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Making Rick Astley: Whenever You Need Somebody

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The musical merging of a northern soul boy with pop’s hottest production team, Rick Astley: Whenever You Need Somebody Rickrolled the music business, defying critics to sell more than 15 million copies – though for the singer, its success came at a hefty price… By Mark Lindores

Rick Astley: Whenever You Need SomebodyAlthough Rick Astley had been in various local bands and joined FBI as a drummer before taking over as lead singer, it was his discovery by Pete Waterman in a Warrington nightclub in 1985 which set him on the path to making music more than just a hobby. Impressed by Rick’s soulful voice, Waterman offered him the opportunity to move to London to pursue a career in music – the only proviso being that it was as a solo artist. Although Astley initially turned down Pete’s offer, after a few more months of working as a delivery driver by day and singing on the laborious Northern pub circuit at night, he conceded it was ultimately too good an opportunity to turn down. “[Stock Aitken Waterman] were not yet this massive great big all-conquering entity,” Rick later told The Independent. “They were just getting started. When I signed to them they were just about to have a No.1 record, so for me it was a bit of an adventure, really. I thought, I don’t really know who these guys are or what they are doing, but they seem to be doing something right, so this might be my one and only opportunity within the music business, so I just kind of did it. I didn’t really think that much about it.”

Arriving in London, Rick was initially completely dependant on Pete Waterman, who assumed the role of mentor, letting him stay in his flat and giving him a job at the PWL Hit Factory as an assistant, where his jobs included everything from working as a tape op to making tea, an apprenticeship that lasted almost two years. “It did drag on for a bit!” says Rick, whose only singing experience during this time had been as an uncredited duet partner on SAW protégé O’Chi Brown’s Learning To Live (Without Your Love) and a flop single When You Gonna with singer Lisa Carter. “I was seeing other people have No.1 hits, and I’d think: ‘Come on, boys’. But it wasn’t that they had forgotten me, they just had a lot of records to make. I knew, though, that when I got my turn, it would be a big thing, because Stock Aitken Waterman were becoming this big hit machine.”

By now dominating the charts with hits they had written and/or produced for Dead Or Alive, Bananarama, Mel & Kim, Princess and Sinitta, SAW were working hard behind the scenes on a sound they felt would highlight his talent. “At first, Pete felt we should do a Motown cover,” Mike Stock tells Classic Pop. “The first thing we recorded was [The Temptations’] Ain’t Too Proud To Beg and that’s when I first properly heard his voice. I said to Pete and Matt that singing a cover would be to underplay and undervalue his undoubted vocal strengths, and that we should write Rick his own song. That’s when we came up with Never Gonna Give You Up.”

With Pete privy to new sounds and club trends thanks to his ongoing DJ gigs as The Hitman, he brought records back to Mike and Matt as an indicator of what would be the next big thing.

At the time they were looking for a style for Rick, the Hi-NRG sound that had proved successful on their earlier hits was being phased out by American house music teamed with a strong soulful vocal – a perfect approach for their new male singer. The trio began looking to artists such as Steve Arrington and Colonel Abrams, with the latter’s Trapped being a key influence. “The bassline for Never Gonna Give You Up is not a sample or a steal from Colonel Abrams but a remodelling of the syncopation and played by us in the studio using our own keyboards,” Mike says.

Initial feedback was positive. Pete had been “testing” the record during his DJ sets and a one-minute excerpt on an Upcoming Things From PWL sampler sent to Capital Radio garnered instant airplay, leading to the single being released earlier than planned. The video perplexed those expecting a US soul singer, forcing the shy lad from Newton-le-Willows to repeatedly sing live to prove that his was the voice on the record. Released on 27 July 1987, Never Gonna Give You Up stayed at No.1 for five weeks and became the biggest-selling British single of the year.

While the public lapped up the fact that SAW had made their “teaboy” a star, Rick was not happy at the perception that he was “a puppet” and, while recording his debut album, suggested he should have some input into the LP that was to bear his name. His request was not welcomed by SAW, who were confident that they had already written a string of future hits for Rick. “I wasn’t happy with that arrangement and still believe this was a situation which should have been handled differently,” Mike Stock admits, “but I was busy with other artists and it kind of slipped by me at the time.”

With a roster of artists awaiting the SAW treatment, including Kylie Minogue, they compromised by allowing Astley to work on tracks with producer Daize Washbourne and PWL’s ‘B-Team’ of Phil Harding and Ian Curnow. The result was that four of Rick’s compositions made the album, though none were considered as singles – understandably, given the string of hits the album would produce.

