Real Gone Music has just announced their October slate of titles and while only one of them will get you into the Halloween spirit, there might well be something else among the eclectic choice of genres to pique your interest!
First up, Real Gone is releasing three two-disc greatest hits collections. One of these features liner notes from our very own Joe Marchese: Percy Faith’s The Definitive Collection. Faith was hugely in demand at Columbia Records, arranging and conducting for a large number of artists during the 1950s. He also had a prolific recording and composing career himself including a few #1 hits like “Delicado” and “Theme from A Summer Place.” This 32-track sets spans 22 years of his career and focuses primarily on his earlier years before he began covering pop and rock material in the 1960s.
Next up is a compilation focusing on one of the stars of disco: Evelyn “Champagne” King. The Complete RCA Hits and More! brings together 26 tracks from her tenure at RCA from 1977-1986 which saw her have several dance and R&B chart hits like “I’m In Love” and “Love Come Down.” This set presents the songs in their 12″ or remix versions as opposed to their album iterations. The third set highlights rocker Eddie Money and his time on Columbia Records from 1977-1992. The Complete Hits and More! contains all of Money’s charting hits like “Two Tickets to Paradise” and his biggest single “Take Me Home Tonight” which revitalized both his and Ronnie Spector’s careers. This set also contains the complete Livin’ It Up EP for the first time on CD. Please note that these three sets are CD versions of previously digital-only entries in Sony’s Essential series.
Keely Smith was just seventeen when she auditioned for Louis Prima to become his new female vocalist in 1948. She got the gig and they began to perform together and were married in 1953. The next year, they started a stand at the Sahara in Las Vegas. Smith would play the “straight” person to Prima in their act. The success in Vegas lead to the pair signing with Capitol in 1955. They recorded several successful duet albums and she recorded her first solo album in 1957. The pair signed with Dot Records in 1959 but the demanding recording and performing schedule took a toll on their marriage. They would divorce in 1961. Smith, now completely a solo act, would form her own label and sign with Reprise for distribution where she would ultimately release five LPs. These five records have never been available before on CD, but Real Gone has partnered with Keely and her family to rectify the situation. They will ultimately issue all of the albums on CD and are starting in October with 1964’s The Intimate Keely Smith, her second Reprise-era album (and the album which some consider to be her best). Produced by Keely’s future husband Jimmy Bowen, the LP is a representation of a part of her concert act and finds her singing such standards as “It Had To Be You” and “Somebody Loves Me.” Two bonus tracks are added: a duet with Frank Sinatra on “Twin Soliloquies” from a Reprise studio recording of South Pacific and the non-LP “No One Ever Tells You,” a Goffin/King/Spector song.
Mahalia Jackson remains one of the most, if not the most, influential gospel singers in history. She recorded many hugely successful albums for several labels, including a long tenure at Columbia and won several Grammy awards. She was also an important figure in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. She has received numerous reissues over the years. One part of her career which has been overlooked though are the recordings she made for television in the early 1960s. Hired after her performance at John F. Kennedy’s inaugural ball in 1961, she recorded 58 performances to be used as “filler” on Sunday mornings. Real Gone has collected 16 of these rare tracks for Mahalia Jackson Sings – The Great Television Performances.
Next up from Real Gone are two reissues from the Vanguard label. The first is the 1963 debut album from Sandy Bull: Fantasias for Guitar and Banjo. A multi-instrumentalist, Bull is accompanied only by drummer Billy Higgins (who had accompanied Ornette Coleman) on the record. The first side was taken up completely by “Blend,” a 22-minute composition by Bull which incorporates world-music influences. While not a success at the time, Fantasia would be credited with influencing the world music movement and psychedelia. It has never been reissued before on CD. Blues guitarist John Hammond made his debut on Vanguard in 1964 and recorded four albums between that and the next year. By 1967, he had signed with Atlantic for one album. As often happens in these cases, Vanguard put together an album of outtakes which became Mirrors, also released in 1967. The record contains both acoustic and electric material with Hammond being backed on the electric side by members of The Band. This is Hammond’s only Vanguard album which has never before appeared on CD.
Eden Atwood, a jazz singer and actress, signed to Concord Records in 1992. During her tenure, she recorded four albums. Real Gone has put together the first-ever compilation of her time at the label. I’m Glad There Is You – The Best of The Concord Years collects 14 songs from all four of her albums.
