Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music continue their journey through Johnny Mathis’ seventies catalogue with this expanded, remastered two-fer of Mathis’ 1970 and 1971 albums. Close to You finds the singer reinterpreting hits by Bacharach and David, Antonio Carlos Jobim, The Beatles, and even Santana, while Love Story has songs from Goffin and King, Paul Williams, and Henry Mancini. Three bonus tracks round out this 1-CD package which features liner notes from our own Joe Marchese based on a new interview with Johnny!
Johnny Mathis teamed with superstar producer Richard Perry for this original LP which is making its U.S. standalone CD premiere! Blending the Perry sessions with recordings produced by Mathis himself, You’ve Got a Friend offers a spectacular array of then-recent hits rendered as only Johnny could. Fusing pop and soul, Mathis and Perry tackled favorites from James Taylor (“Long Ago and Far Away”), The Beatles (“We Can Work It Out”), The Jackson 5 (“Never Can Say Goodbye”), and Gordon Lightfoot (“If You Could Read My Mind”). Carole King’s warmhearted title track is one of two Tapestry cuts smoothly sung here by Johnny, along with the chart-topping “It’s Too Late.” Mathis’ rich tapestry of contemporary music has grown larger thanks to this edition’s whopping eight bonus tracks. TSD’s Joe Marchese has written the new liner notes based on a fresh interview with Johnny!
The Beach Boys with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, to be available in CD, 2-LP, and digital formats, melds The Beach Boys’ original vocal (and some instrumental) tracks with newly-written and -recorded symphonic orchestrations recorded in March at Studio 2 of Abbey Road Studios. The regular 2-LP vinyl version will be released on August 17, with a limited-edition opaque orange version also being made available through the uDiscoverMusic store. Its 17 tracks include “Good Vibrations,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “Heroes and Villains” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” Read more here!
No single compilation can successfully capture the entirety of Eric Clapton’s remarkable career, though many from various labels have tried. Life in 12 Bars, the soundtrack to an upcoming documentary about the guitar hero, takes a different approach, featuring 32 tracks on two CDs, including songs from artists who inspired Clapton as well as tracks on which the guitarist appeared as a sideman: for The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, and George Harrison. Solo tracks and those with The Yardbirds, John Mayall and His Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominos are also here.
The soundtrack album to the documentary Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story is a retrospective of the guitarist’s career and influence, including key Bowie tracks as well as recordings by Elton John, Ian Hunter Michael Chapman, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, and Ronson himself plus a previously unissued tribute from fellow Bowie collaborator Mike Garson, and two 1992 live cuts from the 1992 Freddie Mercury tribute concert featuring Bowie, the remaining members of Queen, and others. It’s available on CD, digital, and 180-gram black vinyl. Limited edition red vinyl will be available directly from the UDiscoverMusic.com store. Read more about both soundtracks here.
Slightly delayed from last week, Real Gone has the first-ever CD reissue of Keely Smith’s third Reprise album, and one of the earliest Beatles tributes albums anywhere. On Sings the John Lennon-Paul McCartney Songbook, the smoky chanteuse wrapped her pipes around songs including “Please Please Me,” “She Loves You,” “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “This Girl” (a.k.a. “This Boy”), and “A World Without Love.” Steve Hochman has written new liner notes, and Mike Milchner has remastered.
7a has a new single reissuing two ultra-rare sides from the late, great Davy Jones! Watch this space today for more on this very special release from an enduring talent. This limited edition 45 pressed on red vinyl is available today in the U.K., and next Friday in the U.K. and Canada!
Rhino boxes up some of Black Sabbath’s key singles from the band’s ’70s peak, all pressed on 7-inch vinyl. The set includes versions of the five singles that Warner Bros. issued for the group in the U.S. during the decade as well as five more 45s originally issued in various other countries. (Please note that this set does not contain all of the singles issued by the group worldwide during the decade). All ten singles in the box are housed in color picture sleeves from around the world, either rare or exclusive to this set. Five of the songs are presented in their rare single edits: “Iron Man,” “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” “Am I Going Insane (Radio),” “Hard Road” and “Symptom of the Universe.” Read more here!
Last year, Resonance Records released Hot Coffey in the D, a live set from Detroit guitar hero Dennis Coffey recorded in 1968 live at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge. Now, Omnivore is continuing the Coffey story with a new live release from the same group of Coffey, Lyman Woodard on organ, and Melvin Davis on drums. Though this album is drawn from the same residency at Morey Baker’s, the track listing is entirely different. Taken directly from Coffey and production partner Mike Theodore’s own tapes, One Night at Morey’s 1968 (available on CD and digital) features original songs as well as smoking soul-jazz covers of “Eleanor Rigby,” “I’m a Midnight Mover,” “Cissy Strut,” “Groovin’,” and more.
Rhymin’ Simon’s 1965 CBS solo debut returns to vinyl in a new edition from Legacy. Includes “I Am a Rock,” “The Sound of Silence,” “Kathy’s Song,” and more.
Simon’s 1983 solo album (which was once mooted as a Simon & Garfunkel reunion project and featured a number of tracks inspired by Simon’s romance with Carrie Fisher) gets a vinyl release, as well. Features “Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War,” “Train in the Distance,” and “The Late Great Johnny Ace.”
Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson: the classic soundtrack to Mike Nichols’ landmark 1967 comedy gets an LP reissue, too. Look for an exclusive Barnes & Noble edition pressed on “swimming pool” blue vinyl.
Violent Femmes, Violent Femmes / Hallowed Ground / Permanent Record: The Very Best of Violent Femmes (Concord/Craft Recordings)
Violent Femmes: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Hallowed Ground Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Permanent Record: The Very Best of Violent Femmes: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Craft Recordings has CD and vinyl reissues of Violent Femmes’ first two albums as well as a CD reissue of the 2005 compilation Permanent Record.