Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Prince, Musicology [Various Formats] (Legacy)
Today, three of Prince’s essential 2000s albums arrive on CD and, for the first time ever, LP. Musicology marked Prince’s return to a major label and to the upper heights of the charts. It reached the Top Five on the Billboard Album Chart in 2004. It also resulted in two Grammy Awards: Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance (“Musicology”) and Best R&B Vocal Performance – Male (“Call My Name”) – and has been certified RIAA double platinum. Ever the innovator, Prince pioneered a marketing trend by bundling the album in with every ticket sold during his successful Musicology-Live 2004ever Tour. The album is available from Legacy Recordings in a 1-CD configuration, a standard black vinyl 2-LP set, and a limited edition, collectible purple vinyl 2-LP set that is exclusive to the Prince Online Store.
Prince, 3121 [Various Formats] (Legacy)
In 2006, Prince released 3121. Upon release, it received critical acclaim and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Album Charts. 3121 marked his first No. 1 album since Batman 17 years earlier, and was also his first album to debut at peak position. The album is available from Legacy in a 1-CD configuration, a standard black vinyl 2-LP set, and a limited edition, collectible purple vinyl 2-LP set that is exclusive to the Prince Online Store.
Prince, Planet Earth [Various Formats] (Legacy)
Like Prince’s prior releases, Musicology and 3121, Planet Earth came during a time of sustained creativity, the results of which were as critically acclaimed and popular as they were artistically inspired. Planet Earth fared well on the charts upon its release in 2007, reaching No. 3. The album is available from Legacy in a 1-CD configuration, a standard black vinyl 1-LP version, and a limited edition, collectible purple vinyl 1-LP version that is exclusive to the Prince Online Store. Read more about all three Prince titles here!
Meat Loaf, Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell [2-LP Vinyl] (Geffen/UMe)
Geffen/UMe is serving up a new edition of Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell. Released just over 25 years ago, Bat II was the sequel to Meat Loaf’s multi-platinum 1977 effort. Originally recorded at Ocean Way Recording in L.A. and at Power Station in New York, it was helmed by songwriter-producer Jim Steinman and features many of the same musicians and personnel. Among those returning were Roy Bittan, Todd Rundgren, Ellen Foley, and Kasim Sulton. With the support of its breakthrough single “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That),” the Wagnerian Bat reached No. 1 in nine countries in 1993 and was certified 5x Platinum by the RIAA. More than a quarter-century on, the album arrives on vinyl for the first time in the U.S. and in a double-disc edition for maximum sound quality. The album’s two LPs will be housed in a gatefold sleeve. Aside from the standard, black vinyl version, UMe is also offering a limited-edition, translucent blue vinyl version that is exclusive to the uDiscover Store.
Meat Loaf’s seventh solo studio album, Welcome to the Neighbourhood, arrives today on vinyl. Released in 1995, it’s a concept album that follows the trajectory of a relationship over the years. Among its tracks are the singles “I’d Lie for You (And That’s the Truth)” (a duet with Patti Russo), “Not a Dry Eye in the House,” and “Runnin’ for the Red Light (I Gotta Life).” Diane Warren and Jim Steinman are among the songwriters represented on its epic musical dramas. For its vinyl debut, the platinum-selling album will be presented as a 2-LP set on black vinyl. (Note that the U.K. edition is the basis of this release; the album was released in the U.S. with the spelling Neighborhood!)
The 15th Anniversary Special Edition of Wicked‘s best-selling cast recording supplements the original 19-track album with four new additions from the 2018 NBC-TV special A Very Wicked Halloween. These include Ariana Grande’s “The Wizard and I”; Pentatonix’s “What Is This Feeling?”; Adam Lambert and Ledisi’s “As Long As You’re Mine”; and Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel’s “For Good,” featuring a chorus of actresses who have also portrayed Elphaba and Glinda. Read more here!
Bar/None has two releases this week – both available on CD, vinyl, and digital – remembering the musical legacy of the late Alex Chilton. From Memphis to New Orleans collects 15 recordings made by Chilton in the 1980s as he emerged from his self-imposed exile. Recorded at Big Star’s home of Ardent Studios in Memphis, this compilation contains originals (“Lost My Job,” “Underclass,” “No Sex”) and covers (Ronny and the Daytonas’ “Little GTO,” Skeeter Davis’ “Let Me Get Close to You,” Carla Thomas’ “B-A-B-Y”) first issued on labels such as Big Time and New Rose. Glenn Morrow has penned the new liner notes, featured on one panel of the digipak.
Songs from Robin Hood Lane, named for the Memphis street on which Chilton grew up, features the Big Star and Box Tops frontman revisiting many of the classic songs he loved as a child including “There Will Never Be Another You,” “That Old Feeling,” “Look for the Silver Lining,” “Like Someone in Love,” and “Time After Time.” This collection’s 12 Chet Baker-inspired tracks have been culled from the albums Medium Cool (1991) and Clichés (1994), and four tracks are previously unreleased. Compilation producer Glenn Morrow has written the new notes, featured on two panels of the digipak.
The ex-Procol Harum guitarist’s ten albums for Chrysalis over the course of a decade are reissued in this budget-priced box set utilizing remasters from 2007-2012.
Mavis Staples, Live in London (Anti-/Epitaph)
Soul and gospel legend Mavis Staples returns with an incendiary live album recorded at Union Chapel in July 2018, the week of her 79th birthday. She gives fans the presents, though, with 13 of her best songs culled from her solo work and The Staples Singers’ catalog. Live In London is available on CD and double vinyl today!