Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up! We’ve got the latest release from Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music as well as plenty more that we know you won’t want to miss!
Our newest release brings together two seminal, never-before-reissued albums by Eddy Arnold on one CD, both from 1970. Love and Guitars captured Arnold in a raw, acoustic setting with many of Nashville’s greatest pickers including producer Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Harold Bradley and Ray Edenton. Its follow-up, Standing Alone, moved the singer to Hollywood where he worked with producer/creative maverick Lee Hazlewood and the famed Wrecking Crew on a series of contemporary country tunes with a folk-rock leaning. We’ve added two previously unreleased Hazlewood productions and four rare non-LP single sides for a comprehensive look at these two very different roads taken by the country legend! Read more here!
The Delfonics’ 40 Classic Soul Sides collects tracks from the legendary Philly soul group’s first four Philly Groove LPs on 2 CDs. When Stan Watson introduced a group (including brothers William and Wilbert Hart and Randy Cain) he was managing to a young Thom Bell at Cameo in the late 1960s, magic was born and a major force in a new genre emerged. Collaborating with lead singer William on songwriting duties, Bell produced three groundbreaking LPs in the new Philly Soul genre on Watson’s Philly Groove label from 1968-1970, containing such classics as “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” and “La-La (Means I Love You).” Bell would go on to eventually work with The Stylistics and The Spinners while the Delfonics would record two more albums for Philly Groove before disbanding in 1975. They have reunited sporadically for various projects in the ensuing decades. This new compilation has been remastered by Vic Anesini, and my liner notes feature brand new interviews with Thom Bell and Bobby Eli!
The rare 1977 London Cast Recording of Harry Nilsson’s The Point!, starring Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones of The Monkees, finally comes to CD from Varese Vintage! This much-desired addition to the discographies of both Harry Nilsson and The Monkees features songs not included on Nilsson’s original RCA solo recording, and includes new liner notes and beautiful period design. Read more here!
This surprise release has already shaped up to be one of the year’s hottest. The bulk of Betty Davis’ never-before-released or bootlegged Columbia sessions were produced by Miles Davis and Teo Macero. Her accompanists remain the stuff of legend: drummer Mitch Mitchell of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, bassist Billy Cox (who’d replace Noel Redding in Hendrix’s new band), and a host of musicians in Miles’ orbit including guitarist John McLaughlin, keyboardist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, bassist Harvey Brooks and electric pianist Larry Young. Throw in two sides of a single (one represented by an alternate take) produced by Jerry Fuller and Hugh Masekela, and you have an incomparable set of smoking R&B and funk!
After The Ides of March went on hiatus in 1973, lead singer/guitarist Jim Peterik had to find a new direction. He released a solo album on Epic in 1976 but soon decided to form a new group. Recruiting bassist Dennis Keith Johnson, drummer Gary Smith, singer Dave Bickler and guitarist Frankie Sullivan, Survivor was born. Though the group would undergo numerous line-up changes over the years, their status as pop-rock titans was never in doubt. The 2-CD Definitive Collectionfeatures 35 tracks from the band’s 1978-1988 period (including “Eye of the Tiger,” “The Search is Over,” “Is This Love” and many more) and has new liner notes by Bill Kopp containing quotes from a new interview with Jim Peterik.
When Brook Benton joined Cotillion Records in 1968 following a stint at Reprise, his commercial fortunes were on a downturn…but not for long. His chart fortunes would turn around with the release of “Rainy Night In Georgia” in 1970. The southern soul cover of the 1962 Tony Joe White song would top the Billboard Soul Chart and reach No. 4 on the Hot 100. At Cotillion, Benton worked with Arif Mardin and the Dixie Flyers, and several more of his singles made the charts.Rainy Night In Georgia – The Complete Reprise and Cotillion Singles As and Bs gathers Benton’s 31 soulful single sides for these two labels together for the first time.
Omnivore delivers a CD debut for Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s third album and their final LP for Warner Bros. Records. Featuring A-list musicians including Steve Gadd, David Spinozza, Bernard Purdie, Gary Mallaber, Grady Tate and Tony Levin, Pronto (so titled for the rough pronunciation of the French “prends ton manteau,” or “take your coat”) was produced by David Nichtern, who added a bit of pop flair to the folk duo’s compositions. In addition to the McGarrigles’ own songs, Pronto offered Nichtern’s “Just Another Broken Heart,” a cover of the oldie and Elvis Presley favorite “Tryin’ to Get to You,” and “Cover Up My Head” from Hair composer Galt MacDermot. Read more here!
