TGI Friday Music : Monkees, Zevon, Midler, Rundgren, Beck, Yes, Jefferson Starship On Tap
The temperatures might be dropping, but as sure as fall turns to winter, the slate of catalogue reissues heats up each year for the lucrative holiday market. Friday Music, the CD and vinyl reissue label, sure hasn’t wasted any time in preparing an eclectic slate of killer releases slated for the months ahead. The label’s Joe Reagoso, a.k.a. Joe Friday, has taken to Twitter and Facebook announcing a number of exciting projects. And here, without further ado, are just the facts…
The first-ever CD release of Davy Jones’ Colpix debut arrives in stores today from Friday, following the label’s recent reissues of The Monkees’ Changes and The Monkees Present. Well, the band’s recent tour may have come to an early wrap-up, but the reissue parade marches on. Not only do the liner notes in Davy Jones hint at a future reissue of Jones’ 1971 Bell LP (featuring Jones’ hit rendition of Neil Sedaka’s “Rainy Jane”) but Friday has announced plans for a deluxe reissue of 1987’s Rhino Records “comeback” album for The Monkees, Pool It!. As with the band’s recent tour, Michael Nesmith sat out of Pool It! which reached No. 72 on the Billlboard album charts. Its lead single, “Heart and Soul,” cracked the Hot 100 at No. 87. A companion VHS, Heart and Soul, was billed as “The Official Monkee Videography,” promising “a behind-the-scenes look featuring music videos from their current album ‘Pool It!,’ interviews and a barrelful of special surprises.” In what’s certainly a surprise, Pool It! will be paired with Heart and Soul for a CD/DVD edition.
Much as Friday has taken the reins from Rhino to create deluxe Monkees reissues, the label has done the same for progressive rock giants Yes. 1980’s 2-LP Yesshows was the British unit’s second live album, drawing on performances recorded between 1976 and 1978. The original LP split the track “Ritual” between Sides Three and Four of the vinyl; Friday’s edition restores it to its unedited, full length, and adds two bonus tracks of “I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Roundabout.” These tracks were also added to an expanded Yesshows by Warner Music Japan in 2009. Yes’ third live album, 1985’s 9012LIVE: The Solos, will receive a similar treatment from Friday Music; it, too, was reissued by Warner Japan in 2009.
More titles are on the way from the Warner/Rhino catalogue. Friday has confirmed a reissue of Warren Zevon’s 1980 Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School. Anyone who’s listened to any of Zevon’s albums knows that the man had so much more to offer than just the hit “Werewolves of London.” Zevon’s fourth LP, Bad Luck Streak offered more of his unique version of Laurel Canyon rock. Zevon was joined on his mordantly witty compositions by “usual suspects” including his onetime producer Jackson Browne, David Lindley, Linda Ronstadt, J.D. Souther, Waddy Wachtel, Leland Sklar, Ben Keith and four Eagles: Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Don Felder and Joe Walsh. Whew! Most notable, however, might be “Jeannie Needs a Shooter,” co-written by Zevon’s admirer and friend Bruce Springsteen. T-Bone Burnett co-wrote “Bed of Coals” and Jorge Calderon, another longtime associate of the artist, co-wrote “Jungle Work.” A cover of Allen Toussaint’s “A Certain Girl” rounds out this exciting LP which has been far too long out-of-print.
Two more confirmed classics are en route, this time from the RCA library. Jefferson Starship’s Freedom at Point Zero and Winds of Change will be brought together in a two-CD digipak, following Friday’s 2009 Modern Times/Nuclear Furniture pairing, and No Protection/Love Among the Cannibals for the band’s 1980s iteration as simply Starship. 1979’s Freedom at Point Zero was the first Jefferson Starship album to feature the vocals of Mickey Thomas, later to lead Starship. Its single “Jane” made a solid Top 15 showing on the Billboard chart. 1982’s Winds of Change marked the return of Grace Slick to the fold (she is absent on Freedom) and she, of course, would later join Thomas in Starship. Aynsley Dunbar, perhaps best known for his work with Frank Zappa, contributed drums to the album which spawned a couple of minor charting singles in “Be My Lady” and the title song “Winds of Change.” One bonus track has been added to this package, the mono single 45 RPM edit of “Jane.”
There’s much more after the jump, friends!
Like all of the artists mentioned above, Jeff Beck has been a familiar name at Friday Music. His 2003 gig at New York City’s B.B. King Blues Club and Grill reunited the Guitar Shop power trio of Jeff Beck (guitars), Terry Bozzio (drums) and Tony Hymas (keys), and although the recording was released overseas, it hasn’t been granted a North American issue until now. Live at B.B. King Blues Club: The Collectors Edition offers such classics as “Angel,” “People Get Ready,” “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” in a super-charged yet intimate setting.
Finally, Friday has hinted at the appearance of two more rare albums from familiar artists. Todd Rundgren, recently the recipient of a major catalogue campaign in the U.K. from Edsel Records, may just reappear on the Friday label with his controversial 1985 effort A Cappella. Each and every sound on the LP came from the singer’s own voice, and he utilized a number of innovative techniques to make this memorably offbeat album possible. Rundgren’s original label, Bearsville, shelved the album when he first turned it in, but Warner Bros. Records soon saw that it wasn’t relegated to the vaults forever. Also from the Warner archives might be a reissue series for the one and only Divine Miss M, Bette Midler. Friday has posted the cover of Midler’s 1976 Songs for the New Depression with the caption, “It would be nice to see some Bette Midler classics get out there again on compact disc……hmmmmmmm.” No hesitancy here; a Midler reissue program would be more than welcome, and there are few better ways to start than with this LP, highlighted by Midler’s duet with Bob Dylan on Dylan’s “Buckets of Rain.”
Jefferson Starship’s Freedom at Point Zero/Winds of Change is on the schedule for October 18, along with Jeff Beck’s Live at BB King Blues Club. Yes’ 9012LIVE – The Solos is currently scheduled for release on October 24. Warren Zevon’s Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School and Yes’ Yesshows should arrive on November 22. No dates have yet been announced for The Monkees’ Pool It!, Todd Rundgren’s A Cappella or Bette Midler’s Songs for the New Depression. Davy Jones’ David Jones on Colpix is in stores today; no word yet on a possible date for his 1971 Bell album.
Stay tuned for more news from Friday as it comes!