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Texas Flood: Legacy Collects Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble Albums

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Stevie Ray Vaughan - Complete

The late guitar hero Stevie Ray Vaughan is getting an epic release from Epic Records and Legacy Recordings. On October 28, Legacy will unveil Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection, a 12-CD box set compiling, for the first time, the entirety of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s official studio and live album canon at Epic. The box set will include the first commercial release of A Legend in the Making, a promotional recording of the band’s landmark 1983 performance at Toronto’s El Mocambo club, and will also feature two discs of SRV’s odds and ends.

The late Vaughan, who tragically perished in a helicopter crash on August 27, 1990, built his reputation on the Texas club scene in the 1970s as one of the most exciting and innovative guitarists around.   Younger brother of another blues great, Jimmie Vaughan, Stevie Ray played in The Nightcrawlers with Leon Russell’s onetime Asylum Choir partner Marc Benno and famed Austin singer/songwriter Doyle Bramhall, and joined Denny Freeman in The Cobras. But it was the Triple Threat Revue that morphed into Double Trouble, the unit with which Vaughan would set off a blues revival in, of all decades, the 1980s.

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble – Stevie Ray (guitar, vocals), Tommy Shannon (bass) and Chris “Whipper” Layton (drums) – caught the ear of David Bowie at the 1982 Montreux Jazz Festival, and the ever-astute artist enlisted the blazing guitarist for his Let’s Dance album. Naturally, word spread. Jackson Browne was impressed enough to offer the band use of his Los Angeles recording studio, leading to the recordings which found their way to a man who knew a little about the blues: venerable record man John Hammond, Sr. The elder Hammond played a major role in the careers of artists from Benny Goodman and Count Basie to Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan, and he brought the Texas trio to Epic Records. The recordings were remixed and remastered, and Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble were off and running.

Executive produced by Hammond, the Texas Flood LP was produced by the band with engineer Richard Mullen. With both originals (hit single “Pride and Joy,” “Love Struck Baby”) and covers (The Isley Brothers’ “Testify,” Howlin’ Wolf’s “Tell Me”), Texas Flood caught on with record buyers. “Pride and Joy” reached No. 20 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and the album made it all the way to No. 38 on the Billboard 200. Grammy nominations soon arrived, too, for the album’s title track and “Rude Mood.” Yet Texas Flood – beginning Vaughan’s series of gold, platinum and multiplatinum releases over the years – is actually the fourth album on this new box set, preceded by three live recordings.

Within the box, you’ll find:

  • Disc 1: In The Beginning (KLBJ-FM radio broadcast produced by Wayne Bell, recorded April 1, 1980; Austin, Texas)
  • Disc 2: Live At Montreux 1982 (July 17, 1982; Montreux International Jazz Festival)
  • Disc 3: Live At Montreux 1985 (July 15, 1985; Montreux International Jazz Festival)
  • Disc 4: Texas Flood (1983)
  • Disc 5: A Legend in the Making—Live at the El Mocambo (recorded Toronto, Canada, July 20, 1983)
  • Disc 6: Couldn’t Stand the Weather (1984)
  • Disc 7: Live at Carnegie Hall (October 4, 1984)
  • Disc 8: Soul to Soul (1985)
  • Disc 9: Live Alive (1986) (Recorded July 16, 1985, Montreux International Jazz Festival; July 17-18, 1986, Austin, Texas; July 19, 1986, Dallas, Texas)
  • Disc 10: In Step (1989)
  • Disc 11: Archives, Disc One
  • Disc 12: Archives, Disc Two

Collectors will note that Texas Flood and Couldn’t Stand the Weather have both been expanded for Legacy Edition releases; only the original album sequences are presented in this box set.  However, the bonus tracks from Disc One of the CSTW Legacy Edition can be found on Archives.  Family Style by the Vaughan Brothers isn’t here, but the contents of the posthumous outtakes collection The Sky is Crying have also found a home on Archives.

