Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music continue celebrating Johnny Mathis’ discography with two albums on one CD. 1973’s Killing Me Softly with Her Song and 1975’s When Will I See You Again both spotlight Mathis’ silky interpretations of the day’s greatest hits. Killing Me Softly with Her Song was Johnny’s final full-length album collaboration with songwriter-producer Jerry Fuller and premiered Fuller’s “Show and Tell,” a top 40 AC hit for Johnny which singer Al Wilson subsequently took to the top of the U.S. Pop chart. It also boasts classic songs from Thom Bell, Kenny Gamble, and Linda Creed, Don McLean, Stevie Wonder, David Gates, and Joe Raposo. When Will I See You Again took its title from Gamble and Leon Huff’s hit for Philadelphia’s Three Degrees, and featured another tribute to the Philly sound with Bell and Creed’s “You’re as Right as Rain.” Johnny made Mathis magic with familiar hits from Barry Manilow, Neil Sedaka, Marvin Hamlisch, The Sherman Brothers, and Paul Williams. This release boasts liner notes by TSD’s Joe Marchese with fresh quotes from Johnny Mathis and Jerry Fuller. Mike Piacentini has remastered at Sony’s Battery Studios.
Johnny Mathis’ 1973 LP The Heart of a Woman is coming to CD from Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music in a deluxe, double-disc expanded edition, paired with 1975’s Feelings. Johnny teamed with Motown’s legendary producer Johnny Bristol and arranger Paul Riser – plus session players like Dennis Coffey and Ray Parker, Jr. – for a set filled with Bristol originals also recorded by artists such as Boz Scaggs and Tom Jones. Feelings, produced by Jack Gold, introduced Mathis’ evocative version of Albert Hammond and Hal David’s “99 Miles from L.A.,” a song which he still performs in concert today. Nine fascinating period bonus tracks are included on this 2-CD set including two tracks produced by composer Roger Nichols (frequent songwriting partner of Paul Williams) and a rare session reuniting Johnny with Jerry Fuller. Joe’s new liner notes draw on interviews with Mathis and Fuller, and Mike Piacentini has remastered at Battery. Read more about both titles here!
Carole King, Live at Montreux 1973 (Eagle Rock)
Eagle Vision brings Carole King’s 1973 show at the Montreux Jazz Festival to a variety of audio and video formats. The concert features seven songs from Tapestry as well as another septet from her then most recent release, Fantasy. The CD and CD/DVD editions will feature the full, 18-track concert program. The 180-gram black vinyl LP, meanwhile, will feature 16 highlights from the show (omitting “Smackwater Jack” and “That’s How Things Go Down”). Read more here!
ABBA, Voulez-Vous: 40th Anniversary [Various Formats] (Polar/UMG)
ABBA’s 1979 album Voulez-Vous, the pop masters’ sixth studio album, is beloved today for such classic songs as “I Have a Dream,” “Does Your Mother Know,” and “Chiquitita.” Now, for its 40th anniversary, UMG and Polar Music are marking the occasion with a new array of reissues (read more here):
- Half-Speed Mastered 2-LP set pressed on 180-gram vinyl, mastered at Abbey Road Studios, and cut at 45 RPM;
- Colored vinyl 7-inch vinyl box set, with seven singles including “Voulez-Vous,” “Summer Night City,” “‘I Have a Dream,” “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight),” “Does Your Mother Know,” “Chiquitita,” and the extended dance mix of “Voulez-Vous”; and
- Each of the above singles will also be available as a limited-edition standalone picture disc.
Real Gone Music is continuing its trip through the Grateful Dead’s Road Trips series, bringing each volume to general retail for the first time in reverse order. Road Trips Vol. 3 No. 3 – Fillmore East 5-15-70 arrives on June 14, the 49th anniversary of Workingman’s Dead, the classic album that this volume of Road Trips is meant to commemorate. This 3-CD release features material from the early and late shows performed at the gone-but-not-forgotten Fillmore East in New York City on May 15, 1970. Each show included an electric and acoustic set. Coming just under a month before the release of Workingman’s Dead (the band’s fourth studio album), the concerts saw seven of the eight songs from that LP being performed. (Only “High Time” was excluded.) Real Gone’s new reissue includes the booklet from the original release featuring Blair Jackson’s liner notes. Read more here!
Verve Records and UMe are taking fans back to the evening of November 26, 1961, when tenor saxophone great Stan Getz and his quartet comprising pianist Steve Kuhn, bassist John Neves, and drummer Roy Haynes took the stage at New York’s Village Gate. The show was professionally recorded, possibly for release, but for one reason or another, was never issued. Every note of that performance – 15 songs, total, including many classic standards – will be heard on the labels’ 2-CD or 3-LP release of Getz at the Gate: The Stan Getz Quartet Live at The Village Gate, November 26, 1961. Read more here, and watch this space for our review!
ZZ Top, Goin’ 50 [1CD Version] (Warner/Rhino)
ZZ Top is Goin’ 50 with a new, multi-format collection celebrating the band’s half-a-century of music. The single disc of Goin’ 50 (available today) collects 18 of the Texas trio’s biggest and baddest hits, from their breakthrough in the ’70s to their most recent studio release, 2012’s La Futura. Then, on August 16, a Lone Star State-sized 3CD or 5LP edition of Goin’ 50 will be released. That set offers tracks from every one of the group’s releases on London, Warner Bros., RCA and American Recordings, plus both sides of the band’s first single, “Salt Lick” and “Miller’s Farm,” released in 1969 by the original incarnation of ZZ Top (singer/guitarist Billy F. Gibbons, bassist Lanier Greig and drummer Dan Mitchell). Read more here!
