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Next Week in Music | Sept. 23-29 • The Short List: Nine Releases To Watch For

A quick rundown to the toppermost of the latest poppermost.

Something old, something new, plenty of Dead and Kanye too. It’s another big week for music, with brand-spanking albums from New Pornographers, Sturgill Simpson, Tegan & Sara and more, plus box sets from The Beatles, Grateful Dead and Replacements, among others. Here’s the lowdown on the toppermost of the poppermost, in alphabetical order:

The Beatles
Abbey Road 50th Anniversary

THE PRESS RELEASE:Abbey Road was not The Beatles’ final album, as Let It Be followed in 1970, but it was the last one John, Paul, George and Ringo recorded together as a band. The Beatles will celebrate Abbey Road’s anniversary with a suite of beautifully presented packages. The album’s 17 tracks are newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell in stereo, high res stereo, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos, accompanied by 23 session recordings and demos, most of which are previously unreleased. This is the first time Abbey Road has been remixed and presented with additional session recordings and demos. The album’s sweeping new edition follows the universally acclaimed remixed and expanded anniversary editions of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Beatles (White Album) released in 2017 and 2018, respectively. To create Abbey Road’s new stereo, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos mixes, Martin and Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios. All the new Abbey Road releases feature the new stereo album mix, sourced directly from the original eight-track session tapes. To produce the mix, Giles was guided by the album’s original stereo mix supervised by his father, George Martin. “The magic comes from the hands playing the instruments, the blend of The Beatles’ voices, the beauty of the arrangements,” Giles Martin explains in his written introduction for the new edition. “Our quest is simply to ensure everything sounds as fresh and hits you as hard as it would have on the day it was recorded.”

John Coltrane
Blue World

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Early in 1964, the year he recorded A Love Supreme, John Coltrane was approached by a Quebecois filmmaker, Gilles Groulx. Groulx was planning his film Le chat dans le sac, a love story set in Montreal with political undertones. A die-hard Coltrane fan, Groulx was fixated on having Coltrane record a soundtrack for his film. Groulx approached Coltrane via a personal connection with bassist Jimmy Garrison, and amazingly, Coltrane agreed. So right between the recording sessions for Crescent and A Love Supreme in June of ‘64, John Coltrane brought Jimmy Garrison, Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner into Van Gelder Studios to do something virtually unprecedented in Coltrane world: revisit and record earlier works. Blue World reveals Coltrane’s personal progress, as well as the interactive consistency and sonic details the Classic Quartet had firmly established as their collective signature by 1964. This signature was so assured and dramatic, so buoyant and different from the sound Coltrane had delivered before. And it is significant that this recording session – whatever the ultimate driving force was – happened in between two of Coltrane’s most expansive, spiritually transcendent records that would set the tone for the rest of his musical career.”

The Grateful Dead
Saints of Circumstance | Giants Stadium 1987, 1989, 1991

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The five shows in this boxed set include music from three very distinct peaks in the Grateful Dead’s performing career,” says David Lemieux, Grateful Dead archivist and the set’s producer. “The first show finds the Dead on top of the world, carrying the renewed energy following Jerry’s return to performing in late 1986. Two years later, the Dead returned for their first two night run at Giants Stadium, beginning a sustained nine month run of excellence for the band. In 1991, a very different Grateful Dead returned to the Meadowlands, widely considered one of the most inventive, inspired, and creative lineups of the band. What they brought to the stadium in 1991 is still the stuff of legend. Altogether, this very brief span of slightly less than four years in the Grateful Dead’s career is presented with five exceptional shows, demonstrating how different the Dead could be, all the while remaining unmistakably true to their unique sound.”

New Pornographers
In the Morse Code of Brake Lights

THE PRESS RELEASE: “There are so many songs like ‘the something of love’ — you know, there’s The Book of Love, The Freeway of Love …Then I thought of ‘falling down the stairs of your love,’ and I thought, that kind of works,” explains New Pornographers front person and songwriter A.C. Newman, who also produced the new album. “I think it has that element of how do you deal with the ideas of love and happiness in this world right now? When current events are stressful, that makes a stress on people’s relationships, and you’re trying to figure out how to be happy in this loving relationship in this world that seems ugly at every turn, which is not as easy as it seems. So I like the metaphor of love as something that you fall down. I was about two-thirds of the way through the record when I began to notice that lyrically so much of it was pointing toward car songs,” notes Newman. “The opening track is You’ll Need a Backseat Driver, and that was a metaphor that seemed to be running through other songs, too. Next to the love song, I feel like the car song is one of the most iconic kinds of songs in pop music, from Chuck Berry to the present. There was so much of that throughout it that I started thinking: ‘Oh, no, there’s too many references to cars on this record!’ And then I thought, ‘No, that’s good—people might think it’s a concept album.’ ”

