The Kinks announce 10-disc mono vinyl collection

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The Kinks have announced details of a mono vinyl box set.

The Mono Collection contains 10 discs from 1964 to 1969. It will be released on November 18 by BMG through Sony Music Entertainment.

The box packages the first 8 albums in mono, including Live At Kelvin Hall. The set also includes the bonus double LP compilation The Kinks (aka The Black Album) as well as a hardcover 48-page book including never-before-seen photos and new interviews with Ray Davies, Dave Davies and Mick Avory.

The Mono Collection contains:

Kinks (1964)
Kinda Kinks (1965)
The Kink Kontroversy (1965)
Face To Face (1966)
Something Else By The Kinks (1967)
Live At Kelvin Hall (1967)
The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968)
Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire (1969)
The Kinks (a.k.a. The Black Album) (Compilation 1970)

The November 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on The Specials, plus Bon Iver, Bob Weir, Shirley Collins, Conor Oberst, Peter Hook, Bad Company, Leonard Cohen, Muscle Shoals, Will Oldham, Oasis, Lou Reed, Otis Redding, Nina Simone, Frank Ocean, Michael Kiwanuka and more plus 140 reviews and our free 15-track CD

Sid & Nancy

John Lydon has never received his due as a film critic. To be fair, we only really know the great man’s opinions on a single movie, but almost all his key objections to it are on the money. Three decades on, even the film’s director has largely come round to his way of thinking: “All the advice [Lydon] gave us, we should have followed…”

Alex Cox, quite cheerfully, makes this declaration in a short but fascinating interview included among the extras on this new edition of his 1986 biopic, tracing the downward spiralling love affair between Sid Vicious, his American girlfriend Nancy Spungen and heroin.

When the film first appeared, Lydon was vociferous in his condemnation of factual inaccuracies and a failure to look beyond Sid’s bloodied cartoon yob public image. For audiences not so intimately involved with the story – i.e. everyone else – those faults are less glaring. Indeed, it’s Cox’s balance between personal passion and ironic distance that gives this movie its particular life. Cox drew boundless inspiration from punk, but as the UK scene was breaking, he was already far away, a Brit-abroad in LA, soaking up the west coast iteration of punk that soundtracked his debut, Repo Man (1984).

Above all, though, Lydon objected to Cox’s final scene, and the damage it does is more profound. In reality, released from jail on bail under suspicion for the killing of Nancy Spungen in their Chelsea Hotel room, Sid scored more smack and swiftly died. In Cox’s movie, Nancy, resplendent in bridal white, comes back to earth to pick Sid up in a heavenly New York taxicab that ferries them off toward some strung-out punk Nirvana, away from a world never meant for ones as beautiful as them.

The sequence is one of several semi-surreal moments injected amid an otherwise fairly straight, if energetically cartoonish, rendering of recent history by Cox, who, directing only his second feature, was exploding with ideas. 1986 was a year of flux for British cinema. On one the hand, the 1960s old guard – Nic Roeg, Ken Russell and Alan Clarke – all released new movies that year, as did a new generation of punk-inspired filmmakers including Derek Jarman and Julien Temple.

Cox fitted in well. It is the filmmaker’s anarchic poetic realism that makes Sid & Nancy linger in the mind, alongside two striking lead performances – in his movie debut, Gary Oldman brings to Sid both feral energy and a blockhead shtick reminiscent of Vyvyan from The Young Ones; as Nancy, Chloe Webb delivers a horrendous nasal whine that could cut concrete, yet suggests buried traces of a lost and damaged girl. Often, the film slips into dreamlike moments: a gorgeous long take of the couple walking unscathed amid the carnage as the Pistols’ Jubilee boat ride degenerates into a mini-riot; snogging in a Manhattan alley while garbage cans rain softly down around them.

Sid & Nancy is frequently funny, too. Miguel Sandoval’s scene as the American record company executive singing Johnny Rotten his “punky” song “I Wanna Job” is eternally hilarious. But the second half, as the couple fall into junkiedom, grows increasingly bleak and cold – until that last scene, a sentimentalised moment of rock death romanticism. Elsewhere, Courtney Love takes a small role as Nancy’s hanger-on friend.

But a curious, constant ambivalence is Sid & Nancy’s defining characteristic. Simultaneously seeking authenticity and subverting it, it is precisely this odd sense of pulling in different directions that makes all Cox’s films so fascinating – and also saw him quickly banished from the mainstream, following the commercial failure of his follow-up, Walker (1987).

If John Lydon has never forgiven Sid & Nancy, surely even he would appreciate that Cox made it with the best intentions. As he says here, the main reason he started it in the first place was to scupper another planned Sid & Nancy movie, projected, horrifically, to star Rupert Everett and Madonna. As for Lydon: “I have nothing but respect for the man, and I would love to see him again and embrace him warmly.” Maybe the BBC could get the two of them together to do a film review show.

EXTRAS 7/10: The Blu-Ray’s big draw is the new restoration, supervised by cinematographer Roger Deakins. Elsewhere, fine, if short, interviews with Cox, Deakins and Don Letts.

The November 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on The Specials, plus Bon Iver, Bob Weir, Shirley Collins, Conor Oberst, Peter Hook, Bad Company, Leonard Cohen, Muscle Shoals, Will Oldham, Oasis, Lou Reed, Otis Redding, Nina Simone, Frank Ocean, Michael Kiwanuka and more plus 140 reviews and our free 15-track CD

Reviewed! The Rolling Stones – Havana Moon

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Over the weekend, Bill Murray worked a couple of shifts behind the bar at his son’s Brooklyn restaurant. You can watch footage online of Murray, wearing a striped shirt over a t-shirt, pouring shots of whiskey or tequila. As he served customers – and, on occasion, himself – the actor sang along to Stones’ hits, “Start Me Up” and “Miss You”. It strikes me that should they need one, Murray would make an ideal host for the Stones’ next gig – at the Desert Trip festival, where they will share a bill with Dylan, McCartney, Neil Young, The Who and Roger Waters.

