We hope that nobody missed yesterday’s big news of The Second Disc’s partnership with Real Gone Music to create Second Disc Records, launching March 10 with a pair of releases from Johnny Mathis and Bob Crewe! But that’s not all that Real Gone has on tap for March release. With a total of eight titles ranging from psychedelia to standards, this may be one of the label’s most eclectic release batches yet!
Real Gone is kicking off the month on March 3 with two iconic classic rock albums on painstakingly-recreated replica vinyl – Foghat and The J. Geils Band! Then, one week later, in addition to the Second Disc Records titles, Real Gone presents rarities from two of the greatest vocalists of all time – two discs of never-before-released music from Peggy Lee and a new-to-CD live recording from Perry Como! Peggy and Perry are joined by vintage soul from Bettye LaVette and raga-rock from Bay Area group Shanti!
We don’t want you to miss a thing, so we’re reprinting Real Gone’s press release below along with pre-order links for all titles!
LOS ANGELES, CA – It’s one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll live albums of all time, and one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll albums of the ‘70s, period. And it (deservedly) vaulted one of the best boogie bands ever to superstardom. But, even in this golden era of classic rock vinyl reissues, Foghat: Live has not seen its killer twin guitar jams recommitted to wax…until now! Real Gone Music is proud to bring this legendary live album back to vinyl where it belongs, with a limited-edition package that pulls no punches: 180-gram vinyl, with painstaking replications of the original die-cut jacket and of the 4-color cardboard inner “Eurosleeve” that peeks out through the die-cut. Peter Black’s remastering and lacquer cutting brings out every note in such stomping songs as “Honey Hush” (taken at twice the speed of the studio version), “Home in My Hand” (check those a cappella harmonies), the big hit “Fool for the City, ” “Road Fever” and, of course, the frenzied boogie favorites “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and “Slow Ride.” The quartet of guitarists “Lonesome” Dave Peverett and Rod Price, bassist Craig MacGregor and drummer Roger Earl were as tight as any rock band before or since—38 minutes of blues-rock bliss.
Despite a couple of previous worthy studio efforts to their name, when Bloodshot came out in 1973, The J. Geils Band was best known for being a smokin’ hot live act, a reputation bolstered by the success of their previous album, “Live”—Full House, which was their highest-charting record to date. But Bloodshot changed all that—here was a studio record that captured all the raucous energy of their concerts, but tailored it into nine songs that maintained the band’s hard rockin’ R&B virtues while also displaying a rapid artistic maturation. “Give It to Me,” for example, was their first self-penned hit and did the Stones one better with its funky, reggae-tinged groove, while the album also included the soon-to-be concert faves “Southside Shuffle” and “(Ain’t Nothin’ but a) House Party. ” But Bloodshot also delved into blues shuffles (“Struttin’ with My Baby”), jump blues (“Hold Your Loving”) and even heart-on-the-sleeve balladry (“Start All Over Again”)—in short, this was the album where The J. Geils Band really arrived artistically, and they were rewarded with their first Top Ten album (and only one save for Freeze Frame, which came out eight years later). Now, Real Gone Music is proud to present this classic record in a first-time LP reissue, released on red vinyl for a limited time exactly the way early copies of the album were released back in 1973. We’ve even re-created the original labels—which were themselves re-creations of the old Atlantic Records labels—for maximum verisimilitude. Remastering and lacquer cutting are by Peter Black—this one sounds just as great as it did back in the day!
As one of the greatest and most popular female pop singers working during radio’s Golden Age, Peggy Lee made her share of appearances on the dial, particularly on her own radio show that, starting in 1951, was broadcast over the CBS network and the Armed Forces Radio Service. But, unlike many of her contemporaries who have had their on-air performances compiled into collections both legitimate and not, Peggy has never really enjoyed a proper retrospective of her radio appearances…until now! The 44 tracks on At Last—The Lost Radio Recordings consists ENTIRELY of songs Peggy never recorded commercially, ranging from popular standards to novelty numbers to songs popularized by such esteemed peers as Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, Dinah Shore, Jo Stafford, Kay Starr and Margaret Whiting, with musical direction by Sonny Burke in Los Angeles and Russ Case in New York. Most of these recordings haven’t been heard since they were originally broadcast, and as this is the first-ever collection of its kind licensed directly from the Peggy Lee estate, this 2-CD set offers superior sound with remastering by Mike Milchner at SonicVision, rarely-seen photos, and expert liner notes by David Torresen, long-time editor of PeggyLee.com, her official website. Many folks feel that Peggy never sang as well as she did in the early and mid-1950s; her maturity (in her thirties) and confidence had fully blossomed, her phrasing perfected and the timbre of her voice was pure gossamer. Listening to her interpret this new material is a revelation—an absolute must-have and a major, historic addition to the Peggy Lee discography and legacy.
