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Release Round-Up: Week of October 21

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Ghostbusters Stay Puft

Ray Parker Jr. & Run-DMC, Ghostbusters: Stay Puft Edition Super Deluxe Vinyl (Legacy)

The Marshmallow Man is back!  The Stay Puft Super Deluxe Edition Vinyl is a limited edition collectible that every Ghostbusters fan will want to take home!  Co-produced by The Second Disc’s Mike Duquette, this set contains the No. 1 hit single “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr. and the “Ghostbusters” rap by Run-DMC for the film’s hit sequel, with both tracks on a white 12” single in a deluxe, puffy, package that smells like marshmallows!

Suzi

Suzi Quatro, The Girl from Detroit City (Cherry Red) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Cherry Red has a 4-CD, 82-track overview of the glam rock icon (and Happy Days star)’s career, including her early, 60s pop sides, her prime hitmaking period, and even her forays into musical theatre!  Joe will have a full review up soon!

Hollies - 50 at Fifty

The Hollies, 50 at Fifty (Parlophone/Rhino) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This new 3-CD Hollies anthology, marking the harmony purveyors’ 50th year of recording, arrived in the U.K. last month but today gets its American release from Rhino.

Oldfield Box

Mike Oldfield, The Studio Albums 1992-2003 (Rhino) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Rhino boxes up eight Oldfield albums in one CD box set, including three Tubular Bells variations.

Spandau

Spandau Ballet, The Very Best of Spandau Ballet: The Story (Rhino)

The New Romantic hitmakers behind “True” look back on their career with this set, available in 1-CD and 2-CD iterations.

1-CD: Amazon U.S.  / Amazon U.K.

2-CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. 

Ian Hunter - All American

Ian Hunter, All-American Alien Boy (Varese Sarabande) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Varese is restoring the second solo album from Mott the Hoople’s Ian Hunter to print in the U.S. with the six bonus tracks first appended to the 30th anniversary edition.  The 1976 album features personnel including Jaco Pastorius, David Sanborn, Lew Soloff, Auyn and the members of Queen!  Watch this space for an exciting opportunity to WIN a copy of this reissue!

Gavin DeGraw

Gavin DeGraw, Finest Hour: The Best of Gavin DeGraw (RCA) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The singer-songwriter and Dancing with the Stars contestant has an 11-track compilation, featuring producer Max Martin’s previously unreleased version of “In Love with a Girl” and a new version of “Finest Hour.”

Melody Road

Neil Diamond, Melody Road (Capitol) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Neil Diamond returns with his 32nd studio album and first for Capitol, and its 12 songs in the artist’s vintage style add up to a warmly nostalgic trip for longtime fans.  Target has an exclusive edition with two bonus tracks which may be outtakes from his 2010 covers project Dreams: renditions of George Harrison’s “Something” and Harry Nilsson’s”Remember,” and this edition is also available as an import at this link.  Look for my review of Melody Road soon!

EWF - Holiday

Earth, Wind & Fire, Holiday (Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The venerable R&B outfit offers its first-ever holiday album, with favorites like “Winter Wonderland” and “Sleigh Ride” alongside reworked versions of “September” (yup, it’s “December”!) and “Happy Feelin'” – which this joyous celebration just might give you!

Scott Walker - Soused

Scott Walker and Sunn O))), Soused (4AD) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The sixties pop crooner-turned-avant garde hero Scott Walker teams up with California drone metal band Sunn O))) for a 5-track, 50-minute record that pushes the envelope for both artists.  We’re marking this unusual release this week with a look back at the entirety of Walker’s career in a special two-part Back Tracks retrospective beginning tomorrow!

Aretha - Diva

Aretha Franklin, Sings the Great Diva Classics (RCA) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The Queen of Soul reunites with Clive Davis for her latest studio album, a tribute to her fellow divas – then and now – including Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Dinah Washington and Adele!

Billy Idol - Kings and Queens

Billy Idol, Kings and Queens of the Underground (Kobalt) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Billy Idol is back with his rebel yell and sneer intact on his first album since 2005, produced by Trevor Horn and Greg Kurstin!

