Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
In recent years, Bob Dylan’s annual copyright-extension collections have become highly sought-after collectors’ items and fodder for bootleggers everywhere. Happily, Legacy Recordings has opted to give a wide release to Dylan’s 1970 set, largely drawn from the Self Portrait sessions and featuring his loose jams with George Harrison. This 3-CD set features 74 previously unreleased tracks on 3 CDs. Read more here.
Neil Young, Way Down in the Rust Bucket [Various Formats] (Reprise)
4-LP/2-CD/DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Your Local Record Shop / Greedy Hand Online Store / Neil Young Archives
2-CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Your Local Record Shop / Greedy Hand Online Store / Neil Young Archives
4-LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Your Local Record Shop / Greedy Hand Online Store / Neil Young Archives
Way Down in the Rust Bucket is Volume 11.5 in Neil Young’s ongoing Archives Performance series and features Crazy Horse – newly reignited after the release of Ragged Glory – performing three hours of tunes at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz in preparation for an extensive world tour. The most deluxe configuration of Way Down In the Rust Bucket presents the show across 4 LPs, 2 CDs, and a DVD in a box set. Standalone 2-CD and 4-LP configurations have also been released. Digital download and streaming versions are available, including on Neil’s own Neil Young Archives platform which presents the music in its highest-possible resolution. Read more here.
The Black Crowes, Shake Your Money Maker: 30th Anniversary Edition [Various Formats] (American Recordings/UMe)
1CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
1LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
3CD: Target (U.S.) / Rough Trade (U.K.)
3CD Super Deluxe: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
4LP Super Deluxe: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
For its belated 30th anniversary – it was released in 1990 – The Black Crowes’ Shake Your Money Maker has been remastered and reissued on CD and LP in multiple formats, including deluxe and super deluxe editions. Appearing in both expanded sets will be a selection of 11 B-sides and unreleased material, including five newly-released recordings: three outtakes from the album, including intended lead single “Charming Mess,” and two demos recorded under their original name, Mr. Crowe’s Garden. A super deluxe box, consisting of three CDs or four LPs, adds an unreleased live set recorded over a brace of homecoming shows at Center Stage in the band’s native Atlanta, GA just before Christmas 1990. The box also includes replicas of a Mr. Crowe’s Garden tour flier, vintage set list and tour laminate, plus a collectible patch. David Fricke has written liner notes in the accompanying 20-page booklet. (A cutdown 3CD edition without the deluxe packaging is exclusive to Target and Rough Trade retailers in the U.S. and the U.K., respectively.) Read more here.
Henry Franklin, The Skipper (Real Gone)
Bassist Henry Franklin has an enviable musical resume, from playing with Hugh Masekela at Monterey Pop and on the chart-topping “Grazing in the Grass” to recording and performing with such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, The Three Sounds, Woody Shaw, O.C. Smith, and Al Jarreau. Franklin made his debut as a leader with 1972’s The Skipper, next up in Real Gone’s Black Jazz series. Franklin was joined on the album by a horn section consisting of trumpeter/flugelhornist Oscar Brashear (Count Basie, Earth Wind & Fire, Quincy Jones) and tenor and soprano saxophonist Charles Owens (Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, John Mayall) plus electric pianist Bill Henderson of the Masekela band and drummer Michael Carvin (Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Johnny Hartman). Franklin penned most of the album, with Henderson contributing the title track. With a sound veering from pop-inflected to funk-infused and a number of epic-length tunes, The Skipper is one of Black Jazz’s strongest entries. It arrives from Real Gone on CD and vinyl. Features remastering by Mike Milchner and liner notes by Pat Thomas.
Gene Russell, Talk to My Lady (Real Gone)
Real Gone reissues keyboardist and Black Jazz co-founder Gene Russell’s 1973 sophomore album Talk to My Lady. The album eschewed the trio format of its predecessor in favor of an electric band featuring Henry Franklin on bass, Black Jazz labelmate Calvin Keys on guitar, Charles Weaver on congas, Leon Ndugu Chancler on drums, and Eddie Gee on tambourine. As well as his own soul-jazz compositions including the title track and “Get Down,” Russell brought new flavors to contemporary favorites (Stevie Wonder’s “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and Gamble and Huff’s “Me and Mrs. Jones”) as well as classic standards (Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things,” Carl Sigman and Tadd Dameron’s “If You Could See Me Now”). Real Gone has Talk to My Lady on CD and vinyl. It’s been remastered by Mike Milchner and features new liner notes from Pat Thomas.
Real Gone Music reissues the self-titled 1973 Vanguard Records album from Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist Sivuca (1930-2006). Born Severino Dias de Oliveira, Sivuca mastered accordion, guitar, and keyboards, not to mention honing a powerful voice that earned him attention from a wide variety of fellow artists. He wrote and arranged for, and performed with, Miriam Makeba beginning in the early 1960s and toured with her and Harry Belafonte. He caught the attention of Oscar Brown, Jr., going on to star with him and serve as musical director for Brown’s off-Broadway musical Joy. His 1973 Vanguard album had much of the flavor of the Airto Moreira sides in which he guested, but with an even more all-encompassing sensibility. The LP featured his own compositions alongside a powerful cover of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” and songs by fellow Brazilian writers including Edu Lobo and Ary Barroso. For its first-ever LP reissue, Real Gone has pressed up 750 copies on purple vinyl. Vinyl Me Please also has an exclusive pressing on red and yellow swirl vinyl. Read more on Real Gone’s releases here.
