Kritzerland has just jumped headfirst into the holiday season with three exciting releases on the soundtrack front. Continuing the label’s commitment to the Golden Age of Hollywood and beyond, the label has just made these three titles available for pre-order:
- John Wayne at Fox: The Westerns – Two CDs and three scores for the price of one CD! This double-disc anthology brings together three classic scores from films featuring The Duke: Elmer Bernstein’s The Comancheros (1961), Lionel Newman’s North to Alaska (1960) and Hugo Montenegro’s The Undefeated (1969)! Though all three titles have been previously released, they have been fully remastered for Kritzerland’s release. North to Alaska features vocal performances from Johnny Horton and Fabian. A 1,000-unit limited edition, John Wayne at Fox is available for $19.98 from Kritzerland.
- Sabrina / We’re No Angels – Following Intrada’s recent release of Henry Mancini’s original soundtrack to Blake Edwards’ Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Kritzerland premieres another memorable score from an Audrey Hepburn film from an iconic director. This time, the film is 1954’s Sabrina and the director is Billy Wilder. Frederick (The Blue Angel) Hollander’s score to Sabrina is paired with another Hollander treat: his score to the 1956 Humphrey Bogart Christmas comedy We’re No Angels! As a special bonus, the disc is rounded out with vintage Hollander cues from a number of his other films. This 1,000-unit limited edition is available from Kritzerland at $19.98.
- Finally, Kritzerland re-presses its sold-out release of Bernard (Psycho, Taxi Driver) Herrmann’s scores to two vintage television specials: a 1954 adaptation of A Christmas Carol starring Fredric March and Basil Rathbone; and the next year’s A Child is Born starring Nadine Conner and Theodor Uppman of the Metropolitan Opera. These two scores show another side of the renowned suspense composer’s immense talent. This 1,000-unit limited edition is available at the low holiday price of $14.98 from the label.
Kritzerland indicates that “our hope is that CDs will ship by the last week of December or hopefully even sooner, but this is the busiest time of year for pressing plants, so there is the off chance that it could be early January. But the hope is to have them out the door before Christmas.” In addition, the label’s annual Christmas sale is on! You can sample the many bargains right here!
After the jump, we have the full contents of Kritzerland’s press release, plus track listings and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »
Among the leading lights of what would eventually become known as “alternative rock,” few groups made as great a mark as Camper Van Beethoven. The California band, which had its beginnings in 1983 and coalesced in 1985, incorporated elements of rock, punk, folk, ska and world music into its own style of “surrealist absurdist folk.” Three indie albums arrived before Camper signed with Virgin Records for its major-label debut, 1988’s Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart. On February 4, Omnivore Recordings will revisit that alt-rock landmark as well as its follow-up, 1989’s Key Lime Pie, in deluxe expanded editions available on CD and produced in cooperation with the band members. The same date, the original LPs will also be reissued on 180-gram vinyl in lavish Omnivore fashion.
Dennis Herring, who would go on to produce albums by Elvis Costello, Ben Folds and Counting Crows, helmed Camper’s two Virgin albums. Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart assuaged the usual fears that a brave and adventurous indie band had “sold out” in signing to a mainstream label; as Omnivore’s press release puts it, “As it turned out, the first three tracks on Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart were a pop song, an instrumental and an adaptation of a dirge about death. Heck, the release even had a love song for Patty Hearst. No, Camper Van Beethoven hadn’t sold out. They just had better distribution now!” Though Sweetheart was an accessible record which earned the band an even greater fan base, it didn’t whitewash the band’s more outré sensibilities or simplify the wide-ranging, varied instrumentation. The album’s line-up included David Lowery on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Jonathan Segel on violin, mandolin, keyboards, guitar and backing vocals, Victor Krummenacher on bass and backing vocals, Greg Lisher on lead guitar, and Chris Pedersen on drums. (Sweetheart was the first Camper Van Beethoven album not to feature founding guitarist/drummer/multi-instrumentalist Chris Molla.) Omnivore’s CD reissue adds a whopping 10 bonus tracks to the album’s original 14 songs, including live tracks, non-LP songs and the edit of “Eye of Fatima Pts. 1 & 2.”
