Anyway, with the release of Bob Dylan’s Tempest looming, I was thinking the other morning about a time when albums just, you know, came out. What seemed to happen was pretty straightforward. There’d be a story in Melody Maker announcing a new album by one of your favourite bands that usually gave the record a title, track listing and release date. The week the album came out, there’d be a review, maybe an interview and perhaps a full-page ad somewhere in MM, often with tour dates attached.
On the day the album came out, you went to your local record shop – in my case, Derek’s in Water Street in Port Talbot – and you bought it. How simple it all seemed.
Of course, when I actually started working for Melody Maker in 1974, I found there was a bit more to it, although not much more usually than a launch party. This was basically an excuse for the band, their mates and assorted journalists to have a bit of a piss-up and could hardly be described as an integral part of a carefully-plotted promotional campaign, unless you were Led Zeppelin and the party was a debauched affair in Chislehurst Caves involving naked nuns and the like, in which case the event would get a bit of a write-up in the red tops.


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Please excuse the wholly shameless plug, but I thought you might like to know that the next in our series of Ultimate Music Guides goes on sale tomorrow (September 6) and this one is dedicated to Paul Weller.


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How many fans were aghast over the weekend to hear via the American broadcaster NBC that Neil Young had just died and unknown to many of them had also been the first man to set foot on the moon? Neil has been many things down the years, of course, but his secret history as an astronaut would have been news to everyone, including him.


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We’ve just had our copies of the new issue dropped off in the office, ahead of it going on sale later this week. Nick Cave’s on the cover, glowering menacingly. John Robinson went down to Brighton, where, as John memorably tells us, Nick lives in a house that’s ‘large and white, much as Russia in winter is large and white’. The occasion for Uncut dropping in on Cave was the release of Lawless, the terrific – and terrifically violent - new movie directed by Nick’s long-time collaborator, John Hillcoat, for which Cave has written the snappy screenplay.


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Lou Reed at 70 arrives onstage at the Festival Hall to do his bit for Antony Hegarty’s Meltdown programme dressed like a stroppy teenager in a baggy black basketball vest, gold medallions around his neck and what looks like a pair of tracksuit bottoms. He looks frail these days, though tonight slightly less so than last year at the Hammersmith Apollo, and perhaps no wonder when you consider what he’s put his body through over the years before he embraced his current sobriety.


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John Murry first entered Uncut airspace in 2006 with World Without End, the bleakly brilliant album of country death songs he wrote and recorded with Bob Frank. Six years on, Murry has just released his first solo album, The Graceless Age, an album of almost symphonic emotional turmoil, co-produced by late American Music Club drummer Tim Mooney. The songs on the record deal sometimes explicitly with Murry’s heroin addiction, specifically the 10-minute ‘Little Coloured Balloons’, a harrowing account of a near-fatal OD. I reviewed The Graceless Age for the current issue of Uncut and emailed Murry some questions, to which he replied in detail and at illuminating length, as you will see from the fascinating transcript that follows.


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I don’t have any more information on the new Bob Dylan album, Tempest, following last week’s newsletter and blog on Friday confirming the track listing, so apologies to all the readers who have written in, hungry for further details about the record. The absence of anything further I can tell you at the moment about Tempest gives me, however, the opportunity to briefly sing the praises of Lawless, the new movie from director John Hillcoat and Nick Cave, who’s written the screenplay, as he did for The Proposition, Hillcoat’s savage outback Western.


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Just a follow up to my post earlier this week about the new Bob Dylan album, around which a certain excitement seems to be accumulating. As I mentioned, the album features ten new Dylan songs that I can now give titles to, including “Roll On John”, the album’s closing track, a wistful tribute to John Lennon that quotes lines from several Beatles songs, including “Come Together” and “A Day In The Life”.


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Don’t spread it about, but, yes, I’ve heard the new Dylan album. And four or five tracks in, what I was thinking was: how much better is this thing going to get?


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There was exciting news this morning about the release on September 10 of a new Bob Dylan album, which if you haven’t seen the official announcement is called Tempest. There was much talk of the record a few weeks ago, backstage at the Hop Farm Festival, where one or two people rather teasingly inferred they had heard it, or knew someone who had.


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The new Uncut revealed! Arctic Monkeys, Neil Young, Kate Bush and Warren Zevon in new issue


Next month, Arctic Monkeys play two shows at London’s Finsbury Park to more than 100,000 people, which makes it a reasonable moment to look back at the band’s journey from the Sheffield suburb of High Green to their current all-conquering place in a rock pantheon where they are...