record buying

Sad about HMV? You might need this – a handy Google Map of the UK’s independent record stores

It is quite likely that there will be a deal done in the next few days to save at least some of the nation’s HMV stores, but even if the chain does survive, the era of record shops on every British High Street has gone forever. And am I bothered? Well, the standard line ought probably to be – yes …

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AshleySad about HMV? You might need this – a handy Google Map of the UK’s independent record stores
duffy

12 of the most disastrous second albums of all time – Stone Roses, Duffy and more

Aaah the tricky second album syndrome, it catches a lot of bands on the hop doesn’t it? After all you have a decade or so to piece together the tunes for your first album, while the second is often flung together in a heartbeat after months of touring. If you are smart you have saved a few great songs from …

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Ashley12 of the most disastrous second albums of all time – Stone Roses, Duffy and more
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Morrissey likes Nigel Farage and nearly voted UKIP. Big Mouth Strikes Again in a bizarre interview

Oh, Stephen Patrick, your Big Mouth Strikes Again. The lead singer of arguably the best band the UK has produced since The Beatles has been mouthing off again and this time has come up with some real gems. Morrissey has been talking to Loaded magazine (I am not sure why? Surely they represent a lot of things he hates) and …

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AshleyMorrissey likes Nigel Farage and nearly voted UKIP. Big Mouth Strikes Again in a bizarre interview
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Ten of the best Scott Walker influenced tracks – Julian Cope, My Life Story, Jens Lekman and more

One of music’s most innovative, iconic and downright brilliant performers celebrated his birthday this week, and nope it isn’t that guy who decided to come out of retirement yesterday, it is the man who was a massive influence on him – Scott Walker. Brandish already boasts one frothing at the mouth acclamation of the man’s genius here so in order …

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AshleyTen of the best Scott Walker influenced tracks – Julian Cope, My Life Story, Jens Lekman and more
stardust

Happy Birthday David Bowie – and thanks for Where Are We Now? a lovely present…

Simon Poulter edits What Would David Bowie Do, so he seemed the right person to have the last word on what has been a momentous day for fans of the Dame. So the Dame is back, back, BACK. Unexpected and brilliantly unannounced. On his 66th birthday (a date he appropriately shares with Elvis Presley), out of seemingly nowhere, David Bowie …

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AshleyHappy Birthday David Bowie – and thanks for Where Are We Now? a lovely present…
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David Bowie’s best album? Forget Ziggy and Hunky Dory.

Personally I think it was all downhill for David Bowie after his 1966 mod-pop masterpiece Can’t Help Thinking About Me, but I do know that a few people rate Hunky Dory, Ziggy and that weird one with the New Romantics on it, and it is his birthday so I won’t moan about his later output. Instead but put your prejudices …

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AshleyDavid Bowie’s best album? Forget Ziggy and Hunky Dory.
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Bowie is back! David’s top 5 overlooked songs revisited

Ziggy Stardust. The Thin White Duke. David Robert Jones. Whatever you call him, David Bowie, the chameleon of pop, is back! Celebrating today his 66th birthday, the enigmatic icon marked the occasion with the release of a new single ‘Where Are We Now’ and news of a new album called ‘The Next Day’ touching down in March. You can listen …

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Gerald LynchBowie is back! David’s top 5 overlooked songs revisited
David Bowie

David Bowie celebrates 66th birthday with new single, Where Are We Now

It is difficult to contain my excitement this morning. Just as I had (along with most other people) assumed Bowie was enjoying retirement counting his royalties from last summer’s playing of Heroes, up he pops with a new single and an album promised. Called Where Are We Now, and produced by Tony Visconti, the new single sounds quite melancholy – …

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shinychrisDavid Bowie celebrates 66th birthday with new single, Where Are We Now
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Ugo Ehiogu, his record label, The Fossil Collective and an ace tale about Ian Wright

The other day I wrote a list of the ten Premiership players you would most want to have a beer with. If he were still playing today you can bet Ugo Ehiogu would be on very high on that list. As was unveiled on the Danny Baker Show on BBC Five Live on Saturday the former, Villa, Middlesbrough and Rangers …

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AshleyUgo Ehiogu, his record label, The Fossil Collective and an ace tale about Ian Wright
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The fifteen most under rated British bands of the 80s – The Claim, The Monochrome Set, Furniture and more

