The Great Escape - Music & More

Music Releases 02-09-24

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There’s a double meaning to the title of What Now, the revelatory new album from Brittany Howard. “With the world we’re living in now, it feels like we’re all just trying to hang onto our souls,” says the Nashville-based musician and frontwoman for four-time Grammy Award-winning Alabama Shakes. “Everything seems to be getting more extreme and everyone keeps wondering, ‘What now? What’s next?’ By the same coin, the only constant on this record is you never know what’s going to happen next...”

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Usher has changed music, culture, and countless lives. The multiple GRAMMY Award-winning diamond-selling international megastar, actor, dancer, entrepre- neur, and philanthropist inspires change yet again in 2023 and beyond. Selling over 80 million records worldwide and collecting dozens of awards, he has simultaneously lit up the small screen on NBC’s The Voice and the big screen in blockbusters such as Hustlers. He has also tirelessly distinguished himself as a devout humanitarian, raising tens of millions of dollars for various causes and uplifting youth via his New Look Foundation. Since 1999 he has been providing opportunities for young people in underserved communities and enabling them to flourish and achieve seemingly impossible dreams. A true outlier, he is equally at home on the stage of his sold out My Way Las Vegas residency as he was on a 2016 government cultural mission to Cuba as part of President Barack Obama’s Presidential Committee for Arts and Humanities. This album marks the creative reunion of Usher and L.A. Reid, who haven’t worked together since 2004’s Diamond certified Confessions. The album was mainly recorded in Atlanta, GA with many of Atlanta’s hottest producers including Sean Garrett, Lil John, The Avila Brothers, Mel & Mus, Tricky Stewart, Rico Love, The-Dream, Jermaine Dupri, D Mile among many others.  USHER is the 2024 Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show Performer.

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Madi Diaz has been making records and writing songs professionally since the mid 2000s, but it wasn’t until she released 2021’s History Of A Feeling that she felt the glare of wider notoriety. It wasn’t her debut album, but it certainly felt like it. She made her daytime and night time television debuts, embarked on her first solo tour since 2012, and supported Waxahatchee and Angel Olsen on tour, and also collaborated with them on record. Harry Styles handpicked Diaz to open for him in arenas and stadiums in North America, and was so taken by her captivating live show, he asked her to be a member of his touring band, to sing alongside him all over Europe and the UK, as well as continuing to open the show in various cities. After three months on the road touring internationally, Diaz is back in Nashville, and gearing up to release her new album, Weird Faith, perched on the precipice of her moment. Featuring Kacey Musgraves and produced by Sam Cohen and Konrad Snyder, the album feels expansive and exploratory, showcasing her growth as a songwriter and speaking earnestly about the fears that come from falling in love again.
Madi Diaz - Weird Faith [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Opaque Green LP]
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The Dead South grow more adventurous and assured with each new album. For their fourth full-length record, they brought producer Jimmy Nutt to Mexico City, where they recorded 13 songs full of plot twists, family trees, grudges, insurance scams, bacon, burials, banjo riffs and more. The Dead South flawlessly execute banjo rolls and lightning fast mandolin tremolos, 3-part harmonies and songs of classic themes -murder ballads, disloyalty, ghosts and the like, with a wink and a smile. Where Bluegrass meets Bach meets Billy Talent, for fans of Frank Sinatra and Tool alike, you’ll find The Dead South’s Chains & Stakes. Chains & Stakes is truly a “Dead South” collection in the balance of darkness and levity that has come to define their unmistakable style.

The Dead South - Chains & Stakes [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition LP]
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10th Anniversary Expanded Deluxe Edition of The Marshall Mathers LP2. It features 11 bonus tracks, including B- sides and instrumentals. Originally released on November 5, 2013, the album serves as a sequel to The Marshall Mathers LP released in 2000. It features the singles “Berzerk,” “Survival,” “Rap God,” “Headlights” and “The Monster,” which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album won Eminem a record sixth GRAMMY Award for Best Rap Album and is now certified 4x platinum. 4 LP set on 180g black vinyl.

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SAM COOKE'S SAR RECORDS STORY (1959-1965) / VARiOUS - Originally released by ABKCO as a 2-CD set in 1994, Sam Cooke's SAR Records Story 1959-1965 is now available on vinyl as a 4-LP set. This collection gathers significant recordings of SAR Records - the label Sam Cooke co-founded, produced the majority of records for and was instrumental in operating. Groundbreaking artists such as The Sour Stirrers, Johnnie Taylor, Billy Preston and Bobby Womack's group, The Valentinos, are all featured - in addition to Sam himself.
Sam Cooke - Sam Cooke’s SAR Records Story [4LP]
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David Nance & Mowed Sound, the first album by Nance to be released on Third Man Records, cuts deep. Memories sprout back, like the sounds of a great rock song blasting from the neighbor’s truck as it revs away into the night. There is a definite connection to the past, but the swinging guitar boogie and snarled blues you might expect from Nance and company sounds leaner and completely hypnotic. What remains are 10 tracks from a well-oiled group so rhythmically together that the songs on the album seem as connected as links in a chain.