After the jump, we have more details – including pre-order links and the complete track listing with discography! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 29, 2014 at 13:17

Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.: Esoteric Reissues David Sancious’ First Two Albums

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David Sancious - ForestWhen the members of Bruce Springsteen’s mighty E Street Band took the stage at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center earlier this year to accept their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, keyboardist David Sancious took his rightful place among them.  Asbury Park, New Jersey native Sancious, the only band member who actually lived on E Street, helped shape the band’s sound on Springsteen’s first three albums before decamping to begin his own musical journey.  Sancious’ first two albums – 1975’s Forest of Feelings and 1976’s Transformation (The Speed of Love), the latter with his band Tone, have both been recently revisited by Cherry Red’s Esoteric Recordings label.

Tom Werman of Epic Records wrote in the original liner notes for Forest of Feelings, “The music on this album (David’s first) is the result of fifteen years of playing keyboard instruments.  At age 15 he also took up the guitar and percussion…David, who is now 21, has given us an extraordinary album.  We at Epic wish him a 400-year lifetime.”  Indeed, music was part of Sancious’ life from an early age, beginning with classical piano.  In the fertile music scene of Asbury Park in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Sancious met Springsteen, his E Street Band comrades, and the likes of Southside Johnny Lyon and Bill Chinnock.  Sancious played with the future Boss in bands like Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom – also featuring Steven Van Zandt, Garry Tallent, Southside Johnny and Vini Lopez – and the original Bruce Springsteen Band, also with Van Zandt, Tallent and Lopez.  On Springsteen’s debut album, 1973’s Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., Sancious, Lopez and Tallent all appeared (along with a certain Big Man, Mr. Clarence Clemons).

Piano/organ/keyboard prodigy Sancious played a major role on Greetings, as well as The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, for which he not only handled keyboards and the pivotal organ solo in “Kitty’s Back,” but also the string chart and piano introduction for “New York City Serenade” and even the soprano saxophone part on “The E Street Shuffle.”  (He wasn’t involved in initial sessions for the album, but officially enlisted on June 28, 1973 in the group that would become known as The E Street Band, joining Tallent, Lopez, Clemons and Danny Federici.)  When drummer Vini Lopez left the band’s ranks in early 1974, Sancious recommended his friend Ernest “Boom” Carter as a replacement.  Though Sancious and Carter would both leave themselves in August of that year, they didn’t take off before performing on “Born to Run,” the single that would catapult Bruce Springsteen’s career to the next level.  It was the only track on the album on which they played.

Join us for a look at both of these recently-reissued albums after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 29, 2014 at 10:11

Ace Soul Round-Up, Part One: Label Unveils Lost Treasures From Sounds of Memphis, Mary Love

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More Lost Soul GemsWhen it comes to vintage soul, no stone is left unturned by the team at Ace and Kent Records.  A number of recent releases hit points from Miami to Memphis, and just about everywhere in between.  In today’s Part One of our Ace Soul Round-Up, we’ll look at releases from the Sounds of Memphis label and vocalist Mary Love!

Memphis is a long way from Hollywood, but the famous MGM lion adorned the releases of the Sounds of Memphis label, subject of Kent’s new More Lost Soul Gems from Sounds of Memphis.  The SOM story began in the early 1960s with entrepreneur Gene Lucchesi, whose family of independent labels struck gold in 1965 with a little song called “Wooly Bully.”  The Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs track caught the attention of the Hollywood giant, who picked the record up and guided it straight to the top of the charts.  Within the next couple of years, the massive success of the danceable garage-rocker had paid for Lucchesi’s Sounds of Memphis studio.  Top quality soul sounds were de rigeur for the studio; its house band was even lured away by Atlantic’s Jerry Wexler to become The Dixie Flyers.  Lucchesi’s studio right-hand man Stan Kesler used SOM as a home base for outside productions, and Lucchesi brought Dan Greer on board as the in-house producer and A&R man.    When Lucchesi and MGM entered into a deal in the early 1970s to team up, the Sounds of Memphis label took flight with releases from The Minits, Barbara Brown, the Ovations, Spencer Wiggins, and others.  When SOM and MGM went their separate ways, the label continued to issue smoldering southern soul from George Jackson, Billy Cee and The Ovations.