Kyle Riabko’s contemporary, guitar-infused take on the classic Burt Bacharach songbook is preserved on this London Cast Recording of his contemporary musical revue Close to You: Bacharach Reimagined. Riabko and a cast of young musician-singers bring vitality to these modernized yet faithful renditions of Bacharach favorites with lyrics by Hal David and Carole Bayer Sager. The 2-CD set features over ten demos as bonus tracks.
Monkees fans won’t want to miss this brand-new EP available today in the U.S. from the fine folks across the pond at 7a Records! This translucent, purple-colored vinyl EP features four tracks recorded by the trio of Dolenz, Nesmith and Link last year. New recordings of two Monkees classics – Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Porpoise Song” and Dolenz’s own “Randy Scouse Git” – are joined by King and Howard Greenfield’s Everly Brothers staple “Crying in the Rain,” as well as by The Beatles’ “Good Morning, Good Morning.” This release, mixed and mastered by Nesmith, is strictly limited to 500 copies! Read more here!
Back in 2013, Real Gone reissued Sea Level’s second (1977’s Cats on the Coast) and third (1978’sOn the Edge) albums on a single CD. Now they are following that up with a twofer of the southern rockers’ first and fourth efforts: Sea Level/Long Walk Off A Short Pier. Sea Level grew out of the breakup of the Allman Brothers band in 1976. Brothers band members pianist/keyboardist/vocalist Chuck Leavell, bassist Lamar Williams and drummer Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson decided to strike out on their own and added guitarist Jimmy Nails to the lineup. Taking the name Sea Level (as a pun on Leavell’s name), the band would sign with the Allmans’ label Capricorn and release their self-titled debut in 1977. By the time of their fourth album in 1979, the initial group’s lineup had changed several times and was now a sextet comprised of Leavell, Williams and Nails, joined by saxophonist/keyboardist/vocalist Randall Bramblett, guitarist Davis Causey and drummer/percussionist/vocalist Joe English. Unfortunately, due to contractual problems with Capricorn, Long Walk Off A Short Pier remained unreleased in the US for over 20 years. Real Gone completes the band’s Capricorn discography with this two-fer.
On this new 3-CD set, Eric Clapton is joined by a cadre of top guitar heroes including Jeff Beck, Gary Clark Jr., Robert Cray, Billy Gibbons, Vince Gill, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, John Mayer, Carlos Santana, Joe Walsh, Ronnie Wood, and Jimmie Vaughn. Crossroads Revisited features 41 tracks of landmark performances from all four Crossroads Guitar Festivals, which were held in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013 – and most of these selections have not previously appeared on CD.
Ned Rorem, The Panic in Needle Park: The Unused Score (Kritzerland)
Kritzerland premieres on CD the unused score by Ned Rorem to the 1971 drama The Panic in Needle Park starring the young Al Pacino. Though the gritty, New York-set film eventually was released without music, avant-garde pioneer Norem did compose a score which was recovered earlier this year for Twilight Time’s first-ever Blu-ray release. Kritzerland premieres this lost dramatic gem on CD in mono, as beautifully remastered by Mike Matessino.
Varese has a reissue of Quincy Jones’ 1977 A&M Records soundtrack to the original television blockbuster miniseries Roots. The dramatic 17-track album features African singer Letta Mbulu along with Jones’ orchestra (arranged by Jones, Johnny Mandel, Dave Grusin and other musical titans), vocalist Paulette McWilliams, musicians Tom Bahler and Jim Gilstrap and more luminaries. Varese’s deluxe edition features a lengthy new essay by Jim Lochner based on an interview with Jones, as well as new remastering by Chas Ferry and Daren Chadwick.
Real Gone remembers the late Patty Duke with this slipcased edition of the label’s deluxe reissues of Duke’s four United Artists albums: Patty, Don’t Just Stand There, Sings Songs from Valley of the Dolls and the originally-unreleased Sings Folk Songs: Time to Move On.
Here’s one you might have missed from last week: Light in the Attic has a deluxe edition of the soundtrack to the 1976 documentary film Heartworn Highways. The album boasts a “Who’s Who” of the “new country” movement including Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Steve Young, David Allan Coe, and Steve Earle, and the label hasn’t skimped on the packaging: this set includes not one, but two, 30-page booklets! Also available on vinyl.