Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
The career of the enigmatic Bobbie Gentry is celebrated on a remarkable new box set. The hotly-anticipated 8-CD collection The Girl from Chickasaw County: The Complete Capitol Masters collects all seven of Gentry’s 1967-1971 Capitol Records studio albums plus more than 75 previously unreleased recordings. This treasure trove of lost material includes a completed “jazz” album, outtakes, demos, and other rarities including the live performances from her BBC show of 1968-1969. (Some of these were issued on vinyl this year for Record Store Day; there are additional tracks here.) The box contains an 84-page book with an essay and rare and unpublished photos, as well as a replica of Gentry’s handwritten lyrics to “Ode to Billie Joe,” and four postcards. David Downton has provided the new cover art. Read more here!
The 1978 fourth album from Ramones arrives in a deluxe 3CD/1LP box set featuring the remastered original album, a new remix, a disc of rough mixes and related bonus tracks, and the band’s live December 31, 1979 show at New York’s Palladium, plus the remix on LP. It’s all housed in a book-style package limited to 7,500 units. Also available as a single CD remaster. Read more here!
Electric Light Orchestra, The U.K. Singles Volume One 1972-1978 (Epic/Legacy)
Legacy has boxed up an impressive collection of ELO’s complete U.K. singles between 1972 and 1978, totaling 16 vinyl discs – all of which are painstakingly replicated from the original U.K. singles as issued on labels including United Artists, Warner Bros., Harvest, and Jet. Songs include “Evil Woman,” “Strange Magic,” “Showdown,” “Telephone Line,” and “Mr. Blue Sky.” This release is currently an exclusive to ELO’s webstore. Read more here, and watch this space for our full review!
Prince, Piano and a Microphone, 1983 (Warner Bros.)
The Prince vaults are open! Piano & A Microphone, 1983 – a nine-track, 35-minute album – features a previously unreleased home studio cassette recording of the solo Prince at his piano in that epochal year including renditions of “Purple Rain,” Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” the folk spiritual “Mary, Don’t You Weep,” and more! Available on CD, LP, digitally, and as a deluxe LP/CD set.
The MC5’s thundering trio of Kick Out the Jams, Back in the USA, and High Time are collected on one deluxe slipcased 3-LP vinyl box! The albums are pressed on red, white and blue vinyl, and the box includes a booklet with new liner notes and rare photographs.
The all-time perennial album from Nat “King” Cole gets a spruced-up CD reissue with five bonus tracks.
The original 1973 two-record yuletide celebration featuring Diana Ross and The Supremes, The Temptations, The Jackson 5, The Miracles, and more returns to vinyl in a newly remastered edition.
The sizzling, funky 1968 Christmas album from Chicago’s Soulful Strings (previously released on CD by Real Gone Music) comes back to vinyl in a new edition from UMe.
The Chipmunks’ beloved family Christmas classic returns on white vinyl. Tracks from Alvin, Simon and Theodore include “Hang Up Your Stockin’,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” and “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas.”
Kenny Rogers’ 1981 Christmas album returns to vinyl. Features his smooth renditions of “White Christmas,” “My Favorite Things,” “Carol of the Bells,” and numerous original compositions. Pressed on standard weight vinyl.
The Gambler’s recent 80th birthday is celebrated with a new hits collection, too. Through the Years has the classic title song plus “Lady,” “You Decorated My Life,” “She Believes in Me,” and of course, “The Gambler” plus duets with Dottie West and Kim Carnes, for a total of 20 tracks. (Alas, “Islands in the Stream” with Dolly Parton is missing.) The remastered set has been culled from Rogers’ recordings for labels like United Artists, Liberty, RCA, and Capitol Nashville.
The Isleys’ Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis-produced Christmas album from 2007 comes to vinyl. Ron Isley lends his velvet pipes to such classic tunes as “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” “Winter Wonderland,” and “White Christmas” with a modern, urban touch.
The renowned International Pop Overthrow Festival moves over to Omnivore Recordings for another 3-CD collection of the greatest bands you’ve never heard! On this latest annual entry, you’ll find 69 tracks of pop in all its many forms, expertly curated for your listening pleasure by Festival founder David Bash.