Reissues (Nov 13): Ian Dury, Bananarama, Hazel O'Connor

Reissues (Nov 13): Ian Dury, Bananarama, Hazel O'Connor

Music Week's round-up of the latest album reissues and catalogue releases.

Ian Dury
New Boots And Panties!! (Edsel NBAPBOX 01)

There has been no shortage of upgradings of Ian Dury's seminal 1977 debut album, but the latest - issued to mark the set's 40th anniversary - is inarguably the most comprehensive. Packaged in a 12"x12" hardback book with liner notes from Dury's friend Phil Jupitus, in contains no fewer than four CDs, and the original album on vinyl. The CDs include bonus tracks, demos, John Peel Sessions and a full live performance of the album. New Boots And Panties!! is full of witty examples of Dury's wordplay and populated by an imaginary cast including Plaistow Patricia, Billericay Dickie, Clever Trevor and Sweet Gene Vincent, all of whom Dury sings about in his unique, gravelly, cockney tones. Widely regarded as one of the first punk albums, Boots actually casts its net fairly widely with pub rock, musical hall, disco and much more within its compass, and remains as fresh, different and vibrant as it ever was.   

The Greatest Hits Collection (London)

A million-selling No.3 album when first released in 1988, The Greatest Hits Collection is being reissued in a revised and expanded 2 CD edition to tie in with the reunion tour of the original trio - Sara, Keren and Siobhan - who are back in harness for the first time in nearly 30 years. Clad in the same Herb Rits sleeve that graced the original version of the album, it now includes the original singles versions of each of the 21 songs that Bananarama placed on the UK & US charts on CD1, while CD2 concentrates on extended dance mixes. Bananarama's ragged three-part harmonies were effective and distinctive, and the album is full of bristling pop masterpieces, from the early Aie A Mwana, produced by The Sex Pistols’ Paul Cook, to Fun Boy Three collaboration Really Saying Something to the glossier Swain & Jolley productions and compositions like Robert De Niro's Waiting, Rough Justice and Cruel Summer and Stock Aitken Waterman triumphs like Love In The First Degree and I Heard A Rumour. Perfect.

Hazel O’Connor
Cover Plus (Strike Force Entertainment SFE 063)

Originally released in 1981, Cover Plus was Hazel O'Connor's second album, and was acclaimed by critics but failed to make as much impact as the previous year's Breaking Glass, which served as a soundtrack to the film of the same name, and included O'Connor's biggest hits, Will You and Eighth Day. Although lacking such obvious highlights, Cover Plus was overall a more satisfying album, with the increasingly assured O'Connor maturing as a songwriter while also proving adept at interpreting the material of others. (Cover Plus) We're All Grown Up and Hanging Around both enjoyed brief chart runs but tracks like Ee-I-Addio - apparently about a nightmare childhood - and O'Connor's take on Jimmy Webb's Do What You Gotta Do are arguably superior. The latter track - a heart-wrenching ballad which exists in affecting versions by Nina Simone, The Four Tops and Roberta Flack, to name but three - has an entirely different vibe in O'Connor's hands. With a backing track not dissimilar to that employed by Marianne Faithfull for The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan, it has an eerie, electronic edge that makes O'Connor sound detached but somehow bewitching. Clad in a digipack sleeve with a 20-page booklet including an introduction by O'Connor herself, the album also sports seven bonus tracks - b-sides, edits and rare French and German language versions of key cuts.      

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