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Making Erasure: The Circus – Classic Pop Magazine



Lauded for bringing fun and flamboyance back to synthpop, Erasure: The Circus masked deeply political statements as well as heartbreaking despair with gloriously uplifting harmonies

Erasure The Circus

Vince Clarke had built up a track record as being something of a musical maverick in the early 80s, scoring hits as part of Depeche Mode, Yazoo and The Assembly.

Yet the fact that Wonderland, the 1986 debut album from his latest project, Erasure, had been a commercial disaster and failed to score a hit single (their chart peak had been No. 55 with debut single Who Needs Love Like That) led many to speculate whether the group were about to live up to their name before they had even got off the ground.

If Erasure were to stand a chance at succeeding, it really was a case of starting from scratch. With radio stations refusing to play their sparse synthpop, Erasure’s only realistic option had been to hit the road, driving themselves to gigs in a van and playing, in Vince Clarke’s words, “really shitty little clubs and universities”.

The decision paid off as the live graft helped them build a fan following which played a large part in securing them a second album.

“We’d stalled in the UK, and I was really thankful to Vince that he’d stuck by me. I was only really employed as a singer, so he could have got rid of me. I was a complete novice!” says Andy Bell. 

Having recruited Andy via an ad in Melody Maker, Wonderland had been something of a learning curve for the pair. As the album was being recorded, Vince and Andy were still getting to know each other, and their partnership at that point had been very much one of a pop star and his protégé. 

“I was a huge fan of Vince’s work, so it was very daunting working with him in the first place,” Andy told The Quietus. “I had really lost my confidence in the studio and reverted back to being a choirboy in school. I was running out of breath at the end of lines, and he had me lying on the floor, all kinds of things, trying to get me comfortable. I just came up with the words ‘Oh l’amour‘ for Oh L’Amour and he gave me 50 per cent of the writing… he was very generous. I thought I’d get sacked after the first album, but he stuck by me.”

By the time work began on The Circus, Vince and Andy had been living in each other’s pockets on their no-frills (Andy’s stage outfits excepted) tour for the best part of a year, and had formed a strong friendship. 

“I’d written most of the songs for the first album already when I met Andy,” Vince recalls. “On the second album, he just got more involved in the writing and to be honest, it was a fantastic relief for me. It’s quite tough writing songs on your own – you start repeating yourself. When we started writing together, Andy was pushing the boundaries more. I had been writing songs for a while and there are rules that you follow, and Andy didn’t have any of those. It was really refreshing having someone come in from a completely different perspective.”

Andy recalled the making of the album to the BBC. “When we started recording The Circus it was complete 50/50 – sitting down with guitars and the piano. I’d sing the top lines; it started out that we’d think up lines together, but eventually I took over. 

“I remember on that album we had two subjects for songs, which was what was going on at the time politically, people losing their jobs, and the other one was somebody coming out to their parents. I love how Vince almost handed the reins over… all the time he was watching me blossom, he was a mentor. When I’d finished a lyric or a melody I’d show it to Vince, and it was almost like having a schoolmaster, he’d say ‘No, I don’t like this bit’, so I’d go back and rewrite those lines. That happened less and less as time went on. He was just wanting to see me develop as a singer and a songwriter, so he was really encouraging with whatever I wanted to do. 

“It began with me singing basslines for Victim Of Love and then the guitar riffs for Sometimes. He enjoyed seeing someone a bit younger just having the time of his life. He was very encouraging.”

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With a newfound confidence in the studio and with Erasure by now a fully functioning partnership, they were compelled to cover a gamut of themes including social commentary (The Circus, It Doesn’t Have To Be), heartbreak (Leave Me To Bleed, Victim Of Love) and self-acceptance and individuality (Don’t Dance, Hideaway).

Once again helmed by producer Flood, they expanded their sonic palette, maintaining a strong synth-based foundation but incorporating more guitar, an accordion and even a trumpet to create a more substantial sound – one that not only separated them from their peers but also from Vince’s previous musical endeavours. 

