Produced by Butch Walker (Green Day, Weezer) and featuring Idol’s longtime lead guitarist and co-writer Steve Stevens, the EP will be Idol’s first new release in nearly seven years.
Dhani Harrison, who runs the label with David Zonshine, said in a statement “I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Billy Idol to the Dark Horse Records family. Billy is a legend, and his music couldn’t fit the Dark Horse persona any better. I’ve loved his music throughout my whole life, so to be able to give this new music a home on our historic label is a massive honour.”
It’s interesting to read that Idol fits the ‘Dark Horse persona’. When the label was re-launched with a distribution deal with BMG in January last year, Dhani said “Future releases in 2020 will include compilations, live albums, and box sets featuring rare and unreleased recordings from the Dark Horse label, many of which will be available digitally for the first time. From the Indian classical Ragas Of Ravi Shankar to the rock and roll of Attitudes I look forward to reintroducing, to a new audience, all of those artists that my father loved so much. We will also be expanding the Dark Horse family with new artists and classic catalogues in the coming years to include a rich and varied roster of incredible musicians whom we love. Please watch this space!”
So, under those criteria, Billy Idol is a perfect candidate.
For those who like physical formats, the EP is available for pre-order on exclusive blue vinyl from the Billy Idol website – though it is showing as Sold Out already. Hopefully more copies will be pressed. Orders will ship on September 17:
It’s also avaiable on black vinyl:
And on CD:
The lead single from the EP, ‘Bitter Taste’, has been previewed on YouTube. It’s a pretty good track:
We weren’t aware (until we saw it just now) that there was anything of much interest for the “must have it all” completists among us – but there is!
The first is from Dark Horse, the label owned and operated by the George Harrison estate. The Dark Horse Records revival continues with a Limited Edition 12″ picture disc single of Joe Strummer’s ‘Junco Partner (Acoustic)’/’Junco Partner (Live)’:
The A-side features the home recording of the song ‘Junco Partner’, taken from Strummer’s latest LP called Assembly which is a compilation released earlier this year on the Dark Horse label. The B-side features a non-LP track, a live recording of the same song from Strummer and and his band The Mescaleros at London’s Brixton Academy in 2001.
The second release is a little more obscure. This is the first release on newly set up War Child Records and it is only available as part of UK Record Store Day Drop 1, and only 1000 copies have been pressed.
Back in 1995 as part of a fundraising effort, the HELP EP and ‘Come Together’ single were released by Go! Discs. These were associated with the iconic HELP album, which helped change the lives of children affected by the Yugoslavian civil war. Now they’ve been put on vinyl together as a very special 12-inch for the first time.
The EPs have been remastered by John Davis at Metropolis Studios. Side A features Radiohead, PJ Harvey, Guru and Portishead. Side B features the Smokin’ Mojo Filters (with Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller), The Beautiful South, Dodgy and Black Grape. Cover art is by 3D (Massive Attack), which featured on the CD inner sleeve of the original 1995 HELP album, updated exclusively by the artist for this release. The back cover is the orignal John Squire piece which featured on the Help EP original cover in 1995, reshot for this release.
On Tuesday someone at the official George Harrison site stuffed up and, two days before the official announcement, accidently made public a couple of pages worth of information about the long-awaited All Things Must Pass 50th Anniversary box sets. This included images, prices, and content details.
Of course fans around the world (including us) noticed and began sharing links and images.
The cat was very much out of the bag, but still Universal Music – with just two days to go until the official announcement – desperately tried to stop the spread of information.
In what is tantamount to using a sledge-hammer to crack a walnut, they had the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) write to anyone who had published images of the new All Things Must Pass box sets to issue an “Infringement Notice” and an order to take down those images. (FYI, the IFPI is a trade association representing some 1300 major and independent record companies in the US and internationally who create, manufacture and distribute sound recordings).
Some sites (like ours) complied, others didn’t.
All that effort on behalf of Universal Music and the IFPI and here we are – just two days later – with the whole kit and caboodle about this fantastic release now officially in the public domain. The publicity free-for-all can now proceed. “Free” being the operative word because sites like ours, made by fans and for fans, don’t make any money out of this. We just love the Beatles as a band, and as solo artists. And we help get the word out to others about new releases THAT PEOPLE MIGHT WANT TO BUY from Universal Music. Of course they have their own digital assets, but it is sites like ours that contribute to “word-of-mouth”, make recommendations, and the general buzz around new releases that record companies – like Universal – rely upon. But when someone makes a mistake at Universal Music, the first people they jump on is us?
Anyway, rant over.
The good news is that we’ve finally got the full details of the George HarrisonAll Things Must Pass – 50th Anniversay Edition, due out on August 6.
Uber Deluxe, Super Deluxe, and a variety of extended and standard editions (plus other merch) are now up on the official George Harrisononline store site.
