Archive for the ‘Compilations’ Category
Patty Duke, Don’t Just Stand There/Patty / Sings Songs from Valley of the Dolls/Sings Folk Songs (Time to Move On) (Real Gone Music)
All four of Patty’s United Artists albums released on a pair of two-fers, including 1968′s unreleased Sings Folk Songs.
A bunch of Supremes classics – six albums from 1966′s The Supremes A Go-Go to 1969′s Cream of the Crop, their last with Diana Ross – all get the mini-LP treatment from Culture Factory.
Culture Factory also brings Miss Ross’ long out-of-print concert disc back to CD, along with a new, mini-LP edition of the Ashford and Simpson-helmed favorite The Boss.
Julia Fordham, Porcelain / Swept: Deluxe Editions (Cherry Pop)
The second and third LPs by U.K. singer Julia Fordham are expanded and remastered for the first time.
The soundtrack to the anticipated new documentary about the best backup singers you might not have known, from Darlene Love to Merry Clayton. (Legacy’s releasing Clayton’s first-ever best-of compilation next month.) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Various Artists, Woody Guthrie at 100! Live at the Kennedy Center (Legacy)
Not sure if this concert kills fascists, but this CD/DVD tribute to a folk legend, featuring John Mellencamp, Lucinda Williams, Rosanne Cash and more is a fitting way to honor one of the century’s best songwriters. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Rumer’s 2010 single “Some Lovers,” from Bacharach and Steven Sater’s musical of the same name, is the most recent track on Universal U.K.’s new box set Anyone Who Had a Heart: The Art of the Songwriter. Yet 2010 melts into 1965 like a ray of sunshine on the “cloudy Christmas morning” in the song lyric. Sleigh bells gently underscore wistful flugelhorns as it begins, with Rumer’s dreamy, comforting vocals gracefully gliding over the bittersweet melody. “Everything we touch is still a dream,” she sings, and for three minutes or so, it is. Even shorn of its lyrics, “Some Lovers” would radiate the warm glow of nostalgia without ever seeming dated. And it’s just one of 137 tracks found on the box’s six CDs, all standing as a testament to the songwriter’s signature style, remarkable consistency, and uncanny ability to render emotions through his musical notes. The music of Burt Bacharach is sophisticated in its composition but simplicity itself in its piercing directness. So why is this handsomely-designed, large box less than the sum of its (formidable) parts?
Anyone Who Had a Heart has been released to coincide with Bacharach’s memoir of the same name, and is also available in two 2-CD configurations, one each for the United States and the United Kingdom. The 6-CD version follows in some rather large footsteps: that of Rhino’s 1998 box set The Look of Love: The Burt Bacharach Collection. As expertly curated by Patrick Milligan and Alec Cumming, that sublime 3-CD box was the first to trace the arc of Bacharach’s career in context, and it played a mighty role in his career renaissance. Yet over the ensuing fifteen years, Bacharach has continued to write with a frequency that would impress his much younger colleagues, so the time was certainly right for an updated package. (The Look of Love concluded with Bacharach and Elvis Costello’s 1996 recording of “God Give Me Strength.”) The ambitious Anyone Who Had a Heart is the first box since The Look of Love to take on the entirety of Bacharach’s career, though Hip-o Select’s 2004 Something Big: The Complete A&M Years collected all of his solo work for Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss’ label with a handful of rarities included for good measure. But the new box is best enjoyed as a complement to The Look of Love, not an update or expansion.
The first four discs of this box are dedicated to a chronological account of Bacharach’s work, from 1955’s “(These) Desperate Hours” to 2010’s “Some Lovers.” The fifth disc is essentially a single-disc distillation of the Hip-o box set, dedicated solely to Bacharach’s own, primarily instrumental recordings of his songbook. The sixth disc shows the breadth of his influence as it presents an entire collection of jazz interpretations (both vocal and instrumental). The fifth and sixth discs present an expanded view of his career not found on The Look of Love. The first four discs cover the same territory as the Rhino box, but best it with 95 tracks vs. 75. However, the approach by producers Kit Buckler, Paul Conroy and Richard Havers is a more idiosyncratic, less focused one. Whereas The Look of Love concentrated on original versions of songs – most of which Bacharach produced and/or arranged – Anyone Who Had a Heart casts a wider net to give great attention to cover versions. This approach does allow for stylistic variety but leaves the listener with a less definitive account of “the essentials.” The new box is successful in fleshing out the periods that bookend Bacharach’s career, addressing his earliest and most recent songs with more depth than the 3-CD format of The Look of Love allowed.