David Nance - David Nance & Mowed Sound [Indie Exclusive Limited Edition Green LP]
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Ken Exclusive Cover - Includes 2 bonus tracks - The Limited Edition Barbie the Album Indie Exclusive Vinyl. The groundbreaking and star-studded musical companion to the summer blockbuster film Barbie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The album features new tracks from an unprecedented lineup of artists including Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice, Dua Lipa, Lizzo, KAROL G, Charli XCX, PinkPantheress, Ava Max, Dominic Fike, Khalid, The Kid LAROI, Tame Impala, HAIM, GAYLE and FIFTY FIFTY feat. Kali. Barbie star Ryan Gosling also joins the robust roster of soundtrack artists with his iconic original song performed as his character, Ken. Barbie The Album has received over 2 Billion streams worldwide to date. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 Chart with over 126,000 albums. The album boasts the largest sales week on vinyl for a theatrical film soundtrack in Nielsen history.
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“For each of these songs, I just sent over a lead vocal and a piano and Hammock reinvented these songs in way that only they could do,” explains YELLOWCARD vocalist/guitarist Ryan Key about A Hopeful Sign, the new collaboration with the Nashville-based post-rock duo. Set for release on February 9, 2024 via Equal Vision, the new album revisits some of the alt-rock band’s most memorable tracks and reimagines them in a neo-classical and ambient space, deconstructing the songs and rebuilding them as a whole new aural experience. The first single from the album, “Ocean Avenue,” takes the band’s signature hit and metamorphosing the song from a pop-punk anthem to a contemplative and delicate piano-led ballad. “Yellowcard is in a new place where we are collaborating with other artists more than ever before,” says Key about this new musical partnership. “I have found Hammock in my top three most played artists every year for nearly a decade now. Hammock are one of the defining and most pioneering artists in the post rock and ambient space. We have taken so much inspiration from their work over the years so first becoming friends, and then unexpectedly getting to work together on new music were dreams come true.”

Reflecting on the tracklist on A Hopeful Sign, he adds, “I still can’t quite believe it’s real, that we were able to create an entire album with a band that has had such a massive influence on us. Whether it is one of our well-known songs or a deeper cut, these versions bring with them completely new interpretations and meanings for listeners who have lived with them for so many years. During the six years that Yellowcard was apart, I was constantly searching for ways to continue my career as a musician and producer. I had the idea to basically do Yellowcard covers featuring friends and artists I’ve had the pleasure of knowing throughout my career. The first artist to reply and complete a collaboration was Hammock with their reworked version of ‘Empty Street’.”

The nine-track album pulls tracks from 2003’s Ocean Avenue (title track, “Only One”), 2006’s Lights And Sounds (“Waiting Game”), 2007’s Paper Walls (“You And Me And One Spotlight”), 2012’s Southern Air (title track, “Telescope”), 2014’s Lift A Sail (“Transmission Home”) and 2016’s Yellowcard (“Empty Street”, “A Place We Set Fire”).  “It is such an honor to have worked on ‘A Hopeful Sign’ with such talented humans, and this record will be something we cherish forever,” says Ryan.

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Multiple GRAMMY® Award-winning musician and composer, Dhani Harrison, has announced the release of INNERSTANDING, his first solo album in six years. The new album will be available as a 2LP Neon Yellow color vinyl edition on February 9th, 2024, via H.O.T. Records/BMG.

Here we are in a new world and here is the new album that has come forth from it.” Dhani Harrison on his new album, INNERSTANDING.

Last week Harrison released the first track from the album, “Damn That Frequency”, which features Blur’s Graham Coxon on saxophone.  In addition to his appearance on that track, Coxon also features on guitar on four other songs on INNERSTANDING. The album also features guest appearances from Liela Moss from The Duke Spirit and critically acclaimed Australian singer Mereki. The album was produced by Harrison and co-mixed with GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Paul Hicks (The Beatles, Joe Strummer, The Rolling Stones).

