With another month comes another slate of rare music on both CD and vinyl from one of the real up-and-comers in the reissue biz, Real Gone Music! The label’s February centerpieces just might be Rick Nelson’s The Complete Epic Recordings and Mark Lindsay’s The Complete Columbia Singles, but those two releases are being joined by titles from Sean (T.S.) Bonniwell, McGough and McGear, Eddie Hazel and the girls of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s Red Bird label on CD, plus Hank Thompson on vinyl! The titles will arrive in two waves, on February 21 and February 28.
The Complete Columbia Singles of Mark Lindsay follows a similar 2010 Collectors’ Choice Music release for Paul Revere and the Raiders, the band with which Lindsay made his name as both lead vocalist and saxophonist! Lindsay’s solo collection will include every A- and B-side released on Columbia (including the smash hit “Arizona”), plus a previously unissued rendition of Tim Hardin’s “Reason to Believe,” originally planned as the flip of the singer’s debut single. The first five tracks are in mono, and the balance in stereo, and the songs are presented in chronological order. Ed Osborne contributes new liner notes, drawing on interviews with Lindsay, songwriter Jerry Fuller, arranger Artie Butler and singer Tom Bahler. The Complete Columbia Singles arrives February 28.
On the complete albums front, Real Gone is also compiling Rick Nelson’s Epic Records period. Although Nelson recorded three albums’ worth of material at Epic, only one LP was released during the singer’s lifetime, 1977’s Intakes. Musical renaissance man Al Kooper produced the intended follow-up, Back to Vienna, but the album collected dust on the Epic shelf, while Rockabilly Renaissance – a commercial prospect if there ever was one, with Nelson returning to his musical roots – was posthumously overdubbed. Although the original albums have all seen the light of day in the compact disc age, The Complete Epic Recordings, due out February 28, will mark the American debut of 11 of its 41 tracks. James Ritz has produced and written the liner notes, while Rockabilly Renaissance was restored to its original format by Bear Family’s Richard Weize.
With Paul McCartney releasing his latest studio album, Kisses on the Bottom, in time for Valentine’s Day in February, it might also be a good month to spread the love to Macca’s younger brother Mike, a.k.a. Mike McGear. Roger McGough and Mike McGear were two-thirds of the Scaffold, the comedy/rock band remembered for U.K. No. 4 hit “Thank U Very Much” and chart-topper “Lily the Pink.” The duo’s eponymous 1967 album on the Parlophone label welcomed a “Who’s Who” of rock royalty: John Mayall, Spencer Davis, Paul Samwell-Smith, Graham Nash, brother Paul, and even Jimi Hendrix, whose searing guitar lights up two tracks! McGough & McGear makes its long-overdue American CD debut, with new liner notes by Richie Unterberger, on February 21.
Hit the jump for more releases from Eddie Hazel, Sean Bonniwell and Hank Thompson, plus the girls of Leiber and Stoller’s Red Bird Records label!
The catalogue of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s Red Bird label has been mined on CD numerous times before, but Real Gone’s February 21 release of The Red Bird Girls presents twenty cuts in true stereo for the very first time. You’ll hear songs both familiar and unfamiliar from artists like Ellie Greenwich, Evie Sands, the Goodies, the Jelly Beans, the Dixie Cups, and the Ad-Libs, including a previously unreleased Neil Diamond song performed by his producer Greenwich, “Call Me His.” Ron Furmanek has remixed and remastered the tracks, while the 16-page booklet contains interviews with Red Bird artists and producer Brooks Arthur. Stories of Red Bird have become legendary, with Leiber and Stoller eventually selling their share of the company for one dollar (!) to partner George Goldner, but the real story of the short-lived label is in the ebullient pop you’ll hear here.
Plainfield, New Jersey’s Eddie Hazel was best known as a pivotal part of George Clinton’s titanic funk outfit Parliament/Funkadelic. As a solo artist, Hazel recorded Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs in 1977, co-producing the album with Clinton and enlisting many of the P-Funk stars to play. Real Gone reissues this lost classic with a gatefold wallet CD sleeve and new liner notes on February 21.
Sean “T.S.” Bonniwell, like Hazel, is best-remembered for his work in a band. But the Music Machine (“Talk Talk”) leader also recorded a solo album, 1969’s Close. The Capitol Records release found Bonniwell turning his back on his garage roots for an orchestrated pop suite with touches of bossa nova. The album didn’t fare well in the commercial sphere, and Bonniwell retired from music directly afterwards, but he was made aware of Real Gone’s reissue before his death last month from cancer. He remixed Close and contributed to the liner notes for the CD due on February 21.
Finally, Real Gone pays homage to a pioneer of rip-roaring, wild country with a special vinyl-only release. Hank Thompson’s 1959 Songs for Rounders isn’t for the faint of heart, inspired by Thompson’s live readings of the song “Cocaine Blues.” It’s reissued on February 28 in stereo on 160-gram vinyl, with liner notes by Colin Escott, writer of Broadway’s Million Dollar Quartet. Thompson’s true-life story reportedly was the basis of the 1987 novel Crazy Heart by Thomas Cobb, which in turn became a 2009 feature film starring Jeff Bridges as the down-and-out country star.
Track listings have not yet been revealed for this septet of releases, so watch this space for more details soon!