Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up!
Real Gone celebrates the late Rod McKuen with a slate of releases this week. For the 1970 album New Ballads, the singer-songwriter teamed with renowned arranger-conductor Don Costa for this remarkable collection of songs including "As I Love My Own," the dramatic Jacques Brel collaboration "I'm Not Afraid," "Thank You for Christmas," and a composition which could have been McKuen's credo: "Hit 'Em in the Head with Love." New Ballads showcases many of McKuen's favorite lyrical themes supported by Costa's lush, elegant orchestrations worthy of his work with Sinatra. It's no wonder that this 15-track album became among McKuen's most successful; it's a cohesive and timeless collection that proved why he earned his spot among the premier singer-songwriters on the venerable Warner Bros. label. The Second Disc's Joe Marchese has written the liner notes for the deluxe booklet, and Mike Milchner has remastered.
In 1969, Rod McKuen released his first volume of Greatest Hits on Warner Bros. Records, but with a twist. Rod teamed with arranger-conductor Arthur Greenslade to re-record and reinterpret his already classic repertoire including "Seasons in the Sun," "If You Go Away," "I'll Catch the Sun," "Kaleidoscope," and even the spoken-word "Stanyan Street." This unconventional approach led to a Gold record and one of the most beloved records in his immense catalogue. Real Gone's expanded reissue adds six bonus tracks including "Love's Been Good to Me" (famously recorded by Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash), the bossa nova-flavored "Listen to the Warm," "I Think of You," "Rock Gently," "Jean" (the Oscar-nominated, chart-topping hit for single-named vocalist Oliver), and a duet with Petula Clark on "The Importance of the Rose." New liner notes have been provided by Barry Alfonso (author of McKuen bio A Voice of the Warm), and the booklet also features numerous rare photographs. Mike Milchner has remastered at SonicVision. Read more about both titles here.
Real Gone has also released a whopping 17 McKuen titles to digital platforms today:
- Through European Windows;
- The Single Man;
- The Loner;
- Prolific Composer Rod McKuen Sings His Own;
- Other Kinds of Songs;
- Greatest Hits Vol. 2;
- Greatest Hits Vol. 3;
- Greatest Hits Vol. 4;
- Stanyan Street and Other Sorrows;
- Rod McKuen Sings Jacques Brel;
- Lonesome Cities;
- McKuen Country;
- Beautiful Strangers;
- Odyssey; and
- Goodtime Music.
Howard Jones, One to One: Expanded Edition (Cherry Red)
Howard Jones' third album gets the deluxe treatment from Cherry Red. For this reissue, One To One is expanded as a 2CD or 3CD/1DVD set. The former offers all 12″ mixes and B-sides, as well as seven previously unreleased tracks, including remixes, live tracks and early versions. The deluxe set offers another 14 instrumental, alternate and demo versions of nearly the entire album - all previously unreleased - plus a region-free, NTSC DVD of music videos and British television performances. A translucent blue vinyl edition will also be available - and all packages feature rare photos in the booklets or inner sleeves as well as new liner notes and track-by-track annotations by Howard, as told to writer Anil Prasad. Read more here!
Kim Wilde, Kim Wilde / Select / Catch as Catch Can: Expanded Editions (Cherry Pop)
Kim Wilde's first three albums, originally released on RAK Records between 1981 and 1983, return to CD and vinyl today from Cherry Red's Cherry Pop imprint. Daughter of rock-and-roller Marty Wilde (also the subject of a recent retrospective from Cherry Red), Kim rose to fame on the international success of her debut single "Kids in America" which inaugurated a run of five consecutive top 20 hit singles in the United Kingdom. ("Kids" went top 40 in the U.S. and Canada, went to No. 1 in three countries, and went to the top ten in more than a dozen others.) The three albums - Kim Wilde (1981), Select (1982), and Catch as Catch Can (1983) - are each being expanded in 2CD/1DVD format with numerous rare and unreleased bonus tracks, while colored vinyl editions (yellow, white, and blue, respectively) of the original albums will also be offered. All of the deluxe reissues have been curated with Kim Wilde's participation and authorization. Each includes lyrics, memorabilia images, and new liner notes from Wilde historian Marcel Rijs. Note that the DVDs are in PAL, not NTSC format, and therefore may not be playable for North American viewers. Available today in the U.K. and next Friday in North America.