Camper returned in 1989 with Key Lime Pie, its final album before (temporarily) breaking up in 1990. The band’s line-up was somewhat altered here, with the departure of Jonathan Segel before the album’s recording commenced. Hence, the album was crafted by Lowery, Krummenacher, Lisher and Pedersen, with the violin parts played by Don Lax and Morgan Fichter. Somewhat darker and more Americana-oriented than its predecessor, Key Lime Pie featured a noteworthy cover of Status Quo’s psychedelic “Pictures of Matchstick Men” and a track about another notorious American figure, “Jack Ruby.” Nine bonus tracks add up to the tastiest Key Lime Pie yet, including live tracks, rare edits and demos.
After the jump: more on both albums, including full track listings and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »
Holiday Gift Guide Spotlight: Diamond, Streisand, Williams, Cash, Jones, Wynette and More Join “Classic Christmas Album” Roster [UPDATED]
Last year brought volumes from a variety of artists across the rock, pop, country and R&B spectrum including Barry Manilow, Luther Vandross, John Denver, Willie Nelson, Kenny G and Elvis Presley. For 2013, another eight seasonal anthologies have arrived under the Classic Christmas Album umbrella from Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, Andy Williams, Barbra Streisand, Alabama, George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Gladys Knight and the Pips and Martina McBride.
Christmas is the one time of the year you’re guaranteed to hear the voice of the late, great Andy Williams on the radio. In fact, thanks to Andy, you just might think of Christmas as “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” And that 1963 Edward Pola/George Wyle standard is just one of the sixteen favorites you’ll hear on Williams’ Classic Christmas Album, newly remastered by Tim Sturges. Selections have been drawn from all three of Andy’s Columbia Christmas recordings: 1963’s timeless The Andy Williams Christmas Album, 1965’s equally-impressive follow-up Merry Christmas, and the far lesser-known, low-key 1975 Christmas Present. On the latter, Williams mainly limited his repertoire to traditional hymns, and the new compilation features five of them (“Joy to the World,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “What Child is This,” “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Ave Maria”) tenderly sung in the vocalist’s pristine tone. Highlights from the first two, perennial Christmas albums include “Kay Thompson’s Jingle Bells” and “The Christmas Song” (1963) and “Winter Wonderland,” “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” and the haunting reading of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things” (1965). One simply can’t go wrong with any anthology of Andy Williams’ holiday recordings, including The Classic Christmas Album. But one would be better advised to check out Real Gone Music’s new 2-CD anthology The Complete Christmas Recordings. This set, licensed from Columbia, includes the entirety of Williams’ three Columbia Christmas LPs plus three singles and two previously unreleased tracks. As every track is essential listening, it’s one-stop shopping for Andy’s Columbia-era holiday music.
Another Columbia Records mainstay, Barbra Streisand, released her first Christmas album, simply entitled A Christmas Album, in 1967, not recording another holiday-themed set until 2001 and Christmas Memories. Barbra’s Classic Christmas Album reprises nine titles from the first LP and seven from its belated sequel. Naturally, among the 1967 tracks is Streisand’s iconic reinvention of “Jingle Bells,” along with other staples such as “The Christmas Song,” “My Favorite Things” and “White Christmas.” From 2001, you’ll hear standards like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” as well as more contemporary material including Ann Hampton Callaway’s “Christmas Lullaby,” Alan and Marilyn Bergman and Don Costa’s “Christmas Mem’ries,” the Bergmans and Johnny Mandel’s “A Christmas Love Song,” and Streisand’s seasonal reinterpretation of Stephen Sondheim’s haunting “I Remember,” written for the 1967 television musical Evening Primrose. This is an intelligently-compiled sampler, but both complete original Streisand albums are essential. Tim Sturges has again remastered.
Streisand’s fellow Brooklynite and onetime duet partner Neil Diamond is the subject of his own Classic Christmas Album. Diamond’s twelve-track compilation is drawn from his first two massively successful Columbia Christmas releases, 1992’s The Christmas Album and 1994’s Volume Two. (Diamond returned to Christmas music for 2009’s A Cherry Cherry Christmas, which blended five new songs with nine returning favorites, but its new songs – among them the self-referencing title track and a cover of Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song” – have been overlooked here.) Classic Christmas Album makes room for Neil’s very own holiday standard “You Make It Feel Like Christmas” (originally recorded on 1984’s Primitive but remade for The Christmas Album) alongside Diamond-ized renditions of songs both spiritual (“Joy to the World,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “O Holy Night”) and secular (“The Christmas Song,” “Silver Bells,” “Sleigh Ride”). Don’t let Neil’s country-western attire on the cover artwork fool you; The Classic Christmas Album features 12 tracks of traditional holiday pop, even if selections from A Cherry Cherry Christmas would have made this Christmas dish even sweeter. (An extra bonus: whereas most titles in this series have no liner notes, Diamond has penned an introduction for his volume.) Diamond’s preferred mastering engineer Bernie Becker has handled those duties here.
