Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up!
It's Such a Good Feeling: The Best of Mister Rogers (Omnivore) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Welcome back to the Neighborhood! This celebration of the music of Mister Rogers collects 23 songs recorded by the host, with accompaniment from longtime sideman Johnny Costa on piano, Carl McViker on bass, and Bobby Rawsthorne on percussion. Complementing the music is an illustrated booklet with photos, an introduction by the Won't You Be My Neighbor? documentarian Morgan Neville, and an essay by TV critic Robert Bianco. Among the tracks are the classics "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" "You Are Special," and "It's You I Like." Omnivore has also unearthed five previously unissued tracks for the collection, including "Today is a Very Special Day," "I'm Looking for a Friend," and the series' original closing song, "Tomorrow."
Johnny Costa, Johnny Costa Plays Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Jazz (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
In 1986, pianist Johnny Costa, Fred Rogers, bassist Carl McViker, and percussionist Bobby Rawsthorne united to record Johnny Costa Plays Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Jazz . The 13-track collection of instrumental takes on Mister Rogers' classic material has been out of print for decades and original copies command triple-digit prices on the secondary market. Omnivore gives the album its CD and digital debut. Read the track listings for both Mister Rogers titles here!
Gaby Moreno and Van Dyke Parks, ¡Spangled! (Nonesuch) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Americana specialist Van Dyke Parks and Guatemala-born singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno have teamed up for this new LP celebrating "the migration of song across the Americas" with a bolero, a bossa nova, a ballad, and so on. Guests include Jackson Browne and Ry Cooder. Available on CD, LP, and digital platforms.
Whitesnake, Slip of the Tongue: 30th Anniversary Edition (Rhino) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Whitesnake's platinum LP Slip of the Tongue marks 30 years with a 6CD/DVD super deluxe edition as well as 2CD, 2LP, 1CD, and digital editions. The big box has the original, remastered album plus previously unissued studio recordings, the band's performance from the 1990 Monsters of Rock festival, music videos, and more. The 2CD and 2LP iterations feature the original album plus selections drawn from the bonus material. The 1CD version has the original album plus B-sides and alternates. You'll find the full track listings here!
Nora York, Swoon (Good Mood Records)
The music of late, lauded singer-songwriter Nora York is celebrated on a new archival release. York (1956-2016) was praised by The New York Times for her "bold mashups of jazz, rock, and other genres," and that boldness is vividly displayed on Swoon. Produced by Jamie Lawrence, Swoon concentrates on her original material - including tracks written for musicals about Amelia Earhart and Sarah Bernhardt - with choice covers of Prince ("Nothing Compares 2 U") and Elvis Presley ("All Shook Up") in her distinctive, genre-bending style. The album also features "The Hill," featuring Bruce Springsteen sideman Charlie Giordano on accordion. Find out why Billboard said York stood "at the intersection of Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Jane Siberry, and Norah Jones" on this fascinating new release.
Various Artists, NOW That's What I Call Country Christmas (Sony/Universal) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
The long-running NOW series rounds up Christmas classics from a variety of contemporary country artists including Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, and Little Big Town.
Barenaked Ladies, Original Hits, Original Stars (Rhino) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Today, Barenaked Ladies release their first-ever vinyl hits compilation. Its 12 tracks include "Brian Wilson," "One Week," "If I Had $1,000,000," and in its vinyl debut, the theme to the smash sitcom The Big Bang Theory.
Pat d'Uzine says
Re: that Mister Rogers on Omnivore : it is NOT a "general best of", it is merely a selection of his nineties (re)recordings. And it's disappointing.