With summer nearly upon us, we're all beginning to make plans for the next few months. Real Gone is doing the same, having just revealed what its releases are going to be for middle of summer in August!
The first item on the list is the first of an eventual three-volume collection chronicling Wilson Pickett's tenure at Atlantic Records. Pickett released a total of 66 single sides at the label and The Complete Atlantic Singles Vol. 1 collects the first 22 of these. When Pickett moved to Atlantic in 1964, he quickly became a star of southern soul. You'll find some of his biggest and most indelible hits on here like "In The Midnight Hour" and "Land of 1000 Dances." This new collection features brand-new liner notes by our very own Joe Marchese. When all three of these volumes are released, they will lead right into last year's Second Disc Records/Real Gone compilation of Pickett's RCA recordings.
Also featuring liner notes by Joe is the first-ever vinyl issue of Dusty Springfield's Faithful album. In 1971, Springfield went into the studio with the legendary Jeff Barry for what was supposed to be her third Atlantic album. Alas, it was not meant to be at the time and the album was shelved. Last year, Real Gone collected up all of the songs from those sessions and compiled them on one CD. Now, you will be able to listen to this unreleased album on the format it would have been heard on in the early 1970s. This orange vinyl edition is limited to 1,000 copies. (Please note that the track "Nothing Is Forever" from the CD is not on the vinyl version as it was not intended for the album originally and this vinyl is meant to replicate the album as it would have existed at the time.)
Next up is a concert recording from New Wave hit-makers The B-52's. Founded in 1976 in Georgia, the band played in small venues before coming to the notice of Warner Bros. who signed them in 1979 and released their self-titled debut album in July of that year. This live recording comes from just one month later. Live! 8.24.79 contains 9 songs (including the hit "Rock Lobster"), taken from that first album and also from their second album, Wild Planet, released nearly a year to the day later in August of 1980. This concert was released last year digitally and on limited-edition vinyl on Black Friday Record Store Day by Rhino and it makes its CD debut here.
Also making their CD debuts on Real Gone are two previously digital-only Sony Essential compilations. Diamond Rio's The Definitive Hits Collection rounds up 40 tracks from the country group's Arista Nashville tenure. One of the few bands to come out of performing out of an amusement park, they made their debut as The Grizzly River Boys (and later the Tennessee River Boys) at Opryland in Nashville in 1982. They stopped performing at the park in 1985 and began to record demos and perform in hopes of landing a record deal. It would take until 1990 when they signed with the newly-created Arista Nashville label. By that point, there were no founding members remaining, although their line-up has remained consistent in the years since. Changing their name to Diamond Rio, the band became stars right out of the gate when their debut single "Meet In the Middle" climbed to the top of the Billboard Country chart, the first country group to accomplish this feat. The group recorded seven studio albums on Arista Nashville through 2002, notching over 30 hits on the Country charts.
At the other end of the musical spectrum is The Definitive Collection from Mitch Miller. Miller is probably most famous today for his tenure as the head of A&R at Columbia Records from 1950 through 1965 where he guided the careers of Dinah Shore, Jo Stafford, Ray Conniff, Johnny Mathis and Tony Bennett among others and discovered Aretha Franklin. He is also infamously known for his distaste for rock-n-roll, having reportedly passed on signing Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and The Beatles. However, he was a popular recording artist in his own right, with most of his records begin credited to "Mitch Miller and the Gang." His cover of "The Yellow Rose of Texas" topped the Billboard chart in 1955. Many of his later albums featured lyrics and had the title "Sing-Along With Mitch" in the title and Miller starred in an NBC show of the same name from 1961 to 1964 to tie in with these albums. This new collection gathers up 38 tracks from the period 1950-1962.
