Music Matters - with John Murray

AS they approach their 30th anniversary The Fixx announce a brand new album with the original line-up.

Although they are from the UK they were always big in the US where they had five Top Five singles including three at No. 1.

They did build a loyal following over the ten albums to date.

Still producing powerful rock Beautiful Friction (Hypertension) is out now as a download and on CD by the end of August. The choice of American radio and indeed MTV with their watchable videos they still have to convince the hard core fans in their own country.

Similarly Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds have been cult heroes without ever moving into mainstream – even his collaborations with Kylie Minogue remains her least selling period.

A new series of reissues completes the visits to their back catalogue.

This week double disc Collector’s Editions of ‘Nocturama’, ‘Abattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus’ and ‘DIG, LAZARUS DIG!!!’ will contain the original stereo album, a new 5.1 surround mix, a specially commissioned short film (on DVD) and B sides that never appeared on any album.

New sleeve notes too will add to this curio to complete what for many are classic albums.

Capturing the live set is never easy on audio as Madonna or Bruce Springsteen will testify.

Even the Beatles and Rolling Stones have no definitive live album even after the overdubs and digital tampering.

That being said by recording a full tour and compiling the best of for a live album offers the best chance of a definitive live concert.

More... Or Less The Specials Live (Chrysalis), is just that from the 2011 European tour which included seven UK dates.

A two CD or vinyl set opening with ‘A Message To You Rudy’, they feature more live favourites before dropping in the monster hit ‘Too Much Too Young’ mid set.

‘Enjoy Yourself’ opens the 2nd half before ‘Rat Race’ and ‘Ghost Town’ show what an iconic band they are.

Closing with ‘Gangsters’ and ‘Guns Of Navarone’ reminds us how ska captured the political and social mood of the time.