On August 25, XL Recordings will celebrate 25 years with a new compilation called Pay Close Attention, which compiles important music from the label’s illustrious discography. Radiohead, M.I.A., the White Stripes, Vampire Weekend, the Prodigy, the xx, Adele, Tyler the Creator, Jai Paul, Gil Scott-Heron, Basement Jaxx, the Horrors, Devendra Banhart, Basement Jaxx, and many more appear on the record.
The Pay Close Attention website is also chronicling the history of the label, with detailed timelines about all of XL’s releases. It will also be collecting new and unseen interviews and performances by artists who appear on the compilation. Below, watch a 15-minute documentary in which Vampire Weekend discuss the making of their 2010 album Contra. Update: Also below, watch previously unreleased footage of Odd Future’s first European tour, via Pigeons and Planes.
The compilation will be available as a quadruple-LP box set, which comes packaged with a DVD and poster, as well as a 2xCD set, and as a download.
Here’s what label head Richard Russell said of Pay Close Attention:
XL Recordings is a collaborative endeavour, and many people have contributed to its evolution. In the song Out Of Space’, Liam Howlett of The Prodigy provided a blueprint when he sampled Kool Keith of Ultramagnetic MC’s rapping these words: Pay Close Attention. And whilst XL has never had any outside ownership, Gil Scott-Heron advised me not to even consider XL an independent, because everything is connected.
Part 1 of this compilation are the roots of XL; underground music, made for DJs. These roots are still growing. Part 2 features some of the singular talents who have taken the label further than we ever envisioned. There is no unifying genre; hopefully the thread of originality is evident though.
The rave music XL first became known for was known as hardcore; that spirit continues.
To show our appreciation for your support, thank you DJs.
And thank you also to the retailers, writers, and, of course, ravers.
Tyler, the Creator:
Pay Close Attention disc one:
01 SL2: DJs Take Control
02 The Prodigy: Out Of Space
03 Awesome 3: Don’t Go (Kicks Like A Mule Mix)
04 Liquid: Sweet Harmony
05 Jonny L: Piper
06 Roy Davis Jr. ft. Peven Everett: Gabriel (Live Garage Version)
07 Dem 2: Destiny
08 Nu-Birth: Anytime
09 Basement Jaxx: Jump N’Shout
10 Dizzee Rascal: I Luv U
11 Wiley: Igloo
12 Various Production: Hater
13 Giggs: Talkin The Hardest
14 SBTRKT: Wildfire [ft. Little Dragon]
15 Jamie xx: All Under One Roof Raving
Pay Close Attention disc two:
01 The Prodigy: Firestarter
02 Peaches: Fuck The Pain Away
03 The White Stripes: Seven Nation Army
04 Devendra Banhart: I Feel Just Like A Child
05 Ratatat: Seventeen Years
06 M.I.A.: Paper Planes
07 Thom Yorke: The Eraser
08 Gil Scott-Heron: New York Is Killing Me
09 Radiohead: Weird Fishes / Arpeggi
10 Tyler, The Creator: Yonkers
11 The Horrors: Sea Within A Sea
12 Jai Paul: BTSTU (demo)
13 Bobby Womack: Please Forgive My Heart
14 The xx: Angels
15 Sampha: Too Much
16 Vampire Weekend: Step
17 King Krule: Easy Easy
18 Adele: Rolling In The Deep
Bonus DVD included in box set:
Prodigy – Firestarter (Director Walter Stern)
Basement Jaxx Where’s Your Head At (Director Traktor)
The White Stripes – Fell In Love With A Girl (Director Michel Gondry)
Dizzee Rascal – Fix Up, Look Sharp (Director Ruben Fleischer)
M.I.A – BirdFlu (Director M.I.A)
Vampire Weekend – A-Punk (Director Hammer and Tongs)
Radiohead – Lotus Flower (Director Garth Jennings)
Gil Scott-Heron I’m New Here (Director Jane Pollard)
Tyler, The Creator – Yonkers (Director Tyler, The Creator)
ADELE – Someone Like You (Live From The Brits 2011)