Here’s your Release Round Up for the week ahead.
Filmmaker Ken Burns has tackled many subjects over the years, from the Civil War to baseball. His documentaries have garnered numerous awards over the years. In 2001, he took an in-depth look at the genre of jazz. Now, he’s exploring a different genre with Country Music, an eight-part, 16-1/2-hour documentary premiering September 15 on PBS. And as with Jazz, there is an accompanying soundtrack. The most expansive of these is a 5-CD box set due August 30. Other configurations of the set including a 2-CD, 2-LP, 1-CD Wal-Mart exclusive, and digital will follow on September 13. All formats include many of the genre’s landmark recordings by artists such as Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, and George Jones. Learn more here, and watch for our full review soon!
Frank Zappa, Orchestral Favorites: 40th Anniversary and Mothermania (Zappa/UMe)
Orchestral Favorites is an odd release in the Zappa catalogue – one that started its life in a very different configuration. The music, recorded live in September 1975 with a full orchestra and Terry Bozzio on drums, was intended to be released as part of a larger project called Läther (posthumously released in 1996). But after a series of lawsuits surrounding Zappa and his former label, the material was eventually issued without Zappa’s approval (nor his usual quality control standards) in 1979. Original versions lacked artist credits and liner notes, and featured cover artwork that Zappa went on to disparage. The 3-CD Orchestral Favorites: 40th Anniversary has been given a musical facelift, restoring the album to a vision that Zappa himself might have recognized and containing, as a bonus, the complete September 18 UCLA performance. It features new, high-resolution transfers from the original master tapes; brand-new cover art; and a 32-page book with comprehensive liner notes from vault-keeper Joe Travers, not to mention never-before-seen photos and complete musician credits. In addition to the 3-CD edition, UMe and The Zappa Family Trust will also release a vinyl edition of the original album sequence, newly mastered by Bernie Grundman and pressed onto 180-gram black vinyl at Furnace in Alexandria, VA.
On the same day, Zappa/UMe will reissue Mothermania: The Best of the Mothers. Originally assembled by Frank Zappa 50 years ago, Mothermania features numerous exclusive mixes and edits of Mothers of Invention classics from Freak Out!, Absolutely Free, and We’re Only In It For the Money. The album will now be back in print on vinyl for the first time since 1972, boasting all-analog remastering by Bernie Grundman from the original master tapes. Like Orchestral Favorites , the new edition of Mothermania will be pressed onto 180-gram black vinyl at Furnace. Read more here!
Rhino is reissuing 2001’s 21-song compilation The Best of Morrissey for the first time ever on vinyl as a 2-LP set. The edition going to general retail will be pressed on black vinyl while Rhino.com offers an exclusive clear vinyl version limited to 500 units.
Vince Guaraldi, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: Music from the Soundtrack (Craft)
The Emmy-nominated 1966 television special It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was the third overall for Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts series and the second to be holiday-themed, after A Charlie Brown Christmas. It earned a whopping 49 share in the ratings and was so successful that CBS re-aired it every year through 2000, with ABC picking up the tradition after that. Yet despite a beloved score by Vince Guaraldi (who else?), a soundtrack album to Great Pumpkin had never been released in any audio format until last year’s CD issue. Now, Craft Recordings has that first-ever soundtrack release coming to vinyl, retaining the CD’s new introduction from executive producer Lee Mendelson and liner notes by Guaraldi historian Derrick Bang. An etching of the pumpkin appears on Side Two of the vinyl. You can read more about the soundtrack here!
Gregg Allman, Laid Back: Deluxe Edition and The Gregg Allman Tour [LP] (Mercury/UMe)
Gregg Allman’s 1973 solo debut will be reissued as a remastered and expanded deluxe set on 2 CDs and digitally, with an additional 26 tracks (16 of which are previously unreleased), for a grand total of 34 tracks. These bonus tracks encompass demos, alternate takes, early and rough mixes, rehearsal takes, demos, live performances, and outtakes. Allman Brothers Band historian John Lynskey has provided new liner notes for the CD edition, and the booklet also features previously unpublished photos of the artist. The original album will also be reissued on 1-LP vinyl.
On the same day, The Gregg Allman Tour, chronicling Allman’s solo tour in support of Laid Back and featuring a 24-piece orchestra, will be reissued on vinyl as a 2-LP set. Recorded at Carnegie Hall on April 10 and 11 and the Capitol Theatre on April 13, 1974, the album captures Allman’s performances supported by the band Cowboy (Scott Boyer, Randall Bramblett, David Brown, Chuck Leavell, Bill Stewart, Tommy Talton) plus the orchestra. The Gregg Allman Tour boasts a song that never made it to a studio release, “Oncoming Traffic,” as well as Cowboy’s solo spots on their songs “Time Will Take Us” and “Where Can You Go?,” the latter with Allman playing keyboards.
On August 30, Rhino will release Chicago Transit Authority (50th Anniversary Remix) on 2-LP, 180-gram vinyl editions, as well as a limited-edition, numbered version of the 2 LP set on gold vinyl available exclusively through Rhino.com. It will also be available through digital and streaming services on the same day. The new remix was created by the band with engineer Tim Jessup, who also mixed the band’s recent Live at the Isle of Wight Festival. These titles appear to be available today in the U.K. but U.S. retailers are showing a new date of September 13.
From Cleopatra: “For the first time ever, all the recordings of Todd Rundgren’s late ’60s psych rock band Nazz are collected together in one far out 3CD box set! Includes all 3 commercially released studio albums plus tons of bonus material! Packaged in a high quality clam shell box with individual replication sleeves for the CDs and two sets of liner notes detailing the history of the band with images and words!” Worthy of the exclamation points, the 64-track collection brings together Nazz, its follow-up, Nazz Nazz, and Nazz III plus single edits, mono mixes, demos and more.
Rodriguez, Cold Fact and Coming From Reality CD and vinyl reissues (Sussex/UMe)
Sixto Rodriguez, known professionally by his last name alone, is the subject of the acclaimed documentary Searching For Sugarman, which brought the reclusive singer to mainstream attention. On August 30, after years out of print, Rodriguez’s two Sussex Records releases – 1970’s Cold Fact and 1971’s Coming From Reality – will return to vinyl on black wax and color variants, alongside CD and digital configurations.
Various Artists, Motown #1s [Gold Vinyl] (Motown/UMe) (Target)
In celebration of Motown’s 60th anniversary, the label and UMe have pressed up a new gold vinyl collection of 24 chart-toppers recorded from 1961 to 1994. The 2-LP set is exclusive to the US retail chain Target.