Def Leppard to release ‘Early Years: 79-81’ box set in March

Def Leppard will release a new box set, ‘Early Years: 79-81 on March 20th.  The 5CD package provides a comprehensive collection of the band’s work prior to the arrival of Phil Collen and the release of 1983’s multi-million selling ‘Pyromania’.

Included in the box set are the band’s first two albums – 1980’s ‘On Through The Night’ and 1981’s ‘High & Dry’, alongside the relevant b-sides and single releases.

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GIRL – Wasted Youth

Girl’s debut album ‘Sheer Greed’ wasn’t a massive success upon release in January 1980.  It reached a modest #33 on the UK album chart and spawned two flop singles. With Iron Maiden, Saxon, Judas Priest and Motorhead all scoring top five hits on the album charts during the year, so with that in mind, Girl’s chart placing seemed somewhat modest.  However, what the young band had lacked in sales they made up for with a sheer weight of live appearances.  Regulars at the legendary Marquee, the band also supported a lot of famous rock acts throughout 1980 and 1981 and rarely seemed to be off the road.

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Kreator to release new live album in February; 3CD/blu ray box set also available

Next month, thrash metal titans Kreator will release a new live album celebrating their October 2018 headline show at London’s Roundhouse.

The appropriately titled ‘London Apocalypticon – Live At The Roundhouse’ will be released on a variety of formats.  The standard retail edition includes a blu ray and CD soundtrack of the full show and promises to be as good as Nuclear Blast’s similar Overkill live set from 2018.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS – A Slight Disturbance In My Mind: The British Proto-Psychedelic Sounds Of 1966

1966 was very much a turning point for pop music. Many acts that were considered beat groups had started to branch out and to think beyond live performance. With orchestral tracks like ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and ‘For No One’ Paul McCartney pushed forth the idea of baroque pop. John Lennon, meanwhile, was experimenting with tape loops and early forms of electronica. His ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, closing The Beatles’ 1966 masterpiece ‘Revolver’, is often considered to be at least partially responsible for the birth of true psychedelia. While it’s obvious Lennon’s sound collage took a massive leap towards the mind expanding sounds of ’67, many other bands were sowing the seeds for change a little earlier. As early as 1965, The Kinks pushed boundaries with their single ‘See My Friends’ – a mix of jangling sixties pop and raga music – while even the Dave Clarke Five had occasionally sounded a bit…out there for the era with an increased use of reverb. While the roots of psychedelia could be argued over almost indefinitely, The Yardbirds’ ‘Shapes of Things’ – a fuzzy mish-mash of beat-pop and soft druggy haze – pre-dates the release of ‘Revolver’ by several months and is very much in the mould that would come to be known as freakbeat. An important branch of the psychedelia family tree, freakbeat took the bones of the sixties sound, loaded it with fuzz and wasn’t shy in exploiting the left/right split for stereo head trips. In 1966, this was very much at the forefront of emerging alternative sounds.

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New Eric Burdon & The Animals box set coming from Esoteric in February

When most people think of Eric Burdon, they think of The Animals.  More specifically, they think of The Animals’ hit-making period between 1964-66.  They might even think about Eric’s recordings with War, a brief association that spawned cult albums in 1970.

Between these two high profile periods, Burdon continued to record.  Much like Fleetwood Mac’s “wilderness period” that caused a drought of UK success between 1971 and 1975, Burdon’s output in 1967 and 1968 is often overlooked, yet in a little over a year, he released a string of non-charting albums credited to Eric Burdon & The Animals.

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