Annie Lennox - Nostalgia

Annie Lennox, Nostalgia (Blue Note) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Annie Lennox usually hasn’t been one to bask in nostalgia, but here she is, bringing her own spin to such Great American Songbook standards as “Summertime” and “God Bless the Child.” The Amazon U.S.-exclusive edition has a bonus disc featuring a Lennox interview and a live version of blues staple “I Put a Spell on You.”

Darling, It’s Better Down Where It’s Wetter: “The Little Mermaid” Gets Legacy Collection Expansion

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Little Mermaid - Legacy Collection

When God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater opened in May 1979 at New York’s small WPA Theatre on the Bowery, it heralded the birth of a promising new songwriting team: Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. Ten years later, the team would forever alter the course of one of the most venerable institutions in entertainment history: The Walt Disney Company. Their score to The Little Mermaid, which Ashman also produced and contributed to the story of, ushered in a new golden age for a studio which many had written off. On November 24, Walt Disney Records will celebrate Ashman and Menken’s music with the release of a Legacy Collection expanded edition of their score to The Little Mermaid.  It follows previous Legacy Collection releases of The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Sleeping Beauty.

Introduced by Lehman Engel, legendary Broadway musical director and founder of the BMI Workshop for songwriters, Howard Ashman and Alan Menken were off to a promising start when Mr. Rosewater, based on the Kurt Vonnegut novel, opened to stellar reviews and transferred to off-Broadway’s Entermedia Theatre. Three years later, though, the team had their breakthrough. Their Little Shop of Horrors opened at the WPA in the spring of 1982 and was an instant sensation. The musical moved that summer to the East Village’s Orpheum Theatre under the aegis of Cameron Mackintosh and David Geffen, and went on to spawn a major motion picture along with countless revivals on both the professional and amateur levels. (The original production ran over 2,200 performances in New York.) Following Little Shop, Ashman and Menken pursued various projects together and separately, but later in the decade, Ashman found himself working for The Walt Disney Company. The lyricist had teamed with composer Barry Mann to pen a song for 1988’s animated film Oliver and Company, but took a bigger role in the production of the studio’s next planned movie, a musical version of The Little Mermaid. And he called his friend and collaborator Alan Menken to join him as composer.

Ashman and Menken brought their stage experience to The Little Mermaid. Disney chief of music Chris Montan observed in 1994 that “most songwriters don’t have the experience of solving dramatic lines and storytelling. That’s the advantage Howard and Alan brought in.” Little Shop had proved that the team knew the ins and outs of effective musical theatre writing, but as Montan further opined, “they were old enough to have solved those problems for twenty years but young enough to have been brought up with The Beatles.” Musicals have always reflected a melting pot of influences, and true to form, Little Shop brought in a variety of influences from classic Broadway to doo-wop, R&B, and rock-and-roll. The team’s music for The Little Mermaid would find inspiration in calypso, chansons, theatre and vintage Disney. Ashman and Menken had the know-how to bring the best of the musical theatre form into the cinematic landscape, and Disney’s gamble on their talents paid off when Mermaid – the studio’s first feature-length fairy tale since 1959 and Sleeping Beauty – soared at the box office.

During its original 1989 release, Mermaid scored $84,355,863 in North America, and earned three Oscar nominations, the first Disney animated film to be recognized by the Academy since 1977’s The Rescuers. Ashman and Menken took a statuette home for the joyful production number “Under the Sea,” and Menken took a second home that night for the orchestral score, his very first attempt at film scoring. As chronicled in the documentary film Waking Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid brought luster back to The Walt Disney Company, and that was in no small part due to Ashman and Menken.

The team went on to fully complete one more picture, the even more successful Beauty and the Beast, before Ashman’s tragic death at the age of 40 in March 1991 from AIDS. Tim Rice stepped in to complete the lyrics for Aladdin, though not before Ashman had left behind such future classics as the manic showstopper “Friend Like Me.” Howard Ashman’s impact is still felt on Disney films today, including 2013’s Frozen, which also embraced the Broadway aesthetic he and Menken brought to the studio. Ironically, Ashman had written a children’s musical in college based on original Little Mermaid author Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, the same source material as Frozen! Menken, of course, has continued to write on stage and screen over the years, and has amassed eight Academy Awards for his work. He has also carried Ashman’s vision out in stage productions of all three of their animated classics.

