Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
The Complete Atlantic Singles 1968-1971brings together Dusty Springfield’s 24 U.S. single sides released during her tenure at Atlantic. These tracks have been remastered from the original mono tapes by Mike Milchner at Sonic Vision, and all but the eight sides pulled from Dusty in Memphis have never before appeared on CD in these original mixes. TSD’s Joe Marchese provides the new liner notes based on his interviews with Jeff Barry, Thom Bell, and Kenny Gamble.
Norma Tanega’s 1966 folk-pop classic returns to CD in a remastered and expanded edition from Real Gone Music. This new presentation of the Bob Crewe-produced album features the original artwork (which was replaced on prior CD issues) and has been sourced from high-resolution files of the original masters. It also includes two non-LP bonus tracks: the mono singles of “Bread” and “Run, On the Run.” Read more about the Dusty and Tanega releases here.
Snapper Music celebrates blues great John Mayall with an expansive new box set. The First Generation 1965-1974, a 35-CD collection boasts newly remastered editions of 24 albums – many supplemented with bonus tracks – plus a trio of CD singles and plenty of unreleased material. Among that rare audio are 7 concert recordings recorded in Europe from 1967 to 1970 making their CD debut, as well as 28 unreleased tracks from the BBC archives. The box set will also include a hardbound book with rare images and memorabilia, a book of fan club correspondence, two replica posters, a replica press pack for John Mayall Plays John Mayall, and a signed photograph. Read more here.
Released just this past August and noted as 2020’s best-selling classical album, John Williams in Vienna presented the five-time Oscar winner leading the Weiner Philharmoniker and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter – the soloist on 2018’s Across the Stars collaboration album – from the stage of The Musikverein in Austria, considered one of the world’s finest-sounding stages. Williams (who turns 89 next week) ably led the ensemble through a stirring set of thematic favorites (JAWS, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park) as well as some comparatively deeper cuts featuring Mutter’s violin, including themes from Cinderella Liberty, The Witches of Eastwick, and Far and Away. While the latter portion of a deluxe CD/Blu-ray included six additional performances not on the audio disc, this new “Live Edition” features not only those performances across two CDs, but Williams’ own commentary between performances as well. Read more here.
The soundtrack to Nora Ephron’s beloved 1993 romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle returns on vinyl from Real Gone Music. The score was composed by Marc Shaiman, and the soundtrack album featured classic standards from artists such as Louis Armstrong, Nat “King” Cole, Gene Autry, and Jimmy Durante. Also on the album were standards performed by contemporary artists like Carly Simon, Dr. John, Joe Cocker, Harry Connick, Jr. and the pair of Celine Dion and Clive Griffin. Dion and Griffin’s version of “When I Fall in Love” would hit No. 6 on the Billboard AC chart. Real Gone debuted Sleepless in Seattle on vinyl in 2017; this pressing is limited to 1,500 copies and pressed on “Valentine’s” red vinyl.
Real Gone reissues composer-arranger-conductor Bill Loose’s soundtrack to Russ Meyer’s 1970 sex comedy Cherry… & Harry and Raquel starring Larissa Ely, Linda Ashton, and Charles Napier. For this score, Loose was joined by composer Stu Phillips for garage pop tune “Toys of Our Time,” which appears on the soundtrack in mono and stereo versions. This LP is mastered at 45 RPM and available in two limited editions: cherry red vinyl limited to 750 copies and pink bubblegum vinyl limited to 200 copies. The 200-copy limited edition is only available from Real Gone’s website.
Real Gone reissues composer Bill Loose’s score to Russ Meyer’s sexploitation flick Vixen on limited edition green vinyl. The Erica Gavin-starring movie was the first to receive an “X” rating for a sex scene. Vixen is mastered at 45 RPM and comes in neon green vinyl limited to 750 copies and bubblegum pink vinyl limited to 200 copies, with the latter edition only available at Real Gone’s website.
In the 1960s, guitarist Calvin Keys supported famed jazz organists including Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Jack McDuff, and Richard “Groove” Holmes. Wanting to play with a piano player on his debut as a leader, he brought in Larry Nash for 1971’s Black Jazz Records release Shawn-Neeq. They were joined by bassist Lawrence Evans, drummer Bob Braye, and flautist-songwriter Owen Marshall. Real Gone Music reissues this lost 1971 classic on CD, standard black vinyl, and clear with black-splatter vinyl available directly through RGM’s website.
