The ska revival of the early 80s brought some great and timeless music, but The Beat’s debut album and associated singles were among the finest slabs of vinyl to emerge from the scene. Part of The Beat’s enduring charm came from great chorus hooks, but for many, the real energy and brilliance came from Ranking Roger.
Their 1987 world dominating ‘Kick’ album – boasting no fewer than five hit singles – was reissued in 2002 as a two disc deluxe edition, again in 2012 as a 3CD/DVD box set and yet again in 2017 as a modified version of the previous box, missing a few items but priced far more sensibly. Despite shifting a lot of album units, however, the rest of their back catalogue has been overlooked with regard to the deluxe reissue market.
When Record Store Day first began, it was a great idea. Those who were regulars at independent record shops like Avalanche in Edinbugh and Resident in Brighton could potentially get their hands on very limited, exclusive items. It was a celebration of record buying culture, more than anything. Over the years the event has grown. After all of the major labels sensed a potential cash cow, it increasingly became about reissuing stuff en masse at inflated prices.
Record Store Day has become an event full of mixed feelings. There are now tales of people not actually visiting their local (and favourite) stores on RSD as the crowds of unfamiliar faces have made the experience quite stressful. People queue for hours in the hope of finding one of the many artificially created rarities – a lot of which seem to appear on ebay just hours later at even more inflated prices. In recent years, there have even been dealers “pre-selling” their RSD wares on the internet up to two days before the event that was supposed to get people into their shops.
Previously at this point in December, it has become the custom for Real Gone to issue a free download containing some of the best underground tracks of the year. For the past seven or eight years, these downloads have been a popular fixture on the Real Gone calendar, turning people on to all kinds of artists.
With the changing times, we regret to say the era of the free sampler has come to an end. It seems that people much prefer streaming and with that in mind, we’ve made the decision to highlight some of our favourite tunes in an eighty minute playlist.
Eric Clapton is more than fairly represented when it comes to concert DVD releases. In fact, these stretch to seventeen different releases at the close of 2018. However, most of these feature festival shows from after 1999 and only really represent the latter stages of the legendary musician’s career.