As we kick off another week, we’re catching up with a few news items that almost slipped between the cracks!
- Earlier this year, RockBeat and S’More Entertainment released Todd: Live, preserving on both CD and DVD editions a live performance by Todd Rundgren of his 1974 classic album Todd. But Todd only told half of the story! Joined by Utopia’s Kasim Sulton (bass), The Cars’ Greg Hawkes (keyboards), The Tubes’ Prairie Prince (drums), Guitar Player Magazine‘s editor Jesse Gress (guitar), Bobby Strickland (sax) and a full choir, Rundgren’s performance of Todd was part of a double bill. The second half of the evening consisted of the singer bringing to life his 1981 opus Healing. Today, the live Healing joins Todd with CD and DVD releases. The semi-concept album is one of Rundgren’s most personal efforts. Side One of the original album loosely tells a parable about a man who discovers he has healing powers, and the second side is a “soundtrack to that story” in Rundgren’s words. Interested? You can order the CD of Healing Live here, and the DVD here.
- Jay and the Americans somewhat paradoxically entered the 1970s not looking forward, but rather looking back. The group behind such pop perennials as “Come a Little Bit Closer,” “Cara Mia” and “Only in America” had endured personnel and management changes by 1969, and also faced the changing tastes in music. Knowing the value of a great song, however, the group self-produced Sands of Time, dedicated to disk jockey Alan Freed and dedicated to revivals of songs from just a few years back, though that few years must have seemed like a lifetime. The gamble paid off. Sands of Time yielded the group’s Top 10 first hit in over three years thanks to Mort Shuman and Doc Pomus’ “This Magic Moment.” The No. 6 chart placement even bested the Drifters’ original by ten places! The U.K.’s BGO Records has joined Sands of Time with its 1970 follow-up Wax Museum and Capture the Moment from later in 1970. Wax Museum scored another Top 20 hit with the band’s recording of Phil Spector, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil’s “Walkin’ in the Rain” (originally waxed by the Ronettes) while other songs came from the pens of Pomus and Shuman, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, and Burt Bacharach and Hal David. The third offering in BGO’s set, Capture the Moment, was largely self-penned and very much in a folk-rock vein, and features future Steely Dan members Donald Fagen and Walter Becker on string and horn arrangements. Sands of Time/Wax Museum/Capture the Moment is available now!
Hit the jump to see what Paul McCartney has planned for 2013! It’s never too early…
- In an interview with Paul McCartney’s manager Scott Rodger, This Week in Music got a scoop for which many fans have been waiting. Hot on the heels of the recent, acclaimed Archive Collection reissue of Ram, the prestige box set series will turn its attention to 1976’s Wings Over America, the 1976 triple-LP live recording that documented McCartney’s first U.S. visit since the days of The Beatles. Wings Over America reached No. 1 in the U.S. also going Top 10 in the singer’s native United Kingdom. And for the first time in a significant way, McCartney embraced his fab legacy, performing five Beatles songs among the newly-minted Wings and solo hits. A live version of “Maybe I’m Amazed” from the concert album even became a Top 10 single in the U.S. in its own right. Rodger also confirmed that Rockshow, a 1980 concert film from the same 1976 tour, will be released for the first time on DVD, with several songs restored. Although there’s no further information to report at this point, McCartney’s considerable fan base can rest easy that these eagerly-anticipated releases are, indeed, on the way!