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Making Talking Heads: Remain In Light



Talking Heads’ Remain In Light remains the art-rock quartet’s signature album. By Gary Tipp

Talking Heads: Remain In Light cover
Talking Heads: Remain In Light cover

During the early part of their career Talking Heads were inextricably linked to the Ramones. Admittedly, both bands had broken out of New York’s legendarily grubby Bowery scene at the same time and, in Sire, they shared a relatively hip record label.

Nonetheless, it was always an odd coupling. Talking Heads’ first ever gig at CBGB’s was second on the bill to the seminal punks from Queens, and in the late spring of 1977 the two bands even embarked on a European tour together.

Schlepping around Europe on the same tour bus only served to amplify the chalk-and-cheese nature of the relationship. On one occasion, a stop suggested by Heads’ drummer Chris Frantz to check out Stonehenge, en route to a gig at Penzance Winter Gardens, caused ructions within the ranks of the Ramones, specifically Johnny, who refused to get off the bus.

“I don’t want to stop here. It’s just a bunch of old rocks,” exclaimed the reactionary rocker. 

Musically, as well as culturally, they were polar opposites. The leather-clad Ramones permanently harked back to the golden age of rock‘n’roll, while the smart leisurewear-clad Talking Heads were future-minded and constantly evolving.

The one thing the two bands did have in common, though, was a heavy slice of interpersonal dysfunction. The members of both bands really didn’t get on with each other. Johnny and Joey, notoriously, didn’t speak to each other for most of the Ramones’ 22-year history.

Within Talking Heads the husband and wife rhythm axis of drummer Frantz and bass player Tina Weymouth were often at loggerheads with frontman David Byrne.

Much of the friction was borne out of the fact that when the band signed their recording contract, Byrne had indelicately requested that Weymouth audition for her place in the band again. 

Both Frantz and Weymouth were worn down by the singer’s passive-aggressive machinations and, what they perceived to be, a lack of any acknowledgement for their creative endeavour within the band. 

Tensions were heightened through Byrne’s seemingly conspiratorial relationship with producer Brian Eno, who had sat behind the controls and fiddled knobs on 1978’s More Songs About Buildings And Food and Fear Of Music a year later.

What’s more, art-rock’s two nutty professors cemented their close bond on the ambitious collaboration My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. “They’re like two 14-year-old boys making an impression on each other,” swiped the scoffing bass player.

Recording Talking Heads: Remain In Light

It was into this antagonistic atmosphere, albeit in the pleasantly sunny surrounds of Nassau’s Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas, that the initial sessions for the band’s fourth album, Remain In Light, were cast. 

The sonic template for what would turn out to be their most enduring masterpiece was actually laid down on the opener of their previous album, Fear Of Music’s polyrhythmic I Zimbra.

The track was a compellingly propulsive combination of Africa-influenced drum sounds melded with a funky disco bassline and Byrne chanting nonsensical Dadaist poetry over the top. 

In many ways I Zimbra was an unlikely touchstone, as on the surface of things the band weren’t exactly the closest of cousins to Fela Kuti, the afrobeat pioneer, whose 1973 Afrodisiac album was a major influence on the track. But the band and producer, Eno again, were committed to exploring its possibilities into a whole album’s worth of material.

With AC/DC entrenched in Compass Point’s Studio A recording comeback album Back In Black, Talking Heads established camp in Studio B.

With no songs formally written, it was agreed that the studio be utilised as a tool for composition with the music created by the band members out of improvisation – with producer/collaborator Eno to be regarded as the group’s fifth member.

Talking Heads: Remain In Light – Houses In Motion video

As Frantz recounts in his recently published autobiography Remain In Love, “We were interested in creating sounds that would take us deeper and far beyond what people had come to expect from us.”

To achieve this ambition rather than start with a traditional song structure or lyric, the band would create multiple fragments of songs through improvised jam sessions.

Frantz recalls: “My personal challenge and Tina’s was to conceive and perform rhythm parts that not only grooved like crazy and propelled the song forward, but that also sounded shockingly new…
Tina and I created parts that were loops performed live. Then David and Jerry [Harrison] could superimpose their parts over ours.” 

Byrne explained his take on the process as best he could to the Library Of Congress in 2017: “We were listening to African pop music, like Fela Kuti and King Sunny Adé, but we didn’t set out to imitate those. We deconstructed everything and then as the music evolved, we began to realise we were in effect reinventing the wheel.

“Our process led us to something with some affinity to afro-funk, but we got there the long way round, and, of course, our version sounded slightly off. We didn’t get it quite right, but in missing, we ended up with something new.”

