The La's, Jack Bruce, Free, Paul Kossoff & Whiskeytown

Posted on: 09 April 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

The cream of this spring's back catalogue albums.

From the best of British 1970s artists to an inventive '90s American act, here's a chance to complete your CD collection.

The La's - The La's

The La's CDThe La's are one of the most influential bands of modern times, despite their modest output of one album and a handful of singles. The deluxe version of The La's will for the first time help shed light on the development of the album.

Alongside the original album, there are six previously unreleased session recordings, including That'll be The Day, the Buddy Holly cover they recorded for BBC2's The Late Show. CD 2 gathers together material that tells the story of the lengthy and convoluted recording process that preceded the release of the album as the band moved from one producer to the next in search of an elusive sound that never quite materialised.

Most of the material on CD 2 has never been released before and includes the Mike Hedges sessions, the only producer that they recorded the whole album for.

This is a definitive presentation of a classic album and will be beautifully packaged in artwork redesigned by the band's original artwork designer, Simon Ryan. There is an extensive essay containing exclusive interviews with some of the key people in the story, and never seen before artwork.

The La's, out on Polydor 14th April 2008, is available from all good record stores or online at Amazon.

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Jack Bruce - Spirit: Live At The BBC 1971-1978

Jack Bruce Spirit CDOne of the greatest popular musicians Britain has ever produced, Jack Bruce is a supremely talented instrumentalist and vocalist whose pioneering bass playing style has influenced a generation of bassists. He is also the possessor of one of the most powerful voices in modern music and a composer of some of the most original and influential music of the past forty years.

This three disc set spans his trips to the BBC between 1971 and 1978 and contains the best of his post Cream BBC recordings. Sessions, concerts and Old Grey Whistle Test broadcasts combined in a beautifully packaged box set containing rare photos and extensive liner notes.

It features some of Jack's finest compositions such as Folksong, You Burned the Tables On Me, Can You Follow?, Smiles and Grins and Morning Story alongside new arrangements of Cream favourites such as We're Going Wrong and Born Under A Bad Sign. It spans the period during which Jack recorded the albums Harmony Row (1971), Out Of The Storm (1974) and How's Tricks (1977).

Spirit: Live At The BBC 1971-1978, out on Polydor, is available from all good record stores or online at Amazon.

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Free - Fire And Water

Free Fire and Water CDThe third album from Free was originally released in June 1970. Fire and Water has now been expanded with 23 bonus tracks.

The original album has been digitally remastered by Peter Mew at Abbey Road. CD 1 also contains three songs recorded in session for the BBC as well as four songs recorded live for John Peel's Sunday Live in Concert programme.

On CD 2 there are 16 alternative versions of tracks from the album. These include a previously unreleased version of Fire and Water and previously unreleased versions of All Right Now recorded for the video.

Fire and Water, out on Island, is available from all good record stores or online at Amazon.

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Paul Kossoff - Back Street Crawler

Paul Kossoff Back Street Crawler CDWhen Paul Kossoff left Free his only solo album was released in November 1973. Now it has been remastered and expanded with 15 bonus tracks.

The album has been digitally remastered from the original analogue master tapes. In addition CD 1 contains six radically different versions of the opening track, Tuesday Morning.

CD 2 includes a previously unreleased version of May You Never with John Martyn, the complete 38 minute jam for Time Away, a cover version of The Lady Is A Tramp and a further six previously unreleased out-takes from the Back Street Crawler sessions.

Back Street Crawler, out on Island, is available from all good record stores or online at Amazon.

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Whiskeytown - Strangers Almanac

Whiskeytown Strangers Almanac CDAlt-country band Whiskeytown launched the careers of singer-songwriter-guitarist Ryan Adams and fiddler-singer-songwriter Caitlin Cary. Strangers Almanac, their 1997 major label debut, is to be re-issued as a deluxe edition.

As well as the original album, CD 1 features five previously unreleased live public radio performances.

CD 2 contains 17 previously unreleased recordings from the pre-production sessions for the album, commonly referred to as the Barn's On Fire sessions.

It includes intimate acoustic demos of 16 Days, Avenues and Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart. There are covers of Fleetwood Mac's Dreams, Gram Parsons' Luxury Liner, Johnny Cash's I Still Miss Someone and an early version of the True Believers' The Rain Won't Help You When It's Over.

In addition, seven original songs are released for the first time - Kiss & Make-Up, Indian Gown, Barn's On Fire, Streets Of Sirens, Breathe, Nurse With The Pills and 10 Seconds.

Strangers Almanac, out on Mercury, is available from all good record stores or online at Amazon.


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