Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up highlighted by the latest release from Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music!
The Isley Brothers, Groove with You...Live! (Second Disc Records/Real Gone Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
We're incredibly excited and proud to bring this sizzling, swooning and immersive double-album document of The Isley Brothers at the peak of their powers to CD for the very first time! Groove with You...Live! features powerful renditions of classic hits like "Take Me to the Next Phase," "Summer Breeze" and "Livin' in the Life," recorded live-in-the-studio at Bearsville Sound to reflect the 3+3-era band's set lists of the time, and sweetened by the band to create a "live" presentation! Our CD premiere boasts an expanded package including Joe's liner notes based on fresh interviews with both Ernie Isley and Chris Jasper!
Robert Goulet, The Definitive Collection (Real Gone Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Robert Goulet's 2-CD The Definitive Collection follows up the Real Gone Music release of Goulet'sComplete Columbia Christmas Recordings back in 2014. This new, remastered compilation focuses on the rest of Goulet's nine-year tenure at the label. Appropriately for the artist who got his big break in Camelot, half of the collection's 36 tracks hail from Broadway shows. The rest focus on the sweeping style of romantic ballad Goulet favored for a large part of his Columbia recordings. Goulet would record with Columbia until 1970 before moving over to MGM. I've written the new liner notes!
The Meters, A Message from The Meters: The Complete Josie, Reprise and Warner Bros. Singles 1968-1977 (Real Gone Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
A Message from The Meters-The Complete Josie, Reprise & Warner Bros. Singles 1968-1977 collects the legendary New Orleans group's smoking-hot singles for all three labels, with some of the mixes here appearing on CD for the first time! Featuring productions from the late, great Allen Toussaint, funky R&B doesn't get much better than this.
Freddie Mercury, Messenger of the Gods: The Singles (Hollywood)
Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Messenger of the Gods: The Singles features 25 tracks recorded by the legendary Queen frontman and released between 1973 and 1993 -several of which were never released in America, or released widely on CD. Among the set's rarer treasures is Mercury's first "solo" single, credited to Larry Lurex in 1973. The single, featuring covers of Phil Spector's "I Can Hear Music" (recorded by The Ronettes and a U.S. Top 40 hit for The Beach Boys in 1969) and Gerry Goffin & Carole King's "Goin' Back," was in fact recorded by all four members of Queen, who were working on their debut album at Trident Studios while engineer Robin Geoffrey Cable was attempting to recreate Spector's "Wall of Sound" technique. It never charted, and both sides have been sparingly included on past solo collections for Mercury. There's plenty of other hard-to-find material here, too - read the full track listing here! Available on vinyl and CD.
Carpenters, The Nation's Favourite Carpenters Songs (Universal U.K.) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
This tie-in release with the upcoming ITV television special of the same title collects 20 songs beloved by fans in Great Britain - and indeed, everywhere else. Includes "(They Long to Be) Close to You," "We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days and Mondays," "Superstar" and sixteen more, plus liner notes by Richard Carpenter himself!
Porter Wagoner, The Definitive Collection (Real Gone Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
After signing with RCA Victor in the mid-1950s, Porter Wagoner notched 81 charting hits before passing away in 2007. The Definitive Collection compiles 40 tracks from his years with the label (1954-1979) and focuses on his solo recordings rather than his duets with Dolly Parton. Wagoner recorded several concept albums during his time at the label and his songs often focused on people who were down on their luck with such titles as "Misery Loves Company," "Sorrow on the Rocks" and "Skid Row Joe" - all of which you'll hear on this remastered anthology.
Dionne Warwick, The Warner Bros. Recordings (Real Gone Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
The Warner Bros. Collection brings together the compilations The Complete Warner Bros. Singlesand We Need To Go Back: The Unissued Warner Bros. Masters, both originally issued in 2013 in one slipcase. The 40 tracks on these two CDs provide a good look at Warwick's tenure for Warner Bros. between her huge hits on Scepter and her resurgence on Arista - including an entire disc's worth of rarities from Burt Bacharach, Thom Bell, Jerry Ragovoy, Ashford and Simpson and other musical legends!
Rodgers and Hammerstein's State Fair (Stage Door Records) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Stage Door Records presents a treasure trove of music relating to the 1962 remake of State Fair (the 1945 musical written directly for film by Rodgers and Hammerstein) starring Bobby Darin, Ann-Margret and Pat Boone. This release (limited to 500 units, each packaged in a mini-sleeve) has the Dot Records original soundtrack album (new-to-CD and sourced from a reel-to-reel tape) plus 15 bonus tracks: solo pop recordings of the film's new songs by Pat Boone and Alice Faye, two State Fair medleys performed by The Mike Sammes Singers and 11 instrumental tracks of the score by the 20th Century Strings Orchestra.
Jeff Gross says
Very exciting! Although "State Fair" was released by Varese and mastered meticulously by Varese in 1999 (Combining 1945 - 1962 versions) - with the demos, it seems this NEW release that focuses on 1962 has Alfred Newman cues and isolated score! Exciting!
However, as usual, Amazon is selling the CORRECT CD, but has the old info - so buy on Amazon with confidence, through the link. But you can see the differences in the CD contents here:
Also, The Divine Comedy's "Foreverland" dropped today. Baroque pop genius - Neil Hannon is ALWAYS worth a dedicated listen - very rewarding music!
Joe Marchese says
Hey Jeff, my understanding is that this (public domain-sourced) edition centers around the original Dot album which was not on the incredible Varese release, as that CD utilized the original film tracks and performances. Stage Door's reissue also has The Mike Sammes Singers' covers disc, the instrumental medleys and the pop tracks. So they're very different but still essential (and the Varese, of course, was fully licensed and from superior sources).
Jeff Gross says
Correct - they "recreated" the original LP for the Varese edition which sounds excellent (and has Bobby, Ann-Margret demos)... but this one focuses on the actual release(s) as they were. Worth getting! You know I'll report back on the sound and such... 🙂 Funny enough, GN just bought me a NM Dot State Fair LP at his local record shop outside Seattle... Isley Brothers, Goulet, Freddie 45s, Darin - it's a pop vocal paradise!
Keep up the great work, Joe!!
I have this-it shipped mid-August and it doesn't include any Alfred Newman cues or underscoring. The instrumental tracks are from a Living Strings type album released in 1962, conducted by Sonny Lester. The arrangements are very 1962. Details here:
The Mike Sammes selections are from this EP.
I can't really attest to the sound quality (I'm moving-all my stereo stuff is in storage) but in my car and via my kitchen TV/DVD/CD player it sounds pretty good. Very happy to have the Dot soundtrack on CD, at last, although I still have my vinyl copy of the LP. Now I only need to have my 1994 soundtrack cassette of the 1945 version (which included 6 tracks not on the Varese, why did they not include the underscoring and deleted song?) digitized and I'm good.
Jeff Gross says
I realized after those weren't Alfred cues but the officially released side-platter...
Now, I just have to hunt down the mono LP. My LP copy (next to me) has "STEREOPHONIC" plastered across top - not the "True Fidelity Stereo Recording" image I see on the new release... well, my ears will hear it soon enough!
Joe Marchese says
I know! My copy hasn't arrived yet either...can't wait!