One surefire cure for the winter blues is to think ahead to the warmer climates awaiting us in spring. And Real Gone Music is seeing to it that April 2015 will shower not only with rain but with a full slate of new releases!
This batch includes a sprawling set from Yes’ Rick Wakeman produced the great Tony Visconti, two more visits down memory lane with Grateful Dead, plus some rare music from underrated singer/songwriters Craig Fuller and Eric Kaz, and Jesse Winchester. And that’s not all. Real Gone also premieres on CD a music theatre concept album from the late “Cannonball” Adderley (featuring vocalists from Randy Crawford to Robert Guillaume) and the return of hardcore punks The Crumbsuckers. Last but not least, Real Gone has a world premiere release from the one and only Dusty Springfield.
Faithful assembles for the first time on one CD all of the masters produced by the legendary Jeff Barry (“Chapel of Love,” “Leader of the Pack,” “Sugar, Sugar”) for Springfield in 1971. From his home base at New York’s Century Sound, Barry produced thirteen songs for Dusty – twelve intended for album release and one for a non-LP single. Four songs were released on two 45s, but when Dusty departed Atlantic Records, the remaining tracks were left on the shelf, and thought lost until the CD era. Faithful presents the 12-song album as originally envisioned (including Barry and Bobby Bloom's cult favorite "Haunted," Barry’s “I Believe in You” and Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend”) and also includes the B-side “Nothing is Forever” as a bonus track. I had the great privilege of writing the liner notes for this release, based on my recent interview with the amazing Mr. Jeff Barry!
Most of these titles are due on April 7, but the Rick Wakeman and Dead releases arrive first, on March 31. You’ll find full details in Real Gone’s press release, which follows, along with pre-order links!
LOS ANGELES - With the passing of Jesse Winchester last year, America lost one of its truly great singer-songwriters, but here is an unexpected release that will remind both his fans and those new to his art what a remarkable talent he was. Seems Like Only Yesterday—Live in Montreal 1976 presents, for the first time anywhere since it aired, the 1976 radio broadcast from Montreal that marked the first time anyone in the United States had heard Jesse perform live, as his exile in Canada as a draft resister began in the late ‘60s (it was also the first-ever live show broadcast internationally on stereo FM radio). And, in what had to have been an emotional occasion for Jesse, he rises to the occasion with a sterling set (featuring a full band) that included such classics as “Mississippi You’re on My Mind” (covered by Jerry Jeff Walker among many others), “Yankee Lady” (cut by Tim Hardin, Brewer & Shipley and Melanie), “Brand New Tennessee Waltz” and the underground radio stoner classic “Twigs and Seeds,” plus some beautiful covers of songs made famous by other artists, like the Everly Brothers’ “Bowling Green.” Crystal clear sound, liner notes by long-time Winchester fan Gene Sculatti, and photos help make this one of the year’s biggest singer-songwriter finds, and a timely tribute to the artist. Not to be missed.
In 1971, Atlantic Records released a pair of Dusty Springfield singles produced by the legendary songwriter/producer Jeff Barry (one-time songwriting and romantic partner of Ellie Greenwich, and author of too many hits to name): "Haunted"/"Nothing Is Forever" and "I Believe In You"/"Someone Who Cares." A restless Dusty, freshly relocating to America from her native England, then departed the label and left an additional 9 songs recorded with Barry in the can, where they stayed until Rhino issued one track, "Faithful" (in mono), as a bonus track on the 1990s CD release of Dusty's 1970 Atlantic album A Brand New Me. The other tracks didn’t surface until a subsequent deluxe reissue of Dusty’s landmark 1969 album Dusty in Memphis included them as bonus cuts. Now, reissue producer Jim Pierson—who tracked down the missing masters after being lost for over two decades —has assembled all of Dusty’s Barry-produced masters and put them together in a single package for the first time to create the third Dusty Springfield Atlantic Records album as planned in 1971. Real Gone Music’s release of Faithful presents these historic Barry-Springfield collaborations exactly as they were originally intended to be heard, with the 12 tracks intended for the album release followed by1 one intended for single-only release. All tracks are in stereo, while the liner notes, penned by The Second Disc's Joe Marchese, feature a number of rarely-seen photos of the legendary singer. These stunning pop, soul and gospel flavored selections showcase the iconic singer at the height of her vocal magic, and finally set right a missing/jumbled part of Dusty’s august recorded legacy.