Hit the jump as we explore the Art of Bacharach! Read the rest of this entry »
With CHIC co-founder/co-producer/guitarist Nile Rodgers back in the musical spotlight where he belongs – his distinctive funk guitar anchors Daft Punk’s chart-topping single “Get Lucky,” the arguable song of the summer – Rhino’s U.K. arm has done well to introduce another CHIC-oriented compilation to stores.
Up All Night: The Greatest Hits (cheekily named after a lyric in “Get Lucky”) is more than just a set of tracks by the immortal disco band. Sixteen of the album’s 25 tracks are classics produced by Rodgers and late bassist Bernard Edwards on behalf of The CHIC Organization. These include mega hits by Sister Sledge (“We Are Family,” “He’s the Greatest Dancer”) and Diana Ross (“Upside Down,” “I’m Coming Out”) and awesome deep cuts by Norma Jean (“Saturday”), Debbie Harry (“Backfired”) and Carly Simon (“Why”). The title track to the legendary I Love My Lady, a shelved 1981 album produced by CHIC for Johnny Mathis, also makes an appearance. (Though I Love My Lady has yet to be released in full, several tracks from the sessions turned up on 2010′s Rodgers-assembled CHIC box set, which only came out in France, because the rest of mainland Europe or the U.S. apparently have gone insane.)
In fact, one can easily view this as a double-disc distillation of that box – although we have a few familiar names to thank for this compilation: the set’s been compiled by Wayne A. Dickson of Big Break Records and mastered by Dickson and BBR engineer Nick Robbins, with Christian John Wikane providing liner notes. “You will note that these are all the versions released on 12″ or LP,” Dickson posted on BBR’s Facebook page, “and that the the pitch/speed of the tracks is that of the original vinyl releases and not the slower versions on most CD releases up ’til now.” (On this point, we have retained the supplied timings in the track list.)
Up All Night: The Greatest Hits gets the party started on July 1. After the jump, pre-order your copy and check out the full track list!
If Everybody Had An Ocean: The Beach Boys’ 6-CD Box Set “Made in California” Premieres 60 Previously Unreleased Tracks
On my way to sunny California, on my way to spend another sunny day…
The sounds of summer will be in perfect harmony on August 27 when Capitol Records releases the
Beach Boys’ long-awaited, retrospective box set Made in California. Word first came last summer of the 50th anniversary box, as the reunited group of Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks were winding down a phenomenally successful world tour. Since then, the Love/Johnston faction of the band has resumed touring, while Wilson, Jardine and Marks have announced a number of live dates to come this summer. A 2-CD chronicle of the 2012 tour has just been released, and last week, Brian Wilson announced his return as a solo artist to Capitol Records for an as-yet-unscheduled album to feature Jardine, Marks, and guests including Jeff Beck.
Though a late 2012 arrival was originally planned, the band intends to prove that good things do come to those who wait with this latest celebratory project. Made in California details the Hawthorne, California band’s history from 1961 to the present day over 6 CDs, with more than 7-1/2 hours of music and 60 previously unreleased tracks (17 of them live). Designed in the style of a high school yearbook, Made in California tells the Beach Boys’ story through all of their hits plus never-before-released songs, alternate takes, demos, rare mixes, and live performances.
Take the plunge and hit the jump for all of the details including the complete track listing! The water’s fine! Read the rest of this entry »
Paul McCartney and Wings, Rockshow (Eagle Rock)
ZZ Top, The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990 (Warner Bros./Rhino)
So not only are you getting all of ZZ Top’s London/Warner-era albums in one convenient box, but you’re getting a fair amount of them in their original mixes for the first time ever on CD. Win? Win. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Various Artists, The Complete Motown Singles Volume 12A: 1972 (Hip-O Select/Motown)
Richard Pryor, No Pryor Restraint: Life in Concert (Shout! Factory)
Burt Bacharach, Anyone Who Had a Heart: The Art of the Songwriter (U.K.-only box set) (UMe)
From the U.K. comes a new six-disc anthology of Bacharach’s best works as a writer or performer – easily more comprehensive than the double-disc set U.S. audiences got recently. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Icehouse, The 12 Inches Volume 1 (Repertoire)
One dictionary defines a “minaret” as “a lofty, often slender tower or turret attached to a mosque…from which the muezzin calls the people to prayer.” So it’s appropriate that the Minaret Records label was a beacon itself, inspiring soulful fervor in those who made the pilgrimage to its platters. Founded in Nashville in the early 1960s, it was purchased in 1966 by Finley Duncan. Three years later, the producer-entrepreneur founded the Playground Recording Studio in Valparaiso, Florida, where he helmed a number of sizzling R&B singles. These 45s might have missed the charts, but they have tantalized R&B collectors ever since. The musical archivists at Omnivore Recordings are coming to the rescue, though, with the 2-CD, 40-track collection The South Side of Soul Street: The Minaret Soul Singles 1967-1976. The set is due to be released on August 13, 2013.