Saxophonist Rudolph Johnson made his debut as a leader for Black Jazz Records with Spring Rain. Now Real Gone Music brings that 1971 gem to CD and vinyl. Johnson’s style was compared to John Coltrane’s and on Spring Rain he blends bebop and Blue Note-stylings while mixing in soul jazz and groove funk. He was joined on the album by drummer Raymond Pounds, pianist John Barnes, and bassist Reggie Jackson. Available on CD, standard vinyl, and clear-with-splatter vinyl. The latter format is strictly limited to 200 copies and is for sale directly from RGM’s website. Read more about Real Gone’s soundtrack and Black Jazz releases here!
Want to catch up on The Weeknd before this week(e)nd’s Super Bowl festivities? XO and Republic are releasing what’s become a rare sight – a physical greatest-hits collection – in advance of the Big Game, featuring a selection of his hits and favorites (he’s notched 35 top 40s on the Billboard Hot 100) including collaborations with Daft Punk, Ariana Grande, and Kendrick Lamar.
Bob Marley, Songs of Freedom: The Island Years (Tuff Gong/Island/UMe)
After a brief delay from last Friday, a new edition of the 1992 Bob Marley box set Songs of Freedom arrives today 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.
Music on Vinyl brings the 1968 Original Broadway Cast Recording of Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni, and James Rado’s groundbreaking “American tribal love rock musical” – featuring Melba Moore, Ronnie Dyson, Diane Keaton, and Paul Jabara – back to vinyl. This presentation is pressed on two 180-gram LPs, the second time the complete version of the score has been released on vinyl following Analog Spark’s 2018 audiophile-quality release (which was a Barnes & Noble exclusive in the United States). The first LP is on green and yellow swirl vinyl while the second is on orange and yellow. The jacket is housed in a protective PVC sleeve and also includes an eight-page booklet of liner notes and photos. The cover artwork most closely resembles the original U.K. release; the U.S. version had the label’s mascot Nipper in the upper right corner. This edition is limited to 2,000 individually numbered units. Read more here.
Fine Young Cannibals, Fine Young Cannibals / The Raw and The Cooked: Expanded Editions (London Records)
London Records has a pair of 2-CD expanded editions from Fine Young Cannibals of the band’s two albums. Their self-titled 1985 debut gains 29 bonus tracks including B-sides, live tracks, and remixes; 1989’s The Raw and The Cooked adds 22 bonuses, among them B-sides and remixes by David Z, Arthur Baker, Dimitri from Paris, Ploeg Club, Prince Paul, Youth, and Seth Troxler. The original albums are also being reissued on vinyl.
Omnivore unveils a 1982 live recording from the Austin, Texas-by-way-of-South-Carolina heroes Uncle Walt’s Band, a.k.a. Walter Hyatt, Champ Hood, and David Ball. Excerpts from this show were originally released on a private-press LP; now, those seven tracks have been joined by four previously unreleased alternate takes and a further ten previously unreleased performances. It’s all been newly cleaned up and restored by mastering engineer Michael Graves for this splendid package which includes liner notes from Peter Blackstock.
Liberation Hall reissues the 2001 album from the power-pop trio but with some changes to the original sequence: “Ledonia B” and “Apology” have been dropped, while “(When You Had Your) Hair” and “She’s Probably With Him Now” have been added. The original bonus track “A Million Dollars for Christmas” has been retained.
Singer-songwriter and piano man A.J. Croce returns with his first all-covers set. By Request features his renditions of such classic songs as The Five Stairsteps’ “Ooh Child,” The Beach Boys’ “Sail On Sailor,” Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” Allen Toussaint’s “Brickyard Blues,” and Randy Newman’s “Have You Seen My Baby.” The latter takes on special meaning for Croce as the first concert he attended was a double bill featuring Newman and his father Jim. He says of Newman, “I love so much of his music, and while this is by no means my favorite of his, it’s been a request at soirées. I sort of treated it as if Little Richard sat in with The Flaming Groovies and played it like I was 15, with reckless abandon.” Available on CD, vinyl, and digitally.
The U.K.’s Sepia label has 60 rare radio performances from Bing Crosby including songs with guests Perry Como, Dinah Shore, Lindsay Crosby, Mildred Bailey, Arthur Godfrey, Tommy Dorsey, Bob Hope, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Patti Page, and The Mills Brothers. All of these tracks are available due to U.K. public domain laws. Based on past Sepia releases, this should be another worthwhile time capsule for Crosby fans. The label also has rarities-packed titles out this week from The Andrews Sisters (Club 15 from Hollywood Presents The Andrews Sisters) and Eddie Fisher (Songs from Stage and Screen).