Finally, just in time for Halloween, Real Gone is releasing the soundtrack to The Return of the Living Dead on several limited vinyl editions. Return‘s history and legacy is a little complicated. George A. Romero and John Russo wrote 1968’s classic Night of the Living Dead. After its release, the two parted ways with Russo retaining the rights to use the title “Living Dead.” Romero, meanwhile, began a series of sequels beginning with Dawn of the Dead in 1978 (four more films through 2009’s Survival of the Dead would follow). Russo wrote a novel entitled The Return of The Living Dead and then wrote and produced a film of the same name in 1985 (the same year as Romero’s second sequel, Day of the Dead). Return is a quasi-sequel to Night, but has many more comedic elements and exists in a continuity wholly separate from the Romero films. Return itself would spawn four sequels through 2005’s Return of the Living Dead: Rave To The Grave. Return‘s soundtrack featured many popular punk bands from around 1985 including The Cramps and 45 Grave. Real Gone is producing four limited-edition colored vinyls available at different outlets: a grey “brains” vinyl version (750 copies – available everywhere), a black and blood red starburst vinyl version (750 copies – exclusive to independent record stores), a green and orange “pumpkin” starburst version (720 copies – exclusive to TransWorld stores including FYE) and a glow in the dark version (500 copies – exclusive to Real Gone’s website).
We’ve got Real Gone’s full press release below with more details and Amazon links if any of these titles grab your interest!!
LOS ANGELES – You can’t get any more popular in American entertainment than Keely Smith was in the early ’60s. Having blown the doors out in Las Vegas, winning a Grammy, having hit after hit and lighting up television screens playing straight “man” to husband Louis Prima, she’d navigated the tricky waters of a professional and personal divorce, striking out on her own and starting her own record label, Keely Records, in partnership with close friend and mentor Frank Sinatra, under the auspices of his Reprise label. A groundbreaking businesswoman, as well as recording artist, Keely recorded 5 classic albums for Reprise. Because she’d seen enough show business shenanigans to last a lifetime, a generation before it became standard practice to do so, she retained the rights to her masters. Those albums have NEVER come out legitimately on CD anywhere in the world. Now, Real Gone Music, in concert with Keely & her family, is very proud to announce that the label is going to answer the pleas of pop fans worldwide and release ALL of Keely’s Reprise albums on CD for the first time in deluxe packages featuring bonus tracks, rare photos, and new liner notes by Steve Hochman.
Produced by Keely’s husband-to-be & Reprise hitmaker Jimmy Bowen, 1964’s The Intimate Keely Smith is, as the steamy cover and saucy title suggest, a sexy, swinging affair and the quintessential Keely Smith recording from her Reprise period. A concept album, the project was the long form representation of her legendary “mood spot” concert segment, a staple of Keely’s live shows. Key album tracks include a rendition of Sinatra’s “Time After Time” and a version of Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the Child”…this album presents Keely really taking wing as an artist. And the bonus tracks? Well, Keely’s strong rapport and long history with Frank Sinatra are well known. As one of the foundational artists at Reprise, which was at full creative flower, Keely was part of some really great projects outside of her own releases. With the blessing of Frank Sinatra Enterprises, we’ve included her duet with Frank, “Twin Soliloquies,” from the The Reprise Musical Repertory Theatre Presents South Pacific album, plus the rare non-LP single of the King-Goffin-Spector track “No One Ever Tells You,” arranged by Jack Nitszche and also produced by Bowen.
Mahalia Jackson was the greatest gospel singer that ever lived, a transformative figure who transcended the genre to become a household name both here and abroad. But, ironically, out of her voluminous catalog of recordings for labels like Decca, Apollo, and, of course, Columbia, the performances that perhaps exposed the most people to her majestic artistry have remained unavailable for over half a century, never issued in any physical audio format…until now! A little background…in 1961, Mahalia, fresh from her triumphant performance at John F. Kennedy’s inaugural ball, hooked up with Irving Townsend (producer of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue among many other landmark albums) to film 58 performances of no more than five minutes’ duration to be aired as TV program “filler” on Sunday mornings. These renditions, aired under the banner of Mahalia Jackson Sings, not only introduced untold numbers of viewers to the Queen of Gospel Song, but also captured her at her absolute best. Drawing upon his jazz connections, producer Townsend assembled a crack backing band highlighted by drummer Shelly Manne, bassist Red Mitchell, and guitarist Barney Kessel, with Jackson’s long-time accompanist Mildred Falls as musical director. As a result, the 16 tracks collected on Mahalia Jackson Sings–The Great Television Performances–which range from old favorites like “I Asked the Lord,” “Didn’t It Rain,” and “The Lord’s Prayer” to lesser-known gospel gems like “God Will Take Care of You” and “Highway Up to Heaven” to songs, like “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “I Believe,” that fall outside the gospel canon altogether–rank as some of Mahalia Jackson’s greatest–and rarest–recordings, a monumental and essential addition to her discography. Audio engineer Mike Milchner polishes up the sound, while Davin Seay contributes liner notes accompanied by photos. A hugely important discovery from one of 20th century music’s towering figures.
