To our U.S. readers, today is the day of shopping known as Black Friday - but happily, the diverse slate of releases due in stores today should lift your spirits - no matter where you're located!
Love, Reel to Real: Expanded Edition (High Moon Records) (Amazon U.S.)
High Moon Records has the premiere reissue of Arthur Lee and Love's 1974 album Reel to Real as a newly-expanded Deluxe Edition boasting a color, 32-page booklet. A vinyl edition will follow early next year. Read more here!
America, Archives Volume One (America Records) (Amazon U.S.)
America opens up its vaults for the first volume of an Archive series featuring never-before-released demos, rehearsals and alternate versions of familiar hits like "Ventura Highway," "I Need You," "Sister Golden Hair" and "A Horse with No Name" among other rarities from the period of 1971-1975. You won't want to miss this one. Watch for a full review soon!
Diana Ross, Sings Songs from The Wiz (Motown/UMe) (Amazon U.S.)
Ease on down! Just in time for NBC's television reimagining of the classic musical and anticipating the major Broadway revival due next season, the amazing team at UMe has unveiled an entire lost solo album from Miss Diana Ross (the original movie adaptation's Dorothy!). On Diana Ross Sings Songs from The Wiz, Charlie Smalls' indelible score including "Ease On Down the Road," "Be a Lion," "The Feeling We Once Had" and "Home" is heard as you've never heard it before - as only Diana Ross could sing it. Available as a digital download from all service providers, this release also includes a digital booklet with new liner notes and unseen photos of the luminous star!
Jerry Lee Lewis, At Sun Records: The Collected Works (Bear Family) (Amazon U.S.)
Bear Family follows up its indispensable Chuck Berry box set with another collection dedicated to a rock-and-roll pioneer. Jerry Lee Lewis' The Collected Works is a massive 18-CD box set including two 300-page books. Spanning the period of 1956-1963, this one-of-a-kind box boasts 623 tracks with more than 100 previously unheard tracks! All mono versions! All stereo versions! All original Sun-era overdubs! Two comprehensive hardbound books: one with the discography and commentary, and another of photos, many of them previously unpublished! Bear Family promises that you can replace every other Sun collection from The Killer - this is everything. As the box's subtitle asks, "What the hell else do you need?"
Jethro Tull, Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die (Chrysalis) (Amazon U.S.)
Jethro Tull's 1976 LP is expanded to 2-CD/2-DVD form as part of Chrysalis' ongoing book-style series dedicated to the band's albums, including:
- An unreleased, alternate version of the complete album recorded for a British television special and remixed by Steven Wilson;
- Bonus tracks (18 previously unreleased), all mixed to 5.1 surround and stereo by Wilson;
- Flat transfer of the original LP mix on CD and on DVD at 96/24 and more!
Bobby Rush, Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush (Omnivore) (Amazon U.S.)
Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush chronicles the career of the Louisiana-born, Arkansas-raised blues legend who has befriended and shared stages with the likes of Etta James, Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. The 4-CD box set takes its title from the 1971 Galaxy Records single that earned Rush a No. 34 berth on the Billboard R&B Singles chart, but Galaxy isn't the only label represented. Chicken Heads, with nearly 100 tracks and almost 5 hours of music, also draws on the multiple Grammy nominee's varied recordings for Checker, Jewel, Philadelphia International, LaJam, Urgent and his own Deep Rush label. Chicken Heads is graced with a 32-page color booklet featuring new liner notes from Bill Dahl and testimonials from friends and fans of Rush including Mavis Staples, Keb' Mo', Elvin Bishop, Denise LaSalle, Leon Huff, Al Bell, and more. The full track listing and more can be found here!
Various Artists, The Stock Aitken Waterman Singles Box (Edsel) (Amazon U.S.)
This limited edition box set features 31 CD singles from the Stock Aitken Waterman songwriting and production team. Released to mark 30 years since the trio's first UK No. 1 with Dead Or Alive's "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)", this box tells their whole story by bringing together 31 classic releases from 31 different artists - an eclectic roster including Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Bananarama, Rick Astley, The Three Degrees and Edwin Starr. Each remastered CD single in this set is presented in an individual sleeve replicating the original vinyl artwork, and has been expanded to include 12-inch mixes, rare B-sides and bonus cuts. Even better, 14 of the CDs are special double A-side editions each featuring two classic singles. In total, it weighs in at more than 250 tracks, many of which are presented on CD for the first time. The set also includes a 48-page booklet featuring lyrics, discography, a commentary from Pete Waterman and new liner notes.
Raspberries, Classic Album Box Set (Caroline International) (Amazon U.S.)
This new box set contains all four albums Eric Carmen and his fellow power-pop legends recorded for Capitol Records, newly-remastered and with a 20-page booklet containing notes by journalist Malcolm Dome.