After the jump: what will you find on Disney’s new Legacy Collection release of The Little Mermaid? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 13, 2014 at 10:10

Swinging On A Star: November Is Bing Crosby Month With Deluxe CD, DVD, BD Releases Coming

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Bing - Songs I WishIt can be fairly said that any singer today owes a debt to Bing Crosby. The late vocalist was among the first performers to conversationally and intimately sing as an extension of speech; he also pioneered the technique of the microphone so a singer wouldn’t have to belt to the rafters. In his lifetime, Crosby was at the vanguard of recording techniques.  He left behind over 2,000 commercial recordings, and introduced countless standards including the yearly radio perennial “White Christmas,” still the best-selling single of all time. Arguably the most influential of all popular singers, Crosby is being fêted in the coming months with four new compact disc releases – two deluxe reissues of original albums and two new compilations, all with previously unissued material – coming on November 25 from Bing Crosby Enterprises and Universal Music (UMe), plus choice DVD and BD releases, as well.

Bing RediscoveredThe Bing banquet arrives one week before the airing of PBS’ American Masters special Bing Crosby: Rediscovered. The film by director Robert Trachtenberg (American Masters’ Mel Brooks: Make a Noise) is narrated by Stanley Tucci, and features material from the Crosby family archives as well as interviews with the crooner’s wife Kathryn, daughter Mary, and sons Harry and Nathaniel, along with Tony Bennett and Michael Feinstein, record producer Ken Barnes, biographer Gary Giddins and writers Buz Kohan and Larry Grossman. Accordingly, the first release in the Crosby CD series is a soundtrack to accompany Rediscovered. The 22-track soundtrack features duets with Judy Garland (Irving Berlin’s “You’re Just in Love”), Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin (Guys and Dolls’ “The Oldest Established”), Les Paul (“It’s Been a Long, Long Time”), Maurice Chevalier (“I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore/I Wish I Were in Love Again”), Louis Armstrong (Cole Porter’s “Now You Has Jazz”) and Crosby’s Road co-star, Bob Hope (“Put It There, Pal”). It also promises to premiere previously unissued recordings.

Bing Sings BerlinRediscovered is joined by a new anthology, Bing Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook. This compilation follows past releases dedicated to The Great American Songbook as a whole, the songs of Johnny Mercer, and songs associated with Frank Sinatra, and is drawn from familiar classics recorded by Crosby at Decca alongside rare and previously unissued recordings. This album features the first ever CD release of the posthumous 2012 Crosby duet with Michael Bublé on “White Christmas” as well as other duets with Les Paul, Connee Boswell, Eugenie Baird, Dick Powell, Trudy Erwin and Gary Crosby.

Two deluxe, newly-remastered reissues of vintage Decca albums round out the series as part of the Bing Crosby Archive Collection. Some Fine Old Chestnuts was Crosby’s second album for Decca, released in 1954 as a 10-inch LP with eight songs; the label later expanded the title to twelve songs for a 12-inch reissue.   This 60th Anniversary Edition adds eleven previously unreleased songs for a total of 23 tracks; to the original group of chestnuts including “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “After You’ve Gone” and “Somebody Loves Me,” this edition adds never-before-released Crosby versions of “Painting the Clouds with Sunshine,” “Bright Eyes” and “Sometimes I’m Happy” with Helen O’Connell plus alternates of “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” and “After You’ve Gone.”

Songs I Wish I Had Sung the First Time Around was Crosby’s fourth album for Decca. The 1956 collection featured twelve standards such as “My Blue Heaven,” “April Showers,” “Memories are Made of This” and “Thanks for the Memory.” This reissue is bolstered with ten bonus tracks, nine of which are previously unreleased including never-before-released Crosby versions of “Thank Heaven for Little Girls,” “You’ll Never Know,” “’Deed I Do,” “A Kiss to Build a Dream On,” and a duet of “Heart of My Heart” with The Four Aces.

