Our continuing look at this year’s Black Friday Record Store Day offering now brings us to Real Gone Music’s three selections which will be available the day after Thanksgiving, November 23. You may purchase these at any participating independent record shop. (See the full list of shops here!)
Roy Buchanan – Live at Town Hall 1974
Blues-rock guitarist Buchanan was famous for playing the Fender Telecaster with an effects-free technique and influencing many other musicians despite never having great solo success of his own. (Jeff Beck dedicated “Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers” on 1975’s Blow by Blow to Buchanan). He began his career as a sideman in the late 1950s joining on recording sessions for such artists as Dale and Ronnie Hawkins, Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, Merle Kilgore and others. He also was a tutor to a young Robbie Robertson. He stepped away from music for a time but returned to performing in the early 1970s in the Washington DC area. His career took a major turn when he was featured on the PBS program Introducing Roy Buchanan in 1971, and this led to a recording contract with Polydor Records. Around this time, the story goes that he turned down a place in The Rolling Stones for the position Mick Taylor eventually got.
Buchanan recorded four studio albums for Polydor, of which 1973’s Second Album went Gold. By 1975, however, he had an offer from Ahmet Ertegun to join Atlantic and wanted to move on. But an album was still owed to Polydor, leading to the concert LP Live Stock. It featured six songs taken from two sets on November 27, 1974 at Town Hall in New York City. (A seventh song was taken from a gig in Evanston, Illinois at the Amazingrace Café.) The shows, recorded by the Record Plant Mobile Studio, featured Buchanan’s band with Malcolm Lukens (keyboards), John Harrison (bass), Ronnie “Byrd” Foster (drums) and Billy Price (vocals). But like many live albums, there was a lot of material unreleased. Now, Real Gone is releasing the entirety of both sets from Town Hall on this 3-LP set. It features the six songs from the original album, a version of Neil Young’s “Down By the River” which surfaced on a 1992 compilation, and 14 additional previously unreleased tracks. The set has been mixed and mastered by Tom Lewis at Studio 1903 in Athens Georgia. Bill Levenson has produced the reissue and the booklet feature liner notes by Buchanan biographer Phil Carson and photos from the night of show taken by Charles R. Cohen.
Buchanan would record three studio albums on Atlantic through 1978. In 1981, he released one on AJK before issuing three albums on the Alligator label from 1985 to 1987. He died in 1988 and several compilations and posthumous albums have been released in the last 20 years. Live at Town Hall 1974 was originally available back in May from Real Gone on 2 CDs. The new 3-LP vinyl version is limited to 750 copies.
Cheap Trick – The Epic Archive Vol. 2 (1980-1983)
The Epic Archive is a 3-part series which debuted digitally in 2015, collecting rarities from across Cheap Trick’s Epic tenure from 1979 to 1992. Last year, Real Gone debuted the first volume on CD (and LP for Record Store Day) and now the label is continuing the series.
By 1980, Cheap Trick, made up of Robin Zander (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Rick Nielsen (lead guitar/keyboards), Tom Petersson (bass) and Bun E. Carlos (drums), was riding high due to their success in 1979. That year saw them release their two highest-charting U.S. albums: the live Cheap Trick at Budokan and Dream Police (two live cuts of songs from this album are featured on Real Gone’s release). The first project they released in 1980 came in June: the EP Found All The Parts, consisting of live and studio materials. Three tracks from this EP open the compilation and two further outtakes are included as well (“Oh Boy (Vocal Version)” and “Loser (Demo”).
One of the tracks on Found All The Parts was a cover of The Beatles’ “Day Tripper.” This certainly proved appropriate as Cheap Trick turned to The Fab Four’s famed producer George Martin to helm their next album All Shook Up, released in October, 1980. It would be their first album since their 1977 debut not produced by Tom Werman and would be more experimental to than previous efforts. Two singles from this time are included on the compilation: “World’s Greatest Lover” and “Everything Works If You Let It” which was featured on the soundtrack to the film Roadie. Shortly before the album’s release, Petersson announced he was leaving the band and was replaced by Pete Comita.
The band then recorded several songs for soundtracks, and two from the movie Heavy Metal are included: “Reach Out” and “I Must Be Dreamin’.” Comita then left the group before their next album amid some acrimony and was replaced by Jon Brant. They turned to another new producer (Roy Thomas Baker, with credits from Queen to Dusty Springfield) for One on One. Released in April, 1982, the record had a harder-rocking sound. One of the singles, “If You Want My Love,” is included on this new set in demo form and a version of “Dancing the Night Away” comes from a 12″ single.
In August, 1983, Cheap Trick issued their next album, Next Position Please, produced by Todd Rundgren and going back to a more pop-oriented direction. One song from this album makes this rarities compilation: a 12″ re-mix of “Saturday at Midnight.” The new set concludes with both sides of a single (that was actually on Warner Bros. ), whose A-side “Spring Break” was featured on the soundtrack of the movie of the same name. Cheap Trick would continue on Epic until 1992 and then move on to several different labels. They were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.
Real Gone’s new 2-LP version of The Epic Archive Vol. 2 features rare photos from long-time band photographer Robert Alford. The set has been remastered by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios in New York. Originally released in June on CD by Real Gone, this new 2-LP set is limited to 1,100 copies.
The Mamas and the Papas – The Complete Singles
From their very first single, 1966’s “Go Where You Wanna Go,” The Mamas and the Papas spread their singular brand of California sunshine. The group’s songs espoused the up-to-the-minute virtues of freedom and liberation at a time of seismic cultural change, yet despite capturing the ethos of the 1960s those songs remain as vibrant and timely today as ever.
John Phillips, Michelle Phillips, Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot’s first LP was titled If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears; indeed, the Mamas and the Papas didn’t look or sound like any group that had come before. In Papa John, they had a prodigiously talented, prolific songwriter and vocal arranger who could turn offstage dramas into universally accessible musical gold. His wife Michelle brought ethereal beauty and a sweetness to the vocal blend that was one part mellow and one part pure rock-and-roll. Denny had a perfect pop instrument, clarion and strong. Cass had a stunning voice every as bit as strong, powerful, charismatic and confident as her larger-than-life frame and persona. When the foursome linked their voices in tight harmony developed in their folk-singing days, they delivered a blend that was almost familial.
Aided by producer Lou Adler, engineer Bones Howe, arranger Marty Paich, and the studio veterans of the Los Angeles Wrecking Crew (including Hal Blaine, Larry Knechtel and Joe Osborn), among others, The Mamas and the Papas released five studio albums and 31 unique single sides between 1966 and 1972. Among those singles are such classic songs as “Monday, Monday,” “California Dreamin’,” “Creeque Alley,” “I Saw Her Again,” “Words of Love,” “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” “Glad to Be Unhappy,” “Dedicated to the One I Love,” and “It’s Getting Better.”
Real Gone’s set includes each single side in its original mono mix. It has been remastered by Aaron Kannowski, who has also restored sides by the Mamas and the Papas’ fellow Dunhill Records artists The Grass Roots, Steppenwolf, and the Four Tops. Also included are liner notes from co-producer Ed Osborne featuring quotes from Michelle Phillips and Lou Adler as well as rarely-seen photographs.
This compilation was first available back in 2016 on CD in celebration of the group’s 50th anniversary. The CD version boasted 53 tracks as it added the solo singles from the individual band members. This new vinyl edition contains only the 31 singles from the full group. The 2-LP vinyl set is limited to 750 copies.
Once again, these three releases will be available on November 23 at participating independent record shops!