The Replacements
Dead Man’s Pop

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Although Don’t Tell A Soul ultimately became the group’s best-selling effort, The Replacements were unsatisfied with the sound of the record. The band has radically reimagined Don’t Tell A Soul to create a 4CD/1LP set that features the album mixed as it was originally intended (Don’t Tell A Soul Redux), along with a collection of previously unheard tracks (We Know The Night: Rare & Unreleased), and a classic concert from 1989 (The Complete Inconcerated Live). The box features a newly completed mix of the album by Don’t Tell A Soul producer Matt Wallace (based on his 1988 Paisley Park mix); a disc of unreleased recordings (including a session with Tom Waits); plus the band’s entire June 2, 1989 show at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In total, the box includes 60 tracks – 58 of which have never been heard before. Presented in a 12 x 12 hardcover book – loaded with dozens of rarely seen photos – the set features a detailed history of the Don’t Tell A Soul era written by Bob Mehr, who produced the box with Rhino’s Jason Jones, and also authored The New York Times bestseller Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements.”

Sturgill Simpson
Sound & Fury

THE PRESS RELEASE: “The country singer-songwriter’s follow-up to 2016’s Grammy winning A Sailor’s Guide to Earth comes paired with a Netflix anime film of the same name. Each track on the effort will soundtrack a different segment of the film, which is based on a story Sturgill Simpson wrote entitled, you guessed it, Sound & Fury. “We went in without any preconceived notions and came out with a really sleazy, steamy rock n roll record,” Simpson said in a press statement. “It’s definitely my most psychedelic. And also my heaviest. I had this idea that it’d be really cool to animate some of these songs, and we ended up with a futuristic, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, samurai film.” Sound & Fury the film was written and directed by Kamikaze Douga’s Jumpei Mizusaki (Batman Ninja), with character designs from Afro Samurai creator Takashi Okazaki.”

Steel Panther
Heavy Metal Rules

THE PRESS RELEASE: “California’s greatest export and renowned feminist supporters Steel Panther recently took a break from working with NASA scientists on a multiple orgasm inducing guitar pedal to record their fifth studio album. The album showcases the band’s musical and lyrical growth and is destined to become an instant classic in the band’s impressive catalog. The philanthropic foursome comprised of Michael Starr on vocals, Satchel on guitars, Lexxi Foxx on bass and Stix Zadinia have created the heavy metal version of a self-help manual. “Heavy Metal Rules is the ultimate party album. Anthem after anthem and hook after hook, the songs will provide the soundtrack to your new bitchin’ heavy metal life. The first single, All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight), is the ultimate song about self-love and having a positive personal self-image. It is the kind of song you put on to get yourself in the mood whether you’re getting ready to have sex with yourself or 17 girls in a row,” explains Steel Panther.”

Tegan & Sara
Hey, I’m Just Like You

THE PRESS RELEASE: “Last year while writing our new memoir, we came across two cassette tapes with dozens of songs we wrote in high school. Defiant and melodramatic, the songs captured the exultation and grief of first loves, first losses, ecstatic kiss-offs, and psychedelic tributes to the friendships we had as teenagers. It had been over twenty years since we had heard the songs and quite honestly, we both expected to listen once, cringe, and bury them for another couple decades. But they were good. Like, really good. They were raw, and in some cases the lyrics were hard to decipher. But the melodies, the honesty in the words, and the joy listening to them after all these years was undeniable. We decided immediately that those songs were the demos we’d use to build the new Tegan and Sara record. Hey, I’m Just Like You has twelve songs, but in making those twelve songs we pulled sections from nearly twenty of those lost high school demos. We kept the original lyrics where we could, and we only wrote four new sections. In some cases, Sara sings songs I wrote, and in other cases I sing songs she wrote. For the first time ever, we share vocal duties on a handful of songs making them the first truly ‘Tegan AND Sara’ songs.”

Kanye West
Jesus is King

THE PRESS RELEASE: Dream on, bub. This pic on Kanye West’s website is all you’re gonna get. I guess we’ll learn the rest when (and if) the album comes out Friday.

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