The general public’s first taster of Erasure’s new album came with the release of Sometimes in October 1986. An upbeat dance track with an impossibly catchy chorus, it was an instant radio hit, earned them a slot on Top Of The Pops, and the single reached No. 2 in the UK, becoming their chart breakthrough. A bona fide hit, Sometimes’ chart run lasted 17 weeks, only ending when The Circus album hit the shops in March 1987.

Despite the connotations of the album’s title and the vibrant, brightly coloured artwork, all is not as it appears on The Circus.

The album was lauded by critics, who praised the huge progression Erasure had made from Wonderland, their synergy as a musical partnership and their ability for crafting songs which were, on the surface, upbeat joyous pop songs – only to find on deeper analysis a vivid portrait of Britain’s economic downfall, the complexities of relationships and the difficulties of growing up gay, an issue close to Andy’s heart as one of the few openly gay pop stars of the time. 

While Hideaway took its cues from Bronski Beat’s seminal Smalltown Boy and unflinchingly detailed a boy’s coming-out story and the agony of rejection by his loved ones, it was Erasure’s increasingly camp live shows which marked them out as one of the foremost gay-friendly pop acts, at a time when it was not deemed acceptable to be so.

With being out a political statement in itself, Andy reinforced his message of self acceptance by holding court at Erasure’s concerts as The Circus’ flamboyant ringmaster, resplendent in a succession of outrageous stage costumes – often lycra bodysuits, sequined shorts and a pair of ruby slippers in homage to his idol Judy Garland, with covers of Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Abba’s Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) as staples.

Read our definitive guide to Depeche Mode

Read our Pop Art: Vince Clarke feature

Though seemingly at home camping it up onstage, Andy’s performing persona had originally been an instinctive reaction to a technological glitch at an early concert which saw their programmed music and lights fail, requiring Andy to entertain the crowd until the problem was fixed. He did this by singing a cappella versions of songs by The Beatles and Alison Moyet (a tongue-in-cheek joke aimed at critics who said he sounded too much like Alison) until the show could proceed.

“It scared me so much, I thought that I really must create this alter-ego, which became part of all the dressing up,” he said. “I was learning from drag queens I’d seen, how they dealt with the audience, to make this larger-than-life character. But I don’t think that shyness ever leaves you, you’re still the same person underneath. It’s only in my Erasure job that I switch into that persona.”

As word spread about Erasure’s captivating live show and they established a reputation as one of pop’s premier live draws, the group were amused when the TV producers who had initially asked them to tone down their more theatrical side were forced to rethink their stance as Erasure’s star ascended. 

“I remember having conversations with the TV plugger saying ‘No, no please, you must wear jeans and a T-shirt in the Sometimes video to make it more accessible,” Andy says. “But once they saw a clip on Top Of The Pops where I was wearing this black rubber leotard and a rubberised circus ringmaster’s jacket, the single jumped up 40 places, just because of that outfit. After that, they’d say, ‘Oh, can’t you put a dress on?’”

Throughout 1987, The Circus LP was a mainstay in the album chart, rising every time a new single was released from it, producing a further three Top 20 hits in It Doesn’t Have To Be, Victim Of Love and The Circus.

In July, with Victim Of Love riding high in the charts, they were invited to be the first act to perform on The Roxy, ITV’s short-lived, Newcastle-based rival to Top Of The Pops.

As the year drew to a close, Erasure built on the reputation of The Circus and their reputation in clubs by releasing a remixed version of the album. Entitled The Two Ring Circus, it was packaged as two 12” singles and featured radical reworkings of the album’s songs.

The CD and cassette versions were expanded further to celebrate Erasure’s live show by including The Touring Circus – a seven-track live EP.

Having begun 1987 facing great uncertainty as to whether Erasure even had a future (Andy later said that people asked him if he would be “getting a proper job” after Wonderland’s disappointing performance), the creation of The Circus and the journey it subsequently took them on proved to be a fundamental period which solidified the musical partnership of Vince and Andy, with the apprentice rising to the challenge and affirming himself as a more-than-capable counterpart to his mentor. 

