Born OTD in 1903, English novelist and essayist, journalist and critic, Eric Arthur Blair, AKA George Orwell. George Orwell wrote, in his words, from ‘a desire to see things as they are’. This new collection of his journalism and other writings, including articles, essays, broadcasts, poems, book and film reviews from across his career, shows his unmatched genius for observing the world. Whether discussing Polish immigration or Scottish independence, railing against racism, defending the English language or holding an imaginary conversation with Jonathan Swift, these pieces reveal a clear-eyed, entertaining and eternally relevant chronicler of his age.

Edited with an introduction by Peter Davison ‘Orwell’s luminous gift was for seeing things, for noticing what others missed, took … More

Born OTD in 1944, English singer, songwriter and musician, Ray Davies. “It’s hardly a shock to learn that artists can be difficult, but over 40 years the Kinks have left a trail of wrecked hotel rooms, irate ex-wives and lovers and former bandmates driven to – and indeed over – the brink of a nervous breakdown. To pick one example from this biography of the band, on a US tour in 1987, the fractious Davies brothers set aside their usual differences in order to beat up the sound engineer. While peers such as Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney live like kings on the proceeds of long, mega-selling careers, the Kinks always managed to commit harakiri at the most commercially inopportune moment, despite having in Ray Davies a songwriter as good as any pop music has produced, as one listen to “Waterloo Sunset” will prove.”

The paperback edition of the bestselling biography. The Kinks are the quintessential British sixties band, revered for an incredible series … More

Shades of Soul explores the sophisticated side of Northern Soul with a smooth collection of soulful recordings that have, over time, become known as “Crossover”; a bridge between Northern Soul & Philly disco. Here we have perennial dancefloor favourites from Gene Townsel, Johnny Adams, Eddie Billups and Jackey Beavers plus more recent reactivations such as “I’ve Just Got To Tell Somebody” by Gloria Lynne thanks to DJ Richard Searling. We also feature the rarest of the rare courtesy of Point Of View, The Harmonics & Gerald Taylor. Sixteen mid & uptempo grooves that showcase the crossover from Northern to Modern Soul.

This first edition of Shades of Soul is presented on 180g heavyweight audiophile vinyl in single sleeve packaging complete with … More

1969 proved a pivotal year for Trojan and reggae as a whole. In the month’s following the company’s launch the previous summer, it was fast becoming a major force on the British music scene, its success propelled by the spending power of a new, powerful demographic that was successfully bringing reggae into the mainstream consciousness. Considered by many to be the best Trojan compilation LP.

Trojan released a 12 track budget-priced set that would become an era defining collection and one of the most popular … More

From the late, great, Ranking Roger of The Beat, comes his autobiography from the same name of their album – ‘I Just Can’t Stop It : My Life in the Beat’. This is the story of one of the UK’s biggest 2-Tone bands, The Beat, who at the height of their fame in the early 80’s, had three top-selling UK albums & like The Specials, epitomized the 2-tone multi-racial approach to music & life in urban Britain. The story begins in 1979, when 16 year-old Birmingham school boy Roger – a punk fan – was invited to appear on stage at a local pub with the newly formed ska band, The Beat.

Roger’s energetic style and Jamaican-influenced vocals, paired with Dave Wakeling’s angelic pop vocals, immediately distinguished the band from the other … More

The Legacy of the Blues : A Glimpse into the Art and the Lives of Twelve Great Bluesmen. Samuel Charters is a musicographer, novelist, poet, and producer of jazz and blues records who for many years has also been seriously interested in every aspect of black music. His book, The Country Blues, was the first to be published on the subject.

He began making field recordings in the South in the early 1950s and has subsequently produced many recordings, both of … More

The one & only Zadie Smith, prize-winning, bestselling author of Swing Time & White Teeth, is back with a second unmissable collection of essays. No subject is too fringe or too mainstream for the unstoppable Zadie Smith. From social media to the environment, from Jay-Z to Karl Ove Knausgaard, she has boundless curiosity & the boundless wit to match. In Feel Free, pop culture, high culture, social change & political debate all get the Zadie Smith treatment, dissected with razor-sharp intellect, set brilliantly against the context of the utterly contemporary, & considered with a deep humanity & compassion.

Out now in paperback. This electrifying new collection showcases its author as a true literary powerhouse, demonstrating once again her … More