In recent years, the retailer-exclusive bonus track has become an important if controversial part of music sales. Today’s Short Takes, then, is your public service announcement and guide to the bonus tracks available with three recent and upcoming titles from some of music’s most legendary artists. Chances are you might want to own these previously-unreleased rarities!
Last week saw the release of Carole King’s The Legendary Demos from Rockingale Records and Hear Music. Its thirteen tracks, recorded between 1961 and 1970, offer King at her stripped-down best, pounding the piano and passionately singing newly-minted compositions written for artists such as The Everly Brothers, The Monkees and ultimately, Carole King herself. Two additional demos have surfaced as iTunes exclusive downloads. “Every Breath I Take,” written by King with Gerry Goffin, was a 1961 hit for Gene Pitney as produced by the young Phil Spector, and the demo shows off King’s sure arranging sense as she vocalizes all of the dip dip doo bop bop bops plus the background harmonies! It’s joined by “Oh No, Not My Baby,” a Goffin/King tune introduced by Maxine Brown in 1964 after an abortive attempt by The Shirelles; it was later covered by Manfred Mann, Cher, Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart and others. This demo is less revelatory as King already released solo versions of the song in 1980 and 2001, but offers a worthwhile comparison to those two familiar recordings. King is achingly vulnerable on one of her most beautiful songs. These tracks are available individually on iTunes.
Hit the jump to see what Paul Simon and Paul McCartney have in store, bonus track-wise!
Thanks to our pals at Super Deluxe Edition for the heads-up that iTunes and PaulMcCartney.com will offer two bonus digital-only audio tracks in conjunction with the already bonus-packed edition of Ram due in stores on May 22 from Hear Music. These tracks are “Eat at Home/Smile Away (Live)” from Groningen, The Netherlands, and “Uncle Albert Jam” based on the famous track included on Ram. Not much more information is available at this point, including whether these tracks will be available individually. Watch this space for more details!
Last but certainly not least, the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon’s landmark Graceland will be celebrated on June 5 with a variety of deluxe editions coming from the fine folks at Legacy Recordings. These include a 2-CD/2-DVD box set, a CD/DVD version and a 180-gram vinyl edition which premiered on Record Store Day. The documentary Under African Skies arrives in a stand-alone Blu-Ray edition on June 5 as well. Those who order the 2-CD/2-DVD box set from Amazon.com, however, will get one more surprise. We have confirmed that the Amazon-exclusive edition of the box set adds a separate CD of five previously unreleased bonus tracks recorded in San Sebastian, Spain, from Simon’s 1989 Graceland/Rhythm of the Saints tour. These performances are as follows:
- Gumboots/Whispering Bells
- Crazy Love 1 and 2
- I Know What I Know
If you’re going to Graceland, you just might want to get there via Amazon.com! Happy hunting, all!