Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Craft Recordings boxes up a fourth volume of rare singles from the Stax vaults. Volume Four lives up to its subtitle, collecting odds and ends from Stax and its various imprints by artists including not just the label’s usual heavy hitters but also Big Star, Billy Eckstine, Delaney and Bonnie, and others. 80 pages of liner notes accompany this 6-CD treasure trove. Watch for our full review soon, and read the track listing here!
Celebrating Toto’s 40th anniversary, 40 Trips Around the Sun consists of seventeen recordings, including three previously unreleased tracks: “Spanish Sea,” “Alone,” and “Struck by Lightning.” This trio is joined by fourteen classic songs including “Rosanna,” “Africa,” and “Hold the Line,” all newly remastered for this package by Gavin Lurssen and Reuben Cohen. Available on CD, LP, and digitally. Read more here!
Nina Simone, Mood Indigo: The Complete Bethlehem Singles (BMG)
Mood Indigo: The Complete Bethlehem Singles collects the earliest recordings of Nina Simone. The 14-track CD version follows the chronology of the original mono singles, while the vinyl LP version has “Porgy (I Loves You Porgy)” and “Love Me or Leave Me,” Simone’s debut single, on a bonus 7-inch replica 45 rather than on the LP. Additionally, Barnes & Noble will have an exclusive blue vinyl version. Ashley Kahn’s new liner notes draw on a fresh interview with drummer Al “Tootie” Heath, who joined Simone and bassist Jimmy Bond on the intimate recordings. The collection has been produced by the team at Omnivore Records. Read more here!
Chris Hillman – of The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Desert Rose Band, and The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band fame – is celebrated with this new two-for-one CD bringing his Asylum albums Slippin’ Away (1976) and Clear Sailin’ (1977) back into print. The reissue of these country-rock classics has been annotated by Scott Schinder based on a new interview with the artist. Read more here!
Verve has collected ten original albums from the late, great pianist on five CDs, comprising his classic 1952-1954 songbook sessions dedicated to composers Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, Vincent Youmans, Jimmy McHugh, Harry Warren, and Harold Arlen.
Todd Rundgren’s early band Nazz only released two albums during its lifetime, but since 1971’s Nazz III, there’s been a steady flow of rarities comps from the Philly group. The latest among them is this set from Rockbeat Records, comprising five tracks from Todd’s pre-Nazz band Woody’s Truck Stop, and thirteen Nazz curios including a late 1967 demo of “Hello It’s Me” and an alternate version of “Open My Eyes.”
The Sepia label has a pair of new-to-CD albums from Sing-Along king Mitch Miller dating to 1960 and 1962. These nostalgic albums are being reissued in accordance with current U.K. public domain law.
Ringo Starr, Ringo and Goodnight Vienna vinyl reissues (Capitol/UMe)
Ringo’s 1973 and 1974 all-star albums produced by Richard Perry and featuring his former Beatle bandmates are reintroduced on 180-gram vinyl. Ringo features the all-time classics “You’re Sixteen” and “Photograph,” while Goodnight Vienna has the John Lennon-penned title track and “The No-No Song.”
Cherry Red celebrates the post-Beatles spirit of Liverpool on this 5-CD book-style box set featuring hits and rarities from artists including Echo and the Bunnymen, The La’s, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, A Flock of Seagulls, and more. The extensive book features rare photos, artists’ own memories, and essays reflecting on this creatively fertile period for the famed musical city.