Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
The Randy Newman Songbook box set marks the first-ever combined release of all three of the legendary songwriter’s piano-and-voice Songbook albums (including the new Vol. 3) recorded in 2003 and 2010 with producers Mitchell Froom and Lenny Waronker. All songs have been resequenced as one cohesive, thematically-linked listening experience spread over 4 CDs. Additionally, the box boasts five exclusive, previously unreleased bonus tracks: the now-standard “Feels Like Home,” “A Wedding in Cherokee County,” “I’m Dreaming,” “Family Album: Homage to Alfred, Emil and Lionel Newman,” and “Wandering Boy” – the latter the debut recording of one of Newman’s oldest compositions. This set is also available on vinyl.
The earliest known live recording of The Doors – recorded in 1966 at Sunset Strip’s London Fog club – is presented for the first time on a CD/LP box set limited to 18,000 copies. Read more here!
Just in time for its arrival as a musical on the London stage next spring, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman’s magnum opus (produced by Todd Rundgren) returns to high-resolution on Analog Spark’s new stereo hybrid SACD. This release is playable on all CD players. Watch this space for full coverage soon!
The Complete Capitol Singles 1957-1966 presents 56 sides on two discs – every A- and B-side recorded by country legend Owens with his Buckaroos and producer Ken Nelson for the venerable Hollywood label. Check out Joe’s full review here!
Laura Nyro, Eli and the Thirteenth Confession / New York Tendaberry Vinyl Reissues (Analog Spark)
Analog Spark has produced a truly beautiful pair of 180-gram vinyl reissues from the late, great singer-songwriter Laura Nyro. Both Eli and New York have been cut from the original Columbia stereo tapes by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound, and have been pressed and plated at RTI. Both titles, in addition, are housed in gorgeous Stoughton tip-on jackets and include original lyric inserts.
The fine folks at Analog Spark also have a bona fide jazz classic on deluxe 180-gram vinyl this week. Desmond Blue paired the famed Dave Brubeck Quartet saxophonist (and composer of “Take Five”) with a string section for a release in RCA’s famed Living Stereo series. Like the Laura Nyro titles, Desmond Blue has been cut by Ryan Smith from the original stereo tapes, and is housed in a sturdy Stoughton tip-on jacket. Watch for more coverage on Analog Spark’s recent vinyl releases soon!
The Ultimate Collection features, on six vinyl albums, Evanescence’s full studio discography on 180-gram vinyl. In addition to Fallen, The Open Door (a double LP) and Evanescence, the box features the first wide release of Origin, a 2000 self-released demo collection; plus Lost Whispers, a rarities disc featuring four unreleased tracks, including a new version of Origin‘s “Even In Death.” A 52-page book of handwritten lyrics, artwork and photos rounds out this deluxe package. Read more here!
Punk icons Social Distortion are rounding up four of their albums for your turntable in a new vinyl box set. The Independent Years 1983-2004 fills in the gaps on either side of their major-label tenure from 1990 to 1996, with fresh vinyl pressings of Mommy’s Little Monster, Prison Bound, Mainliner (Wreckage from the Past), and Sex, Love and Rock ‘N’ Roll. Read more here!
Varese Vintage brings the 1980 Planet Records debut of power-pop band The Cretones to CD. Though The Cretones were overshadowed at the time by Linda Ronstadt’s having covered three of their songs on her new wave-influenced Mad Love album, this reissue gives the four-person group headed by Mark Goldenberg and Peter Bernstein a chance to shine. This remastered edition boasts three previously unreleased bonus tracks: “Mood Vertigo,” “Quit It,” and “Taking the World with Kisses.”
Kylie Minogue’s 2015 Christmas album, featuring duets with Iggy Pop, James Corden, the late Frank Sinatra and others, is expanded with six new bonus tracks including a cover of Roy Wood’s “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day” and a duet with Mika on Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime.”
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, The Complete Studio Albums box sets
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of their debut album, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers are collecting all their studio albums into two new vinyl box sets. The Complete Studio Albums Volume 1 (1976-1991) and The Complete Studio Albums Volume 2 (1994-2014) bring together, across 21 pieces of 180-gram vinyl, all 16 studio releases from singer/guitarist Petty, guitarists Mike Campbell and Scott Thurston, keyboardist Benmont Tench, bassists Ron Blair and Howie Epstein and drummers Stan Lynch and Steve Ferrone. (Three of the albums, of–Full Moon Fever (1989), Wildflowers (1994) and Highway Companion (2006)–are solely credited to Petty despite ample contributions from The Heartbreakers and other guest musicians.)
Peace Trail introduces ten new, primarily acoustic songs from the always-prolific Neil Young. The album, available on CD, DD and LP, was recorded at Rick Rubin’s Shangri-la Studios and features Young on vocals and guitar, Jim Keltner on drums, and Paul Bushnell on bass. It was produced by Young and John Hanlon.