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Les Claypool's 'Adverse Yaw: The Prawn Song Years' Box Set is available for pre-order. This 5 album set spans Les' solo career over the course of various projects, encompassing the Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains, and The Fancy Band. Enjoy 'Live Frogs Sets 1 & 2', the long out of print 'Purple Onion', 'Of Whales & Woe', & 'Of Fungi & Foe', LPs, and for the first time ever, 'The Big Eyeball In the Sky' with entirely remastered audio on limited edition, colored 180 gram vinyl.
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RSD Essential 053 - On this, the band’s second album, the core emphasis remained a nexus point between country, folk, psych, and classic rock all shrouded in mystery, and Hope Sandoval's trademark drowsy drawl remained swathed in echo. The hit single “Fade Into You” brought Mazzy Star unprecedented success.
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Indie Exclusive - For the first time on vinyl, Rockabye Baby presents fan-favorite Lullaby Renditions of Sublime, featuring Lime Vinyl and full color sleeve with children’s activities.
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20th anniversary album of all new material, including a new original song, by globally renowned classical crossover group Il Divo. First album with new member Steven LaBrie, after the passing of founding member Carlos Marin in 2020.

Il Divo takes flight in 2024 with their 10th full-length album, “XX.” Once again, they leap forward creatively, expanding the style and vision all at once.

“The album really has a sound to it,” Sébastien goes on. “It’s exciting to hear where we’re going. It’s Il Divo, but it’s the next chapter.”

“There’s something magical about how we did the tour in 2022, became close friends, and are making music together,” Steven elaborates. “It’s incredible.”

A new dawn for Il Divo begins now.

“For me, music is more than entertainment,” says David. “It separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom. The human voice is capable of things that everyone in an audience can vibrationally relate to. We have all been through sadness and happiness. Il Divo translates extreme emotions into a modern experience of humanity. This isn’t background music. We’re vibrationally mirroring how you might feel and enabling catharsis to happen. We want this to continue as long as we can. As long as we have breath and are able to do what we do at the level we do it, that's all we want. We want to create windows of transformation for anybody who's willing to listen.”

“Everything we do is for the audience,” Sebastien states. “Carlos will always be in our hearts. We’re sharing as many moments of joy as we can on stage. It’s a gift when what we do connects with anybody. For us, it’s not about receiving, but about giving and being of service to others. There’s nothing more powerful.”

“After losing a brother and living through so much over 20 years, Il Divo and our music are not a smidge tired,” Urs leaves off. “Il Divo has not lost any bit of its right to exist, with its potential and possibility to make beautiful, emotive, strong, and very high quality music. These are the most important things to me—Il Divo is here after 20 years, and Il Divo is here to stay.”

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Rock juggernaut Futurebirds’ newest release – a 22-track live compilation titled …Thanks Y’all – is a benchmark that not only celebrates 14 years together, it’s also a testament to the sheer iron will of a group of musicians hungry for the fruits of its labor.

The Athens, Georgia-based group once again teamed up with storied My Morning Jacket guitarist/producer Carl Broemel for the latest chapter of a seamless, bountiful partnership that initially came to fruition with the 2021 EP, Bloomin’, and was followed up with the 2022 EP, Bloomin’ Too.

Recorded over 9 shows in February of 2023, the live compilation finds the “Carlbirds” firing on all cylinders, with the best highlights captured for posterity on …Thanks Y’all. The album delivers the sound and energy of the live concert experience, as though the listener were standing dead center in the raucous crowd.

Singer/guitarist Daniel Womack says, “We're long overdue for a live release and feel super lucky to have one of our mentors quarterbacking the project. Carl takes us to another level and I think the stoke translates well in these versions" Scheduled for a December 1st digital release, …Thanks Y’all will also be available as a 3-LP vinyl set on February 9, 2024.

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Kali Malone’s anticipated new album “All Life Long” is a collection of music for pipe organ, choir, and brass quintet composed by Kali Malone, 2020 - 2023. Choral music performed by Macadam Ensemble and conducted by Etienne Ferschaud at Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-L’Immaculée-Conception in Nantes. Brass quintet music performed by Anima Brass at The Bunker Studio in New York City. Organ music performed by Kali Malone and Stephen O’Malley on the historical meantone tempered pipe organs at Église Saint-François in Lausanne, Orgelpark in Amsterdam, and Malmö Konstmuseum in Sweden.

Kali Malone composes with a rare clarity of vision. Her music is patient and focused, built on a foundation of evolving harmonic cycles that draw out latent emotional resonances. Time is a crucial factor: letting go of expectations of duration and breadth offers a chance to find a space of reflection and contemplation. In her hands, experimental reinterpretations of centuries-old polyphonic compositional methods become portals to new ways of perceiving sound, structure, and introspection. Though awe-inspiring in scope, the most remarkable thing about Malone’s music is the intimacy stirred by the close listening it encourages.

