Welcome to December, and this week’s Release Round-Up!
The Rolling Stones, Blue and Lonesome (Interscope)
The Rolling Stones return with their first studio album since 2005’s A Bigger Bang. Recorded over just three days in London, Blue and Lonesome returns the legendary band to its blues roots. Available on CD, LP and DD, as well as in an SHM-CD Deluxe Edition with postcards, a 72-page hardcover book, and no additional audio content.
Iconoclastic artist Kate Bush’s 2014 theatrical concert extravaganza from London’s Hammersmith Apollo is preserved on 3-CD, DD and 4-LP formats. Before the Dawn: Live includes such favorites from throughout Bush’s career as “Running Up That Hill,” “Hounds of Love,” and “And Dream of Sheep.”
These two classic rock films make their Blu-ray debut from Shout! Factory. 1964’s T.A.M.I. Show boasts artists from The Beach Boys to The Rolling Stones to The Supremes among numerous other stars (James Brown, Lesley Gore and Smokey Robinson and The Miracles to name a few). The acts were backed by members of the famed Wrecking Crew under the direction of Jack Nitzsche. The Big T.N.T. Show was filmed in November 1965, like its predecessor in California, and released in 1966. The sequel once again rounded up a diverse cast of big names including Petula Clark, Ray Charles, The Ronettes and The Byrds. It was directed by Larry Peerce and musically directed by Phil Spector. David McCallum (at the time one of the stars of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and currently starring on NCIS) emceed and conducted the orchestra. Shout! Factory’s new collection includes all of the special features from the previous T.A.M.I. Show DVD together with new interviews and promo spots. Also included is a 36-page booklet. The Big T.N.T. Show is also being released by itself on DVD. Both films have been mastered from a new high-definition transfer.
The debut album of The Alan Parsons Projects goes super-deluxe for its 40th anniversary. The 3-CD/1-BD/2-LP box set has the original album remastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road on one CD and 2 LPs (half-speed mastered), two additional CDs containing the 1987 remix and over 70 minutes of previously unreleased bonus tracks; and a 5.1 surround remix by Parsons made in 2016. A 60-page book, poster, replica press kit, and sticker round out the package. The 5.1 mix will also be issued on a stand-alone Blu-ray Pure Audio release.
Todd Rundgren & Utopia’s Live at the Old Waldorf was released on CD last year by Cherry Red as part of Rundgren’s ongoing series of concert releases but it makes its vinyl debut here from Real Gone Music. Recorded on August 5, 1978, this concert was part of the Back to the Bars tour. Several concerts from that tour have been released and a couple of shows formed the basis of a live album. This August 5th show features the classic Utopia of Rundgren (guitar/vocals), Willie Wilcox (drums/vocals), Roger Powell (keyboards/vocals) and Kasim Sulton (bass/vocals). The set concentrates mostly on material from Rundgren’s then-recent solo albums including Hermit of Mink Hollow from April 1978. Included are such songs as “It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference,” “Love of the Common Man,” “Can We Still Be Friends” and “Hello, It’s Me.” This new edition will be gold vinyl in a gatefold package and limited to 1,000 copies.
Pioneering African-American pop-jazz quartet The Mills Brothers has had a long and storied career, getting their professional start all the way back in 1928. They recorded over 2000 songs and had hits over several decades, including the #2 “Glow Worm” in 1952. While concentrating mostly on The Great American Songbook, the group did record some gospel numbers. The 16-track Wonderful Words of Life – The Inspirational Recordings anthologizes this aspect of their recording career. It features liner notes by Davin Seay and has been remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision. While all of the original members have passed away, the group continues to perform to this day featuring John Mills III, the son of original member Donald Mills.
Let’s hear it for Deniece Williams! BBR pays lavish tribute to the singular voice of R&B songstress Deniece Williams on this new 2-CD, 35-song anthology drawn from her recordings on ARC, Columbia, and MCA, including her timeless duets with Johnny Mathis, and collaborations with Maurice White, Thom Bell, George Duke, and others. Deniece’s dear friend Johnny provides the new introduction to this copiously-annotated collectors’ dream! Watch this space for our full review soon!
BBR is tightening up with another deluxe anthology this week. Let’s Groove tells the story of party band Archie Bell and the Drells from Texas to Philadelphia and beyond! This 2-CD, 44-song set is culled from the band’s classic recordings on Atlantic Records and Philadelphia International, and includes such hits as “Tighten Up,” “I Can’t Stop Dancing,” “(There’s Gonna Be A) Showdown,” and “Let’s Groove.” A full review is coming soon!
BBR jumps into the 1980s with this 2-CD expansion of the debut album from vocalist Karyn White, produced by L.A. Reid and Babyface. Karyn White yielded the No. 1 R&B hits “Superwoman,” “Love Saw It,” and “The Way You Love Me,” and also featured the chart hits “Facts of Love,” “Secret Rendezvous,” “Slow Down,” and “Not Thru Being with You.” This modern R&B classic has gained 19 bonus cuts, for a total of 28 tracks. We’ll have more coverage soon!
Stage Door Records continues its series of limited edition paper-sleeve reissues with this title from late, great Broadway star Mary Martin. The South Pacific/Peter Pan/Sound of Music star recorded Hi-Ho in 1958 with producer-musical director Tutti Camarata, bringing her warm tones to songs from Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and other Disney classics. Stage Door has added bonus tracks, including Mary’s 1958 Christmas single “Making Believe It’s Christmas Eve,” also recorded for Disneyland Records, as well as songs from her privately-issued faith-based album Guideposts For Living (released in 1962) and her 1962 Capitol Records single “Daughter Of Silence.” All tracks here are issued in accordance with current U.K. public domain law.