R.E.M., In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 [Vinyl] (Craft Recordings)
Craft Recordings brings a popular compilation back to vinyl for the first time in 15 years. In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 was originally released in 2003 and collected 18 tracks from the band’s post-IRS era, including their biggest hits (“Losing My Religion,” “Man On the Moon,” “Stand,” Everybody Hurts”), soundtrack recordings (“All the Right Friends,” “The Great Beyond”), collaborations (“E-Bow the Letter” with Patti Smith), and then-new recordings (“Bad Day” and “Animal”). In all, it’s a well-curated sampler of fifteen years’ worth of material from their Warner Bros. catalog that has been certified multi-platinum in territories worldwide. The 2-LP collection will be available on audiophile-quality, 180-gram black vinyl and Barnes and Noble-exclusive translucent blue vinyl configurations. R.E.M.’s online shop will also offer exclusive merchandise bundles for the set. Read more here!
Hank Williams, The Complete Health & Happiness Recordings (BMG)
BMG, together with the team at Omnivore Recordings, has an essential new collection of Hank William’s cusp-of-stardom 1949 radio recordings. The Complete Health & Happiness Recordings, a 49-track set (split between 2 CDs or 3 LPs) presents all eight Health & Happiness broadcasts in their entirety. This wealth of priceless content includes versions of “Lovesick Blues,” “You’re Gonna Change (Or I’m Gonna Leave),” “I Saw the Light,” “I’m a Long Gone Daddy,” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” and the earliest known recordings the Nashville-era lineup of The Drifting Cowboys, who backed up Williams, as well as the only known recording of Williams performing “The Tramp on the Street.” Read the full track listing and more here!
Isaac Hayes, Shaft: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Deluxe Edition (Craft/Varese Sarabande)
Accept no substitutes: the original Shaft is back. For this new deluxe edition of Isaac Hayes’ classic soundtrack – a joint release between Craft Recordings and its newly-acquired Varese Sarabande soundtrack label – the Stax Records hit album is paired with the rare original recordings as heard specifically in the film. (MGM recorded Hayes’ score direct to three-track, and he wanted a bigger sound for his album. This disc was previously included in a 2008 box set from Film Score Monthly.) This 2CD deluxe edition will be limited to 5,000 copies and can be ordered through Varese at the above link. (A single CD remaster of Hayes’ original album is also available at Amazon U.S., Amazon U.K. and Amazon Canada.)
In Search of Hades celebrates Tangerine Dream’s boundary-pushing albums Phaedra (1974), Rubycon (1975), the live Ricochet (1975), Stratosfear (1976), the live Encore (1977), Cyclone (1978), and Force Majeure (1979). The gargantuan set features 16 CDs with bonus tracks for every title, plus two Blu-rays (featuring high-res stereo and surround mixes of three titles) and a hardcover book with new essays, historic photos, and memorabilia galore. Additionally, Steven Wilson completed new stereo and 5.1 surround sound mixes for Ricochet and two tracks from Phaedra. A bounty of unreleased material was also unearthed – 8 CDs’ worth! It all adds up to the ultimate celebration of Tangerine Dream. Get all of the details here!
The seminal Bob Marley compilation returns to vinyl for its 35th anniversary with a difference: this edition replicates the original 1984 U.K. LP track listing (“BMW1”) with two U.K. cassette bonus tracks. Due to the extra songs, Legend runs to two LPs here.
Bruce Springsteen, Western Stars (Columbia)
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2-LP black vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2-LP blue and black color vinyl: Bruce Springsteen Online Shop
2-LP clear “blue smoke” vinyl: Barnes & Noble
Music and merchandise bundles: Bruce Springsteen Online Shop
Bruce Springsteen returns with a new solo album. Western Stars marks his first studio work since High Hopes in 2014 and is described by the artist as featuring “character driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangement[s].” Western Stars is partly inspired by classic Southern California pop of the ’60s and ’70s, and Springsteen has previously mentioned the music of Glen Campbell, Jimmy Webb, and Burt Bacharach as touchstones. Available on CD, vinyl, and digital formats. Read more here!
Roger Daltrey, The Who’s Tommy Orchestral (UMe)
Roger Daltrey brings a live orchestral performance of The Who’s classic rock opera Tommy to CD, vinyl, and digital platforms. Daltrey is joined by Who band veterans including Simon Townshend, Frank Simes, Scott Devours, Jon Button, and Loren Gold, as well as an orchestra conducted by Keith Levenson playing David Campbell’s new orchestrations.
Broadway Records releases its third annual collection of music from the season’s Broadway shows. This year’s volume boasts a number of tracks not yet on CD from Tony nominees including Beetlejuice, Be More Chill, and Kiss Me, Kate, plus big winners Hadestown, Oklahoma!, The Cher Show, and Tootsie (all of which are coming to CD soon) as well as an exclusive track from King Kong, which hasn’t announced plans for a full cast recording.