Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
John Lennon, Gimme Some Truth: The Ultimate Mixes [Various Formats] (Capitol/UMe)
2CD/Blu-ray Deluxe Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
4LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Today would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday. To mark the occasion, Capitol and UMe have released a new multi-format collection entitled Gimme Some Truth: The Ultimate Mixes after his still-relevant 1971 protest single of that name. But this set – out on John’s birthday – won’t resemble the 2010 box of nearly the same title (celebrating his 70th). Instead, the Deluxe Edition release features 36 all-new mixes from the original multi-tracks of solo Lennon classics, remixed in stereo, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos by Grammy Award-winning engineer and Beatles guru Paul Hicks (with assistance from Sam Gannon) who also remixed Imagine – The Ultimate Collection. The stereo versions will be presented on 2 CDs and also in 96/24 high resolution on Blu-ray. The final mixes and effects were completed by Hicks and Gannon utilizing vintage analog equipment and effects at Los Angeles’ Henson Recording Studios. Everything was mastered in analog at Abbey Road Studios by Alex Wharton. Gimme Some Truth has been produced by Sean Ono Lennon and executive produced by Yoko Ono Lennon. The set will be available in a variety of formats including the 2CD/1BD Deluxe Edition box set; a 1CD “highlights” disc with 19 tracks; a 2CD set minus the Blu-ray; a 2LP “highlights” release; and a 4LP set minus the Blu-ray. These vinyl editions are the first new Lennon compilations to be released in that format since 1998. The new mixes will also be released digitally. Read more here.
The Doors went back to basics when they checked into Morrison Hotel for their 1970 studio album. The band’s fifth LP, it’s now being reissued by Rhino as a 2-CD/1-LP 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. This release follows the label’s similar reissues for The Doors’ first four albums including The Soft Parade which expanded their sound to include orchestration. Morrison Hotel got them back to blues-rock in striking fashion. CD 1 has the original mix newly remastered by the band’s longtime engineer, Bruce Botnick. CD 2 has 19 session takes, totaling more than an hour of outtake material. The vinyl component also has Botnick’s new remaster of the album. David Fricke has penned the new liner notes. Read more here.
The Replacements’ 1987 classic Pleased to Meet Me gets the deluxe treatment from Rhino as a 3-CD/1-LP set (also available digitally) featuring a whopping 29 previously unreleased tracks. The new box opens with a fresh remaster of the original album by Justin Perkins and continues with a selection of B-sides (such as covers of Bobby Troup’s “Route 66,” Bob Nolan’s “Cool Water,” and Bobby Lewis’ “Tossin’ and Turnin'”) and Jimmy Iovine’s remix of “Can’t Hardly Wait.” The set’s second and third discs delve into the album’s genesis. CD 2, Blackberry Way Demos, boasts fifteen demos, eleven of which are previously unissued. CD 3, Rough Mixes, Outtakes, and Alternates offers a curated look at the three-month recording period of the album with thirteen rough mixes by engineer John Hampton plus unreleased tracks and outtakes. These rough mixes are featured on the accompanying vinyl LP. The booklet features new liner notes by band historian and this set’s co-producer Bob Mehr. Read more here.
Tears for Fears, The Seeds of Love: Deluxe Edition (UMC) [Various Formats]
4CD/Blu-ray: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
1CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Picture Disc: uDiscover Music
The Seeds Of Love, British duo Tears for Fears’ 1989 release, is out today from UMC in a number of deluxe formats. The crown jewel is a 4CD/Blu-ray box featuring a new remaster of the album by Andrew Walter at Abbey Road, rare B-sides and remixes, 23 previously unreleased demos, mixes, outtakes and rehearsal audio, plus a long-awaited 5.1 surround remix by Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson, following up his work on the Songs From The Big Chair box in 2014. (That box was reissued earlier this year, along with a similarly rare 2013 set for TFF’s debut The Hurting (1983).) The box also features in-depth liner notes and a replica of the original tour program – all packaged in a lidded box with individual CD wallets, sized to match UMC’s previous two TFF boxes. Read more here.
