the likes of Electronic, The The, Modest Mouse and The Cribs, not to mention a string of impressive solo albums and session work with everyone from post-punk pioneers Taking Heads to composer Hans Zimmer.

Marr returns this month with his fourth solo album –a double album titled Fever Dreams Part 1 – 4 – which arrives on February 25 on all formats including two vinyl options; a standard black 2LP edition and a limited edition version on turquoise vinyl, both of which come with a free signed print.

Viola Beach

Viola Beach - Viola Beach

Fuller Beans Records

Released posthumously in 2016 just a few months after the lives and careers of Warrington indie quartet Viola Beach were tragically cut short when their car fell off a bridge in Sweden, killing all four members as well as their manager, the eponymous Viola Beach made for a strange and somewhat unique listening experience as a debut album on its first release, but this month offers a chance at reappraisal for a record that showed so much promise, but arrived burdened by the weight of tragedy.

Their debut is set to return to stores on February 11 in the form of this stunning, kaleidoscopic LP edition – which is, oddly enough, the first time the album has ever been available on vinyl, so if you’ve always wanted a version you can spin on your turntable – and one that’ll look as great as it sounds – now’s your chance.

Live in Brixton

Pixies – Live in Brixton

Demon Records

The Brixton Academy has long been hallowed ground for many bands and artists, hosting a practically innumerable roll call of legends over the years, which is perhaps why it was chosen by alt-rock pioneers Pixies for a four-night residency as part of their 2004 reunion tour.

Available on vinyl for the first time, all four shows are brought together in this colourful new 8LP box set, pressed onto 180g vinyl in translucent orange, blue, red and green, which makes its arrival in stores on February 25. One for the hardcore fans, no doubt, but a vital and eye-catching addition to your collection nonetheless.

Live! With Ginger Baker

Fela Ransome-Kuti and the Africa 70 – Live! With Ginger Baker

Partisan Records

Two legends meet on this combustible live album, recorded in 1978, with Afrobeat godfather Fela Kuti and Cream drummer Ginger Baker uniting for a one-off performance at to Berlin Jazz Festival, Baker adding his unique touch to the rhythms otherwise provided by another Afrobeat legend - the late, great Tony Allen.

Culminating in a 16-minute drum duel between Baker and Allen that makes this LP worth the purchase price on its own, this is a lively and atmospheric snapshot of three great musicians at the peak of their powers. Not to be missed.

For Django

Joe Pass - For Django

Blue Note

First released in 1964, For Django sees one all-time jazz guitar great to another, with the inimitable Joe Pass paying tribute to another unique master of the instrument, Django Reinhardt. The Belgian-born, Romani-French guitarist became well known for his unique, frenetic playing style – one rendered difficult to imitate, and all the more impressive, by the fact that he only had two fingers on his picking hand.

Pass is at the peak of his powers as he pays tribute to Reinhardt with a selection of tunes inspired by his unique playing, although this is no imitation; Pass puts his own slick, trademark style to use on this jazz classic. If there are any budding jazz guitarists out there keen to learn from the masters, there are plenty of lessons on offer here. Set to be reissued on February 11, this forgotten gem is well worth your attention.