Craig Fuller and Eric Kaz had already teamed up in American Flyer (along with Blood, Sweat & Tears’ Steve Katz and the Velvet Underground’s Doug Yule) before they collaborated on their 1978 self-titled album, but their pedigrees went way farther back than that band. Fuller made his debut with J.D. Blackfoot in 1970 and co-founded Pure Prairie League (for whom he wrote “Amie” among other PPL classics), while Kaz had cut his teeth with Children of Paradise (along with Happy and Artie Traum) before joining Blues Magoos for two records and cutting two solo records for Atlantic. With a track record like that, it’s no surprise that this record sported the crème de la crème of supporting musicians: J.D. Souther, Russ & Leah Kunkel, Leland Sklar, Michael McDonald, and Leo Sayer all played prominent supporting roles, while Grammy-winning producer Val Garay (Kim Carnes, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Ringo Starr, Santana, etc.) oversaw the proceedings. But, as always, it’s the songs that make this album a lost classic of West Coast ‘70s rock—Craig Fuller/Eric Kaz features the definitive version of Kaz’s “Cry Like a Rainstorm,” which was the title tune of Linda Ronstadt’s 1978 Grammy-nominated album, as well as such great tunes as “Annabella” (also available on our Expanded Edition in its single version) and “Feel That Way Again.” Liner notes by Ed Osborne featuring quotes from Craig Fuller and Eric Kaz round out the release, which is remastered at Sony’s own Battery Studios. The long out-of print Japanese reissue sells for hundreds, and we mean hundreds of dollars—this one’s a must for anybody into the SoCal rock scene of the ‘70s.
Formed in 1982 in Baldwin, Long Island, The Crumbsuckers were inspired by the initial wave of hardcore punk spearheaded in America by bands such as Los Angeles’ Black Flag, Washington D.C.’s Minor Threat and Detroit’s Negative Approach. But unlike the rest of the teenaged hardcore bands forming throughout the country at the time, The Crumbsuckers were accomplished musicians for their age. Their combination of musical prowess and blindingly fast songs landed them a contract with Combat Records—home to such heavy hitting acts as Exodus, Circle Jerks and Megadeth at the time—and put them at the forefront of the “crossover” movement of the mid-80’s which merged the raw power of hardcore punk with the complexity of heavy metal. Their debut LP from 1986, Life of Dreams, is considered a landmark release in the genre of crossover containing such ferocious classics as “Sit There,” “Bullshit Society” and “Hub Run,” which are all delivered with an added crunch courtesy of producer Norman Dunn, the man responsible for such other crossover classics as Agnostic Front’s Cause for Alarm and the debut release by Brooklyn’s Carnivore. For Beast on My Back, the bands’ second and final record from 1988, they worked with Megadeth producer Randy Burns. The band is in a more polished, thrash metal mode foreshadowing the direction bass player Gary Meskil would take in his impending band, the highly successful and still operating Pro-Pain. Life of Dreams/Beast on My Back appear for the first time on one compact disc with liner notes written by Tony Rettman; author of NYHC – New York Hardcore 1980 – 1990. Remastered at Sony’s own Battery Studios from the original tapes that were long buried in the Sony U.K. vault!
In what would turn out to be the final years of his short life, jazz great Julian “Cannonball” Adderley embarked on a number of ambitious, genre-stretching projects. The last of these was 1975's Big Man, the score for a musical play based on the John Henry (“the steel driving man”) American folk legend. The album was released as a two-LP set with libretto, and featured music from Adderley and his then-current musical associates including brother Nat Adderley, George Duke (using the alias “Dawilli Gonga”), Roy McCurdy, Airto Moreira, Carol Kaye and others. The sessions also made full use of a large string section and chorus, while the primary vocalists sang and read their lines in character; the vocal cast included lead vocalist Joe Williams, Randy Crawford (making her professional debut on record here at age 21), and Robert Guillaume (later to win two Emmy Awards for his work on TV series Soap and Benson, and a Grammy Award for his work connected to The Lion King). Long out of print and never before issued on CD, Real Gone Music's reissue of Big Man boasts liner notes by Bill Kopp (Kopp also penned the liners for RGM's first Adderley reissue, The Black Messiah) with quotes from Robert Guillaume, and the full libretto, with remastering by Joe Tarantino. The final artistic statement from a tenor sax titan!