With Valparaiso not far from the Alabama state line, Duncan and Shelby Singleton – Sun Records owner and Minaret distributor via his SSS International label – established Playground as a southern soul incubator to rival the likes of Muscle Shoals, Fame and Stax. The South Side of Soul Street brings together 20 of the label’s original R&B sides – 40 songs total – released between 1967 and 1976. Even if you managed to collect each (pricey!) single, you still wouldn’t have everything in this package, as Omnivore has added a full-color booklet with new liner notes by Bill Dahl detailing the history of the label and studio, as well as the stories of the artists represented on the singles.
What will you find on Omnivore’s new anthology? Hit the jump for details plus a full track listing with discography and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »
What goes up must come down. So sang David Clayton-Thomas in the opening line of his Grammy-winning song “Spinning Wheel,” which became a No. 2 Pop/No. 1 AC in 1969 for Blood, Sweat & Tears. And so went the fortunes of the jazz-rock band itself. The band’s signature rock-with-horns style was soon eclipsed by that of Chicago (Transit Authority), who shared a producer in James William Guercio. But when BS&T was hot, few bands were hotter. Wounded Bird Records is revisiting the group’s peak era with the July 2 release of Rare, Rarer & Rarest, which lives up to its name by bringing mono single mixes, previously unreleased outtakes, and much of the soundtrack to 1970’s The Owl and the Pussycat to CD for the first time.
Despite 1968’s strong debut Child is Father of the Man, with Al Kooper as chief songwriter, Blood, Sweat & Tears quickly parted ways with founding members Kooper, Randy Brecker and Jerry Weiss. Just months later, the group re-emerged with a new, self-titled album, adding Lew Soloff, Jerry Hyman, Chuck Winfield and Canadian lead vocalist David Clayton-Thomas to the mix. (Bobby Colomby, Steve Katz, Jim Fielder, Dick Halligan and Fred Lipsius all remained in the band.) Blood, Sweat & Tears, produced by James William Guercio (The Buckinghams, Chicago), rocketed the band to superstardom with the hit singles “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” “Spinning Wheel,” and “And When I Die.” And Clayton-Thomas quickly established himself as a contender for the title of best blue-eyed soul vocalist out there. Blood, Sweat & Tears was a platinum-selling, Grammy-winning Album of the Year. But inner turmoil still plagued the band. 1970’s follow-up Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 also reached No. 1, but following 1971’s fourth album, Clayton-Thomas, Halligan and Lipsius all departed for greener pastures. Clayton-Thomas was back in the fold by 1975, but the time for Blood, Sweat & Tears had passed. The band continued to record, with diminishing returns, despite the presence of well-known producers including Steve Tyrell, Bob James, Henry Cosby and Jimmy Ienner. BS&T’s final studio album was released in 1980. Clayton-Thomas toured under the band’s name until 2004, and today, a Bobby Colomby-directed unit tours under the name through the present day.
