NENEH CHERRY, KELLY CLARKSON, PORTISHEAD, EGO ELLA MAY, BLONDIE, BOBBIE GENTRY
My vinyl purchase this week was The Versions by Neneh Cherry. I love everything about this album - the songs, the versions, the concept, the wonderful line up of women involved (My only bit of sadness was my own stupidity in thinking that I'd ordered the version with the signed art card when it appears that I hadn't). Advance singles 'Manchild' featuring Sia, and 'Buffalo Stance' featuring Robyn and Mapei have been included in previous blog posts in recent weeks, and it was no mean feat to choose a song from the remaining eight tracks for the Reissues By Women 2022 Spotify Playlist. I went for 'Woman' by ANOHNI...
Also providing me with difficulty of choice is Kellyoke by Kelly Clarkson. Is my favourite track her version of Whitney Houston's 'Queen Of The Night' or Radiohead's 'Fake Plastic Trees'? I'm honestly not sure but I chose 'Queen Of The Night' for the playlist, because Whitney. There are six tracks in all in this EP, borne out of the segment of the same name on her TV show, including 'Happier Than Ever' (Billie Eilish) and 'Blue Bayou' (Roy Orbison). It's available digitally now, with a CD available to pre-order for release on 1st July.
Portishead have opened the archives and made seven singles with b-sides available digitally for the first time this week. With just three studio albums in their catalogue, the delivery of seven singles increases their digitally available tracks by around fifty percent... 'Numb', 'Sour Times', 'Glory Box', 'All Mine', 'Over', 'Only You' and 'The Rip' singles with b-sides are now available on whatever your preferred streaming partner is. And there are more videos on YouTube too if that's your thing.
Following the success of the Blue Note Re:imagined compilation in 2020, Blue Note Re:imagined II is due out on 30th September. First single to be released from it is Ego Ella May's reinterpretation of Chico Hamilton's 'The Morning Side Of Love'.
A few reissues announced this week that I am featuring now because they will be out in the summer when this blog is on its holidays...
Blondie have released the first track from their archive boxset - 'Moonlight Drive' (their cover of the Doors' song) is taken from Against The Odds 1974-1982. Released on 26th August, it's a 124-track collection, including more than thirty previously unreleased recordings from this period. The vinyl box is 10LPs, and the CD equivalent is 8-discs. I got a sneak preview of the super deluxe vinyl box set that has a lovely shiny mirror board cover, and comes in the most excellent packaging (picture below!). There are cutdown versions too which just focus on the bonus tracks, for those who have all of the albums already. This is a very nice way to curate things.
And the Grammy-nominated 8-CD Bobbie Gentry box set The Girl From Chickasaw County gets a moment on vinyl on 5th August with the release of a new 2LP highlights version.
Don't forget it's RSD Drop 2 this Saturday - which includes reissues of Beth Orton's Central Reservation and Trailer Park that I know are causing some excitement amongst the record-buying community.
Regular readers will know that I mentioned Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill' last week, as it was back in the top ten following its inclusion in the soundtrack to Netflix's Stranger Things. Final chart position last week was number 2 in the UK singles chart, but according to the Official Charts Company at the start of this week, she is on course for a number 1 this week. In a period where women are increasingly speaking out about the pressure they feel under to be constantly visible on social media (particularly TikTok, as noted in this recent Guardian article by Self Esteem), it is wonderful to see a woman who has shunned media attention for years feature so high in the singles charts. Perhaps this puts the pressure back on labels to get some synch deals for their female artists and give them a break from making TikToks? And a timely companion piece to the Self Esteem Guardian article, is this Elle US piece by Marissa R. Moss about the female artists deliberately slowing down and moving away from the pressures of constant content creation...