Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Cherry Red’s Grapefruit imprint brings together Tommy James and The Shondells’ 1966-1973 recordings for Roulette Records (including James’ solo Roulette LPs) on this 6-CD box set. The set features liner notes by Bob Fisher and mastering by Simon Murphy. Read the track listing and more here, and watch this space for a review later today!
Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul’s 2017 concert at Liverpool’s Cavern Club gets a standalone release as a CD/DVD set; the audio was previously available on LP only (as part of the Soulfire Live box set) and the video on DVD and BD (in the Soulfire Live release). The concert has Little Steven’s big band tearing through songs introduced or performed by The Beatles including “Magical Mystery Tour,” “Birthday,” “Got to Get You Into My Life,” “Boys,” and “Slow Down.” The band’s performance of “I Saw Her Standing There” with Paul McCartney at London’s Roundhouse is an added attraction.
The 3-CD Soulfire Live! set is being expanded to 4 CDs with the addition of the Cavern Club concert Macca to Mecca! as its fourth disc. Soulfire Live! was culled from Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul’s performances across both North America and Europe and featured original material as well as numerous covers of the songs that shaped Van Zandt’s life and career. Special guests heard on the set include Bruce Springsteen, Richie Sambora, Peter Wolf, Moby Grape’s Jerry Miller, and Mike Stoller of the legendary Leiber-Stoller songwriting team. Read more about both Little Steven releases here.
Bob Marley, Songs of Freedom: The Island Years (Tuff Gong/Island/UMe)
A new edition of the 1992 Bob Marley box set Songs of Freedom will be released on CD and vinyl. While that original collection spanned Marley’s entire recording career, including a decade’s worth of pre-Island material, this set eschews those licensed tracks; Songs of Freedom: The Island Years drops from four CDs to three, but offers a similar assortment of hits, album cuts, rare single sides and remixes as the original box did. (A 6LP edition will also be available, in both standard black and Jamaican flag colored vinyl, with two red, yellow and green discs apiece. It marks the set’s first vinyl release outside of Jamaica.) Read more here.
Sunset Blvd. has a vinyl-only collection of the best of singer-songwriter-guitarist and Textones co-founder Carla Olson’s collaborations with ex-Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor. Sway features highlights from their live album Too Hot for Snakes as well as Olson’s Within an Ace, Reap the Whirlwind, and The Ring of Truth. Limited to 2,000 opaque red vinyl copies and not available on CD or digital platforms.
Liberation Hall reissues and expands the 2002 power-pop album Turn It Around from Hutch, the trio featuring Joe Hutchinson (singer-songwriter-guitarist), Glenn Hays (bassist), and Thom Sullivan (drummer). This reissue has five bonus tracks including demos and early versions.
Indie-country pop outfit Beachwood Sparks offers this look back at the band in 1999-2000 including some of the only proper studio recordings to feature the band’s original guitarist/singer, the late Josh Schwartz. These recordings were made with producer Michael Deming in L.A. before the band signed to Sub Pop and Schwartz departed the line-up. Two of the tracks were released in 1999 but the others have remained in the vault until now. A live recording from Green Bay in 2000 is also included.
This 2005 benefit album for relief in New Orleans – featuring Allen Toussaint, Randy Newman, Dr. John, Irma Thomas, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and other Crescent City luminaries – is expanded on vinyl with a fourth side of five outtakes from Dr. John, Buckwheat Zydeco and Ry Cooder, Dr. Michael White, Davell Crawford, and The Wardell Quezergue Orchestra featuring Donald Harrison.
Sunset Blvd. brings together 46 tracks on two CDs from the first 20 years of the late “Treat Her Right” singer’s career.
Burt Bacharach and Daniel Tashian’s Grammy-nominated Blue Umbrella – an understated, melancholy yet hopeful masterpiece of classic songwriting melded with a contemporary sensibility – has already been expanded once before with two additional songs (“21st Century Man” and “Quiet Place”) for a Japan-only CD release and on digital services. Now, two final songs – “Traveling Light” and “Can’t Go Wrong” – have arrived digitally to complete the nine-song album. The former is a gorgeously languid, moody ballad with Bacharach’s signature horn sound (Mike Haynes plays the yearning trumpet solo which recalls the composer’s adventurous 1970s work) while the latter is a stately rumination on love and friendship in which the singer professes “you can’t go wrong/filling somebody’s world with a song.” No truer words have ever been spoken, or sung. Now how about a complete, complete version on CD and vinyl? Please?
Past and present collide on the exuberant fourth single from Melissa Manchester’s upcoming studio album RE:VIEW in which the singer revisits her Grammy Award-winning hit “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.” Manchester vividly captures the optimistic spirit of the song as she recasts it as an anthem for the hopes and promise of the present day. Listen here or at any digital/streaming service, and watch the new music video here!