And there will be an Uber box set to rule them all – retailing for a cool US$999.98
An artisan designed wooden box (approx. 12.4″ x 12.4″ x 17.5″)
Elaborate and expanded 96 page version of the scrapbook, curated by Olivia Harrison, with previously unseen imagery and memorabilia from the era: handwritten lyrics, diary entries, studio notes, tape box images, a comprehensive track-by-track and more.
A second 44-page book chronicling the making of All Things Must Pass through extensive archival interviews with notes.
Wooden bookmark made from a felled Oak tree (Quercus Robur) in George’s Friar Park.
1/6 scale replica figurines of Harrison and the gnomes featured on the iconic album cover
Limited edition illustration by musician and artist Klaus Voorman.
A copy of Paramahansa Yogananda’s “Light from the Great Ones”
Rudraksha beads contained in individual custom-made boxes
The remixed and remastered album on 3 vinyl discs with a replica of the original album poster
5 LPs of outtakes and rarities
5 CDs and 1 Blu-ray
Set features 70 tracks, including 47 demo recordings, session outtakes and studio jams, of which 42 are previously unreleased.
Blu-ray disc includes hi-res stereo, 5.2 surround and dolby Atmos mixes of the main album
The wooden box is huge. The packshot image above doesn’t give an indication how big this thing is. Here’s an Instagram image of Dhani Harrison sitting on the Uber crate at Friar Park – in what looks like the exact same spot the famous All Things Must Pass cover shot was taken:
There’ll also be a Super Deluxe 8 LP box containing the re-mixed and remastered album across 3 LPs, the 5 LPs of outakes and rarities included in the Uber, a book (not as comprehensive as the Uber edition version), and the original poster.
Also for vinyl lovers there’s to be a 5 LP set (original album on 3 LPs, plus two discs with 17 tracks of demo recordings, session outtakes and studio jams outtakes):
And there’ll be the re-mixed album proper on its own: 3 LPs in a slim box – the way it was originally released back in 1970. There will be two versions of this edition. One on black vinyl:
The other 3 LP set is a Limited Edition on 180gram black and green splatter vinyl. This one we believe is only available from the George Harrison official site:
For those not into vinyl there’s to be a Super Deluxe CD/Blu-ray box set containing 5 CDs (the original album across 3 discs, plus 2 discs of the outtakes and rarities). This collects 70 tracks across those 5 CDs, including 47 (42 previously unreleased) demo recordings, session outtakes and studio jams all housed in a beautiful slipcase. A Blu-Ray audio disc has the main album in hi-res stereo, 5.1 surround and Dolby Atmos is also featured. The collection contains a 56-page scrapbook curated by Olivia Harrison, with previously unseen images and memorabilia from the era, handwritten lyrics, diary entries, studio notes, tape box images, a comprehensive track-by-track and more. It also includes a replica of the original album poster:
There’ll also be a 3 CD set, with the third CD containing the original jams, plus additional demo recordings, session outtakes and studio jams. This will be housed in a square box with a scaled- down version of the original poster and a 20-page booklet with photos, introduction, and notes from Dhani Harrison and Paul Hicks on remixing the album:
And there’s a standard 2 CD with just the original album across two discs, re-mixed and re-mastered:
So, something for everyone. The Harrison camp has also just released a new video for the big reveal announcement.
It’s one of the outakes featured on the new releases – the song ‘Run Of The Mill (Take 36)’, a previously unreleased track. It really gives a clear indication of how the songs on All Things Must Pass were shaped and went through several permutations in the studio before the final, well-known and loved versions became part of popular music history:
See Universal Music? It’s not so hard. All we’re doing is trying to reach those people who are interested, and perhaps some of them are people you can’t reach.
Dark Horse Records last month released Assembly, a double LP or single CD compilation of the work of Joe Strummer, post his Clash days.
This one kind of passed us by somehow, but for lovers of the Dark Horse label (now newly revived) this is a very worthwhile purchase – and we say that not only for those label completists out there but because it contains some truly great music. It was released on March 26:
Dhani Harrisonlast year announced that Dark Horse (the label established by his father, George Harrison) was back, and there ensued a raft of digital-only re-issues of previously available material.
There seems now to be more physical product slowly emerging. For example, as part of Record Store Day last year there was a double LP of Ravi Shankar’s beautiful Chants of India. Produced by George Harrison this was the first time that title had been issued on vinyl – and on red vinyl at that.
Now comes the Joe Stummer compilation Assembly. And it too is on lovely red vinyl:
It’s also available on black vinyl:
And it can be had on CD too:
Why is Dark Horse issuing a “Best Of” style release for Joe Strummer? What’s the connection? Your guess is as good as ours. We can only surmise that Dhani Harrison must be a major fan of the late singer’s work. Interestingly the recent Ravi Shankar Chants of India had the catalogue number DH0001. The Joe Strummer LP has the catalogue number DH0002. Bring on DH0003, 0004, 0005……
The LP is beautifully presented in a gatefold sleeve with lyric inserts and liner notes by Jakob Dylan (who last year was involved in the Dark Horse digital-only release of the Tom Petty estate charity single ‘For Real – For Tom’ also featuring Dhani Harrison, Amos Lee, Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson, and Willie Nelson). It sounds fantastic too because it’s remastered by one Paul Hicks at Abbey Road Studios and obviously well-known here for his work on Beatle, George Harrison and John Lennon re-issues.