Up next are a pair of expanded album reissues from different areas of the musical spectrum. The earlier album is Ramblin' by The New Christy Minstrels from 1963. The large vocal folk group got its start in 1961, founded by Randy Sparks. They have had many members over the years including Kim Carnes, Kenny Rogers, Gene Clark and Barry McGuire. It is McGuire who got his shot at solo fame after singing "Green, Green" from the Ramblin' album. It was the group's first major hit and it went gold in 1963. It also assured that the album itself would stay on the charts for a quite a long time. This new edition expands the original 12-track album with an additional 13 songs including several versions of "Green, Green." Coming 10 years later in 1973 was Mother's Pride from the all-female rock group Fanny. Produced by Todd Rundgren, this would be their final album for Reprise Records. After the record's release, founding members June Millington and Alice de Buhr quit the band. A reconstituted group would record one album for Casablanca Records in 1974 before dissolving for good in 1975 (Ironically after "Butter Boy" became their highest-charting single). Real Gone's expanded edition adds 8 bonus tracks and completes their reissues of Fanny's Reprise catalog.
Finally, Real Gone is releasing another limited edition of Marty Robbins' classic 1959 concept album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs. This vinyl is limited to only 500 copies and is colored magenta. Real Gone is also bringing back to press their earlier reissues of Fanny's 1970 Reprise self-titled debut and Cat Mother and All Night Newsboys' The Street Giveth...and the Street Taketh Away produced by Jimi Hendrix.
We've got Real Gone's full press release below with more information and pre-order links if you'd like check out any of the titles!
LOS ANGELES - Are you ready for the wickedest Real Gone soul collection yet? Here, in one smokin' hot set, are the first 22 single sides that the great Wilson Pickett recorded for the Atlantic label, some of the most hallowed recordings in the history of soul music. Along with the intoxicating mix of hits--"In the Midnight Hour," "Mustang Sally," "634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.)," "Land of 1000 Dances," "Don't Fight It," and more--and rare B-sides that come with the territory on a singles collection, you also get those punchy mono single mixes/versions that bring out the raw excitement of these seminal performances, not to mention the incredible musicianship of folks like Steve Cropper, Al Jackson, Donald "Duck" Dunn, and Isaac Hayes. Indeed, even if you purchased Rhino Handmade's collection of Pickett's complete Atlantic studio sessions, you don't own the single versions--this volume (and the two to come after it) are necessary complements to that outstanding set. Remastered by Mike Milchner from sources derived from the original tapes, and annotated by Joe Marchese, who penned the notes on Real Gone's previous collection of the Wicked Pickett's RCA recordings, The Complete Atlantic Singles Vol. One presents some of the greatest soul ever waxed exactly how it was originally waxed--as singles for airplay on the radio. It's the material that made Wilson Pickett a legend.
Best to let the band itself describe this live album, which is only the second B-52's concert recording and the only one to capture them during their early years: "We opened for the Talking Heads at the Berklee Center in Boston just six weeks after our first record was released. We were a little scared of the audience so we kept our heads down and focused - and we danced like mad when there was a break! Ricky was so fierce on the guitar - so intense - it was all so raw and live and we loved it." Now, Real Gone Music is very proud to present The B-52's: Live! 8.24.1979, a key live document of one of America's most beloved and distinctive New Wave groups on CD for the first time, complete with liner notes by Jason Gross featuring fresh quotes from the band members and rare photos. From "Rock Lobster" to "Private Idaho," you WILL dance this mess around when you hear this, we promise.
With the release of Fanny's 1973 album Mother's Pride, Real Gone Music concludes its reissue campaign of the groundbreaking female rock group's classic Reprise catalog. And while there might be some argument as to whether or not we have saved the best for last--all four Reprise albums the band put out have their champions among Fanny followers--there is no question that we have saved the biggest for last, as this expanded edition clocks in with no less than eight bonus tracks! Indeed, Mother's Pride is perhaps the most controversial entry in the Fanny catalog, as Todd Rundgren agreed to produce the album on the condition that he and he alone oversee the album mix. The result was a record that cemented Fanny's popularity in the U.K. but failed to make a dent in the charts here in the States. Like our previous Fanny reissues (Real Gone is also repressing Fanny, the group's self-titled debut album), this release features track-by-track annotation from the band as well as rare photos. Another seminal '70s rock record from everybody's favorite "forgotten" all-female rock group, supplemented with rare demos and lost tracks.