First released by Real Gone Music on "new dawn" blue vinyl, this new re-press of Jefferson Airplane's Woodstock set will be pressed on a "vibrating" violet color variant. As one of the first acts to sign on for the festival, Jefferson Airplane embraced the spirit of the event from the start, but the band's Saturday night closing set was delayed to Sunday morning due to the rain that seemingly would never retreat. The Airplane was up all night waiting for the OK to go onstage - which didn't arrive until 8 a.m. Sunday. With guest pianist Nicky Hopkins joining, the band performed a scorching, nearly-two-hour set. Now, listeners who may have missed out on the first run can enjoy the concert on vinyl once again, complete with liner notes from rock and roll authority Richie Unterberger and photos from official festival photographer Henry Diltz.
Real Gone reissues the oft-sampled 1970 psychedelic funk-soul masterpiece on brown vinyl. Mike Milchner at SonicVision has remastered from original tape sources. This edition is limited to only 750 copies.
Neneh Cherry, Raw Like Sushi: 30th Anniversary Edition [Various Formats] (Virgin/UMC)
One of the most unique and eclectic debut albums of the late '80s, Neneh Cherry's Raw Like Sushi, will be celebrated with a 30th anniversary deluxe edition coming from Virgin/UMC. The deluxe Raw Like Sushi, packed in a 12″ x 12″ box set, will feature the original album alongside two discs of vintage remixes of hits like "Buffalo Stance" (an international Top 5 hit) and "Kisses On The Wind," a follow-up that reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 in America. A who's who of remixers from the period are featured, including Massive Attack, Arthur Baker, David Morales and the Latin Rascals. Read more here!
Stage Door Records revisits Kwamina, the short-lived yet ambitious 1961 Broadway musical from the co-writer of Damn Yankees and The Pajama Game. The original cast recording (starring Sally Ann Howes, Terry Carter, Brock Peters, and Robert Guillaume) arrives as an expanded 2-CD entry in its Deluxe Edition series. This presentation, made possible as a result of current U.K. public domain laws, has the stereo Original Broadway Cast Recording accompanied by three alternate takes from the album sessions and a special bonus recording of "Another Time, Another Place" by original star Sally Ann Howes. The second disc is dedicated to cover recordings from Kwamina including a new-to-CD studio cast recording, a jazz LP of the score by the Billy Taylor Orchestra, and pop covers by such artists as Robert Goulet, Jerry Vale, Al Martino, The Kingston Trio, Joanie Sommers, and Gordon MacRae. George Dansker has written new liner notes. Read more here!
Ace celebrates the art of vocalist Scott Walker and composer-lyricist Jacques Brel with this new collection. The CD features Walker's interpretations of nine Brel chansons as heard on Scott 1, 2, and 3 followed by Brel's own versions of the songs. As a bonus track, Brel's "Seul" is included; Scott performed it on television but never cut it in the studio. The 24-page booklet features new essays by Kris Needs and Ian Johnston. Available today in the U.K. and on February 14 in North America. Watch this space for a full review soon!
And here's one we missed last Friday but wouldn't want you to miss!
Melody Federer and Burt Bacharach, Bridges (digital-only) (Amazon U.S.)
The legendary Burt Bacharach has composed a new song with Seattle-based singer-songwriter Melody Federer now available for download and streaming on all digital platforms. The beguilingly melodic "Bridges" has a modern production sheen courtesy of Nashville's Daniel Tashian (Kacey Musgraves' Golden Hour) but all of the hallmarks of a Bacharach classic.