In some ways, the Stones’ presence on the Desert Trip bill feels like part of the band’s ongoing commitments to reshape their touring practices. Rather than quantity, quality has become the watchword at the heart of the Stones’ live experience. The band no longer head out on exhaustive 147-date treks like the Bigger Bang tour, instead they have favoured smaller runs: the 50 & Counting tour (30 dates), its counterpart 14 On Fire (29), the Zip Code Tour (17) and América Latina Olé Tour (14) earlier this year. This has allowed them to mix the thrillingly low key (Sticky Fingers, in full, at Los Angeles’ 1,300-capacity Fonda Theatre) with the high profile event (2 nights at Hyde Park, 44 years after their 1969 performance.

Havana Moon distinctly falls into the latter camp: a document of their March 25 performance in Cuba’s capitol, the first major international rock act to play the island (the Manic Street Preachers notwithstanding). The Stones have always understood the purpose of grand gestures – free concerts a speciality, playing to 1.5 million people on Copacabana beach in 2006 among them – and the show in Cuba was another historic first for the band. A text crawl at the start of Havana Moon gives us some insight into the behind-the-scenes admin: 58 trucks, 500 tonnes of kit, 21 days to build the set.

The Stones show on the island represents a gradual ideological sea change on behalf by both the Stones and the Cuban authorities. Once, the Stones music was banned on Cuba; during an interview segment at the start of Havana Moon, Mick Jagger is quick to recognize the country’s “weird romantic aura. It was the country that stood up to the United States. There is still this attraction of people like Fidel and Che Guevara.” Both Cuba and the Stones – considered dangerous in the Sixties, currently enjoying greater diplomatic access – now play host to world leaders and elder statesmen. “They times are changing,” says Jagger.

stones_cuba_poster

As a concert film, Havana Moon demonstrates the assiduous way the Stones continue to manage their legacy. In the absence of a new studio material since 2005’s A Bigger Bang, the Stones have relied on a mix of canny reissues (Exile On Main Street, Some Girls, Sticky Fingers) and an ever-expanding catalogue of live releases. They’ve released 11 concert DVDs since 2007’s The Biggest Bang, stretching from Hyde Park in 1969 to the Marquee in 1971, Hampton Coliseum in 1981 and Tokyo Dome in 1990 up to Martin Scorsese’s peerless film of their 2006 show at the Beacon Theatre in New York.

What, then, Havana Moon offers us is a robust underscoring of the Stones’ key strengths: showmanship, craft, strong tunes. Director Paul Dugdale brings a sense of the Stones’ live experience – the crane shots hovering above a vast crowd, the close ups of banners fluttering in the night air, the fleeting constellations of iPhone flashes, those two crazy guys down the front with John Pasche’s lips and tongue logos painted on their cheeks. These kind of images have become stock elements of concert footage, although it would be hard to dispute their particular potency here; Havana Moon isn’t just a celebration of the Stones doing what the Stones do best, it is freighted with a deeper sense of liberation and of possibility. “The Stones can do things that governments can’t,” acknowledges Keith Richards. “It’s just because of our peculiar situation. You can affect people in a different way without it being official.”

We’re in a setlist that with very few exceptions doesn’t stray much beyond 1980 – which is part of the contract that the Stones have with their audience. Although the songs are instantly familiar, the band consistently manages to find more resonances, more inflections and more variations of texture, rhythm and mood. Bridges To Babylon’s “Out Of Control” enjoys some fiery back-and-forth between Jagger on the harmonica and Richards’ guitar solo, while the interplay between Chuck Leavell’s mellow keys, Richards’ acoustic guitar and Ron Wood’s delicate lead lines on “Angie” is well captured by Dugdale’s camera crew. Other intimate highlights include Wood’s beautiful, sympathetic slide playing on “You Got The Silver” and the few moments at the beginning of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, with Jagger and Richards bringing the song into focus together on acoustic guitars.

Meanwhile, “Paint It, Black” is thrilling and nihilistic, driven by Charlie Watts’ pummelling beat and a powerful, hypnotic guitar attack from Richards and Wood. “Midnight Rambler” might lack the extra level of guitar brilliance Mick Taylor brought to the 50 & Counting shows, but it’s still a mighty thing to behold, with Richards and Wood locked in a complex groove of solos and riffs. For all the theatricality of a Stones’ show these days – the costume changes, video screens, fireworks – the inherent dramatic tensions of songs like “Midnight Rambler”, “Gimme Shelter” and “Sympathy For The Devil” are never quite lost, the band’s darker, lysergic impulses just a shot away.

In a show of supremely well-judged pace, it is to the Stones credit that any songs from the final third of the set – “Gimme Shelter”, “Start Me Up”, “Sympathy…”, “Brown Sugar”, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” – would be an acceptably impressive closing number. Of course, “…Satisfaction” has long been their final song and tonight it carries additional heft. It would be foolish to suggest that the Stones playing Cuba is somehow going to accelerate the democratic process – but what, after all, could be more appropriate in this specific location than a song about alienation and impatience and frustration? Now, as then, the Stones’ capture the spirit of the times.

Follow me on Twitter @MichaelBonner

Havana Moon is in UK cinemas on September 23; you can find more information by clicking here

The November 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on The Specials, plus Bon Iver, Bob Weir, Shirley Collins, Conor Oberst, Peter Hook, Bad Company, Leonard Cohen, Muscle Shoals, Will Oldham, Oasis, Lou Reed, Otis Redding, Nina Simone, Frank Ocean, Michael Kiwanuka and more plus 140 reviews and our free 15-track CD

Introducing the new issue of Uncut…

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We have a new issue of Uncut, out today in the UK; maybe some of you, especially the subscribers, are already in possession of a copy? It’s the second we’ve published since we gave the magazine a significant overhaul, and includes a bunch of pieces I’m really proud of.

