Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Prince, Ultimate Rave (Legacy/NPG)
Ultimate Rave (2-CD/1-DVD): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic (2-LP Purple Vinyl): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic (2-LP Purple Vinyl): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
This new 2-CD/1-DVD collection brings together two of Prince’s albums from the turn of the new millennium: Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic from 1999 and Rave In2 The Joy Fantastic, a hard-to-find 2001 remix album that was only available to members of Prince’s NPG Music Club service. The new collection will also include a DVD of the Rave Un2 The Year 2000 concert film, originally a pay-per-view special which saw Prince and an array of guests – including Morris Day and The Time, members of Sly and the Family Stone, Maceo Parker, and Lenny Kravitz – ringing in the new year with hits and fan favorites alike. In addition to the three-disc set, Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic and Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic will also be available individually on purple vinyl. Read more here!
Following the landmark release of What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye returned with the song “You’re The Man,” written about presidential candidate George McGovern. When that track failed to reach mainstream audiences, Gaye went back to the studio and recorded an album’s worth of material, producing himself and writing with the likes of Willie Hutch; Hal Davis; Pam Sawyer and Gloria Jones; and Freddie Perren and Fonce Mizell. Apart from the “You’re The Man” single, none of that material was released at the time. Now, You’re the One rounds up all of the soul legend’s solo and non-soundtrack work from ’72, including three new mixes by acclaimed writer and producer Salaam Remi (or SaLaAM ReMi). You’re The Man was released earlier this year on vinyl and digital formats; today marks its CD debut. Read more here!
The Epic Archive, Vol. 3 (1984-1992) concludes Real Gone’s definitive Cheap Trick rarities series. Originally released as a digital compilation in 2015, the new, resequenced collection arrives today on CD for the first time, on the heels of the Record Store Day-exclusive red vinyl version. Compiled by Timothy J. Smith, the CD includes 16 hard-to-find tracks from the final years of Cheap Trick’s Epic run, featuring rare alternate mixes, single edits, alternate takes, international tracks, and tracks that were previously soundtrack exclusives. All the music was mastered for the compilation by Mike Piacentini at Battery Studios. The package also includes comprehensive liner notes with track-by-track commentary from Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, and Bun E. Carlos, alongside interviews with biographer Ken Sharp and Timothy J. Smith. Read more here!
Nitro was a short-lived hair metal group whose O.F.R. was first released thirty years ago. Legend has it, their name stands for “out-f******-‘rageous.” Now, Real Gone has a 30th anniversary vinyl edition of the Hollywood band’s debut album. It will be limited to just 700 copies and will be presented on red and yellow “explosion” color vinyl. The disc will be housed in a faithfully recreated printed inner sleeve with lyrics and band photos. The single-pocket outer sleeve has also been faithfully recreated for this new reissue. Read more here!
Real Gone also has a classic blaxploitation-era soundtrack featuring both scorching R&B-funk songs and instrumental score cues. Joe Simon, who had had teamed with Gamble and Huff for hits “Drowning In The Sea of Love” and “Power of Love” in 1971 and 1972, was one of the featured performers on the album. Jazz trombonist J.J. Johnson penned much of the score, and two songs from Millie Jackson (reprised on her album It Hurts So Good) are also included. This red and blue vinyl edition boasts the original artwork, and is limited to just 700 copies. Read more here!
Singer-songwriter Iain Matthews’ long out-of-print three volumes of rarities have been remastered and expanded with the inclusion of a newly-curated fourth disc. Clinton Heylin supplies a new introduction to the 36-page booklet, and Matthews has contributed his own memories in the liner notes. Available today in the U.K. and next Friday in North America. Watch for more on this title soon!
Evans in England transports listeners back to 1969, when the introspective pianist (1929-1980) was joined in his familiar trio setting by bassist Eddie Gomez and guitarist Marty Morell for a stand at Ronnie Scott’s in December 1969. The recording was captured a year into the tenure of what would become Evans’ longest-running Trio. This major discovery features Evans’ earliest recordings of “The Two Lonely People” and “Sugar Plum” as well as moving renditions of Miles Davis’ “So What” (introduced with Evans on 1959’s landmark Kind of Blue) and the pianist’s own compositions like “Re: Person I Knew” and “Waltz for Debby.” The 18-track, 2-CD set also features standards like “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “My Foolish Heart,” and “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me).” The accompanying book features essays by Resonance’s Zev Feldman and journalist Marc Myers; interviews with Gomez, Morell and filmmaker Leon Terjanian (who brought the private tapes to the label’s attention); and rare photographs.
