Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Neil Young, Young Shakespeare (Reprise) [Various Formats]
CD/DVD/LP box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Greedy Hand
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Greedy Hand
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Greedy Hand
DVD: Greedy Hand
Digital: Neil Young Archives (Streaming) / XStream (Digital Download) / Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Young Shakespeare documents the earliest known filmed live concert footage of Neil Young, in an array of formats. The previously unreleased, solo acoustic show was filmed in Stratford, Connecticut in 1971, as Young was preparing his commercial breakthrough, Harvest, and just two months after the release of After the Gold Rush. He treated the audience to a number of favorites, including “Cowgirl in the Sand,” “Down By the River,” recent CSNY cuts “Ohio” and Helpless,” and selections from After the Gold Rush and the gestating Harvest. There will be a CD edition and an LP configuration available from all retailers. A deluxe box set edition will also be pressed up, featuring the CD, vinyl, and DVD. A note for digital audiophiles: if you purchase any of these versions from Greedy Hand, you’ll get free hi-res digital downloads of the album. A standalone DVD will also be available to through the Greedy Hand Store. Get more information here.
Recorded across various venues on The Jacksons’ North American Triumph tour in summer 1981, Live reflected Michael’s rising superstardom as it included Motown and Epic tracks alongside solo songs from Michael’s solo breakthrough Off the Wall. A double album in its original issue, it will not be expanded on this 2-LP reissue. Read more here about Live, and here about the ongoing Jacksons reissue campaign.
Gerry Beckley, Keeping the Light On: The Best of Gerry Beckley (Blue Élan)
The first ever retrospective of the America co-founder’s solo career, Keeping the Light On: The Best of Gerry Beckley will arrive in 2-CD and 2-LP formats via the Blue Élan label. For its 20 varied and richly melodic selections, Keeping the Light On draws from Beckley’s solo albums including 1995’s Van Go Gan, 2006’s Horizontal Fall, 2009’s Happy Hour, 2011’s Unfortunate Casino, 2016’s Carousel, and 2019’s Five Mile Road. The tracks feature his collaborations with such treasured musical partners as Robert Lamm, Hank Linderman, Jeff Larson, Bill Mumy, Jeffrey Foskett, and the late Carl Wilson. The fully remastered collection will be available as a 2-CD set with a 44-page booklet containing photographs taken by Beckley over the past decades. Additionally, it will be pressed as 2-LP set on translucent vinyl and limited edition marble vinyl. All pre-orders placed directly from the label will be fulfilled with a bonus CD featuring nine tracks of Beckley compositions (including America staples “Sister Golden Hair” and “Daisy Jane”) performed by a roster of contemporary indie female artists. Read more here.
Joe Strummer, Assembly [Various Formats] (Dark Horse/BMG)
The late George Harrison’s Dark Horse label (now under the stewardship of Dhani Harrison and David Zonshine) relaunches with the release of Assembly from The Clash’s late frontman Joe Strummer (1952-2002). The newly-curated collection will be available on gatefold double-vinyl (in standard black and limited-edition red) as well as CD and download/streaming. The 16-track anthology, newly remastered by Beatles associate Paul Hicks, draws from Strummer’s solo catalogue including fan favorites such as “Coma Girl” and “Johnny Appleseed” as well as covers (Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”) and soundtrack one-offs (“Love Kills,” from 1986’s Sid and Nancy). While Strummer only released one proper solo album in his lifetime, he scored soundtracks, contributed songs to other films and compilations, and made appearances with such diverse musical partners as Michael Hutchence, Jools Holland, and Johnny Cash. His best-known work outside of The Clash includes numerous albums as Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros; he also recorded with his group The Latino Rockabilly War. Three previously unreleased tracks are featured here. Get more details here.
Cherry Red’s Esoteric imprint reissues the debut solo album from Yes’ Jon Anderson. The 1976 Olias of Sunhillow anticipated Anderson’s ventures into new age territory with its progressive, sci-fi opus. It’s been reissued as a CD/DVD set with the album remastered from the original stereo tapes on both CD and DVD, the latter in high resolution. The DVD also has a 5.1 surround “up-mix,” as a true surround mix is impossible due to the original multitrack tapes being missing. This title is available today in the U.K. and April 9 in North America.
Sunshine pop heroes Harpers Bizarre’s four original Warner Bros. albums have just been collected by Cherry Red’s El label in a slipcased collection titled after the irresistible Van Dyke Parks tune which opened their first LP, Come to the Sunshine: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings. The slipcased 4-CD set has all four albums in stereo plus eight bonus singles. Read more here.
3 Doors Down, The Better Life: 20th Anniversary Edition (Republic/UMe)
Mississippi rockers 3 Doors Down are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut in March with a new deluxe edition. Debut album The Better Life will be pressed on two CDs or three LPs featuring the original sextuple-platinum album, unreleased tracks and single sides, and the band’s original self-released demo album. Read more here.
Sunset Blvd. Records brings listeners back to September 13, 1969 at the University of Toronto’s Varsity Stadium when Chuck Berry took the stage for an electrifying set. The label promises that this release is the first time the concert has been presented in its entirety as mastered from the original analog tapes. The show features an introduction by Kim Fowley and such Berry staples as “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Rock and Roll Music,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “Carol,” “Promised Land,” and “My Ding-a-Ling.”
Come and get it: Badfinger’s Joey Molland welcomes Todd Rundgren, Matthew Sweet, Rick Wakeman, Rick Springfield, Ian Anderson, and others for a run through the Badfinger songbook. Available on CD and tri-color red, white, and blue vinyl.
The cast album of director Michael Arden’s acclaimed 2017 Broadway revival of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s musical Once on This Island arrives on vinyl as a 2-LP orange vinyl set.
In recent months, Craft Recordings has been releasing to digital services a series of Rodgers and Hammerstein songs with contemporary pop-rock arrangements performed by some of Broadway’s young stars. Now, those tracks have been collected on one (alas, digital-only) release. Gavin Creel, Jeremy Jordan, Ariana DeBose, Ali Stroker, Katrina Lenk, Santino Fontana, Matt Doyle, and Jelani Alladin are among the talents on this collection.
Elvis Costello has revisited his 2020 album Hey Clockface…in French! This EP features remixes and adaptations of six of the album’s songs by Costello and guests Iggy Pop, Isabelle Adjani, and Tshegue (as well as Elvis’ longtime collaborator Steve Nieve who also played on the original album). The digital/streaming version is out today, while a vinyl version will follow over the summer.