If there’s a prevailing theme to the issue, it’s one of notable comebacks. Our cover stars are The Specials, returning to action, scarred by bereavements, but aware that their anti-racist manifesto has a new urgency in 2016. Bon Iver tells Stephen Deusner about the complicated gestation of his eagerly-awaited third album. Bob Weir resurrects his long-neglected solo career, while still being deeply invested in the ongoing story of The Grateful Dead: “It would be sinful to walk away from that body of work,” he says to Andy Gill. “All those songs are still alive, and still evolving, and will continue to, for me, until I breathe my last breath.” We even visit an American town making its own kind of comeback – the musical crucible of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, flourishing again long after the heyday of FAME Studios and the legendary Swampers.

There are also remarkable contributions from two potent octogenarians. This month, at the significant age of 83, Leonard Cohen will release his 14th studio album. His third album in just over four years, You Want It Darker is the culmination of one of the most productive periods in Cohen’s career and, I think, one of the best albums he has ever made (Jason Anderson agrees, and his definitive review of You Want It Darker is a fitting way to open this month’s retooled reviews section). Before the appearance of Old Ideas in 2012, plenty of things had kept Cohen from the recording studio: long stretches of monastic retreat; pragmatic tours to recoup a lost fortune; and, most profoundly, a perfectionist streak that ensured every last word and note would be considered and reconsidered, year after year, until Cohen was satisfied enough to release them into the public domain.

Cohen did not, though, ever lose the ability to sing; I suppose some of his detractors might argue he never had much traditional aptitude for singing in the first place. Shirley Collins, on the other hand, has barely sung in public for nearly 40 years, her confidence deserting her when her then-husband, Ashley Hutchings, left her for another woman. “Dysphonia is the name that’s given to it now,” Collins tells Jim Wirth in one of this issue’s key features, as she heroically prepares to release her first (and very fine) album in 38 years, “but it was a mixture of grief, and nerves and humiliation – and just terror. Fright. Fear.”

Uncut is committed to new music, and in the new issue you can read about Frank Ocean, Weyes Blood, DD Dumbo, Xylouris White and many more fresh and exciting discoveries (I should mention that personal favourites 75 Dollar Bill make an appearance on our free CD). But 81-year-olds can encapsulate the past, present and future of great music, too. “Having listened all my life to field recordings, I feel these people behind me,” says Shirley Collins, referring to the singers who passed on the uncanny songs she loves, over the course of centuries. “I’m responsible for those songs. I’m a conduit. I think I understand this music better than anybody else.”

Trust, I guess, the experts.

This month in Uncut

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The Specials, Bob Weir, Peter Hook and Leonard Cohen all feature in the new issue of Uncut, dated November 2016 and on sale now or available to buy digitally by clicking here.

The 2 Tone survivors are on the cover, and inside the magazine the group take us through their 40-year history, uncovering a tale of endurance in the face of racism, bereavement and rifts.

Discussing their decision to reconvene for a tour that will reassert their importance as one of the great British bands, Horace Panter says: “Injustice is timeless. The same message from 1979 is relevant in 2016… There’s something about us: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

As he returns with his first studio album for 30 years, Bob Weir meets Uncut to discuss the long, strange saga of the Grateful Dead, his new record and the band’s “final farewell”. “From my point of view,” he explains, “it would be sinful to walk away from that body of work.”

Peter Hook answers your questions on topics ranging from Ian Curtis, Peter Saville, leather pants and throwing six dozen eggs at the Buzzcocks. “New Order did so much together, it breaks my heart every day,” he tells us.

Elsewhere, Leonard Cohen‘s new album, You Want It Darker, is our album of the month, and Jason Anderson writes an extended, in-depth review of the record.

Shirley Collins, the grande dame of English folk, tells the fascinating story of her 81-year odyssey, ghosts and all, as she prepares to release Lodestar, her first album for 38 years. “I’m finding my nerve again,” she tells Uncut. “I lost it for too many years.”

We also look at the past, present and future of Muscle Shoals, the cradle of Southern soul and rock, and shine the spotlight on four new Alabama bands that you need to hear. “People are protective of the Shoals and want to keep it goin’,” says John Paul White.

Bad Company take us through the making of their hit “Feel Like Makin’ Love”, which includes medieval banquets, haunted studios and Californian hitch-hiking, while Conor Oberst discusses his greatest albums, from Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos, Monsters Of Folk and solo – “We were really ambitious,” he explains, “but the charm is that we didn’t know what the fuck we were doing.”

Bill Wyman, Prophets Of Rage, Will Oldham and DD Dumbo appear in Uncut‘s Instant Karma! section, while new albums from Frank Ocean, Hiss Golden Messenger, David Crosby and more are reviewed, alongside archival releases from Marc Almond, Otis Redding, Lou Reed and Steve Hillage. Films including Werner Herzog‘s Lo And Behold, Ken Loach‘s I, Daniel Blake and OasisSupersonic are reviewed, while we catch live sets from Miracle Legion and some of the best acts at End Of The Road festival.

Our free CD, Stereotypes, features new music from Conor Oberst, Kristin Hersh, Goat, Xylouris White, Weyes Blood, Purling Hiss and more.

The new issue of Uncut is out now.

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.

November 2016

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The Specials, Bob Weir, Peter Hook and Leonard Cohen all feature in the new issue of Uncut, dated November 2016 in UK shops now and available to buy digitally online.

The 2 Tone survivors are on the cover, and inside the magazine the group take us through their 40-year history, uncovering a tale of endurance in the face of racism, bereavement and rifts.

Discussing their decision to reconvene for a tour that will reassert their importance as one of the great British bands, Horace Panter says: “Injustice is timeless. The same message from 1979 is relevant in 2016… There’s something about us: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

As he returns with his first studio album for 30 years, Bob Weir meets Uncut to discuss the long, strange saga of the Grateful Dead, his new record and the band’s “final farewell”. “From my point of view,” he explains, “it would be sinful to walk away from that body of work.”

