And the (complete) hits just keep on comin’. Sony’s PopMarket site has become a must-visit destination for many music fans, not only due to daily deals on existing box sets and back catalogue titles but also due to a line of new boxes under the Complete Albums Collection umbrella. Initial recipients of this treatment were Sam Cooke, The Byrds. Stan Getz and Return to Forever. A second wave offered collections from John Denver, Grover Washington Jr., Kansas and Wayne Shorter. Another eight titles have recently been announced, and like their predecessors, these offer an artist’s complete albums from a particular period or label affiliation in mini-LP sleeves with an accompanying booklet, all housed in one tidy package. The latest group encompasses some all-time greats of rock, soul and jazz. PopMarket is now offering:
- Earth Wind & Fire: The Complete Columbia Masters Collection;
- Electric Light Orchestra: The Classic Albums Collection;
- Leonard Cohen: The Complete Albums Collection and The Complete Studio Albums Collection;
- Paul Desmond: The Complete RCA Albums Collection;
- Dexter Gordon: The Complete Columbia Albums Collection;
- Wynton Marsalis: Swingin' into the 21st;
- Woody Shaw: The Complete Columbia Albums Collection; and
- Nina Simone: The Complete RCA Albums Collection.
Hit the jump for the scoop on these sets, including the list of all included albums!
Most exciting may be Earth Wind & Fire’s Complete Columbia Masters Collection. Group leader Maurice White has supervised this assemblage of 15 newly-remastered original albums, and has also offered commentary in the 40-page booklet to be included. A bonus disc, Constellations: The Universe of Earth, Wind and Fire, will offer two unreleased tracks from the Touch the World sessions, two live performances dating from 1980, two rare instrumentals, and White’s outside productions for artists as diverse as Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, Ramsey Lewis and Jennifer Holliday. The 2000 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and six-time Grammy Award winners formed in 1969, releasing their first album Earth, Wind, Fire in 1971 for Warner Bros. Records. But it was a 1972 move to Columbia that began the band on its path to chart domination. By the time of 1975’s That’s the Way of the World, the band was one of the biggest in the world thanks to the success of that album’s title track and the song “Shining Star.” Though the line-up has changed over the years, Earth Wind & Fire still tours today.
Jeff Lynne first rose to prominence as a member of The Idle Race before joining Roy Wood in The Move and finally, Electric Light Orchestra. Though Wood went his separate ways during sessions for ELO’s second album, soon forming Wizzard, Lynne continued to guide the classically-inspired rock band that aimed to continue “where the Beatles left off.” The band’s fourth album, 1974’s Eldorado, became the group’s first gold album, containing the hit “Can’t Get It Out of My Head.” 1975 follow-up Face the Music offered two more giant hit singles, “Evil Woman” and “Strange Magic,” and Electric Light Orchestra was, indeed, on its way to becoming one of the most singular acts in rock history. The Classic Albums Collection offers Electric Light Orchestra’s first eleven albums, all replicating Legacy’s expanded remasters. (The only album not included is Zoom, essentially a Jeff Lynne solo album released under the band name in 2001.)
This next release just might be enough to make you shout "Hallejulah." One of the few artists who can legitimately be called a poet as well as a songwriter, Canadian singer, songwriter, musician and author Leonard Cohen will see his entire ouevre collected in his The Complete Albums Collection. This 17-album, 18-CD box set begins with his 1967 debut Songs of Leonard Cohen, and even includes his latter-day live triumphs from 2009 and 2010, Live in London, Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 and Songs from the Road. If you don't need the troubadour's live material, an 11-disc version collecting studio albums only will also be available. Appropriately enough, it's called The Complete Studio Albums Collection!
The series then turns its attention to some jazz greats. Dexter Gordon (1923-1990) was a legend of the tenor saxophone, rising to prominence in the bebop era and not even letting stays in prison keep him down! Columbia Records signed Gordon in 1976 for Homecoming: Live at the Village Vanguard. Remaining at Columbia, Gordon turned out a series of acclaimed recordings alongside younger performers including Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw, and George Cables. Dexter Gordon: The Complete Columbia Albums Collection collects five albums on six CDs, all recorded between 1976 and 1980, and adds a bonus disc of rare material. The set has been produced by Michael Cuscuna,”co-directed” by Woody Shaw III, and features liner notes by Cuscuna and Gordon's widow and long-time manager, Maxine Gordon.
Trumpeter and Gordon associate Woody Shaw is the recipient of the next set. Shaw (1944-1989) explored hard bop with Horace Silver and then post-bop with familiar names like Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Andrew Hill, and Larry Young. When he set out on his own in the 1970s, he reached a commercial peak as a leader, and solidified his place as a trumpet innovator. Shaw was an influence on players such as Wynton Marsalis and Terence Blanchard, and young talents like Steve Turre and Mulgrew Miller came up in his ranks. Woody Shaw: The Complete Columbia Albums Collection contains Shaw’s six Columbia albums recorded between 1977 and 1981 including the Grammy-nominated Rosewood. The box set has been co-produced, “co-directed” and designed by Shaw's son, Woody Shaw III, who also contributed liner notes along with Michael Cuscuna.
