Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up!
Various Artists, Honeybeat: '60s Groovy Girl-Pop (Real Gone Music)
Honeybeat: Groovy 60s Girl Pop, curated by Sheila Burgel from the Sony archives and released on Real Gone Music, features 19 songs from nine different labels, nearly a third of which have never been released on CD. While some tracks come from known artists such as Little Eva, Skeeter Davis and even Nichelle Nichols (who had a brief music career during her time on Star Trek), most are definitely of the "hidden treasure" variety. Burgel's notes in the beautiful, full-color booklet feature interviews with many of the artists and the set has been co-produced with Sony's Rob Santos and remastered by Vic Anesini. In addition to the CD release, 14 of the tracks are being put out on a 1,200 copy limited violet vinyl edition, also released today!
The Bee Gees' Timeless: The All-Time Greatest Hits collects 21 of the Australian trio's greatest hits from 1966 to 1987, all personally selected by Barry Gibb. In his introduction in the package, Barry Gibb (the group's sole surviving member) writes, "These songs, I feel, are the songs that Maurice, Robin, and I would be most proud of." This set kicks off the band's new relationship with Capitol Records and UMe. Read more here!
Various Artists, Thank You Friends: Big Star's Third Live...and More (Concord Bicycle)
Big Star's cult classic Third is revived in front of a live audience in 2016 on this new concert film and soundtrack, featuring original drummer Jody Stephens joined by The Posies' Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer, Mike Mills of R.E.M., Mitch Easter of Let's Active, and Chris Stamey of The dB's, plus a host of special guests including Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone (both of Wilco), Robyn Hitchcock, Dan Wilson (Semisonic), Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), Brett Harris, and The Kronos Quartet. The show will be available as a standalone 2CD set or a 2CD and DVD or Blu-ray package; the show on the video disc will premiere at this year's South by Southwest Festival, presented by Stephens, director Benno Nelson and other members of the Third ensemble. Stamey and Anthony DeCurtis have written new liner notes for the package. Read more here! Coming May 12 in the U.K.!
Company: Original Broadway Cast Recording Vinyl LP (Analog Spark) (Amazon U.S.)
Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's landmark 1970 "concept musical" starring Dean Jones, Elaine Stritch, Donna McKechnie and Charles Kimbrough returns to vinyl.
Gypsy: Original Broadway Cast Recording Vinyl LP (Analog Spark) (Amazon U.S.)
Arthur Laurents, Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim's celebrated 1959 musical starring Ethel Merman, Jack Klugman and Sandra Church gets the deluxe vinyl treatment from Analog Spark!
South Pacific: Original Broadway Cast Recording Vinyl LP (Analog Spark) (Amazon U.S.)
Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic 1949 musical, with Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza singing such standards as "Some Enchanted Evening," "A Wonderful Guy," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair," and more, returns to vinyl. Watch for our review of all three Analog Spark titles on Monday!
Real Gone is reissuing the debut album from singer-songwriter Marc Jonson. Years, released on Vanguard in 1972, has never been reissued on CD and features a light psyche/folk baroque sound. As a songwriter, Jonson has seen his songs covered by such artists as Robert Gordon, The Roches, Shawn Colvin, Steve Forbert, Suzanne Vega and The Smithereens. He has performed on several Disney albums and released two more solo albums and, in 2015, a collections of songs written over the years with David Grahame. This new reissue has been expanded with 4 bonus tracks and has been produced by Pat Thomas. Steve Simels' liner notes feature a new interview with Jonson and the CD has been remastered by John Baldwin.
Verve brings together 100 tracks on 4 CDs from one of the great ladies of jazz. These seminal performances have been culled from her recordings on both Verve and Decca.
Cherry Red and RPM collect 53 soulful sides from Major Lance ("The Monkey Time") dating to 1963-1967 on a definitive 2-CD set! Watch for our full coverage next week.
For his latest studio album, Barry Manilow salutes his hometown on a set of both original songs and covers. This Is My Town features both original songs (such as the title track and "On the Roof") and covers ("On Broadway," "Downtown," "Uptown," Manilow's own "New York City Rhythm") as well as a posthumous duet with Mel Tormé on "The Brooklyn Bridge." Also available on vinyl at Barnes and Noble.
Legendary Kinks frontman-songwriter Ray Davies returns with his first solo album in a decade, named after his acclaimed 2013. Davies wrote and arranged Americana, based on themes explored in his memoir, and was joined by co-producers Guy Massey and John Jackson, and The Jayhawks as his backing band. In addition to new Davies songs, the album also features brief spoken-word passages from the book, to create a musical autobiography of Davies' time in America. Available on CD, LP, and DD.
Bold, fresh and fun: Cait Brennan's second LP wears its Big Star inspirations on its sleeve - and we don't just mean the title! She recorded this new album for Omnivore Recordings at Memphis' famed Ardent Studios, using Alex Chilton's amp and Mellotron, and Chris Bell's guitar...with Jody Stephens in the building at the time of the sessions! Third has power-pop, of course, but also rock, glam, and a little bit of (O My) soul, for good measure.
In celebration of the band's 50th year, Procol Harum returns with its first album in 14 years. Gary Brooker (vocals, piano); Geoff Dunn (drums); Matt Pegg (bass); Josh Phillips (organ); and Geoff Whitehorn (guitar) comprise the band, and the album's original songs feature lyrics by Cream collaborator Pete Brown. Also available on vinyl.