New Music Releases: Replacements, Breeders, Blues in Britain, Jesus Rock, More

Our picks this week. Click the links to order from Amazon.

4CD/1LP Boxed Set Features The Group’s Classic 1985 Tim Album. Remixed by Ed Stasium And Expanded With Previously Unreleased Studio And Live Recordings, Including Alex Chilton Produced Session Plus A Complete 1986 Concert.

A defining album of the 90s, Last Splash by The Breeders turns 30 this year. 

To celebrate, the band have returned to the original tapes to give it its first-ever remaster, and by doing so have also unearthed two lost tracks that will delight fans. 

Recorded by the ‘classic’ Breeders line-up of Kim Deal, Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson and featuring singles ‘Cannonball’ and ‘Divine Hammer’, Last Splash was “an alt-rock classic” (Pitchfork’s Top 100 Records of 1990s) on release; a fast seller too, quickly attaining Platinum status in the US. 

Despite having had the boxset treatment on its 20th birthday, the album was still left to be remastered so 10 years on, the original ½” tapes were taken out of the archives and have been lovingly worked on by Kim Deal, Benjamin Mumphrey and Miles Showell (Abbey Road). 

Never sounding so good, the album for its 30th anniversary, it’s getting the ultimate vinyl pressing

Entitled Last Splash (the 30th Anniversary Original Analog Edition), this new version has been cut at half speed at Abbey Road by Miles Showell, now spanning two LPs and running at 45rpm. 

This edition contains an exclusive, one-sided etched 12” which features two previously unreleased tracks – ‘Go Man Go’ and ‘Divine Mascis’ (‘Go Man Go’ is a track that Kim co-wrote with Black Francis while ‘Divine Mascis’ is a different version of ‘Divine Hammer’ with Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis on lead vocals). Both tracks originate from the original sessions and were left forgotten until the sessions were exhumed to create this new master. 

"Foreign Land" is the opening track on Teenage Fanclub's 2023 studio album, Nothing Lasts Forever. That track-and the rest of this beautifully rich and melodic album-is the sound of a season's end, of the last warm days of the year while nights begin to draw in and thoughts become reflective and more than a little melancholy. 

While the vocals and the finishing touches on Nothing Lasts Forever were recorded at Raymond McGinley's place in Glasgow, the music was recorded in an intense 10-day period in the bucolic Welsh countryside at Rockfield Studios, near Monmouth, in August 2022. You can hear the effect of that environment on the record-it's full of soft breeze, wide skies, beauty, and space.

Three CD compilation that focuses on all facets of the blues in the UK during the genre's most popular era. Key British artists run the stylistic gamut of R&B, electric blues, country blues, folk blues, blues rock, jug band music, Gospel, hokum, and ragtime. 

The set features such pioneers as Alexis Korner, John Mayall and Cyril Davies, as well as those who would become worldwide superstars with Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and many more contributing. 

Blues was in the DNA of the new genres being developed in the UK such as hard rock, psychedelia and folk rock, as can be evidenced by the inclusion in this set of The Animals, Jethro Tull, Pentangle, The Incredible String Band, Humble Pie, Chicken Shack, Savoy Brown, Jellybread, Taste and Ten Years After. 

Alongside these more progressive acts we have those that cherished the work of their blues heroes too much to alter it any way. These purists toiled away to approach the feel and replicate the sound heard on those treasured, well-worn albums that were studied so closely, long into the night. Among this number we count Jo-Ann Kelly, her brother Dave, Ian A. Anderson, Roger Hubbard and Mike Cooper, among others.

Three CD set. First-ever overview of the UK element of the late 60s/early 70s "Jesus movement". Incorporates the scene's gospel beat beginnings, the hippie-era Christian rock/folk groups and the movement's influence on mainstream secular bands. 

During the late 60s and early 70s, the restless, questing nature of the Woodstock generation and the horrors of Vietnam saw the pop scene add a new spiritual element. 

Many young people embraced Christianity, viewing Jesus as the prototypal long-haired hippie, persecuted by the establishment of the day while dispensing peace and love to a troubled, cynical world. 

The American branch of the Jesus movement effectively started in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, but there was also a parallel development in the UK that slowly evolved from beat groups performing in church coffee-bars. 

By 1971, leading British Xian rock band Out Of Darkness were appearing at notorious countercultural gathering Phun City, while Glastonbury introduced a "Jesus tent" that offered Christian revellers mass and holy communion twice a day. '

All God's Children' assembles the best of the British Christian acts, including such respected names as Out Of Darkness (and their earlier incarnation, garage R&B act The Pilgrims), Parchment, Whispers Of Truth and Judy MacKenzie.

It also features the secular alongside the sacred, including the likes of Strawbs, Moody Blues, Amazing Blondel, John Kongos and Medicine Head - bands who, though theologically shyer than their more overtly Christian contemporaries, all wrote songs with a strong spiritual message. A 3CD, four-hour set, 'All God's Children' - which takes it's name from the gorgeous Kinks' ballad, naturally included herein - is a fascinating look at an under-documented phenomenon and unexpected by-product of the hippie era.