Working Men's Club Megamix [RSD20] This is an exclusive release for Record Store Day 2020 - Drop 1. Available online from 6:00pm on Saturday 29th August, strictly one per customer. Working Men’s Club hotly anticipated, self-titled debut album was due to drop this June, now, for reasons obvious to most of us, it is due October. Looking at the blank space left by the postponement, 18-year-old wonderkid frontman Syd Minsky-Sargeant decided to utilise his free time, in lockdown, and capitalise on the creative momentum the band has garnered. The result is a 21-minute continuous ‘MEGAMIX’ that simultaneously acts as a taster and a condensed electronic reworking of parts of the album. “Our album would have been released today but we had to push the release back due to Covid. It doesn’t feel like a particularly apt time to be self-promoting anything at all however we wanted to give something to the people who pre-ordered the album on what would of the original release date,” says Minsky-Sargeant. “Initially it seemed a bit of a crazy idea to go and remix an album we've just made that isn't even out yet. But once we got into it we were like, ‘let's fucking go for it’. One could, of course, argue that crazy ideas are what’s needed in such crazy times but, in reality, what has been produced is less of a chaotic and scatterbrain idea and more a coherent artistic statement in line with the band’s perpetual forward momentum." Minsky-Sargeant teamed up with the band’s producer Ross Orton - under the moniker ‘Minsky Rock’, a recently started project under which they recently completed a Jarvis Cocker remix - and the pair worked remotely to create the unique reimagining. “Ross has a studio in Sheffield and I have a bit of one at home. So I would play a synth part and then send him the file over and he'd put it into his computer and then bring it up on a shared screen. I could see his interface and we'd mix it like that. It was like being in the same room.” The result is a “reinterpretation rather than a remix” says Minsky-Sargeant. Over its seamlessly flowing duration, as it unfurls in hypnotic and infectious grooves - teasing snippets of songs as they weave in and out - the mix plays out like a classic 12” extended mix. Albeit one that takes on different forms and explores new terrain altogether. “It takes a number of parts of the album but different versions [and edits] of the songs,” he says. “I've played new parts on more or less everything. Some tracks I've taken out the guitar parts and re-done them with synths or replaced bass lines with synths.” There’s something of a northern lineage that can be traced here too, in that the 12” band remixes were something of a mainstay of Manchester bands like New Order and A Certain Ratio, and in a similar spirit, WMC are a new young band pushing, and crossing, the boundaries of where guitar and electronic music can interlink and overlap. “It's free flowing and electronic, rather than sounding like a band,” Minsky-Sargeant says of the mix. “It gives an insight into what the record is like, as well as the future of the band, but it’s also something totally exclusive. It's very much its own thing.” Heavenly Recordings 12" Pre-Order
The Magic Numbers The Magic Numbers [RSD20] This is an exclusive release for Record Store Day 2020 - Drop 1. Available online from 6:00pm on Saturday 29th August, strictly one per customer. The 15th anniversary of the debut Magic Numbers album.Released in it's orginal limited format, including the one sided limited 7".The vinyl is in new colour.Time creates it's own mirror and within it comes new reflections.Fifteen years later I find myself listening and reflecting on our debut album in a way that has also made me reflect upon my life.Just who was I making that record, writing those songs, what did we want, what did we achieve? Perhaps you too will be thinking similar things as you listen and reflect upon your own personal journey, especially if this record soundtracked your life all those years gone by....If you are listening to this for the very first time, may I introduce you to… Heavenly Recordings 7" | LP RSD 2020
Cherry Ghost Live at The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge - January 25 2015. [RSD20] This is an exclusive release for Record Store Day 2020 - Drop 1. Available online from 6:00pm on Saturday 29th August, strictly one per customer. As the final act before their hiatus – coming after three critically praised albums in a decade - 'Live at the Trades Club Hebden Bridge' is Cherry Ghost performing an intimate, starkly arranged set at the 2015 Heavenly Weekender.Released now for the first time – on double vinyl and download – this is perhaps the best realised collection of songs from Cherry Ghost, the alias of the Ivor Novello award-winning songwriter Simon Aldred. The instrumentation – Aldred is joined on keyboards and light percussion by Christian Madden and Grenville Harrop – brings to the fore Aldred's peerless songwriting, his oak-aged, prematurely wisened baritone.'History' wrote the Quietus in 2014, 'will be kind to Aldred', and this collection proves exactly that – with a bit of time and distance, the songs presented here show a highly singular, highly accomplished songwriter, aspiring to the pop classicism of Glen Campbell or Bill Callahan. All of human life is here – tracking a drizzly Northern gothic of last bus loneliness, late-night Spars, solitary drinkers, factory floors and Gods that betray.And yet, there's more than meets the eye.There's magnetic renderings of his best known songs - '4AM', 'People Help the People', the soaring 'Mathematics' - but surprises reveal themselves.'All I Want' and 'Herd Runners' candidly examine Aldred's sexuality, whilst the seldom heard b-side 'Bad Crowd' reveals Aldred to be a much funnier songwriter than remembered. What runs right through Aldred's work, however, is a yearning – a much tested faith in romance – so no wonder that the album ends on its most optimistic notes, at the darkest point of winter nestled in the West Yorkshire valleys, promising clear skies ever closer. Heavenly Recordings LP RSD 2020
