Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up! To our U.S. readers, we hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and to our readers around the world, we hope you’re staying safe and enjoying a lot of great music in these most challenging of times.
Our friends at Real Gone Music have a Christmas-green color vinyl edition of Cee Lo’s Magic Moment, the 2012 holiday album by neo-soul icon Cee Lo Green. Boasting an eclectic range of Christmas-themed tunes (among them “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “White Christmas,” Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas,” and even Joni Mitchell’s “River”) and guest appearances by Rod Stewart, Trombone Shorty, Christina Aguilera, and The Muppets, it’s a joyous album through and through. Now the album comes to vinyl for the first time in a festive green-hued colorway with a printed inner sleeve. This edition is limited to 1,000 units.
Vanessa Carlton’s Be Not Nobody saw the classically-trained pianist show off her chops as an instrumentalist, songwriter and singer of considerable talent. Be Not Nobody, including “A Thousand Miles,” will be pressed on red vinyl and housed in a gatefold sleeve, in an edition of only 1,300 copies. Barnes and Noble has an exclusive “gold melt vinyl” variant here.
Today’s the North American release date for this collection from the “Fool If You Think It’s Over” singer. Era 1 has 51 songs on 3 CDs including single edits, remixes, alternate and extended versions, foreign-language tracks, and more.
BMG has a new box set from the U.K. retro-rock and roll icon. Fire in the Blood boasts an impressive 19 discs collecting 13 studio albums, 2 live sets, and 4 rarities discs. The 12 x 12 hardback book also contains new liner notes by Paul Sexton, a hand-signed autograph from Shakin’ Stevens, three art prints, a poster, the sheet music to “Oh Julie!” (the Shakin’ classic covered by Barry Manilow), and a replica tour program. With a wealth of classics, rarities, and previously unreleased material, this very reasonably priced set looks to be the definitive survey of the Stevens discography. Singled Out, a 3-CD, 54-song singles collection, is also out today from BMG.
The Green Day frontman steps into the solo spotlight for this album recorded in lockdown. No Fun Mondays, available on CD, LP, and digital formats, has his stripped-down covers of favorite songs including “Manic Monday,” “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Gimme Some Truth,” and “That Thing You Do!”
During COVID-19, Jimmy Buffett has been asking fans which deep cuts they’d like to hear him perform. After having received thousands of requests, Buffett began re-recording the rare tracks and shooting music videos for them with his daughter Delaney directing. Now, he’s compiled 15 of these Songs You Don’t Know by Heart (including “Twelve Volt Man,” “Peanut Butter Conspiracy,” and “Tin Cup Chalice”) on a new, quarantine-recorded CD featuring The Coral Reefer Band.
The good folks at Liberation Hall are teaming with Dr. Demento for this collection of some of the earliest comedy and novelty records out there. First Century Dementia has 24 vintage recordings originally released between 1895 and 1923 – yes, you read that right! – restored from 78 RPM discs. It includes performances from Bert Williams, Gallagher and Shean (in part, the inspirations for Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys), Eddie Cantor, and others. The booklet features new liner notes from the good Dr. himself. A vinyl version is also available today as part of the Record Store Day Black Friday event. Autographed copies of the CD are available directly from Dr. Demento.
Cherry Red’s El label takes a deep dive into the psychedelic world of The Free Design, sort of an underground Association – or sunshine pop, New York City-style. (Most of their material was recorded with Phil Ramone at his A&R Studios.) This 4-CD slipcased box features seven complete albums and bonus mono mixes and rarities. The group’s rich harmony versions of such songs as “The 59th Street Bridge Song,” “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” “Happy Together,” “California Dreamin’,” and “Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street” only tell part of the group’s fascinating story. This box set reveals it all.
Multi-instrumentalist and original Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips began compiling his soundtrack and library music work back in 1989 with the first volume of Missing Links; three more volumes were released through 2009. Now, Phillips has brought those four volumes together with an exclusive Volume V for Esoteric’s new 5-CD box set. This deluxe presentation adds a squarebound 64-page booklet with liner notes and commentary on each varied track; James Collins has newly mastered each disc.
Cherry Red’s HNE imprint has been steadily remastering and restoring the catalogue of Graham Bonnet (Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Alcatrazz, The Michael Schenker Group). This new 5-CD box set collects the singer’s first four solo albums, the “lost” 1974 set intended to be his debut but ultimately unheard until 2016, and the rarities collection Reel to Real. While all of this material save the Here Comes the Night album has been previously reissued by HNE, this collection does those versions one better. The once-shelved Back Row in the Stalls has been expanded and newly sourced from a master tape (the past reissue was derived from a cassette copy believed to be all that remained of the album) and Reel to Real has also been sonically upgraded in 2020.