Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Jo Stafford’s It Had To Be You: Lost Radio Recordings features 24 performances from the legendary vocalist’s stint as co-host (with crooner Tony Martin) of The Carnation Contented Hour on CBS Radio from 1950-1951. With songs by mainstays of the Great American Songbook like Harold Arlen (“I’ve Got the World on a String”), Rodgers and Hart (“Little Girl Blue”), Irving Berlin (“It’s a Lovely Day Today”) and Cole Porter (“In The Still of the Night” and others) as well as several songs never otherwise recorded by Stafford such as “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” this collection has been remastered from tape sources (not transcription discs) by Mike Milchner, and features my own new liner notes!
I Feel A Song Coming On: Lost Radio Recordings features 24 radio performances from the late, great Rosemary Clooney, culled from several radio shows in the 1950s including The Bing Crosby Show for General Electric, The Ford Road Show and The Rosemary Clooney Show. Her classic performances of standards primarily comprise this release, including Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” and “I Get A Kick Out of You,” the Gershwins’ “But Not For Me” and “Nice Work if You Can Get It,” and Berlin’s “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” among others. The material on this new CD has been taken from tape sources (not transcription discs) as newly remastered by Mike Milchner, and the booklet features rare photographs and liner notes by Tom Pickles!
The Slits, Return of the Giant Slits (Real Gone Music)
The 1981 album from the British post-punk rockers, which was initially deemed so uncommercial as to be denied an American release, arrives on CD and limited edition LP from Real Gone, as newly remastered by Maria Triana at Battery Studios with new liner notes by John Dougan.
Rhino brings together 56 tracks on three CDs from the Yes and Asia guitar hero, blending hits with rarities and unreleased recordings, including several with Keith West, who was Howe‘s bandmate in Tomorrow and The In Crowd. The set begins in the 1960s with performances from The Syndicats (“Maybellene,” 1964), The In Crowd (“Blow Up,” 1967), Tomorrow (“Revolution,” 1968) and Bodast (“Nothing To Cry For,” 1969) before taking in recordings from Yes, Asia, GTR, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, and more. Roger Dean has designed this package which features 13 previously unreleased tracks.
Live, Mental Jewelry: 25th Anniversary Edition (Radioactive/Geffen/UMe)
Live’s debut album is reissued for its 25th anniversary. The reissued Mental Jewelry (available as a 2CD set or on vinyl) includes three non-album tracks (including the previously unreleased “Born Branded”), a remix of “Pain Lies on the Riverside” by Hank Shocklee of The Bomb Squad and an unreleased concert from The Roxy in the summer of 1992. Read more here!
New West has tapped the Austin City limits vaults for a pair of CD/DVD releases drawn from the storied program. The first title features the late Buck Owens’ performance on the show from October 23, 1988 in which the Bakersfield hero sings such classics as “Act Naturally,” “Tiger by the Tail,” “Crying Time,” and “Johnny B. Goode,” plus a duet on “Under Your Spell Again” with his disciple, Dwight Yoakam. Buck is joined by his band of Buckaroos on this 11-song set, preserved on both CD and DVD (with the latter having 5.1 surround). Yoakam then takes center stage for his own solo set from the same date, issued on its own separate release. Dwight sails through an hour of music including “Streets of Bakersfield,” “Honky Tonk Man,” “Little Ways,” “I Sang Dixie,” and “Little Sister.” As on the Owens release, the track listing is identical on both CD and DVD, and the DVD has a surround track. Also available on vinyl.
Singer-songwriter A.J. Croce returns with a new studio album – but this one is bound to surprise even his most ardent fans. Just Like Medicine teams Croce with the legendary Dan Penn in the producer’s chair, and features stalwarts like Steve Cropper, part-time Eagle and country superstar Vince Gill, David Hood, and The Muscle Shoals Horns among the participants. Yes, Croce has headed to the dark end of the street with this splendid collection of ten original songs in a sizzling, swampy, southern-soul vein. Adding to the soulful stew is the presence of the late Leon Russell as co-writer on one track (the rollicking, piano-and-brass-driven “The Heart That Makes Me Whole”) and Penn on another (the classic-styled “The Other Side of Love”). Even more poignant is the inclusion of a previously unreleased song written by the artist’s late father, Jim Croce, “Name of the Game.” This loose and rootsy release was even recorded and mixed in mono, to keep the retro yet authentic Stax/Fame vibe going. It might be Just Like Medicine, but you won’t even need a spoonful of sugar to help it go down! The disc is packaged with a booklet containing David Wild’s liner notes as well as full lyrics. Available on CD, vinyl, and digital platforms.