Bob Welch, Classic Album Box Set (Caroline International) (Amazon U.S.)
This box set celebrates the solo career of the late Bob Welch, containing all four albums he recorded for Capitol Records including Three Hearts with the smash hit single "Sentimental Lady." As with the Raspberries set, the albums have been remastered, and the box has new liner notes by Malcolm Dome within its 20-page booklet.
The Flaming Lips, Heady Nuggs 20 Years After Clouds Taste Metallic 1994-1997 (Warner Bros.) (Amazon U.S.)
Avant-rockers The Flaming Lips celebrate the 20th anniversary of Clouds Taste Metallic with a new box set. The first disc contains the original album; the second contains a promo-only compilation entitled Due To High Expectations The Flaming Lips Are Providing Needles For Your Balloons plus The King Bug Laughs, a collection of rarities and outtakes; the third contains a previously unreleased live recording from a 1996 Seattle concert.
Cilla Black, The Very Best of Cilla Black (Parlophone/Rhino U.K.) (Amazon U.S.)
The chart-topping 2013 CD/DVD career overview anthology by the late Cilla Black is reissued and repackaged with a new biography and liner notes by her son Robert. The CD's 26 tracks span her biggest hits and fan favorites as well as dance remixes; the DVD (in PAL format, not playable on most U.S. DVD players) presents her 1966 television special Cilla at the Savoy.
Goo Goo Dolls, A Boy Named Goo: 20th Anniversary Edition (Warner Bros.) (Amazon U.S.)
The Goo Goo Dolls celebrate their most famous album with a new reissue adding seven previously unreleased tracks. The new tracks were all recorded live at The Academy in New York in November 1995 and include both acoustic recordings and covers.
Jefferson Airplane / Hot Tuna / Quicksilver Messenger Service, The CD Vinyl Replica Collection Box Set (Culture Factory)
Culture Factory is offering limited-edition box sets of its mini-LP replica CDs from three historic San Francisco bands. Each 12x12 LP-sized box contains every one of Culture Factory's reissues from the group, plus an LP-sized booklet containing new liner notes by rock historian Richie Unterberger. All three boxes are limited to 1,000 units each.
Jaco: Original Soundtrack (Columbia/Legacy) (Amazon U.S.)
Legacy has the soundtrack to Jaco, the documentary about the late bassist Jaco Pastorius which has been a labor of love for writer-producer Robert Trujillo of Metallica. This 16-track CD release has solo performances by Pastorius plus tracks with Weather Report, Joni Mitchell, Ian Hunter, Herbie Hancock and others.
Original Cast Recording, His Monkey Wife (Stage Door)
Stage Door Records reissues on CD the original cast recording of His Monkey Wife, the musical from Sandy Wilson of The Boy Friend fame, starring June Ritchie, Robert Swann and Bridget Armstrong. The CD is rounded out with highlights from the 1979 Wilson musical Aladdin (alas, not the entire recording). These tracks feature Elisabeth Welch, Christine McKenna, Belinda Lang, Joe Melia and Aubrey Woods.
Supergrass, I Should Coco: 20th Anniversary Edition (Warner Bros.) (Amazon U.S.)
Gaz Coombes (lead vocals/guitar), Mick Quinn (bass/vocals) and Danny Goffey (drums/vocals) have dug into the Supergrass vaults for this 3-CD deluxe edition celebrating their classic album. The first disc features the original I Should Coco, while the second disc collects the single B-sides together with the first CD release of "Stone Free," the Record Store Day 2015 B-side "Sofa (Of My Lethargy)" and an entire alternative version of the album drawn from demos and early session outtakes. The third disc has two live concerts, and everything is put into context with a 20-page booklet containing new liner notes and images of all of the single sleeves.
Cruising: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Hybrid Stereo SACD (Audio Fidelity) (Amazon U.S.)
The soundtrack to William Friedkin's controversial film starring Al Pacino arrives on SACD. The Cruising soundtrack features production by the legendary Jack Nitzsche and performances by Willy DeVille, John Hiatt, The Germs, Rough Trade and more. Watch this space for more on Cruising on Monday!
John Williams, Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Hybrid Stereo SACD (Audio Fidelity) (Amazon U.S.)
John Williams' classic score to Steven Spielberg's early masterwork comes to high resolution hybrid stereo SACD on this new release from Audio Fidelity!
Victor Young, Victor Young at Paramount Volume 2 (Kritzerland)
Kritzerland brings together four more world premiere scores by Victor Young on this new single-CD release. His short yet rich scores to The Proud and Profane, Forever Female, Little Boy Lost and My Favorite Spy have been freshly transferred and restored from original elements held at Paramount Pictures. This set is limited to 1,000 units.