Welcome to this end-of-year Release Round-Up!
The Monkees, More of The Monkees: Super Deluxe Edition (Rhino)
Rhino delivers a 3-CD Super Deluxe Edition of The Monkees' 1967 sophomore album with mono and stereo versions of the album and a plethora of alternate takes, never-before-heard rarities, and a recently-discovered live recording! With 91 tracks (55 previously unreleased!), this set greatly expands upon the 2-CD iteration from 2006. Read all about it here!
This collection from groundbreaking jazz flautist Herbie Mann takes a new approach to his career, concentrating on rare, new-to-CD single versions that pushed the boundaries of jazz and crossed over to pop, R&B, disco, funk, and Adult Contemporary. Its 15 tracks from 1962-1979 are primarily culled from his Atlantic years, but room has also been found for Mann's 1968 single "Unchain My Heart." Other tracks include "Comin' Home Baby," "A Man and a Woman," "To Sir with Love," a Carmen McRae duet on "Live for Life," and "Cajun Moon," featuring Cissy Houston. Mann's starry roster of collaborators also includes Ron Carter, Eric Gale, Larry Coryell, Jimmy Wisner, Arif Mardin, and even Duane Allman. Pat Thomas supplies new liner notes, and Steve Massie has remastered this collection of smoking-hot grooves.
Marshall Crenshaw, Field Day: Expanded Edition (Intervention Records) (Amazon U.S.)
Here's one from last week that you won't want to miss: The audio gurus at Intervention Records have delivered an expanded, 2-LP edition of Marshall Crenshaw's 1983 sophomore set. This Artist-Approved Expanded Edition boasts the original, Steve Lillywhite-produced album (newly remastered by Kevin Gray) plus a second disc featuring the U.S. Remix EP which, ironically, was originally released only in the U.K.! Boasting new artwork, this rejuvenated Field Day is housed in a classic-style Stoughton-printed gatefold jacket. The EP is pressed at 45 RPM on 12-inch vinyl. Watch this space for a full review soon!
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.
The late, great Marvin Hamlisch is celebrated on this remarkable new collection of rare or never-before-recorded songs from the composer's musicals including Smile (lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and Howard Ashman), Sweet Smell of Success (lyrics by Craig Carnelia) and The Nutty Professor (lyrics by Rupert Holmes) as well as abortive scores for Ballroom and Bullets Over Broadway, and Nora Ephron's play Imaginary Friends. These 20 tracks, from ballads to showstoppers (or both!), are brimming with the kind of whole-hearted melodies with which Hamlisch became synonymous. They're beautifully performed by a "Who's Who" of Broadway talent including Kelli O'Hara, Klea Blackhurst, Randy Graff, Nancy Opel, and Tony Sheldon. Piano accompaniment is provided by co-producers Michael Lavine and Craig Carnelia, as well as the late Hamlisch himself - who sings and plays on five demo tracks. These mem'ries of the way he was aren't necessarily misty or watercolor, but always vibrant, passionate, and excitingly theatrical. Expect a few of these uncovered tunes to become instant favorites. Though this rich tribute to an American original isn't available until January 26 on Amazon.com in a physical format, CDs are shipping now directly from the label. Bring on Volume Two!
Watch for our next Release Round-Up in the new year!