Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music are joining Motown Records to unwrap a celebration of The Supremes’ 1965 perennial Merry Christmas. The Ultimate Merry Christmas features the album in three distinctive versions: the original 1965 mono and stereo mixes, as well as a brand new, never-before-heard 2017 mix premiering previously unheard vocals and instrumentation. And that’s not all! The additional, previously unreleased bonus tracks include a Diana Ross/Florence Ballard duet on “Silent Night,” and a Diana/Mary Wilson duet on “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).” It all adds up to a total of 50 tracks on 2 CDs, plus a lavish, full-color booklet and more! This is the collector’s Christmas release of the year!
Bob Dylan, Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 (Columbia/Legacy)
Bob Dylan’s acclaimed Bootleg Series is back, and for its newest volume, it’s taking aim at one of the most controversial, and misunderstood, periods of the Bard of Hibbing’s musical journey. Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 focuses on Dylan’s so-called “gospel years,” during which time he crafted some of his most enduring songs in praise of a higher power. The Deluxe Edition features nine discs – 8 CDs and 1 DVD – and premieres 100 previously unreleased tracks, including 14 previously unreleased songs. In addition to the Deluxe Edition, Trouble No More will be available in 2-CD or 4-LP versions featuring the first two discs from the box set. Read the full specs here, and watch this space for a full review!
Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music proudly present a deluxe, expanded 60th anniversary reissue of The Ames Brothers’ beloved 1957 holiday classic. Featuring the group’s resplendent harmonies on 12 joyous seasonal tunes, There’ll Always Be a Christmas is offered in its original mono mix for the first time on CD, and boasts a pair of rare bonus tracks. TSD’s Joe Marchese has written the liner notes based on a brand-new interview with the only surviving member of the group, stage and screen legend Ed Ames.
Connie Smith’s 1975 Christmas classic comes to CD for the first time anywhere in the world from Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music! This heartfelt holiday collection is a joyful and reverent Americana celebration of Christmas featuring the Grand Ole Opry legend backed by some of Nashville’s finest session players. Connie herself has written a new introduction and participated in an interview for this release, which adds one bonus track: her duet of “Silent Night” with Willie Nelson.
Today, Edsel delivers a mega-box dedicated to eighties teen queen Debbie Gibson, celebrating her career from then till now. This 10CD/3DVD set features expanded editions of eight of Gibson’s albums, including works for Atlantic, SBK and independent releases, two additional discs of remixes and rarities, and DVDs of music videos and live shows (much of which is either unreleased or otherwise unavailable on DVD). The box is rounded out with a 32-page scrapbook of photos selected by Gibson herself, plus new interviews and commentary by Gibson and Out of the Blue co-producer Fred Zarr. Get the full specs here!
The late Roy Orbison follows in the footsteps of his fellow Sun Records alumnus Elvis Presley with a new collection joining Roy’s classic vocals with newly-recorded backing tracks by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Expect lush takes on Orbison staples like “Oh, Pretty Woman,” “Crying,” and even the posthumous ’80s hit “You Got It.” Roy’s children Wesley, Roy Jr., and Alex, as well as grandson Roy Orbison III, also play on the album. Available on CD and vinyl.
Craft Recordings celebrates the 60th anniversary of a rock and roll landmark with this new 2-CD edition. Here’s Little Richard will now feature a bonus disc with 22 session outtakes and demos. While most are ostensibly taken from the exhaustive treasury The Specialty Sessions (released in 1989 as a 6CD set by Ace Records and a 3CD cut-down by Specialty shortly thereafter), eight tracks-including alternate versions of “Rip It Up,” “Ready Teddy” and “Oh Why?”-are heard here for the first time ever. Read more here!
Real Gone revisits Percy Faith’s 1950 stereo re-recording of Music of Christmas (first recorded in mono in 1954 and reissued by Real Gone in 2012) in an expanded and remastered edition with a generous complement of 12 bonus tracks.
