Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
This week’s biggest and most hotly-anticipated release, Chicago’s Quadio, brings together nine albums from the legendary band in remastered high-resolution 192/24 DTS-HD Master Audio in both their original quadraphonic and stereo mixes on nine Blu-ray discs. This lavish celebration of the Windy City’s favorite band is housed in a rigid two-piece box, with every album presented in a replica sleeve promised to “replicate the original release down to the last detail, including mini-posters, and the iron-on that came with Chicago VIII.” Read the full albums list and more here!
Grace Jones, Warm Leatherette various editions (Universal U.K.)
Universal U.K. brings a variety of reissues of Grace Jones’ Warm Leatherette, her fourth record and her first of three recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, The Bahamas. Working with a sensational team that included producers/engineers/mixers Chris Blackwell and Alex Sadkin, keyboardist Wally Badarou and the immortal rhythm section of Sly and Robbie, Jones fused R&B, New Wave, disco and reggae into a formula that would influence the general sound of pop music for generations. With unorthodox covers of The Pretenders (“Private Life”), Tom Petty (“Breakdown”), Smokey Robinson (“The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game”) and Roxy Music (“Love is the Drug”), Warm Leatherette became the first act in Jones’ incredible ’80s career, as a singer, actress, muse and all-around icon. Available in 2-CD, 4-LP and Blu-ray Audio configurations. Note that Amazon seems to have mislabeled the 2-CD edition as “Blu-ray Audio” for both the U.S. and U.K., and the U.K. site does not have a link to the actual BD release which you can see on the Amazon U.S. link, above. Read more here!
Omnivore expands The Kingbees’ 1981 RSO swansong with four bonus tracks appearing for the first time on CD! The Big Rock, celebrating its 35th anniversary, features The Kingbees’ trademark blend of rock-and-roll, punk and country in full force. After the original release of the album in 1981, The Kingbees disbanded. Shortly thereafter, Jamie James recorded four new songs with a brand new rhythm section. Those songs comprise the bonus tracks for this expanded edition. James also supplies his own recollections in the liner notes! Available on CD and DD.
We missed this recent release, but we didn’t want you to miss it! Varese has a fine new reissue of the 1981 soundtrack for Nighthawks starring Sylvester Stallone and Billy Dee Williams, composed by the late, great Keith Emerson. The prog legend’s score – his first for an American film – also features his own vocal on the Stevie Winwood classic “I’m a Man” as well as a vocal by Johnny Mathis’ onetime duet partner Paulette McWilliams on “Nighthawking.” Jerry McCulley has written new liner notes just for this release, and remastering is by Chas Ferry and Daren Chadwick.
Bobby Darin teamed with arrangers Shorty Rogers and Perry Botkin Jr. for this 1966 Atlantic Records LP featuring swinging renditions of then-recent Broadway showtunes from musicals including Mame, Golden Boy, Skyscraper and most notably Funny Girl (Bobby’s “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” immortalized in the film American Beauty). Edsel’s standalone reissue is housed in a digipak and features three previously issued bonus tracks, all from period Atlantic singles: “Walking in the Shadow of Love,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Merci Cherie.” Read more here!
Bobby Darin’s 1966 Sings The Shadow of Your Smile marked the superstar’s return to Atlantic Records. The album, arranged by Shorty Rogers and Richard Wess, was titled after the Oscar- and Grammy-winning Johnny Mandel/Paul Francis Webster tune from the 1965 film The Sandpiper. Joining “The Shadow” were its four fellow Oscar nominees for Best Original Song: Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini’s “The Sweetheart Tree” (The Great Race), Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “What’s New Pussycat” (from the film of the same name), Michel Legrand, Jacques Demy and Norman Gimbel’s “I Will Wait for You” (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) and Hal’s brother Mack David and Jerry Livingston’s “The Ballad of Cat Ballou” (Cat Ballou). The album, rounded out by standards and a Darin original, has four bonus tracks in Edsel’s digipak reissue all culled from original singles: “We Didn’t Ask to Be Brought Here,” “Funny What Love Can Do,” “The Breaking Point” and “Silver Dollar.” Read the full track listing and more here!
Varese Vintage has a special vinyl reissue this week: the first solo album (and only one released during his lifetime) from The Mamas and the Papas’ John Phillips. John, The Wolf King of L.A. was produced by Lou Adler and featured the contributions of Wrecking Crew veterans including Hal Blaine, Joe Osborn, James Burton and Larry Knechtel. This snapshot of 1969-1970 Los Angeles features “April Anne,” “Topanga Canyon,” “Mississippi” and more, all classics from the pen of one of the era’s finest songwriters.
FTG’s expanded edition of Toni Braxton’s dynamic debut arrives next Tuesday, June 21. This 1993 classic introduced the hit singles “Another Sad Love Song” and “Breathe Again,” and became a Grammy-winning triumph for the artist. This 2-CD reissue adds 21 bonus tracks of rare singles, remixes and more including Braxton’s performance of the perennial “The Christmas Song.”