The legendary alto saxophonist Paul Desmond (1924-1977) may be best-known for his seminal role as the sole horn player in the Dave Brubeck Quartet and as composer of that group’s signature “Take Five.” But he also recorded a series of six acclaimed albums for RCA Victor Records which are now available as The Complete RCA Albums Collection. 1962’s Two of a Mind paired him with Gerry Mulligan’s baritone saxophone and bass and drums. His other RCA albums found him opposite guitarist Jim Hall, and the two men explored standards and occasional Desmond originals. 1961’s Desmond Blue boasted Bob Prince’s lush orchestral arrangements, Take Ten (1963) and Boss Antigua (1964) both took their cue from the bossa nova craze. Desmond’s final RCA album, 1964’s Glad To Be Unhappy, was a majestic statement in the quartet format. (Easy Living is the remaining album in the box set.) Producer Richard Seidel provides liner notes, and a whopping 24 bonus tracks are spread across all albums!
Wynton Marsalis' Swinging Into the 21st takes a different approach. Its 11 CDs have been hand-picked by the trumpeter, composer, bandleader and arranger to celebrate his 50th birthday this October 18. Among Marsalis' selections are two volumes of his Standard Time, 1999's original film music collection Reel Time, 2000's The Marciac Suite and Selections from the Village Vanguard Box, and 2002's All Rise. Each title has been bolstered with unreleased material and alternate takes.
Finally, few artists have had the impact on pop, soul, rock and jazz as the iconoclastic, outspoken Nina Simone. Simone (1933-2003) played by her own rules in life and art, recording some of the most electric and eclectic music imaginable in any genre. It wasn’t uncommon on a Simone album to find politically charged protest music alongside popular Broadway hits and reworkings of contemporary rock songs. All of Simone’s intense, fascinating nine albums for the label are collected on The Complete RCA Albums Collection, from 1967’s Nina Simone Sings the Blues through 1974’s appropriately-titled It’s Finished. Each album contains bonus tracks, for a total of 35 rare Simone performances, and Mark Wilder has newly remastered seven of the nine albums for the very first time in the United States. Richard Seidel again contributes new notes.
You'll find the album contents for each box set below, along with release date. (We are currently attempting to obtain track listings for all sets.) All boxes are available exclusively through PopMarket. A further round of titles is promised for November, including more releases from true jazz greats! Watch for Part 2, tomorrow!
Leonard Cohen, The Complete Albums Collection (Available 10/11)
- Songs of Leonard Cohen*
- Songs From a Room*
- Songs of Love and Hate*
- Live Songs
- New Skin for the Old Ceremony*
- Death of a Ladies' Man*
- Recent Songs*
- Various Positions*
- I'm Your Man*
- The Future*
- Cohen Live
- Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979
- 10 New Songs*
- Dear Heather*
- Live in London — 2 CDs
- Live at the Isle of Wight 1970
- Songs From the Road
(* indicates an album also included in The Complete Studio Albums Collection)
Paul Desmond, The RCA Albums Collection (Available 9/27)
- Desmond Blue (1961)
- Take Ten (1963)
- Bossa Antigua (1964)
- Glad To Be Unhappy (1963-1965)
- Easy Living (1963-1965)
- Two Of A Mind w/Gerry Mulligan (1962)
Earth Wind & Fire, The Complete Columbia Masters Collection (Available now)
- Last Days and Time
- Head to the Sky
- Open Our Eyes
- That's the Way of the World
- All 'N All
- Best of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. 1
- I Am
- Electric Universe
- Touch the World
- Bonus Disc: Constellations: The Universe of Earth, Wind & Fire
Electric Light Orchestra, The Classic Albums Collection (Available 10/15)
- No Answer
- Electric Light Orchestra II
- On the Third Day
- Face the Music
- A New World Record
- Out of the Blue
- Secret Messages
- Balance of Power
Dexter Gordon, The Complete Columbia Albums Collection (Available now)
- Homecoming: Live At The Village Vanguard [2 CDs] (1976)
- Sophisticated Giant (1977)
- Manhattan Symphonie (1978)
- Live At Carnegie Hall (1978)
- Gotham City (1980)
- Bonus Tracks ( a new compilation disc of bonus material)
Wynton Marsalis, Swingin’ into the 21st (Available 10/18)
- A Fiddler's Tale
- Standard Time, Vol. 4: Marsalis Plays Monk
- At The Octoroon Balls
- Big Train
- Sweet Release & Ghost Story
- Standard Time, Vol. 6: Mr. Jelly Lord
- Selections from The Village Vanguard Box
- The Marciac Suite
- All Rise (2 CD set)
Woody Shaw, The Complete Columbia Albums Collection (Available now)
- Rosewood (1977)
- Stepping Stones (1978)
- Stepping Stones - Bonus Tracks
- Woody III (1979)
- For Sure! (1979)
- United (1981)
Nina Simone, The Complete RCA Albums Collection (Available now)
- Nina Simone Sings The Blues (1967)
- Silk & Soul (1967)
- ‘Nuff Said (1968)
- Nina Simone & Piano (1969)
- To Love Somebody (1969)
- Black Gold (1970)
- Here Comes The Sun (1971)
- Emergency Ward (1972)
- It Is Finished (1974)
This is a great series!