Malone’s new album All Life Long, created between 2020 - 2023, presents her first compositions for organ since 2019’s breakthrough album The Sacrificial Code alongside interrelated pieces for voice and brass performed by Macadam Ensemble and Anima Brass. Over the course of twelve pieces, harmonic themes and patterns recur, presented in altered forms and for varied instrumentation. They emerge and reemerge like echoes of their former selves, making the familiar uncanny. Propelled by lungs and breath rather than bellows and oscillators, Malone’s compositions for choir and brass take on expressive qualities that complicate the austerity that has defined her work, introducing lyricism and the beauty of human fallibility into music that has been driven by mechanical processes. At the same time, the works for organ, performed by Malone with additional accompaniment by Stephen O’Malley on four different organs dating from the 15th to 17th centuries, underscore the mighty, spectral power that those rigorous operations can achieve.

All Life Long simmers in an ever-shifting tension between repetition and variation. The pieces for brass, organ, and voice are alternated asymmetrically, providing nearly continuous timbral fluctuation across its 78-minute runtime even as thematic material reiterates. Each composition’s internal framework of fractal pattern permutations has the paradoxical effect of creating anticipated keystone moments of dramatic reverie and lulling the listener into believing in an illusory endlessness. On an even more granular level, the historical meantone tuning systems of each organ used, and the variable intonation of brass and voice, provide further points of emotional excavation within the harmony.

The titular composition “All Life Long” appears twice on the album, first as an extended canon for organ and again in the final quarter, compactly arranged for voice. In the latter, Malone pairs the music with “The Crying Water” by Arthur Symons, a poem steeped in language of mourning and eternity. For organ, “All Life Long” moves with a patient stateliness, the drama concentrated in moments when shifting tonalities generate and release dissonance and ecstasy. For voice, each word is saturated with feeling, the singers swooping gracefully downward to capture the melancholy of the narrator’s relationship to the timeless tears of the sea. “Passage Through The Spheres,” the album’s opening piece, contains lyrics in Italian pulled from Giorgio Agamban’s essay In Praise of Profanation. In it, Agamban defines profanation as, in part, the act of bringing back to communal, secular use that which has been segregated to the realm of the sacred, a process Malone enacts each time she performs on church organs.

This is not music of praise, or of spiritual revelation, but it is an artistic enactment of translating the indescribable. It carries the gravity of liturgical chant, and its fixation on the infinite, but draws its weight from the earthly realm of human experience. A music that draws the listener into the present moment where they can discover themselves within the interwoven musical patterns that can come to resemble the passage of days, weeks, years, a lifetime.

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One of the leading lights in Europe’s experimental rock domain, The Pineapple Thief bring you their 14th album, It Leads to This, on February 9th 2024. The band features founding member Bruce Soord (guitar/vocals) plus Jon Sykes (bass/backing vocals), Gavin Harrison (drums/percussion) and Steve Kitch (keyboards). 

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“The band was once described as a 'fucking nightmare' to be around, whilst we are lovely people we do embrace the chaos that comes with all of this so found it fitting to title our next album as such. The songs themselves mainly follow this theme but relate to all aspects of life. Lyrically, it is more of the same... no metaphorical meanings, no fantastical story telling, no pretentious bollocks.... Just tales of a life lived as it will always be.”

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Orgōne is back in California and coming in hot with Chimera, a fire-breathing spectacle of psychedelic Afro-soul. Produced by Sergio Rios (Neal Francis, Say She She), Chimera is an electrifying, dream-like odyssey, tripping through the hazy swamps of New Orleans, weaving textures of entrancing voodoo soul, thrumming Afro-funk, and stoney psych-rock.

In Chimera, the heavy-hitting new LP from Orgōne, out February 9th, 2024 on 3 Palm Records, the Los Angeles-based outfit carves tough, gritty, infectious grooves into heady dance rhythms. Taking its name from a mythical beast with the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a serpent, Chimeraconjures a state that is at once trance-like and heart-poundingly exciting.

The album opens like a heady puff of smoke in the face with “Hallowed Dreams,” drawing the listener into a state where reality blurs and the music takes control. The focus track, “Zum Zum,” is a hooky Afro-funk dance floor heater that synchronizes your heart rate to its propulsive percussion, the hypnotic rhythm building into a raucous, psychedelic climax. On the raw and rousing “Tula Muisi (Dance Like Them),” a tapestry of Afrobeat and heavy psych-rock bolsters the singer calls for unity and respect, which translates to “Hear the music, and dance like them.”

