Yesterday we brought you the news of the upcoming Second Disc Records title to be released in conjunction with Real Gone Music: Bobby Darin’s Another Song on My Mind: The Motown Years anthology. Now we’ve got the rest of Real Gone’s March slate to tell you about and it’s as excitingly eclectic as ever!
Kicking things off is a CD that should be of great interest to jazz enthusiasts. Herbie Mann is considered one of the greatest jazz flautists ever and was an early proponent of world music. His long tenure at Atlantic Records included 1969’s Live At the Whisky A Go Go where he was joined by other jazz luminaries including Steve Marcus, Roy Ayers, Sonny Sharrock, Miroslav Vitous and Bruno Carr. This album featured only two songs, one on each side of the LP. However, there was a lot more material recorded from the group’s four-night stand at the famous nightspot. Now, the tapes from these shows have been unearthed and newly mixed to create a 2-CD set featuring twelve unreleased songs: Live At the Whisky 1969: The Unreleased Masters. In addition to different versions of the two songs from the original LP, you’ll also find songs by Donovan, Tim Hardin, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis and Simon & Garfunkel.
Next up is a release which should appeal to rock fans. After leaving Traffic permanently (despite being a co-founder of the band, his tenure with them was not consistent), guitarist and songwriter Dave Mason embarked upon a solo career in 1970 which continues to this day. He recorded several albums for the Blue Thumb label before joining Columbia in 1973 in a stint lasting until 1980 which produced seven albums. The Columbia Years – The Definitive Anthology is a 2-CD set which brings together 30 tracks from this period in Mason’s career. It is the most comprehensive look at his Columbia period and features both studio and live tracks. After leaving Columbia, Mason has continued to record for several record labels, although his output has slowed from the early part of his career.
There’s also something on Real Gone’s March slate for country fans. A cousin to both Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart, Mickey Gilley notched his first hit in 1974 with a cover of “Room Full of Roses” on the Playboy label. This began a string of hits for Gilley throughout the 1970s. 1976 was a particularly good year for him when he won ACM awards for Top Male Vocalist, Song (“Don’t The Girls Get Prettier At Closing Time”), Single (“Bring It On Home”), Album (Gilley’s Smoking) and Entertainer of the Year. In 1978, he joined Epic. He reached new popularity with a new sound when his cover of “Stand By Me” was featured in 1980’s Urban Cowboy (his club, Gilley’s Club, was also featured heavily in the movie). The Definitive Hits Collection is a 2-CD set featuring hits from his Playboy and Epic tenure.
As on Real Gone’s February slate, the label is also releasing some limited edition vinyl titles in March. First up is a two-LP edition of the soundtrack to the 1995 film Waiting to Exhale. Produced (with most of the songs written by) Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, the soundtrack was a huge smash in the mid-1990s featuring songs by Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Aretha Franklin, Brandy, TLC, Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, SWV and Patti LaBelle, among others. The album topped the Billboard charts and was eventually certified 7x platinum. Seven of its sixteen songs were released as singles. It also garnered critical acclaim too as it received 11 Grammy nominations in 1997, including Album of the Year. Whitney Houston’s “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” won for Best R & B Song. The soundtrack was never released on vinyl in the U.S. and this new purple vinyl edition is limited to 1,000 copies.
The second of Real Gone’s vinyl releases is a Philly Soul classic. 1972’s Back Stabbers was the breakthrough album for the O’Jays and also put Philadelphia International Records on the map. Produced by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, the album went to #10 on the Billboard charts while the title song was a #3 hit and the immortal “Love Train” went to #1. The sounds coming out of Philadelphia would help to define soul music for the rest of the 1970s and into the 1980s with Gamble and Huff, along with Thom Bell, producing some of the decade’s biggest hits with artists like the O’Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass, MFSB, Billy Paul and Lou Rawls. This new 180-gram black vinyl edition is limited to 700 copies.
Rounding out Real Gone’s March releases are a pair of titles which bring together several out-of-print titles from opposite ends of the musical spectrum. First up is a set featuring the punk supergroup Lords of the New Church. The Complete I.R.S. Albums collection is a 3-CD set which brings together the three albums recorded by the group for the label beginning with their 1982 debut. These were originally released separately by Real Gone in 2012. Next isThe Complete London Recordings by Margaret Whiting. The 2-CD set brings together the three albums the pop vocalist recorded for the London label in the 1960s and also features non-LP singles and rarities. Real Gone originally released these two CDs separately in 2013.
We’ve got Real Gone’s press release below containing additional information together with pre-ordering links if you’re interested in hearing any of the titles.
