Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Welcome To The Vault is the first-ever Steve Miller Band rarities collection. The 3CD/DVD box set features 52 songs that span Miller’s career, including 38 previously unreleased recordings and 5 never-before-heard songs. With demos, rehearsal takes, newly unearthed compositions, classic concert recordings, and more, Miller has dived into the vaults with a celebratory collection that’s bound to please any fan. The DVD is also a treasure trove of rarities, featuring 21 performances including footage from Monterey Pop, the Fillmore West, and New York’s Palace Theatre plus other television appearances. The discs are housed in a deluxe box accompanied by a 100-page book that includes photos from Miller’s extensive archive and a 9,000-word essay by David Fricke. Miller has also thrown in guitar picks featuring his iconic Pegasus logo, and even an authentic backstage pass from the vault! Read more here.
This 3CD/BD/DVD rhapsody celebrates Freddie Mercury’s solo career with a variety of material. The three CDs include a new 12-track compilation of many of Mercury’s finest solo performances also entitled Never Boring; a newly mixed 11-track special edition of Mr. Bad Guy, and the nine-track 2012 special edition of Barcelona featuring full orchestra. The Blu-ray and DVD boast Mercury’s promotional videos and his stage performances with Montserrat Caballé including eight that have been painstakingly reassembled from the original 35mm film rushes, plus bonus footage such as an interview, extended version of “The Great Pretender,” and live performance of “Barcelona.” Read more here.
Frank Sinatra, My Way: 50th Anniversary Edition (Capitol/UMe)
Capitol/UMe/Frank Sinatra Enterprises reissues the Chairman’s 1969 contemporary pop LP My Way with four bonus tracks, all of the famous title anthem: live versions from 1971 and 1987, and duets with Willie Nelson and Luciano Pavarotti. David Ritz has penned the new liner notes. Available on CD, LP, and digital platforms.
Frank Sinatra, Sings Alan & Marilyn Bergman (Capitol/UMe)
A new collection celebrates the Chairman’s enduring recordings from the songbook of Oscar-winning lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman, from 1960 to 1988. The LP edition has 10 previously released tracks while the CD and digital iterations add three bonus tracks including the non-LP single “Christmas Memories” and two previously unreleased tracks: “Leave It All to Me” and “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” Read more here, and watch this space for reviews of both Sinatra titles!
Booker T. & The MG’s, The Complete Stax Singles Vol. 1 (1962-1967) (Real Gone Music)
Real Gone Music’s new 1-CD or 2-LP set brings together 29 of the incendiary 49 singles that Booker T. and the MG’s recorded for Stax. (Presumably, the other 20 will make up a second volume.) Each track on the Gordon Anderson-produced The Complete Stax Singles, Vol. 1 has been carefully vetted to make sure the correct, original mono single mixes were used. The music has been mastered by Dan Hersch at d2 Mastering, with tape research and sourcing provided by Mike Johnson, Aaron Kannowski, and Bill Inglot. For the limited-edition run of 1,000 vinyl copies, the tracks will be pressed on blue wax and presented in a gatefold sleeve. The CD, meanwhile, will be housed in a jewel case. Both configurations boast detailed liner notes and discographical information compiled by Ed Osborne in a package designed by John Sellards. Get the track listing and more here!
David Bowie’s VH1 Storytellers broadcast first reached CD and DVD in 2009. But the CD was incomplete, with truncated versions of key tracks, while the iTunes edition and DVD teased four hidden bonus tracks. Parlophone has now released the collection on vinyl for the first time, presenting the most complete edition of the concert yet. Spread across its four sides are the quartet of bonus tracks that were previously only available as Easter eggs on the original DVD or as iTunes downloads: “Survive,” “I Can’t Read,” “Always Crashing in the Same Car,” and “If I’m Dreaming My Life.”
Chicago is back with the band’s 37th studio album and fourth Christmas release. The simply-titled Chicago Christmas arrives on CD, LP, and digital platforms with eight original songs (including one from Robert Lamm and Dino, Desi & Billy/The Beach Boys’ Billy Hinsche and another from Lee Loughnane and The Ventures’ John Durrill), two classic holiday standards, and one pop favorite from Burt Bacharach and Hal David. The Target-exclusive CD features two bonus tracks. Read more here.
Arbors Records is celebrating the historic collaboration of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe with two new jazz releases this week. Piano legend Dick Hyman has teamed with the virtuosic saxophonist Ken Peplowski for this contrapuntal exploration of the duo’s classic works. The album features songs from My Fair Lady, Camelot, Brigadoon, Gigi, and Paint Your Wagon, of course, but also from their little-known 1945 musical The Day Before Spring.
Multi-instrumentalist Adrian Cunningham invited some of his friends (such as Fred Hersch, Wycliffe Gordon, and Randy Brecker) to journey through the Lerner and Loewe catalogue via both written arrangements and extensive improvisation. The result is this 11-track album exploring much of the classic L&L repertoire in a fresh new light.
Ben Bagley’s Shoestring Revue: Original Cast Recording (Kritzerland)
This 1955 revue featured a constellation of stars both onstage (Bea Arthur, Jane Connell, Dody Goodman) and off (songwriters Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, Alec Wilder, Sheldon Harnick). Now, Kritzerland is returning its original cast album to print in the expanded edition prepared by creator Ben Bagley, featuring bonus tracks performed by artists including Ann Hampton Callaway and Kristi Lynes. James Nelson has remastered. This release is limited to 500 copies, and pre-orders made directly through Kritzerland will ship by the third week of November (though the label averages much earlier). Dig the cover artwork by Yves Saint Laurent!
Various Artists, Kurt Weill Revisited Vol. 2 (Kritzerland)
Also from the Ben Bagley/Painted Smiles archives comes a second volume of songs by Kurt Weill as sung by a typically eclectic “Who’s Who” featuring Ellen Burstyn, Nell Carter, Blossom Dearie, Tammy Grimes, Estelle Parsons, John Reardon, Arthur Siegel, and Jo Sullivan (Loesser). The 12-track album is limited to 500 copies and also due by the third week of November, though pre-orders from Kritzerland will likely arrive earlier.