Known for their gripping instrumentals and incendiary live show, the band is firing on all cylinders and the earned confidence of this time-tested, cult-favorite crew is on display throughout Chimera.

From its inception, Orgōne has always been a chimera — a multifaceted creation and the physical manifestation of impossible quixotic dreams. Chimera will delight fans of early Orgōne while showcasing the band’s effortless and endless ability to shape-shift. It’s an electrifying, mesmerizing record sure to exceed expectations and keep the listener rapt.

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"Easy, easy..." Only Sea Power could turn a football chant into an artwork with... ease. From this bounding refrain of No Lucifer, via Waving Flags' serenity, the balm-like No Need To Cry and the joyous Trip Out, 2008 album Do You Like Rock Music? reflects the band's ability to find glacial beauty in the commonplace, making soul-stirring epiphanies an everyday occurrence. Expanded for its 15th anniversary with sessions and B-sides, this kaleidoscopic record encapsulates Sea Power's true heart.

The 15th anniversary reissue of Sea Power’s Mercury nominated album, Do You Like Rock Music? is released on Feb 9, 2024. The band are celebrating the reissue with a string of dates in the UK playing the album through in its entirety.

The limited-edition LP is housed in gatefold glow in the dark sleeve with orange vinyl & a picture disc, plus sleeve notes written by Roy Wilkinson.

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plastic death -  the second album by glass beach - is a follow-up record almost five years in the making. The band’s 2019 debut, aptly titled the first glass beach album, has over the years grown a cult fanbase for its unflinching depiction of queer life as mediated through social media, its oversized ambition, and its scrappy yet adventurous production. And while it took some time to arrive, plastic death sounds like the logical expansion of all the things that made their first album so special.

Years and years of relentless writing, tinkering demos, cancelled tours and a few lockdowns only strengthen the chaotic core of what makes glass beach’s maximalist approach work so well. Frontperson and primary songwriter J McClendon is joined by lead guitarist Layne Smith, bassist Jonas Newhouse and drummer William White to create something adventurous on each song. Trumpet, trombone, violin, and even marimba dance and bloom alongside the band's own creative and dextrous instrumentation -  a stunning, transformative creation that pulls from indie rock, jazz, prog, hardcore, metal, experimental, and beyond.

Songs like lead single “the CIA,” are examples of the band’s ambitious writing. It’s a dark, dancy, post-punk/jazz hybrid, a coordinated, breathless braid of synth and saturated guitar. Tension and confusion explode into a brutal modern metal climax to close the track, flickering with glitchy production zaps and razor-sharp stops. The artwork of plastic death is similarly rich with detail, resulting in a bioluminescent, fully-realized double album depicting sprawling scenes where moments of neon brightness shine momentarily in a dark undersea - a metaphor for the moments of optimism and catharsis glass beach provide on these songs. “This album is the Pacific garbage patch: cultural trash strewn together seemingly by accident, standing in stark juxtaposition to each other,” says McClendon. plastic death is a complete, uncompromising, playful work of art; every corner and crevice of the record’s 13 tracks, each arrangement and timbre and texture, is alive with intention and possibility.

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The highly anticipated follow up to Zara Larsson’s 2021 album Poster Girl, comes new album VENUS. It includes singles “Can’t Tame Her, and “On My Love” with David Guetta, both of which hit #1 at US Dance Radio. With its elevated sound, eclectic style and unifying visuals, VENUS verifies Zara Larsson as one of modern pop’s most essential stars.

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Helado Negro

Phasor

Vinyl: $29.98 Buy

While Phasor feels loose and expansive, it's Lange's tightest collection-deep, atmospheric, meticulously executed. It's aligned with 2019's This Is How You Smile, which found him incorporating more upfront drums and bass and focused grooves. Sequentially, it follows the expansive hour-plus long Far In, whose title was inspired by new age legend Laraaji and created in lockdown, in Marfa, Texas - lyrically digging into connection and focused on being in quarantine. Phasor, in turn, is an homage to going outside again. It's a returning-to-life record, remembering what the sun feels like and letting it warm your skin. A1. LFO (Lupe Finds Oliveros) A2. I Just Want To Wake Up With You A3. Best For You and Me A4. Colores Del Mar A5. Echo Tricks Me B1. Out There B2. Flores B3. Wish You Could Be Here B4. Es Una Fantasia
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Never before released in indie record stores, Manchester Orchestra's I'm Like a Virgin Losing a Child is their debut LP which launched their career. This remastered limited edition Gold Swirl variant features the album on stunning 180g vinyl. 

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