With the Compass Point sessions over and the basic tracks laid down, the band returned to New York for more recording in the Sigma Sound studios. It was here that simmering tensions started to boil over with Frantz and Weymouth feeling unwelcome.

This is how Frantz recalls the experience in Remain In Love: “It seemed as if [Byrne and Eno] thought of us as sidemen who were no longer useful to them. At one point Brian actually said to us in his most bothered tone of voice, ‘There are too many people in the control room.’” It was a comment that the rhythm section clearly didn’t take too kindly to.

Talking Heads: Remain In Light – Crosseyed And Painless video

Niceties aside, the work that Byrne, Eno and Harrison were putting in was getting results. Former King Crimson guitarist and Bowie acolyte Adrian Belew was shipped in to add wild, crazy solos to several tracks, while avant-garde trumpet player Jon Hassell contributed freaky brass. Nona Hendryx, formerly one third of girl group Labelle, was also invited to add backing vocals.

Read our Lowdown feature on Talking Heads

Read more: Making Blondie’s Parallel Lines

It was around this time that art school alumni Frantz and Weymouth began to work on concepts for the album cover. The couple had met at the Rhode Island School Of Design in 1973, and it was there that Frantz first formed a band, The Artistics, with fellow student David Byrne; who was often referred to back then as ‘Mad Dave’ among the drummer’s circle of friends (if ever there was a warning sign…).

Remain In Light’s artwork was created digitally, which was then a new-fangled, cutting-edge process, with the aid of the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology’s powerful mainframe computer.

Initially, the iconic photograph of the US fighter planes was planned for the front cover (Tina’s father had flown Grumman Avengers during his Navy service) with the band portraits destined for the back.

However, the roughly painted bright red masks crudely splodged over the headshots made for an impactful image and the roles were reversed.

With the album finally completed, the perennially thorny issue of songwriting splits and credits was broached. Eno had wanted the album to be called Remain In Light by Talking Heads and Brian Eno, but he was eventually talked down.

After some discussion it was agreed that writers’ credits should read ‘All Songs By David Byrne, Brian Eno, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison and Tina Weymouth.’ The names were in alphabetical order, and the final LP artwork was signed off as such. 

However, when advance copies of the LP were circulated, the writing credits had been altered to ‘All Songs By David Byrne, Brian Eno, Talking Heads.’

What’s more, the lyric sheet on the inner sleeve had been changed to ‘All Songs by David Byrne and Brian Eno, except The Overload and Houses In Motion written by David Byrne, Brian Eno, and Jerry Harrison’. It was a sleight that must have felt like a huge, hurtful smack in the mouth to Frantz
and Weymouth.

Nonetheless, the album was released on 8 October 1980 to widespread critical acclaim, featuring high across-the-board ratings in the music press best of year polls – coming first in both Sounds and Melody Maker, while placing sixth in NME. 

While not remotely interested in touring himself, Eno believed Remain In Light to be too dense for a quartet to take on the road, and so the lineup was extended to nine members for live performances.

To beef up the band, Adrian Belew was joined by Funkadelic’s living legend Bernie Worrell, alongside bassist Busta Jones, percussionist Steven Scales and backing vocalist Dolette McDonald. The nucleus of which would remain intact for 1984’s concert film Stop Making Sense and the soundtrack album of the same name.

Following a hugely successful world tour with the big band and after releasing four albums in just as many years, Talking Heads, sensibly for all concerned, went into a three-year hiatus.

Byrne worked on a musical score for US choreographer and dancer Twyla Tharp titled The Catherine Wheel, while Harrison’s first solo outing was called The Red And The Black. Frantz and Weymouth returned to Nassau, where they now owned a property. 

Venturing into the same studio where Remain In Light was initially recorded, they formed side project Tom Tom Club and scored a couple of substantial worldwide hits in Wordy Rappinghood and the much-sampled Genius Of Love.

Talking Heads continued to work together for four more studio albums, but the psychic toll in daring to reach the creative heights of Remain In Light meant the damage was beyond repair, and what was once the most searingly sharp of cutting edges was now blunted. 

Talking Heads: Remain In Light – The Songs

Born Under Punches
(The Heat Goes On)
If any casual listener was unaware that Talking Heads were heading down previously unexplored sonic avenues with their fourth album then straight out of the gate Remain In Light’s blisteringly polyrhythmic opener would soon enlighten them. Byrne’s born-again preacher persona makes his first appearance (“I’m not a drowning man/ And I’m not a burning building/ Drowning cannot hurt a man/ Fire cannot hurt a man”), sermonising over an unholy, funky racket.

