Can you surry? Can you picnic? Laura Nyro, to use her own fanciful word, surried onto the scene 50 years ago with the release of her debut album More Than a New Discovery. Its title was certainly apt. Throughout the course of her life, Nyro wrote and introduced some of the most beloved popular songs of all time with her singular fusion of pop, jazz, R&B, soul, Broadway, gospel, and folk sounds. Today, Second Disc Records is proud to join Real Gone Music to celebrate the golden anniversary of Laura Nyro’s debut as we announce a landmark 2-CD collection that was two years in the making!
A Little Magic, A Little Kindness: The Complete Mono Albums Collection is due on Friday, July 7. It features, for the very first time on CD, both of Nyro’s original mono albums newly remastered by Vic Anesini at Sony’s Battery Studios from the original master tapes, plus new-to-CD bonus tracks!
More Than a New Discovery, originally released on Verve Folkways in 1967, premiered the songs that Barbra Streisand, Blood Sweat and Tears, and The 5th Dimension would all take up the charts, including “Stoney End,” “And When I Die,” “Blowin’ Away,” and perhaps the most famous song Nyro ever wrote, “Wedding Bell Blues.” This special edition restores the original album sequence and mono mix from the very first version of the album. In 1968, the pioneering singer-songwriter moved to Columbia Records to create her most acclaimed album, Eli and the Thirteenth Confession. Its haunting, passionate, and powerful songs were once again adopted by other artists such as Three Dog Night, Frankie Valli, and of course, The 5th Dimension. Featuring “Eli’s Comin’,” “Emmie,” “Sweet Blindness,” and the era-defining “Stoned Soul Picnic,” this ultra-rare edition also makes its maiden appearance on CD.
A handful of bonus tracks round out this special package, including the Bones Howe-produced “pop” version of “Save the Country,” and the CD debuts of the Verve “censored” single version of “Stoney End” and the single mix of “Eli’s Comin’.” John Sellards has beautifully designed our collection, incorporating the original artwork for both albums into a deluxe 24-page booklet. I’ve penned the liner notes, based upon my fresh interviews with two legendary music men: Charlie Calello, producer of Eli and the Thirteenth Confession, and Bones Howe, Laura’s longtime friend and champion. All tracks have been sourced from the original master tapes!
A Little Magic, A Little Kindness: The Complete Mono Albums Collection pays tribute to one of pop’s most enduring iconoclasts. A true labor love for all of us at The Second Disc and Real Gone Music, we hope it’s a soul picnic you won’t want to miss. Pre-orders can be placed at the links below, and it’s due on July 7! Watch this space for news on the rest of Real Gone’s stellar July slate!
CD 1: More Than a New Discovery (Verve Folkways LP FT-3020, 1967)
- Goodbye Joe
- Billy’s Blues
- And When I Die
- Stoney End
- Lazy Susan
- Hands Off the Man (Flim Flam Man)
- Wedding Bell Blues
- Buy and Sell
- He’s a Runner
- Blowin’ Away
- I Never Meant to Hurt You
- California Shoeshine Boys
- Stoney End (Original Single Version with Alternate Lyrics) (Verve Folkways single KF-5024. 1966)
CD 2: Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (Mono promotional edition of Columbia LP CS 9626, 1968)
- Sweet Blindness
- Poverty Train
- Lonely Women
- Eli’s Comin’
- Stoned Soul Picnic
- Woman’s Blues
- Once It Was Alright Now (Farmer Joe)
- December’s Boudoir
- The Confession
- Eli’s Comin’ (Mono Single Version) (Columbia single 4-44531, 1968)
- Save the Country (Non-LP Single Version) (Columbia single 4-44592, 1968)