A few weeks ago I wrote a list of the most under rated British bands of the 90s as nominated by some charming musicians, bloggers and chancers  that I hang about with on social media sites. It got huge traffic, so, not wishing to change a winning formula, I asked the same group to come up with the most under …

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AshleyThe fifteen most under rated British bands of the 80s – The Claim, The Monochrome Set, Furniture and more

Haim top BBC Sound of 2013 list (we told you so…)

Haim have topped the BBC Sound of 2013 list, lining up the Californian power-pop trio for a stellar year. The list (now in its eleventh year), aims to showcase the top bands and artists to keep an eye out for in the year ahead, with previous winners including Adele, Jessie J and Brandish favourite Michael Kiwanuka. Haim, comprised of three …

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Gerald LynchHaim top BBC Sound of 2013 list (we told you so…)

George Martin’s long lost psychedelic masterpiece – Theme One

George Martin, as you all know, was the master producer whose wizardry in Abbey Road Studio Two helped The Beatles create some of the finest music ever recorded. However it is a little know thing that Martin, whose birthday it is today, recorded a gem or two of his own. The most amazing piece is this little tune Theme One. …

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AshleyGeorge Martin’s long lost psychedelic masterpiece – Theme One
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The MP3 player is dying, but vinyl record sales are through the roof

Got an MP3 player? Chances are you don’t use it a great deal as it has been kind of superseded by the Swiss Army Knife of gadgets – the smartphone. With Spotify on mobile devices as well as the seamless integration of iTunes on the iPhone, there doesn’t really appear to be much of a need for standalone MP3 players. …

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AshleyThe MP3 player is dying, but vinyl record sales are through the roof
Music - The Beatles

Beatles albums now just £7.99 on iTunes and their six most under rated albums

If Macca fronting Nirvana wasn’t quite your thing then maybe you’ll like this more. Apple is now offering almost all of The Beatles albums on iTunes at a reduced price of £7.99 each. The offer is apparently for a limited period only, so if you do fancy adding a bit more of the Fabs to your life you’ll need to move pronto. The albums are also around …

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AshleyBeatles albums now just £7.99 on iTunes and their six most under rated albums
Keith Richards

Happy Birthday Keith Richards – a tribute (and some cool photos)

Simon Poulter of the always excellent – What Would David Bowie Do? blog on the human riff. Britain’s Daily Mail, a newspaper you can regard with varying degrees of editorial pointlessness, surmised in June that Keith Richards – the Human Riff, the Human Lab, and a dozen other nicknames reflecting both guitar prowess and indestructibility – was now so broken, …

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AshleyHappy Birthday Keith Richards – a tribute (and some cool photos)
The Rolling Stones '50 and Counting' Concert - Newark

The case for the Live album – and which is the best one ever?

Simon Poulter of What Would David Bowie do? Puts the case for the live album… You’ve bought the singles, bought the album, bought the concert ticket, bought the T-shirt, bought your bus ticket home and now you’re being asked to buy it all over again as a live album of the show you’ve only just returned from. And, yes, you …

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AshleyThe case for the Live album – and which is the best one ever?
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Nirvana’s finest album – not Nevermind

For well over a decade now Nirvana fans trawling through websites like Amazon have probably gasped with excitement as they saw previously unknown (to them at least) albums by their heroes with titles like All Of Us and The Story of Simon Simopath. For as they were about to find out, before Kurt and the chaps pinched a Pixies riff …

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AshleyNirvana’s finest album – not Nevermind
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Sitar frenzy – how Ravi Shankar (along with The Byrds and The Beatles) created Psychedelia

Like everyone I am sad to hear of the death of Ravi Shankar this morning. The Indian sitar player, who was arguably the first World Music (as we understand it now) star, wowed them at the Woodstock Festival, was chummy with The Beatles and much of pop’s aristocracy, and did much to popularise Indian arts and music at a time …

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AshleySitar frenzy – how Ravi Shankar (along with The Byrds and The Beatles) created Psychedelia
Otis Redding

45 years since the air crash that killed him we salute the incomparable Otis Redding

Simon Poulter of the brilliant What Would David Bowie Do? salutes one of soul and R&B’s legends. Early one May morning in 1965, Keith Richards woke up in his St. John’s Wood flat with a three-note riff in his head. He grabbed a cassette recorder and an acoustic guitar and quickly committed the riff to tape before going back to …

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Ashley45 years since the air crash that killed him we salute the incomparable Otis Redding