RECORDS : NEW RELEASES
Sunday 19 February 1995
The The: Hanky Panky (Epic, out tomorrow) and Various: Beat the Retreat (Capitol, CD/LP/tape). Tribute albums have come a long way since the days when a gang of non-entity indie bands would take it in turns to bash out Rolling Stones tracks. Hanky Panky comprises 11 Hank Williams songs, including some obscurities, interpreted by Matt Johnson's The The. Can't be bad, really. And it's not: Williams is an evergreen American classic, and The The's current incarnation are authentic, brooding rockers. However, the bombastic arrangements sometimes pull in different directions from the simple songs, and Williams' words don't always benefit from Johnson's muttering. The Richard Thompson tribute, Beat the Retreat, seems less distorted. The best proponent of Richard Thompson's material may be Richard Thompson, but such is its range that the 16 artists featured could - on their best days - have written the songs they cover themselves. REM's "Wall of Death" could be an original, as could the jittery "Just the Motion" by David Byrne, Graham Parker's rootsy rock'n'roll "The Madness of Love", and Bonnie Raitt's country ballad "When the Spell is Broken". What we have then is a grown-up rock anthology consistent in song quality if diverse in style. Thompson thinks that the mix will alienate listeners, but for me the pleasure lies in the celtic trills of June Tabor's a cappella "Genesis Hall" leading into Dinosaur Jr's twisted, grungey "I Misunderstood". In fact, it sags only during the last few tracks, when the tempo does not vary enough, culminating in Maddy Prior and Martin Carthy's seven- minute dirge, "The Great Valerio". Otherwise, a tasty smorgasbord. Nicholas Barber
Schoenberg: Erwartung, Kammersymphonie No 1, Variations for Orchestra. CBSO/Simon Rattle, Phyllis Bryn-Julson (EMI, CD). Rattle proves yet again that hard-core modernism can be radiant and rewarding in the right hands. Michael White
Various Artists: S4C Makes Me Want to Smoke Crack, Vol 1 (ATOL, EP). The seven-inch EP lives! Four intriguing tracks from new Welsh-language talent. BT
Annie Lennox: No More `I Love You's (RCA, single). No one else has such depth, such reach, such an ability to make you feel that this gravely beautiful record (a cover of a song by The Lover Speaks) has been haunting your life for years. Richard Williams
Carter USM: Worry Bomb (Chrysalis, CD/LP/tape). Back from the darkest depths of critical disdain with an explosion of lucid social commentary and classic scruff rock. NB
Belly: King (4AD, CD/LP/tape). A right royal follow-up to Star. Sparkling, skewiff and impossible to dislike. NB
The best TV shows and films coming to the servicetv
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
Poldark star Heida Reed says show is not that racy: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
House of Cards season 3: Claire Underwood is based on an eagle, says Robin Wright
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut