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Mcdowall, Rose

Don’t Fear The Reaper

Night School
12" $17.50

04/18/2015 5060174958649 

LSSN 030 


Rose McDowall’s trajectory from punk provocateur to chart-subverting pop star to underground neo-folk legend has been fraught with strain and adventure. In 2015, Night School Records will attempt to tell the story of this wayward daughter of Glasgow through a schedule of reissues and unreleased material. Record Store Day 2015 sees the first fruit of this collaboration, an official release of the unapproved 12-inch single of “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” originally waxed by McDowall in 1988. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” has been remastered and re-edited by legendary engineer and selector Sean Pennycook for 2015. McDowall’s clear-as-crystal vocal performance sails above a latin-flavored disco beat with the original’s doomy chord changes revitalized into a shiny, gloriously hedonistic brew. Accompanying is the original “Crystal Days,” a track that featured on McDowall’s self-released Cut With the Cake Knife demos—a set lost, until now, to history. On the flip, Sean P cuts up the original “Reaper” into an Italo-ized disco re-edit before the instrumental plays out.  McDowall’s treatment of “Don’t Fear The Reaper” speaks volumes to where her head was at in 1988. It was the singer’s first solo release after the breakup of Strawberry Switchblade and even then it was unapproved. Rush-released by a collaborator and without her consent, “Reaper” quickly vanished and has become the stuff of legend for pop, disco and Strawberry Switchblade fanatics alike. Now fully approved and with new, minimal artwork by Russell Elder, McDowall invites us to take her hand.

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