Peter Hook answers your questions on topics ranging from Ian Curtis, Peter Saville, leather pants and throwing six dozen eggs at the Buzzcocks. “New Order did so much together, it breaks my heart every day,” he tells us.

Elsewhere, Leonard Cohen‘s new album, You Want It Darker, is our album of the month, and Jason Anderson writes an extended, in-depth review of the record.

Shirley Collins, the grande dame of English folk, tells the fascinating story of her 81-year odyssey, ghosts and all, as she prepares to release Lodestar, her first album for 38 years. “I’m finding my nerve again,” she tells Uncut. “I lost it for too many years.”

We also look at the past, present and future of Muscle Shoals, the cradle of Southern soul and rock, and shine the spotlight on four new Alabama bands that you need to hear. “People are protective of the Shoals and want to keep it goin’,” says John Paul White.

Bad Company take us through the making of their hit “Feel Like Makin’ Love”, which includes medieval banquets, haunted studios and Californian hitch-hiking, while Conor Oberst discusses his greatest albums, from Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos, Monsters Of Folk and solo – “We were really ambitious,” he explains, “but the charm is that we didn’t know what the fuck we were doing.”

Bill Wyman, Prophets Of Rage, Will Oldham and DD Dumbo appear in Uncut‘s Instant Karma! section, while new albums from Frank Ocean, Hiss Golden Messenger, David Crosby and more are reviewed, alongside archival releases from Marc Almond, Otis Redding, Lou Reed and Steve Hillage. Films including Werner Herzog‘s Lo And Behold, Ken Loach‘s I, Daniel Blake and OasisSupersonic are reviewed, while we catch live sets from Miracle Legion and some of the best acts at End Of The Road festival.

Our free CD, Stereotypes, features new music from Conor Oberst, Kristin Hersh, Goat, Xylouris White, Weyes Blood, Purling Hiss and more.

The new issue of Uncut is out now.

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.

Josh White – Josh At Midnight

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Recorded over two nights at a church in Manhattan, with blankets covering the windows and a paper cup of vodka at the ready, Josh At Midnight is all about mood. The album captures a loose, informal, friendly, late-night (or is it early-morning?) bonhomie between its three musicians: singer and guitarist Josh White, baritone vocalist Sam Gary and upright bass player Al Hall. For fans of gritty Delta blues or its electrified cousin from the city, it might sound a bit polished. White’s is a very practised form of blues, never sounding especially ragged or lowdown. Yet his performance is no less spontaneous or volatile for its professionalism and precision.

Released in 1956 by Elektra Records (whose founder Jac Holzman produced the sessions and penned liner notes for this reissue), Josh At Midnight is one of the great comeback records of the era. White had been travelling and playing for most of his life, first as a teenager in the Jim Crow South of the 1930s and later as one of the most popular black men in America. In the 1940s he recorded the first million-selling race record (“One Meatball”), acted on Broadway and starred in Hollywood films.

White’s efforts as a pioneering social activist, however, landed him on the blacklist, and his 1950 appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee derailed his professional ambitions. Josh At Midnight launched a new chapter in his career, not only becoming Elektra’s biggest-selling release of the decade but influencing future generations of guitar players, including Roger McGuinn, Roy Harper and Bert Jansch (who owned a Josh White Signature Ovation acoustic guitar early in his career, until a friend nabbed it).

He’s a sharp and supremely agile instrumentalist, with a style that’s both precise and casual. On this version of “Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho” he makes his acoustic sound like a full drumkit; on “Number Twelve Train”, it sounds like a small army of guitars playing all at once and not always together. For all his dexterity, White doesn’t showboat so much as he riffs gregariously with the other two musicians. Hall’s bass struts through these songs, especially opener “St James Infirmary”. Both “Raise A Rukus” and “Peter” are high-wire acts of blazing guitar riffs and rapid-fire vocal exchanges between White and Gary.

White is a magnetic performer, alternately hilarious and dead serious. He winks his way through the exceptionally randy “Jelly Jelly!”, then laments his own mortality on “Takin’ Names”. More than 60 years later, Josh At Midnight remains a remarkable document, a roadmap to the place where blues intersects with folk, jazz, pop and cabaret. By reinventing those forms for a new generation of listeners, White crafted a lively album whose charm and boisterous charisma haven’t dimmed at all.

The October 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on David Bowie, plus Margo Price, Lou Reed, David Crosby, Devendra Banhart, Van Der Graaf Generator, The Turtles, The Beatles, Granny Takes A Trip, Kate Bush, Drive-By Truckers, Jack White, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, Wilco and more plus 32 pages of reviews and our free 15-track CD

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.

Bert Jansch Living In The Shadows box set announced

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Bert Jansch‘s 1990s output is being collected in a new box set, along with additional unheard material.

Living In The Shadows is released on January 27, 2017 as a 4LP/DL/4CD Bookback box set.

It features his three studio albums from that decade – The Ornament Tree, When The Circus Comes To Town and Toy Balloon alongside an extra disc of demos, alternate versions and never-before heard tracks transferred from Jansch’s personal tapes.

You can find more information by clicking here.

The October 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on David Bowie, plus Margo Price, Lou Reed, David Crosby, Devendra Banhart, Van Der Graaf Generator, The Turtles, The Beatles, Granny Takes A Trip, Kate Bush, Drive-By Truckers, Jack White, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, Wilco and more plus 32 pages of reviews and our free 15-track CD

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.

Hear Neil Young’s new song, “Indian Givers”

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Neil Young has released a new song, “Indian Givers“.

The song protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. You can read the full lyrics below.

Young has previously protested against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in 2014. Young and Willie Nelson also staged a concert that same year lobbying against Keystone.

