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Kylie Minogue has announced details of a new hits round-up.

Step Back in Time: The Definitive Collection is ostensibly released to tie-in with her 30th anniversary as a pop force and her slots at Glastonbury, Brighton Pride and various other festivals this summer.

Step Back in Time: The Definitive Collection is Kylie’s fifth greatest hits, following 2012’s The Best of, and while there’s not much new to woo anyone who doesn’t have this stuff already on this latest collection, it will be the first to round up some of her later hits on vinyl, making that quite a desirable affair.

With 51 Top 40 singles, including seven number ones, the collection is a proper trolley dash around all the obvious biggies, but also features fan-favourites such as ‘Your Disco Needs You’ but omits stuff like ‘Chocolate’ and ‘The Word is Out’.

There’s also a bonus of new track ‘New York City’ which is listed as a ‘hidden’ track, and it’s the first time ‘Timebomb’ has featured on a worldwide released album. The collection also follows the pattern of 2004’s Ultimate Kylie with predominantly Parlophone stuff on one disc and the PWL gear on another.

The album will be available as a 42-track 2CD set, a deluxe of which offers enhanced packaging with a 32-page book hardcover book and there’s a trio of vinyl variants – black, limited mint green and picture disc (the latter exclusive to Kylie’s webstore) – each contain 20 tracks and come with a digital download code for all 42 tracks.

There is also a double-cassette edition (oh yes) which is available in five different colours. Like the picture disc, these are exclusive to Kylie’s store, which also offers various bundles.

Step Back in Time: The Definitive Collection is released 28 June 2019.

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The B-52’s album Cosmic Thing will be reissued as an expanded two-CD deluxe edition next month, for its 30th anniversary reissue. The 1989 long-player was a big success at the time, spawning the transatlantic top five hit ‘Love Shack’ and ‘Roam’ (also top five in the USA).

This two-CD reissue includes remastered audio and bonus tracks include edits, a megamix, 12-inch remixes and unreleased concert recordings from 1990’s Cosmic Tour.

Cosmic Thing will be reissued on 28 June 2019.

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Duo reconvene after over 25 years. Signed CD sets available.

Shakespears Sister are back. Back. BACK!

Marcella Detroit and Siobhan Fahey have patched up their differences and about to hit Rock’s highway later this year for a short tour.

The duo have also announced details of a compilation entitled Singles Party (1988 – 2019), which rounds up all their 45s together as well as featuring two new numbers ‘All The Queen’s Horses’ and ‘C U Next Tuesday’. A two-CD deluxe edition features an array of remixes, rarities and bonus tracks.

Originally forming in 1988 after Siobhan fled Bananarama, Shakespears Sister racked up a number of hits across the end of the eighties/ early nineties, including ‘You’re History’, the eight-weeks-at-number-one smash ‘Stay’ and accompanying album Hormonally Yours. However it all went a bit sour went Siobhan announced cheerio to Detroit at an awards ceremony over 25 years ago, which was news to Detroit at the time, leading to a somewhat undignified separation. Siobhan occasionally carried on with the name in later years, but both her and Detroit finally sat down with each other last year and decided to bury the hatchet and resume operations again.

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Tiger Bay - box set and live shows

To mark its 25th anniversary, Saint Etienne announce details of a limited edition box set of one of their most critically acclaimed albums Tiger Bay.

The lovingly put together box will be released on Heavenly Recordings on Friday 17th May 2019 but will be available to pre-order from the band's webshop from next Tuesday 30th April.

All those who pre-order by May 6th will receive a free copy of the 4 track Surrey North EP previously only available to those who attended the 2018 Christmas parties in Saltaire and Brighton.

The lavish set includes a vinyl version of the original album cut at 45rpm over two discs housed in a beautiful gatefold sleeve, a 12 track vinyl compilation of rarities and demos Tiger Bay – Remains of The Day, a 28-page booklet featuring a wealth of unseen photographs and essay about the making of the album, a 12" x 24" reproduction of the original album poster, a reproduction Hug My Soul window sticker and a reproduction of the original press release and biography from 1994.

At the heart of the set is Tapestry, a 13 track CD album of previously unreleased 'stripped-back' versions and arrangements, taken from original master tapes produced and complied by Pete Wiggs. Tiger Bay as it's never been heard before!

Live shows:

May - Wednesday 22nd
London - Barbican Centre (Sold out)

October - Wednesday 16th
Coventry - Warwick Arts Centre

October - Thursday 17th
Liverpool - Details TBC

October - Friday 18th
Gateshead - Sage

October - Saturday 18th
Edinburgh - Queens Hall

"It sure doesn't seem like 25 years but it's good to have Tiger Bay back on the turntable and back in our hearts".