More Lost Soul Gems continues Kent’s definitive series reissuing (and in many cases, issuing for the first time) music from Lucchesi’s labels including XL and Sounds of Memphis.  Of its 22 tracks, all but four are previously unissued.  Those four tracks, of course, are genuine rarities: both sides of Carroll Lloyd’s Memphis-recorded single released on Capitol’s Tower subsidiary including a bluesy cover of Johnny Rivers’ chart-topping “Poor Side of Town”; Tommy Raye (later Tommy Tucker)’ s “You Don’t Love Me” as released on XL 101 in 1964; and Willie Cobbs’ 1973 “Hey Little Girl” from the Bracob label. The unreleased material – all recorded in the 1960s and 1970s – includes tracks from George Jackson and the group he produced, The Jacksonians (named for their hometown, not for George, on the Marvin and Tammi classic “If I Could Build My World Around You”), as well as Dan Greer, Stax and Hi veteran keyboardist Art Jerry Miller, and Barbara and the Browns (like George Jackson, subject of their own SOM anthology).  Billy Cee and the Freedom Express’ “Don’t Matter if It’s in the Past” is an Al Green-esque find.  The Donald O’Connor here is, of course, not the MGM star of days gone by, but a soulful singer with “You Don’t Understand Me.”  Dean Rudland has compiled and annotated this collection of deep soul treasures, which has been remastered by Duncan Cowell and includes a 12-page booklet.

After the jump: the scoop on Mary Love, plus track listings and order links for both titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 28, 2014 at 10:21

Look Through Any Window: The Hollies Mark “50 At Fifty” For Golden Anniversary

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Hollies - 50 at FiftyThe rich harmonies of 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Hollies will be celebrated by the Parlophone label on September 22 in the U.K. and October 21 in the U.S. with the release of 50 at Fifty, a new 3-CD career-spanning anthology of 50 songs originally released between 1963 and the present day (including one previously unissued recording).

The new anthology, officially announced on The Hollies’ website, includes material from the band’s various lineups as originally released on the Parlophone, Polydor, EMI, WEA and Columbia labels. The first disc handily chronicles the band’s classic line-up of Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, Bobby Elliott and Tony Hicks with bassists Eric Haydock and Bernie Calvert, with the remaining two CDs spotlighting the important contributions of future Hollies like Terry Sylvester and Mikael Rickfors. The collection kicks off with every one of the group’s U.K. A-sides between 1963’s debut single “(Ain’t That) Just Like Me” and 1974’s “The Air That I Breathe” save one: 1966’s quirky Burt Bacharach/Hal David film theme “After the Fox,” a duet with Peter Sellers released on the United Artists label. The first six A-sides are presented in mono; every other track on this set is in stereo.

“The Air That I Breathe” was the band’s final U.K. Top 10 hit until 1988, when the reissued “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” reached the chart’s zenith. So from that point on, 50 at 50 offers a selection of key A-sides, flips, live versions and album tracks including a 1976 live performance of “Too Young to Be Married,” Tony Hicks’ hit which wasn’t even released as a single in the U.K.; the reunion single “Stop! In the Name of Love” with Graham Nash and its comparatively rare New Zealand B-side “Let Her Go Down”; tracks from two recent albums featuring current (since 2004) lead vocalist Peter Howarth; and one brand new song, “Skylarks.”

