This Month's Vinyl Picks: May 2018
Arctic Monkeys and James Bay return with brand new albums, the Black Panther soundtrack finally gets a vinyl release and Paul McCartney's 'secret' album is back on vinyl for the first time since 1977. Here's our round-up of the best vinyl releases headed your way in the month of May...
Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Casino + Hotel
Five years on from their fifth album AM, their biggest-selling album since their debut and their first to shift over a million copies in America, Alex Turner and co. return this month with their sixth full-length offering. Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino arrives in stores on all formats on May 11th and is produced by Turner and longtime Arctics collaborator James Ford, with contributions from the likes of Tame Impala's Cam Avery, former Klaxons frontman James Righton and Mini Mansions pair Zach Dawes and Tyler Parkford. There's a standard black vinyl edition as well as a limited edition version pressed onto clear vinyl. All formats (including CD) come with an exclusive lyric book which is available only at hmv.
James Bay - Electric Light
Virgin EMI Records
James Bay returns this month with the follow-up to his hugely successful debut LP The Chaos and The Calm, and his sophomore album promises to be something a little different to its predecessor. The hat has gone, the hair has been shorn and the blue-eyed acoustic soul of his debut has given way to a little more sonic experimentation, no doubt helped along buy the recruitment of producer Paul Epworth. Electric Light is set to arrive in stores on May 18th and besides the standard and deluxe editions CDs there are also two vinyl formats available; a standard black version and a limited edition version pressed onto red vinyl.
CHVRCHES - Love Is Dead
Virgin EMI Records
Glasgow's synth-pop trio CHVRCHES have been setting the stage for their third album in fine style over the last few months with a string of huge singles, including 'My Enemy', which features The National's Matt Berninger duetting with vocalist Lauren Mayberry. Although the band self-produced their first two albums, this time around they've brought in the big guns in the form of Greg Kurstin, whose long list of production credits includes work for the likes of Beck, Foo Fighters and Adele, to name a few, while other contributors include Steve Mac and Eurythmics' Dave Stewart. Love Is Dead is set to arrive in stores on all formats on May 25th, including two vinyl versions; one pressed onto blue vinyl, the other a limited edition version on clear vinyl.
Jon Hopkins - Singularity
Following his critically-acclaimed, Mercury Prize-nominated fourth album Immunity, producer Jon Hopkins returns this month with his fifth full-length offering in the form of Singularity, which is set to arrives in stores on all formats on May 4th. The album includes recent single 'Emerald Rush' (which features a beautifully animated video courtesy of Robert Hunter & Elliot Dear) and will be available as and LP pressed onto black vinyl.
The Fall – New Facts Emerge
The Fall's 31st studio album will, sadly, also be their last following the death of the band's mercurial founder and frontman Mark E. Smith in January this year. While their final album has been available since July 2017, this month see New Facts Emerge getting a vinyl release for the first time. Co-produced by Keiron Melling and Smith himself, the LP is a standard black vinyl edition and is set to arrive in stores on May 4th.
Five Finger Death Punch – And Justice For None
Eleven Seven Music
Las Vegas-based metal purveyors Five Finger Death Punch have endured a turbulent couple of years, with the band plagued by reports of onstage meltdowns and problems with addiction, as well as being sued in 2016 by their record label Prospect Park for alleged breach of contract before eventually settling their dispute with the label's owners. However, 5FDP make a triumphant return this month with new album And Justice For None, their seventh LP in total and the follow-up to 2016's Got Your Six.
The new album is produced once again by Kevin Chirko, who has worked on every 5FDP album since 2009's War Is The Answer, and includes the singles 'Fake' and 'Sham Pain'. And Justice For None arrives in stores on all formats on May 18th and includes two vinyl versions; a standard black vinyl edition and a limited edition version pressed onto black and yellow splatter vinyl, the latter being exclusively available at hmv.
Various Artists - Black Panther: The Album
Even by Marvel's standards, securing Kendrick Lamar to curate the soundtrack to their record-breaking blockbuster Black Panther was something of a coup and although the album has been available on CD since February, this month represents the first time Black Panther: The Album will be available on vinyl. Aside from his own contributions to the soundtrack, the Pullitzer-winning rapper has roped in an impressive roster of collaborators that includes Anderson Paak, Schoolboy Q, SZA, The Weeknd, Jorja Smith and James Blake, among many others.
The vinyl edition is a 2LP set pressed onto black vinyl and is set to arrive in stores on May 11th.
The Breeders: Last Splash
Following the release of their first new album in a decade earlier this year, Kim Deal's band have set about reissuing all of their previous albums on vinyl, with all four of their full-length releases from debut Pod to 2008's Mountain Battles set to arrive in stores on May 18th. The pick of the bunch however is arguably their sophomore album, 1993's Last Splash, which includes the hit single 'Cannonball' as well as other gems such as 'Divine Hammer' and 'Drivin' on 9'.
Percy 'Thrills' Thrillington - Thrillington
In 1977, while the likes of the Sex Pistols and The Clash were busy radically reshaping the landscape of popular music, strange advertisements began appearing in the UK's national newspapers detailing the activities of a socialite by the name of Percy Thrillington, which were shortly followed by the release of Percy's one and only album, Thrillington – an instrumental album comprising jazz-influenced cover versions of the songs featured on Paul McCartney's 1971 solo album, Ram. The release came and went, not many people seemed to notice.
Some 12 years later, in a 1989 Rolling Stone interview with the former Beatle, it finally emerged that 'Percy Thrillington' was a fictional character masterminded by McCartney himself – the album had been recorded the same year as Ram, but subsequently shelved - and suddenly Beatles collectors began hunting down the LP, which reportedly tripled in value overnight. Reissues on appeared on CD and cassette in the 1990s, but this month sees the album reissued for the first time since its initial release in 1977. The reissued LP is set to arrive in stores on May 18th alongside three other McCartney vinyl reissues: Chaos & Creation in the Backyard, New and Wings – Greatest.
Brian Eno – Music for Installations
Our final pick this month is an impressive box set from former Roxy Music synthesizer wizard and ambient pioneer Brian Eno, which compiles more than 30 years of his work for installations, exhibitions and sound sculptures from Venice, Italy in 1985 to the 2017 Astana Expo in Kazakhstan. Most of the music here has been unreleased in a commercial format and none of it has been released on vinyl before, making this a unique opportunity for collectors. There's a 6CD version and a 9LP vinyl edition, or if you really want to push the boat out there's a super-deluxe box set including both formats, a 64-page booklet of photos from the installations themselves and a new essay by the man himself. All formats are due to arrive in stores on May 4th.