RPM Round-Up: Label Collects Mick Fleetwood’s Early Days with Bo Street Runners Plus Mark Wirtz, Pelican

As three recent titles prove, Cherry Red’s RPM label leaves no stone unturned in its pursuit of rare pop music to issue on CD, living up to its credo “By Collectors – For Collectors.” Much like The Artwoods (also recently the subject of a compilation from RPM), The Bo Street Runners were among the exciting mod R&B revivalist bands that London had to offer in the mid-sixties. However, The Runners – like The Artwoods, The Action and so many others – never attained the top tier of commercial

Review: The Kinks, “Muswell Hillbillies: Legacy Edition”

Ted’s checking in today with a look at one of the finest reissues of the last quarter of 2014: the CD/DVD Legacy Edition of The Kinks’ Muswell Hillbillies! - JM For God’s sake…Wanna have a cuppa tea with The Kinks…?! It’s the dead of winter and what better way to warm up these days then to spend some quality time with Ray Davies and company’s take on Americana, glam rock, and a touch of vaudeville on their 1971 classic album, Muswell Hillbillies? Taking its name from The Kinks’ cosmopolitan

Something Good: Legacy Expands “The Sound of Music,” Classic Soundtrack Also Comes to SACD and Vinyl

The hills are alive again! On March 10, Legacy Recordings will reissue RCA Victor’s chart-topping 1965 soundtrack to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s five-time Academy Award-winning The Sound of Music in a new 50th anniversary edition to coincide with the golden anniversary release on Blu-ray.  Collectors will note that expanded CD reissues of the classic musical soundtrack starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer are as inevitable as raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens; editions have

Unbroken Chain: Rhino Celebrates 50 Years of Grateful Dead with New 2-CD Anthology

“What a long, strange trip it’s been,” asserted the Grateful Dead on 1970’s American Beauty. It’s doubtful that the band members could have imagined that the long, strange trip would still be continuing in 2015 – 45 years after “Truckin’” and 50 years after Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan and Bill Kreutzmann first came together. 50th anniversary plans have recently been revealed including a documentary from director Amir Bar-Lev and executive producer Martin Scorsese and

Magnificent! Esoteric Revisits The Moody Blues’ Debut With Lavish 2-CD Expanded Edition

Fifty years ago this coming July, Decca released the modestly-titled The Magnificent Moodies, the first long-player from Birmingham band The Moody Blues.  It would prove to be the only album release for the original quintet, but the Moodies – including founding member Graeme Edge – are still going strong today.  The group’s landmark 50th has recently been marked by Cherry Red’s Esoteric Recordings imprint with the reissue of The Magnificent Moodies in a deluxe, 2-CD mini-box set format. The

Midnight Special: Folkways Celebrates Lead Belly With New Box Set

Happy Birthday to Huddie Ledbetter, a.k.a. "Lead Belly," born today in 1888! How many songwriters could say that their songs have been recorded by The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra and Nirvana? Had he lived longer, Huddie William Ledbetter (1888-1949) could have. Ledbetter, known as Lead Belly, endured a difficult life – including various stays in jail – to introduce or adapt to the Great American Songbook tunes that are still well-known today such as “The Midnight Special,” “Goodnight, Irene,”

Review: Jellyfish, “Bellybutton” and “Spilt Milk” Deluxe Editions

Omnivore Recordings has come out swinging in 2015! With the long-anticipated deluxe reissues of Jellyfish’s two studio albums finally here, the label has set a high bar for sheer pop ecstasy. While the band is often tagged as “power pop” – which is not altogether inaccurate – these two 2-CD sets make a strong case that Jellyfish was so much more. In his liner notes for this deluxe revival of 1990 debut Bellybutton (OVCD-5), author Ken Sharp points out that “everyone from Queen to Henry

Release Round-Up: Week of January 20

Jellyfish, Bellybutton and Spilt Milk (Omnivore) Bellybutton: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. Spilt Milk: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. Here are the deluxe editions that fans of the cult '90s pop revivalists have been waiting for!  A total of 51 bonus tracks are spread across these freshly-remastered reissues of Jellyfish's two studio albums.  Look for Joe's review later today! Universal Togetherness Band, Universal Togetherness Band (Numero Group) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) The Numero

Ella, Satchmo, Aretha, Miles and The Merm Featured On Starbucks’ “Fascinating Gershwin”

When The Library of Congress established a Prize for Popular Song in 2007, one name was affixed to it: Gershwin. With no disrespect to Messrs. Berlin, Porter, Rodgers and company, George and Ira’s surname is synonymous with the gold standard in American popular song. The recipients of the award to date – Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Carole King and Billy Joel – have all followed in the Gershwins’ footsteps of marrying smart, sophisticated and incisive

Souvenirs: Raven Compiles Best of Foghat, Four Albums from John Prine

The Raven Records label closed out its 2014 with a pair of double-CD sets reliving the seventies – one, a retrospective of Foghat’s first decade, and another, a complete collection of John Prine’s first four albums. Foghat’s Drivin’ Wheels: Best of 1972-1982 brings together 32 tracks from the FM radio titans, spanning the period of 1972-1982 and culled from ten studio and live albums.  The blues-rock band was founded in Manchester, England in 1971 by three Savoy Brown expatriates –