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NEW RELEASES

Malcolm McLaren: Paris (No], CD/tape). Now we jazz fans know how opera buffs felt when the Svengali of the Sex Pistols got his hands on Madame Butterfly. Here McLaren indulges his art student's adolescent passion for the Left Bank by confecting a few pieces of doggerel and some ersatz bebop and getting the likes of Francoise Hardy and Catherine Deneuve to sing along. The older and wiser Juliette Greco refused his invitation, but McLaren's idea of etiquette is such that he dragged her in anyway: to him, Greco's affair with Miles Davis is a cultural event on the same level as the Great Train Robbery - it's all material, to be recycled and exploited. We don't have to agree, or to waste time with such insulting rubbish. Richard Williams

Various: No Prima Donna - The Songs of Van Morrison (Exile, CD/LP/tape, out tomorrow). Tribute albums are for taking liberties. When the subject of the tribute is also producer of the album, the point is rather lost. Van gets Sinead O'Connor, Lisa Stansfield, Elvis Costello, Marianne Faithfull and six others to do the singing. Yes, only 10 tracks, and those are the biggest names. The same band plays on almost every song. Most are pretty but uninspired, while Costello's a capella 'Full Force Gale' is inspired but not pretty. Liam Neeson reciting the poem 'Coney Island' is interesting to hear once, like the whole LP. For a more varied album of Morrison covers, compile your own, starting with 'Gloria' by the Doors or Patti Smith, and 'Wild Night' (Mercury), the new single by John Mellencamp and Me'shell Ndegeocello. Nicholas Barber

THE IoS PLAYLIST

THE FIVE BEST SOUNDS

OF THE MOMENT

Ravel: Complete Piano Works. Philippe Entremont (Sony, two CDs). Idiomatic recordings reissued on the low-price Essential Classics label. Michael White

Beethoven: Late Piano Sonatas. Charles Rosen (Sony, two CDs). Another welcome Essential Classics reissue - of Sonatas 27 to 32 - from one of the most elegant minds in modern pianism. MW

Jimi Hendrix: Star-Spangled Banner from Woodstock (Polydor, CD/tape). An American classic: file next to Charles Ives's Central Park in the Dark and Ornette Coleman's The Skies of America. RW

Dodgy: Melodies Haunt You (single). A funky, summery version of the Small Faces' 'Lazy Sunday'. NB

Jan Johnston: Alive (single). Catchy pop-rock with delicious, breathy vocals. A Blondie for the Nineties? NB

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