Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Neil Diamond, Hot August Night III (Capitol)
Neil Diamond’s August 2012 concerts at Los Angeles’ Greek Theater marking the 40th anniversary of the original Hot August Night are captured on this new live release which also follows 1987’s Hot August Night II and 2009’s Hot August Night/NYC (with honorable mention to 1977’s Love at the Greek). Expect all of Diamond’s greatest hits and more on this blazing concert collection.
Omnivore has excavated a 1975 album by Buck Owens recorded for Capitol Records and subsequently shelved by the label. Though the tracks have seen release on compilations such as Owens’ Bear Family box set retrospective of the era, this marks the first time the album has been presented and sequenced as Owens intended. Country Singer’s Prayer also includes two bonus single sides. Read all about it here!
BMG collects 28 classics from the Scottish-born troubadour on 2 CDs including “Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness),” “Catch the Wind,” and “Colours.” As this compilation is limited to Pye material controlled by BMG, hits including “Sunshine Superman” and “Mellow Yellow” are absent.
This volume in the BMG series has 28 tracks on 2 CDs from groundbreaking Jamaican music pioneer Lee “Scratch” Perry as both an artist and a producer. Artists represented include The Upsetters, Bunny and Ricky, Susan Cadogan, and more.
This budget-priced set (16 discs for, at the time of this writing, 36 bucks on Amazon) is part of Sony’s ongoing Leonard Bernstein centennial series. The box brings together 15 original albums from the 1950s and 1960s on Columbia Records including the original cast albums of West Side Story and Candide plus Bernstein’s recordings of Beethoven, Gershwin, Mahler, and many more.
In 1971, Leonard Bernstein was invited to become the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at his alma mater, Harvard University. The position required him to live on campus for one school years, counsel students, and deliver a series of six lectures. This box set collects all six of Bernstein’s lectures. In the first three, Bernstein analyzed Classical music in sound, structure, and meaning; in the fourth, he examined the Romantic period. The fifth lecture explored atonality, and the sixth focused on the music of Igor Stravinsky, whom Bernstein believed had answered “the unanswered question” and kept tonality at music’s center. He illustrated these with examples played on the piano and by presenting the performances of The Vienna Philharmonic and The Boston Symphony Orchestra. Educational and entertaining, these lectures beautifully capture the larger-than-life maestro in his role as an educator.
Henry Mancini, The Prisoner of Zenda: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (La-La Land Records)
As part of the recently-announced Universal Pictures Film Music Heritage Collection, La-La Land premieres Henry Mancini’s story to director Richard Quine’s 1979 adaptation of The Prisoner of Zenda, starring Peter Sellers in one of his final roles. As always, the combination of Sellers and Mancini made for musical magic. The exciting score has been restored for this release by Mike Matessino and features liner notes by Jeff Bond. It’s limited to 3,000 units and is available exclusively from La-La Land.
Prince, various titles and Anthology 1995-2010 (NPG/Sony Music/Legacy)
We couldn’t let the day go by without sharing this one: as the first part of their deal with Sony Music, Prince’s estate has made nearly two dozen titles available, spanning from 1995 to 2010. This includes familiar studio albums as well as rare fan club and digital-only albums! For the new or curious fan, a 37-track anthology from this period is also available. Check out the offerings on Apple Music or Spotify!