Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Armed Forces: Super Deluxe Edition (UMe)
Elvis Costello is revisiting his 1979 album in super-sized format. Armed Forces arrives today as a deluxe, slipcased 9-disc vinyl set with three 12-inch LPs, three 10-inch LPs, and three 7-inch singles including 23 previously unreleased live tracks and the complete contents of the previous Rhino/Edsel deluxe edition (with many tracks making their debut on vinyl). It contains a new remaster by Bob Ludwig and EC of Armed Forces from the original tapes; Sketches for Emotional Fascism 10-inch, with four previously issued bonus tracks; Riot at the Regent: Live in Sydney ’78 10-inch, with six previously unreleased live tracks; Europe ’79: Live at Pinkpop 12-inch, with 13 previously unreleased live tracks; Christmas in the Dominion: Live 24th December ’78 10-inch, with four previously unreleased live tracks; Live at Hollywood High and Elsewhere 12-inch, with the 10 live tracks included on the 2002 Rhino/Edsel deluxe edition of Armed Forces; and three 7-inch singles. It’s all accompanied by seven notebooks including Costello’s updated liner notes of nearly 10,000 words and handwritten lyrics; a replica poster; and a new postcard set of EC and The Attractions. The contents of the vinyl set will also be available digitally. Get the details here.
David Bowie, Metrobolist (The Man Who Sold the World: 50th Anniversary Edition) (Parlophone)
David Bowie’s third album The Man Who Sold The World is remixed and reissued for its 50th anniversary this fall…complete with a new title. Metrobolist features a new mix of nearly the entire album by original producer Tony Visconti, available on CD, LP and high-resolution digital formats. (The sole exception: Side 1 closer “After All,” which Visconti felt he could not improve on.) This release will boast a new version of the album’s original American sleeve, featuring the original Pop Art-inspired sleeve by Mike Weller (issued after Mercury’s U.S. branch declined to use a photo featuring Bowie reclining in a Michael Fish-designed dress) and the album’s original, intended title. Bowie conceived the name as a play on Metropolis, and the original master tape box still bears that name. (The packaging will also feature outtakes from the “dress” shoot as well.) The LP pressing, on 180-gram vinyl, will feature a random distribution of color: the first 1,970 numbered copies will be pressed on white, while #1,971-2,020 will be gold. Read more here.
Wilco, Summerteeth: Deluxe Edition (Reprise/Rhino)
A 4CD and 5LP edition of Wilco’s 1999 release, packed with unreleased material, arrives from Rhino. Both formats feature a brand-new remaster of the original album by Bob Ludwig, plus two dozen previously unreleased demos, outtakes and alternate versions. Each set features a different unreleased live show as well: the CD featuring an extended, soundboard-sourced set at Colorado’s Boulder Theatre recorded on November 1, 1999 (well into the band’s tour to promote the album), while the LP includes a Tower Records gig in Chicago the week of Summerteeth‘s release, broadcast on radio station WXRT-FM and labeled here as An Unmitigated Disaster. Read more here.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Return to Greendale [Various Formats] (Reprise)
2-CD/2-LP/Blu-ray/DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Your Local Record Shop
2-CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Your Local Record Shop
2-LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Your Local Record Shop
Neil Young takes fans back to his 2003 Greendale tour with Crazy Horse on this new multi-format release. The concert film is available on video and audio formats on the 2-CD/2-LP/BD/DVD box set, while slimmed-down, music-only versions are also out on 2CD and 2LP, as well as digital, formats. Read more here!
When Rolling Stone named Athens, Georgia’s R.E.M. as America’s best band in 1987 – the same year they scored their first Top 10 hit and appeared in a documentary about the music of the city they formed in, they were quick to correct that record, giving the honor to Pylon, an alt-rock quartet that had been broken up for four years at that point. New West Records is now honoring the Pylon legacy with Pylon Box, a new 4LP set that collects the group’s first two, newly-remastered albums, 1980’s Gyrate and 1983’s Chomp – plus a new compilation of rare and unreleased cuts and the unheard Razz Tape, the group’s first-ever recording that predates their 1979 debut single. It also Includes a 200-page hardcover book. The vinyl version is out today, with a CD edition to follow next March. Check it out on Bandcamp!
The Fantastic Strings of Felix Slatkin’s lush 1961 Christmas classic arrives on CD from Real Gone Music. (It was previously available as a website exclusive but today sees wide release.) The stereo reissue has been mastered by Mike Milchner and features new liner notes by Felix’s esteemed son, Maestro Leonard Slatkin. Read more about it here.
Paul McCartney, “We All Stand Together” (MPL/Capitol/UMe) (PaulMcCartney.com)
Today, just two days shy of exactly 100 years from Rupert Bear’s first appearance, MPL/Capitol/UMe will release Paul McCartney’s “We All Stand Together” from his animated film Rupert and the Frog Song on a limited edition shaped vinyl picture disc replicating the 1984 original. The 2020 edition will also include a poster. Both “We All Stand Together” and the B-side, the song’s instrumental “Humming Version,” have been remastered at Abbey Road by Alex Wharton. Buy now from your local independent record shop or at McCartney’s website. Read more about Macca ‘n Rupert here!
