An unusual amount of news broke this morning, so another installment of Short Takes is here to cover it all in bite-sized nuggets!
The third volume of David Bowie’s Brilliant Live Adventures series is now available for pre-order in 1CD and 2LP editions. Liveandwell.com was culled from performances in New York, Amsterdam, and Rio de Janeiro during Bowie’s Earthling tour and first issued in 2000 as a website-exclusive release for subscribers to Bowienet. This expanded and remastered edition offers new, improved cover artwork as well as two bonus tracks from the 1997 12-inch single The Tao Jones Index: “Pallas Athena” and “V-2 Schneider,” both from the Amsterdam performance of June 10, 1997. (However, this release drops the bonus CD of Liveandwell.com which featured four bonus remixes.) The new cover photo was taken by Scarlet Page during rehearsals for Bowie’s June 1997 Hanover Grand shows in London. Liveandwell.com was produced by Bowie, co-produced by Reeves Gabrels and Mark Plati, and mixed by Plati. The band consists of Bowie (vocals, guitar, saxophone), Gabrels (guitar, synthesizer, vocals), Gail Ann Dorsey (bass, keyboards, vocals), Zachary Alford (drums), and Mike Garson (piano, keyboard, synthesizer). It’s available now for purchase from DavidBowie.com or Rhino.com, and is expected to ship on or around January 13, 2021.
Burt Bacharach, 92 years young, hasn’t let lockdown slow him down. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Bacharach has been writing and recording new music as well as performing virtually in support of Democratic candidates throughout the country. Bacharach has just received a Grammy Award nomination for Blue Umbrella, co-written and co-produced with Nashville-based Daniel Tashian, and recently made available as a physical CD from Sony Japan with two additional tracks. But before Blue Umbrella, the legendary composer teamed with talented singer-songwriter Melody Federer for “Bridges,” produced by Tashian and released in January 2020. Bacharach then recorded their politically-minded song “The Great Divide” as a solo single. Now, Bacharach and Federer have reunited for “The Sun Also Rises,” a beautiful, elegant new single with stately piano played by Bacharach, haunting strings, and a hopeful spirit in the face of darkness. It’s all for a worthy cause: a portion of the proceeds for “The Sun Also Rises” will go to Conservation International to fight climate change. They’ve teamed up with photographer Roger Fishman for the music video which features his film footage of nature in Iceland, Greenland, and Antarctica. “My kids Oliver and Raleigh are in their ’20s,” Bacharach commented. “Looking at what their future holds in store for them, with this radical change in climate, the effects that we’re seeing now and what we’ll see in the future, we must do something now to make it better and change things.” The music video is available here at YouTube while the track is available for purchase, download, and streaming from digital providers everywhere. (Here’s the audio-only YouTube link.)
Like Burt Bacharach, Willie Nelson, 87, hasn’t stopped making music despite the challenges of 2020. The country hero has announced his latest album, and it’s a direct sequel to his 2018 Grammy-winning salute to his friend Frank Sinatra, My Way. On February 26, Legacy Recordings will release That’s Life, featuring his laid-back renditions of another eleven songs closely associated with the Chairman of the Board. In addition to the famous title track, the album includes such standards as “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “You Make Me Feel So Young,” “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” “Luck Be a Lady,” and the first single (now streaming just in time for Sinatra’s birthday tomorrow, December 12), “A Cottage for Sale.” That’s Life was primarily recorded at Sinatra’s stomping grounds of Capitol Studios in Hollywood, produced by Buddy Cannon and Matt Rollings, and mixed by Al Schmitt and Niko Bolas. Orchestrations were provided by Kristin Wilkinson (strings) and Chris McDonald (horns). The cover painting of Nelson and his beloved Trigger is by Paul Mann. That’s Life will be available on CD, LP, and digital platforms at Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada.
That’s not our only Sinatra-related news today. Frank Sinatra Enterprises and UMe have launched a digital series entitled Reprise Rarities to celebrate his founding of the venerable Reprise label in 1960. While these tracks (many of which were originally unissued) have been previously released on CD, many of these “deep cuts” from the Sinatra discography are making their digital/streaming debuts with Reprise Rarities Vol. 1. A SiriusXM special dedicated to the release begins airing today on the Siriusly Sinatra channel. The first volume consists of the following songs:
- In the Blue of Evening (March 21, 1961 – first issued on I Remember Tommy Reprise reissue, 1993)
- As You Desire Me (November 20, 1961 – first issued on Sinatra & Strings Reprise/Warner-Pioneer (Japan) reissue, 1984)
- Don’t Take Your Love from Me (November 21, 1961 – first issued on Sinatra & Strings Reprise/Warner-Pioneer (Japan) reissue, 1984)
- Name It and It’s Yours (November 22, 1961 – Reprise single B-side, 1961)
- Come Waltz with Me (January 17, 1961 – first issued on All Alone Reprise/Warner-Pioneer reissue (Japan), 1985)
- Everybody’s Twistin’ (February 27, 1962 – Reprise single A-side, 1962)
- I Left My Heart in San Francisco (August 27, 1962 – from withdrawn Reprise single B-side, 1962; issued same year in Japan and France)
- You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me (February 21, 1963 – Reprise single A-side, 1963)
- Come Fly with Me (October 11, 1965 – this version first issued on The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings, Reprise, 1995)
- I’ll Never Smile Again (October 11, 1965 – this version first issued on The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings, Reprise, 1995)
- Younger Than Springtime (September 20, 1967 -from Movin’ with Nancy, Reprise, 1967)
- Everything Happens to Me (September 24, 1974 – first issued on The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings, Reprise, 1995)
- Just As Though You Were Here (September 24, 1974 – first issued on The Reprise Collection, Reprise, 1990)
This new compilation is available now for download and streaming at Amazon.com and all other digital providers!