Saturday Deluxe / 23 September 2017

Albert Hammond (not the one in The Strokes) wows London audience

Well, it’s been a busy old week here at SDE and I admit I’ve been guilty of burning the candle at both ends with various things going on in the evening during the last five days.

On Tuesday I went to see veteran songwriter Albert Hammond who was at London’s Cadogan Hall. He was backed with a full orchestra and was the consummate profesional, putting on a great show. Not everything was too my taste, but the guy has had a hand in writing many great songs including Leo Sayer‘s When I Need You, The Air That I Breathe (originally performed by The Hollies) and Starship’s transatlantic number one, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. He even co-wrote the Aswad UK chart topper, Don’t Turn Around (originally written for Tina Turner and later covered again by Ace Of Base).

There were a few familiar faces in the audience. BBC Radio 2 DJ Johnnie Walker was sat right in front of us and after the show I saw his colleague Paul Gambaccini by the merch stand. Most excitingly, a certain Mr Holly Johnson was in the foyer post-concert, and as a big Frankie Goes To Hollywood fan I felt compelled to go up and introduce myself and say hello. Lovely end to the evening.

It turns out that Albert Hammond put out an album in the summer called In Symphony which is a recording of 12 of his biggest songwriting successes. It was recorded with producer/arranger Rob Mathes, who worked with Sting on his 2010 Symphonicities.

Morrissey’s November’s album release, has spawned a monster amount of formats

Morrissey‘s new album, Low In High School, was announced this week, and it surely set some kind of record in terms of the number of bundles and variations. There’s five coloured vinyl editions for a start (that includes the HMV exclusive). Some of these include lyrics in Japanese, French or Spanish. Additionally, you can buy what is becoming a familiar option for new albums, the seven-inch vinyl box set edition. £42 gets you the 12 tracks across six clear vinyl singles in a box. There’s a cassette edition, the standard CD and more bundles than you can throw a bundle of sticks at.

In the past, collectors might have to put a bit of effort (particularly pre-internet) in to seek out Japanese pressings, weird promo items (like a seven-inch box) and other rarities. The effort involved made this quite rewarding and not everyone could be bothered, but these days, the strategy with labels is just to hand everything to you on a plate, from the off! Like an instant record collection. Vaguely depressing.

Read more about Morrissey’s new album, here.

Michael Jackson / Scream compilation glow in the dark 2LP vinyl
Click image to enlarge

Pre-order lavish Michael Jackson 2LP vinyl from SDE

There’s no point pretending Sony’s forthcoming Michael Jackson compilation Scream is some kind of essential purchase – it really isn’t. However, I love the artwork and think the gatefold vinyl edition with two ‘glow-in-the-dark’ vinyl records looks gorgeous. And let’s face it, some of the songs aren’t, bad either! So not essential, but very desirable. And these are limited and won’t be available for ever.

I’ve got my order in and if you are interested I’d encourage you to purchase from the SDE shop. We’ve got these up at a great price, which shipped to the UK is actually cheaper than Amazon. In fact, I’d recommend you keep an eye on the SDE shop, because there’s now new stock coming in weekly, and I’m always trying to do deals behind-the-scenes to bring you some cool exclusives, like the Steven Wilson signed blu-ray (now sold out).

Just wanted to sign off this week, to tell you about something called ‘The Indulgence Show‘ which is taking place in West London next weekend.

The organisers describe this as an ‘audio and lifestyle entertainment event’ and amongst the various ‘areas’ there’s going to be one that focuses on hi-fi, audio and home entertainment, with loads of brands showing off their wares.

Particularly of interest to SDE readers (in the UK), is the fact that they’ve got some great speakers, including Gary Langan who’ll be there to discuss his career as a producer, engineer and member of the Art Of Noise and Chris Kimsey, the man who engineered Led Zepplin III and has worked extensively with  The Rolling Stones. He’ll be there to discuss the creation of Marillion‘s recently reissued Misplaced Childhood, which he produced. Photography Ross Halfin and mastering engineer Tony Cousins will also be in attendance.

The Indulgence Show runs from Friday 29 September to 1 October 2017, in Hammersmith. I’ll probably be going (on Saturday), so if you see me, do stop and say hello! Check out the organiser’s website for details.

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