The New Christy Minstrels' classic Ramblin' album has long been considered that great group's creative high water work. Released in July of 1963, the album instantly made the charts and stayed there for 77 weeks, earning founder Randy Sparks and his group their first Gold Record...and bringing fame and a little "Green, Green" to one Barry McGuire. Here it is again, in long-overdue, sonically superior remastered form - and now in an expanded edition loaded with rare material (including six unreleased tracks) related to the album. You'll hear the creation of "Green, Green" - the group's biggest hit - in unreleased versions that feature members Dolan Ellis, Jackie Miller, and Gayle Caldwell (later "Jackie and Gayle" of Shindig fame), with Barry McGuire on only the third verse. It's a great arrangement, very different from the hit single...and a MUST HAVE for every Christy fan. Plus, you'll hear the German and Spanish versions of the hit - released in the U.S. for the first time and recorded just after (future Byrd) Gene Clark joined the group. PLUS...an unreleased "live" version recorded at Randy Sparks' folk club, Ledbetter's and a "gag" version with a solo by Randy himself (teasing his group). And, there's more...you'll hear the brilliant Nick Woods' amazing solo of "Natural Man" - originally intended to be the follow up single to "Green, Green." Those plans were set aside when Randy came up with a little number called "Saturday Night"...which had "hit" written all over it. Both songs are here...along with "The Banjo" (the B-side of "Green, Green"), "Walk the Road", an unreleased version of "The Drinking Gourd," and - most rare of all - a demo of "Last Farewell" (JFK's favorite Christy song) with a pop arrangement featuring a terrific solo by Randy Sparks himself. It's a great package for folkies everywhere - remastered by Sean Brennan at Battery Studios in New York, with detailed notes by Christy guru Tom Pickles that tell the story of Randy Sparks and his group at their absolute peak.
Oddly enough for a band that started as an attraction at the Opryland theme park, Diamond Rio turned out to be more authentic and original than most any of their country contemporaries, eschewing session musicians to sing and play everything on just about every song they recorded. Add crisp, multi-part harmony arrangements and excellent songwriting to that streak of homegrown creativity and you had, along with Alabama, the biggest country group of the '90s, which The Definitive Hits Collection celebrates by living up to its name by offering 31 of the 33 hits Diamond Rio notched during its unparalleled run on the Arista Nashville label. The 40-song set leads off "Meet in the Middle," the only debut single EVER to hit #1 on the charts, and doesn't let up with such chart-toppers as "How Your Love Makes Me Feel," "One More Day," "Beautiful Mess," and "I Believe," plus such favorites as "Love a Little Stronger," "Walkin' Away," "You're Gone," and more. Notes by Bill Kopp round out the set, which is freshly remastered by Maria Triana at Battery Studios. By far the biggest and best Diamond Rio collection ever.
There was never anybody like Mitch Miller in the music business. And there never will be again. Head of A&R for Columbia for over 15 years, star of his own television show on NBC, accomplished oboist and English Horn player, Miller was enormously influential on pop music during the '50s and early '60s, producing and nurturing the careers of such popular artists as Doris Day, Frankie Laine, Jo Stafford, Johnny Mathis, Guy Mitchell and many others, while famously passing on more rock and roll-oriented acts like Elvis, The Beatles, and Buddy Holly. But Miller's contribution didn't stop there--he was also a successful recording artist in his own right, recording 13 Top Ten albums and a series of bestselling singles with an orchestra and chorus, often credited to Mitch Miller and the Gang. Spanning the years 1950 to 1962, The Definitive Collection covers virtually his entire recording career at Columbia, and includes such chart-topping highlights as "The Yellow Rose of Texas," "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena," "Meet Mister Callaghan," the famous "The River Kwai March"/"Colonel Bogey March" medley, "Song for a Summer Night," and more, plus the movie themes "The Guns of Navarone" and "The Longest Day." Gene Sculatti's notes (festooned with photos from the Columbia vault) trace a career arc like no other in the annals of the music industry. 38 freshly remastered tracks (by Maria Triana at Battery Studios) for you to sing along with Mitch.