By the time Whenever You Need Somebody was released on 16 November 1987, Stock Aitken Waterman were beginning to face a critical backlash, with some reviewers taking exception to what they now deemed their “formulaic sound” – something Mike Stock is insistent upon refuting.

“It may not appear so, but, we always tried sonically to make all our artists distinct from one another,” he emphasises. “Jason Donovan, for example, always had guitars featured. Kylie never had guitars – although that changed later, after the acts were established. A Rick record at a speed of 114bpm was considerably slower than a Hazell Dean record at 130bpm, for example.”

Criticisms aside, if Stock Aitken  Waterman had stumbled upon a formula for Rick then it was a winning one, as their modern take on classic disco was the perfect match for his deep, soulful voice. The album shot straight to No.1 in the UK and Australia, spawning a record-breaking singles run of subsequent hits in the title track, When I Fall In Love (released as a double A-side with non-album track My Arms Keep Missing You) and Together Forever.

While the scale of Rick’s success took many by surprise (including the perplexed star himself), its translation Stateside was even more noteworthy. With the exception of Bananarama’s Venus, SAW hadn’t experienced any real presence in the US so Never Gonna Give You Up’s transition from underground club hit – championed by Larry Levan during his legendary final sets at the Paradise Garage – to Billboard No.1 was even more remarkable. Together Forever followed it to the top of the US charts, and the album also reached the Top 10. A further single, the soulful, Motown-influenced It Would Take A Strong Strong Man, completed a successful US album campaign. As a devotee of American soul music, particularly Motown, Rick’s popularity in the United States was his career highlight and offered him a respite from the turmoil that success was causing him back home. Despite achieving a level of fame that far exceeded his wildest expectations, he was caught up in a whirlwind of travelling and promotion that took him away from his true passion, making music. Lonely, depressed and stressed, he compared his life to being “more like a travelling salesman than a musician or performer”.

As Stock Aitken Waterman’s chart dominance grew, so did disdain for them within the industry. As their most successful artist at that time, Rick found himself a scapegoat for that criticism and scrutiny. Unable to find any dirt to dig up on the clean-cut star, the press branded him boring, nicknaming him ‘Dick Spatsley’ and tracking down members of his old band to accuse him of selling them out. In an interview with Smash Hits in February 1988, Rick told the magazine of his frustration and that he planned to “disappear for a while”. “Looking back, I believe Rick would have preferred it if he’d had the support of a band on stage,” Mike says. “As a 19-year-old, touring the world and appearing on big stages all by yourself was understandably challenging.”

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Desperately unhappy with the fame that came with success, Rick released three further albums before “retiring” from music in 1993. He was thrust back into the spotlight in 2007 as the subject of the “Rickrolling” internet phenomenon, leading to a performance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York and an unexpected victory following an online voting campaign for the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards to find the ‘Best Act Ever’.

Rick’s return to the spotlight, coupled with gigs on the retro tour circuit, saw a renewed enthusiasm for the music business. Older, wiser and now working very much on his own terms, the stage was set for 2016’s comeback with his 50 album – his first No.1 album since 1987. In 2018 Rick released the Beautiful Life album, a UK No.6, while 2019 saw the launch of The Best Of Me – a greatest hits collection that he plans to tour in 2020. And what does the writer of Never Gonna Give You Up think now? “We were a great team,” Mike Stock says. “We’re lucky that we still have an artist like Rick to make these appearances and still sing the song. Moments like that are still a great thrill for me.”

Rick Astley: Whenever You Need Somebody – The Songs

Never Gonna Give You Up

“By popular demand” may be an oft-used marketing ploy to drum up the appearance of public interest, but in the case of Never Gonna Give You Up it was the truth. Rush-released on 27 July 1987 after a one-minute teaser sent to radio stations on an Upcoming Things From PWL sampler garnered heavy airplay, the single was put out earlier than planned.

Signalling a sonic shift for Stock Aitken Waterman, the song moved away from the harsher Hi-NRG sound of their earlier hits to a more classic, disco-inspired feel, with Colonel Abrams’ hit Trapped and Steve Arrington as a blueprint. As well as topping the UK charts for five weeks and becoming the biggest-selling single of 1987, it reached No.1 in 25 countries – including the US.

Whenever You Need Somebody

After the runaway success of Never Gonna Give You Up , Stock Aitken Waterman needed a follow-up single for Rick – and quick. By this time they were busy churning out hits for Bananarama, Sinitta and Mel & Kim, and they recycled an old song to follow it.