This year, the people of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and the organization ReZpect Our Water have protested against the expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

There’s a battle raging on the sacred land
Our brothers and sisters have to take a stand
Against us now for what we all been doing
On the sacred land there’s a battle brewing

I wish somebody would share the news

Now it’s been about 500 years
We keep taking what we gave away
Just like what we call Indian givers
It makes you sick and gives you shivers

I wish somebody would share the news

Big money going backwards and ripping the soil
Where graves are scattered and blood was boiled
When all who look can see the truth
But they just move on and keep their groove

I wish somebody would share the news

Saw Happy locked to the big machine
They had to cut him loose and you know what that means
That’s when Happy went to jail
Behind big money justice always fails

I wish somebody would share the news

Bring back the days when good was good
Lose these imposters in our neighborhood
Across our farms and through our waters
All at the cost of our sons and daughters

Our brave songs and daughters
We’re all here together fighting poison waters
Standing against the evil way
That’s what we have at the end of day


I wish somebody would share the news

The October 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on David Bowie, plus Margo Price, Lou Reed, David Crosby, Devendra Banhart, Van Der Graaf Generator, The Turtles, The Beatles, Granny Takes A Trip, Kate Bush, Drive-By Truckers, Jack White, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, Wilco and more plus 32 pages of reviews and our free 15-track CD

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.

Win exclusive David Bowie goodies!

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This Friday – September 23 – sees the release of David Bowie‘s new box set, Who Can I Be Now? (1974 – 1976).

A twelve CD box, thirteen-piece vinyl set and digital download that features all of the material officially released by Bowie during the ‘American’ phase of his career from 1974 to 1976.

The box set includes Diamond Dogs, David Live (in original and 2005 mixes), The Gouster, Young Americans, Station To Station (in original and 2010 mixes), Live Nassau Coliseum 76 and a new compilation, RE:CALL 2, which collects single versions and non-album B-sides. You can pre-order the CD or vinyl set by clicking here.

To mark this momentous release, we’ve got six goody bags to give away.

Each goody bag includes: one slip mat, one tote bag and one t-shirt (please specify in your entry whether you’d like XL, L or M).

David Bowie is on the cover of the October 2016 edition of Uncut; click here for more details

To be in with a chance of winning, just answer this question correctly:

What is the opening track on the David Live album?

Send your answer along with your name, address and t-shirt size to UncutComp@timeinc.com by noon, Monday, October 3, 2016.

Six winners will be chosen from the correct entries and notified by email. The editor’s decision is final.

The October 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on David Bowie, plus Margo Price, Lou Reed, David Crosby, Devendra Banhart, Van Der Graaf Generator, The Turtles, The Beatles, Granny Takes A Trip, Kate Bush, Drive-By Truckers, Jack White, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, Wilco and more plus 32 pages of reviews and our free 15-track CD

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.

The story of the Ramones: “It was a nuthouse – we were the real deal!”

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An army brat who claimed to sell Nazi paraphernalia for morphine. A delinquent who dropped TV sets off roofs. A gangling freak with OCD. And even a quietly organised music obsessive… On their 40th anniversary, Uncut pieces together the complete story of the Ramones. Or: how the four weirdest kids in Forest Hills, New York, mixed leather, pop art and the Three Stooges and accidentally revolutionised rock’n’roll – at speed. “Over 23 minutes,” says Richard Lloyd, “Led Zeppelin couldn’t match them.” Words: Peter Watts. Originally published in Uncut’s March 2014 issue (Take 202). Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Tommy Erdelyi didn’t know quite what to expect when he arrived for the Ramones’ first band practice. Guitarist John Cummings and bass player Doug Colvin had bought their instruments just the week before, meanwhile the only thing any of them knew about drummer Jeffrey Hyman was that he was a fan of The Stooges and the New York Dolls. But when they had all convened at Performance Space Studio in New York on January 28, 1974, Erdelyi was astonished to discover the existence of two brand new songs. “I was shocked because not only were they original but I’d never heard songs like this before, they were so bizarre,” remembers Erdelyi, the only surviving original Ramone. “I saw them as very artistic. One was ‘I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You’ and the other was ‘I Don’t Wanna Get Involved With You’, which was the same song with slightly different lyrics.”

The formula the Ramones laid down that afternoon on E 20th St and Broadway served them for the rest of the decade – a busy and exciting time for the band during which they recorded five classic albums and also helped define the stylistic parameters for a new genre of music. They were called punks, but if the Ramones looked tough and acted dumb they were a hard act to pigeonhole. Birthed in New York’s CBGB’s scene, they shared a dense knowledge of popular culture and rock music that they distilled into minimalist pop poetry, reducing musical and lyrical concepts to their base elements with pop art economy. They wanted to be The Bay City Rollers, but they looked like The Velvet Underground and played faster, louder and more intensely than anybody around. It was genius but America didn’t want to know. Now, the legacy – and logo – of the Ramones is everywhere. “If the Ramones were still around they’d be playing stadiums,” says Patti Smith’s guitarist Lenny Kaye. “They became the template for punk rock – very fast eighth notes, call-and-response lyrics, deliberate dumbness, incredible propulsion.” Erdelyi sighs, “We were influential in more ways than a lot of people realise. I always thought eventually everybody would catch up with us. I didn’t realise it would take 30 years.”

________________________

Thomas Erdelyi was born in 1952 in Budapest but his family moved to America, settling in Forest Hills, a middle-class New York suburb where Erdelyi would soon bump into some like-minded souls.

“I met Johnny [Cummings] at my first day of high school in 1964,” says Erdelyi. “He was charismatic, outgoing, holding court at the lunch table. I had a feeling that one day he’d develop a cult around him.”

The pair bonded over music. Also on the scene was a lanky, gawky kid, Jeffrey Hyman, who Erdelyi met at a jam session: “I played guitar, he was drumming and didn’t say a word but I always saw him around – he was so unusual-looking you couldn’t miss him.” A year later, an army brat called Doug “Dee Dee” Colvin moved to the neighbourhood from Germany, where he told his new friends he sold Nazi paraphernalia to buy morphine. “He would tell these great stories that we later found out were kind of tall tales,” says Erdelyi.