With 21 charting albums, 53 chart hits, and countless appearances on television and radio to his name, Perry Como has been awarded with virtually every accolade the music industry has to offer. But there remains one facet of his career that remains underappreciated: his skill as a live performer. That’s because, from 1948 through the early ‘70s, Perry almost never toured, spending every waking and working moment out of the recording studio preparing his beloved television specials. As a result, only a small percentage of his fans ever got the chance to see him work his magic on stage. Luckily for the rest of us, though, Perry left behind Perry Como Live on Tour, which was recorded in Chicago in 1980. Clocking in at a remarkable hour for a single-LP release, Live on Tour captures Mr. C not only performing huge hits like “Temptation,” “It’s Impossible” and a medley of “Till the End of Time”/”Catch a Falling Star”/”Round and Round”/”Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes,” but also displays all the warmth and charm that made him such a commanding presence on the small screen, with some extended (and very funny) bits of crowd interaction. Como’s long-time musical director Nick Perito provides the accompaniment, and the great arranger Ray Charles—who first started working with Perry in 1948—directs the choir. Our Real Gone CD debut reissue of this classic live album features liner notes by Matthew Long and photos from the Sony archive featuring images taken on this very tour, while the remastering by Sean Brennan at Battery Studios in New York ensures that this release actually sounds better than the vinyl version ever did. An essential look at a forgotten side of a superstar.
Shanti was one of the earliest and greatest raga rock bands. Its most famous member was the legendary tabla player Zakir Hussain, who moved to Marin County in the late ‘60s and was eventually to hook up with the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart in the Diga Rhythm Band and Planet Drum. But before that, he formed this outfit, which also featured renowned sarod player Aashish Khan along with former members of the Loading Zone, Cold Blood and the Travel Agency. The blend of East and West on this 1971 self-titled album is utterly unique; the closest comparison might be Kaleidoscope with respect to the exoticism and the caliber of musicianship, but Shanti’s harmonies sound more like Crosby, Stills & Nash, and the flavor is definitely more Indian than Middle Eastern. Over the years, Shanti has ascended into serious cult status, having been sampled by everybody from Fatboy Slim to Richard Ashcroft, but it’s never been reissued in any form till now. Richie Unterberger’s notes featuring quotes from the band place Shanti (the group and the album) within the late-‘60s/early-‘70s Bay Area rock cosmos. A Real Gone raga resurrection and a real head trip!
With a brand-new album coming out this year (Worthy) co-produced by Joe Henry, Bettye LaVette is hotter than ever, easily one of our greatest living soul singers and still an irresistible artistic force. So, we thought the time was right to reissue this collection featuring her complete recordings for the Atco and Atlantic labels, which previously came out only in a hard-to-find limited edition. The title, Child of the Seventies, is taken from a complete album that Bettye (or Betty, as she was known back then) recorded for Atco back in November 1972; produced by Brad Shapiro (most notable for his work with Millie Jackson), it’s a raw soul masterpiece that the label inexplicably decided not to release (it was only to see the light of day in 2000 on a European release and then on this compilation). But that’s only the beginning of the gems that await you on this set: among the 10 bonus tracks are two tracks (“Waiting for Tomorrow” and “Livin’ Life on a Shoestring”) that were previously unreleased until their debut here, plus single versions (including a mono version of the brilliant “Your Turn to Cry”) of album tracks and six more single sides, 22 deeply soulful tracks in all! David Nathan’s notes follow the long and winding road these recordings took to being released. Essential soul.