Vince Clarke, meanwhile, having migrated from band to band in search of his musical soulmate, appeared to have finally found exactly that in Andy Bell, marking the beginning of one of pop’s most successful and enduring acts.

Three decades on from The Circus, Erasure remain the ringmasters of their unique brand of emotionally-charged electropop. 

Read our Alison Moyet interview

The Songs

It Doesn’t Have To Be

“You are on one side/ And I am on the other/ Are we divided?/ Why can’t we live together?” is the empowering message of It Doesn’t Have To Be, a rallying call-to-arms against homophobia as well as a denouncement of racism, exemplified by the inclusion of a middle-eight sung in Swahili and a tribal instrumental that highlights the song’s anti-apartheid sentiment. A hard-hitting, multilayered production from Flood underlined the aggression of the song’s message. Released as the second single from The Circus, It Doesn’t Have To Be peaked at No. 12 in the UK.


As socio-politics held a dominance in mid-Eighties pop, Erasure put a personal spin on the subject of homosexuality and the difficulties of coming out on Hideaway. Andy Bell drew on his own experience as a teenager in Peterborough and the terror he felt about revealing his sexuality and his need for acceptance from his parents, with heart-wrenching lyrics such as, “Oh my father/ Why don’t you talk to me now?/ Oh my mother/ Do you still cry yourself to sleep?/ Are you still proud of your little boy?” before ultimately building up to an uplifting message of hope with “Don’t be afraid/ Love will mend your broken wing/ Time will slip away/ Learn to be brave”. The strongest non-single on the album, Hideaway remains one of Erasure’s hidden gems.

Don’t Dance

Carrying on the theme of independence and being unafraid to be yourself, Don’t Dance combines a slick, sparse electro track with Andy Bell’s confident affirmation, “You can step on out/ You can do without/ You don’t have to be like every other,” delivering a strong message of confidence. Coupled with “You don’t have to go/ All you say is no/ There’s no rhythm that you have to follow,” continued the theme of empowerment and going against the norm in favour of individuality. When Andy and Vince compiled individual discs for their From Moscow To Mars: An Erasure Anthology boxset last year, Vince included Don’t Dance in his selection as one of his favourite Erasure songs.

If I Could

While the album is a combination of the political and private, If I Could falls into the latter category. A sombre ballad in which Andy Bell laments the breakup of a relationship, he implores what he can do to salvage it while berating his former lover. “I don’t believe you know about the hearts you’ve broken/ I don’t believe you show what your intentions really are/ Can you hear?/ What have you done?/ There’s not enough for everyone/ Not enough for anyone,” he sings. 


With the panic surrounding HIV/AIDS dominating the headlines at the time, anything alluding to sex was taboo, with bans on TV and radio and a backlash in the tabloid press a serious threat to anyone seen to be promoting an unhealthy lifestyle. Releasing a track called Sexuality with a provocative lyric seemingly celebrating casual sex was a defiant move on Erasure’s part. The stripped back, sleazy electro track, however, is one of the album’s weakest moments.

Victim Of Love

With an acoustic guitar adding texture and warmth to the synthesised Erasure sound, Victim Of Love takes its cues from the classic Motown formula of creating a gloriously uplifting pop song which belies the subject matter – in this case, a feeling of great vulnerability and a reluctance to embark on a new relationship having been so damaged by a previous love affair. “I’m gonna lock up what I’m feeling inside” and “I’m building a wall/ Every day it’s getting higher/ This time I won’t end up another victim of love” perfectly encapsulate the feelings of post-breakup fragility and hesitation in moving on into a new relationship. The third single from the album, Victim Of Love reached No. 7 in the UK singles chart and topped the US Dance chart, their biggest transatlantic success to date.

