Welcome to our first Release Round-Up of 2021!
Live ’83 presents a treasured Blue Oyster Cult concert from Perkins Palace in Pasadena on CD for the first time ever following the gatefold, 2-LP edition on blue with black swirl vinyl for Record Store Day Black Friday 2020. Originally recorded for radio broadcast, tapes of this show have circulated among fans for decades and have become a go-to for fans eager to show what makes the band a true rock powerhouse. Now fans can throw away their bootlegs as the show becomes available in a fully authorized set with new liner notes and rare photography. This is a must have for any classic rock aficionado.
Real Gone’s Black Jazz campaign has its first release of 2021: a reissue on CD and LP from late bassist Cleveland Eaton of The Ramsey Lewis Band. Plenty Good Eaton showcased him as a leader on a mélange of funky, soulful fusion styles. He was supported by keyboardist Odell Brown, percussionist Morris Jennings, and Black Jazz labelmates Steve Galloway and Arie Brown. Pat Thomas has provided the new liner notes while Mike Milchner has remastered.
Grateful Dead Road Trips, Vol. 2, No. 4: Cal Expo ’93 features the band live at Cal Expo Amphitheatre at the State Fairgrounds in Sacramento. The set features highlights from a three-night run in Sacramento in 1993 that is often regarded as a peak performance by that final lineup of the Grateful Dead. Previously only available to Deadheads through the band’s online shop, the 2-CD set now makes its general retail debut for fans everywhere.
Real Gone continues the long, strange trip with the reissue of the 3-CD set Road Trips Vol. 4 No. 5 featuring the Grateful Dead’s show at the Boston Music Hall on June 9, 1976. The long-out-of-print final entry in the Road Trips series spotlights one night of a four-night jaunt during the Dead’s return to stage after a 20-month break. With rare material like “Franklin’s Tower,” “Crazy Fingers,” and a lengthy “St. Stephen” this June 6, 1976 concert remains a fan favorite, and with good reason. This collection features the full show – both sets and the encore – as well as highlights from the June 12, 1976 concert at the same venue. Out of print since its original limited online-only run, the concert is now resurrected for regular retail. Read more about both Dead titles here.
Demon’s Crimson label continues its budget-priced, music-packed Gold series with this 3-CD, 50-song anthology drawn from the Columbia/Sony catalogue of Mott the Hoople and its frontman, Ian Hunter. Includes “All the Young Dudes,” “Honaloochie Boogie,” “Sweet Jane,” “Once Bitten, Twice Shy,” “All-American Alien Boy,” and more.
After spending 77 weeks (!) in the U.K. top 10, Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi now holds the record for the most consecutive weeks in that region of the Official Albums Chart by a solo artist. His success isn’t limited to the U.K., however, as he’s scored smash hits internationally including a U.S. No. 1 single with “Someone You Loved” and a top ten with “Before You Go.” (Both went to No. 1 in the U.K.!) He’s now expanding the 15-track Deluxe Edition of his 2019 debut (and only) album with a second disc featuring a dozen live tracks from his sold-out Wembley Arena concerts.
Barry Gibb has teamed with an illustrious array of Nashville artists to celebrate the Bee Gees’ songbook. Vol. 1, Greenfields, was recorded in Nashville with producer Dave Cobb and features such artist-song pairings as Keith Urban on “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You,” Dolly Parton on “Words,” Brandi Carlile on “Run to Me,” Allison Krauss on “Too Much Heaven,” Sheryl Crow on “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” and Olivia Newton-John on “Rest Your Love on Me.” Other performers include Little Big Town, Tommy Emanuel, Jason Isbell, Jay Buchanan, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, and Miranda Lambert. Available on CD, digital, and vinyl. U.S. retailer Target has a deluxe edition with two bonus tracks (“With the Sun in My Eyes” and “Morning of My Life”) on both CD and vinyl.
Various Artists, Ben Bagley’s Jerome Kern Revisited Vol. 3 (Kritzerland)
Kritzerland has announced its first release of 2020 from its ongoing Ben Bagley reissue series. Jerome Kern Revisited Vol. 3 celebrates the timeless composer with a typically eclectic cast including Kaye Ballard, Dody Goodman, Ann Hampton Callaway, and Armelia McQueen. Kritzerland has added four bonus tracks and spruced up the sound, too. This release is limited to 500 units and will ship by the third week of February; however, pre-orders placed directly through the label typically arrive weeks earlier.
Joe Pernice of indie-rock group The Pernice Brothers releases a rather unexpected new solo CD today. As the title and cover artwork hint, Could It Be Magic features eight favorites associated with Barry Manilow – including songs co-written by Manilow (“Could It Be Magic,” “Even Now”) and popularized by him (Randy Edelman’s “Weekend in New England,” Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel’s “Ready to Take a Chance Again,” David Pomeranz’s “Tryin’ to Get the Feeling Again,” Ian Hunter’s “Ships”) including the inevitable “Mandy.” Happily, there’s no irony present in Pernice’s stripped-down, intimate, acoustic renditions of the onetime AM radio staples: just his fragile, haunted, and aching voice digging deep into the beautiful melodies and heartbreaking lyrics. Recasting Manilow’s oeuvre as angsty yet tender alt-rock laments with sensitivity and vulnerability alike, Pernice distills the raw essence of these familiar compositions and reveals their enduring, innate strength. Could it be magic?