As Christmas approaches and 2016 winds down, we start looking ahead to 2017 and what will be released. We’ve already told you about the Second Disc Records/Real Gone Music reissue of Thom Bell’s all-star soundtrack to The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh due in February, and now we’re here to tell you about the rest of Real Gone’s killer lineup for that month.
First up are two titles with liner notes by our very own Joe Marchese. In 2015, Real Gone reissued Lesley’s Gore’s Someplace Else Now album from MoWest. After leaving that label, Gore would find herself reunited with Quincy Jones on an A&M single entitled “Immortality” which would then lead to a full-length album in 1976. Gore wrote all of the songs on this new LP with Ellen Weston, and was backed by an illustrious group including Herbie Hancock and The Brothers Johnson. Love Me by Name would have a different sound for Gore, moving her into a more disco direction as befitted the time period. Unfortunately, the album failed to ignite the charts and Gore moved on to other endeavors. This new edition is expanded by both sides of the “Immortality” single.
Also featuring notes by Joe is The Definitive Collection from Lynn Anderson. The 2-CD, 40 track compilation covers Anderson’s Chart and Columbia periods from 1966-1980. Anderson was incredibly successful during this time scoring numerous entries on the Country and Pop surveys. This new collection features every one of her Top 10 Country hits from this period starting with the No. 5 “If I Kiss You (Will You Go Away)” on Chart in 1967. After Anderson moved to Columbia in 1970, she became even more successful, scoring several No. 1 Country albums and songs. The biggest hit was of course the immortal “Rose Garden” which would hit No. 3 on the Pop Chart and go to the peak position several other countries. After leaving Columbia, Anderson left the music industry for a few years to focus on family before returning and recording for labels including Periman, MCA and Mercury. She continued to perform up until her passing last year. This compilation was first issued as a digital-only entry in Sony’s Essential series.
Musical duo Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett got their first recording contract for Stax in 1969. They then moved to Elektra before coming to Atco in 1970 for their longest sustained recording contract. While they never achieved much success as some others, they are best remembered for the “Friends” they had with them for their albums. And when your friends include Leon Russell, Isaac Hayes, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, and Duane & Gregg Allman, among others, it is easy to see why. Motel Shot, released in 1971, was the duo’s fourth studio album and third overall album on Atco. It had its genesis a year earlier as a prospective album for Elektra and sessions were recorded with engineer Bruce Botnick. However, tensions grew with Elektra and the pair moved to Atco, recording a studio and a live album before circling back to the earlier material. The songs were re-recorded for Atco and the eventual LP gave Delaney and Bonnie their biggest chart success with “Never Ending Song of Love.” Guests on the album include Russell, Cocker, Duane Allman, Gram Parsons and Bobby Whitlock among others. The LP itself has never appeared on CD outside of Japan and this new edition is expanded with 8 recently discovered tracks from the original 1970 sessions. It has been remastered by Bill Inglot and features liner notes by Pat Thomas with quotes from Bonnie Bramlett, Bruce Botnick, Jac Holzman and Bobby Whitlock.
Real Gone’s next two releases focus on guitarists. Folk bandleader Jim Kweskin lead his Jug Band during the 1960s and recorded several albums for Vanguard records during the decade, recording primarily pre-World War II music. Among the members of his troupe were Geoff and Maria Muldaur. For his third album on Vanguard, Kweskin decided to record a solo album and only used two members of the Jug Band for backing. Released in 1965, Relax Your Mind features various styles from folk to African music. It makes its US CD debut here. Also recording for Vanguard was fellow guitarist Larry Coryell. Coryell is known best for his jazz fusion style of music and he got his start in the mid-1960s in New York City. After leaving the Free Spirits, he formed his own band and signed to Vanguard. His second album, Coryell, was released in 1969 and features seven songs, all written by Coryell (two co-written with his wife Julie). It makes its US CD debut here.
As one of the most celebrated jazz musicians of all time, it is fairly surprising that there is a Duke Ellington album that has not been reissued on CD or on any format in the US. But Serenade to Sweden is fairly obscure, so perhaps it not that surprising. Ellington recorded for numerous labels over his long and illustrious career. In the early 1960s, he found himself on Frank Sinatra’s Reprise label for a few years. One of the recordings he made then was a 1963 date with Swedish singer Alice Babs, who was a recording and film star in her homeland. However, the resulting album was put on the shelf until 1966 and was then only released internationally (including, naturally, in Sweden) and never in the US. Ellington was certainly impressed by Babs, however. They would continue to collaborate and she would participate in two out of the three of his Sacred Concerts. This new edition features liner notes by Scott Yanow.
