Features

Saturday Deluxe / 23 September 2017

Albert Hammond (not the one in The Strokes) wows London audience

Well, it’s been a busy old week here at SDE and I admit I’ve been guilty of burning the candle at both ends with various things going on in the evening during the last five days.

On Tuesday I went to see veteran songwriter Albert Hammond who was at London’s Cadogan Hall. He was backed with a full orchestra and was the consummate profesional, putting on a great show. Not everything was too my taste, but the guy has had a hand in writing many great songs including Leo Sayer‘s When I Need You, The Air That I Breathe (originally performed by The Hollies) and Starship’s transatlantic number one, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. He even co-wrote the Aswad UK chart topper, Don’t Turn Around (originally written for Tina Turner and later covered again by Ace Of Base).

There were a few familiar faces in the audience. BBC Radio 2 DJ Johnnie Walker was sat right in front of us and after the show I saw his colleague Paul Gambaccini by the merch stand. Most excitingly, a certain Mr Holly Johnson was in the foyer post-concert, and as a big Frankie Goes To Hollywood fan I felt compelled to go up and introduce myself and say hello. Lovely end to the evening.

It turns out that Albert Hammond put out an album in the summer called In Symphony which is a recording of 12 of his biggest songwriting successes. It was recorded with producer/arranger Rob Mathes, who worked with Sting on his 2010 Symphonicities.


Morrissey’s November’s album release, has spawned a monster amount of formats

Morrissey‘s new album, Low In High School, was announced this week, and it surely set some kind of record in terms of the number of bundles and variations. There’s five coloured vinyl editions for a start (that includes the HMV exclusive). Some of these include lyrics in Japanese, French or Spanish. Additionally, you can buy what is becoming a familiar option for new albums, the seven-inch vinyl box set edition. £42 gets you the 12 tracks across six clear vinyl singles in a box. There’s a cassette edition, the standard CD and more bundles than you can throw a bundle of sticks at.

In the past, collectors might have to put a bit of effort (particularly pre-internet) in to seek out Japanese pressings, weird promo items (like a seven-inch box) and other rarities. The effort involved made this quite rewarding and not everyone could be bothered, but these days, the strategy with labels is just to hand everything to you on a plate, from the off! Like an instant record collection. Vaguely depressing.

Read more about Morrissey’s new album, here.


Michael Jackson / Scream compilation glow in the dark 2LP vinyl
Click image to enlarge

Pre-order lavish Michael Jackson 2LP vinyl from SDE

There’s no point pretending Sony’s forthcoming Michael Jackson compilation Scream is some kind of essential purchase – it really isn’t. However, I love the artwork and think the gatefold vinyl edition with two ‘glow-in-the-dark’ vinyl records looks gorgeous. And let’s face it, some of the songs aren’t, bad either! So not essential, but very desirable. And these are limited and won’t be available for ever.

I’ve got my order in and if you are interested I’d encourage you to purchase from the SDE shop. We’ve got these up at a great price, which shipped to the UK is actually cheaper than Amazon. In fact, I’d recommend you keep an eye on the SDE shop, because there’s now new stock coming in weekly, and I’m always trying to do deals behind-the-scenes to bring you some cool exclusives, like the Steven Wilson signed blu-ray (now sold out).


Just wanted to sign off this week, to tell you about something called ‘The Indulgence Show‘ which is taking place in West London next weekend.

The organisers describe this as an ‘audio and lifestyle entertainment event’ and amongst the various ‘areas’ there’s going to be one that focuses on hi-fi, audio and home entertainment, with loads of brands showing off their wares.

Particularly of interest to SDE readers (in the UK), is the fact that they’ve got some great speakers, including Gary Langan who’ll be there to discuss his career as a producer, engineer and member of the Art Of Noise and Chris Kimsey, the man who engineered Led Zepplin III and has worked extensively with  The Rolling Stones. He’ll be there to discuss the creation of Marillion‘s recently reissued Misplaced Childhood, which he produced. Photography Ross Halfin and mastering engineer Tony Cousins will also be in attendance.

The Indulgence Show runs from Friday 29 September to 1 October 2017, in Hammersmith. I’ll probably be going (on Saturday), so if you see me, do stop and say hello! Check out the organiser’s website for details.

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12 responses to Saturday Deluxe / 23 September 2017

  1. Mike the Fish says:

    Townhouse Tony?! Brilliant cutter.

