Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Roy Orbison, The Ultimate Collection (Roy’s Boys/Legacy)
Legacy Recordings and Roy’s Boys, LLC deliver a newly-remastered, career-spanning anthology for the late Roy Orbison. The Ultimate Collection has 26 tracks drawn from The Big O’s halcyon years at Monument and MGM as well as his final solo recordings and collaborations with The Traveling Wilburys. Available on CD, DD and vinyl. Read more here!
For the first time, all seven of the legendary soul man Otis Redding’s electrifying sets on the Sunset Strip from Friday, April 8 to Sunday, April 10, 1966 will be featured in one 6-CD package. First excerpted on an album within the year after his passing, these shows marked some of Redding’s first crossover success with white rock audiences. Robby Krieger of The Doors and Bob Dylan (who offered “Just Like a Woman” to Redding) were in attendance, and the shows earned accolades in The Los Angeles Times, further establishing the 24-year-old singer as a true soul superstar. Read more here!
225 years after the composer’s passing, W.A. Mozart: The New Complete Edition chronicles every last note of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s many compositions over a staggering 200 discs. Limited to 15,000 copies worldwide, this box features 240 hours of performance, including five hours of new recordings, some done on instruments the composer personally used. Eighteen labels, including Decca and Deutsch Grammophon, will be represented, and 70% of the recordings are alternate to Philips Classics’ 180CD box set The Complete Mozart Edition, first released in 1991. The package includes two hardback books (one a new biography by Mozart scholar Cliff Eisen, one a 120,000-word series of essays and commentary from 30 additional scholars), five art prints, copies of Mozart’s last authenticated portrait, a handwritten letter and score manuscripts; an updated Köchel catalogue and access to full scores and texts online. Wow! You’ll find more details here.
Black Sabbath, The Ultimate Collection (BMG U.K.)
The Ultimate Collection gathers 31 tracks on 2 CDs or 4 LPs from the eight studio albums Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward released from 1970 to 1978. Hits and fan favorites include “Iron Man,” “Changes,” “War Pigs,” “Paranoid,” “N.I.B.,” “Snowblind,” and many more. The U.S. edition (links above) is slated to arrive via Rhino on February 3. Read more here!
Big Break expands a 1973 Philly soul classic from The Intruders! Save the Children, featuring the hit “I’ll Always Love My Mama” as well as Gil Scott Heron’s title track and Paul Simon’s “Mother and Child Reunion,” gains four bonus cuts including Tom Moulton’s remixes of “Mama” and “(Win, Place or Show) She’s a Winner.” Watch this space for a full review soon!
Marc Almond has curated this new 189-track, 10-CD career-spanning box set. Recorded between 1979 and 2016, the anthology is divided into three themed sections. History fills the first four discs with 72 of Almond’s favorite album tracks and B-sides. Singles gathers together all of the artist’s official Soft Cell, Mambas and solo singles in (mainly) chronological order for the first time. The final three CDs comprise Gems – fan-only releases, one-off collaborations, soundtrack contributions and more, including 18 previously unreleased tracks. A 64-page book rounds out this celebratory package for the pop hero! Available today in the U.K. and next Friday in the U.S.!
In celebration of his 80th birthday, Sony compiles composer Philip Glass’ works for the label in one 24-CD set. It includes the first ever release of Glassworks “specially mixed for your personal cassette player” on CD, a 44- minute interview with Glass on Glassworks (previously only available on a Columbia single), a hardbound book with the original liner notes, most written by Glass himself, plus full discography and complete libretti.
Manifesto has a new 2-CD, 31-track collection from the New York cult funk heroes! The Lafayette Afro Rock Band, aka Ice, relocated in 1970 from New York to Paris, went on to record with legendary French producer Pierre Jaubert, and have since found their grooves sampled by the likes of Public Enemy, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Gorillaz, and more! This set compiles the best and most-sampled tracks from the Lafayette Afro Rock Band and Ice, as well as selections from some of their other pseudonyms, Crispy & Co and Captain Dax. This set has been newly remastered from the original tapes!
RCA Victor’s Living Stereo series comprised some of the most aurally stunning titles in recording history to that point, with releases in every genre from jazz to cast albums and country. But this new 60-CD box set concentrates on the classical recordings released under the Living Stereo banner, including 48 new-to-CD albums. Every title has been newly remastered from the original tapes, and a hardcover book contains Michael Gray’s new liner notes as well as full discographical annotation and more!
Neil Diamond reunites with producers Don Was and Jacknife Lee (from his 2014 Capitol album Melody Road) for this all-new Christmas collection featuring intimate, stripped-down versions of classic carols including “O Holy Night,” “Do You Hear What I Hear,” “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” and “Silent Night.” A vinyl release follows on November 18. Target has an exclusive edition with two extra songs: “We Three Kings” and Diamond’s original “# 1 Christmas Record.”
Jimmy Buffett returns to the holiday milieu with this new album recorded in six cities on breaks from his summer 2016 tour. ‘Tis the SeaSon includes nine favorites (such as “Mele Kalikimaka,” “All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth),” “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”), three original songs and a Parrothead-aimed version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
She and Him – a.k.a. Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward – follow up 2011’s A Very She and Him Christmas with this latest seasonal effort in the same jolly yet minimalist vein. Tracks include “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late),” “All I Want for Christmas is You,” “Mele Kalikimaka,” “Run Run Rudolph,” “Let It Snow” and other favorites rendered in their delightful, low-key style. Amazon has an exclusive Deluxe Edition with special Christmas card-style packaging, but both editions have the same 12 tracks. Also available on vinyl.
Omnivore (re)introduces a fresh pop band with The Legal Matters’ sophomore album Conrad. The Midwestern power pop trio – singer-musicians Andy Reed, Chris Richards, and Keith Klingensmith – has delivered a buoyant and melodic collection of original songs that melds luscious harmonies with taut, crisp and guitar-driven instrumentation (plus the occasional strings!). Conrad is a sophisticated slice of smart, textured pop in the vein of Big Star at its softest and most direct. Dashes of Jellyfish, The Beatles and The Beach Boys add even more flavor. Available on LP and CD; the LP contains a download card with a vocal-only mix of the album to better savor those delicious, layered vocals.