After the jump, we have more details including the complete track listing with discographical annotation and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 27, 2014 at 13:58

UPDATE 8/27: Listen To What The Man Said: Paul McCartney Announces “Venus and Mars,” “Wings at the Speed of Sound” Archive Sets

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Venus and Mars Box Set

UPDATE 8/27/14: We can now confirm that “due to production issues, the release of the latest albums in the Grammy Award-winning Paul McCartney Archive Collection will be delayed. The classic Wings albums Venus and Mars and At The Speed of Sound will now be released on November 3 in the U.K. and November 4 in the U.S. and not the previously announced September dates.”  Links provided below are still active for the new release dates.

7/28/14: BREAKING NEWS!

Eagle-eyed readers might have noticed links that appeared on Amazon this morning for the rumored upcoming Paul McCartney Archive Collection editions of d Wings’ 1975 and 1976 albums Venus and Mars and At the Speed of Sound, respectively.  Well, the rumor is now a fact, as Concord Music Group’s Hear Music label and McCartney’s MPL have confirmed the September 23 November 4 arrival in the U.S. of both titles.

True to form, both albums will be available in a plethora of formats including 2-disc standard editions, 3-disc (2-CD/1-DVD) hardbound book editions, gatefold vinyl and digital, each with a disc of rare and previously unreleased bonus material.

Venus and Mars, released in May 1975, had the unenviable task of following the phenomenally successful Band on the Run.  Though Band had been recorded by the slim, three-person line-up of Paul and Linda McCartney and Denny Laine, Macca made the decision to bolster the group with the addition of Jimmy McCulloch on guitar and Geoff Britton on drums.  Before settling on Allen Toussaint’s Sea-Saint Studios as the recording venue of choice, Wings entered Abbey Road where early versions of three songs were cut for the new album.  After just six months in Wings, however, Britton departed the band, and American drummer Joe English completed the sessions for Venus and Mars.  Toussaint, Dave Mason and Tom Scott all guest-starred on the album which delivered on its promise of a true “Rock Show.”  If McCartney, indeed, had worried about building on the success of Band on the Run, he needn’t have.  Venus and Mars spawned a No. 1 single – the rollicking “Listen to What the Man Said” – and went to the top spot on both the U.S. and U.K. album charts. It also provided a platform for Wings to launch the Wings Over the World tour – which, of course, included the Wings Over America leg and album.

Between the Australian and European legs of Wings Over the World, McCartney and Wings entered Abbey Road to record the album that would become Wings at the Speed of Sound.  It was Macca’s first album wholly recorded in the U.K. since 1973’s Red Rose Speedway (still awaiting a deluxe Archive Collection reissue) and featured a number of lead vocals from singers other than Paul – Denny on “The Note You Never Wrote” and “Time to Hide,” Jimmy on “Wino Junko,” Linda on “Cook of the House,” and Joe on “Must Do Something About It.”  Of course, it was two songs sung by Paul that catapulted the album to another smash success: the endearing, childlike “Let ‘Em In” (No. 2 U.K./No. 3 U.S./No. 1 U.S. Easy Listening) and the unapologetically buoyant “Silly Love Songs” (No. 1 U.S./No. 1 U.S. Easy Listening).  The latter was a record-breaking 27th No. 1 for Paul the songwriter.  Released in March 1976, Speed of Sound went to No. 2 in the U.K. and the top spot in the U.S. for seven non-consecutive, becoming McCartney’s most successful album ever in America and setting the stage for the Wings Over America tour to take flight that May.

After the jump, we have more details courtesy the complete press release, plus pre-order links, the full track listings, and more! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 27, 2014 at 12:15

Don’t Stop The Music: A Big Break Bounty, Part Two

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EWF - SpiritWelcome to the second part of our series exploring the bounty of summer offerings from Cherry Red’s Big Break Records label!