After famously dropping out of the New York Police Academy to pursue his rock and roll dreams, Eddie Money burst on to the scene in the late ’70s with a series of sweaty, blue collar hits in the mold of Bob Seger, Mitch Ryder, and Bruce Springsteen, then capitalized on the MTV era by narrating a series of funny videos that cemented his image as a rock and roll Everyman, albeit one with a sneaky good songwriting touch and a powerful blue-eyed soul set of pipes. The lifestyle got the best of him during the mid-’80s, but he made a remarkable comeback in the late ’80s and continues on the circuit to this day offering his trademark mix of no-nonsense rock ‘n’ roll and regular guy stage persona. The Complete Hits and More! is by far the biggest Eddie Money collection ever, offering, like the title says, all 24 chart hits plus tracks drawn from 10 different albums and some rare live tracks drawn from the promo-only Livin’ It Up EP (which debuts on CD here in its entirety), featuring “Two Tickets to Paradise,” “Baby Hold On,” “Think I’m in Love,” “Shakin’,” his comeback duet with Ronnie Spector, “Take Me Home Tonight”/”Be My Baby,” “I Wanna Go Back,” “Walk on Water,” and “Peace in Our Time.” Bill Kopp supplies the liner notes, with added photos and album art. 35 tracks remastered by Maria Triana at Battery Studios…two CDs to paradise for Eddie Money fans.
Evelyn “Champagne” King ranks right up there with Donna Summer and Patti LaBelle at the top of the disco diva pantheon, but there has never been a domestically released collection to do her glittering career justice. Which is a real “shame”…but The Complete RCA Hits and More! not only offers, like the title says, all 24 hits she scored on the R&B and Pop charts for the RCA label, but also presents them in the 12″, alternate mix, and remix versions that really got the dance floor shaking back in the day! So you get the 12″ mixes of big hits like “Shame,” “I Don’t Know If It’s Right,” “I’m in Love,” and “Love Come Down,” the “Dance Mix” of “Your Personal Touch,” remixes of “High Horse” and “Shake Down,” and so on. Soul expert David Nathan contributes liner notes with exclusive quotes from Evelyn, and we’ve added photos from the RCA vaults and 12″ single and album art. All 26 tracks are remastered by Maria Triana at Battery Studios in New York…Break out the bubbly, cuz the definitive Evelyn “Champagne” King collection is finally here.
It’s not too much of a stretch to say that Percy Faith invented easy listening music; along with Mantovani, he pioneered the use of string sections to soften and sweeten the brass-dominated sound that dominated popular music during the ’40s. Faith was also one of Mitch Miller’s main men at Columbia Records, where he provided arrangements for everybody from Doris Day to Tony Bennett to Johnny Mathis, and he composed some of the most memorable soundtrack themes of all time. Now, Real Gone pays tribute to one of the great arrangers and composers in pop music history with The Definitive Collection, a 32-track set spanning 22 years of recordings, including hit singles, tracks drawn from a total of 20 different albums, and a number of his most revered compositions for the screen. Among the highlights: the #1 hits “Delicado,” “Where Is Your Heart (from ‘Moulin Rouge’),” and “The Theme from ‘A Summer Place;'” his soundtrack themes to the films Tammy Tell Me True, The Oscar, and The Love Goddesses, and the TV series The Virginian; and some of his signature adaptations of Latin music like “How Insensitive (Insensataez)” and “Brazil (Aquarela Do Brasil).” Joe Marchese provides the notes, and the package includes photos from the Columbia vaults as well as some of the great cover art that adorned Faith’s album releases. Remastered by Maria Triana at Battery Studios in New York…like the title says, the definitive Percy Faith collection!
Multi-instrumentalist Sandy Bull’s debut, Fantasias for Guitar and Banjo, was for all intents and purposes the beginning of the “world music” movement. And if that seems like a bold claim, keep in mind that while many classical composers had borrowed folk motifs throughout the centuries, the mélange of folk, jazz, blues, classical, gospel, and even rock ‘n’ roll that this record offered–back in 1963!–was simply unprecedented. It all comes together on the album’s first track, a 21 minute and 51 second stylistic odyssey appropriately entitled “Blend.” Backed by jazz drummer Billy Higgins, Bull improvises in a fashion akin to jazz, but his guitar style displays elements of folk, and the droning quality and raga-like climax echo aspects of Middle Eastern and Indian music. The rest of the album is no less peripatetic, offering interpretations of German composer Carl Orff, English Renaissance composer William Byrd, a Southern mountain tune, and a gospel song. Nowadays, of course, this kind of stylistic leapfrogging is commonplace; but Bull was so far ahead of his time in 1963 that the record predictably did not sell well, though it did attract an avid cult following and gained praise from the New York Times and Down Beat. Now, Real Gone Music takes great pleasure in bringing this groundbreaking recording back into print for the first time ever on CD, with notes by Richie Unterberger supplementing Nat Hentoff’s original notes and remastering by Joe Tarantino. One of the great lost treasures of the ’60s, ripe to be rediscovered.