In 1973, Johnny Mathis boarded the love train with the destination of Philadelphia. The velvet-voiced vocalist was already a music legend when he teamed with Thom Bell, architect of the Philadelphia soul sound via his groundbreaking work with The Delfonics, The Stylistics and The Spinners. The pairing of the smooth balladeer with the chart-topping R&B quadruple threat (producer-songwriter-arranger-conductor) might have seemed unlikely at first, but Mathis and Bell shared an elegant, sophisticated and romantic sensibility built on pop melodies and heartfelt soul. Now, for the very first time, the complete collaborations of Johnny Mathis and Thom Bell are being collected on one 2-CD set. Life Is a Song Worth Singing—The Complete Thom Bell Sessions, from Real Gone Music and its newly christened Second Disc Records imprint, celebrates one of the most fruitful partnerships in modern soul music by presenting both 1973’s I’m Coming Home album (featuring the No. 1 AC hit title track, the Top 10 AC hit “Life Is a Song Worth Singing” and Mathis’ own versions of The Stylistics’ favorites “I’m Stone in Love with You” and “Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)”) and the worldwide CD premiere of 1977’s Mathis Is release (with the original version of “Loving You – Losing You,” a Top 30 AC hit for Mathis and later a Top 40 R&B hit for Phyllis Hyman). This comprehensive collection of sweet Philly soul also adds a number of rare, never-on-CD single versions, two previously unreleased instrumental tracks showcasing Bell’s orchestral splendor, and five more silky Mathis renditions of Bell classics recorded between 1972 and 2008 including “Betcha by Golly Wow” and “You Make Me Feel Brand New.” Drawing ¨upon a fresh interviews with Johnny Mathis and musician/producer Bobby Eli, The Second Disc’s Joe Marchese has penned the liner notes for this collection, which has been newly remastered by Sean Brennan at Sony’s Battery Studios. Life Is a Song Worth Singing—The Complete Thom Bell Sessions sheds new light on an oft-overlooked collaboration between two of American popular song’s towering talents.
What do “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Jenny, Take a Ride” and “Lady Marmalade” all have in common? Each one of those songs came from the pen from Bob Crewe. A songwriter, producer, singer, entrepreneur, artist and candidate for the title of “Fifth Season,” Crewe was one of music’s true renaissance men. With Bob Gaudio, he co-wrote and produced most of the Four Seasons’ greatest hits, and he also guided the careers of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Oliver, and many others. Yet one period of his extraordinary career has been long overlooked…until now. During 1976 and 1977, Crewe was signed to Elektra Records, where he released two remarkably diverse albums. 1976’s Street Talk resurrected The Bob Crewe Generation, best-known for the swinging bachelor pad classic “Music to Watch Girls By,” for the disco age. As a “disco-rock ballet” concept album aimed at Broadway, Street Talk reflected the exuberant, uninhibited and provocative spirit of the era with its lush, orchestral disco style. The following year, Crewe emerged as a singer-songwriter with the solo Motivation. Helmed by legendary rock producer Jerry Wexler and famed Muscle Shoals musician Barry Beckett, Motivation was inspired by Carole King’s Tapestry and remains a passionate, spiritual and raw pop statement from an artist who had plenty to say. Real Gone Music’s Bob Crewe: The Complete Elektra Recordings, one of two inaugural releases from the label’s new Second Disc Records imprint, brings these two, long-unavailable hidden gems to CD in the United States for the very first time. And that’s not all. A host of never-on-CD bonus tracks have been added to each title including rare singles and remixes! The Second Disc’s Joe Marchese provides the new liner notes for this newly-remastered collection. Take one listen, and you’ll agree: Crewe’s pulse-pounding, emotionally-charged Elektra recordings deserve a place alongside his undisputed classics…and offer a timely tribute to this late, great pop music giant.
Real Gone Music March 3, 2015 Releases
Foghat, Live (Limited Edition 180-Gram LP Release) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )
The J. Geils Band, Bloodshot (Limited Edition Red Vinyl Release) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )
Real Gone Music March 10, 2015 Releases
Betty LaVette, Child of the Seventies (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )
Bob Crewe, The Complete Elektra Recordings (2-CD Set) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )
Johnny Mathis, Life Is a Song Worth Singing—The Complete Thom Bell Sessions (2-CD Set) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )
Peggy Lee, At Last—The Lost Radio Recordings (2-CD Set) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )
Perry Como, Perry Como Live on Tour (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )
Shanti, Shanti (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )