Archive for the ‘Willie Nelson’ Category
How to define Julio Iglesias? Perhaps the iconic Spanish entertainer can be best summed up by the numbers. In a career spanning well over 40 years, Iglesias has recorded 80 albums, sold 300 million records, and sung in 14 languages. Now, Iglesias, who will turn 70 later this year, has been feted with the first American release of a new collection with a number in the title. 1 – Greatest Hits, already a multi-platinum seller in numerous Spanish-speaking territories, has arrived in the U.S. from Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings as a 2-CD standard edition and a 2-CD/1-DVD deluxe edition adding a 1990 concert from the Greek Theatre on DVD (88765 46961 2, 2013). It covers a wide swath of Iglesias’ impressive career over 37 tracks on its two discs, but falls short of being a definitive hits survey, as numerous tracks have been re-recorded specifically for the collection.
In his brief liner note, Iglesias writes, “This has been a unique project in my life. Being able to go back and sing songs from a time when technology hadn’t yet met the digital age.” He isn’t the first artist to re-record his classic hits, and nor will he be the last. But it’s the original tracks – well-recorded in the first place by producers including Iglesias’ longtime collaborator Ramon Arcusa – that are the most timeless here. Iglesias’ voice, circa 2011 (when the lion’s share of the re-recordings were made), is still smooth and velvety if naturally somewhat deeper. But arrangement-wise, it’s frequently “spot the difference” time with the new versions hewing closely to the style and tempo of the originals. There are no notes or essays in the thin booklet explaining why songs were selected or what changes were made; there’s not even any indication as to the provenance of each track other than the date on the copyright line. With no background or discographical information for these songs, it feels less like a career retrospective and more like a set aimed at a casual fan who won’t wonder whether “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” is the original recording or not.
Coincidental though it may be, it’s worth noting that 1 – Greatest Hits arrives on the same day as Paul Anka’s Duets, another mélange of new and old recordings. Like 1, the Anka collection (reviewed here) offers duets with Frank Sinatra, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson! Hit the jump for more on Julio! Read the rest of this entry »
Whether you prefer your “My Way” by Sinatra or Sid (Vicious, that is), you have Paul Anka to thank. It was Anka who took the melody to the chanson “Comme d’habitude” and crafted the ultimate anthem of survival and tenacity with his English-language lyrics. When Sinatra recorded the song, a gift to him from Anka, he was just 53 years of age yet could still ring true when singing of that “final curtain.” Today, Paul Anka is 71, and his new memoir is entitled, what else, My Way. Thankfully, the end seems far from near for the entertainer, who has kept busy not only with the book, but with an album from Legacy Recordings. Duets (88765 48489 2) is a blend of new and old tracks with one thing in common: the unmistakable voice of Paul Anka. (He also wrote or co-wrote all but two of its songs.)
The Ottawa-born pop star scored his first hit at the ripe old age of 15 with 1957’s “Diana.” It earned him a No. 1 in the U.S. Best Sellers in Stores and R&B charts, as well as No. 1 in the U.K., Canada and Australia. But overnight sensation Anka was a teen idol with a difference: he was a true singer/songwriter, writing both music and lyrics for his own songs. By the age of 20, Anka was reportedly raking in $1.5 million a year and selling some 20 million records, but he knew that he had to take himself to the next level. The singer poised himself for a reinvention for the adult market with more mature material aimed at the supper club crowd. Throughout his chart career, Anka has successfully balanced contemporary pop with timeless showbiz tradition.
To its credit, Duets isn’t a rehash of the formula enjoyed by so many superstars, from Frank Sinatra to Tony Bennett, of remaking “greatest hits” with familiar partners. There’s no “Puppy Love,” no “Times of Your Life” or “One Woman Man/One Man Woman.” Nor is Duets a career retrospective, per se, as the only vintage tracks are drawn from 1998’s A Body of Work. In many ways, Duets is an update of that Epic release. A Body of Work included seven duets among its eleven tracks, and four of those have been reprised on Duets. (That album also included a posthumous duet with Sinatra on “My Way.” Frank and the song are here, too, but in a newly-created recording.) None of Anka’s hit seventies duets with Odia Coates like “One Woman Man” or “You’re Having My Baby” are heard here. Though Jay-Z reportedly denied Anka’s invitation to participate, a number of top talents did show up to celebrate Anka’s 55 years in entertainment, including Dolly Parton, Leon Russell, Willie Nelson and Michael Bublé.