The title of Wes Montgomery’s Back on Indiana Avenue: The Carroll DeCamp Recordings harkens back to Resonance’s 2012 collection Echoes of Indiana Avenue, which has since been followed by numerous other significant vault excursions from the late guitarist (1923-1968). Back on Indiana Avenue returns to the guitarist’s Indianapolis roots, before his 1959 signing with Riverside Records. These recordings from the collection of composer-pianist Carroll DeCamp find the late Montgomery in numerous settings including piano quartets, organ trios, sextets, and drummer-less trios a la The Nat King Cole Trio. It’s believed that personnel on these live and studio recordings includes Wes’ brother Buddy Montgomery and longtime collaborator Melvin Rhyne, and pianists John Bunch and Carl Perkins, to name a few. The 22 tracks include copious standards and songs that Montgomery would immortalize at Riverside such as “Round Midnight,” “The End of a Love Affair,” “Four on Six,” and “Tune Up.” The collection includes a booklet with essays by historian Lewis Porter and Zev Feldman, interviews with jazz legends George Benson and John Scofield, saxophonist-educator Jamey Aebersold, and guitarist Royce Campbell, nephew of Carroll DeCamp. Read more about both Resonance titles here, and watch for our review soon!
Dorothy Ashby was a jazz harpist who made her first headlining album in 1957 on the Regent label. For her third album (now on the New Jazz label), she was joined by flautist Wess who was a member of Count Basie’s band and who had made several solo recordings himself. In a Minor Groove is one of two albums Ashby made in 1958 with Wess; the duo is backed by Herman Wright on bass and Roy Haynes on drums. For this first-ever domestic vinyl reissue of In a Minor Groove, Real Gone has utilized the original mono sources, not the re-channeled stereo and resequenced track listing that showed up on Prestige’s later repackaging called Dorothy Ashby Plays for Beautiful People. It’s limited to 1,000 units in neon green vinyl. Read more here!
The 51-track, 2-CD collection celebrates late Broadway leading man Alfred Drake. It features one disc entitled The Studio Recordings (including public domain selections from Oklahoma!, Kiss Me, Kate and Kismet, as well as tracks from West Side Story, Roberta, On the Town, and Carousel) and one disc of Demos, Live Performances, and Other Rarities sourced from Drake’s personal archives. This disc features rare live appearances, rehearsals, practice recordings, and even auditions for musicals and operettas throughout his career up through shows like Kean and Zenda.
Sing Out, Sweet Land! opened on Broadway at the International Theatre in the final days of 1944 and resided there for 104 performances. Starring Drake, Burl Ives, Juanita Hall (South Pacific), Bibi Osterwald, and Alma Kaye, the musical by critic Walter Kerr featured a score of traditional folk tunes as well as original material by John Mundy, Edward Eager, and Elie Siegmiester. Decca recorded it for an album of 78s, later reissued on 10-inch vinyl LP. Stage Door has its CD premiere joined by another Decca rarity: the 1950 studio cast recording of Kurt Weill’s Down in the Valley starring Drake and Jane Wilson. Weill, who supervised the recording, composed original choral music to support another array of classic folk melodies such as “Down in the Valley” and “The Lonesome Dove.” This release, made possible via current U.K. public domain laws and part of the label’s Collectors’ Series, is limited to 500 units. Read more on both Drake titles here.
Esoteric has brought together all three albums from the power trio of Ginger Baker, Adrian Gurvitz, and Paul Gurvitz plus a small army of musicians in one 3-CD clamshell package: The Baker Gurvitz Army (1974), Elysian Encounter (1975), and Hearts on Fire (1976). Four bonus tracks are peppered across the set. Available today in the U.K. and next Friday in North America. Watch for more coverage of this title soon.
Cherry Tree collects the three albums from folk-rock band Steeleye Span featuring founding member Ashley Hutchings: Hark! The Village Wait (1970), Please to See the King (1971), and Ten Man Mop or Mr. Reservoir Butler Rides Again (1971). The latter title has gained four bonus tracks, and the whole package is put in perspective with a 32-page booklet featuring an essay by David Wells. Available today in the U.K. and ext Friday in North America. Watch this space for more on this box set!
Nils Lofgren returns with his first studio album of original material since 2011. The centerpiece of Blue for Lou consists of six never-before-recorded songs Lofgren and Lou Reed co-wrote decades ago; these are joined by six further Lofgren originals including a tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Available on CD and LP. Watch this space for our review!
In the End is the eighth and final album from The Cranberries, built around the vocals of Dolores O’Riordan following her tragic death in 2018. The songs were crafted from demos left behind by O’Riordan on her personal hard drive and completed by her bandmates. Available on CD and LP.