Leave Me To Bleed

Who knew that beneath it all, The Circus was such a pain-filled breakup album? The by-now familiar territory of love gone wrong once again takes precedence in the sinister Leave Me To Bleed, with the visceral imagery of the title lending itself perfectly to the sinister-sounding synthpop. In the song Andy portrays a man so fatally wounded by the end of a relationship that he detaches himself from it as a coping mechanism, prefacing everything that went wrong with, “It wasn’t me that saw/ heard you…” before repeating the refrain of “Leave me to bleed/ Your love can be fatal.”

The Circus

Perhaps the most politically charged song on the album, eloquently lamenting Britain’s vanishing industrial landscape, The Circus laments the decline of the country’s rich industrial heritage – particularly the mining industry. The dour mood of the song is accentuated by the marching rhythm of an accordion, over which a bleak outlook for Britain is despairingly portrayed in a poignant lyric. “Father worked in industry/ Now the work has moved on/ And the factory’s gone/ See them sell your history/ Where once you were strong/ And you used to belong” and “There was once a future for a working man/ There was once a lifetime for a skilful hand… Yesterday” are completely at odds with the greed and ‘loadsamoney’ sentiment of 80s Britain. The song held resonance with a lot of people and scored the duo their third Top 10 single, reaching No. 6.


After three flop singles, Erasure discovered their winning formula with Sometimes – an upbeat, hook-laden dance track about the joy and pain which one endures for the sake of making love work. With an uplifting, impossibly catchy chorus, often risqué lyric (“Climb in bed beside me, we can lock the world outside/ Touch me, satisfy me, warm your body next to mine”) and even a trumpet solo, Sometimes is euphoric synth-driven dance pop at its very best and it gave Erasure their well-deserved first major hit. The song reached No. 2 and has remained one of their signature numbers.


Closing the album in downcast style is Spiralling, a sublime, lilting ballad on which Andy mourns the loss of the love of his life. Repeating the refrain of “It’s just a matter of time” mantra-like in search of comfort, the song descends into the dark accordion refrain of a fairground waltz in Safety In Numbers, in which Andy summons “the courage to die”, underscoring the pain and heartbreak interwoven throughout the album.

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The Story Of Now That’s What I Call Music




Now That's What I Call Music
Now That’s What I Call Music Vol 1

Now That’s What I Call Music! was many people’s introduction to chart music when they were young. Classic Pop traces the story of the big daddy of all compilation series… By Paul English

The Now That’s What I Call Music! brand is quite simply a phenomenon. Initially launched by EMI and Virgin in November 1983, it’s currently now at volume 109 with spin-offs and other series bringing the total number of releases well past the 250 mark.

Right from the beginning, Now… looked different to other compilations with its liner notes, artist photographs and generally luxurious feel.

For many people, these releases are totally tied to nostalgia. They represent the building blocks of a record collection with their contents exposing young listeners to a wide variety of music hanging together in a logical sequence. The person responsible for this was Ashley Abram, who in 1983 was creating compilations for Ronco, and joined the Now team just before the second volume.

He remembers those early 1984 days: “The first Now album had the whole year to choose from but there was only a limited period of time to compile Now 2 and a more limited pool of tracks. Now 1 had cleared big names like Rod Stewart and Genesis and coupled them successfully with current pop acts and we felt it was important to do this for the follow-up.

“We managed to get David Bowie and Eurythmics who’d refused permission for the first one and ended up striking a deal with Queen on the agreement that they would appear in the TV ad and be the first track on the album. On the basis that it would encourage other ‘superstar’ acts, Virgin and EMI went to great lengths to clear The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney for Now That’s What I Call Music 2 as well.”

After a hugely successful summer with Now 3, a new rival entered the market which meant that CBS and WEA started to refuse tracks for the next instalment of Now, instead keeping them back for their own compilation, The Hits Album.