That’s not all coming up from Bing!  Hit the jump for much more, including track listings and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 10, 2014 at 09:33

Release Round-Up: Week of October 7

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Stevie Nicks - 24 Karat

Stevie Nicks, 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault (Reprise)

2-LP Vinyl + Download Card: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Standard Edition CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The Fleetwood Mac rock legend dips into her vault for a newly-recorded album of songs composed between 1969 and 1995.  The album features co-production by Dave Stewart and guitar great Waddy Wachtel, and is also available in a deluxe edition exclusive to Nicks’ website.

JMCC

Various Artists, The Classic Christmas Albums (Legacy)

Legacy has a new batch of Classic Christmas Albums, and the Johnny Mathis and Frank Sinatra titles both feature previously unreleased and new-to-CD music unavailable anywhere else!  Click on the above link for full track listings and order links for all eight titles from artists also including Barbra Streisand, Perry Como, Il Divo and more!

SL

Shelby Lynne, I Am Shelby Lynne: Deluxe 15th Anniversary Edition (Rounder) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Rounder has reissued the 1999 debut of country-pop troubadour Shelby Lynne on 2 discs, expanding the original album on CD with six previously unreleased bonus tracks and adding a DVD of Lynne’s 2000 concert recorded at Los Angeles’ House of Blues!

TV Eyes

TV Eyes, TV Eyes (Omnivore) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

In 2006, Jason Falkner and Roger Joseph Manning, Jr., both of Jellyfish, joined with composer Brian Reitzell (Lost in Translation, Hannibal)  in TV Eyes.  The band’s debut album was only released in Japan, however…until now!  Omnivore’s reissue features the nine tracks from TV Eyes, plus 3 bonus tracks from the Japanese only EP Softcore—each of which is a song from TV Eyes, remixed by a member of the band. This set also includes the first CD appearance of “She’s A Study,” which was featured in the film Lost In Translation, and previously only available on a white label promo 12” single a decade ago.  TV Eyes is also available on double-vinyl with a download card, with the first pressing on translucent yellow vinyl!  Both the CD and LP formats boast photos and liner notes from Falkner.

Sleeping Beauty - Legacy Collection

Sleeping Beauty: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – The Legacy Collection (Walt Disney Records) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Walt Disney Records’ deluxe Legacy Collection series continues for this release coinciding with today’s arrival of a Blu-ray reissue of Sleeping Beauty!  This new presentation on 2 CDs adds previously unissued demos and Lost Chords performances of those demos, as well as a couple of rare tracks previously available only on LP.

Batman TV

Batman: Exclusive Original Television Soundtrack Album (Mercury/UMe)

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Holy Soundtracks, Batman!  In anticipation of next month’s long-awaited release of the campy, star-studded Batman television series of the 1960s on Blu-ray and DVD, Mercury has brought this groovy 1966 LP back into print on both CD and vinyl.  Originally released on 20th Century Records, this disc includes Neal Hefti’s iconic theme song and Nelson Riddle’s swingin’ orchestral score together with dialogue from Adam West, Burt Ward, Frank Gorshin, Burgess Meredith and George Sanders!

Butterfield

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band / Peter, Paul and Mary, In the Wind (Audio Fidelity)

The Paul Butterfield Band: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Peter, Paul and Mary: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Audio Fidelity has two more classic albums on hybrid stereo SACD – the 1965 debut of Paul Butterfield’s searing blues-rock outfit and Peter, Paul and Mary’s chart-topping third album, from 1963!  Steve Hoffman remasters Peter, Paul and Mary, and Kevin Gray handles Butterfield!  These discs will play on all CD players, and will play in high-resolution on those equipped for SACD.

Best of Stylistics

The Stylistics, Best of The Stylistics and More: 30th Anniversary Edition (Amherst) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

Amherst celebrates 30 years of The Stylistics’ first anthology by adding three new tracks to the original 10-song line-up.  New songs are “Because of You,” “My Heart” and “What Ever It Takes,” while the Philly soul classics still feature Thom Bell and Linda Creed classics like “You Are Everything,” “Betcha By Golly Wow,” “People Make the World Go Round” and “You Make Me Feel Brand New.”

