Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Elton John, Diamonds [Various Formats] (UMe)
Elton John looks back on his extraordinary career with a new retrospective collection, available in 1-CD, 2-CD, 3-CD, and 2-LP formats. Get all of the details right here!
R.E.M., Automatic for the People: 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition [Various Formats] (Craft Recordings)
R.E.M. expands their 1992 album featuring “Man on the Moon” and “Everybody Hurts” for its 25th anniversary. For the 3CD/1BD version, the remastered album is paired with two bonus CDs: one including a new remaster of the band’s Greenpeace benefit set at The 40 Watt Club in their native Athens (the only show they did in the Automatic era), and another of 20 unreleased demos, including the fully-realized outtake “Mike’s Pop Song.” A Blu-ray features a new Dolby Atmos mix of the album (and compilation-only track “Photograph,” a duet with Natalie Merchant) done by original album producer and engineer Scott Litt and Clif Norrell, plus seven music videos and a vintage EPK. The deluxe package, enclosed in a 12″ x 12″ lidded box, also features a 60-page book of unseen photos by Anton Corbijn and Melodie McDaniel, plus new liner notes by Scottish music journalist Tom Doyle, drawing from new interviews from the band. A 2-CD highlights edition has just the album and the live show, while a 180-gram vinyl release has the remastered original album. Read more here!
Metallica, Master of Puppets: Remastered and Expanded Editions [Various Formats] (Blackened Recordings)
3CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon Canada / Amazon U.K.
1CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon Canada / Amazon U.K.
1LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon Canada / Amazon U.K.
10CD/3LP/1DVD/1 Cassette: Amazon U.S. / Amazon Canada / Amazon U.K.
Metallica’s 1986 Elektra debut found the group further expanding their unique, thrash-driven approach to metal. Recorded in drummer Lars Ulrich’s native Denmark, the album is an impeccably sounding, increasingly complex one-a cornerstone of ’80s metal through and through. It became the band’s first record to break the Top 40 of the Billboard 200, the first thrash album to be certified platinum (ultimately earning a 6x platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America) and, in 2016, the first metal preserved by the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. Metallica’s own Blackened Recordings label is delivering definitive reissue as part of one of the year’s mightiest box sets, weighing in at three LPs, 10 CDs, a cassette and two DVDs! If that’s too much Master of Puppets for your taste, a 3-CD “highlights” version will also be available, as well as a 1-CD and 1-LP remaster of the original album. Read more here!
Tears for Fears, Rule the World: The Greatest Hits (Virgin/EMI (U.K.) / Mercury/UMe (U.S.) )
Tears for Fears has curated a new 16-track anthology spanning 1983 to the present, available on one CD or two LPs. Rule the World: The Greatest Hits features two new songs in addition to classics and favorites. The CD is available on November 10, with the vinyl edition following in early 2018. Get the full scoop here!
Aretha Franklin, Brand New Me: Aretha Franklin with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Atlantic/Rhino)
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Aretha Franklin’s arrival at Atlantic Records in 1967 after departing Columbia Records. Her twelve year-tenure there would produce some of the most iconic soul and R&B recordings of all time. To celebrate this anniversary, Rhino Records is taking a cue from the Elvis Presley playbook and combining her classic vocals with new orchestral backing tracks. A Brand New Me: Aretha Franklin with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will hit stores on November 10 in three formats: CD, LP and digital download. It features orchestral reworkings of favorites including “Respect,” “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman,” “Think,” and “I Say a Little Prayer.” (Note that the LP edition drops two songs.) Get the full track listings here!
Petula Clark, Living for Today (BMG) (Amazon U.S.)
The legendary songstress’ 2016 album From Now On gets its first U.S. release with two new tracks to coincide with Petula’s current American tour! Living for Today premieres both the upbeat title song penned by Petula and Grant Sturiale, and the infectious “The Rainbow,” the first collaboration between Petula and “Downtown” hitmaker Tony Hatch in recent years! Watch this space for any information on a physical release.