This Far brings together remastered versions of all of Sade’s albums on 180-gram vinyl. The white casebound box includes the LPs Diamond Life (1984); Promise (1985); Stronger Than Pride (1988); Love Deluxe (1992); Lovers Rock (2000); and Soldier of Love (2010). Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios sourced the collection from high resolution digital transfers of the original stereo masters, remastering at half-speed using his own restored Neumann VMS80 cutting lathe to perform the 12 sides of vinyl lacquer cuts. Sony specifies in its press release that “no additional digital limiting was used in the mastering process…preserving the dynamic range of the original mixes for the very first time.” The original album sleeves have been faithfully recreated (including gatefolds where applicable) right down to the paper stock and printing methods, and are housed in a box designed by London-based Tom Hingston Studios. Read more here.
Dire Straits, The Studio Albums 1978-1991 (Warner/Rhino (U.S.) / Virgin/UMC (U.K.))
Dire Straits’ studio discography is reissued as a box set, aptly named The Studio Albums 1978-1991. It’s available today from Virgin/UMC in Europe and Warner/Rhino in the U.S., and contains the band’s six original albums: Dire Straits (1978), Communiqué (1979), Making Movies (1980), Love Over Gold (1982), Brothers In Arms (1985) and On Every Street (1991). All of these releases reached the Top 5 of the U.K. charts (with the latter three going to No. 1) and were certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum in America by the Recording Industry Association of America. The set is no-frills, with no additional material, but the sound might prove an attractive reason to upgrade your original albums. In addition to the CD version, it receives a new LP pressing, having originally been released on vinyl in Europe in 2013. (That original set was released on eight 180-gram LPs, with mastering by Bob Ludwig and lacquers cut by both Bernie Grundman and, for the last two albums, Chris Bellman. The press release describes the vinyl as “newly re-cut,” though it is assumed the mastering will carry over.) Get more info here.
Howard Jones, Cross That Line: Expanded Deluxe Edition (Cherry Red)
Cherry Red’s ongoing Howard Jones reissue campaign continues with his fourth album. The 3CD/1DVD set features the original album alongside a whopping 34 bonus tracks – nearly two dozen of which are being released for the first time – along with a region-free DVD offering three original music videos (including a rare alternate version of “Everlasting Love”) and a newly-recorded interview with Howard about the making of the album. The accompanying booklet features new notes by Anil Prasad featuring new commentary by the performer; these notes will also figure into a new LP pressing of Cross That Line on 140-gram silver vinyl. Get more info here.
Cherry Red is launching the debut album by Sigue Sigue Sputnik back into orbit with a greatly-expanded 4CD set. Flaunt It, the group’s 1986 album introduction after several years of hype and a pair of Top 20 hits in the U.K., will be expanded to feature two discs of B-sides and remixes and a previously unreleased live-in-studio set at Abbey Road Studios. All the material is remastered from the original tapes and assembled with input by original group bassist Tony James and guitarist Neal X. Read more here.
Vince Guaraldi, A Charlie Brown Christmas: Original Soundtrack – Peanuts 70th Anniversary Edition (Fantasy/Craft Recordings)
Black vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Your Local Record Shop
Snowball color vinyl: Craft Recordings
Red and green splatter vinyl: Urban Outfitters
Green vinyl: Target
Blue snowflake picture disc: Walmart
Schulz illustrations picture disc: Barnes and Noble
The timeless comic strip Peanuts turns 70 this year. To celebrate, Craft Recordings will release special one-time vinyl pressings of the holiday soundtrack A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi, paired with a bonus lenticular print of the Charles Schulz-designed album cover. The classic album is not only among the best selling jazz records of all time, it’s also synonymous with the holiday season. A standard black vinyl version is out today as well as a wide range of other color variants and picture disc configurations through other participating retailers. (See above.)
Stage Door Records brings producer and Beatles manager Brian Epstein’s swingin’ sixties musical by Ron Grainer (Doctor Who) and Ronald Millar to CD for the very first time anywhere in the world. This release, part of Stage Door’s Cast Album Masters series, has been beautifully remastered from the original CBS tapes and captures all the joy and energy of the era. This reissue of the original 1966 CBS Records cast recording is limited to 500 units. Read all about it here.