Earl C. says
where's Bruce Springsteen?
I'd bet the bulk of the EWF set is sourced from the last round of remasters. If not, then all those bonus tracks go bye-bye? Thanks, but no thanks.
Glenn Burris says
The act that really seems missing from this crowd is Weather Report. If Sony is going to gather all of RT's albums into single set, it seems hard to believe that they would skip The Report.
Although you could argue that putting Shorter's stuff in a box first is wise, because it's often overlooked in the shadow of his work with Zawinul.
Yeah... Return To Forever, but not Weather Report? Or Mahavishnu Orchestra?
Scott W. says
So the Cohen discs are the remasters from a few years ago? Anyone redo Death of a Ladies Man?
Joe Marchese says
Each album has been remastered by Mark Wilder and Bruce Dickinson at Battery Studios from the original analogue tapes. (Mark and Bruce were also responsible for the remasters you mention.) The only exceptions are: the albums "Dear Heather" (Stephen Marcussen), "Songs from the Road" (Doug Sax) and "Live in London" (Bob Ludwig).
If the photos are correct, these sets are WAY cheaper on Amazon than on PopMarket.
I think the recent remasters of Cohen's earliest albums had bonus tracks.
Is there info on whether this box includes all of those bonus tracks?
Joe Marchese says
The bonus tracks on the special editions of "Songs of Leonard Cohen," "Songs from a Room" and "Songs of Love and Hate" do not appear on the new box set. The box contains the albums in their original presentations.
Gladys Thong says
Don't buy from PopMarket folks. I made the big mistake when purchasing the Sam Cooke box. A week later it was HALF THE PRICE on Amazon. I was seriously cheesed off.
Buh huh ... umpteenth repackaging. When will The Fourth Cohen Remaster With Bonus Tracks be released, then? To avoid all confusion: these were the first three, and they're already four years old: http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/remasters2007.html
What I'd really like to hear are possible outtakes from Leonard Cohen's Ten New Songs. It would be great if Cohen put out a "Bootleg Series" of a 5 CD set with 60 "new" songs from that period
Speaking of cheesed off: not just PopMarket, but also OpenDisc. Anyone ever thought now thàt's worthwhile bonus content? Didn't think so ...
Re: LEONARD COHEN
What is going on? The Pop Market box and details says 17 CDs both live and studio
The Amazon Listing says just Studio albums, and is only 11 CDs? The covers are same design, but different titles?
Why the difference? What is correct?
Joe Marchese says
I'm not certain why there is a discrepancy in Amazon's listing, but as Amazon "imports" these boxes, it's possible that the edition selling on Amazon is from another country/territory where the live albums are not included in the set. In other words, there may be two distinct sets.
But the Amazon listing is less than $60, almost a giveaway if it is 17 CDs.
Anybody know what really will be the issue. I'd be surprised if there are two with different makeups and nearly identical covers.
Joe Marchese says
I can now confirm that, as suspected, there are two different editions of this box set. The post above has been updated to reflect this, but in brief: "The Complete Albums Collection" offers each and every one of Mr. Cohen's albums, both in the studio and live (17 albums/18 CDs). "The Complete Studio Albums Collection" contains his eleven studio albums (11 CDs) only. Mystery solved!
for the Earth, Wind & Fire buffs: here is a tracklist to the addidtional disc: Disk 16
1. 1 Getaway - Live In Rio, 2011 Remaster
2. 2 Boogie Wonderland - Instrumental Version, 2011 Remaster
3. 3 Saturday Nite - Alternate Version, 2011 Remaster
4. 4 Hot Dawgit - 2011 Remaster (Ramsey Lewis)
5. 5 Brazilian Rhyme (aka Ponta de Areia) - 2011 Remaster
6. 6 I Am Love - 2011 Remaster (Jennifer Holliday)
7. 7 Let's Groove - Instrumental Version, 2011 Remaster
8. 8 Easy Lover - 2011 Remaster
9. 9 Time Machine - 2011 Remaster
10. 10 Kalimba Tree - Extrended Interlude, 2011 Remaster
11. 11 Stand By Me - 2011 Remaster
12. 12 Eyes Of Hope(outtake from the Touch The World sessions,1987)
13. 13 Insensitive (outtake from the Touch The World sessions,1987)
14. 14 Turn On (The Beat Box) - 12' Version, 2011 Remaster
15. 15 Stand Up For Love - 2011 Remaster
16. 16 In The Stone - Live In Rio, 2011 Remaster
Do you know... Would these reissues be available on vinyl? Thanks!