previews... - January 3, 2020 Previews: Albums of 2020 - Veterans
by James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, Previews: Albums of 2020 - Veterans

Over the next few days, we'll be previewing 60 of the best albums you can expect to hear in 2020. Almost all of them will come out, some inevitably won't, but they are all worth getting excited about.

We pick up today with 10 veterans of the music industry gearing up to make thier return...


Rufus Wainwright

Title: TBC

Release date: TBC

The last two albums by Rufus Wainwright have been, in order of release, a full-blown opera entitled Prima Donna and a star-studded musical adaptation of Shakespeare's sonnets, which featured guest appearances from Florence Welch, Helena Bonham Carter and William Shatner. It is, therefore, quite difficult to know what to expect from his next album, about which we know very little at this stage.

We do know, however, that it's coming in 2020, that it will be his first “pop album” since 2012's Out of the Game, and that it features his recent single 'Trouble in Paradise', which arrived with a striking piece of cover artwork bearing a photo of Rufus sporting a look that we can only describe as “Full Grayson Perry”. We don't know what it's called, or exactly when in 2020 we can expect it to arrive, but whatever it turns out to be it's very unlikely to be boring. Watch this space...


Huey Lewis and The News

Title: Weather

Release date: February 14th

Wait a minute, you mean that Huey Lewis? The man behind Back to the Future soundtrack highlights 'Back in Time' and 'The Power of Love'? Yes indeed, Huey is set to make one of the year's most unlikely comebacks with his first new album since 2010's Soulsville - an album which took nine years to follow its predecessor, and has taken another nine to spawn a follow-up.

The comeback trail hasn't been entirely free from obstacles, though. Although they've toured regularly since their last album, the band had to cease all live activities last year when Huey suffered with an inner ear disorder. Despite this – or perhaps as a result of the downtime that followed – the band found themselves in a recording studio earlier this year and are gearing up to release their tenth studio album, Weather, on February 14th.


Paul Heaton

Title: Manchester Calling

Release date: March 6th

Pre-Order Here. 

Before the release of his most recent album in the former Housemartins and Beautiful South frontman once told us that his writing process involves annual trips to the same package holiday resort in Gran Canaria, and that while it might not be some idyllic beach resort it never fails to inspire new songs. We can only assume his latest trip to the Spanish island has produced the goods once again, as Heaton is set to release his new album Manchester Calling in March.

The album is his fourth in a row with former Beautiful South bandmate Jacqui Abbott and the pair are due to embark on a tour in support of their new LP beginning in April next year, with a triumphant finale at Manchester's Castlefield Bowl in July. The album arrives in stores on March 6th.


Alanis Morissette

Title: Such Pretty Forks in the Road

Release date: TBC

The Canadian singer has dished out a double dose of good news for her fans in recent weeks, with the announcement of a 25th Anniversary tour in celebration of her 1995 breakthrough LP Jagged Little Pill quickly followed by news of a brand new album, her first in eight years.

Such Pretty Forks in the Road doesn't have a fixed release date as yet, but we do know it's coming in 2020 and, what's more, Alanis has already unveiled the album's lead single, 'Reasons I Drink'. The tour kicks off in June and will take in 31 dates across North America. Whether or not the album arrives before then, we'll have to wait and see.


Deacon Blue

Title: City of Love

Release date: March 6th

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Perhaps best known for their huge 1988 hit 'Real Gone Kid', Scottish pop veterans Deacon Blue reformed after an eight-year hiatus with 2001 album Homesick, but it was another 11 years before a follow-up arrived in 2012's The Hipsters. Since then, though, the band have been on a roll and City of Love, set to arrive on March 6th, will be their fourth in the last eight years, and their ninth studio album overall. The title track arrived in November and is a glorious slice of pop that finds them sounding as anthemic as they ever have.


Ed O'Brien

Title: TBC

Release Date: TBC

The Other Radiohead Guitarist has been an understated but nonetheless crucial participant in all nine albums his band has released since their 1993 debut Pablo Honey, but while bandmates Jonny Greenwood and Thom Yorke have released a whole spectrum of extra-curricular activity during that time, O'Brien has, up until now, yet to release a solo album under his own name.

That's all set to change “earlyish in 2020” according to an open letter written by O'Brien to his fans, and while he doesn't reveal the title or an exact release date for his debut solo LP, he has unveiled a tantalising list of collaborators set to appear on the album, which includes Wilco's Glenn Kotche, Laura Marling, Portishead's Adrian Utley and legendary drummer Omar Hakim, to name a handful. Exciting times ahead...


British Lion

Title: The Burning

Release date: January 17th

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Steve Harris is best known to most, of course, as the bassist for metal legends Iron Maiden, but having recently wrapped up the band's Legacy of the Beast tour, Harris has used the resulting free time to turn his attention to his other band, British Lion, who are getting ready to release their second album in 2020.

The Burning arrives in January and the band have already been out on the road for some warm-up dates in the UK before heading out on the road to North America next year. Iron Maiden look likely to be taking a well-earned break for now, but this should keep fans satisfied in the meantime.


Title: Mind Hive

Release date: January 24th

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Influential post-punk survivors Wire are set to continue their prolific recent run of form with the release of new album Mind Hive, their sixth full-length effort in the last decade and their 17th studio album overall. Colin Newman and Co's latest LP contains nine new tracks including the recently released single 'Cactused', and is set to be one of the earliest arrivals on this list when it lands in stores on January 24th.


Marc Almond

Title: Chaos and a Dancing Star

Release date: January 31st

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If you thought Wire's record of six albums in the last decade was impressive, then former Soft Cell vocalist Marc Almond must rank as one of the most hard-working people in the music industry over the last 10 years, having turned in no fewer than 11 albums since 2010's Varieté – two of those coming in 2018 alone, if you include collaborations. Fair play to him, although it could be argued that the real high point of his output in recent years was his involvement in this Twitter exchange...

Still, clearly he's not content to rest on his laurels for one single second and Almond is set to return once again in 2020 with Chaos in a Dancing Star, his 23rd solo LP under own name, by our count, which is set to land on the shelves in stores on January 31st.


Ben Watt

Title: Storm Damage

Release date: January 31st

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Ben Watt originally enjoyed success as one half of electro-pop duo Everything But The Girl, along with vocalist Tracey Thorn, but he's consistently peppered the years in between with releases under his own name, including three studio albums and countless singles and EPs.

His most recent album, Fever Dream, arrived in 2016, but this year will see a fourth full-length offering from the London-born musician, Storm Damage, which arrives on January 31st and will be followed by a 13-date UK tour, kicking of with a show at Leeds venue Belgrave Music Hall on February 27th.


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