Connect to Saint Etienne:

Website / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube / Spotify / Deezer

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The Swedish pop icon on finding pop freedom.

“I'm a little bit, you know, erm, tired,” Robyn croaks down the line from Paris where she's midway through the European leg of a world tour in support of last year's Honey album. “I'm not 25 anymore.” Despite how she might be feeling, age, like career rules in general, feel like an irrelevance when it comes to Robyn.

In an industry that fetishises youth, especially if you're a woman, the 39-year-old snuck onto the Radio 1 playlist with Honey's lead single, the heart-shattering Missing U. In an industry that relishes constant content, she took an eight year gap between the completion of her agenda-setting Body Talk series – a three-EP collection of propulsive sad-bangers that influenced everyone from Katy Perry to Carly Rae Jepsen – and Honey, returning to the sort of fervent fanfare usually reserved for multi-million selling industry juggernauts like Adele (also a fan). But how, when tastes change in the time it takes an Instagram story to play out, has the Stockholm-born Robin Miriam Carlsson continually bent an entire pop industry to her will?

From the very start there was something progressive about Robyn's attitude to her career. With two US top ten hits under her belt by the age of 18 – 1997's R&B-lite bangers Do You Know (What It Takes) and Show Me Love – she essentially quit the rat race when it was clear men in suits were trying to manipulate her. “I felt like a lot of the things that were going on in the music industry at that time were quite stupid,” she says plainly. “I think I had quite a lot of experience that they didn't know how to use.” It wasn't until 2005, and the release of the Robyn album via her own label, Konichiwa Records, that she felt fully in control. “From then on it's still been a trajectory of trying to figure out how to do what I really want to do,” she says. “It's the hardest thing in the world.”

Five years later the Body Talk series – featuring modern classic Dancing On My Own – confirmed Robyn's trademark sound; crystalline bangers that hit the heart like a sledgehammer. Its influence spread out through the pop fraternity like a teardrop on water, and suddenly most new female pop stars were being billed as 'the new Robyn', while existing superstars were asking to work with her collaborators. The formerly indie-leaning Pitchfork website also fell under her spell, kick-starting a wave of poptimism. She's flattered by the attention (“I feel very lucky,” she demures) but can only describe her own pop alchemy of crystallising vast human emotion via the prism of her idols, people like Prince and Kate Bush. “All these artists that I have listened to did that thing of putting their finger on something I have felt, and describing it for me so I understood it better. Isn't it about taking the smallest things and the biggest things and mashing them into one?” she asks. “It's about the little details; about how you hear the music when you're sad, or how you connect it to an experience you had as a little kid.”

It would have been easy for Robyn to have simply returned with a new chapter to the Body Talk trilogy and slotted back into the tail end of a pop movement she created. But Honey isn't that album; it's softer, more fragile, more precise (it was influenced by the death of her close friend, producer and DJ Christian Falk, and the dissolution of a long-term relationship). “Maybe things become more pixilated as you get older, you get into the details more and they become more important,” she explains. “It was really important for me to counteract this harder energy that I had worked with before on the Body Talk album. I knew that I wanted to do something with my music that I didn't know how to do. I didn't know how to be soft. I had to take care of myself and how I was feeling and the music was just an expression of that.” She also sees this shift into a more reflective sound – at a time when self-care is a must – as a statement of our times. “I think it's important at the moment to not have to simplify things just because the world is moving quicker or because there's fake news.”

Forward motion is also important. She says she loves paying attention to what other people are doing and “understanding what people do hear and what they don't hear. What matters in what happened before, and what doesn't. And why.” Perhaps a key element to her continued relevance is that she is not interested in nostalgia. “The idea of being too obsessed with something that's already happened is really depressing,” she sighs. “Trying to re-capture something is not realistic and that makes me impatient, like I don't want to waste time on that.”

If she could sum up why she thinks she's had such a long and influential career, what would be the main reason? “I hope it's my music, I really do,” she says, before getting distracted. “Sorry I'm trying to make a coffee, but the hotel didn't give me any cups, that sucks.” She opts for a normal glass, i.e. not one of those fancy thicker ones that can withstand the heat. It might shatter, I cry, fearing a cancelled tour. “Yeah, it might, let's give it a try,” she says. That's it! That's how you've morphed from teen idol to independent label owner to pop's most influential exponent of the last two decades, I shout, you take risks! “Maybe you're right,” she laughs.

Connect to Robyn: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / YouTube / Apple Music

Words: Michael Cragg   /   Photography: Chantal Anderson   /   17 April 2019
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