Music Reviews

Earl Scruggs - Classic Bluegrass Live

Cleveland County bluegrass legend and Foggy Mountain Boy wows Newport festival crowd, 1959-66

Various Artists - Fabric Live 7—John Peel

Ace addition to budget soundclash series

Tractor

30th-anniversary reissue for Julian Cope-inspiring prog classic

Artie Shaw - Self Portrait

Five-CD anthology from swing-era rebel

Eddie & Ernie - Lost Friends

First CD compilation of duo known as "the acme of deep soul"

Will Smith - Greatest Hits

Grammy-winners and million-sellers from the once-Fresh Prince

The Zombies - The Decca Stereo Anthology

Their entire studio output 1964-1966, remastered in stereo

They Might Be Giants - Dial-A-Song—20 Years Of TMBG

Wacky Brooklyn combo who defy taste and fashion but can write a song about that, too

Sam Cooke With The Soul Stirrers - The Complete Specialty Recordings

Classic '50s gospel group singing from influential sweet soul man

Various Artists - The Wire 20 1982-2002

Triple box set celebrating independent alternative experimental music

Lou Reed - Take No Prisoners

Lou live'n'loose, on CD for first time

Prince Buster - Fabulous Greatest Hits

Crown Prince of ska's classic collection gets reissued with bonus tracks as a prelude to...

Uneasy Listening

Remastered 24-CD box set of live performances by establishment-baiting avant-noise terrorists

Doom With A View

Full-scale album reissue programme of Sheffield electronicists' 1979-82 output, before they signed...

U-Roy - Various Artists

Jamaican superstar DJ and his UK peers

Bill Withers

Seminal soul man, best known for "Ain't No Sunshine", "Lean On Me" and "Lovely Day", back in print

Kid Loco - Another Late Night

Inveterate remixer (Pulp, St Etienne, Talvin Singh) chills out with some downtempo classics

Various Artists - Commercial Break

Diverse 49-track, two-CD collection of songs that have been used on TV ads

Badfinger - Head First

Ill-starred, Badfinger's final album before guitarist/vocalist Pete Ham's suicide was designed to...

John Martyn - Solid Air—Classics Revisited

Don't be misled by the title. This is not Martyn's classic 1973 album Solid Air, but a best-of that...

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Editor's Letter

Introducing… Elvis Costello: The Ultimate Music Guide


In June 1977, Allan Jones of the Melody Maker took a familiar route to the offices of Stiff Records in West London. His appointment, that day, was with a notably irascible young singer-songwriter from Hounslow. In the course of a frequently startling interview, the man who had chosen to call...