Michael Head and The Strands to release ‘The Olde World’, June 29 and reissue ‘The Magical World of The Strands’, July 13 (megaphone records)

27 Mai

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New album with unreleased tracks and remixes from the sessions of classic album ‘The Magical World of The Strands’, produced by Oasis producer Mark Coyle. After a couple of demos for the French promoter who paired him with his childhood hero Love’s Arthur Lee in 1992, Pale Fountains and Shack legend Michael Head entered a Liverpool recording studio the following year, with a new project in mind, ‘The Strands’. Michael teamed up with his brother and lifelong companion, John, his long-time drummer Iain Templeton and two new recruits, Michelle Brown on bass and Les Roberts on flute. The recording sessions would last two years and were only halted because Michael was offered a new major label deal. A deal, not for his current work, but for him to record as Shack again. So it came to be that Stephane Bismuth, the French promoter, was left with 100 or so minutes of a thwarted project, only a third of which had made it to the mixing studio in Sheffield in the summer of ’95. Patch-working and weaving rough mixes and sketches – by engineer Steve Powell, made in Liverpool – with completed mixes by producer Mark Coyle who had hired an arranger and string section for sessions in Sheffield, Stephane Bismuth founded a new label Megaphone and finally released ‘The Magical World of The Strands’, in autumn of 1997. This work-in-progress comprising sketches, rough mixes and fully orchestrated tracks, garnered great critical acclaim and is still rated by many as the rarest jewel of the 90s. Still, a whole hour’s worth of recordings had not made it onto the album and, over time, the label – by now also known for its discovery of the late Karen Dalton in 1999 – along with original producer Mark Coyle, delved deeper into the tapes, found further gems, altogether different yet true to the original and entirely worthy of a second album. In 2014 Megaphone and Mark Coyle agreed to pursue and realise this album, using both unreleased songs from the sessions as well as songs from the original album which they felt deserved a new lease of life.

LISTEN HERE :https://soundcloud.com/megaphone-5/its-harvest-time-band-version

Michael Head’s 1997 classic album

‘The Magical World of The Strands’

is given a sibling 20 years after its completion :

‘The Olde World’

‘The Olde World’ is released on 29 June, followed by a reissue of ‘The Magical World of the Strands’ on13 July, both on Megaphone, digitally, on CD andvinyl.

The version of this song on 1997’s ‘The Magical World of the Strands’ was an acoustic rough mix. This full band version feels like lifting a veil, uncovering all the hidden tracks from the original recording.

‘It’s Harvest Time’ is the first track on ‘The Olde World’ listen on 

2015 is a busy year for Michael Head

His second record as ‘Michael Head and the Red Elastic Band’ has just been released on his own label, Violette – ‘Velvets in the Dark’ 7 inch single. Shack’s 1990 single ‘I Know You Well’ opens ‘Perfect Motion’, Jon Savage’s 2LP compilation as “a musical return-trip to these fondly remembered years spanning 1988-93”.

Plus, Megaphone is set to release both ‘The Magical World of The Strands’ in its original form with a new extensive booklet, and ‘The Olde World’ as an exclusive new album of recordings from the same sessions. Last but not least, Michael plans his first gigs as ‘Michael Head & The Strands’ promising to play his classic album ‘The Magical World of The Strands’ in full.

After a couple of demos for the French promoter who paired him with his childhood hero Love’s Arthur Lee in 1992, Pale Fountains and Shack legend Michael Head entered a Liverpool recording studio the following year, with a new project in mind, ‘The Strands’. Michael teamed up with his brother and lifelong companion, John, his long-time drummer Iain Templeton and two new recruits, Michelle Brown on bass and Les Roberts on flute.(with guitars)

 

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