This Month's Vinyl Picks: February 2017
Welcome to our newly expanded vinyl round-up for the month of February, in which we'll picking a handful of the best new vinyl releases coming your way in the next few weeks, as well as some tasty reissues also coming to stores this month.
Amongst February's best new vinyl releases are two hotly-anticipated debut albums from Rag 'n' Bone Man and Sampha, as well as a long-overdue vinyl edition of The Weeknd's third album Starboy.
For this month's reissues we've got a classic from David Bowie, a compilation of early 80s productions from New Order and a stunning vinyl reissue of the soundtrack from David Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.
Check out these and the rest of the month's best vinyl records below...
Rag 'n' Bone Man: Human
Sony Music CMG
Having already scooped up the BRITs Critic's Choice Award this year, 2017 is shaping up to be a big one for Rag 'n' Bone Man, who releases his debut album on February 10th. Human builds on the formula that Rory Graham, to use his real name, has been steadily building over the last few years on EPs like Bluestown and Wolves, combining his bluesy vocals with dense hip-hop beats and soulful melodies, and which featured guest appearances from the likes of Vince Staples and Kate Tempest.
The new album features production work from Two Inch Punch, Mark Crew and Jonny Coffer and will include the singles 'Human', 'Wolves' and 'Healed', with a 2LP set on 180g black vinyl.
The Weeknd: Starboy
If you needed any measure of just how successful The Weeknd's third studio album has been, in December of last year he achieved the unprecedented feat of having all 18 of the album's tracks in the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. With production form the likes of Daft Punk, who feature on two of the album's tracks (including the album's best moment, 'I Feel It Coming'), it's also one of the best-sounding records released last year, so a vinyl edition seems well overdue.
However, that will all change next month when Starboy finally gets a release on wax. February 10th is the date to look out for, with the album arriving in stores on black vinyl.
It has been a ling time coming, but February will finally see the release of Sampha's debut album, Process. The singer, who first found fame as a guest vocalist on SBTRKT's excellent 2001 debut, has been taking his time over his first studio album, busying himself with other collaborations and guest slots on tunes by everyone from Solange and Jessie Ware to Drake and Kanye West.
Production duties on his debut album have been shared between Sampha himself and Rodaidh McDonald, best-known for his work with The xx, and will be released on the Young Turks imprint on February 3rd.
Amy Macdonald: Under Stars
Virgin EMI Records
A decade on from her 2007 debut This is the Life, Scottish singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald returns in February with her fourth studio album, Under Stars. This time around she's working with producer Cam Blackwood, whose credits include George Ezra and Florence + The Machine, but here are also contributions from production duo My Riot – aka Tim Bran and Roy Kerr – who have produced tracks for the likes of London Grammar and James Morrison.
The new album features 11 brand new songs, including her recent single 'Dream On', and is set to arrive on February 17th.
Thunder: Rip It Up
A little less than two years on from the release of their tenth studio album, 2015's Wonder Days, the veteran rockers are back with studio album no. 11. Rip It Up arrives in stores on February 11th and is available as a 2LP gatefold vinyl featuring 11 brand new tracks.
The band will also be performing a handful of live shows at our stores over the following week, so if you fancy catching them live and getting a signature on that new LP then you can find all the info here.
New Order Presents: Be Music
During the early 80s, when the members of New Order weren't working on their own music, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris also produced work for various other artists on Tony Wilson's Factory Records imprint, using the name Be Music as a credit for their work. There have been a couple of compilations featuring these tracks before, as well as various individual releases over the years, but next month will see a new compilation of their production work released as a 3LP album on vinyl.
Due to be released under the title New Order Presents: Be Music, the new collection arrives in stores on February 17th and includes tracks by Quando Quango, A Certain Ratio, Tim Burgess, The beat Club and Section 25, among various others. The new compilation features 36 tracks in all, including remixes and some previously unreleased tracks, such as the full 22-minute version of 'Video 5-8-6', a prototype of the sound that would eventually lead to tracks like 'Blue Monday'. If you're a fan of the band and haven't the time to go crate hunting for all these tracks individually, this is well worth adding to your collection
David Bowie: Station to Station
Next up in the ongoing programme of David Bowie Vinyl reissues are three tracks from the period in the early 1970s that preceded Bowie's move from America to Berlin and produced albums such as Diamond Dogs and Young Americans, both of which are due to arrive in stores on February 10th, along with this dark and brooding masterpiece from 1976.
As the final album before his 'Berlin trilogy'l, Station to Station is something of a transitional moment in David Bowie's career and includes the funk and soul elements of earlier albums from the same era, as well as some of the more experimental soundscapes that was to follow later in the same decade. Including the haunting, sprawling title track and the superb 'Golden Years', this is still one of Bowie's finest albums and a vinyl reissue is long overdue.
The Alan Parsons Project: I Robot
Sony Music CMG
Perhaps best-known for his pioneering production work on Pink Floyd's seminal dark Side of the Moon, Alan Parsons also enjoyed a pretty successful solo career under the Alan Parson Project banner, producing a series of prog-influenced albums packed with bubbling synths, experimental production techniques and a predisposition for lyrics and themes inspired by science fiction novels.
In the case of his second album, originally released in 1977, it's Isaac Asimov who has provided the inspiration, with Parsons taking themes from the author's 'Robot Trilogy' and setting them to an eerie, futuristic backdrop. The original has been out of print for decades now, but a newly reissued version on black vinyl will hit the shelves in stores on February 3rd.
Judas Priest: Turbo 30
Sony Music CMG
Heavy Metal veterans Judas Priest have been churning out albums packed with grinding riffs and screaming vocals ever since 1974, when they released their debut album amidst a burgeoning metal scene in the West Midlands that had also produced acts like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. The end of 2016 represented a 30-year anniversary for their 1986 album Turbo, a change of direction for the band that saw them use guitar synthesizers for the first time.
The reissued version, Turbo 30, celebrates that landmark and includes a remastered version of the original LP, as well as live recordings from their show at Kansas City's Kemper Arena, and will arrive on vinyl in stores and online on February 3rd.
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me OST
Death Waltz Recording Company
Fans of David Lynch's iconic TV series have been blessed with good news in recent months, with a new series due to air in May this year and a reissued version of the show's iconic soundtrack being given a limited edition vinyl release last September. Now there's even more good news, with the announcement that the soundtrack for the show's follow-up feature film, 1992's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, is also getting a reissue on vinyl.
The new version, issued by cult soundtrack specialists Death Waltz, is a 2LP edition on 180g 'Cherry Pie' coloured vinyl, which is due to arrive on February 17th. The vinyl edition is also presented in a die-cut sleeve with liner notes written by Mark Kermode, and will feature twelve tracks of jazz-influenced sounds from composer Angelo Badalamenti.