Real Gone pairs two long out-of-print 1955 Decca albums from Fred Waring and The Pennsylvanians on one CD. Both showcase Waring’s lush choral sound on an array of traditional Christmas favorites.
Last year, Real Gone Music reissued The Robert Shaw Chorale’s 1958 stereo re-recording of Christmas Hymns and Carols Vol. I, originally released in mono in 1949. This year, the label is tackling the 1952 mono sequel to that original recording. While featuring a similar structure of choral medleys like the first album, the Hymns and Carols follow-up drew its repertoire from more obscure sources. Therefore, there are some more unknown hymns and carols mixed in with more popular ones like “I Saw Three Ships,” “Good King Wenceslas,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and “What Child is This.” This album has been remastered by Maria Triana at Battery Studios.
Bryan Adams, Ultimate (A&M/UMe)
Bryan Adams rounds up the best of a 35+-year career on this new anthology. Ultimate features 21 tracks including two new recordings, the single “Please Stay” and “Ultimate Love.” The Canadian singer/songwriter/photographer’s biggest hits are here, including some of his biggest breakthrough singles during the ’80s (“Cuts Like a Knife,” “Heaven,” “Summer of ’69”), soundtrack smashes from the ’90s and ’00s and two tracks from his most recent album, 2014’s Get Up!, which paired Adams and longtime songwriting partner Jim Vallance with the instantly recognizable production of Electric Light Orchestra’s Jeff Lynne. Available on 1 CD or 2 LPs.
Big Break has a treat For Those Who Like to Groove: a definitive 2-CD, 34-track anthology celebrating Ray Parker, Jr. and Raydio! It’s loaded with classic hits (“You Can’t Change That,” “Ghostbusters”) and plentiful rarities, including 12-inch versions, single versions, and rare remixes! Watch this space for full coverage soon!
Lee Hazlewood, Forty / The Cowboy and the Lady (with Ann-Margret) / Requiem for an Almost Lady (Light in the Attic)
Light in the Attic reissues, remasters, and expands three LHI albums from Lee Hazlewood, including The Cowboy and the Lady with Ann-Margret, on both vinyl and CD. Read full details here!
BGO wraps up Andy Williams’ Columbia career with his final four albums for the label, released between 1974 and 1980, on 2 CDs in a slipcase. Christmas Present was Williams’ most spiritual holiday offering; The Other Side of Me and Andy featured his renditions of pop classics like “Love Will Keep Us Together,” “Groovin’,” “Mandy,” and “My Eyes Adored You”; and Let’s Love While We Can placed the singer in a firmly country setting.
Real Gone has a 1,000-unit limited edition vinyl release of You Can Get It If You Really Want from reggae legend Desmond Dekker. Originally released in 1970, it was Dekker’s first original album on the Trojan label. (His first album, 1969’s This Is Desmond Dekker, was a compilation of earlier material.) The title song, a cover of the Jimmy Cliff tune, would go to No. 2 on the British charts. Both artists also shared a producer in Leslie Kong. The album produced another hit with “Pickney Gal.” This edition is pressed on black and blue “marble” vinyl!
Real Gone brings Cliff Martinez’s score to the 2011 thriller to vinyl. The score was originally released on CD-R back in 2011 and has never appeared on vinyl before. Real Gone’s edition is limited to 1,200 copies and comes in Gold and Red “Biohazard” vinyl.
Reprise expands Josh Groban’s best-selling holiday album for its tenth anniversary with six bonus tracks, including four new recordings: “White Christmas,” “Christmas Time Is Here,” “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”
Sepultura, Roots: Expanded Edition (Rhino)
Rhino’s expanded edition of Sepultura’s 1996 album has the remastered original LP plus a full complement of 17 bonus tracks. These include demos, instrumental versions, live recordings, and alternate takes. Roots , incorporating Brazilian rhythms into the band’s hard rock sound, turned out to be the final album fronted by Max Cavalera