Welcome to February’s first Release Round-Up!
Elton John, Wonderful Crazy Night (Island/UMe)
Deluxe Edition CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Standard Edition CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Box Set: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Sir Elton returns with his 32nd studio album! Featuring his longtime band and production by T Bone Burnett, Wonderful Crazy Night returns Elton to his upbeat, piano and guitar-heavy 1970s sound. Available on standard CD (10 tracks), Deluxe Edition CD (12 tracks), DD and vinyl as well as a box set with 10-track CD, vinyl and 4-track bonus CD. Target has an exclusive version with two additional, as-yet-unconfirmed tracks.
Johnny Cash, Koncert V Praze (Concert in Prague) (Columbia/Legacy)
Johnny Cash’s Koncert V Praze (In Prague Live) captures the 1978 Prague concert with Cash, The Carter Family and the Tennessee Three held in front of about 50,000 people over 4 shows that sold out in 2 days. Koncert V Praze wouldn’t be released in Czechoslovakia until 1983 by Supraphone Records, and it didn’t see an American release until it was included in the 2012 Complete Columbia Album Collection box. It now, finally, receives a standalone release – and at $5.99 USD for the CD as of this writing at Amazon, it’s quite a steal!
Ralph Stanley and his brother Carter formed the Clinch Mountain Boys in 1946 and became big names in the bluegrass scene. When Carter passed away in 1966, Ralph pressed on with the act and were joined around four years later by future country and bluegrass stars Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley due to a chance encounter. The pair joined the Clinch Mountain Boys for three albums on the Jessup label, all of which are collected on the 2-CD, 34 track Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys featuring Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley: The Complete Jessup Recordings Plus!.
Real Gone has one from hardcore punk band The Circle Jerks: their 1987 albumVI, which was actually the Jerks’ fifth effort. This album includes a song that was featured in the film Sid and Nancy. The Circle Jerks, founded in 1979, had a rather tumultuous history and disbanded in 1990. They got back together in 1994 and released one more album in 1995, which is their final release to date. Liner notes, lyrics and memorabilia images round out RGM’s newly-remastered reissue.
Halloween comes early this year! The only single-disc release in Grateful Dead’s Dick’s Picks series is reissued by Real Gone. This crackling concert from Halloween 1971 features a transcendent “Dark Star” as well as a spirited “Sugar Magnolia,” a rare, early-’70s performance of “St. Stephen” (the final live version until 1976) and a great “Not Fade Away”/”Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad” closer to round out the 59-minute program.
A true country classic returns to vinyl: Marty Robbins’ 1959 Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs. Featuring “El Paso,” Robbins’ most successful single, this mono 180-gram vinyl reissue has been remastered by Vic Anesini and is limited to 600 copies.
Doug Sahm was of course a part of the Sir Douglas Quintet in the 1960s; Jerry Wexler brought him to Atlantic in 1973. Sahm’s first album there, Doug Sahm and Band, was a star-studded affair featuring guests like Dr. John, David Bromberg, Flaco Jimenez and, most notably, Bob Dylan. This new gold vinyl edition of Sahm’s only charting album is limited to 1,000 copies.
Real Gone reissues its own Expanded Edition of The Ides of March’s classic debut Warner Bros. LP in a new, slipcased (and lower-priced) edition.
One of Real Gone’s earliest releases is reissued in a new jewel case edition (the prior release was housed in a digipak), featuring true stereo versions of classics from Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s Red Bird label.
Chicago’s 2005 Love Songs compilation gets a slight makeover with the Earth, Wind and Fire/Bill Champlin duet on “After the Love is Gone” (from a joint Chicago/EWF concert) replaced by “Love Lives On” from Chicago XXXVI. The live 2004 version of “If You Leave Me Now” with EWF’s Philip Bailey is still present on the collection.
The late cabaret great Nancy LaMott (1951-1995) is celebrated on this new release inaugurating The Nancy LaMott Collectors Series. This volume, drawn from the singer’s archives, features Nancy’s inimitable vocals on songs penned by lyricist David Zippel (City of Angels, Disney’s Hercules). As an added treat, the late composers Marvin Hamlisch and Cy Coleman accompany LaMott on their tracks.
Here you have 18 examples of deliciously over-the-top power balladry from the likes of Bon Jovi, Journey, Night Ranger, Boston, KISS, Skid Row, and more!