Come join us after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »
The Legacy of Record Store Day: Upcoming Exclusives Revealed From Sly, Willie, Miles, Taj, Aerosmith and More
It’s not quite the summertime yet, but Legacy Recordings has some hot fun planned for Record Store Day thanks to a diverse slate of releases from A (Aerosmith) to, well, S (Sly and the Family Stone)! April 20 is the date when Legacy will join 2013 Record Store Day Ambassador Jack White to celebrate not only those beloved black vinyl discs, but also the brick-and-mortar retail record store experience which we hold very dear at The Second Disc.
Titles for the sixth annual Record Store Day have already been announced from artists including Paul McCartney, Duran Duran and Hüsker Dü; we know that plenty more news is on the way, so stay tuned for more RSD scoops as they come! In the meantime, hit the jump to find out just what goodies Legacy has in store for you! Read the rest of this entry »
He Did It His Way: Paul Anka Joins Friends For “Duets”, New CD Features Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Leon Russell and More
Paul Anka posed that musical question in 1975, taking Roger Nichols and Bill Lane’s onetime Kodak film jingle all the way to the Top 10 Billboard pop chart and No. 1 Easy Listening. At that point, Anka could rightfully reflect on the times of his own storied life, nearly two decades in the music business. But could he have imagined that he would still be going strong almost forty years after “Times of Your Life” hit? The Canadian-born singer, songwriter, producer and manager is celebrating 55 years in the music business with the release on April 9 of Duets, a 14-track collection of vocal pairings both old and new. The Legacy Recordings album coincides with the same day’s debut of his autobiography, naturally entitled My Way after the song he co-wrote for Frank Sinatra.
Ottawa-born Anka had his first hit with 1957’s “Diana.” When the song was released, Anka was just shy of 16 years old, and it earned him a No. 1 in the U.S. Best Sellers in Stores and R&B charts, as well as No. 1 in the U.K., Canada and Australia. But overnight sensation Anka was a teen idol with a difference: he was a true singer/songwriter, writing both music and lyrics for his own songs. In 1962, Anka departed his home of ABC-Paramount for the more lucrative pastures of RCA Victor, which is now under the same corporate umbrella of Sony Music Entertainment as Legacy Recordings. Anka followed up his ABC hits like “You Are My Destiny,” “Lonely Boy,” “Puppy Love” and “Put Your Head on My Shoulders” with a string of charting pop singles (“A Steel Guitar and a Glass of Wine,” “Remember Diana,” “Goodnight, My Love”) that continued through 1964 when The British Invasion threatened to cut short the careers of artists like Anka and his RCA Victor compatriot Neil Sedaka.
Of course, Paul Anka bounced back. Hit the jump for the rest of the story, plus the full track listing, pre-order link and more about Duets! Read the rest of this entry »
Short Takes, Classic Pop Edition: What’s Coming From Willie Nelson, Bing Crosby, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett
Today’s Short Takes looks at a variety of upcoming releases with one thing in common: great vocalists in the tradition of the Great American Songbook!
First up, let’s take a look at an album of new recordings from a favorite reissue label. One genre has never been enough to contain the musical restlessness of Willie Nelson. The country legend and honky-tonk hero created his own standards with his early songs such as “Crazy” and “Funny How Time Slips Away” before paying tribute to the Great American Songbook of yore with 1978’s chart-topping Stardust. Since that seminal album, the prolific Nelson has made frequent returns to the realm of standards of both the pop and country genres. His latest such effort arrives from our friends at Legacy Recordings on April 15.