  2. Ollie Carlisle says:

    You’d expect great speakers at a hi-fi show!

  3. Paul Murphy says:

    Albert Hammond’s ‘Songbook 2013 – Live In Wilhelmshaven’ is a superb live album.

  4. Auntie Sabrina says:

    Congratulations, first time I have EVER seen the opportunity to check the postage costs without first entering all my details. More online retailers ought to follow suit,

  5. Lemmin says:

    Those bundles from Moz’s site are a complete rip off. $70 US for a record, terrible shirt and tacky badge? Sheep are all they’re for. I’ll just wait for standard black vinyl. He has to regret that he ever wrote Paint A Vulgar Picture, he’s proving you don’t need to be a dead Pop star to fit the lyrics.

  6. Craig says:

    If you are having to make a fuss of the number of variants of the new Morrissey album you should at least be able to remember a whole 2 months back to the release of the Arcade Fire album considering you are even selling some of the very same “language” variants here! (at an inflated £30 vs £18 on the official webstore I might add).

    There were 22 versions of the vinyl in different artwork/colour editions, plus 2 CDs & a Cassette. And the bundles on top of that!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Fair point, although Morrissey is taking it to a whole new level. The language versions are mostly out of print, so SDE pricing reflects that.

  7. Colin Harper says:

    You make a very good point on the nature of record collecting, Paul – the twenty-first century marketing solution of splurging 50 variations of something at once, all readily available at the click of a mouse, in the clear hope that X amount of diehards will purchase most or all of it, versus the fun, if you like, of being a fan of a pre-Internet artist and discovering the existence of rarities by word of mouth or sleuthing, and then having to find copies…

    Record collecting has gone from a slightly nerdy fun hobby to the very heart of record marketing strategies. Where it was previously, if you like, ‘fan led’ – something that happened incidental to a record label’s marketing of a record (essentially ONE of the blighters, not one split into 50 variations) – it is now, it seems, the whole of the strategy. Somebody has decided that Morissey has X fans and the sales target has to be X+Y to make sense, hence this bank raid on the fanbase. It wouldn’t work for everyone, but Morissey attracts a very loyal core of fans.

    For me, it’s still fun to find US radio promo edits and Italian jukebox-only singles by the Mahavishnu Orchestra – things that were never intended for the public. Horses for courses, I suppose.

    • CJ says:

      I also feel a bit sad about the role of the internet in changing record collecting. I used to plan weekend trips to go go record stores in other states to find imports and singles, not even knowing for certain if they might be there. And in the he process, I often discovered albums and bands I would have never heard of. It’s how I got into Saint Etienne and A-ha and dozens of other acts. Now, there pretty much are no record stores to go to where I live, even if I travel, and I sit on the couch and order things from my iPad. It’s easier, but there’s very little sense of achievement when I find something, since now you can pretty much get whatever collectible you want, no matter how rare it is, so long as you’re willing to spend the money on it. Finding it usually takes, at most, five or ten minutes of Google searching. It does take quite a bit of the joy out of it.

  8. Ex-Oligarch says:

    Paul’s disheartened observation that record industry “hand[s] everything to you on a plate” reminds me of the pre-made “collectible” companies that had their heyday in the US during the 1960s and 70s. They exploited the then-popular fad for antiques. Manufacturers like the Franklin Mint indeed produced “collectible” plates, as well as spoons, cups, statuettes, medallions, and any other sort of kitschy bric-a-brac you can imagine. They then sold it all at premium prices in “limited” editions running into the tens of thousands of copies, often by subscription.

    I suppose some people found joy in purchasing such things, and no record collector should feel too cocky about judging another obsessive’s hobby. All the same, even as a youngster I could see the difference between hunting up a rare cultural artifact from the past, and simply paying for a newly-created object that would be produced in a limited number — especially an object that was never intended to be used, only possessed. I could also feel that it was “vaguely depressing,” even a bit pathetic.

    CJ’s observations about collecting on the internet are spot on as well. I’ll add that the internet has been an amazing boon in allowing musicians and listeners with esoteric tastes to hear past artists who never found a broad commercial audience and who fell outside the industry-approved reissue canon — artists whose works could only be found through specialized knowledge and diligent searching in the pre-internet era. So something important has been gained while something else has been lost.

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