It may be Friday the 13th, but today’s choice releases are hardly scary, with box sets, archival releases, new music from veteran artists, and much, much more!
This 19-CD box set brings together 16 of the Queen of Soul’s Atlantic albums as previously released on CD including the deluxe 2-CD Live at Fillmore East, the 2-CD Rare & Unreleased Recordings From The Golden Reign Of The Queen Of Soul and Oh Me Oh My: Aretha Live in Philly 1972. There are no new-to-CD albums here or new material/remastering although this set is perfect one-stop shopping for Franklin’s most truly essential recordings.
Rhino brings together 13 albums (both studio and live) by Paul Butterfield on 14 CDs including seminal Elektra and Bearsville releases by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Paul Butterfield’s Better Days, and solo.
This limited edition 4-CD box set features The Staple Singers’ hits alongside favorite studio and live recordings, plus a handful of never-before-released rarities, including a special bonus: the earliest known recordings of the group on a 7-inch vinyl record, marking the first time that these two tracks have been available in any format since the Staples’ self-released edition of 500 in 1953. The box is packaged in a deluxe, old-school ’45 folio’ package, and also contains a book with new liner notes by Mavis Staples, James Miller, Opal Louis Nations, and compilation producer Joe McEwen, as well as rarely seen photos of the family band taken over the course of their career.
Tracing the stylistic development of The Knickerbockers from their garage-rock roots through psychedelic explorations and beyond, the 4-CD, 80-track box set The Challenge Recordingspresents the albums and singles recorded for the label plus never-before-released materialincluding demos discovered in the vaults of 4-Star Publishing as well as songs from Beau Charles’ personal collection of acetates. Content from these personal scrapbooks has been reprinted in the 40-page book which accompanies the box set. The Challenge Recordings has been mastered from the original analog tapes and acetates, and every track is heard in its original mono mix. The box features new liner notes by Dominic Priore as well as an introductory essay by David Fricke.
This limited edition 8-CD box set (in 12″ x 12″ bound book packaging) collects the eight full-length CDs (184 songs) originally issued between 1994 and 1996 by Edsel collecting Bolan’s demos, alternates, unused and abandoned songs, and unfinished recordings. These 8 CDs were first brought together in 2010, but went out-of-print once again. This edition features new artwork and revised liner notes by author and Bolan biographer Mark Paytress.
Following Vol. 1 released earlier this year on both LP and CD, this is a vinyl collection of Marvin Gaye’s next eight studio albums on 180-gram vinyl, in one box! The eight LPs are: Moods Of Marvin Gaye, Take Two (w/ Kim Weston), United (w/ Tammi Terrell), In The Groove, You’re All I Need (w/ Tammi Terrell), M.P.G., Easy (w/ Tammi Terrell) and That’s The Way Love Is. Expect a CD edition to follow at a later date.
Neil Young revisits the This Note’s for You era with a new live 2-CD set. It’s drawn from 1987-1988 performances recorded in New York, Hollywood, Toronto, Cleveland, San Francisco and other cities featuring the Bluenote Café band: Rick Rosas (bass), Chad Cromwell (drums), Frank Sampedro (keyboards), Steve Lawrence (lead tenor saxophone), Ben Keith (alto saxophone), Larry Cragg (baritone saxophone), Claude Cailliet (trombone), Tom Bray (trumpet), John Fumo (trumpet), Billy Talbot (bass) and Ralph Molina (drums). Available on CD, vinyl and DD.
Buck ‘Em! Volume 2: The Music of Buck Owens (1967-1975) picks up where the first volume of the series, issued in 2013, left off. Its 50 tracks trace the many accomplishments of Buck Owens during this busy period which found him continuing to write and record for Capitol Records even as he took on hosting duties for television’s popular Hee Haw. Buck ‘Em! Volume 2 includes country chart-toppers like “Who’s Gonna Mow Your Grass,” “Johnny B. Goode,” and “Tall Dark Stranger,” fan favorites including “Ain’t It Amazing, Gracie” and the original version of “Streets Of Bakersfield,” duets with Susan Raye and Buck’s son Buddy Alan, plus live tracks, alternates, outtakes, and covers such as Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” All told, seven tracks are new to CD and nine are new to the U.S.! Liner notes are drawn from Owens’ autobiography, co-written with Randy Poe.
Varese Vintage brings together 17 tracks from the late hitmaker of “Cool Night” and “I Go Crazy” fame, including songs first releases on Bang, White Whale, Arista and Capitol.
Australian label Rare Rockin’ Records collects 33 rarities written and/or performed by Ellie Greenwich including demos and alternate versions, along with a 24-page booklet featuring an introduction by the late Greenwich’s friend Brian Gari. Eight tracks in stereo, including two for the first time.
Audio Fidelity brings to hybrid stereo SACD (playable on all CD players) Nat King Cole’s 1962 holiday perennial album, arranged and conducted by Ralph Carmichael. (This album was in itself a reissue of 1960’s The Magic of Christmas, deleting “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and replacing it with Cole’s classic 1961 recording of “The Christmas Song.”) Kevin Gray has remastered.
1995’s Thrak arrives as the tenth release in the King Crimson 40th Anniversary series. The first full album to feature the ‘Double Trio’ incarnation of the group, Thrak will feature a new “21st century stereo reimagining” of the album by Jakko Jakszyk and Robert Fripp, while the DVD-Audio disc has high-resolution 5.1 Surround Sound and stereo mixes by Jakszyk and Fripp, alongside a high-resolution presentation of the original album stereo mix. Like all release in this series, the CD and DVD are housed in a slipcased digipak also containing a booklet with sleeve notes, rare photos and archive material.
Legacy releases a 25th anniversary edition for hip-hop pioneers A Tribe Called Quest featuring the original album remastered from the original tapes by Grammy-Award winning engineer Bob Power, and re-released with exclusive new remixes.
In May 2015, Eric Clapton performed his 200th concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall fifty years after his first performance there with The Yardbirds. Throughout his seven-night run, Clapton played both vintage blues songs and his own rock classics and Eric Clapton classics; this release commemorates these landmark shows. Available on 2-CD/DVD, 2-CD/BD (not available in the U.K.), 3-LP/DVD, standalone DVD and BD (U.K. only), and a deluxe 2-CD/2-DVD book-style edition adding a bonus DVD of Clapton performance highlights at Royal Albert Hall between 1968 and 2010.
Electric Light Orchestra is back with this all-new studio album from Jeff Lynne’s ELO! Alone in the Universe features ten new Lynne songs (twelve on the U.K. deluxe and U.S. Amazon-exclusive edition) – the first full-length set of ELO originals since 2001’s Zoom. The links below both direct to the 12-track version of the album!
Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford are back with Cradle to the Grave, the 14th studio album from Squeeze – and the first collection of new songs from the founding members since 1998!
Brett Morgen’s documentary film about the late Kurt Cobain arrives in a plethora of audio and video formats. The Super Deluxe Edition includes the full-length feature film and 48 minutes of bonus interviews on Blu-ray and DVD, a 31 track deluxe soundtrack on CD and cassette, a 160-page hardbound book with extended interviews and images from the Cobain archive, a puzzle with a collectible storage container, a movie poster, postcards and bookmark. The 31-track deluxe version of the soundtrack CD is exclusively available in the Super Deluxe Edition and showcases tracks from the documentary including spoken word, demos and full songs. The 31-track soundtrack is also available as a digital download and standalone LP (but not a standalone CD); the 13-track standard edition soundtrack is available on CD. The film itself is being released on DVD and BD. (Whew!)