Roughly two weeks before Nelson celebrates his 80th birthday on April 30, Legacy will release Let’s Face the Music and Dance from Willie Nelson and Family. Recorded in Austin, Texas and produced by Buddy Cannon, the album of all-new recordings is titled after the 1936 Irving Berlin song. He’s joined by Family, the band he formed with his sister Bobbie Nelson (on piano), drummer Paul English and Mickey Raphael on harmonica. They’re accompanied by Paul’s brother Billy English (keeping it all in the family, after all) on electric gut string and snare drum, Kevin Smith on upright bass and Jim “Moose” Brown on B-3 organ. Willie’s son Micah Nelson, who contributed to Nelson’s 2011 Legacy debut Heroes, contributes percussion. Pop, rock, jazz and country classics all have found a place on Let’s Face the Music and Dance, including songs from Carl Perkins (“Matchbox”), Frank Loesser (“I Wish I Didn’t Love You So”), Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh (“I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”) and Django Reinhardt (“Nuages”).
Willie’s celebratory jaunt through some of the songs that have shaped his own musical legacy hits stores on April 15.
The U.K.’s Sepia Records label continues to offer a number of rare vocal, soundtrack and cast album treats, many of them available as a result of the U.K.’s current public domain laws. Last month’s batch of reissues included titles from Jack Jones, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, and Enoch Light. Come February 12, Sepia will release the following:
Pat Boone, I’ll See You in My Dreams/This and That – Sepia continues its series dedicated to Pat Boone with this new release. The label is supplementing two original Boone LPs with seven bonus tracks, and many of these tracks have not appeared on CD outside of Bear Family’s complete box sets. Rather than being in rock-and-roll mode here, Boone tackles standards including “That Old Black Magic,” “My Blue Heaven,” “The Tennessee Waltz” and even “Peg o’ My Heart.”
Jane Morgan, What Now My Love/At the Cocoanut Grove – The great chanteuse’s final two albums for Kapp Records, both from 1962, are joined together on one CD. What Now My Love, a collection of torch songs, is notable for having been arranged and conducted by the young Burt Bacharach. It includes Bacharach and Bob Hilliard’s song “Waiting for Charlie to Come Home.” (Morgan first recorded a new Bacharach song with 1959’s “With Open Arms.” Around the time of the LP, Bacharach recorded his “Forever My Love” with Morgan as the B-side to the single of “What Now My Love,” and he also arranged and conducted a Terry Gilkyson song, “Ask Me to Dance,” for her.) Cocoanut Grove features Jane on extended medleys of Paris-themed songs and tunes popularized by actress/singer Lillian Russell (1860-1922).
Tony Mottola, Roman Guitar 2/Spanish Guitar – Sepia pairs two 1962 Command Records LPs from session guitarist extraordinaire Tony Mottola on one CD. Roman Guitar 2 made it all the way to No. 46 on the U.S. Billboard album chart and contains performances of Italian-themed favorites like “Funiculi Funicula.” For Spanish Guitar, Mottola turned to “Tico-Tico,” “Granada” and even “Lady of Spain.” Mottola continued to record into the 1980s, but this pair of albums finds the guitarist in his prime, making music ready-made for dancing in front of the hi-fi.
Original Soundtrack Recordings, The Road to Hong Kong/Say One for Me – Two rare soundtracks starring Bing Crosby have been collected on one CD. From 1962 and 1959, respectively, The Road to Hong Kong and Say One for Me have never previously been available on CD. The original Liberty Records soundtrack to Hong Kong finds Crosby and Bob Hope joined by Joan Collins and Dorothy Lamour; Columbia’s Say One for Me album features Debbie Reynolds and Robert Wagner.