Linkin Park, Hybrid Theory: 20th Anniversary Edition [Various Formats]
One of the bestselling albums released in 2000 is getting revisited in a big way today: Linkin Park’s debut album Hybrid Theory. The first album from the California rap/rock combo is newly reissued in three rarity-packed editions for its 20th anniversary. A 2CD version pairs the original album with a bonus disc featuring a dozen B-sides, demos, live tracks and remixes from various European-only CD singles. A bigger 4LP box set features those albums alongside a 2LP reissue of Reanimation, the group’s 2002 album of remixes from Hybrid Theory. And biggest of all is a super deluxe edition, totaling 5 CDs, 4 LPs, 3 DVDs and a cassette among other ephemera and collectibles. See our article for the full breakdown of the contents on each version!
Slade, Cum On Feel the Hitz: The Best of Slade (BMG)
After a delay, this collection finally arrives in stores today. Cum On Feel The Hitz: The Best Of Slade collects more than 40 tracks across two discs from the Wolverhampton band, including 16 Top 10 hits released between 1970 and 1984. Six of them – the uniquely-spelled “Coz I Luv You,” “Take Me Bak ‘Ome,” “Mama Weer All Crazee Now,” “Cum On Feel The Noize,” “Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me” and the holiday perennial “Merry Xmas Everybody” – all topped the chart, becoming glam rock classics along the way. (While only latter-day singles like “My Oh My” and “Run Runaway” reached the Top 40 of the Billboard charts here in America, “Noize” was covered by American rockers Quiet Riot in 1983 and became a Top 5 hit in the States.) Cum On Feel The Hitz will be available in several formats: the 2CD set featuring 43 original singles; a double LP featuring 24 of those tracks in mostly chronological order (including everything on the first disc of the 2CD set), and North America-exclusive 1CD and 1LP cutdowns of each. (The make-up of the latter two sets has yet to be confirmed, but the standard double CD or vinyl are available to pre-order below.) Read more here.
The 1980 album – Ultravox’s first with Midge Ure on vocals and guitar – yielded four U.K. Top 40 singles including the No. 2 smash title track. This new 6-disc box has 66 tracks, 44 of which are previously unreleased recordings or mixes. CDs 1-5 present the original 1980 album production master, a new stereo mix by Steven Wilson, A-sides, B-sides, and live tracks, as well as previously unreleased cassette rehearsals and a newly mixed concert from St. Albans in 1980. The audio-only DVD contains a new 5.1 surround mix of the album and B-sides by Steven Wilson along with 24/96 Hi-Res audio of the new mixes and the original 1980 master and B-sides. Whew! Also available in a half-speed-mastered vinyl edition of the 1980 master featuring a bonus disc of A- and B-sides including one exclusive track not on the box, the U.S. promo edit of “Vienna.”
Various Artists, JEM Records Celebrates John Lennon (JEM)
JEM artists The Weeklings, The Midnight Callers, Jonathan Pushkar, The Gold Needles, The Grip Weeds, The Anderson Council, and Richard Barone contribute their own inventive renditions of John Lennon favorites and deep cuts (from his Beatles and solo discographies alike), totaling a baker’s dozen in all. Read our interview with JEM founder Marty Scott and liner notes author Kenneth Womack here.
Wainwright family patriarch Loudon returns with a new studio album celebrating the Great American Songbook. The wry singer-songwriter is joined by Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks for songs by his musical heroes including Irving Berlin, Fats Waller, and Frank Loesser.
Kacey Musgraves’ 2019 digital-only Christmas album featuring songs and sketch comedy in the spirit of classic television variety sees a physical release on CD and LP today. (The accompanying special is available to stream.) Tracks include “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” with James Corden, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” with Camila Cabelo, “(Not So) Silent Night” with Fred Armisen, “Mele Kalikimaka” with Zooey Deschanel, “Present Without a Bow” with Leon Bridges, “Glittery” with Troye Sivan, and solo renditions of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”