Well, April 15 has come and gone. Did the taxman get you down? If so, Real Gone Music is ready to brighten your day with news of its June 2 slate of releases! This line-up is headlined by none other than legendary songwriter Paul Williams with his only album for Portrait Records, newly expanded by Real Gone and our very own Second Disc Records imprint with never-before-heard bonus tracks! And Real Gone has only just begun. The line-up also features heavy rock from Black Oak Arkansas and Iron Butterfly, and two more choice offerings from the Grateful Dead vaults!
The label’s full press release, along with pre-order information for all titles, follows!
LOS ANGELES, CA – In a Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe-winning career that’s taken him from Tiny Tim to Daft Punk, Paul Williams has seen his songs recorded by Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley, David Bowie, The Carpenters, and of course, Kermit the Frog. During his reign as perhaps the Seventies’ most in-demand songwriter, Williams also kept busy as an actor, television personality and recording artist. He came into his own as a vocalist at Reprise and A&M Records on albums such as Someday Man and Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song before moving to Epic Records’ sister label, Portrait. At Portrait – also the home of Heart and, briefly, Ringo Starr – Williams recorded what he later described as “one of the most listenable and good-feeling records I’ve ever been associated with.” That record was A Little on the Windy Side. The album was recorded in Nashville with Paul’s brother Mentor Williams–the songwriter of Dobie Gray’s Top 5 hit “Drift Away” and Paul’s onetime bandmate in The Holy Mackerel–and featured Music City’s top session cats including David Briggs, Reggie Young and Troy Seals (a talented songwriter in his own right.) Despite a wealth of strong material including movie tunes “Here’s Another Fine Mess” and “My Fair Share,” fan favorite “For Goodness Sake,” and a collaboration with Brill Building legend Jeff Barry, A Little on the Windy Side all but disappeared when the Portrait label was briefly shuttered. Years later, a limited edition Japanese CD release came and went, too. Real Gone Music and Second Disc Records have come to the rescue with this freshly-remastered first-ever American reissue. Even better, four bonus tracks have been added to this Expanded Edition! Three never-before-heard outtakes (including Paul’s own rendition of “When the River Meets the Sea” from the beloved holiday special Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas and “Love Conquers All,” originally performed by Seals & Crofts) and a rare mono single round out this package, which features new liner notes from The Second Disc’s Joe Marchese and remastering by Sean Brennan at Battery Studios in New York.
The opening paragraph of Bill DeYoung’s liner notes to this reissue says it best: “A blistering, balls-to-the-wall audio snapshot of one of southern rock’s great boogie bands in its prime, Black Oak Arkansas’ Raunch ‘N’ Roll Live has lost none of its visceral thrust, more than three decades after it humped its way into record stores as a seven-song vinyl LP.” And now, with the re-release of this 2-CD set–previously only available as a long sold-out limited edition –you get three times the raunch! That’s because–like most live albums–the actual release was drawn from several shows, in this case a 12/1/72 show at the Paramount Theater in Portland and a 12/2/72 show at Seattle’s like-named Paramount Theater. The Complete Raunch ‘N’ Roll Live presents both concerts in their entirety, featuring 17 tracks that weren’t on the original release and including some tunes–“Fever on My Mind,” “Uncle Lijiah,” “Keep the Faith,” “Lord Have Mercy on My Soul,” “Full Moon Ride” “Dixie,” and “Movin'”–that didn’t appear in any version. A double, make that triple, dose of one of the great live bands of the ’70s, and further proof of the unhinged brilliance of frontman Jim Mangrum.
Everybody remembers In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, but guess what? The next album, Ball, actually went higher in the charts for Iron Butterfly, going all the way to #3! Ball had a couple of hit singles in “In the Time of Our Lives” and “Soul Experience,” but what really made the album tick was how the band (the classic line-up of Doug Ingle, Erik Brann, Lee Dorman and Ron Bushy) was able to move to a more melodic style while still retaining their righteous heavy-osity. Our Expanded Edition features two bonus single sides and much improved sound compared to its previous CD reissue, plus new liner notes by Bill Kopp.
With only about a month to go till the eagerly awaited reunion of the Grateful Dead, our June 2 street date features two more classic titles from the Dick’s Picks series of live recordings (the label is also issuing a 300-unit limited edition repress of Dick’s Picks 32). Culled from a three-night London stand that was part of a rarely bootlegged European mini-tour, Dick’s Picks Vol. 7–Alexandra Palace, London, England 9/9-9/11/74, like so many of the other volumes in the series, captures the Grateful Dead at a unique point in their evolution and on the brink of yet another major transition. These are some of the very last Wall of Sound shows, a mere month before the group took a 20-month hiatus from live performing; and yet the Dead show no sign of the physical, emotional and financial exhaustion that the marathon touring with the mammoth sound system had, by all accounts, caused the band and crew. The 3-CD set is bookended by strong performances of two favorites, “Scarlet Begonias” and “U.S. Blues,” from their latest album release, From the Mars Hotel, but it’s the three long jams that anchor the release: a 23-minute “Playing in the Band,” an 18-minute “Weather Report Suite” and especially the 24-minute “Dark Star” that’s immediately followed by the whimsically entitled “Spam Jam” (a nod to British favorite sons Monty Python?) and perhaps the most moving version of “Morning Dew” the band ever played in concert.
Then, Real Gone continues its march backward through the catalog with Dick’s Picks Vol. 6–Hartford Civic Center 10/14/83. There are a lot of reasons why archivist Dick Latvala anointed this show as the first ’80s concert to be released in his the series–a heartfelt version of “Althea,” the ever-ascending “Stella Blue”, the almost Zappa-esque opening of “Spinach Jam” segueing into “The Other One” and even the first-ever release of the Garcia-Hunter song “Keep Your Day Job”–but it’s the pair of medleys on disc two that made this show Pick-worthy. Most Deadheads considered themselves lucky if they got to hear just one of the trademark medleys “Scarlet Begonias”/Fire on the Mountain” and “Estimated Prophet”/Eyes of the World” in a single show, but this night the Dead played them both back-to-back, each clocking in at over a half hour (and exceptionally strong versions at that)! This 3-CD set presents the complete 10/14/83 show at Hartford, and, like Vol. 7, it’s been out of print for years.
Real Gone Music June 2, 2015 Releases
Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 7–Alexandra Palace, London, England 9/9-9/11/74 (3-CD Set) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )
Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 6–Hartford Civic Center 10/14/83 (3-CD Set) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )
Limited Edition 300-Unit Repress
Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks Vol. 32–Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, WI 8/7/82 (2-CD Set) (Visit Real Gone Music for details and ordering information)