After the jump: Wounded Bird revives a long out-of-print title from the Queen of Soul, and travel with Tony Bennett as time goes by! Read the rest of this entry »
Holiday Gift Guide Reviews: Legacy’s “Classic Christmas Album” Series from Manilow, Vandross, Presley, Nelson, Denver, Kenny G
If you’re a resident of the storm-ravaged East Coast, you might have recently found yourself singing, “We need a little Christmas, right this very minute! “ I know I have. As happens every year around this same time, holiday albums have already begun to fill the shelves, with new albums arriving from artists old and new as well as reissues from Christmases past. In 2011, Legacy Recordings issued The Classic Christmas Album for Tony Bennett, combining tracks from Bennett’s three holiday-themed albums with rare offerings and one-offs. This year, the Classic Christmas Album series has expanded to include offerings from five diverse artists, building on the template established by the Bennett set. Elvis Presley, John Denver, Barry Manilow, Willie Nelson and Kenny G all have made their mark in Christmas music, and these new (and very reasonably priced) compilations make an enjoyable place to start with each of their holiday-themed catalogues. And two of the titles are even more of a treat, as the Willie Nelson and Luther Vandross sets are actually resequenced and expanded editions of the artists’ seminal Christmas LPs.
It’s simply impossible to go wrong when you combine one of the great voices of our time with some of the greatest songs of our time. Hence, you can’t go wrong with Luther Vandross’ Classic Christmas Album (Epic/Legacy 88691 96832 2). His entire 1995 album This is Christmas is the centerpiece of this release, and its ten tracks have been supplemented by some very well-chosen bonuses. Producers Leo Sacks and Jeff James have added Vandross’ Quincy Jones-produced take on “The Christmas Song” from 1992’s A Very Special Christmas, the original Cotillion recordings of “May Christmas Bring You Happiness” and “At Christmas Time” from 1976, and one previously unreleased track: Vandross and Chaka Khan’s duet of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” from the 1998 Soul Train Christmas Starfest.
This is Christmas, produced by Vandross with contributions from longtime collaborators Nat Adderley Jr. and Marcus Miller, offered ten tracks of slick soul, with Vandross’ impassioned vocals set to gleaming and modern arrangements. The unmistakable Vandross pipes are most resonant on the classic songs: Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” with its melancholy undercurrent, or Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s evocative “My Favorite Things.” These timeless songs have aged better than, say, “The Mistletoe Jam,” with the singer seductively intoning, “Girl, get over here and come under this mistletoe with me!” and the chorus imploring, “Everybody kiss somebody!” Vandross veers a bit close to parody on that up-tempo, pop-soul confection, but he’s more successful when applying his velvet tones to his other originals like the big ballad “With a Christmas Heart” or the fun, Motown-styled “I Listen to the Bells” with the brassy Darlene Love and the equally legendary Cissy Houston (who is audible on a number of the album’s tracks). You’ll also savor the unmistakable tenor sax of the Big Man, Clarence Clemons on “Bells.” Vandross is reverent on a stately, martial “O Come All Ye Faithful,” the most atypical track on This is Christmas.
The “bonus tracks” are all strong additions. Vandross and Chaka Khan are both emotive on “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and the two Cotillion songs (originally credited to Vandross’ group Luther) are both real gems. “May Christmas Bring You Happiness” is a big, funky, R&B production while “At Christmas Time” is a sweet, traditional soul ballad arranged by Motown stalwart Paul Riser.
After the jump: take a sleigh ride with Willie Nelson, Barry Manilow, Kenny G, John Denver and The King! Read the rest of this entry »
Oh my goodness, it really is almost sort of kind of close to Christmas, yes? Legacy’s getting your seasonal fix early with new compilations full of cheer (and, in a few cases, some harder to find Yuletide songs and tracks licensed from non-Legacy albums).
Dion, The Complete Laurie Singles / Shoes, 35 Years: The Definitive Shoes Collection / David Cassidy, Romance / The Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Volume 27 – Oakland Coliseum Arena, Oakland, CA – 12/16/1992 / John Zacherle, Monster Mash/Scary Tales (Real Gone)
A diverse slate from Real Gone for the month of October: the first collection of Dion’s many, many hits for the Laurie label; a brand-new compilation for power-pop legends Shoes; David Cassidy’s U.K.-only hit LP for Arista; the latest Dick’s Picks reissue and two novelty Cameo-Parkway LPs by a legendary horror broadcaster.
