# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Various - Pillows and Prayers

  by Tommy Gunnarsson

published: 7 / 1 / 2023

Various - Pillows and Prayers
Label: Select Label
Format: N/A


Cherry Red celebrates the 40th anniversary of its iconic label sampler ‘Pillows and Prayers’ with a new, expanded version. Tommy Gunnarsson takes us along for the ride.

There have been lots of classic label samplers over the years, such as the 1971 ‘Harvest Bag’ from Harvest Records, or all the 1990s Sarah Records compilations. But ‘Pillows & Prayers’ must be one of the most iconic of them all, released by Cherry Red back in 1982. Originally, it sold for 99 pence (it was even written on the sleeve that it was to be sold at “no more than 99p”), which meant that it was an affordable way to get an introduction to both the Cherry Red label and the UK indie scene at the time – and with more than 100,000 copies sold, it certainly made its mark. A few years later, ‘Pillows & Prayers 2’ was released in Japan only, and it featured both new songs by acts from the first compilation, but also some brand-new names such as Grab Grab The Haddock (which included members of Marine Girls) and Jane, with her now classic acapella song ‘It’s A Fine Day’ (later sampled by Opus III, who made it into a UK hit in the early 90s). This isn’t the first time Cherry Red has re-released its classic album, though, and the last time was back in 2007, when it was released as a four-CD box set with the fourth disc containing music videos from the same acts. That release even won a Mojo Award in 2008. Now, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the compilation’s original release, Cherry Red is releasing this triple-CD box, containing the original album, the Japan-only follow-up, and additional bonus tracks including live numbers, album cuts, Peel recordings and singles. So, what’s new this time around, then? Well, there are a lot of songs that appear on both this one and the previous re-release, for obvious reasons, but the most interesting part here is the third ‘rarities’ disc which includes 17 previously unreleased recordings. There are quite a few tracks from punk poet Attila the Stockbroker (who also appeared on the first 'Pillows & Prayers' album), post punksters The Passage and The Monochrome Set, and blues rocker Kevin Coyne (mostly live tracks, but also some demo versions and Peel sessions). If you’re a fan of the acts here, you’re in for a treat. The booklet is once again amazing, with essays by label founder Iain McNay and Times journalist Will Hodgkinson, an interview with compiler Mike Alway, and short recollections by the bands and artists from the original compilation. Plus, of course, lots of great photos. Do you need this new reissue if you bought the 2007 box set? Yes and no. It depends on your level of interest in early UK indie in general, and Cherry Red in particular. If that’s is your thing, then you should definitely add this one to your collection!

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