Whitesnake, Love Songs (Rhino)
Continuing a series of compilations that kicked off earlier this year, Whitesnake will release a new collection, Love Songs, through Rhino. Love Songs is the middle act in the British rock group’s “Red, White and Blues” trilogy that kicked off with The Rock Album back in June. (The closer, The Blues Album, will hit stores next year.) Like that collection, Love Songs is centered on a theme – romance, as you could guess from the title – and like The Rock Album, every track on here has been “revisited, remixed and remastered.” Its 15 tracks span from 1987-2011, including previously unreleased tracks from frontman David Coverdale. Read more here.
The late Italian maestro Ennio Morricone is celebrated with a new collection of his lesser-known works, including seven previously unreleased tracks. Morricone Segreto (or Secret Morricone) features 27 tracks recorded between the late 1960s and early 1980s which promise to blend pop, psychedelia, and his more avant-garde leanings. Available on CD, 2-LP vinyl, and digital/streaming platforms.
Shortly before his death in 2012 at age 91, jazz piano legend Dave Brubeck laid down a set of lullabies for his grandchildren. His final studio recording, that heartwarming tape is now seeing the light of day. The Verve release Lullabies features such classic songs as “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” “Over the Rainbow,” “Danny Boy,” and “Brahms Lullaby.” Available on CD, vinyl, and streaming.
Harbinger Records has unearthed a true treasure: a private-press recording made by late composer Harvey Schmidt (The Fantasticks, 110 in the Shade, I Do! I Do!) in 1975 as a Christmas gift for his friends. The album features Schmidt on piano sharing classic songs including “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “My Favorite Things,” and other standards by Harry Warren, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, and others. It’s a spellbinding, intimate collection from one of musical theatre’s great artists.
The Savoy 10-inch Collection, highlighting the legendary Charlie Parker’s pioneering bebop recordings for Savoy Records from 1944-1948, comes to CD today. Previously released by Craft Recordings only on LP, the set features performances by jazz legends Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, John Lewis, Bud Powell, Max Roach and more.
Dame Shirley Bassey, I Owe It All to You (Decca)
Dame Shirley Bassey returns with a “grand finale” album to her recording career. I Owe It All to You is available in two versions on CD: a standard edition and a deluxe edition. The latter promises an “expanded booklet featuring archive material and highlights from Dame Shirley Bassey’s incredible career.” Both editions appear to feature 14 tracks including familiar titles like “I Made It Through the Rain,” “Always on My Mind,” “Smile,” “Maybe This Time,” “Almost Like Being in Love,” and “Who Wants to Live Forever,” all in the Bassey style. Available November 6 in the U.K.; the standard edition looks to be released November 6 in the U.S. while the deluxe edition will not arrive until January 8, 2021.
The hit West End revival of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins was halted in March by COVID-19, but its live cast recording was thankfully preserved earlier. This new album stars Zizi Strallen as the magical nanny, Charlie Stemp as Bert, and the legendary Petula Clark as The Bird Woman. The stage version of the classic book and film features The Sherman Brothers’ beloved movie tunes as well as George Stiles and Anthony Drewe’s new songs in that joyful spirit. Available on CD and digital formats.
In the Bay Area, the Uptones were the leading light of the mid-’80s ska eruption. Their impact upon the evolving ska scene was enormous. In a sense, they bridged the era of the Specials and Madness with the era of Green Day, Sublime, and Rancid. Check out this set, subtitled The Early Recordings, out today from the new label Liberation Hall.
Liberation Hall also serves up this slice of new wave rock from the San Francisco ensemble originally known as the Jack Casady Band. SVT is what happened when the Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna mainstay ventured into the city’s punk/new wave scene and was influenced by its energy. This reissue of SVT’s long out-of-print 1981 album contains never-heard bonus tracks.
Kylie Minogue, Disco (BMG) [Various Formats]
Kylie Minogue’s fifteenth studio album blends her influences from 1970s and 1980s dance music with modern club rhythms. Minogue, who co-wrote all of the songs on the album, finished it in lockdown. It’s available in a variety of formats including Standard & Deluxe Edition CDs, vinyl, download/streaming, and a Japan-exclusive CD with two bonus remixes.
Want to impress the Anglophile pop lover in your life? Drop this beautiful coffee table book under the Christmas tree, and that loved one won’t be disappointed. In this exquisite, LP-sized 268-page tome, author Andy Neill has explored every aspect of Ready Steady Go!, the famed British pop-rock show that aired on ITV Friday evenings in Great Britain between August 1963 and December 1966. While RSG! only lasted a relatively short period of time, its impact on music television was tremendous. It attracted the day’s top talents from both sides of the Atlantic including The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Burt Bacharach, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Walker Brothers, The Dave Clark Five, Them, and Simon & Garfunkel. Neill’s comprehensive and compelling oral history features memories from behind-the-scenes personnel (creator Elkan Allen, director Michael Lindsay-Hogg) and performers (Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, Ray Davies, Lulu) alike. It’s all illustrated with countless photographs in both color and B&W, and culminates in a complete Episode Guide listing all of the musical performances. The Weekend Starts Here explores the period leading up to the program, the many risks it took, and its influence on shows that followed. Cue up your favorite Swingin’ London soundtrack and dig into this definitive chronicle which also makes for an ideal holiday gift.