‘The Heat Goes On’ refrain repeated in the chorus was based on a headline Eno read in the New York Post during that summer’s long-lasting heatwave. The greatest trick the band pulled off with Remain In Light is that for an album so heavily steeped in experimentation its melodic pop-sensibility was still to the fore.
In other words, art you can dance to.

Crosseyed And Painless
The ludicrously complex song structures that the band cooked up in the improvised jam sessions at Compass Point resulted in a set of backing tracks unlike anything Talking Heads had written before. The problem with this new approach for principal songwriter David Byrne was that he struggled to adapt his usual word patterns to them and suffered from writer’s block as a consequence.

That was until he adopted a stream-of-consciousness approach to his lyric writing, a method that was heavily inspired by the nascent rap scene breaking out of New York City at the time. The rhythmical rant in Crosseyed And Painless (“Facts are simple and facts are straight/ Facts are lazy and facts are late”) was directly influenced by Kurtis Blow’s early classic The Breaks after a suggestion in the studio made by rap fan Frantz. 

The Great Curve
At 6:28, the hypnotic The Great Curve clocks in as the longest of the three tracks on Side One. This being Talking Heads it was never going to be an album full of songs with straightforward unrequited boy-girl love narratives. To this end, The Great Curve is best described as an eco-feminist tribute to the mother of all life, the goddess Gaia
(“The world moves on a woman’s hips/

The world moves and it swivels and bops”). Undeniably, it’s one of Talking Heads’ finest moments on record as a band, the groove-based track is a swirling mass of guitar, bass, percussion and inter-meshing vocal chants. The Great Curve is also notable for the synthesiser-treated guitar solos from a possessed Adrian Belew.

Once In A Lifetime
The first track on Side Two was originally known under its working title of Weird Guitar Riff Song, and to this day the existential Once In A Lifetime remains Talking Heads’ most famous song (it was certified silver in the UK in 2018). The album’s first 45, it made its way up to No.14 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1981.

There are many different interpretations of the track’s meaning, but Byrne himself has always stated that the lyrics aren’t meant to be cryptic or misleading. He said: “We’re largely unconscious. You know, we operate half awake or on autopilot and end up, whatever, with a house and family and job and everything else, and we haven’t really stopped to ask ourselves, ‘How did I get here?’”

Once In A Lifetime’s most prestigious moment occurred when diehard post-punk Kermit The Frog performed it on an episode of Muppets Tonight dressed in a David Byrne over-sized boxy suit.

Houses In Motion
Houses In Motion is the second single from the album and peaked at No.50 in the UK Singles Chart. Featuring a lengthy distorted horn improvisation from the ambient pioneer Jon Hassell together with an oblique spoken narrative intro from Byrne (“For a long time I felt without style and grace/ Wearing shoes with no socks in cold weather/ I knew my heart was in the right place”), it was never going to contend for the top spot.

The relentless afro-groove temporarily slows and a fog of spooky paranoia settles in, this is the Byrne-Eno alliance operating at the peak of its slanted powers. No Kermit The Frog on this one.

Seen And Not Seen
This spoken-word track discovers Byrne ditching the preacher-man character and talking like a regular guy (or his approximation of one, at least).

Over a stomp-clap percussive rhythm he calmly narrates the seemingly straightforward story of a man who wants to change his face, either to match his true personality or to represent a personality he’s always wished he had (“He would see faces in movies, on TV, in magazines, and in books/ He thought that some of those faces might be right for him”). 

Listening Wind
This simmering lament with its Arabic sound recounts the tale of Mojique, a bomb-planting, anti-American resistance fighter, who thinks back to the days before Americans arrived in his country (“Mojique holds a package in his quivering hands/ Mojique sends the package to the American man”).

The atmospheric track was covered by Peter Gabriel on his 2010 covers album Scratch My Back. 

The Overload
Swapping the downright funky for the positively funereal, the album’s bleak and curious closing track was Talking Heads’ tribute to Joy Division. Curiously, none of the Heads had ever heard any of the gloomy foursome’s records, but they were so intrigued by ecstatic album reviews the Mancunians were receiving in the music press that they decided to go for it anyway.

Despite this oblique approach, the droning, bass-heavy dirge of Remain In Light’s least danceable song is not without the familiar essence of Ian Curtis and his sombre chums. After the groovy afro-funk of what’s come before, The Overload comes as a blessed relief only to the dancefloor-shy miserabilists among us.

Visit David Byrne’s official website

Read more: Top 20 Side Projects



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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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