Omnivore travels back to the groundbreaking early years of Richard Pryor with his self-titled debut album, originally released in 1968 on Reprise. The LP, recorded at the Troubadour, marked a move from his previous, middle-of-the-road comedy; it opened with the “Super N-er” routine and continued with piquant observations about “Girls,” “Farting,” “Smells,” and “Army Life.” The album has been expanded by Omnivore with a second disc of 21 tracks previously issued on Rhino’s box set Evolution/Revolution: The Early Years (1966-1974). Scott Saul, author of the 2014 biography Becoming Richard Pryor, writes the liner notes while Michael Graves remasters.
Omnivore also delivers an expanded and remastered CD of Richard Pryor’s Craps (After Hours). The 1971 LP was his first for Laff Records and was recorded in front of a predominantly black nightclub audience at Hollywood’s Redd Foxx Club. (Foxx, the club’s proprietor and a famously “blue” comedian, would find his greatest success starring in Sanford and Son, for which Pryor was once a writer.) In these clubs, Pryor took his art to the next level, freed of expectations and censorship. Here, he took on “Gettin’ High,” “Masturbating,” “Religion,” “White Folks,” and other controversial topics with frequently outrageous, off-color results. The 32 tracks on the original album have been joined here by four more cuts from Evolution/Revolution. The expanded release has been annotated by Scott Saul and remastered by Michael Graves. Filmmaker Larry Karaszewski provides a new introduction. Read more on both titles here.
Cherry Red’s Esoteric arm brings together both albums recorded by the Cliff Bennett-led band Toe Fat for EMI in the U.K. and Motown’s Rare Earth imprint in the U.S. plus the band’s lone Chapter One single. These hard rock gems have been well-polished for their rediscovery; read our full review of this 2-CD set here.
Josh Groban expands his 2020 album Harmony with six previously unreleased tracks including renditions of “Nature Boy,” “I Can See Clearly Now,” and “I’ll Stand by You,” the latter of which is a duet with German vocalist Helene Fischer.
While planning a new album, vocalist and onetime child star Nicolas King has looked back on his career with Act One. This starry retrospective of new and older recordings alike features a spoken introduction from Liza Minnelli, arrangements from Mike Renzi and Charles Calello, liner notes by Connie Francis, and guest appearances by Jane Monheit, Norm Lewis, and Blue Bloods star Tom Selleck (with whom King appeared in Broadway’s A Thousand Clowns). Tracks include King’s compelling renditions of such varied pop standards as “God Bless the Child,” “How Deep Is the Ocean,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Sing,” and “But Beautiful.” Act One has been out digitally but arrives in CD format today.
Willie Nelson is back with a new studio album. That’s Life is his second full-length tribute to his late friend Frank Sinatra, and features 11 more standards associated with the Chairman performed in Willie’s inimitably laid-back style. Titles include “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, “A Cottage for Sale.” Available on CD, standard black vinyl, Barnes & Noble-exclusive blue marble vinyl, and digital.
Toto’s Steve Lukather and Joseph Williams have solo albums out this week in which both gentlemen guest on the other’s record. Guitar hero Lukather is also joined by bandmate David Paich, Gregg Bissonette, and Ringo Starr…
Joseph Williams, Denizen Tenant (Players Club/Mascot) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
…while Williams’ album features Paich as well as veteran musicians Lenny Castro, Nathan East, Jay Gruska, Leland Sklar, and more. Both Lukather and Williams’ albums are available on CD, double-vinyl, and digital platforms.
Bonnie Tyler releases her 18th studio album today. The Best Is Yet to Come channels the sound of ’80s pop and features original songs alongside a selection of covers including Donovan’s “Catch the Wind” and 10cc’s “I’m Not in Love,” all rendered in Tyler’s powerful, throaty style. Available on CD and digitally.
Alice Cooper, Detroit Stories (earMUSIC)
Detroit’s own Alice Cooper returns to the Motor City for Detroit Stories. The album was recorded in Detroit with hometown heroes including Wayne Kramer (MC5), Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad), Johnny “Bee” Badanjek (Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels) and Steve Hunter (Mitch Ryder’s Detroit) plus Joe Bonamassa, while Bob Ezrin produced. Cooper also enlisted background singers and the Motor City Horns to keep the hard rock sound in a true Detroit vein. Detroit Stories is out in various formats including CD, CD/DVD (with A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris on the DVD), and various colors of vinyl including indie-exclusive red. Visit Alice’s online store for a variety of packages.
Settlement is the first Strawbs album since 2017, and it finds David Cousins, Dave Lambert, Chas Cronk, Dave Bainbridge, and Tony Fernandez living up to their versatile reputation with a diverse collection of original songs. Settlement was recorded in COVID-19 lockdown in various locations around the world, and put together and produced by Bee Gees collaborator Blue Weaver who also played with Strawbs in the 1970s. Available on CD, LP, and digitally; all formats are out today in the U.K. and due in North America on March 12.