Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Paul McCartney, The Paul McCartney Archive Collection: Flaming Pie [Various Formats] (MPL/Capitol/UMe)
2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Deluxe 5CD/2DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Super Deluxe 5CD/2DVD/4LP: Paul McCartney Online Shop
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
3LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
The Paul McCartney Archive Collection returns with a new volume dedicated to Macca’s 1997 back-to-basics album Flaming Pie, produced by Jeff Lynne. Inspired by the simpler, more immediate recording style that The Beatles used decades before, he returned to Abbey Road with some of his favorite collaborators, including Ringo Starr, George Martin, and Steve Miller. Nearly 25 years later, the album remains a beloved high-water mark in McCartney’s career. Like previous editions in the series, Flaming Pie will arrive in a number of Archive Collection configurations. The mouth-watering deluxe box set features a whopping 5 CDs and 2 DVDs of content bringing together a new remaster of the album and 32 bonus tracks. Among them are unheard home recordings, alternate versions, rough mixes, B-sides, and plenty of audiovisual content. There are also slimmer packages and vinyl iterations. Read our full coverage for track listings and information on all formats. Read more here!
Bobbie Gentry, The Delta Sweete: Deluxe Edition (Capitol/UMe)
Bobbie Gentry’s haunting 1968 concept album returns to CD and vinyl in a new edition. The 2-CD edition features a brand-new 2020 stereo mix, the original mono mix, and bonus tracks including a previously unreleased demo and instrumental, and five demos first issued on Bobbie’s career-spanning box set The Girl from Chickasaw County. The vinyl version of The Delta Sweete presents the new 2020 stereo mix on the first LP and a selection of ten bonus tracks on the second LP including both of the previously unreleased tracks. Read more here!
Cat Stevens, Back to Earth [Various Formats] (Cat-o-Log/BMG)
5-CD/2-LP/Blu-ray: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
LP black vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
LP color vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Timeless troubadour Yusuf Islam, a.k.a. Cat Stevens, is revisiting his 1978 album Back to Earth in a mammoth 5-CD/2-LP/1-BD box set as well as standard CD and vinyl editions of just the remastered original album. The super deluxe set, arriving after a long delay, pairs the new remaster with a disc of live tracks from the last decade, plus rare demos, including two previously unheard tracks: “Toy Heart” and “Butterfly.” Also included is the previous 2001 remaster of Back To Earth, plus Alpha Omega (A Musical Revelation), a Yusuf-produced 1978 recording by his brother David. The final CD features Stevens’ performance at the 1979 UNICEF Year of the Child benefit concert, which marked his farewell (for several decades, at least) to concert performing. The sixth disc, a Blu-ray, features video footage of the UNICEF Year of the Child performance and a high-resolution version of the remastered Back To Earth album. There’s also an LP of the remaster and a further LP featuring the UNICEF concert. Rounding out the set is a 50-page hardback book and exclusive memorabilia. Read more here!
Little Steven Van Zandt’s 1982 debut with The Disciples of Soul, Men Without Women, remains a high watermark in the Jersey shore bar band sound with its fusion of classic rock and soul sounds. Van Zandt was joined by members of The E Street Band, The Asbury Jukes, and The Miami Horns as well as pals like The Rascals’ Dino Danelli and Felix Cavaliere, and Gary U.S. Bonds. This CD release, slightly delayed from last Friday, premieres Bob Ludwig’s remaster (previously available only on vinyl) on CD and adds a bonus DVD of Little Steven’s 1982 Rockpalast concert. The edition that’s currently streaming has a number of bonus tracks only available on CD as part of Little Steven’s Rock ‘n Roll Rebel box set.
The 1995 breakthrough Let Your Dim Light Shine established Soul Asylum as a more radio-friendly band even as they continued to explore stylistic possibilities that bordered on the experimental. Real Gone has the first-ever vinyl reissue of Let Your Dim Light Shine pressed on coke bottle clear vinyl with blue swirls, and it’s packaged in a sleeve that replicates the original release. Limited to 700 copies.
The 1969 prog-rock epic Revelation by Man hits shelves from Real Gone on purple vinyl, limited to 1,000 copies. The ambitious concept album attempted to tell the story of mankind, exploring the creation of the universe, birth, love, loneliness, space travel, and sex. Musically, it has all the trademarks of late-’60s psych: swirling organs, a wealth of effects that are more gimmicky than effective, Hendrix-like leads, and plenty of freak-outs. Along the way, you’ll hear shades of Deep Purple, early Jethro Tull, Traffic, and even echoes of The Doors. For the upcoming reissue (the first such one in the States) Real Gone has packaged the purple vinyl in a flipback sleeve, echoing the presentation of the original Pye issue. Read more about Soul Asylum and Man here!