Now That's What I Call Music
Now That’s What I Call Music II

However, Now That’s What I Call Music 4 sold a million copies and, in addition, to the regular vinyl and cassette also came out as a 15-track CD, which now sells for over £500. Abram looks back: “When the CD format first appeared, there was no blueprint for compilation clearances and, as I remember, it took a long time to get agreement over what royalties should be paid to the artists etc.

“We wanted to put out a CD to test the market but couldn’t get approvals on a number of the tracks on Now 4, so we ended up with a truncated version and also using tracks from previous albums. From memory, it sold around 2,000 copies max!”

By 1985, the series had settled into a regular release pattern and started to diversify into spin-offs with Now Dance – The 12 Mixes and Now The Christmas Album both appearing. The first two Now Dance volumes were well-received but didn’t sell in massive quantities so it was put on the back-burner until 1989.

Abram explains: “The original Now Christmas album was an interesting one. Lots of record company people didn’t want to release it at the time because they thought it would only sell for a week before 25 December and then we’d be left with all the stock.

“Also, at the time they said I couldn’t put Bing Crosby and Slade on the same album and that Jona Lewie wasn’t a Christmas song! However, we managed to convince the relevant people, got the rights to bring it back for the next few years and a successful version still exists 32 years later. Sales-wise we were more than vindicated as Now 6 and Now Christmas dominated the charts that December.”

Now That's What I Call Music
Now That’s What I Call Music 26

The track flow on the Now albums was key to telling a story and building the mood. There are many examples: the love trilogy towards the end of Now 13, OMC being followed by OMD on Now 34 and the memorable side-long house and indie sequences on Now 11 and 17 respectively.

Deciding on inclusions was an ongoing process for Abram: “I was constantly monitoring the charts and new releases and obviously Top Of The Pops as it had a big effect on chart positions. As the series developed and became successful, record companies began suggesting tracks for inclusion, so I had a good idea of what was around but the albums had to be mastered around a month before release in those days, so there was always an element of trying to predict the hits!”

One fundamental flaw of retrospective compilations is that they tend to cherrypick songs whereas the Now albums tended to give a snapshot of pop trends over a four-month period. Sometimes mistakes would occur or a rare version would be included.

Read more: Now II reissue review

Now 4 starts with Arthur Baker’s Special Dance Mix of Paul McCartney’s No More Lonely Nights as it was the only version that his management would approve for licensing. Meanwhile, Pet Shop Boys were involved in two such instances: the original Mark Stent Mix of Go West kicked off CD2 of Now Millennium Series 1993, while on 1986’s Now 7 we got treated to the Alternative 7” of Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money).

Abram recalls: “They were done deliberately – at least most of them were! In the 80s and 90s, the Now albums had long lead times but there was always pressure to get the mastering done very quickly. Component parts came into the studio in large numbers so it was always chaos in Abbey Road with packages of master tapes arriving the whole time so not everything always went exactly to plan.

“I think on Opportunities…, PSB didn’t mind which mix we used but when they found out we’d used the alternative version they asked EMI for a couple of boxes of samples of Now 7 as they thought it might become sought after at some point because of the alternative mix!”

Now That's What I Call Music
Now The Christmas Album

More time capsules of long-forgotten tracks include novelties like The Commentators’ N-N-Nineteen Not Out on Now 5, a parody of Paul Hardcastle’s 19, which describes the poor performances of England’s cricket team. Another is Karel Fialka’s synth-and-drum combination Hey Matthew which graced Now 10 and deals with a father questioning his son’s television choices.

For many years, the only way you could obtain a CD version of Tears For Fears’ Everybody Wants To Run The World (recorded to promote Sport Aid) was on the spin-off CD-only Now ‘86 released that year.

Flying the flag for obscure sophisti-pop were The Ward Brothers’ Don Was-produced Cross That Bridge on Now 9 and Waterfront’s superb Cry on Now 15. And back to Paul Hardcastle: his Top Of The Pops theme, The Wizard, appeared on Now 8.

After five years of uninterrupted success, compilation albums ended up being placed in their own chart from January 1989. Abram attributes this to, “pressure from US companies on their UK counterparts i.e. Warner/Sony as they couldn’t understand why their superstars were being kept off the top by Now!

