To celebrate The Levellers 30th anniversary, the band is releasing a series of limited edition colored vinyl albums, including the never before released headline set at Glastonbury 1994. The albums have been remastered by fiddle player Jon Sevink from the original 1/2” analogue tapes and pre-order is currently happening here. These limited-edition releases will only be available from independent stores and On The Fiddle.
Jon commented about the reissues:
Let’s go back a few years to a time before CDs and downloads …..In 1991 we signed a six album deal with the independent label China Records. The deal gave them ownership of all albums the band recorded in perpetuity; AKA forever. But we had a good relationship with China. We made the records we wanted to and they put them out, simple.
Until that is, Warner Brothers bought a controlling share of China and in 1999 we found ourselves the property of a major label with no real interest in us.
We made a ‘concept’ album in 2000 and parted company.
We have been running our own label ‘On The Fiddle Recordings’ ever since, doing just fine thank you very much.
Except that we don’t own our back catalogue and as a hugely important part of the Levellers legacy, are uncomfortable leaving a multinational company to keep the old recordings alive.
So in 2012 we started to leave messages, and more messages, and…eventually they agreed to license our albums back to us.
When I asked for the original analogue tapes I was told that they didn’t exist any more.
It’s hard to convey the emotional response that accompanies a belief that a sizeable part of one’s history has been destroyed but suffice to say it is profound.
Fast forward to March 2018. Following another meeting with Warners, a miracle email arrives. A spreadsheet detailing the entire Levellers recordings from the China days.
Hundreds of entries listing titles, formats, dates, studios, producers and rather importantly, whereabouts. Incredible! The Bastards!
And this brings me to the point of my ramblings. The Levellers care deeply about our music and the way it is presented and promoted.
Thankfully (and actually with a great deal of help from Warners and their digital transfer engineers) we have been able to remaster the original albums from 192 kHz, 24 bit files with Jason @ LOUD Mastering which sound, if I may say so, fucking great!
So here they are – on coloured vinyl. Turn it up!
love Jon xxx”
Some of the albums have never been released on vinyl and to complete the reissues, each studio album from the 1990s is packaged with an accompanying LP featuring live versions of some of the album tracks, recorded in the same year.
To kick off the campaign, Letters From The Underground and Static On The Airwaves will be released on pink and purple vinyl respectively. Top 5 albums, Levellers (#2, 1993) and Zeitgeist (#1, 1995) will be issued as limited edition 2LP orange / yellow vinyl sets in December.
Spring 2019 sees the band’s next three albums released on vinyl for the first time ever. Headlights, White Lines, Black Tar Rivers (#13, 1996), along with Mouth To Mouth (#5, 1997) and Hello Pig (#28, 2000) also get the colored vinyl treatment.
Finally, in June 2019, for the first time ever, Levellers’ stunning headline set from Glastonbury ‘94 will be released on 2LP gold vinyl, completing the band’s year of ‘indies only’ albums. You won’t find these at HMV or Amazon. You can pre-order all vinyl from OTF .