Seeds on the Ground was percussion master Airto’s second album and his final release on the Buddah label. Following sessions with the likes of Miles Davis, Paul Desmond, Wayne Shorter, and Astrud Gilberto, Airto began a solo career that often found him collaborating with vocalist Flora Purim. Here, Airto, Purim, bassist Ron Carter, guitarist Severino de Oliveira, and multi-instrumentalist Hereto Pascoal deliver a fusion of bossa nova, free jazz, psych rock, and Brazilian folk music that remains exciting and beyond classification. Long out of print on vinyl, Real Gone Music brings Seeds On The Ground: The Natural Sounds Of Airto back on shelves, pressed on ocean blue vinyl and housed in a replica of the original gatefold sleeve. The pressing is limited to just 1,000 copies.
Errol Dunkley was already a reggae star by the time this debut album was released in 1972. With producer Sylvia Pottenger at the helm, Dunkley served up 12 cuts that are pure roots reggae. Originally released as Presenting Errol Dunkley on the Gay Feet label, the album was repressed later on Trojan’s Attack imprint as Darling Ooh! with an expanded track list and distinctive artwork. To make things more confusing for collectors, the album was also reissued by Trojan in 1979 with the shorter track listing and the Attack art. For this new reissue, Real Gone Music has chosen to use the more complete 12-song track list and the alluring Attack art. This issue has also been newly remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision. And if that weren’t enough, the album has been pressed on a limited root beer-hued vinyl pressing in a batch of only 1,000 copies. Get more details on the Airto and Errol Dunkley releases here!
Craft Recordings has an all-analog vinyl reissue, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original tapes, of the 1967 classic from King of the Boogaloo, pianist-bandleader Pete Rodriguez. The 180-gram vinyl is manufactured at Memphis Record Pressing, promising optimum sound quality. Read more about this title here.
The Zombies, R.I.P. / I Love You / The Zombies (Craft Recordings)
It’s the time of the season for Craft Recordings to reissue three Zombies LPs on vinyl: their debut album The Zombies, the once-rare compilation I Love You (in its standalone vinyl debut), and the “lost” album R.I.P. (seeing wide release for the first time on standalone vinyl).
Craft gives Irma Thomas’ 2006 Grammy-winning album (featuring songs by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Stevie Wonder, Arthur Alexander, and others) a deluxe double-vinyl presentation pressed at 45 RPM.
Finally, Craft has James Booker’s acclaimed 1982 album on vinyl, with the celebrated piano man celebrating New Orleans via songs by Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Lloyd Price, and others.
Yes’ Jon Anderson returns with a new studio album featuring, well, many hands! These include the late Larry Coryell, Chick Corea, Chris Squire, Rick Derringer, Carmine Appice, Jean-Luc Ponty, Billy Cobham, Ian Anderson, the Tower of Power Horns, and many more. Available on CD and vinyl.
Even with her touring plans and her Broadway musical adaptation of Jagged Little Pill stalled due to COVID-19, Alanis Morissette is bringing new music to her fans with Such Pretty Forks in the Road, available on CD, vinyl, and digital. Among other original songs, it features “Smiling,” one of the two new songs Morissette wrote for the musical.
The Psychedelic Furs return with their eighth studio album – and first in almost three decades. Made of Rain remakes their signature post-punk sound for today, with original songs penned by Richard Butler and produced by Richard Fortus. Available on CD, vinyl, and digital platforms.
After previewing two of its tracks – the haunting “Bells of St. Augustine” and urgent “Midnight Watch” – the legendary Burt Bacharach and Grammy Award-winning producer-songwriter Daniel Tashian unveil their full 5-song EP Blue Umbrella. Bacharach and Tashian are still writing together, so it’s likely that more songs will be on the way…but in the meantime, we have this poignant, yearning, and above all melodic mini-album to savor. The three tracks debuting on the EP are “Whistling in the Dark,” “We Go Way Back,” and “Blue Umbrella.” The wistful chorus melody to “Blue Umbrella” subtly recalls Bacharach’s beautiful and haunting work at the dawn of the 1970s; one could hear B.J. Thomas singing it with ease (though Tashian is no slouch). The striking “Whistling in the Dark” has a lithe, lightly funky feel, while “We Go Way Back” is a spare ballad with piano and harmonica fitting with the late-night mood of the EP. Any fans of literate, musical pop won’t want to miss this moving and sometimes-surprising set recorded with the cream of the Nashville crop.