After the jump: we cross over to the country side of town and beyond! Plus: we have full track listings with discographical annotation, and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »
La-La Land never fails to amaze when it comes to Black Friday. The soundtrack label often saves some of its biggest and highest-profile titles for announcements on the shopping weekend (see 2010, 2011 and 2012) – and this year is no different, with two premiere releases of acclaimed scores, an expanded edition of a superhero sequel and a box set devoted to one of the biggest action film franchises of all time.
First up: call them slobs, call them jerks, call them gross – just don’t call them when you’re in trouble! Officers Mahoney, Thompson, Jones, Martin, Tackleberry, Barbara and Hightower (plus the reluctant Lt. Harris) were the misfit newbie cops in the 1984 comedy Police Academy, starring Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall, Michael Winslow and Bubba Smith – and while the series is perhaps best known for the increasingly madcap sequels it never seemed to stop spawning (the seventh film in the series bowed in 1994), its score by Robert Folk has long been in high demand. Now, for the first time, enjoy every cue from the film, including the unforgettably jaunty march for the recruits, and even Jean-Marc Dompierre and His Orchestra’s ”El Bimbo,” a source cue that scores a classic gag in the unforgettable Blue Oyster Bar. LLL’s release is limited to 3,000 units.
Russian-born composer Dimitri Tiomkin was a master of the Western film score (hear his work on High Noon for definitive proof), and one of his greatest achievements, the score to John Sturges’ Gunfight At The O.K. Corral (1957), is finally available on CD in a 2,ooo-unit pressing. Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas’ Hollywoodized portrayals of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday didn’t teach anyone facts about the real event, but it sure made for some great genre entertainment. This lengthy disc features the complete score in mono, with eight bonus stereo cues, source music and demos of the classic title song, originally sung by Frankie Laine but covered here by both singing cowboy/Disney voice actor Rex Allen and Bob Hope/USO sideman Tony Romano. Laine’s recording is, of course, also included and in fact opens the album.
After the jump, a trio of men of steel and some of their most iconic music!
Return To Itchycoo Park: Small Faces’ “Here Come The Nice” Deluxe Box Set Arrives In January [UPDATED 12/3]
The culmination of the recent Small Faces reissue series from the Charly/Snapper label is set for arrival in January: Here Come the Nice: The Immediate Years Box Set 1967-1969, a lavish 4-CD, 3-EP box set containing “every [one of the band’s] worldwide hit single A & B side on Immediate Records” plus rare and previously unreleased material, “remastered from recently-discovered original master and multi-track tapes.” The set has been produced under the supervision of surviving band members Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan, both of whom have signed certificates to be included in each one of the limited edition box sets available in the U.S. on January 28 exclusively at Amazon.com. The box is limited to 3,000 copies worldwide.
The first disc compiles 20 original Immediate mono single sides, while the second and third discs premiere 34 previously unreleased alternates recorded at Olympic, Trident and IBC Studios. The fourth CD features 21 more previously unreleased outtakes and alternates, plus live material from the Small Faces’ Newcastle City Hall gig of November 18, 1968. Three replica vinyl EPs are also included. The first of these, Small Faces Album Sampler, was originally released as a one-sided promotional single to coincide with the band’s first Immediate album, and features excerpts of album cuts along with deejay Tommy Vance’s announcements. The second EP is a French “Here Come the Nice” with the title track mixed slightly faster, and the third EP is the French “Itchycoo Park” release. A replica of the original Olympic Sound Studios one-off acetate pressing for Andrew Loog Oldham for the song “Mystery” is another key component.
Designed by Grammy Award winner Rachel Gutek, Here Come the Nice boasts a 72-page hardbound book with introductions from Jones and McLagan, a foreword by Pete Townshend and liner notes by Mark Paytress. In addition, Robert Plant, Paul Weller, David Bowie, Peter Frampton, Nick Mason, Chris Robinson, Glen Matlock, Chad Smith and Paul Stanley (Kiss) have all contributed to the text. Track-by-track liner notes and a discography are all included alongside numerous photos and memorabilia images. The box also makes room for double-sided postcards, a replica of the Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake press kit, two of Gered Mankowitz’s fine art prints, two original poster reproductions, and perhaps most excitingly, a 64-page illustrated lyric booklet for all songs on the box set.
