Happy new year, everyone. Since we’re into 2014 now, and (perhaps more pertinently) since all of our 2013 charts generated so much traffic to www.uncut.co.uk last month, I thought it’d be useful/cynical to post a Best Of 2014 (Thus Far) list.


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So this, I think, might be a new thing: not so much a live recreation of a classic album, but a live recreation of the sessions which resulted in a classic album. A show predicated not just on evocative songs recorded 25-odd years ago, but on a nostalgia for outtakes that – up until a month or so ago, at least – most of the crowd in the Hammersmith Apollo tonight had never even heard.


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The last playlist of 2013, I think, and – as you’ll see – a bunch of faithful retainers slipping back in with 2014 releases. Not sure I can believe I’m ending the year with an embedded video of Tears For Fears covering Animal Collective, but there you go.


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We have about 24 hours to finish the next issue, and not much longer to complete another Uncut Ultimate Music Guide due in January, so no preamble this week: lots to hear and anticipate below. (Thanks, though, for all your feedback on my Best Of 2013 list; much appreciated, as ever).


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There are some things you never expect to see. Take, for example, a live performance of “Parallelograms”; a song of uncanny atmospheres and dynamics, recorded in 1970 by a dental hygienist with only a fleeting involvement with the music business.


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OK, I’ve managed to remember 143 albums that came out this year and that I liked. As in previous years, I didn’t see much point in hacking my list down to a Top 100, or Top 50, or whatever. While it’d be a stretch to claim every one is an imperishable classic, I do feel broadly confident recommending them all.


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Not uncharacteristically, I’ve spent the past few days repressing a bunch of unnecessary rage about the publicity afforded the BBC’s Sound Of 2013 poll. Not so much because of the artists selected, but because of the way it effectively presents an ultimatum to new talent: have something resembling success in the next 12 months, or else people will weary of your miserable underachievement and move on to the next batch of hopefuls.


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A pretty amazing week of new arrivals kicked off with the arrival of the beautiful thing pictured above; the Third Man/Revenant Paramount Records box set (Volume One, I should note). Lots to talk about there, not least the 800 tracks, and once I’ve had a deeper and more extensive listen I’ll try and blog about it properly.


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The new issue of Uncut arrives in UK shops this Thursday - though, if you’re a subscriber, you might receive your copy a little earlier. Morrissey, as you’ll see, is on the cover, and David Cavanagh’s ostensibly picked up the plot where Autobiography left off, uncovering the inside story on what has turned out to be a very weird year indeed for the singer.


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The Neil Young Ultimate Music Guide that I wrote about here (along with a review of the forthcoming “Live At The Cellar Door” set) is on sale now, so I thought it might be useful to post a sampler of what you might expect in this Uncut special: namely, this piece by me on 1996’s underrated “Broken Arrow”. Every Neil album is reviewed in comparable detail – you can find details of where to buy the mag here


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Editor's Letter

White Fence, OOIOO, Ty Segall, other stuff...


One of the many privileges and occasional disorientations of working for a monthly music mag is that we hear some music so far ahead of release that it can be easy to forget when the albums actually come out. So while the world of Ty Segall-related projects might have moved on...