All four loved pop music and Cummings and Erdelyi formed a garage band, Tangerine Puppets, with Cummings on bass. After they broke up in 1967, Cummings sold his guitars and drifted into dope-smoking delinquency, often in league with the impish Colvin. “Johnny was bad,” says Erdelyi. “He did things like drop TV sets off roofs. He was trying to scare people but he could have killed them. Eventually he turned it round.”

Erdelyi remained in music, playing in bands with another local boy, Monte Melnick, while also working as an engineer at the city’s Record Plant studio. “And I stayed in touch with John. I thought he should be in a band, he had such charisma. I kept encouraging him to take up music when he was working on construction sites.” Tired of seeing serious, untouchable bands play endless solos, the pair went nuts over The Stooges before discovering the New York Dolls. “They were so different,” enthuses Erdelyi. “They weren’t virtuosos but they were the most exciting thing I’d seen for years. I thought that if John could put a band together they could do something because they didn’t need to be amazing players.”

Cummings bought a $50 Mosrite guitar from Manny’s on 48th St in January 1974. “It didn’t even have a case, he had to carry it around in a shopping bag,” recalls Erdelyi. “He talked Dee Dee into getting a bass. I thought this was great, they’d put a band together and I’d be manager. We put Jeffrey on drums because he had a set and looked right. They were a trio, with Johnny on guitar and Dee Dee on bass and singing.”

The band wrote out a list of 40 possible names before agreeing on the Ramones – Dee Dee took it from Paul Ramone, a pseudonym Paul McCartney used in the early days of The Beatles. In the first of several brilliant creative decisions, the band decided to adopt Ramone as a collective surname – Cummings became Johnny Ramone, Colvin was Dee Dee Ramone and Hyman was Joey Ramone. People assumed they were brothers. “It created a sense of unity, a bond of sorts,” Joey would say. “We might have got it from the Walker Brothers, but we liked it as an idea,” admits Erdelyi, and the name went to the heart of his emerging grand plan. “What we were doing was almost like a concept. I realised that what you needed wasn’t musicianship, what you needed was ideas. Anything that worked, we kept. A lot of things were discarded, we were dropping things left and right – if it didn’t work, boom, it was out. We were very conscious about what felt right.”

The 31st Uncut Playlist Of 2016

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A bit late due to lightning strikes and logistical difficulties, as well as the usual litany of excuses, but have a go at this lot. Featured new arrivals would be: the amazing Kim Gordon, with a focus and immediacy that reminds me of the “Dirty” era, maybe; Brigid Mae Power, making spectral currency out of an old Irish folk song; the new Loscil, occupying as it does a space between Pole and Tim Hecker; Daniel Bachman and Wooden Wand conducting an impromptu drone jam on the theme of “War Pigs”; and an incantatory live set from my current favourite band, 75 Dollar Bill.

There’s a track by 75 Dollar Bill on the free CD that comes with the next issue of Uncut, out next Tuesday in the UK but heading the way of subscribers this weekend, with a prevailing wind. Look out in there, too, for a terrific review by Jason Anderson of Leonard Cohen’s “You Want It Darker”. After living with this one for a couple of weeks I feel, at the very least, it’s my favourite of his 21st Century records. I’d be interested to know what you think, when you’ve heard it yourselves…

Follow me on Twitter @JohnRMulvey

1 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree (Bad Seed)

2 Kim Gordon – Murdered Out (Matador)

3 Brigid Mae Power – My Lagan Love (Tompkins Square)

4 Lambchop – FLOTUS (City Slang/Merge)

5 Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker (Sony)

6 Loscil – Monument Builders (Kranky)

7 Padang Food Tigers & Sigbjørn Apeland – Bumblin’ Creed (Northern Spy)

8 Oren Ambarchi – Hubris (Editions Mego)

9 Bjork – Vulnicura (One Little Indian)

10 Botany – Deepak Verbera (Western Vinyl)

11 Brookzill! – Throwback To The Future (Tommy Boy Ent.)

12 Bob Weir – Blue Mountain (Legacy)

13 Steve Hauschildt – Strands (Thrill Jockey)

14 Nico Muhly/Teitur – Confessions (Nonesuch)

15 75 Dollar Bill – Gray Area At Crane Arts, Philadelphia 9/10/2016 (Youtube)

16 Prins Thomas – Principe Del Norte Remixed (Smalltown Supersound)

17 Daniel Bachman – Daniel Bachman (Three Lobed)

18 Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition (Warp)

19 Bachman-Toth Band – War Pigs (September 9, 2016 Three Lobed/WXDU Day Show, King’s, Raleigh, NC)

 

 

The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 and Vol. 3 for Record Store Day Vinyl Tuesday reissue

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The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1 and The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 3 will be reissued on 180 gram vinyl on October 4 as part of Record Store Day’s Vinyl Tuesday.

The release will be supported by a giveaway at recordstoreday.com with a rare and uniquely numbered Traveling Wilbury portfolio prints.

The limited-edition portfolio includes seven prints of the band on 100# Strathmore Pastelle.

CDs will arrive on October 14.

The track Listing for both albums is:

The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1
Handle With Care
Dirty World
Rattled
Last Night
Not Alone Any More
Congratulations
Heading For The Light
Margarita
Tweeter And The Monkey Man
End Of The Line

Maxine (CD Bonus Track)
Like A Ship (CD Bonus Track)

The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 3
She’s My Baby
Inside Out
If You Belonged To Me
The Devil’s Been Busy
7 Deadly Sins
Poor House
Where Were You Last Night?
Cool Dry Place
New Blue Moon
You Took By Breath Away
Wilbury Twist

Nobody’s Child (CD Bonus Track)
Runaway (CD Bonus Track)

The October 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on David Bowie, plus Margo Price, Lou Reed, David Crosby, Devendra Banhart, Van Der Graaf Generator, The Turtles, The Beatles, Granny Takes A Trip, Kate Bush, Drive-By Truckers, Jack White, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, Wilco and more plus 32 pages of reviews and our free 15-track CD

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.