Here Come the Nice is available on January 28 from Amazon U.S. only. Due to territorial restrictions, the set is not being offered on Amazon U.K. and retailer Burning Shed has indicated that it will cancel any orders placed from within the United Kingdom.
After the jump: you’ll find the contents of our original post detailing previous Small Faces reissues, and then a complete track listing and pre-order link for the new box set! Read the rest of this entry »
The late John Fahey might not be the first name associated with Christmas music. But the steel-string acoustic guitarist and pioneer of the American Primitive Guitar style recorded a number of albums of holiday music, one of which (1968’s The New Possibility: John Fahey’s Guitar Solo Christmas Album) remains the most successful release in Fahey’s catalogue. Fantasy Records’ new compilation Christmas Soli brings together fourteen songs from Fahey’s four holiday platters released between 1968 and 1982.
Fahey’s fingerpicking guitar style proved itself remarkably adaptable to holiday music of both the religious and secular varieties. Fahey’s minimalist style brought out a stately, often hidden beauty not just in traditional melodies but in Great American Songbook standards by Irving Berlin (“White Christmas”) and Mel Torme and Robert Wells (“The Christmas Song”). Bluegrass, country, folk and particularly the blues all informed the young Fahey, who released The New Possibility on his own Takoma label. Named for Fahey’s hometown of Takoma Park, Maryland (a suburb of Washington, DC), Takoma was at one time or another home to other famed musicians including Michael Bloomfield, George Winston and Leo Kottke.
From The New Possibility, Christmas Soli reprises five tracks including Handel’s “Joy to the World” and traditional tunes such as “We Three Kings of Orient Are” and “Auld Lang Syne.” The album was such a success for Fahey that he returned to the Christmas well with Christmas with John Fahey Volume Two in 1975. Three tracks have been taken from that LP, including a medley of “O Tannenbaum” and “Angels We Have Heard On High” with “Jingle Bells,” and a duet with Richard (Rick) Ruskin of “Carol of the Bells.” Guitarist Ruskin recorded three albums for Takoma.
Fahey’s next holiday-themed release, John Fahey Christmas Guitar Volume One, arrived in 1982 on the Varrick label. Consisting almost entirely of religious-themed favorites, three tracks appear on Christmas Soli: “The First Noel,” “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and “Silent Night.” The final album represented here is Popular Songs of Christmas and New Year’s, recorded with fellow acoustic guitarist Terry Robb and also released in 1982 on Varrick Records. That album featured many secular Christmas songs, two of which appear on the new anthology (“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “The Christmas Song”) along with a medley of “Deck the Halls” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” (The original album also featured Fahey’s surprising renditions of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Winter Wonderland” and “Let It Snow,” among other holiday staples.)
After the jump: more on Christmas Soli, including the full track listing with discographical annotation and order links! Read the rest of this entry »
We missed this one last week – and didn’t want you to miss it, too! The previously unreleased debut album from California psychedelic country-rockers Beachwood Sparks arrives on CD with bonus material, all circa the late 1990s. For fans of The Flying Burrito Brothers, Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, and the West Coast pop-rock sound.
The Jones Girls, Coming Back (Expansion) (Amazon U.K.)
The Jones Girls, best-known for a string of LPs for Philadelphia International, “came back” with this 1992 album for ARP Records. Expansion bolsters this rare slice of soulful R&B with six bonus tracks.
Legacy reissues the very last concert ever given by Roy Orbison, from December 3, 1988, in a special package with a bonus DVD containing The Last Interview (taped with Roy directly after the performance) and selected performances from 1981 and 1986. The Big O was gone two days later, but his music lives on.
In case you missed it last week (after all, we almost did!), Iconoclassic’s expanded reissue of Poco’s 1971 album features new remastering by Vic Anesini, an essay by John Einarson, and two previously unreleased bonus tracks: the unreleased studio versions of “C’mon” and “A Man Like Me” produced by Richie Polodor.
Two former Supremes – Scherrie Payne and Susaye Greene – joined with producer Gene McDaniels for this 1979 LP which featured special guest Ray Charles and addition vocals from Joyce Vincent of Tony Orlando and Dawn. Partners updated the Supremes sound with a sleek, modern R&B vibe, and makes a long-overdue appearance on CD here.