Let's get the preliminaries over with right away by stating that The Street Giveth...and the Street Taketh Away, the 1969 debut release from Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys, was co-produced by none other than Jimi Hendrix (they were long-time friends, the band opened for the Experience on tour, and had the misfortune of sharing the same manager, Mike Jeffrey). But Cat Mother was far more than a footnote to a superstar's career. Not only did this record score a Top 40 hit with "Good Old Rock 'N Roll," but it's also a marvelously eclectic affair beloved by record collectors of every stripe--just do a quick Google search--with elements of folk, country and late '60s riff rock alongside the hit's tongue-in-cheek revivalism. Not JUST for Hendrix completists (though they will want it, too).
In 1971, Atlantic Records released a pair of Dusty Springfield singles produced by the legendary songwriter/producer Jeff Barry (one-time songwriting and romantic partner of Ellie Greenwich, and author of too many hits to name): "Haunted"/"Nothing Is Forever" and "I Believe In You"/"Someone Who Cares." A restless Dusty, freshly relocating to America from her native England, then departed the label and left an additional 9 songs recorded with Barry in the can, where they stayed until Rhino issued one track, "Faithful" (in mono), as a bonus track on the 1990s CD release of Dusty's 1970 Atlantic album A Brand New Me. The other tracks didn't surface until a subsequent deluxe reissue of Dusty's landmark 1969 album Dusty in Memphis included them as bonus cuts. Now, reissue producer Jim Pierson--who tracked down the missing masters after being lost for over two decades --has assembled Dusty's Barry-produced masters and put them together in a single package for the first time to create the third Dusty Springfield Atlantic Records album as planned in 1971. Real Gone Music's release of Faithful on LP presents these historic Barry-Springfield collaborations exactly as they were originally intended to be heard, with the 12 tracks meant for the album release finally out on vinyl 45 years later. All tracks are in stereo, while the liner notes on the inner sleeve, penned by The Second Disc's Joe Marchese, feature a number of rarely-seen photos of the legendary singer. These stunning pop, soul and gospel flavored selections showcase the iconic singer at the height of her vocal magic. A missing/jumbled part of Dusty's august recorded legacy, finally set right and available in its intended format. Out on orange vinyl limited to 1,000 copies.
Real Gone Music is proud to present the original mono version of what most folks consider to be the single greatest postwar album of Western music, Marty Robbins' Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs. Everything about this album is iconic, from its "quick draw" cover art to the songs it contains--"Big Iron," "Cool Water," "The Master's Call," "Billy the Kid," "The Strawberry Roan," and, of course, "El Paso" (here in its rare, full-length version)-- that have come to define the Western genre. And the music has never sounded better than it does here: our limited edition (of 500 copies) magenta vinyl pressing was remastered by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios in New York with lacquer cutting by Kevin Gray. Comes complete with the amazing original album art, too...a classic album now even more collectible than before.
AUGUST 5, 2016 RELEASES FROM REAL GONE MUSIC
Wilson Pickett, The Complete Atlantic Singles Vol. One (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada TBD)
The B-52's, Live! 8.24.1979 (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada TBD)
Fanny, Mother's Pride (Expanded Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada TBD)
Fanny, Fanny (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada TBD)
The New Christy Minstrels, Ramblin' Featuring "Green, Green" (Expanded Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada TBD)
Diamond Rio, The Definitive Hits Collection (2-CD Set) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada TBD)
Mitch Miller, The Definitive Collection (2-CD Set) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada TBD)
Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys, The Street Giveth...and the Street Taketh Away (Repress) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada TBD)
Dusty Springfield, Faithful (Limited Orange Vinyl Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada TBD)
Marty Robbins, Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs (Limited Mono Magenta Vinyl Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Can you give us the specific details of how the Pickett Singles sets will differ from the 6CD box? Is it all mono versus stereo? Are these in stereo too? Is it different mixes, or completely different takes? Perhaps from different recording sessions? What percentage of the tracks are different takes altogether?
Excited about the Pickett release. I'd love a similar set for "The Sweet Inspirations" - unlikely, I know, as their stereo LP versions were put out as "singles" set recently, but one can dream...