Real Gone Music concludes its survey of Rick Wakeman’s solo recordings for the A&M label with yet another first-time-on-CD-in-the-U.S. release, this time of his last album for the label, Rhapsodies, a double-LP from 1979. Unlike many of his other solo records, Rhapsodies consists of short, largely improvisational pieces (17 in all for a 2-LP set—that’s practically Ramones-style for this composer!) that are brimming with the whimsy and prodigious chops we’ve come to expect from the erstwhile Yes keyboardist. On the lighter side are the opening track, “Pedra da Gavea,” which sets keyboard licks and processed vocals to none other than a Bo Diddley beat, and “Swan Lager,” which arranges one of the main themes from “Swan Lake” as a reggae number! But Wakeman’s closing solo piano take on “Summertime” is nothing short of gorgeous, and reminds us that, lurking behind the prog rock god/clown façade, was a sensitive and fully mature artist…when he wanted to be. Otherwise, enjoy the dizzying array of musical ideas and motifs from the flying fingers of Mr. Wakeman, with artful annotation by Bill Kopp. Produced by Tony Visconti of David Bowie fame.
Finally, Real Gone is ramping up its long-standing reissue campaign of the Grateful Dead’s classic Dick’s Picks series of live recordings with two new releases (the label is also doing a limited-edition repress of Dick’s Picks Vol. 34, a 1977 show from Rochester that is the best-selling volume in the series so far). The first, Dick’s Picks Vol. 11—Stanley Theatre, Jersey City, NJ 9/27/72, was not only the first concert from 1972 to be released in the series, but also was the first full concert from that hallowed year ever to be released by the Dead. At the time, it sparked some controversy—it seemed like (and still does!) every Deadhead had his or her favorite 1972 show—but as usual, compiler Dick Latvala came through with an (American) beauty, highlighted by one of the greatest “Dark Star” versions ever recorded, with a bonus of a one-time-only segue into “Cumberland Blues.” This volume also delivers an interesting set list marked by quite a bit of material from the debut solo albums by Jerry Garcia (Garcia) and Bob Weir (Ace), both of which had come out earlier that year. We’ve seen quite a few folks claim this album actually tops Europe ’72, but maybe a better way to put it is to say it complements it, with a bunch of new material added to the repertoire and a new, post-Pigpen line-up playing at a very high level on this side of the pond.
Meanwhile, the second release, Dick’s Picks Vol. 9—Madison Square Garden, New York, NY 9/16/90, captures the band in a period of transition—less than two months had passed since the death of Brent Mydland, Vince Welnick had taken over keyboard duties earlier in the month, and Bruce Hornsby had joined the band just the night before! But despite all the turmoil and turnover, the band gelled this night to a really remarkable degree, which is a testimony both to the Dead’s musical chops and their indomitable, improvisational spirit. Welnick and Hornsby transform such warhorses as “Little Red Rooster,” “Queen Jane Approximately,” and “Iko Iko” into dazzling keyboard showcases, while the rest of the band—and particularly Phil Lesh, who is just on fire throughout—shines on such tunes as “Tennessee Jed,” “Looks Like Rain” and “Morning Dew.” The jams, including the whimsically titled “No MSG Jam” and “Lunatic Preserve,” are stellar as well—there is a reason this was the first Dick’s Pick to feature a concert from the ‘90s. Both of these releases have been out of print for years.
Real Gone Music March 31, 2015 Releases
Real Gone Music April 7, 2015 Releases
Limited Edition 300-Unit Repress
Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 34—Rochester, NY 11/5/77 (3-CD Set) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. Links TBD)