LOS ANGELES, CA – While jazz flautist Herbie Mann is often remembered as a pop-jazz player, he was actually a pioneer in popularizing world music and even prog-rock with recordings released on his own Embryo imprint (as part of Atlantic Records). And in the late ’60s, he was fronting one of the most progressive and electrifying bands in the world: guitarist Sonny Sharrock, Miroslav Vitous on electric & upright bass, saxophonist Steve Marcus, drummer Bruno Carr, and vibraphonist Roy Ayers. Together, the sextet cut the dynamic Live at the Whisky A Go Go album in 1969, drawn from a four night run at the legendary nightclub on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip. Though the band’s repertoire was quite varied on these dates, just two side-long tracks, “Ooh Baby” and “Philly Dog,” surfaced on the Atlantic Records release.
Now, reissue producer Pat Thomas has unearthed the multi-track tapes for these shows (never before mixed), and has programmed a double-CD set that shows this high-energy jazz-rock outfit stretching out – sometimes, on Sharrock’s solos, way out – with, as an added bonus, the appearance of Linda Sharrock on songs that appeared (in studio versions) on the seminal Sonny Sharrock album Black Woman released around the time of these live shows.
All performances are previously unreleased, including a 23-minute jam of Donovan’s “Tangier” blending into Tim Hardin’s “If I Were A Carpenter” and a newly discovered take of “Ooh Baby” that clocks in at 21 minutes! Sonny Sharrock’s searing lead guitar work is featured on songs first recorded by Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, and Simon & Garfunkel – plus “Black Woman” and Portrait of Linda in Three Colors” with Linda on vocals. Live at the Whisky 1969–The Unreleased Masters presents two CDs filled to the brim with explosive, yet ethereal innovative jazz-rock at its best. Fans of Bitches Brew, The Inner Mounting Flame, early Weather Report and similar-era titles will quickly realize that Herbie Mann was not just a pop-jazzbo – but a force to be taken more seriously than history has accorded him. File this CD between Soft Machine 3rd and the jazz-funk of The Crusaders. Packaging includes several previously unpublished live photos of this band in action, with notes by Thomas. A huge jazz find!
After British singer-songwriter-guitarist Dave Mason left Traffic, the band he co-founded, he embarked on a successful session and solo career that saw him notch seven straight Top 100 charting albums for the Columbia label between 1973 and 1980. Now, Real Gone Music is releasing by far the most comprehensive collection of this crucial part of Mason’s career; the two-CD set The Columbia Years–The Definitive Anthology includes 30 tracks drawn from all of his albums for Columbia (It’s Like You Never Left, Dave Mason, Split Coconut, Certified Live, Let It Flow, Mariposa De Oro, and Old Crest on a New Wave). Along the way you’ll hear such chart hits and FM radio faves as “We Just Disagree,” “All Along the Watchtower,” “So High (Rock Me Baby and Roll Me Away),” “Let It Go, Let It Flow,” “Save Me,” and “Head Keeper,” plus smokin’ live versions of early career highlights like “Feelin’ Alright,” “Pearly Queen,” and “Only You Know and I Know.” Bill Kopp’s notes feature an exclusive interview with Dave Mason, and the package is remastered by Maria Triana at Sony’s Battery Studios. Mason’s solo oeuvre remains underappreciated; this collection sheds new light on one of rock’s most valuable players.
Long-time co-owner of the famous Gilley’s nightclub that was featured in Urban Cowboy, cousin to both Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart, and country music superstar with over 45 chart hits to his credit (and a licensed commercial airplane pilot to boot!), Mickey Gilley is a larger than life figure if there ever was one. Yet, to date, there has never been a comprehensive collection that covered his entire career, which saw him adopt honky-tonk, countrypolitan, and “crossover” country-pop styles with equal success over three decades. Now, Real Gone Music has assembled a package that contains 36 chart hits–we’re not calling it The Definitive Hits Collection for nothing! In fact, of his chart smashes for the Playboy and Epic labels, where he spent the prime of his career, all but five of them appear here, including such legendary tracks as “Room Full of Roses,” “City Lights,” “She’s Pulling Me Back Again,” “Stand by Me” (featured in the film Urban Cowboy), “You Don’t Know Me,” “True Love Ways,” and “Paradise Tonight,” his hit duet with Charly McClain. Notes by Chris Morris featuring an interview with Mickey Gilley, and remastering by Maria Triana at Sony’s Battery Studios make this set an absolute must for any country music fan.