From then on, the series went from strength to strength as the CD format finally took a foothold in the public consciousness. After truncated CD releases of volumes 8 and 9, Now 10 was the first to include the same songs across all three formats. Meanwhile, Now 16 offered three bonus tracks to purchasers of the silver discs which went some way towards compensating against the complete absence of any No.1 singles. 

The series dropped back to two annual releases for 1990 and 1991 (there were three Now Dances in 1990) before settling into a thrice-yearly pattern from 1992 onwards. While it continued to come out on vinyl, sales of that format from Now 21 onwards were very low and continued to decrease.

Now 35 – emerging in November 1996 – was the last double LP and regularly fetches up to £100 due to its scarcity. It’s certainly the only compilation where you’ll find Boyzone and Björk sharing vinyl space. As the end of the decade approached, Now 44 became the best-selling volume, shifting a massive 2.3 million copies – many of them purchased to soundtrack New Year’s Eve Millennium parties.

Nearly 40 years later, the brand shows no sign of stopping with Now 110 expected later this year.

Ashley Abram is no longer involved – his last compilation was Now 81 in 2012 – with Jenny Fisher taking over. “After I stopped doing Now, I had a run of big compilation albums with Sony such as Sugar Sugar, Be My Baby and I’m Every Woman but I haven’t done any new comps for a couple of years and have no plans to do anything more as things stand – so I guess I’ve retired!”

Read more: Now That’s What I Call Music I reissue review

Read more: Top 15 Pop Compilations

Check out Now’s website here

Competition from the hits factory

After the unequivocal success of the first three Now albums, it was inevitable that competition would emerge. The Hits series began in November 1984 as a joint venture between CBS and WEA with its first effort stealing a march on Now 4 by being released a week beforehand. This was a winning strategy as The Hits Album topped the charts for seven weeks and kept its rival off the coveted Christmas No.1 slot.

It came loaded with a number of US acts; indeed the television advert just focused on Prince, The Cars and Chicago with the four sides loosely divided into pop, soul, romantic and rock themes. Up until 1988, Hits proved to be a powerful adversary – licensing the likes of Madonna and Bruce Springsteen – and was essential listening for those who wanted a rounder picture of the Top 40. Hits 2, 4 and 6 were particularly strong in their track selections.

With the ninth volume, the compilers decided to omit the numbering, which resulted in the arguably weaker Now 13 establishing the upper hand. From then on, momentum was lost. Successive re-brands (Monster Hits, The Hit Pack) and a 1993 re-boot with Telstar on board led to the series having an inconsistent feel.

From December 1995, BMG and Warner Brothers re-established a regular release pattern with up to five volumes per year which certainly gave the Now! team a serious challenge – particularly as the Hits’ spring and autumn releases would come out before their Now equivalents. The series bowed out with Summer Hits 2006, leaving Now! as the only hits compilation brand still going in the UK.

The Best Of The Rest

There was still room for other compilations – many of whom were short lived. K-Tel’s swansong Hungry For Hits came out between Now 2 and Now 3 and is stuffed with also-rans, follow-ups to successful hits and long-forgotten pop memories like Sandie Shaw’s Smiths cover Hand In Glove. Chrysalis and MCA’s Out Now! appeared in 1985 and lasted two volumes: the first is most enjoyable as it lurches from Billy Bragg to Killing Joke.

There were also magazine tie-ins, both compiled by Ashley Abram: Just Seventeen’s Heartbeats (1989) is an impeccable selection of frothy pop and breathless romantic numbers while Smash Hits’ numerous compilations were perfect summations of the year’s pop action and also came with great sleevenotes. Telstar’s rather predictable annual Greatest Hits Of series commenced in 1985 but one of their unsung jewels was a one-off: The Dance Chart (1987), which includes rare single edits from The Concept, Timex Social Club and Whistle.

