Kirsty McColl: Tropical Brainstorm
With UK sales increasing tenfold in 2012, vinyl is on the rise. Some classic records are now available in black. Kirsty, who died in 2012 after a long battle with cancer, proved that she is the Victoria Wood for pop on her final and greatest album.
Aretha Franklin: Aretha
You can choose between four CDs and two LPs
On vinyl this has a rare weakness: it’s too short. However, on CD it’s an impressive career.
On vinyl this has a rare weakness: it’s too short. However, on CD it’s comparable to Aretha Frank’s stupendous career.
Its 81 songs range from crackly 1950s recordings to a cover of Adele’s Rolling In The Deep, via duets with George Michael, Annie Lennox and Smokey Robinson.
Her final performance is at the White House 2015 in which Aretha sings (You Make Me Feel like) A Natural Woman. This was in front Carole King who wrote the lyrics.
George Harrison: All Things Must Pass (Uber Deluxe).
Eight LPs (or five CDs) plus an extra
It’s fascinating because it allows you to see solo career possibilities peeking through.
George’s debut album, a triple, was his masterpiece. The album is now in a wooden box, which is ironic since George liked to think outside of the box.
He might have scoffed at the price: £859.99. Happily there’s a slimmer edition for a tenth of that.
Bryan Ferry: First six solo albums
Each person receives one album
Bryan’s twelve-year life, from his artful remakes Of These Foolish Things to his soulful sounds of Boys And Girls.
Radiohead: Kid A. Mnesia
You can have three or more LPs, and two cassettes.
Amnesiac Kid A and Amnesiac offcuts: Hours of beauty in the winter.
Rolling Stones: For your 40th anniversary, tattoo
Richards and Jagger could now be gone as co-writers.
Rolling Stones’s Tattoo You 40th Anniversary could mark the end of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as song-writers
U2: Achtung Baby 30th Anniversary Special Edition
Even though their weirdest album is still fresh and contains the most famous dark ballad One, it feels very new.
Jesus Christ Superstar Deluxe Version
3 CDs, 2 LPs
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice created the 1970 concept album, which was also instrumental in the birth of rock opera. Songs such as Hosanna and I Don’t Know How To Love Him still glow, and the central character may be even more popular than The Beatles.
Aztec Camera: Both forwards and backwards
The box-set, once reserved for pop’s senior citizens, has now reached the 1980s. Roddy Frame, Aztec Camera’s timeless songs and touching lines are well worth it.
Backwards & Forwards has Roddy Frame (above), with his timeless songs and moving phrases. It’s well worth the effort
David Bowie: Brilliant Adventure (2002-2001).
11 CDs, 18 LPs
Bowie once went 9 years without new albums. He has since made up the difference. This is Bowie’s 20th posthumous recording.
It’s wildly assorted, from the frantic Black Tie White Noise to the fearless Outside, the laboured Earthling and the lovely Hours.
Toy, the forgotten album that was lost is what surprises us. It will be released separately (and reviewed) in next month’s issue. The treat is a BBC Radio Theatre gig in 2000: fresh from Glastonbury, Bowie’s band have a ball revamping Starman, Absolute Beginners and All The Young Dudes.
Joni Mitchell: Archives Vol 2 – The Reprise Years 1968-71
Vol 1 of this fine series has a Grammy nomination, for Best Historical Album – not a gong you’ll ever find at the Brits. Vol 2 captures the young Joni’s brainy genius, with a cameo from the up-and-coming DJ John Peel.
Vol 2 of The Reprise Years captures the young Joni’s (above) brainy genius, with a cameo from the up-and-coming DJ John Peel
Beatles: Let It Be (Super Deluxe).
You can get five CDs and four LPs plus additional items.
The greatest band ever are trying to replace Christmas, half a century since their dissolution.
They’re on the telly with Peter Jackson’s Get Back, in the bestsellers with Paul McCartney’s elegant The Lyrics and in the record shops with Giles Martin’s remix of Let It Be.
This includes Get Back, an abandoned album that rocks.
Randy Newman: Play with the Punches
Since 1979, his solo albums have been two-thirds funny satire and one third beautiful ballads.
Eagles: The Forum 76 Live!
Here’s a preview of the long-delayed, outdoor tour. It is due to start in June. While you are free to book at any hour, it is possible that you will never be allowed to land.