Waiting to Exhale was a phenomenon on so many levels. First, it was a literary phenomenon, as the 1992 novel launched author Terry McMillan to superstardom. Then, when the feature film based on the book was released in 1995, it became a broader cultural phenomenon–a mainstream Hollywood film focusing on the lives of four African-American women was a genuinely revolutionary act at the time. And, finally, it was a musical phenomenon, as its soundtrack seamlessly blended female R&B divas new (Whitney Houston, Brandy, Mary J. Blige, etc.) and old (Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan) in a masterful suite of songs composed and produced by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. Critical and commercial reaction to the soundtrack was over the top; The New York Times deemed the album one of the Top Ten releases of the year, and the record topped the Billboard Pop and R&B charts for five and ten weeks, respectively, spawning the #1 hit singles “Exhale (Shoop Shoop),” “Not Gon’ Cry,” and “Let It Flow.” Yet, because the album came out in 1995 at the height of the CD era, Waiting to Exhale never came out on LP in the U.S., and was released in Europe as a low-budget 2-LP set with both records stuffed inside a single album jacket pocket. Now, Real Gone Music is releasing this landmark ’90s R&B album on vinyl in America for the first time in a limited edition (of 1000) gatefold double-LP package sporting a luminous photo of the movie’s four principal actors (Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Lela Rochon, and Loretta Devine) on the inside spread and pristine vinyl pressed in purple (Whitney’s favorite color). Gently pulsating and seductive, Waiting to Exhale is Babyface’s masterpiece, and one of the great make-out records of all time, finally available in vinyl stateside.
Deemed by many the pinnacle of the Philly Sound as perfected by legendary producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, 1972’s Back Stabbers from the vocal trio The O’Jays scored no less than two Top Five Pop and three Top Five R&B smashes with the songs “Love Train,” “Time to Get Down,” and the title tune (plus another Top 20 R&B hit with “992 Arguments”). But it’s more than the hits that make this album a soul classic; honed by a decade of woodshedding, the vocal arrangements of O’Jays Eddie Levert, William Powell and Walter Williams are simply sublime, and, when married to Gamble & Huff’s polished backing tracks, they render such album tracks as “(They Call Me) Mr. Lucky” and “Who Am I” every bit as potent as the better-known songs. In short, Back Stabbers is a masterpiece through and through, one that brought both the O’Jays and Gamble and Huff to national attention, but it’s never been reissued on vinyl in the “modern” era. With lacquer cutting by Kevin Gray, Real Gone Music’s limited (to 700 copies) 180-gram black vinyl edition just might sound better than the original pressing, and includes the original artwork.
Phrases don’t get much more oxymoronic than “punk supergroup,” but The Lords of the New Church had a pedigree no punk band could match. Lead singer Stiv Bators had spearheaded the Dead Boys, one of America’s preeminent young, loud, and snotty outfits, while guitarist Brian James was the guitarist for the Damned, who, along with the Sex Pistols and the Clash, were in the first wave and first rank of Britain’s punk groups. The rest of the band were no slouches, either; bassist Dave Tregugna and drummer Nick Turner hailed from Sham 69 and the Barracudas, respectively, two acts not quite as hallowed but each highly-esteemed. Anticipation was high among the leather jacket and Mohawk set, therefore, when their debut album came out in 1982, but the Lords, secure in their punk bona-fides, brought a highly stylized look and a new melodic polish to the music, which alienated some followers but brought a whole new element into their fan base. Furthermore, what the music lacked in fury, the band made up for with incendiary live shows which often ended up with Bators doing physical harm to himself (and reputedly being clinically dead for several minutes after one gig). Now, Real Gone Music is offering the first three, classic albums that the band recorded for the I.R.S. label (and the only ones recorded by the original line-up)–The Lords of the New Church, Is Nothing Sacred?, and The Method to Our Madness–in one nicely-priced 3-CD set entitled The Complete I.R.S. Albums Collection. Each album comes complete with notes by Scott Schinder, too–get a big chunk of seminal post-punk in one fell swoop!
Together with Peggy Lee, Margaret Whiting was the only female vocalist to have hits in the ’40s, ’50s and even in the late ’60s, when the rock and roll sound sidetracked the career of most of her peers. But unlike Peggy, Margaret’s ’60s recordings–made with producer Arnold Goland and released on the London label–remained tough to find for years. Now, Real Gone Music, in conjunction with the Whiting estate, has compiled a 2-CD, 50-track set offering The Complete London Recordings, with notes by highly esteemed music critic Will Friedwald and pictures from the Whiting family’s private archive. Inside are Margaret’s London albums The Wheel of Hurt, Maggie Isn’t Margaret Anymore, and Pop Country, all remastered from the original stereo master tapes, plus 13 non-LP singles and four other rarities. Paydirt for pop vocal fans.
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