Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up – our first of the New Year!
Varese Vintage goes right down the line with Gerry Rafferty’s greatest hits, including “Stuck in the Middle with You” from Stealers Wheel, and the solo “Baker Street,” “Get It Right Next Time,” “Right Down the Line” and more! This newly-remastered 16-track compilation has seven U.S. and U.K. single versions, six of which have never been on CD before. In addition, “Big Change in the Weather” and “In Transit” are also new to U.S. CD! It’s all topped off with a new essay by Larry R. Watts.
Varese has a 16-track set from the eternal seventies soft-rockers featuring all the big hits – “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” “Nights Are Forever Without You,” “We’ll Never Have to Say Goodbye Again,” and “Love is the Answer” – plus the Japan-only single “Keep Your Smile” and two selections from the never-on-CD soundtrack to the film Just Tell Me You Love Me including the title track and “Part of Me, Part of You.” Larry R. Watts provides the new notes to this remastered anthology.
Resonance Records gives a first-time release to a set of live recordings made by guitarist and Funk Brother Dennis Coffey at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge in Detroit in 1968. Coffey is joined for this smoking set of instrumental R&B by organist Lyman Woodard (former musical director for Martha Reeves & the Vandellas) and drummer Melvin Davis (Smokey Robinson, Wayne Kramer) on original songs as well as covers of Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Webb, and Herbie Hancock. It’s all lavishly packaged in a digipak with a 56-page booklet filled with liner notes, rare photographs, and new interviews.
Light in the Attic continues its Lee Hazlewood Archive Series with an expanded edition of Hazlewood’s 13. This most unusual album began life as an album by producer-arranger-songwriter Larry Marks, Hazlewood’s LHI Records associate. Marks had taken some of Hazlewood’s best songs and arranged them with a funky R&B vibe, but the album sat unreleased. Lee recorded his own voice over Larry’s, creating the album released as 13. LITA adds four bonus tracks (finally giving the album 13 tracks!) to this remastered release. Available on CD, DD and LP.
Funky Town Grooves U.K. expands the classic 1968 debut album by The Delfonics with five bonus singles. La-La Means I Love You features such Thom Bell/William Hart classics as the title track, “I’m Sorry,” and “Break Your Promise” plus shimmering, soulful covers of “Hurt So Bad,” “The Look of Love” and “Alfie.”
The legendary Burt Bacharach returns with his first film score since 2000’s Isn’t She Great. Bacharach has composed original music for director John Asher’s drama, dedicating his score to his late daughter Nikki. Befitting the nature of this intimate film dealing with a father’s struggle trying to care for his autistic son, the beautiful, warmly melodic and inimitably Bacharach music is played by the composer on piano with minimal additional instrumentation. Varese’s (unfortunately digital-only) album also includes Sheryl Crow’s performance of the film’s theme “Dancing with Your Shadow,” written by Bacharach and Billy Mann, plus the Bacharach/David classic “Close to You” in instrumental and vocal form, the latter sung by Bethany Joy Lenz. Eight cues by Joseph Bauer round out the soundtrack album. Watch for more on Po soon!