The cleverly-conceived cover shot tips you off to the fact that the 1967 record Mirrors–comprised of outtakes from sessions for his John Hammond, Big City Blues, So Many Roads, and Country Blues albums–displays two different sides of the great white bluesman John Hammond, one electric, one acoustic. The electric side features a backing band for the ages, consisting of Band members Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson plus Mike Bloomfield (on piano!) and Charley Musselwhite, while the acoustic side is just Hammond on guitar. There is little doubt that members of blues-rock bands both current and future listened carefully to this record; “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” (Grateful Dead), “Statesboro Blues” (Allman Brothers), and “Keys to the Highway” (Derek & the Dominos) all appear here, and indeed Hammond was friends with Eric Clapton and Duane Allman as well as with the members of The Band that play on the album. More importantly, however, Hammond lays a convincing claim to being one of his generation’s greatest bluesmen, especially with his takes on the Robert Johnson tunes “Travelling Riverside,” “Stones in My Passway,” and “Walking Blues.” This is the only Hammond album recorded for Vanguard in the ’60s yet to be released on CD, and our Real Gone reissue includes notes by Richie Unterberger with exclusive quotes from John Hammond himself. Remastered by Joe Tarantino…a long-lost classic.
Signed to Concord Records at the ripe old age of 23 after being discovered by Marian McPartland, singer Eden Atwood came from some fine bloodlines; her father Hub Atwood was a composer and arranger for Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole among others, and her grandfather was noted novelist A.B. Guthrie, Jr. (The Big Sky; The Way West)! Little wonder, then, that Eden was a precocious artist indeed; not only was she one of the few singers of his generation to tackle the American standard songbook in the jazz idiom, but even in these early recordings she displayed a sensitivity for the lyrical material well beyond her years. Real Gone is proud to present the first-ever compilation of Eden’s Concord years, I’m Glad There Is You–The Best of the Concord Years, 14 tracks taken from all four of the albums (No One Ever Tells You, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, There Again, and A Night in the Life) she recorded for Concord, with disarmingly honest, track-by-track liner notes written by the artist herself.
There are zombies…and then there are brain-eating zombies! And The Return of the Living Dead was the film where brain-eating zombies got their first lease on, er, life. Co-written by John Russo, who was George Romero’s writing partner on Night of the Living Dead, this 1985 quasi-sequel introduced more “splatstick” humor to the horror formula as well as the indelible image of ghouls groaning “Braainsss” as they shuffle along. All set to a KILLER score featuring the greatest punk and death rock bands of the era, including The Cramps, 45 Grave, The Flesh Eaters, The Damned, Roky Erickson, The Jet Black Berries, T.S.O.L. and SSQ. Now, to celebrate Halloween, Real Gone Music is releasing no less than four colored vinyl versions: a grey “brainsss” vinyl version limited to 750 copies, a black and blood red starburst vinyl version limited to 750 copies exclusive for independent record stores, a green and orange “pumpkin” starburst version limited to 720 copies for the Transworld chain of stores including F.Y.E. and the company’s other properties, and, finally, a glow in the dark version limited to 500 copies and for sale only via the Real Gone Music website. But you’ll have to fight off the hordes of zombies seeking to consume each and every version…
OCTOBER 7, 2016 RELEASES FROM REAL GONE MUSIC
OCTOBER 14, 2016 RELEASES FROM REAL GONE MUSIC
Keely Smith, The Intimate Keely Smith (Expanded Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)
Various Artists, The Return of the Living Dead: Original Soundtrack (Limited Grey “Brainsss” Vinyl Version) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)
Various Artists, The Return of the Living Dead: Original Soundtrack (Limited Black & Red Starburst Vinyl Version) (Independent Record Store Exclusive)
Various Artists, The Return of the Living Dead: Original Soundtrack (Limited Orange & Green Starburst Vinyl Version) (FYE/TransWorld Exclusive)
Various Artists, The Return of the Living Dead: Original Soundtrack (Limited Glow in the Dark Vinyl Version) (Real Gone Music Webstore Exclusive)