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Head Like A Rock (2CD) - Ian McNabb

Head Like A Rock (2CD)
Robert Ian McNabb is an acclaimed English singer-songwriter and musician from Liverpool, England. He is known both for his work as leader and songwriter-in-chief of The Icicle Works in the 1980s, and his critically acclaimed solo career throughout from the early 1990s to date. He has also played with musicians as diverse as Ringo Starr, Crazy Horse, Mike Scott (of The Waterboys), and Danny Thompson of folk legends Pentangle.
After the Icicle works split up Ian went solo and signed for Andrew Lauders This Way Up Label after releasing the well-received Truth and Beauty McNabb was allegedly inspired to a rockier sound by the engineer who mastered that record, telling him "Aye, Ian, your rocking days are behind you." Legend has it that McNabb went back to his home in Liverpool, and recorded a demo of what would become the coruscating opener of Head Like a Rock, "Fire inside My Soul". 
Label boss Andrew Lauder then suggested that McNabb go to record in America, which McNabb was sceptical about. He facetiously suggested to Lauder that his new material sounded like Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and if Lauder could get Crazy Horse to play on the record, he would go to America. A few phone calls later, McNabb found himself in a Los Angeles studio with Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina and bassist Billy Talbot. This cast-iron rhythm section appeared on four of the ten tracks on Head like a Rock, including the No. 54 UK hit "You Must Be Prepared to Dream". The album's other single, "Go into the Light", did not feature Crazy Horse and peaked at UK No. 66.
Head like a Rock was subsequently nominated for the 1994 Mercury Music Prize, and although M People would end up taking the award home, the attendant publicity surrounding the award-nominated album propelled Head like a Rock into the UK album charts, where it peaked at No. 29. 
This expanded version has been re-mastered by Ian himself and is a testament to the great album it was, enhanced with upgraded packaging and a bonus disc of the B-sides that came with the assorted singles this is a great addition to the canon of Ian’s work

Release Date: 28/1/2013
Our Price: £10.95
Code: CDBRED552
Weight: 200
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Disc One
1. FIRE INSIDE MY SOUL
2. YOU MUST BE PREPARED TO DREAM
3. CHILD INSIDE A FATHER
4. STILL GOT THE FEVER
5. POTENCY
6. GO INTO THE LIGHT
7. AS A LIFE GOES BY
8. SAD STRANGE SOLITARY CATHOLIC MYSTIC
9. THE TIME IS FOREVER
10. MAY YOU ALWAYS
Disc Two
1. THAT’S WHY THE DARKNESS EXISTS
You Must Be B-Side
2. SOMETIMES I THINK ABOUT YOU
You Must Be B-Side
3. WOO YER You Must Be B-Side
4. LOVE IS A WONDERFUL COLOUR
You Must Be B-Side
5. WHEN IT ALL COMES DOWN You Must Be B-Side
6. TIME YOU WERE IN LOVE Go Into B-Side
7. GO INTO THE LIGHT Celestial Dub Mix
8. ROCK Go Into B-Side
9. I STOOD BEFORE ST PETER Go Into B-Side

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Permanent Damage
Released on 23/11/09. The bands final album Permanent Damage (1990), was recorded for Epic/Sony. It contained the fantastic ‘Motorcyle Rider’, and has long been out of print. This edition brings together all the B – Sides for the first time in one package Our Price: £9.95

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The Small Price Of A Bicycle
Released on 21/03/11. The Icicle Works were founded in Liverpool in 1980 when bassist Chris Layhe (who had been in a couple of local rock bands including Elanor and Blind Owl) answered an advertisement for a musical collaborator placed by 20 year old Ian McNabb. The two got together and started writing. They quickly added drummer Chris Sharrock (who had previously drummed for the Cherry Boys), and began playing live shows. After the release of their self-titled debut album the Icicle Works struggled to match their initial commercial success. However, they continued to receive critical acclaim as a live band and secured a loyal fan base both in the UK and abroad.

There's actually nothing small about the Icicle Works' second album. Like early U2, Big Country, and Simple Minds, the Icicle Works paint with a large canvas; on The Small Price of a Bicycle, the Icicle Works don't stray from their formula of mammoth guitar riffs and epic choruses.

The galloping bass and sweeping vocals of Hollow Horse should've been as successful in the U.S. as the band's only American hit, Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream). "We'll be as we are/When all the fools who doubt us fade away," McNabb bellows defiantly on Hollow Horse, lyrics that are as catchy as the "We are, we are/We are but your children" sing-along of Birds Fly. Filled with high drama and a ceaselessly driving beat, Hollow Horse nearly stomps the rest of the album into mashed potatoes. Perambulator exposes the Icicle Works' more aggressive side, one that McNabb would explore further on his Head Like a Rock LP, while Seven Horses is more of the same, McNabb's throaty voice riding on a wave of colossal guitars and thumping basslines.