Monkees in Mono

The Monkees, The Monkees in Mono (Friday Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Are you a believer?  The Monkees’ first five mono LPs are boxed up in this new collection from Friday Music featuring 180-gram heavyweight vinyl reissues of The Monkees, More of the Monkees, Headquarters, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., and The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees.

Kritzerland Premieres Stereo Restoration of Jerry Goldsmith’s “Rio Conchos”

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Rio ConchosToday, Kritzerland announced its latest film score restoration, and its fourth title by the late, renowned composer Jerry Goldsmith (following Breakheart Pass, Poltergeist II and Alien Nation): it’s the score to 1964’s western Rio Conchos, a CinemaScope adventure directed by Gordon Douglas and starring Richard Boone of Have Gun – Will Travel, Stuart Whitman, Tony Franciosa. Edmund O’Brien and future football legend Jim Brown.

Based on the novel by Clair Huffaker (The Comancheros), Rio Conchos has Richard Boone as Lassiter, a former Confederate major in the wake of the Civil War seeking vengeance against the Apache after his wife and child are killed by “savages.” Despite some decidedly non-politically correct casting, including Tony Franciosa and Vito Scotti as Mexicans, the film is surprisingly forward-thinking in its depictions of discrimination as well as in its study of the effects of one’s obsession with revenge. Jerry Goldsmith supplied an exciting, vibrant and stirring score that compares favorably to the iconic western scores by such composers as Elmer Bernstein and Ennio Morricone. Goldsmith, of course, was no stranger to the western genre; his very first film, 1957’s Black Patch, fell into that category, and he would return to the genre in such future films as Stagecoach (1966), Hour of the Gun (1967), Bandolero! (1968) and Rio Lobo (1970). The composer’s career would be bookended when his final film, 2003’s Looney Tunes: Back in Action, also allowed him to call on his gifts for western scoring with its sequences parodying the genre.

Goldsmith’s score to Rio Conchos was previously available on CD from the late, lamented Film Score Monthly label in 2000. That edition was presented primarily in mono, with just five cues in stereo appended as bonus tracks. For Kritzerland’s reissue, film music guru Mike Matessino returned to the original elements and, thanks to improvements in technology, was able to perform a full stereo restoration with only three cues remaining in mono.

After the jump, we have more including the track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 6, 2014 at 10:08

Release Round-Up: Week of September 30

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ABBA Wembley

ABBA, Live at Wembley Arena (Polar/Universal) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

As part of ABBA’s 40th anniversary celebration, the band unveils this 2-CD, hardcover book-style set preserving its 1979 concerts at Wembley Arena.  The 25-track set features the first-ever release on record of Agnetha’s “I’m Still Alive” along with perennials like “Dancing Queen,” “Waterloo,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You” and “Fernando.”  Live at Wembley is also available on vinyl.

Oasis Morning Glory deluxe

Oasis, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (Big Brother)

CD: Amazon U.S.Amazon U.K.
2LP: Amazon U.S.Amazon U.K.
3CD: Amazon U.S.Amazon U.K.
Box Set: Amazon U.S.Amazon U.K.

Britpop’s favorite battling brothers have their seminal 1995 record remastered and reissued in various editions including vinyl, a single-disc edition, a 3-CD set with 28 bonus tracks and a super deluxe CD/LP edition loaded with swag!

Genesis - R-Kive

Genesis, R-Kive (Universal/Rhino)  (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Here’s the  3-CD set bringing together selections from 4o+-years of Genesis and its individual members – Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett.

Robin Gibb - 50 St Catherine's Drive

Robin Gibb, 50 St. Catherine’s Drive (Rhino) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The final solo recordings of the late, great Robin Gibb are collected on this new 17-track collection, including a new version of his Bee Gees favorite “I Am the World.”