What will you find on Rare, Rarer & Rarest? Hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »
Don’t Walk On By: Dionne Warwick’s “Unissued Warner Bros. Masters” Joins “The Complete Warner Bros. Singles” On CD
When Dionne Warwick signed on the dotted line with Warner Bros. Records, the possibilities must have seemed endless. The singer had embraced change, after all. A new decade was in its infancy. She had traded a feisty New York independent (Scepter) for a Burbank giant. She had even added an “e” to her surname on the advice of an astrologer. And although the exact amount wasn’t disclosed, Warwick had reportedly signed the biggest deal ever for a female vocalist. What didn’t change, at least initially, was the commitment of producers/songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David to the superstar. Warwick was signed to Warner Bros. through their production company, and every indication was that the trio’s chart presence - well-established since 1963 – would continue. Of course, things don’t always go as planned. Following the professional breakup of Bacharach and David, the singer’s 1972-1978 Warner Bros. tenure ultimately became a footnote in a career of one triumph after another, first at Scepter Records and later in a remarkable “comeback” at Arista (1979-1995). Thanks to the protean efforts of Real Gone Music, however, Dionne Warwick’s Warner tenure will be forgotten no more. On July 30, the label will issue two essential volumes: The Complete Warner Bros. Singles, and even more excitingly, We Need to Go Back: The Unissued Warner Bros. Masters. The latter will feature 19 never-before-released songs including productions by Burt Bacharach, Thom Bell, Holland-Dozier-Holland, and Nickolas Ashford and Valarie Simpson.
Sessions began in New York City in 1971 for the debut album simply entitled Dionne. Little did Warwick, Bacharach, David, and the Warner Bros. brass know it would be the trio’s final full length collaboration. The album was released in January 1972 to a respectable showing (No. 54 Pop, No. 22 R&B), but the Bacharach/David partnership was soon torn asunder by professional and personal differences. Lawsuits ensued, and Warwick was forced to soldier on with a variety of writers and producers. Of course, she had the creme of the crop at the ready, including Holland-Dozier-Holland, Jerry Ragovoy, Michael Omartian, and most notably, Thom Bell. Philadelphia soul architect Bell fared best. He provided her with “Then Came You,” and that 1974 duet with The Spinners earned Dionne, unbelievably, her very first U.S. Pop No. 1. But that wasn’t even a Warner Bros. single, having been issued on sister label Atlantic, home of The Spinners.
So what will you find over the course of 21 tracks on The Complete Warner Bros. Singles? Only one single was issued from the Bacharach/David-produced Dionne. Oddly, the A-side wasn’t one of the team’s new compositions, but rather a Don Sebesky-arranged rendition of the Jacques Brel tune “If We Only Have Love,” with a revival of “Close to You” arranged by Bob James on the B-side. Another album didn’t arrive on Warner Bros. until 1973. It was Just Being Myself, produced and mostly written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland. Warwick was never comfortable with the song selection, nor with the process of singing over pre-recorded tracks reportedly intended for artists on H-D-H’s Invictus label. But the Detroit-recorded album has its fair share of soulful highlights, and four tracks from the LP saw single release including the title track and “Don’t Let My Teardrops Bother You.” Jerry Ragovoy was in charge of Then Came You, so titled for the Thom Bell-produced hit single that was appended to the otherwise-unrelated LP. “Then Came You” itself isn’t on Real Gone’s anthology, but two singles (four sides) from the March 1975 release, naturally, are – including No. 30 R&B hit “Take It From Me” and the No. 66 “Sure Thing.”
Then came Thom Bell, who was given the plum assignment of producing an entire album for Warwick. Seeing as Bell was a spiritual successor to Bacharach, he was a perfect choice. December 1975’s Track of the Cat deserved a better fate than its No. 137 Pop/No. 15 chart berth, as you’ll hear via its two singles (four sides) here: “His House and Me” b/w “Ronnie Lee,” and “Once You Hit the Road” b/w “World of My Dreams.” A non-LP single followed Track of the Cat with some of Warwick’s most impassioned singing: 1976’s Joe Porter-helmed “I Didn’t Mean to Love You” b/w “He’s Not for You.” These are just two of the rare treats on The Complete Singles. The collection concludes with five sides from Love at First Sight, Warwick’s final Warner Bros. album, from 1977. (The Steve Barri/Michael Omartian-produced LP included a reunion with Hal David on the sublime “Early Morning Strangers,” which boasted a melody by someone who would play a key role in the next chapter of Dionne’s career – Barry Manilow. It, alas, wasn’t selected as a single!) Warwick wouldn’t re-emerge with another studio album until Clive Davis paired her with Manilow for 1979’s platinum-selling Dionne. The rest, they say, is history. All tracks on The Complete Warner Bros. Singles are heard in their original single stereo mixes. (And for those interested in the entire albums, the entire Warner album catalogue will soon be reissued on CD by Warner Music Japan. You’ll find all of the details here!)