This reissue in conjunction with Beggars Banquet contains two bonus discs of rare and unreleased material, together with informative notes by long time Icicle works champion Jerry Ewing who has talked to Ian McNabb about the making of the album.
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If You Want To Defeat Your Enemy Sing His Song - Expanded Version
he Ian Broudie-produced Defeat Your Enemy brought out the band's varying influences in different ways, resulting in a varied record touching on everything from funk to folk.Unquestionably, the band's knack for big, uplifting but not hollow performances was still in fine flower, as the smash single Understanding Jane showed. A quick, fierce rocker with an instantly catchy pop vibe and a brilliant chorus, it's a '50s tearjerker filtered through the Ramones with fantastic results. Another winner is the opening cut, Evangeline, with a lovely chorus consisting of overdubbed vocals from the band and guest singer Alison Limerick and a quick, Motowntouched rhythm supporting McNabb's powerful singing.Then there's Up Here in the North of England, a slow, string-touched waltz winningly sung while bitterly ripping into the political state of the nation line for line. McNabb's vocals throughout the album are deeper than before,This 3CD reissue of the Classic 1987 album come with two discs of bonus, material as well as notes by Prog magazines Jerry Ewing. Our Price: £14.95

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Blind EXPANDED EDITION
As early as the Icicle Works' second album, it became obvious that singer/songwriter Ian McNabb had little interest in further pursuing his career as a new wave tunesmith in the manner of his only U.K. hit, Love Is a Wonderful Colour.

Still, stylistic nods to Neil Young, Van Morrison, and Motown on post-1984 recordings could have hardly prepared the casual Icicle Works fan for the all-over-the-map musical journey that represented the original line up's fourth and final album, Blind. There's not even a hint of new wave on this record; beginning with a full-on Led Zeppelin-style rave up ( Shit Creek ), Blind then proceeds to careen wildly through several anthemic folk-rockers ( Here Comes Trouble, Starry Blue Eyed Wonder ), a Caribbean-style pop tune ( What Do You Want Me to Do ), a Prince-meets-INXS lite-funk workout ( The KissOff ), a raunchy blues-metal parody that even Zodiac Mindwarp might have found too over the top ( Two Two Three ).

Blind contains some of the Icicle Works' best individual tracks, including the singles High Time and Little Girl Lost. This 3-CD reissue-set contains 2 discs of rare and unreleased material in addition to the original album and also features updated booklets and notes by Classic Rock’s Jerry Ewing.
Our Price: £14.95

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The Journey
Big Country will release their brand new studio album, The Journey as they embark on a 14-date tour of the UK this April.  Released on Cherry Red Records, this is Big Country’s ninth studio album and their first since the sad and untimely death of lead singer and songwriter, Stuart Adamson in December 2001. The Journey was recorded on the Welsh border town of Wrexham in an old cold war nuclear bunker With 8-feet thick walls, there was no phone or Internet signal and, thus isolated and disconnected from the outside world, the group were able to enjoy a very productive time in the studio.

Aptly titled, The Journey is released some two years after Big Country embarked on a new era, when guitarist and founder member Bruce Watson officially invited Mike Peters (The Alarm) to join them as lead vocalist for two concerts to celebrate 30 years since the group’s formation. Two years of intense and emotional touring followed and as fans and critics alike responded positively and a whole new generation of fans were created, the group, imbued with new energy and passion, performed at many of the UK and Europe’s most prestigious festivals, including Isle of Wight, V, T In The Park and Oxygen.

More recently, Big Country has been joined by another long-standing friend of the group, Derek Forbes (Simple Minds), who took over bass guitar duties from original bassist Tony Butler who retired gracefully in 2012. Derek was recently voted Best Scottish Bass Player of all time and, in the words of Tony Butler himself "plays a mean D”.

Mike Peters has had a long and heartfelt association with Big Country. He first met Stuart Adamson in 1983 and was with him at his last ever Big Country show at Glasgow’s Barrowlands in 2000. Mike, who has fought and won two very public battles with cancer, also credits the words of In A Big Country as literally inspiring him to "Stay Alive” during his illnesses.

Mike wrote 99% of the lyrics for The Journey, a challenge he accepted in the knowledge that it would mean having to look into the soul of the band’s original lyricist, Stuart Adamson, whose words revealed someone who was at once both positive and pessimistic.  Moreover, Mike realised the importance of following the formula for all of the great Big Country songs, which started life as instrumentals; a guitar phrase from founder member Bruce Watson or a drum break and piano melody by Mark Brzezicki, with lyrics and vocal melody coming after the music had been created by the band as a unit.

"There are themes of redemption and of coming to terms with a life lived all through this record, and the process has brought us together as a family united and ready to stand proud for what and who we are…..Big Country.”  (Mike Peter)

"I am looking forward to the next Big Country chapter…. it feels right and fitting that Big Country continue the journey… and as Stuart always said, "When taking a journey, it’s not about the getting there, it’s enjoying the view on the way””  (Mark Brezezicki)

Release Date: 8/4/2012 : To pre-order the album on limited edition 12" vinyl click here.
Our Price: £10.95

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