Early prog-rock band Soft Machine was formed in 1966 in the UK. They opened for Jimi Hendrix on this 1968 North American tour and actually broke up during that time. But they reformed due to contractual obligations to record their second album, Volume 2, released in September 1969. A little earlier than that, in March 1969, they performed at Paradiso in Amsterdam. That concert has been available before on CD but Real Gone is putting out the first vinyl edition of Live at the Paradiso. The new “soft purple” vinyl is limited to 1000 copies.
We’ve got Real Gone’s press release below with some more information together with pre-order links if you’d like to give any of the titles a try.
LOS ANGELES – Though they never achieved the popular success enjoyed by some of their peers, Delaney & Bonnie Bramlett spearheaded the roots-rock revolution of the late ’60s and early ’70s along with The Allman Brothers and The Band, turning away from the exoticism of psychedelia towards music “rooted” in blues, country, and soul. Witness the fact that the “And Friends” that played with the pair included Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Leon Russell, Dave Mason and Bobby Whitlock….out of Delaney and Bonnie’s various aggregations arose Derek and the Dominoes and Joe Cocker’s band for the legendary Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. And for Delaney & Bonnie and Friends’ Motel Shot, the duo’s fourth studio album and their third for Atco/Atlantic, the circle of “friends” included Cocker, Whitlock, and Mason, plus appearances by Duane Allman, Gram Parsons, and John Hartford among others! But for the most part, this is a largely acoustic, charmingly informal affair dipped in gospel and dominated by the Bramletts and Whitlock; the Motel Shot title refers to informal, after hours jam sessions on the road. But there’s a whole lot more to the story (and to this release!). The project began not in a hotel room but in the living room of engineer Bruce Botnick, with November 1970 sessions as a prospective release for Elektra Records. But, after Delaney had a falling out with label head Jac Holzman, the project moved to Atco, who put the “band” into a proper studio to re-record much of the material. Those later sessions comprise the original album, which has heretofore only appeared briefly on CD in Japan; but, after hours of tape research, co-producers Bill Inglot and Pat Thomas uncovered the original “living room” sessions that yielded the eight unreleased tracks on this Expanded Edition CD release – and notably is the first American CD release of the original Motel Shot album as well. Remastered by Inglot, with an essay by Thomas that includes exclusive (and extremely candid) quotes from Bonnie Bramlett, Bobby Whitlock, Bruce Botnick, and Jac Holzman, Motel Shot finally is presented here the way it was originally conceived, and takes its rightful place as one of the great albums of the classic era of the roots rock movement.
Having filled a major gap in the late, great Lesley Gore’s discography with its release of her Motown album Someplace Else Now, Real Gone Music now turns its attention to the other major missing piece of her catalog, the 1976 album she recorded for A&M Records. Love Me by Name not only reunited Lesley with producer Quincy Jones from her hit-making ’60s days, but brought her into together with a truly staggering array of talent, including Herbie Hancock, Toots Thielemans, Harvey Mason, Jim Keltner, Dave Grusin and just about every other studio superstar you could name, even the Partridge Family! Love Me by Name features compositions written by Gore and her songwriting partner Ellen Weston, most notably the title track, which was later covered by Dusty Springfield, Patti Austin, and Jennifer Holiday among others. The album also gave a nod to the disco and funk trends that were so prominent in pop music at the time, particularly on the lead-off track, “Sometimes,” which paired her unmistakable pipes with the Brothers Johnson. Our Real Gone reissue marks the worldwide debut of this album on CD, and adds two rare single versions as well as liner notes by Joe Marchese that explore the life and times of this remarkable lady. Remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision and featuring rare photos, this Expanded Edition of Love Me by Name is the one release that Lesley Gore fans worldwide have been waiting for.
Larry Coryell is one of the greatest guitarists ever to walk the face of the earth, but he remains somewhat underappreciated–witness the fact that this, his second solo album, has never been released on CD until this Real Gone reissue! 1969’s Coryell offers an intriguing blend of improvised and arranged pieces, with an all-star cast that includes Ron Carter, Bernard Purdie, Albert Stinson (“The Jam with Albert” is perhaps the highlight of the entire album), Chuck Rainey, and Free Spirits bandmate Jim Pepper. Jimi Hendrix is definitely an influence on this jazz-rock gem, but Coryell takes his axe in directions only known to him; at this time, only John McLaughlin (with whom Coryell would shortly cut the one-off Spaces) could rival him in the fusion field. Bill Kopp’s notes include copious quotes from Larry Coryell himself; Mike Milchner’s remastering lets this overlooked album shine.