Originally released as a single in 1985 by O’Chi Brown, Whenever You Need Somebody stalled at No.97, but Rick’s version made it another Top 10 hit for the team. It wasn’t Rick’s first connection with O’Chi; while working at PWL’s Hit Factory in 1986, he recorded a duet with her, Learning To Live (Without Your Love) for her album. He was uncredited on the album, and after his success her record company released the song as a single… though it failed to chart.

Together Forever

Originally planned to be Rick’s second single, Together Forever was arguably the strongest track on the album. However, it was held back until later in case a ‘big song’ was required to prolong the album’s lifespan. One of Stock Aitken Waterman’s best tracks, Together Forever was eventually released as the album’s fourth and final UK single on 12 January 1988. It peaked at No.2, though the SAW trio were able to keep on celebrating as they were only kept off the top spot by their own song – Kylie’s I Should Be So Lucky.

In the US, Together Forever was released as the follow-up to Never Gonna Give You Up and duly became Rick’s second US No.1 single. “When we’d done all the other tracks, we listened to them and thought… people have already bought Never Gonna Give You Up,” Mike Stock reflected. “What else is there [on the album] that really does compare? We needed Together Forever to get home to people what Rick could be.”

It Would Take A Strong Strong Man

SAW were long-time fans of US soul music, particularly Motown, and It Would Take A Strong Strong Man was a homage to male vocal harmony groups such as The Temptations and The Four Tops that Rick also loved so much (the legendary Detroit label also provided something of a Stock Aitken Waterman business blueprint). The track was stylistically different to the now classic SAW sound. Since it had been decided that Rick should be positioned as a soul man in the style of Luther Vandross and Colonel Abrams in the US, the song was released as a single in the States, where it became a Top 10 hit. A video was shot featuring Rick performing in a smoky jazz club.

The Love Has Gone

Rick’s major bugbear was that he was seen solely as a ‘puppet’ for Stock Aitken Waterman, and he insisted on having some of his own compositions on the album. The Love Has Gone was the first track on the album penned by Rick. Though the song is credited to Astley and ‘Dick Spatsley’, the latter was a pseudonym adopted by Rick as a riposte to the magazines that deliberately misspelled his name as a way of discrediting him. As SAW were increasingly busy and demand was growing for new Rick material, the Hit Factory’s ‘B-team’ of Phil Harding and Ian Curnow was enlisted to help out on production duties.

Don’t Say Goodbye

The one that got away; Don’t Say Goodbye is the album’s smash that never was. Bearing the hallmarks of classic SAW with a killer chorus, it could have been a huge hit had it been released as the final single, as planned. Alas, it was pulled in order to move on to Rick’s second album, though it did receive a limited release as a 12” single in Italy at the end of 1988, midway through the singles run of the Hold Me In Your Arms album.

Slipping Away

Another self-penned track, produced by Harding/Curnow, Slipping Away supplies a more soulful sound for Rick, not a million miles away from the funk-influenced, rare groove of Stock Aitken Waterman’s own hit Roadblock.

No More Looking For Love

Without much argument, this is the weakest song on the album. Although Daize Washbourne’s production successfully replicates the sound of the title track, alas it still isn’t enough to hide the fact that No More Looking For Love’s is somewhat lacking in memorable melody.

You Move Me

The best of Rick’s compositions on the album, You Move Me heralded a sexier, funkier direction and was featured as the B-side to It Would Take A Strong Strong Man in the US to capitalise on its inclusion as the soundtrack to the trailer of Tom Cruise’s movie Cocktail.

When I Fall In Love

A faithful yet ultimately pointless cover of the Nat King Cole standard, When I Fall In Love did its job of showcasing Rick’s soulful voice. Released as his third single, it was frontrunner to be 1987’s Christmas No.1 until EMI sneakily intervened by re-releasing the Nat King Cole original in a bid to diminish Astley’s sales. Their ploy worked, and their act Pet Shop Boys landed the top spot with Always On My Mind – payback for Never Gonna Give You Up keeping What Have I Done To Deserve This? from reaching No.1. Rick’s single was a double A-side, and the far superior My Arms Keep Missing You was switched to the lead track after Christmas.

Rick Astley’s official website

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The Story Of Now That’s What I Call Music

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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

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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

MUSIC MONTH – OCTOBER

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.     

ART & DESIGN MONTH – NOVEMBER

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.

MAGIC MONTH – DECEMBER

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

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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 www.gigsandtours.com and www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

Read more: Top 40 Synth-Pop Songs

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