Terry Hall Home [RSD20] This is an exclusive release for Record Store Day 2020 - Drop 1. Available online from 6:00pm on Saturday 29th August, strictly one per customer. Let's talk about denial.Let's talk about self-awareness.Let's talk about romantic idealism.And let's talk about pop music.Let's talk about Terry Hall and his strange relationship with all of these things: about his ability to create life-affirming pop music and about the fact that his exceptional gift was recognised by a long line of his peers before, finally, Terry Hall could no longer ignore it either.Let's talk about the album where the penny finally dropped.A record which believes in the dream of perfect love despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.Let's talk about 'Home', the first solo album by Terry Hall. Twenty-six years have elapsed since the original release of 'Home', but this Record Store Day sees its long overdue debut on vinyl.It might have been the first album which saw Hall step forward from a group identity, but 'Home' was Hall's ninth in various guises since the emergence of The Specials' self-titled LP in 1979.It had taken Hall a while to find his feet as a songwriter.With Jerry Dammers so prolific in that regard, Hall found himself in a strange position at the end of that group's collective lifetime.The Specials had made him a pop star, but he didn't feel like one.By the release of Fun Boy Three's second album 'Missing' (1983), the competition was Wham!, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Culture Club.Nothing wrong with any of those, but Hall would see himself staring back from the pages of a magazine alongside all the aforementioned names and experience what he called "a total cognitive disconnection". 'Home', then, was the culmination of a long process which saw Terry Hall separate his lack of love for the job of pop star from his adoration for pop itself.In solving that conundrum, it sounds like a weight has been lifted from Hall.Like a code has finally been cracked.Somehow emblematic of that process is the album's lead single 'Forever J', a song that Hall had started writing about his wife Jeannette almost a decade previously, but only finally came together when Hall presented it to the album's producer Ian Broudie (The Lightning Seeds) as the sessions got under way.Alloyed to a disarmingly beautiful chorus, this ticker-tape flurry of unguarded intimacies might just be the most perfect pop song of an era that wasn't exactly lacking in competition – and although it didn't crack the top 40 at the time, it cemented the affection in which an emerging generation of proficient popsmiths held him: Jarvis Cocker did his own remix of the song and Damon Albarn sang Hall's praises at every opportunity.In commencing the record, 'Forever J' sets the tone for what follows on the remainder of 'Home'.Yes, it's a solo album, but the engine of these performances is a stellar "house" band comprised of Craig Gannon (The Smiths, Aztec Camera, The Bluebells), Les Pattinson (Echo & The Bunnymen) and Chris Sharrock (The Icicle Works, The La's). This illustrious roll call is one that extends to the songwriters with whom Hall collaborated on the record.Co-written by Nick Heyward, 'What's Wrong With Joy' is a synergy of seeming incompatible components: its life-affirming power pop livery freighting a cargo of self-doubt ("I've got a bag full of promises I can't keep/And a hundred reasons why I don't sleep") and good intentions ("All I wanna do is make your dreams come true") to the affections of anyone who hears it.Andy Partridge steps forward to share the credit on 'Moon On Your Dress" and 'I Drew A Lemon': the latter a rebuke to the man who will never love her the way our lyrical protagonist pledges to; the former a longtime favourite among fans of both Hall and XTC for the sanguine self-deprecations that manage to captures something of both artists' relationship to the world around them. And, of course, if you have Ian Broudie manning the console, it would be obtuse not to write a song or two together.With a friendship dating back to the early days of The Specials (the young Broudie saw Hall's pre-Specials outfit The Coventry Automatics open for The Clash in 1978) the measure of the pair's chemistry stretches beyond Broudie's production role to encompass two of the album's indisputable highlights.Featuring the unforgettable couplet, "If ifs and ands were pots and pans, you'd be a kitchen", 'You' sees its protagonist trying to persuade his subject to see in him what he sees in her.The other Broudie co-write on 'Home' will need no introduction to most pop fans.'Sense' is the song which gave its name to The Lightning Seeds' second album, giving the group their third top 40 hit in 1992.The version sung here by Hall though benefits from the Sharrock's pugnacious Keith Moon-isms and, of course, the buccaneering fretboard work of Craig Gannon. It's Gannon, too, whose fingerprints can be found on a clutch of other songs which give a little more back with each repeated play.'Home' may have emerged in the era that saw the term 'Britpop' enter the cultural lexicon, but there's a fragrant melodic classicism at the heart of Gannon and Hall's collaborations that can also be found in the work of Hall's "other" 80s songwriting vehicle The Colour Field, with its nods to French chanson.It's there on 'Forever J' and it's also abundant on Hall/Gannon originals like 'No No No' and 'I Don't Got You'. And yet, for all of that, there's something about Hall's voice that is, to quote the latter song, "as English as the weather".You can hear it all over 'Home', and it works both to the advantage of this album and the listener.Like the expression of the man staring at you on the sleeve, there's an outward sense of reserve in these performances which belies the lyrical tensions hinted at in many of its songs.Hall's marriage was coming to an end when 'Home' was recorded, but these songs are manifestly the work of someone who still believes in happy ever after.Just about.They're also the work of someone who has come to an accommodation with his relationship to pop.To coin a neologism, you might say that this was the record where our hero finally learned to "own it".And if your love of great pop mirrors that of Terry Hall, 'Home' is a record you might also consider owning. Heavenly Recordings 12" RSD 2020
Unloved / Andrew Weatherall Heartbreak Remixes Unloved feature David Holmes, Keefus Ciancia and Jade Vincent. Their soundtrack-based project is also influenced by funk, soul, country and french pop. Heartbreak Remixes features four remixes from their recent Heartbreak album by Andrew Wetherall, The Liminanas, Nathan Micay and Andy Votel & Jane Weaver. 12” on Heavenly. Heavenly 12"