Big Break has a pair of releases from 1976 including an expanded edition of Earth, Wind and Fire’s Spirit. The 1976 LP was a major turning point for the band – with leader Maurice White assuming the producer’s chair following the death of Charles Stepney during its sessions – as well as one of its most successful records, peaking at No. 2 Pop and R&B on the Billboard charts and eventually going Double Platinum.  Spirit followed the back-to-back smashes Gratitude and That’s the Way of the World, both of which went to No. 1 Pop and R&B and established EWF’s brassy soul-funk supremacy.  Yet Spirit’s success is even remarkable considering that the tight (9 tracks in 36 minutes!), soaring and incredibly musical album didn’t produce a hit Pop single on the order of “Shining Star” or “Sing a Song.”

Its title track honored Charles Stepney, whose innovative work with Rotary Connection, Minnie Riperton and EWF (among others) brought a hip and psychedelic, yet musically sophisticated, sensibility to R&B and funk.  Stepney’s completed charts were joined by those of Jerry Peters and Tom Tom 84 for the LP.  The single “Getaway” arrived in advance of the album’s release and rewarded EWF with a No. 12 Pop/No. 1 R&B hit; “Saturday Nite” made a big splash on R&B (No. 2) but stalled just outside of the Pop Top 20.  Spirit today remains one of the most perfect examples of EWF’s art, combining pop, soul, funk and spirituality into a stirring whole.  BBR’s new edition features comprehensive liner notes from Christian John Wikane (drawing on interviews with Maurice White, Larry Dunn and Philip Bailey), remastering from Dickson, and a full complement of nine bonus tracks.  All five bonuses from Columbia/Legacy’s 2001 U.S. reissue have been happily retained, and four more have been newly added: the 12-inch mix and instrumental version of “Getaway,” and the single edits of “Saturday Nite” and “Departure.”  Spirit is housed in a Super Jewel Box.

DM MistyFrom the same year, BBR has a reissue of Misty Blue from southern soul great Dorothy Moore.  The album’s title track took the Mississippi-born vocalist to the No. 2 spot on the Billboard R&B chart and No. 3 on the Pop countdown, crowning a career that had already found her as part of an Epic Records girl group (The Poppies) and singing backgrounds for Jean Knight and King Floyd on “Mr. Big Stuff” and “Groove Me,” respectively.  Those two hits were recorded by Jackson, Mississippi’s own Malaco Productions team, and it was the Malaco label which would release “Misty Blue.”  Moore promoted the smoldering slab of R&B on American Bandstand, Soul Train and The Midnight Special, and three months after the 45’s January 1976 release, Malaco issued the Misty Blue LP.

After the jump: more on Dorothy Moore, plus Phyllis Nelson, Yarbrough and Peoples, and The Waters! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 27, 2014 at 10:27

They Shall Be Released: Bob Dylan and The Band’s “The Basement Tapes, Complete” Arrives In November

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Dylan and The Band - Basement Tapes Complete

Come all without, come all within, you’ll not see nothing like The Basement Tapes, Complete.  On November 4, Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings will grant an official release to perhaps the most coveted collection of songs in Bob Dylan’s storied catalogue.  The eleventh installment of Dylan’s acclaimed Bootleg Series presents, for the very first time, six discs of The Basement Tapes – as recorded in the summer of 1967 by Dylan and the group that would later become The Band, and per the label, including “every salvageable recording from the tapes, including recently discovered early gems recorded in the ‘Red Room’ of Dylan’s home in upstate New York.”  In addition, this set – meticulously restored by The Band’s Garth Hudson and Canadian music archivist Jan Haust – is being presented “as intact as possible.  Also, unlike the official 1975 release, these performances are presented as close as possible to the way they were originally recorded and sounded back in the summer of 1967.  The tracks on The Basement Tapes Complete run in mostly chronological order based on Garth Hudson’s numbering system.”

In addition to the 6-CD, 138-song box set, a 2-CD, 38-song highlights version of The Bootleg Series Volume 11 will be released as The Basement Tapes Raw.  This iteration will also be presented as a 3-LP vinyl set.  All versions are due on November 4.

After the jump: a look further into the world of The Basement Tapes, plus the full track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 26, 2014 at 12:15

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