Dead Can Dance announce next set of vinyl reissues

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Dead Can Dance have announced details of their next wave of reissues.

Garden Of The Arcane Delights (both a double LP and CD so to now include both the band’s John Peel Sessions), Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun and Toward The Within will all be reissued by 4AD on November 11.

This latest batch follow on from Dead Can Dance, Spleen And Ideal and Into The Labyrinth, which were reissued earlier this year.

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Garden Of The Arcane Delights, an EP, is expanded to include a second disc compiling both of the band’s sessions for John Peel, recorded in the same time period. A CD edition is also being manufactured.

Garden Of The Arcane Delights
A1. Carnival Of Light
A2. In Power We Entrust The Love Advocated
B1. The Arcane
B2. Flowers Of The Sea

The John Peel Sessions
C1. Instrumental (1983 Peel Session)
C2. Labour Of Love (1983 Peel Session)
C3. Ocean (1983 Peel Session)
C4. Threshold (1983 Peel Session)
D1. Flowers Of The Sea (1984 Peel Session)
D2. Penumbra (1984 Peel Session)
D3. Panacea (1984 Peel Session)
D4. Carnival Of Light (1984 Peel Session)

Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun
A1. Anywhere Out Of The World
A2. Windfall
A3. In The Wake Of Adversity
A4. Xavier
B1. Dawn Of The Iconoclast
B2. Cantara
B3. Summoning Of The Muse
B4. Persephone (The Gathering Of Flowers)

Toward The Within
A1. Rakim
A2. Persian Love Song
A3. Desert Song
A4. Yulunga (Spirit Dance)
B1. Piece For Solo Flute
B2. The Wind That Shakes The Barley
B3. I Am Stretched On Your Grave
C1. I Can See Now
C2. American Dreaming
C3. Cantara
C4. Oman
D1. Song Of The Sibyl
D2. Tristan
D3. Sanvean
D4. Don’t Fade Away

The October 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on David Bowie, plus Margo Price, Lou Reed, David Crosby, Devendra Banhart, Van Der Graaf Generator, The Turtles, The Beatles, Granny Takes A Trip, Kate Bush, Drive-By Truckers, Jack White, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, Wilco and more plus 32 pages of reviews and our free 15-track CD

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.

Watch Lambchop’s collaborative short film, The Dockworker’s Dream

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Lambchop and filmmaker Bill Morrison have shared The Dockworker’s Dream, a film collaboration soundtracked by “The Hustle” from the band’s forthcoming album, FLOTUS.

The Dockworker’s Dream is constructed entirely from archival footage—specifically, material collected at Cinemateca Portuguesa.

Kurt Wagner says: “I think both Bill and I understand the power of things being less than black-and-white when it comes to narrative in black-and-white films. He is most poetic in his ability to edit such specific archival images into something moving and lasting. In some ways, my method is the same in that the things I write about are rarely fictitious. Just notes taken from life woven into song.”

Morrison says: “I’d been following Lambchop since the mid-1990s and was thrilled to meet Kurt, and to hang out with him. Mario Micaelo, director of the Portuguese film festival Curtas Vila do Conde, approached us one night with the idea of our doing a collaboration for Curtas 2015, and we both agreed. During the summer of 2014, Mario and I visited the Cinemateca Portuguesa, where I selected the source material for The Dockworker’s Dream. Once we had the material in hand, Kurt and I exchanged edits to create the film.

“The Dockworker’s Dream developed from the idea that the archive is a port of call, a place where goods are loaded and unloaded and held until a dockworker carries them off. In some ways, the imagery is a metaphor for our process. As a film researcher and editor, I find myself seeking out hidden or elusive film material. In the film, there is the voyage, the expedition—and the hunt: we hunt these rare films in order to bring them back alive so that they can live, for awhile longer, on the screen.”

FLOTUS is out November 4 via City Slang.

The October 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on David Bowie, plus Margo Price, Lou Reed, David Crosby, Devendra Banhart, Van Der Graaf Generator, The Turtles, The Beatles, Granny Takes A Trip, Kate Bush, Drive-By Truckers, Jack White, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, Wilco and more plus 32 pages of reviews and our free 15-track CD

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.

Lou Reed vinyl box set to be released

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A special collectible 6LP 12″ vinyl edition, Lou Reed – The RCA & Arista Vinyl Collection, Vol 1 will be available on Friday, November 18.

Each of the six album titles will be pressed on high fidelity 150 gram vinyl and housed in a meticulous facsimile reproduction of the album’s original packaging including a 30 page book.

The albums are: Transformer (1972), Berlin (1973), Rock n Roll Animal (1974), Coney Island Baby (1975), Street Hassle (1978) and The Blue Mask (1982). The set is available now for pre-order by clicking here.

Lou Reed is inside the latest Uncut! Collaborators recall the sordid dramas behind Reed’s Street Hassle album

Lou

Also available, the 17-disc deluxe box set anthology compiles 16 albums from 1972 to 1986, remastered under Reed’s personal supervision, Lou Reed – The RCA & Arista Album Collection is released on October 7.

The October 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on David Bowie, plus Margo Price, Lou Reed, David Crosby, Devendra Banhart, Van Der Graaf Generator, The Turtles, The Beatles, Granny Takes A Trip, Kate Bush, Drive-By Truckers, Jack White, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, Wilco and more plus 32 pages of reviews and our free 15-track CD

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.

Introducing Jimi Hendrix: The Ultimate Music Guide

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Have you ever been experienced? Well, we have. For our latest Ultimate Music Guide, we’ve turned our attention to the life and work of Jimi Hendrix. It is, I think, one of the most handsome and useful editions we’ve ever done: you’ll find it on sale in the UK on Thursday, but you can order the Jimi Hendrix Ultimate Music Guide from our online store now.

