1. Radiohead – Ok Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017
The highly anticipated 20th anniversary reissue of Radiohead’s seminal Ok Computer will finally arrive this month, via XL recordings, as a heavyweight boxset edition. An expansive package, this release promises an array of Radiohead ephemera, as the perpetually forward-facing band take a rare moment of reflection.
Ok Computer marked a bold aesthetic leap for the band. Manoeuvring away from the anthemic flirtations of previous efforts, The Bends and Pablo Honey, the 1997 LP broke new ground with it’s coalescence of atmospheric studio-science and experimental post-rock instrumentation. Gone were the self-referential lyrics typical of ‘Creep’ or ‘High and Dry’, replaced by abstract musings on consumerist society and social isolation as Yorke sought to distance the band from the stifling literalism of mid-90s brit-pop. Under producer Nigel Godrich’s watch the band’s once hardened riffs dispelled into an atmospheric haze of tone and texture, laying the blueprint for both the future of the band’s output and the alternative rock of the following decade.
For this edition the album has been pressed across three heavyweight LPs – included in which are eight B-sides and three previously unreleased tracks (‘I Promise,’ ‘Lift,’ and ‘Man Of War.’). Furthermore, buyers can expect a hardback book featuring over 30 artworks and lyrical transcriptions, in addition to a further notebook full of Thom Yorke’s thoughts surrounding the recording process, a sketchbook full of preparatory artwork ideas, and a C90 cassette mixtape of demos and archival recordings compiled by the band. Official release is slated for 26th June – don’t miss out!
2. Iggy Pop – Early Album Reissues
Another bumper collection arrives this month: Iggy Pop’s The Idiot, Lust For Life, and TV Eye Live have all been assembled for a special colour vinyl reissue package as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations.
Renowned as some of the rock star’s finest work, both The Idiot and Lust For Life were recorded during his time in West Berlin, famously completed in collaboration with David Bowie, who himself was busy forming his iconic Berlin trilogy. The former takes it’s name verbatim from the famous Dostoyevsky novel and it’s sound from Germanic surrounding’s – absorbing influence from contemporary bands like Kraftwerk, among others. It’s successor, Lust For Life, saw Pop wrangling creative control back from the hands of Bowie, resultantly sounding more traditional in it’s mostly rock ’n roll flavouring. Also included in the set is TV Eye Live, a self-confessed escape route from the singer’s contract, but nevertheless an interesting patchwork of various live recordings, some of which feature Bowie on keys.
This reissue series will be available individually or as part of a bundled collection, which includes two tote bags adorned with the studio albums’ artworks.
3. John & Alice Coltrane – Cosmic Music
Any revival of the Coltrane couple’s music is worth paying attention to, and Cosmic Music, reissued this month via Superior Viaduct, is certainly no exception,
Cosmic Music was originally self-released by Alice Coltrane in 1968, following the death of her husband John one year prior. In essence a split release between the pair, the four track LP feature’s two compositions (‘Rev. King’ and ‘Manifestation’) performed by John Coltrane’s renowned final quintet, and two from Alice (‘Lord Help Me To Be’ and ‘The Sun’) documenting her first sessions as band leader following her partner’s death. Instrumental talent includes Pharaoh Sanders and Jimmy Garrison, whilst the compositions further reinforce the pair’s monumental contribution to the spiritual jazz movement.
4. Young Fathers – Tape One & Tape Two
Mercury Prize-winning trio Young Fathers take a retrospective turn this month with reissues of their earliest releases, Tape One & Tape Two.
A deft blend of soul, hip-hop and northern folk tradition, the group’s music hops gracefully between heartfelt melancholia (‘Romance’), adrenaline-pumped lyricism (‘Queen is Dead’) and twisted euphoria (‘Only Child’). Hailing from Edinburgh, the trio met at an under 16s hip-hop night at the Bongo Club, before forming a loosely associated group at the age of 14. Preceding their critically lauded debut album Dead in 2014, their earliest releases are notable for their limited availability – Tape One was recorded within a week and was only available via download or a limited cassette batch. Tape Two raised the group’s profile considerably, and both releases were picked up by US label Anticon for physical distribution in the US, whilst the trio also contributed 6 tracks to this year’s T2: Trainspotting soundtrack.