What will you discover on We Need to Go Back: The Unissued Warner Bros. Masters? Hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »
Steve Earle once famously wrote, “Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world,” adding for good measure, “and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that.” Earle later backtracked on his statement, answering in the negative whether he really believed Van Zandt was Dylan’s superior. Van Zandt was also embarrassed by the fulsome praise (“I’ve met Bob Dylan’s bodyguards and if Steve thinks he can stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table, he’s sadly mistaken!”) but for Dylan’s own part, the legendary singer-songwriter reportedly was a big fan of the late Texas troubadour. Yet despite having his fans number the likes of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Dylan and Earle, Van Zandt died as he lived: a cult figure. His relatively small catalogue of songs enabled him to make a living in the business of song, but his own recordings never achieved mainstream success. A fiercely self-destructive streak ultimately led to his death in 1997, 44 years from the day on which his early inspiration Hank Williams passed.
Earlier this year, Omnivore Recordings pulled back the curtain on Townes Van Zandt’s enduring mystique with the release of Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions and Demos 1971-1972 (OVCD-15, 2013), a double-disc compendium of 28 previously unissued tracks from a true “songwriters’ songwriter” who blurred the lines of folk, country and rock. Sunshine Boy drew from the era that yielded the albums Townes Van Zandt (1970), Delta Momma Blues (1971), High, Low and In Between (1971) and The Late, Great Townes Van Zandt (1972). Omnivore has recently detailed more of the Van Zandt story with reissues of the latter two LPs in remastered CD and vinyl editions, and these have been produced with the same care as the Sunshine Boy collection.
After the jump, we’ll revisit Sunshine Boy (just in case you missed our review the first time!) and explore High, Low and In Between and The Late, Great Townes Van Zandt! Read the rest of this entry »
New Wave hitmaker Howard Jones did a fantastic job remastering his catalogue through his own Dtox label with the help of Rhino U.K., releasing three great waves of remastered albums from his years on WEA/Elektra over the past three years. Now, he’s got one more package up his sleeve: a new anthology of music videos.
The Video Collection will nicely collate not only all of Jones’ videos from his MTV years (with all the audio newly remastered), but four recent videos, taken mostly from the albums People (1998) and Ordinary Heroes (2009). (“Building Our Own Future,” the last video on the standard program, was a non-album song from 2006.) Three bonus videos will be included as well: the “London version” of U.K. Top 5 hit “Like to Get to Know You Well,” an alternate version of “Everlasting Love” (one version swapped out vintage romantic film clips for the humorous side narrative of two mummies on a date) and a version of “Tears to Tell” tinted in blue.
Jones is on tour in America this summer as part of the “ReGeneration” ’80s-themed package alongside Andy Bell of Erasure, A Flock of Seagulls and others. At the end of the year, he will perform two special U.K. shows in honor of the 30th anniversary of his debut single “New Song,” featuring hits and a new multimedia composition as part of the set.
Order your copy from the Dtox web store (the disc is not only hand-numbered but region-free, meaning anyone can enjoy it on any DVD player!) and check out the track list below.
The Video Collection (Dtox, 2013)
- New Song
- What is Love
- Hide & Seek
- Pearl in the Shell
- Like to Get to Know You Well
- Things Can Only Get Better
- Look Mama
- Life in One Day
- No One is to Blame
- All I Want
- You Know I Love You…Don’t You?
- Everlasting Love
- The Prisoner
- Lift Me Up
- Tears to Tell
- Tomorrow is Now
- Let The People Have Their Say
- Soon You’ll Go
- Building Our Own Future
- Like to Get to Know You Well (London Version) (bonus video)
- Everlasting Love (Alternative Version) (bonus video)
- Tears to Tell (Blue Tint Version) (bonus video)
Tracks 1-4 from Human’s Lib (WEA/Elektra, 1983)
Tracks 5 and 21 from The 12″ Album (WEA/Elektra, 1984)
Track 6-8 from Dream Into Action (WEA/Elektra, 1985)
Track 9 from Action Replay (Elektra, 1986)
Tracks 10-11 from One to One (WEA/Elektra, 1986)
Tracks 12-13 and 22 from Cross That Line (WEA/Elektra, 1989)
Tracks 14-15 and 23 from In the Running (WEA/Elektra, 1992)
Track 16 from The Best of Howard Jones (WEA/Elektra, 1993)
Tracks 17-18 from People (Dtox, 1998)
Track 19 from Ordinary Heroes (Dtox, 2009)
Track 20 from non-LP single (Dtox, 2006)