Real Gone September 30

Stories: Stories Untold — The Very Best of Stories (Amazon U.S.  / Amazon U.K. ) / Barbara Lynn: The Complete Atlantic Recordings (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) / Ronnie Dyson: Phase 2/Brand New Day (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) / Faith Hope & Charity: Life Goes On (Expanded Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) / Kerry Chater: Part Time Love (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) / Kerry Chater: Love on a Shoestring (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) / Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks Vol. 15 — Raceway Park, Englishtown, NJ 9/3/77 (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

Real Gone Music has a whole batch of rare titles coming to CD – click on the cover collage above for full details!

Parrish

Paul Parrish, The Forest of My Mind (Now Sounds) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Now Sounds excavates a lost psych-pop classic from Detroit, circa 1968, produced by Motown’s Clay McMurray!  This remastered edition features the original album and bonus singles, all in typically lavish Now Sounds fashion!  Watch for a full review coming soon.

Ray Charles - Genius 10th

Ray Charles, Genius Loves Company: 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Concord) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The eight-time Grammy-winning album from the late Ray Charles (featuring duets with Elton John, Diana Krall, James Taylor, Van Morrison, Johnny Mathis and others) is expanded with two bonus tracks on CD – “Mary Ann” with Poncho Sanchez and “Unchain My Heart” with Take 6 – plus a DVD of the hourlong “Making of Genius Loves Company.”

Gap Band V

Gap Band, IV and V: Jammin’ / Yarbrough and Peoples, Heartbeats: Expanded Editions (Big Break)

BBR continues the story of the Gap Band and Yarbrough and Peoples with three more deluxe, expanded and remastered editions!  Look for our full rundown coming soon!

Gap Band, IV: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Gap Band, V: Jammin’: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Yarbrough and Peoples, Heartbeats: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Motown 25

Motown 25 various editions (StarVista)

6-DVD Set: StarVista

3-DVD Set: Amazon U.S.

3-DVD Set with exclusive bonus content: Best Buy

The classic 1983 television special that reunited The Supremes and introduced the world to Michael Jackson’s moonwalk finally appears on DVD in a variety of formats including an online-exclusive 6-DVD box set available only from StarVista and a 3-DVD set with bonus disc available only at Best Buy.  (A 6-DVD/8-DVD set is also listed at StarVista as “backordered,” but no details are available at the website.)

Monty Python CD box

Monty Python’s Total Rubbish: The Complete Collection (Virgin)

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The Monty Python troupers have a new 9-CD set boxing up all of the band’s original U.K. albums from 1970 to 1983!

Engelbert Calling

Engelbert Humperdinck, Engelbert Calling (Megaforce) (Amazon U.S.  – new U.S. edition / Amazon U.K. – original U.K. edition)

Tom Jones reportedly rejected the invitation, but Engelbert Humperdinck snagged duets with Elton John, Dionne Warwick, Neil Sedaka, Lulu, Olivia Newton-John, Willie Nelson and others on his new album, receiving its belated U.S. bow this week.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Original Cast Recording, Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Stage Door) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Stage Door Records premieres the first complete recording of the 1999 West End musical Tess of the D’Urbervilles with music by Stephen Edwards and lyrics by Justin Fleming.  This release brings together tracks from the 1999 original London production alongside the previously unreleased 1998 studio cast recording, and includes performances by Philippa Healey, Alasdair Harvey, Jonathan Monks, Cathy Sara, Martin Crewes, Mark Umbers, Heather Craney, Eliza Lumley and an ensemble of forty singers.

Prince - Art Official Age

Prince, ART OFFICIAL AGE / Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL, PLECTRUMELECTRUM (Warner Bros.)

ART OFFICIAL AGE: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

PLECTRUMELECTRUM: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Prince has not one, but two, new albums due this week – as always, the favorite son of Minneapolis is doing things his way!

Herb Alpert - In the Mood

Herb Alpert, In the Mood (Shout! Factory) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)

The great trumpeter follows up his acclaimed 2013 Steppin’ Out and returns with a new set of various standards including “Begin the Beguine,” “Let It Be Me,” “Blue Moon,” “Spanish Harlem” and “All I Have to Do is Dream” – and even better, the Amazon-exclusive edition features two additional tracks!