It is fantastic to see that Dark Horse Records label back on physical product. If you’re not familiar with Strummer’s solo work (or his work post The Clash with The Mescaleros) check this out if you can. He’s pretty amazing and Assembly makes for great listening.
“On 4 December this year, Sony ‘released’ 50th Anniversary Collection: 1970, a Bob Dylan collection that included all the out-takes from the New Morning and Self Portrait sessions that were not already available on The Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portraitalong with a legendary session with George Harrison.
This was put out in extremely limited quantities (in Europe only) and these kind of releases have happened for the last eight years and have become known as the ‘Copyright Collection’ series. Due to fan demand this 1970 set is now being made available in February for a full commercial release (albeit it’s still limited to some degree).
These are all the unreleased recordings from 1970, effectively. There are 74 tracks in total and nine of those feature George Harrison. In fact this commercial version includes two extra tracks that were “inadvertently left off the original release.
This three-CD set will be an eight-panel digi-pak and features notes by Michael Simmons. This is being released physically and for download only. It won’t be available via streaming.”
The only Beatle related item in today’s Black Friday Record Store Day releases is a re-issue of the George Harrison single ‘My Sweet Lord’/’Isn’t It A Pity’.
This is described on the official RSD website as being a 7″ Vinyl, on the Capitol/UMe label, a ‘RSD First’ release, and that it would be limited to 7500 copies worldwide.
From the cover image supplied at the time collectors soon worked out this was going to come in a picture sleeve which replicated the one issued in Portugal, and was pressed in the former Portuguese colony of Angola way back in 1970. See our original post on this release for more.
Well, one of the new RSD singles has already popped up on the Discogs site – and it seems there is much more to it than that….. Firstly, from the hype sticker on the front we can see that the single is pressed on clear vinyl!
There’s confirmation it’s a reissue of the 1970 Angola pressing, but also that it is a numbered limited edition.
Additionally, the picture sleeve has been very faithfully reproduced – right down to the flipback construction style that would have been used for the original Angolan sleeve:
And we can see that the limited edition number is stamped in gold foil on the rear:So, there’s much more to this RSD release than we first thought. For collectors this sort of attention to detail is good to see. Well done Capitol/UMe.
Meanwhile, in other George Harrison news, it looks like there’ll be a big reissue program for the album All Things Must Pass in 2021.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary the George Harrison Estate has made available to stream a new 2020 stereo mix of the LP’s title song as a prelude of what’s to come.
“The new stereo mix of the album’s title track is just a taste of more things to come in 2021 as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of my father’s legendary All Things Must Pass album,” says Dhani Harrison.
We’re not getting a 50th anniversary box set of All Things Must Pass, but the anniversary hasn’t been missed by the BBC. You can now stream a great 56 minute radio documentary narrated by musician and composer Nitin Sawhney.
The radio special tells the story of George Harrison’s most successful album and shows how its themes, lyrics and musical style put it ahead of its time. It’s a terrific exploration of the music, and the musicians, who made the amazing triple LP.
While there won’t be a box set celebrating All Things Must Pass (at least not this year), don’t forget there’ll be a faithfully re-created single from the album released for Black Friday Record Store Day – this coming Friday:
We’ve already had the main Record Store Day release program for 2020 spread out over three separate “drops”. This has stretched out the process considerably.
And now the folks at RSD are adding to that with the traditional Black Friday set of releases thrown into the mix as well.
Amonst the Black Friday offerings (which is November 27 this year) is one for Beatle collectors, a 45 rpm single of George Harrison’s‘My Sweet Lord’/’Isn’t It A Pity’:
This will be limited to 7,500 copies worldwide, and comes in a re-created picture sleeve – the one pressed for the Portuguese market in the former Portuguese colony of Angola back in 1970. Curious to know if it will come complete with the same mis-spelling on the B-side of the original, ‘Ins’t It A Pity’?
Not sure why we’re getting this Angola/Portuguese picture sleeve, but it looks cool. I guess this is in line with the Beatles’The Singles Collection box set that came out about this time last year, with every Beatle single in a picture sleeve from a different place around the world?
(Just as an FYI – Valentim de Carvalho CI SARL was a Portuguese record company that, in a joint venture with EMI, had the contract for pressing Beatle and Beatle-related titles back in the 1960’s and 70’s. They had a plant in Angola which, back then, was still a Portuguese colony. Aparently the quality of these pressings was excellent.)
Note that this reissue single is listed as a ‘RSD First Release’. These titles are sold first at independent record stores, but may also be released to other retailers or webstores at some point in the future.
For the full RSD Black Friday release list click on the icon below.