This Month's Vinyl Picks: January 2020
New albums from Pet Shop Boys, Courteeners and a deluxe reissue from Neneh Cherry are amongst the best new vinyl releases out this month...
More. Again. Forever.
After five albums over the course of the last decade, Manchester indie stalwarts Courteeners return in January with their sixth full-length offering and their first in four years. Once again produced by the band's bassist/producer Joe Cross, the new album contains 10 new tracks including recent singles 'Heavy Jacket' and 'Better Man', and is set to make its arrival in stores on January 17th.
There are two vinyl versions available, one of which is a standard black LP, but if you're a fan looking for something a bit special then you might want to opt for the stunning gatefold pop-up version (pictured), which is exclusively available at hmv.
Pet Shop Boys – Hotspot
The electro-pop legends are back this month with their 14th studio album Hotspot, their first since 2016's Super and the third in a trilogy of albums produced by Stuart Price. Like most of their recent albums, Hotspot was recorded mostly at Berlin's famed Hansa Studios, the place where David Bowie created the majority of his 'Berlin trilogy', Recent single 'Burning the Heather' was the exception to that rule, having been recorded at RAK in London with the help of former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, who contributes acoustic guitars to the song.
Butler is one of two outside contributors to the new LP, the other being Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander, who pops up on another of the duo's recent singles, 'Dreamland'. The new album makes its arrival in stores on all formats, including vinyl, on January 24th.
Blossoms – Foolish Loving Spaces
Virgin EMI Records
Stockport five-piece Blossoms topped the UK Album Chart with their eponymous debut on its release in 2016 and scored another Top 5 with its 2018 follow-up Cool Like You – achievements they'll be hoping to match this month with the release their third full-length offering. As with their first two albums, Foolish Loving Spaces has been recorded at Liverpool's Parr studios under the watchful eye of producers Rich Turvey and The Coral's James Skelly.
The new album contains 10 brand new tracks, including recent single 'Your Girlfriend', and is set to arrive in stores on all formats on January 31st, including a standard black vinyl edition.
Bombay Bicycle Club - Everything Else Has Gone Wrong
It seemed for a while that Bombay Bicycle Club's hiatus was threatening to turn into something more permanent, but the band are back from the brink this month with their first album in six years.
Everything Else Has Gone Wrong boasts 11 new tracks including their new single 'Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You)' and is set to arrive in stores on January 17th, shortly before the band are due to appear at a number of our stores. In addition to the standard vinyl there's also a deluxe vinyl option which benefits from a half-speed mastering process.
Mura Masa – R.Y.C.
Virgin EMI Records
Guernsey-born producer Mura Masa scored a huge viral hit with early single 'Lovesick' and his eponymous 2017 debut album was littered with appearances from admirers including Damon Albarn, A$AP Rocky and Christine and the Queens, to name a handful.
A follow-up arrives this month and includes contributions from Slowthai, Ned Green and Ellie Rowsell, among others, on 11 brand new tracks from the producer. All formats are due in store on January 17th, including two vinyl versions – one in a red sleeve on silver vinyl, and one in a silver sleeve on red vinyl.
Neneh Cherry – Raw Like Sushi 30th Anniversary
Virgin EMI Records
Depending on which generation you're from, you might know Neneh Cherry as the stepdaughter of jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, Mabel's mum, or the singer who burst onto the scene in the mid-1980s with the hit single 'Buffalo Stance'. If you're of the latter group, then you may want to keep an eye out in January for a newly-reissued version of her debut album Raw Like Sushi, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this month.
To celebrate the anniversary the album is being re-release on January 31st, and alongside the standard vinyl edition, which includes the original tracklist and songs such as 'Buffalo Stance' and the Robert Del Naja-produced 'Manchild', there's also an expanded 3LP box set which contains a 48-page book featuring photos and new interviews, as well as two discs of bonus material such as remixes by the likes of Del Naja and Arthur Baker.
Wire – Mind Hive
Although best-known for the highly influential trio of albums they released during their first incarnation between 1977 and 1979, post-punk survivors Wire have since reformed twice and, during their periods of activity, have become one of the most relentlessly prolific bands of their generation. Their upcoming album Mind Hive is their 17th full-length effort in all, and the eighth they've released since their most recent reformation in 2003.
Containing nine new songs including new single 'Cactused', the new album arrives on in stores on all formats on January 24th, including a vinyl LP pressed onto black wax. Nothing flashy on offer here, but still one that fans will want to add to their expanding collections.
Average White Band – Average White Band
Surely the funkiest thing ever to emerge from the Scottish city of Dundee, Average White Band represented an unlikely outpost of the funk scene that emerged during the 1970s in cities such as New Orleans and Detroit, scoring a hit with the classic track 'Pick Up the Pieces'. James Brown's band The JB's were so impressed with what they heard they even recorded their own reply / companion piece to the track 'Pick Up the Pieces One By One', released under the pseudonym A.A.B.B. (Above Average Black Band).
Several albums from Average White Band's back-catalogue are set to be reissued this month, including their second, self-titled LP, originally released in 1974. 'Pick Up the Pieces' is the highlight on their sophomore LP's tracklist, but there are plenty more funky cuts where that came from on the LP and, if you still need more, you can also pick up their debut Show Your Hand and their third album Cut the Cake. All three albums are due in stores on January 17th.