Dino

The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts – Complete Collection (StarVista) (Amazon U.S. )

This staggering 25-DVD collection features ALL 54 Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, pally, with such legendary showbiz icons as Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Jack Klugman, Tony Randall, Jack Benny, George Burns, Sammy Davis, Jr., Betty White and more – plus over 15 hours of bonus material:  11 newly-produced featurette interviews with former participants and fans: Don Rickles, Betty White, Jackie Mason, Phyllis Diller, Tim Conway, Rich Little, Norm Crosby, Carol Burnett and many others; 4 classic TV Specials including Dean’s Place and Red Hot Scandals of 1926, featuring Dean and friends including Jonathan Winters, Dom DeLuise, Robert Mitchum and more; rare, exclusive home movies from Dean’s private collection; bonus comedy sketches; 2 Dean Martin Variety Show DVDs featuring Bob Hope, John Wayne, Peggy Lee, Rodney Dangerfield and many others.  A 44-page book rounds out this package which is arriving now to general retail after a period of online exclusivity.

ELP’s Keith Emerson Goes To The Movies With Box Set

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Keith Emerson at the MoviesIn the midst of the usual catalogue activity for Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Cherry Red’s Esoteric Recordings imprint has a new treasure for fans of keyboardist Keith Emerson. The 3-CD box set Keith Emerson at the Movies collects Emerson’s scores for seven motion pictures originally released between 1980’s Inferno and 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars.  The set was originally released in 2005 on the Castle label, but has since gone out-of-print.  This version features the same tracks, but adds new packaging and a fresh remastering.

Following the (first) break-up of Emerson, Lake and Palmer in 1979, Keith Emerson made his solo debut with the soundtrack to the Italian film Inferno, and the transition into the world of film scoring wasn’t much of a stretch for Emerson.  With ELP, he had already been working on a widescreen canvas as a musical storyteller, incorporating orchestral and conceptual elements into the group’s brand of progressive rock.  In Malcolm Dome’s fine essay accompanying At the Movies, Emerson recalls his first exposure to the power of the cinema, when his parents took him as a youngster to see Walt Disney’s Bambi. Then The Magnificent Seven, so memorably scored by Elmer Bernstein, opened his eyes (and ears) to the power of music on the big screen.  Certain ELP compositions – such as “Tank” and “The Three Fates,” both from the group’s 1970 debut – were even conceived by Emerson as having “a very soundtrack type of appeal.”

After nearly landing assignments for such high-profile pictures as Chariots of Fire (he turned it down) and The Elephant Man (he “didn’t get the gig,” in his own words), Emerson landed his first scoring gig for Inferno.  For the Dario Argento-directed horror film, Emerson enlisted conductor-arranger Godfrey Salmon who had worked with ELP on their 1977 American orchestral tour.  The presentation here adds a track of “Inferno Extras.”  Soon, he was able to bring his talents to American cinema, as well, nabbing the composer slot for the Sylvester Stallone/Rutger Hauer action film Nighthawks in 1981.  He even performed a cover of The Spencer Davis Group’s “I’m a Man” at the request of his record label, taking lead vocals himself!  This edition replicates the sequence of the long out-of-print LP version of the Nighthawks soundtrack.  For the 1984 movie Best Revenge starring John Heard and The Band’s Levon Helm, Emerson provided a title song featuring Helm on vocals and Helm’s Band-mate, Garth Hudson, on accordion.  Alas, the LP’s Levon Helm showcase track, “Straight Between the Eyes”, has been replaced here by “For Those Who Win.”

In addition to those pictures, Keith Emerson at the Movies also features his scores to two more Italian horror flicks – 1984’s Murderock and 1989’s La Chiesa (The Church) – and two Japanese films: 1983’s animated Harmagedon and 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars..  Ben Wiseman has remastered all of the scores contained in this set produced by Mark Powell for Esoteric.  Each disc is housed in the clamshell box in a paper sleeve.

After the jump, we have more, including the complete track listing and links to order! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 26, 2014 at 10:11

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