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Track Of The Day #661: Rose McDowall – Don’t Fear The Reaper (Blue Öyster Cult)

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Rose McDowall‘s treatment of ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ was her first aborted solo release following the break up of Strawberry Switchblade. Originally rush-released in 1988 by a collaborator and without her consent, Reaper quickly vanished and has become the stuff of cult legend among collectors and fans alike. This Record Store Day, Saturday the 18th of April 2015, finally sees an official release for a new reworked version of the unapproved 12” single of “Don’t Fear The Reaper.”

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Simmering with a mixture trepidation and freedom, that working alone no doubt brought into McDowall’s life. This new version has been reworked by legendary engineer Sean Pennycook, who adds a marvellously fresh Latino-disco gloss rippling with subtle instrumentation stings and a thudding beat. Its pierced by McDowall’s elegantly bittersweet vocal treatment of Blue Öyster Cult ‘s doomy classic. In her hands this blooms into a brave anthem for self empowerment “baby take my hand/don’t fear the reaper” indeed.

“Night School Records is attempting to tell the story of this wayward daughter of Glasgow through a schedule of reissues and unreleased material. To celebrate its release, Rose will be headlining Monorail’s RSD celebrations in Glasgow.”

Rose McDowall plays:

18th April – Monorail, Glasgow
28th May – St Pancras Old Church, London

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.