It’s been said Janis Joplin was second only to Bob Dylan as the ‘creator-recorder-embodiment of her generation’s mythology’. But how did a middle-class girl from Texas become a ’60s countercultural icon? Janis’ parents doted on her and promoted her early talent for art. But the arrival of a brother shattered the bond she had with her intellectual maverick of a father, an oil engineer. And her own maverick instincts alienated her from her socially conformist mother. That break with her parents, along with the rejection of her high school peers, who disapproved of her beatnik look and racially progressive views, & wrongly assumed she was sexually promiscuous, cemented her sense of herself as an outcast. She found her tribe with a group of offbeat young men a year ahead of her, who loved her intellectual curiosity, her passion for conversation, & her adventurous search for the blues.

Although she never stopped craving the approval of her parents and hometown, she left Port Arthur at seventeen determined to … More

Reissue soon come. “This album which you are about to hear will give you more than an earful of the ingredients which are characteristic of a group of three youngsters popularly known by fans in the music world as ‘The Maytals’. When these three youngsters debuted on the scene two years ago, they brought along with them a new style, a new spiritual “Ska Beat”, which was eagerly welcomed by the listening public. When their recordings became “Giant Size Hits”, it was obvious that their phrasing and dynamic delivery had earned unreserved approval.”

“Beginning with the tune “I’ll Never Grow Old”, this record quickly established a bright jumping pattern of success followed by … More

Memphis was really jumping with black music in the early 1960s as its new studios began to attract the notice of major record companies like Atlantic Records. By 1965, Stax Records was a true Memphis powerhouse and as it became successful enough to manage its studio for its own contracted artists, it closed its doors to outside productions. But a few singers just nipped in under the wire – and these unofficial Stax productions form the major part of this collection. And here we have some perfect “Blue” Stax music from a bunch of vocalists accompanied by that fabulous Stax studio band. It features Louie Palmer, Eddie Floyd, Ted Taylor, Willie Cobbs, etc

Vinyl LP available in store and online.

Born OTD in 1947, rocksteady singer, arranger, and radio presenter, Hopeton Lewis. “Hopeton Lewis’ classic tune, ‘Take It Easy’, is credited with being the first to employ the rocksteady rhythm in 1966. The song featured Lynn Taitt on guitar and his band the Jets on backup”.

Operation Jump Up is the culmination of four years of research. The detailed historical narrative features dozens of interviews with … More

As a musician, an actor, a muse, an icon, the breadth of Debbie Harry’s impact on our culture has been matched by her almost Sphinx-like reticence about her inner life. Through it all – while being acclaimed as one of the most beautiful women in the world, prized by a galaxy of leading photographers and fashion designers, beloved by legions of fans for her relentless, high-octane performances, selling 50 million albums or being painted by Andy Warhol – Debbie Harry has infused her perennial Blondie persona with a heady mix of raw sexuality and sophisticated punk cool. In Face It, Debbie Harry invites us into the complexity of who she is and how her life and career have played out over the last seven decades.

Upending the standard music memoir, with a cutting-edge style keeping with the distinctive qualities of her multi-disciplined artistry, Face It … More

If given another chance to write for the series, which albums would 33 1/3 authors focus on the second time around? This anthology features compact essays from past 33 1/3 authors on albums that consume them, but about which they did not write. It explores often overlooked and underrated albums that may not have inspired their 33 1/3 books, but have played a large part in their own musical cultivation. Questions central to the essays include: How has this album influenced your worldview? How does this album intersect with your other creative and critical pursuits? How does this album index a particular moment in cultural history? In your own personal history? Why is the album perhaps under-the-radar, or a buried treasure? Why can’t you stop listening to it?

Bringing together 33 1/3’s rich array of writers, critics, and scholars, this collection probes our taste in albums, our longing … More

In the autumn of 1976, two young British Fine Arts students travelled to New York on a university grant, but instead of merely studying ended up staying with one of the city’s pioneering punk journalists, visiting the Museum of Modern Art by day and hanging out in punk epicentre CBGBs by night. It is from this trip that Gang of Four emerged. Blending revelations from interviews with the band conducted by the author with snippets from newspaper articles and record reviews, Jim Dooley tells the history of Gang of Four as they remember it.

From their days at art school through countless tours, records and reunions, Red Set is the definitive history of one … More

How does one pay homage to A Tribe Called Quest? The seminal rap group brought jazz into the genre, resurrecting timeless rhythms to create masterpieces such as The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders. Seventeen years after their last album, they resurrected themselves with an intense, socially conscious record, We Got It from Here . . . Thank You 4 Your Service, which arrived when fans needed it most, in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib digs into the group’s history and draws from his own experience to reflect on how its distinctive sound resonated among fans like himself. The result is as ambitious and genre-bending as the rap group itself.

Abdurraqib traces the Tribe’s creative career, from their early days as part of the Afrocentric rap collective known as the … More

It is 1965, and Swinging London is coming into its prime years. The streets are alive with mods and rockers, playboys and good-time girls, all revelling in the blossoming artistic, creative and cultural energies of the decade. Amid the colour and chaos is a boy sporting drainpipe jeans, an immaculately tailored sports coat and a half-inch wide tie. A devoted fan of The Who, he looks the part in his pristine mod gear. As the lead singer of the Lower Third, his talent is shaping itself into something truly special. His name is Davie Jones.

In ten years, he will be unrecognisable as fresh-faced boy of 1965, and in just over fifty years, his death … More

Coming soon! Pre-order here. As one of Jamaica’s leading record producers Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid embraced the new reggae sound. London- based reggae giant Trojan Records brought together a dozen of his finest works under the title “Greater Jamaica Moonwalk Reggae”. If features many of the biggest Jamaican hits from 1969 to 1970. Tommy McCook & The Supersonics is one of the main artists to be found on this record. The 12 tracks bringing the best Jamaica had to offer during the heydays of their musical days. Greater Jamaica Moonwalk Reggae is available as a limited edition of 750.

Pre-order vinyl LP here.