This Month's Vinyl Picks: March 2020
Deacon Blue and Pearl Jam return with brand new albums and His Dark Materials gets a spectacular vinyl box set...
Deacon Blue - City of Love
Glaswegian pop purveyors Deacon Blue are perhaps best-known for their huge 1998 hit 'Real Gone Kid', but after splitting in the early 1990s following their fourth album the band reunited in 1999 and, although their output was sporadic over the following decade, in recent years the band have been enjoying one of their most prolific periods and this month they return with their fourth album in the last eight years.
Featuring 11 new tracks including recent singles 'Wonderful' and 'Hit Me Where It Hurts', City of Love arrives in stores on March 6th and in addition to the standard CD and vinyl formats the new album is set to become the latest addition to our exclusive 1921 Series range, this time in the form of a limited edition picture disc featuring the band on one side and the album's motif on the other.
Pearl Jam - Gigaton
Virgin EMI Records
Alt-rock veterans Pearl Jam have been one of the most consistently successful bands to emerge from the Seattle grunge scene of the early 1990s. Not only have they outlasted many of their peers, Eddie Vedder and co. have released a string of big-hitting albums that have seen them fail to reach the top 10 in the UK Album Chart only once - with 2002's Riot Act – in their entire careers. On home turf they've performed even better, with all but one of their albums reaching Billboard's top two places, and with this month's release of Gigagton the band has the chance to score their third Number One in a row.
Their 11th studio album in all, Gigaton arrives in stores on March 27th and contains 12 brand new tracks including new singles 'Superblood Wolfmoon' and 'Dance of the Clairvoyants'. Josh Evans takes over production duties from Brendan O'Brien, who worked on the band's previous two albums Backspacer and Lightning Bolt. The vinyl edition of the album is a 2LP set pressed onto black wax.
Baxter Dury – The Night Chancers
Those watching the career of Baxter Dury from the beginning will no doubt tell that his talents were obvious even then, but the last few years have seen the singer-songwriter hitting a rich vein of form, emerging from the shadow of his more famous father to earn a reputation as one of the UK's most unique musical voices.
His new album The Night Chancers arrives this month and includes his recent singles 'Slumlord', 'Carla's Got a Boyfriend' and 'I'm Not Your Dog'. Dury's sixth full-length effort arrives in stores on March 20th and is available on CD and black vinyl.
Roy Ayers - Virgin Ubiquity II: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981
Although we've pictured the red-covered Volume II here, this new LP from legendary vibes supremo Roy Ayers is just one of two new albums featuring a bonanza of previously unreleased recordings from Ayers and his band Ubiquity (the other being the white-covered Volume I), with both volumes set to arrive in stores on March 27th.
The man they call 'The Godfather of Neo Soul' was so prolific at the tail-end of the 1970s that his band accumulated more material than they could even fit onto their many albums, leaving some real gems gathering dust in storage until they were recently handed over to BBE Records in London, who are set to release a whopping 26 previously unreleased recordings (13 on each volume) this month. Both are 2LP sets on black vinyl and both drop into stores on the same day.
The Who's 1973 'rock opera' Quadrophenia needs no introduction for fans of the veteran mods, nor does Frank Roddam's 1979 film adaptation starring Phil Daniels, but if you've yet to get your hands on a copy of the film's excellent soundtrack on vinyl then a chance to do just that is coming your way this month.
A new vinyl edition of Quadrophenia is set to arrive on March 6th in the form of a 2LP set prssed onto black vinyl, with a tracklist that includes 13 tracks from The Who themselves and many others from the likes of James Brown, Booker T & the MGs, The Ronettes and more.
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy: Hexagonal Phase
Douglas Adams beloved cult novel The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy has enjoyed several adaptations over the years on radio, television, the stage and even a big screen version starring Martin Freeman, Stephen Fry and Yasiin Bey.
More recently, a brand new radio series based on Adams book has been broadcast on Radio 4 and this month presents an opportunity to own the new adventure on vinyl for the first time. The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy: Hexagonal Phase arrives in stores on March 13th in the form of a stunning box set featuring 3x LPs pressed onto 180g neon green vinyl.
Philip Pullman - His Dark Materials
If you're a fan of Philip Pullman's seminal trilogy of novels His Dark Materials then you'll no doubt be aware of the recent TV series co-produced by HBO and the BBC. Depending on your age (or you level of dedicated fandom), you might also know that back in 2003 the BBC also produced a radio dramatisation of Pullman's trilogy, broadcast on Radio 4 and featuring a voice cast that includes Terence Stamp, Lulu Popplewell, Daniel Anthony and Bill Paterson.
This month the BBC are set to release a stunning new box set featuring the entire radio series on vinyl for the first time – and not just any old vinyl, either. The new set contains no fewer than nine discs pressed onto 180g 'Daemonic Dustburst Splatter Vinyl', housed in three beautifully illustrated gatefold sleeves. The new box set makes its grand entrance into stores on March 27th.