Read more: Top 40 Synth-Pop Songs



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Queen to launch pop-up shop on Carnaby Street




Queen the Greatest
Photo copyright Queen Productions

In celebration of five decades in music, the mighty Queen will feature in a dedicated pop-up shop on Carnaby Street opening later this month.

The shop, named Queen The Greatest will open on Tuesday 28th September 2021 until January 2022 with a line-up of limited edition music releases, fashion collaborations and lifestyle products with weekly product drops and events. 

Each month will have a theme; Music, Art & Design and Magic, with visual installations that act as storytelling from each of Queen’s five decades. 

The Queen The Greatest store will take visitors on a journey over two floors, from 70s thrift store (Freddie and Roger had a stall in Kensington Market), 80s iconic live performances and tours, 90s record store, 00s DVD homage through to 2010s tech concepts. 

The new store, created in partnership with Bravado, Universal Music Group’s merchandise and brand management company, features all of the hallmarks of the band. The store includes an apparel collection including exclusive collaborations from a host of fashion brands including Champion, Wrangler and Johnny Hoxton jewellery.

The Champion collection features unisex T-shirts and sweatshirts, with a nod to the fashion brand’s heritage. Denim pieces from Wrangler, some adorned with iconic song titles, sit alongside solid gold and silver jewellery from British jewellery designer Jonny Hoxton, known for his tongue in cheek jewellery that fill the sweet spot between traditional craftsmanship and underground pop culture.

The proceeds from an exclusive Freddie Mercury T-shirt will go to the Mercury Phoenix Trust. The charity was founded by Brian May, Roger Taylor and Jim Beach in memory of Freddie Mercury and raises vital funds and awareness for HIV/Aids.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Bravado on this project, which will be an exciting experience for everyone to come to London and enjoy,” the band said in a statement. “Carnaby Street was the perfect spot for the store to celebrate five decades.”

Queen the Greatest


The band’s continuing album and single releases will be a big part of the shop’s pulse. Limited edition music will be available to buy throughout music month with drops every week including a limited edition of a Greatest Hits vinyl, exclusive to the store, as well as both current and new solo releases from Brian May and Roger Taylor.     


Showcasing a line up of collaborative partners including Japanese designer Tokolo, a limited-edition bear from Steiff and a first viewing of a soon to be released pinball machine.


Fusing the magic of five decades of Queen with the magic of Christmas. Product includes Rubik’s Cube, Christmas jumpers, cards, wrapping paper and accessories.

The store will feature screens showing archive Queen performances and Instagrammable moments that fans won’t want to miss. For those unable to travel to the store, a selection of items including the vinyls will be available online.

Queen The Greatest – 57 Carnaby Street, London, W1

28th September 2021 – January 2022 

Monday – Saturday: 11am – 7pm / Sunday: 12pm – 6pm






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Primal Scream announce Screamadelica tour dates




Primal Scream have announced that they are to return to live show with a series of sets celebrating their classic Screamadelica album.

The band will play three dates in July 2022, performing their 1991 album in full. 1 July see them play Queen’s Park, Glasgow, before heading off to Castlefield Bowl in Manchester on 9 July and then London’s Alexandra Palace Park on the 16th.

This year, of course, was the 30th anniversary of that indie-dance classic, and this Friday will see the release of two new versions of the album. A 10-disc 12” Singles Box compiles nine replicas of the singles from the original album campaign alongside Andrew Weatherall’s recently unveiled ‘Shine Like Stars’ remix, all pressed on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl. The second release is the album’s first ever picture disc format.

The previously unreleased Demodelica collection then follows on 15 October. It provides a new insight into the album’s creation, with a variety of early demos and work-in-progress mixes. It will be released on digital, double-vinyl, CD and C90 cassette formats. The package will be completed with new liner notes by author Jon Savage.

 All three releases are available to pre-order here.

Tickets for the dates, listed below, go on general sale from 9am on Friday, 17 September. They will be available from and

Read more: Top 40 Synth-Pop Songs



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