Walt Disney’s Cinderella: Collector’s Edition Soundtrack (Walt Disney Records)
To coincide with the film’s Diamond Edition DVD/Blu-ray release today, the soundtrack to the Disney animated classic Cinderella is expanded with seven rare demos and brand-new recordings of each of those seven songs!
Pretty Paper: Willie, Elvis, Luther, John Denver, More Collect Holiday Best on “Classic Christmas Album” Releases
Legacy Recordings certainly hopes you are, as a bounty of new holiday-themed collections is coming your way. The first Classic Christmas Album arrived last year, a compilation of Christmas favorites from Tony Bennett (including a previously-unreleased version of “What Child is This?”). More titles are on the horizon to make spirits bright this year, and we have details on five of them to share right now, with more news to come! On October 2, Legacy will release newly-compiled sets from Elvis Presley, John Denver, Kenny G, Willie Nelson and Luther Vandross. Each new collection offers 14 or more freshly-remastered tracks spanning the career of each artist, all of whom recorded multiple holiday albums, as well as contributing the odd holiday song elsewhere.
Perhaps the most-anthologized of these artists is Presley. With faith always paramount to the singer, he recorded a holiday album early in his career, via 1957’s Elvis’ Christmas Album. Elvis’ fourth album, it consisted of eight Christmas songs and four gospel traditionals which had previously been released on the Peace in the Valley EP. Seven of those eight tunes (all save “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”) reappear on his Classic Christmas Album. Seven more tracks come from his second holiday long-player, 1971’s The Wonderful World of Christmas, which was itself expanded last year by Follow That Dream. It’s rounded out by two tracks from 2008’s posthumous Christmas Duets and a 1966 single, “If Every Day Was Like Christmas.” Presley’s Christmas repertoire has been collected in every conceivable repackaging, perhaps most notably RCA’s 1994 If Every Day Was Like Christmas, but this new compilation is a reasonable place to start one’s immersion in the King’s Christmas magic.
You’ll find John Denver, Willie Nelson, Luther Vandross and Kenny G after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »
They Walk The Line: Johnny Cash Celebrated By Crow, Nelson, Kristofferson, Plus Four New Compilations Due
Much like the train Johnny Cash so often sang about, the celebration of what would have been his 80th birthday year rolls on. Following the issue of Bootleg IV: The Soul of Truth earlier this year, Legacy Recordings has just announced the CD/DVD and Blu-ray releases of We Walk the Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash. Due on August 7, these preserve the concert held on Friday, April 20, 2012 at Austin, Texas’ Moody Theater in which a wide-ranging roster of musicians paid homage to the music of The Man in Black.
Don Was served as the event’s musical director, and brought along a number of his famous friends to celebrate their friend Johnny. Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams and Shelby Lynne all were among the headliners, while Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson fit the bill as the evening’s requisite legends. Younger talents like The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Pat Monahan of Train, and Amy Lee of Evanescence all paid their respects via new interpretations of Cash standards. Was’ band included many distinguished musicians in their own right: Buddy Miller, Kenny Aronoff, Greg Leisz and The Faces’ Ian McLagan. Of the evening’s star-studded “I Walk the Line” finale, Rolling Stone wrote, “It was a scene so loaded with talent that an A-list artist like Crow was left singing backup vocals off-mike and clapping while her peers led the crowd in a sing-along.”
In addition to solo songs, many performers seized the opportunity for duets. Shelby Lynne and Pat Monahan stepped in for June and Johnny on Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me, Babe.” Jamey Johnson joined Kris Kristofferson for Kristofferson’s own “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” and Lynne traded off with Willie Nelson on Tim Hardin’s folk standard “If I Were a Carpenter.” Nelson and Kristofferson reunited on Jimmy Webb’s “Highwayman,” enlisting Johnson and Shooter Jennings as new Highwaymen for the song. The Carolina Chocolate Drops enlivened another favorite duet between June and Johnny, “Jackson.”
Hit the jump for details on the CD/DVD and Blu-Ray editions, plus news of four new Cash compilations and pre-order links for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »