2012 isn’t yet over, but it’s not too soon to look forward to all of the amazing releases already slated for 2013! Real Gone Music is doing its part with a whopping nine-title slate due January 29 from a plethora of pop, rock, country and soul artists.
One of the sixties’ most unexpected hits might have been Patty Duke’s “Don’t Just Stand There,” a 1965 Top 10 hit that sounded more than a little like Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me.” By the time the actress recorded her first album for United Artists Records, she had already conquered both television and film, with an Academy Award under her belt for her work in 1962’s The Miracle Worker. Duke recorded four albums for the UA label between 1965 and 1968, and all four are getting the Real Gone treatment. Don’t Just Stand There and Patty came out in 1965 and 1966, respectively, and are being joined on one CD. In addition to the first album’s No. 8 title track, this album duo included songs by Bacharach and David and Tony Hatch, and the hits “Say Something Funny” and “Whenever She Holds You." Another hit, the single “Funny Little Butterflies,” has been included as a bonus track. 1967’s Sings Songs from Valley of the Dolls tied into Duke’s role as Neely O’Hara in the controversial film adaptation of the Jacqueline Susann novel, and features Duke’s renditions of the Andre Previn/Dory Previn theme song and “I’ll Plant My Own Tree.” Duke finished her UA tenure with 1968’s Sings Folk Songs, but the LP was never released. Real Gone rectifies this, pairing it with Valley of the Dolls. These two releases mark the first legitimate release of these four albums on CD, and are taken from the original master tapes. Ms. Duke herself has contributed quotes to the liner notes.
Also from the sixties, Real Gone excavates two more gems. The Pozo Seco Singers’ third album for Columbia Records, 1968’s Shades of Time, was the first album from the group following the departure of Lofton Klein, leaving just Don Williams and Susan Taylor to soldier on with the Pozo Seco blend of pop, country and rock. For Shades of Time, Williams and Taylor dropped “Singers” from their moniker and teamed with producers Elliot Mazer and Bob Johnston. The album, however, wasn’t a commercial success, and Pozo Seco disbanded in 1970, setting Don Williams on his way to solo country stardom. Real Gone has added eleven single sides (nine in mono, two in stereo) to this reissue. Vic Anesini has remastered the entire album, while Tom Pickles has contributed liner notes with new quotes from Susan Taylor, a.k.a. Taylor Pie.
One year before Shades of Time, country songwriter Kenny O’Dell recorded Beautiful People for the Vegas label. Though O’Dell would later gain fame writing for artists including Charlie Rich and The Judds, Beautiful People was less country and more pop-psych, even yielding a Top 40 hit with the title track. Real Gone’s reissue adds seven bonus tracks from O’Dell’s brief tenure with the Vegas and White Whale labels, and also includes O’Dell’s only other Top 40 hit, “Springfield Plane.” Ed Osborne has written the new liner notes and Steve Massie has remastered.
After the jump: a prog-rock legend, a soul man, an outlaw and a Sham!
When Yes’ Rick Wakeman recorded his No Earthly Connection for A&M in 1976, the keyboardist turned to the six-piece English Rock Ensemble (vocalist Ashley Holt, Roger Newell on bass guitar and vocals, John Dunsterville on guitars, mandolin, and vocals, Tony Fernandez on drums and percussion, Martyn Shields on trumpet, French horn, and vocals, and Reg Brooks on trombone and vocals) to bring to life his concept album about a musical creation story. Real Gone’s reissue of this oft-misunderstood LP (described by Wakeman himself as “more [controversial] than any other album I have made…either loved or hated”) is its first CD release outside of Japan, and features new liner notes from Gene Sculatti plus the original cover art and an inner sleeve with lyrics and credits.
Next up is another solo album from an artist more famous for his work with a band. After Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs called it a day, frontman Domingo “Sam” Samudio signed a solo deal with Atlantic and recorded 1971’s Hard and Heavy. Atlantic called in the big guns for Samudio’s LP. Producers Tom Dowd and Jerry Wexler called on The Dixie Flyers to supply the music, The Sweet Inspirations to coo the backing vocals, and the young Duane Allman to bring his inimitable stamp on guitar. Real Gone’s reissue of this lost rock classic adds one bonus track, the single of “Me and Bobby McGee” with Samudio supported by Allman on dobro, and reprints Samudio’s offbeat, Grammy-winning liner notes alongside new annotation from Richie Unterberger.
Sam Dees' R&B gem The Show Must Go On was likewise an Atlantic release. Dees, writer of hit songs for artists including Larry Graham (“One in a Million You”) and George Benson and Aretha Franklin (“Love All the Hurt Away”), produced this underrated LP which Real Gone describes as “a remarkable amalgam of Southern and Chicago soul styles, and anchored by Dees’ always remarkable songwriting.” The Show Must Go On yielded four charting singles, yet CD release has eluded the album in its original form. The new reissue adds six bonus single sides and new liner notes from Bill Dahl.
For its final two releases of January, Real Gone is headed for the country. Texas singer/songwriter Billy Joe Shaver first made his mark on record with the outlaw country classic Old Five and Dimers Like Me for the Monument label in 1973. Following a stint at Capricorn, Shaver landed at Columbia Records, and Real Gone’s new The Complete Columbia Recordings brings together all three of Shaver’s Columbia LPs plus one bonus track on a 2-CD set. 1981’s I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (but I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday) has been out of print for years, while Shaver’s next album, 1982’s eponymous set, has never been on CD until now. Shaver took a pause until 1987’s Salt of the Earth, his first album of new material in six years and his last recording for another six. Like I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal, Salt has long been out-of-print. Now, all three albums are back in remastered form from Vic Anesini, and Real Gone’s reissue includes the original artwork to all three albums plus new liner notes from Doug Freeman drawing on quotes from the outlaw singer himself.
Last but certainly not least, Real Gone takes one step over the Borderline. Formed by brothers Dave and Jon Gershen and Jim Rooney, the band occupied a special place in the creative atmosphere of Woodstock, New York. Borderline’s debut album, 1972’s Sweet Dreams and Quiet Desires, featured contributions from some country-rock legends and some more unexpected names, too, including Neil Young’s frequent collaborator Ben Keith, fiddlers Vassar Clements and Ken Kosek, drummer Billy Mundi, saxophonist David Sanborn, The Band’s producer John Simon on piano and Band members Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson (billed as “Dick Handle” and “Campo Malaqua,” respectively) on keyboards. Despite this pedigree, United Artists’ Avalanche imprint couldn’t provide the album with the necessary promotion to succeed. 1973’s The Second Album featured guests such as The Brecker Brothers, but that album wasn’t even released until 2001 when EMI Japan released it on CD, derived from an acetate. Real Gone’s release of Sweet Dreams and Quiet Desires/The Second Album marks the American CD debut for both albums, and both are remastered from the original two-track album master tapes. Richie Unterberger’s notes will fill you in on the band’s history, drawing on quotes from all three members of the band and photos from Jon Gershen's private archive.
All nine titles from Real Gone Music are due in stores on January 29, and can be ordered at the links below!
- Patty Duke, Don’t Just Stand There/Patty
- Patty Duke, Sings Songs from Valley of the Dolls/Sings Folk Songs
- Pozo Seco, Shades of Time
- Kenny O’Dell, Beautiful People
- Rick Wakeman, No Earthly Connection
- Sam Samudio, Hard and Heavy
- Sam Dees, The Show Must Go On
- Billy Joe Shaver, The Complete Columbia Recordings
- Borderline, Sweet Dreams and Quiet Desires/The Second Album