This week’s Release Round-Up is filled with reissues and anthologies from favorite artists on both CD and vinyl!
Today sees the U.S. release of one of the coolest titles so far of 2016! An Evening with Peter Noone and Micky Dolenz captures the candid, intimate conversations between the rock legends recorded earlier this year. The first CD in this deluxe new package presents the conversation from January 7 recorded at Westbury, New York’s The Space at Westbury; the second has the pair’s evening at Montclair, New Jersey’s Memorial Auditorium recorded on January 9. Each off-the-cuff chat features different showbiz tales from the engaging duo, peppered with memories of their famous friends. The release also contains brand-new liner notes and photos of the events. Read more here, and watch this space soon for more great news from 7a!
The 2-CD set Judy Garland Sings Harold Arlen traces the partnership between the singer and composer with 45 recordings made between 1938 and 1968 in the studio, on film, radio and in concert. Four tracks are completely new to CD, including a newly-discovered A Star is Born pre-recording of the complete version of “Lose That Long Face.” I am proud to have contributed an essay to this definitive, first-of-its-kind collection. My essay joins the sleeve notes and discography by producer Lawrence Schulman as well as an essay by Garland discographer and historian Scott Brogan of The Judy Room. In total, this set features over 2-1/2 hours of some of the most enduring music ever to hail from the Great American Songbook!
Legacy releases ten previously unreleased tracks by the late Jeff Buckley on this new collection including covers of favorite songs by Bob Dylan (“Just Like a Woman”), Sly and the Family Stone (“Everyday People”) and Led Zeppelin (“Night Flight”) and never-before-heard versions of “Grace” and “You and I.” Available on CD, DD and vinyl.
The Elektra Years 1978-1987, a six-disc box set offering all six of The Cars’ albums – The Cars(1978), Candy-O (1979), Panorama (1980), Shake It Up (1981), Heartbeat City (1984) and Door to Door (1987) – all newly remastered. (This marks the first time that any album outside of the band’s powerhouse debut gets a sonic upgrade!) Vocalist/guitarist Ric Ocasek oversaw the mastering, while drummer David Robinson, who helped create the band’s original album covers, served as art director for the set. (For vinyl enthusiasts, a limited edition 180-gram version will be available on June 7, with each record pressed on a different color vinyl.) Read more here!
Legendary flautist Herbie Mann’s 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.
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.
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.
Real Gone brings to vinyl 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.
Analog Spark, the audiophile imprint of Razor and Tie, has a 180-gram deluxe reissue of The Raspberries’ seminal debut featuring the hit “Go All the Way.” This limited edition vinyl reissue ofRaspberries has been mastered and cut from the original stereo tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearant Audio; the 180-gram LP has been pressed and plated at RTI. Additionally, it’s housed in a classic-style Stoughton “tip-on” jacket. Read Joe’s review here!
Maynard Ferguson, Body and Soul / Big Bop Nouveau (Omnivore Recordings)
Omnivore has two reissues in its Maynard Ferguson reissue series. The old met the new on 1986’s Body and Soul. Ferguson reshaped the makeup of his band, removing some brass from the line-up and adding guitar and percussion to create a new sound. Though the 1930 standard “Body and Soul” titled the album, the remaining six songs were all original compositions. Omnivore adds three previously unreleased bonus tracks. Body and Soul is joined by 1989’s Big Bop Nouveau. During this period, Ferguson had taken a rest from his fusion band, High Voltage, and recruited some of his favorite horn players for his 60th Birthday Big Band Tour. He and his big band entered Santa Barbara’s Sound Design Studios in 1989 to record the album that became Big Bop Nouveau. Ferguson and co. recorded five tracks “as live as possible” in the studio, while the sixth track, “The Maynard Ferguson Hit Medley” was recorded in-studio at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival in fall 1988. Omnivore’s reissue boasts one bonus track, Steve Wiest’s “Compared to You.” Read more here!
Big Break Records has a TKO – a “Love TKO” – with its latest expanded reissue from Teddy Pendergrass! We’ll have full coverage of this title soon, but in the meantime, here’s what you need to know: BBR’s reissue of this 1980 Philly soul classic has been remastered and expanded with five bonus tracks including “This Gift of Life” and the Stephanie Mills duet “Take Me in Your Arms” tonight in their 12-inch versions, and the single version of “Love TKO”!
BBR revisits the 1983 album from Color Purple composer and singer-songwriter supreme Brenda Russell. Her only album for Warner Bros., Two Eyes features “Hello People,” co-written and performed with Michael McDonald, as well as “Look Down, Young Soldier” which boasts a chorus of star artists including Rita Coolidge, Pattie Brooks, Randy Crawford, Christopher Cross, James Ingram, Patrice Rushen, Joe Esposito, Leon Ware, and Al Jarreau. Two Eyes has been expanded with four bonus tracks! Watch for more coverage of this release soon.