The Pirates – Skull Wars (Epic 2017 #227)

The Epic 2017 Project #227: 170815

The Pirates – Skull Wars (1978)

OK you lucky lot. Today you’re getting eight episodes of ‘Epic’ all on the same day; essentially because I’m away for a week with no possibility of updating blogs etc.

Episode 5 comes in the shape of The Pirates ‘Skull Wars’ from 1978. And I’ve a particular story to tell of this one.

At the time of its release I was working as a kitchen porter on the Loughborough University campus in the Midlands. I had a room in a stall halls of residence on the campus and, one any one of our weekly half-day off (usually Saturday afternoon), the ground floor corridor was a virtual battleground for who could crank their stereo up the loudest, thereby drowning out the sometime dubious music choices of some of the other residents.

Then ‘Skull Wars’ came out and three of us queued up at Castle Records to get out mitts on vinyl on the day of its release. No more competition needed – three copies of the same album meant that you could generally get to hear it at some point in the day, whether it be from your own room or someone else’s.

But then we had the brainwave of attempting to synch all three. No mean feat with vinyl in three different rooms on three different stereos. But we managed it – after a fashion. Johnny B Goode’s Good in triplicate and very, very loud.

Public Image Ltd – This is (Epic #226)

The Epic 2017 Project #226: 170814

Public Image Ltd – This is (2012)

OK you lucky lot. Today you’re getting eight episodes of ‘Epic’ all on the same day; essentially because I’m away for a week with no possibility of updating blogs etc.

Fourth in line today is This is PiL, the ninth studio album by Public Image Ltd and their first studio album in 20 years, it was released on 28 May 2012 on band’s own label, PiL Official. A limited deluxe edition of the album was released with a live DVD entitled There is a PiL in Heaven.

Image Ltd returned in 2009, after a 17-year hiatus. John Lydon financed the reunion using money he earned doing a UK TV commercial for Country Life butter. He said “The money that I earned from that has now gone completely – lock stock and barrel – into reforming PiL”.

In November 2009, when asked if PiL would re-enter the studio to record new material Lydon said “Yes, if I raise the money from this [tour], I most definitely will.” The new line-up (consisting of Lydon, earlier members Bruce Smith and Lu Edmonds, plus multi-instrumentalist Scott Firth) began touring in December 2009.

On 1 July 2011, PiL entered Steve Winwood’s studio in the Cotswolds and began recording new material. Lydon said “it was the only place we could afford. It was this barn, in the middle of the Cotswolds, with nothing for inspiration but sheep – and I don’t like sheep particularly.”PiL left the studio in August and in September it was revealed that they had recently completed their new album.

In February 2012, it was officially announced that a 4 track EP entitled One Drop would be released for Record Store Day on 21 April and This Is PiL would be released on 28 May.

The rest is history.

Jack Penate – Matinee (Epic #224)

The Epic 2017 Project #224: 170812

Jack Penate – Matinee (2007)

OK you lucky lot. Today you’re getting eight episodes of ‘Epic’ all on the same day; essentially because I’m away for a week with no possibility of updating blogs etc.

Next up is Matinée, the debut album from British singer-songwriter Jack Peñate. It was released on 8 October 2007 on XL Recordings. The album reached number one on the UK Indie Albums chart, and number seven on the UK Albums Chart. It also reached number 74 on the Irish Album’s chart. The song “My Yvonne” features backing vocals by a young and then-unknown Adele.

Pearl Jam – Vitalogy (Epic #223)

The Epic 2017 Project #223: 170811

Pearl Jam – Vitalogy (1994)

OK you lucky lot. Today you’re getting eight episodes of ‘Epic’ all on the same day; essentially because I’m away for a week with no possibility of updating blogs etc.

No better place to start that with Vitalogy, the third studio album from Pearl Jam, released on November 22, 1994, through Epic Records. The band wrote and recorded Vitalogy while touring behind its previous album Vs. The music on the record was more diverse than previous releases, and consists of aggressive rock songs, ballads and other elements making this Pearl Jam’s first experimental album.

The album was first released on vinyl, followed by a release on CD and cassette two weeks later on December 6, 1994. The LP sold 34,000 copies in its first week of release, and until Jack White’s 2014 album Lazaretto it held the record for most vinyl sales in one week since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. Upon its CD release, Vitalogy became the second-fastest selling album in history, only behind the band’s previous release Vs., selling 877,000 copies in its first week and went multi-platinum quickly. The album has been certified five times platinum by the RIAA in the United States. This is Pearl Jam’s last album to feature drummer Dave Abbruzzese.

Pearl Jam – Ten (Epic #222)

The Epic 2017 Project #222: 170810

Pearl Jam – Ten (1991)

Pearl Jam’s debut was released on August 27, 1991 through Epic Records. Following the disbanding of bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard’s previous group Mother Love Bone, the two recruited vocalist Eddie Vedder, guitarist Mike McCready, and drummer Dave Krusen to form Pearl Jam in 1990. Most of the songs began as instrumental jams, to which Vedder added lyrics about topics such as depression, homelessness, and abuse.

Ten was not an immediate success, but by late 1992 it had reached number two on the Billboard 200 chart. The album produced three hit singles: “Alive”, “Even Flow”, and “Jeremy”. While Pearl Jam was accused of jumping on the grunge bandwagon at the time—despite the fact that Ten had been both recorded and released before Nirvana’s Nevermind—Ten was instrumental in popularizing alternative rock in the mainstream. In February 2013, the album crossed the 10 million mark in sales, becoming the 22nd one to do so in the Nielsen SoundScan era and has been certified 13× platinum by the RIAA. It remains Pearl Jam’s most commercially successful album

Pearl Jam – Vs (Epic #221)

The Epic 2017 Project #221: 170809

Pearl Jam – Vs (1993)

Vs. is the second studio album by American rock band Pearl Jam, released on October 19, 1993 through Epic Records. After a relentless touring schedule in support of their 1991 debut album Ten, Pearl Jam headed into the studio in early 1993 facing the challenge of following up the commercial success of its debut. The resulting album, Vs., featured a rawer and more aggressive sound compared with the band’s previous release. It was their first collaboration with producer Brendan O’Brien, and their first album with drummer Dave Abbruzzese.

Pearl Jam decided to scale back its commercial efforts for Vs., including declining to produce music videos for any of the album’s singles. On its release though, it set the record for the most copies of an album sold in its first week, a record it held for five years.