After a couple of albums on Vanguard Records established Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band as a major force in the folk scene, their leader had something different in mind for his first LP without the group. Billed to Jim Kweskin, 1965’s Relax Your Mind gave him the opportunity to, as he puts it in Richie Unterberger’s liner notes, record “music that was a little more meaningful to me personally.” With accompaniment by the Jug Band members Fritz Richmond on washtub bass and Mel Lyman on harmonica, Kweskin delivered a set just as diverse as his records with the full Jug Band, encompassing traditional folk standards, blues, gospel, African music, and more. Mel Lyman’s original, stream-of-consciousness liner notes (also included here) describe an uproarious, impromptu jam session in the Vanguard studios from which much of this record was taken; the rest comes from a live date recorded at Cambridge’s Club 47 a year or two earlier. Remastering by Mike Milchner at SonicVision and copious Kweskin quotes in the notes present this fine folk album–which sees its first domestic release to retail–in its best light.
Real Gone Music is proud to present what is probably the rarest album in the voluminous Duke Ellington discography, his 1963 date with Swedish singer Alice Babs, Serenade to Sweden. That year, Ellington was hired by the Reprise label as an A&R man, free to sign any artist he wanted and to record them. His first choice was Babs, who, in Ellington’s words, was “the most unique artist I know…She sings opera, she sings lieder, she sings what we call jazz and blues, she sings like an instrument, she even yodels, and she can read any and all of it!” For her part, Babs (born Hildur Alice Nilson) had a hit in Sweden when was only 15 (“Swing It Teacher”), and was an iconic figure in her homeland, appearing in 14 Swedish films from 1938 to 1959. The result of this meeting of legendary musical minds was a sublime cool jazz masterpiece that, sadly, never received a proper release in the U.S. and appears to be the only Ellington album never to be reissued on CD or even digitally, having eluded even the most comprehensive compilers. Needless to say, original copies go for big Swedish krona online, and not just because it’s rare; Babs’ wordless vocals and scat singing on “The Boy in My Dreams,” “Strange Visitor,” and “Babsie” are positively Ella-worthy, and Ellington’s masterful arrangements–at times filigreed with a French horn section–provide the perfect accompaniment. We’ve added liner notes by Scott Yanow, while the album boasts remastering by Aaron Kannowski. Fascinating for any jazz fan–essential for Ellington enthusiasts!
Soft Machine was one of the first prog-rock bands, but if your vision of prog-rock consists of musicians wreathed in pot smoke airily singing of fairies and wizards, it will be summarily dispelled by this fantastic “authorized bootleg,” which captures the band in March 1969 at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, playing material that was to be released six months later on Soft Machine: Volume Two. The trio of Robert Wyatt on drums and vocals, Mike Ratledge on organ, and Hugh Hopper on bass launch what can only be called a high-decibel, jazz-rock sonic assault; “Like vindaloo for the ears” is how Hopper puts it on the accompanying notes on the inner sleeve, adding, “I do remember playing incredibly loud, Mike on fuzz organ and me on fuzz bass, both through hundred-watt Marshall stacks.” Some of the frenzied instrumental passages on Live at the Paradiso might recall Miles Davis’ Agharta-era band, but remember, this is a trio making all this racket (in 1969, no less); Soft Machine at this point in time were on a journey all their own. This is the first-ever vinyl release of this notorious concert, and it comes on “soft” purple vinyl limited to 1000 copies. Anybody interested in just how far out rock got in the late ’60s will want to give this repeated listens.
She is one of the Top Ten charting female country singers of all time, the first to win an American Music Award, the first to headline and sell out Madison Square Garden, and was a regular on TV including everything from The Lawrence Welk Show to The Tonight Show to Starsky & Hutch. Now, Real Gone Music is proud to present a collection that finally does justice to the superstar career of Lynn Anderson: 40 tracks, 38 hits, all of her classic Chart and Columbia sides, lovingly remastered by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios and annotated by Joe Marchese. The Definitive Collection starts with her first hit, “Ride, Ride, Ride,” and continues with every other notable song, including “Rose Garden,” “You’re My Man,” “How Can I Unlove You,” “What a Man, My Man Is,” “Keep Me in Mind,” “Mother, May I” (with her mother, Liz Anderson), “That’s a No No,” “Cry,” “Listen to a Country Song,” “Fool Me,” and many more hits both major and minor. Great, great ’70s country from an oft-overlooked artist (why isn’t Lynn in the Country Music Hall of Fame?)!
You’ll find pre-order links for all February 3 releases from Real Gone below!
FEBRUARY 3, 2017 RELEASES FROM REAL GONE MUSIC
Alice Babs & Duke Ellington, Serenade to Sweden (Links TBD)