As usual, we’ve combed the NME and Melody Maker archives for those rare, cherishable Hendrix interviews; interviews in which he betrayed a gentle modesty and open-heartedness and inadvertently provided terrible intimations of his own mortality.

There’s an especially poignant one from a February, 1969 issue of Melody Maker. Bob Dawbarn is paying a house call to Jimi Hendrix at 23 Brooke Street, next door to GF Handel’s old place. On gaining entrance to the sanctuary, the assiduous Dawbarn notes a rubber rat, a stuffed panda and “a teddy bear in the last stages of malnutrition hung from a nail in the wall”. There is a gong near the bed, a vase full of feathers, multitudes of guitars and Hendrix himself, drinking tea and philosophising about how art evolves after the artist dies.

“It’s funny the way most people love the dead,” he tells the reporter. “Once you are dead you are made for life. You have to die before they think you are worth anything. I tell you, when I die I’m not going to have a funeral, I’m going to have a jam session. And knowing me, I’ll probably get busted at my own funeral.”

In just over 18 months, of course, Hendrix was dead, and rock’s longest and most complicated posthumous campaign rolled into action. For this Ultimate Music Guide, we’ve hopefully proved ourselves equal to the challenges of Hendrix’s labyrinthine catalogue. Over the 124 pages, you’ll find new reviews of the landmark albums made by Hendrix during his lifetime, and forensic guides to the often confusing albums released after his death.

“Nobody cages me,” Hendrix tells NME in 1969. Here, then, is the whole story of a genius and his legacy: from Club Wha? and The Scotch Of St James to Monterey and the Isle Of Wight, via riots in Zurich, go-kart tracks in Majorca, Electric Ladyland and a remote corner of Woodstock.

Hear new Kim Gordon track, “Murdered Out”

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Kim Gordon has released a new song, “Murdered Out“, which you can hear below.

“When I moved back to LA I noticed more and more cars painted with black matte spray, tinted windows, blackened logos, and black wheels,” says Gordon in a statement accompanying the release. “This was something I had occasionally seen in the past, part of low-rider car culture. A reclaiming of a corporate symbol of American success, The Car, from an outsider’s point of view. A statement-making rejection of the shiny brand new look, the idea of a new start, the promise of power, and the freedom on the open road. Like an option on a voting ballot, ‘none of the above.'”

“’Murdered Out’, as a look, is now creeping into mainstream culture as a design trend. A coffee brand. A clothing line. A nail polish color.

“Black-on-black matte is the ultimate expression in digging out, getting rid of, purging the soul. Like a black hole, the supreme inward look, a culture collapsing in on itself, the outsider as an unwilling participant as the ‘It’ look.”

“I met the uber talented Justin Raisen, the producer, offhandedly. He was working on a project with another artist and kept sending me tracks to listen to with the possibility of getting me to sing on one of them. When I learned I could make up my own lyrics, I was in. With the remaining bits of unused vocals, he started what would be ‘Murdered Out’. Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint) plays drums, based on the trashy drums that Justin first laid down. I went back and did more vocals and guitar and we mixed it… ‘Murdered Out’ was such a great surprise! Looking forward to our next collaboration.”

The October 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on David Bowie, plus Margo Price, Lou Reed, David Crosby, Devendra Banhart, Van Der Graaf Generator, The Turtles, The Beatles, Granny Takes A Trip, Kate Bush, Drive-By Truckers, Jack White, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, Wilco and more plus 32 pages of reviews and our free 15-track CD

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.

Watch Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin cover Neil Young’s “Down By The River” live

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Ty Segall covered Neil Young‘s “Down By The River” during his set at Los Angeles’ Teragram Ballroom show over the weekend.

He was joined by Mikal Cronin; you can watch the footage below.

Pitchfork reports that the concert was a benefit fundraiser for LA venue the Smell, which received a demolition notice earlier this year.

The October 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on David Bowie, plus Margo Price, Lou Reed, David Crosby, Devendra Banhart, Van Der Graaf Generator, The Turtles, The Beatles, Granny Takes A Trip, Kate Bush, Drive-By Truckers, Jack White, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, Wilco and more plus 32 pages of reviews and our free 15-track CD

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.

Roy Orbison: career-spanning anthology to be released

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Roy Orbison‘s first career-spanning anthology is due for release on October 28.

The 26-track Ultimate Collection runs from his early recordings for Sun Records and Monument Records through his time at MGM and his membership of the Traveling Wilburys.

The set has been compiled by Orbison’s sons, Alex, Wesley and Roy Jr. In a statement quoted by Rolling Stone, Alex Orbison said, “It is a great honour for me and my brothers, Wesley and Roy Jr., to finally and definitively distill our father’s entire career onto a single disc as best one can possibly do and, certainly, as never done before. It is the result of years of research, archiving and listening, and it is with supreme and heartfelt pleasure that we will be able to share it with the world.”

The Ultimate Collection is released as a single CD or double vinyl.

The tracklisting is:

“Oh, Pretty Woman”
“I Drove All Night”
“You Got It”
“Crying”
“Only The Lonely”
“In Dreams”
“Love Hurts”
“Claudette”
“Blue Bayou”
“Dream Baby”
“Walk On”
“Falling”
“Running Scared”
“California Blue”
“Leah”
“Mean Woman Blues”
“Crawling Back”
“Ride Away”
“Too Soon To Know”
“She’s A Mystery to Me”
“Blue Angel”
“It’s Over”
“Ooby Dooby”
“Heartbreak Radio”
“Not Alone Anymore” (Traveling Wilburys)
“Handle With Care” (Traveling Wilburys)

The October 2016 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on David Bowie, plus Margo Price, Lou Reed, David Crosby, Devendra Banhart, Van Der Graaf Generator, The Turtles, The Beatles, Granny Takes A Trip, Kate Bush, Drive-By Truckers, Jack White, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, Wilco and more plus 32 pages of reviews and our free 15-track CD

Uncut: the spiritual home of great rock music.