Varese has collected 16 tracks from the influential Paul Butterfield Blues Band’s Elektra Records tenure. These selections span the period of 1966-1971 and feature contributions from Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop as well as songs by Mike Nesmith, William Bell, and productions by Jerry Ragovoy. Bill Dahl provides the new liner notes for this fine sampler of the band’s towering musical achievements in fusing blues, R&B, and rock.
The hitmakers behind “Baby, Now That I’ve Found You,” “Build Me Up Buttercup,” “In the Bad, Bad Old Days,” and more are saluted on this new 16-track compendium featuring the original mono versions of those singles, as well as other hits and favorites!
Amazon has a brand-new solo Christmas album from Motown legend Smokey Robinson, available exclusively on CD-R and digitally. Trombone Shorty, Take 6, The Dap-Kings, and Us the Duo all guest on the album. As of this writing, it appears that the album is only available in the U.K. in digital format.
San Francisco singer-songwriter Carmaig de Forest’s 1987 album produced by Alex Chilton (Big Star, The Box Tops) gets a reissue in time for its 30th anniversary. Omnivore’s expanded edition presents de Forest’s original album and follow-up live EP with four studio outtakes and one live track (all previously unreleased). Pat Thomas’ new liner notes draw on an interview with the ukulele-toting rocker and his contemporaries.
Expresso Bongo: Original London Cast Recording (Kritzerland)
Kritzerland has a limited edition reissue of a vintage London cast album. The 1958 pop spoof was written by Wolf Mankowitz (Casino Royale) and Julian More (Irma La Douce), composed by David Heneker (Half a Sixpence) and Monty Norman (the original “James Bond Theme”), and with lyrics by More, Heneker, and Norman. Originally starring Paul Scofield, Millicent Martin, James Kenney, Hy Hazell, and others, Expresso Bongo was adapted into a film the very next year. Kritzerland’s reissue features a brand-new remastering by James Nelson which promises to bring back the crisp splendor of the mono recording. It’s also been expanded with Cliff Richard’s film songs, plus cover versions by The Stephen Hill Singers with The Tony Hatch Orchestra; and Millicent Martin with The Tony Osborne Orchestra. CDs will ship by the third week of December, but pre-orders typically arrive early! Available exclusively from Kritzerland!
Here’s something nice you might have missed! In the mid-1960s, Ranny Sinclair recorded four sublime – and criminally unknown – singles for Columbia Records, blending pop, jazz and folk into a beguiling, sensual blend all her own. Helmed by Columbia jazz honcho and Miles Davis’ producer Teo Macero, these original eight sides capture the spirit of ’60s New York, presented in original mono with that distinctive Columbia sound. One of the 45s, “Something to Sing About” and “Autumn in Our Town,” features Dave Brubeck gently accompanying SInclair. (Dave and Iola Brubeck also penned “Ode to a Cowboy” on this set!) Modern Harmonic has brought these sides together to craft the album that never was…and that’s not all. In addition, the label has added four previously unreleased tracks – including a pop cover of Stephen Sondheim’s “There Won’t Be Trumpets,” originally cut from his musical Anyone Can Whistle! Beautifully designed and remastered, Another Autumn is one of the most delicious finds of the year, and one that will linger for all fans of sixties pop, jazz, and even soul. Available on CD and 180-gram, RTI-pressed vinyl.
Live from Austin, TX: Guided by Voices / Eric Johnson (New West)
The Live from Austin, TX series issuing classic performances from Austin City Limits continues this week with freshly remixed and remastered releases on CD/DVD and vinyl from indie-rock greats Guided by Voices and guitar hero Eric Johnson. Guided by Voices’ entry was recorded on November 9, 2004 and features 30 tracks on 2 CDs and 1 DVD (with 5.1 surround audio). Johnson’s volume hails from December 14, 1988, with 13 songs on 1 CD and 1 DVD (also with 5.1 surround). Amazon doesn’t appear to have all versions of these titles currently listed; hopefully this will soon be rectified.
Culture Factory continues its series dedicated to Motown’s resident rockers, Rare Earth, with a CD reissue of the band’s 1971 live LP featuring a 23-minute (!) version of “Get Ready,” plus “I Just Want to Celebrate,” “(I Know) I’m Losing You,” and more.