Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
The first public reading of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” took place at San Francisco’s Six Gallery in October 1955, but that performance wasn’t recorded. It was long believed that the first recorded reading was in March 1956 in Berkeley, California, but that turned out not to be the case. On February 13 and 14, 1956, Ginsberg and Gary Snyder read at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. In 2007, author John Suiter made a remarkable discovery at Reed’s Hauser Memorial Library: the Valentine’s Day reading had been recorded. Now, Omnivore is bringing that seminal recording to light. Michael Graves has restored and mastered this release from that original tape which includes shorter selections as well as most of Part I of “Howl” and a taste of Part II, after which Ginsberg concluded, “I don’t really feel like reading any more; I haven’t got any kind of steam. So I’d like to cut, do you mind?” A landmark release, At Reed College: The First Recorded Reading of Howl and Other Poems will arrive on CD, black vinyl, and digital platforms. Read more here!
1980’s Eagles Live remains a beloved document of two of the band’s tours, recorded in California in 1976 and 1980. The 7x Platinum-certified collection featured then-recent tracks “Heartache Tonight” and “The Long Run,” an Eagles rendition of Joe Walsh’s “Life’s Been Good,” and a stunning cover of Steve Young’s “Seven Bridges Road.” The double-album now returns to stores on 180-gram vinyl with the most recent remastering and a full-sized poster.
Eagles’ The Millennium Concert was recorded on December 31, 1999 at LA’s Staples Center. Long available as part of the Selected Works 1972-1999 CD box set and most recently featured on the career-spanning Legacy box set, it now makes its debut on standalone LP (though still in its abbreviated, 12-song sequence), pressed on 180-gram vinyl and complete with a deluxe gatefold package.
Long Road Out of Eden marked the Eagles’ return to the studio by way of a double-CD set that was originally released as a Wal-Mart exclusive. It explicitly recaptured the band’s original sound with a cover of band pal J.D. Souther’s “How Long” which the Eagles had sung in concert but never on record. Don Henley and Glenn Frey rekindled their songwriting partnership, and the album contained songs from Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmit, sideman Steuart Smith, and another longtime friend, Jack Tempchin. A 2-LP configuration was pressed up at the time but in limited quantities. Now, fans will be able to find the album on record shelves once more, pressed on 180-gram vinyl and housed in a gatefold with printed inner sleeves. Get track listings and more info on the three Eagles reissues here.
Real Gone brings Gene Russell’s New Direction to wide-release LP and CD after previously issuing it for Record Store Day last year. The first release on Black Jazz Records, the album found the pianist and label founder supported by bassist Henry Franklin and drummer Steve Clover in a piano trio setting melding jazz and soul.
Al Stewart, Year of the Cat: 45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Cherry Red/Esoteric)
Cherry Red marks 45 years of singer-songwriter Al Stewart’s breakthrough Year of the Cat with a 3-CD/1-DVD box set and 2-CD deluxe edition. The box features a complete, previously unreleased concert recorded at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre in October 1976 on 2 CDs as well as the remastered original album in stereo (on CD and DVD) and 5.1 surround as newly remixed by original producer Alan Parsons (on DVD) and one bonus track, a new mix of the outtake “Belsize Blues.” A 68-page book, a poster, and four postcards round out the box.
The Beat Farmers’ Tales of the New West debuted on Rhino Records in 1985. The San Diego band consisting of Jerry Raney, Country Dick Montana, Rolle Dexter Love, and Buddy Blue fit comfortably on the label known for wacky novelties as well as reissues of classic music by the likes of The Turtles and The Monkees; their roots-rock sound was infused with raw punk immediacy and a wicked sense of humor. Rhino Records’ Dan Perloff turned his friend and co-worker Gary Stewart onto the band, and soon they were setting up shop at Capitol’s Studio A with producer Steve Berlin and engineer Mark Linett for Tales of the New West. All these years on, it remains a spirited half-hour of goodtime rock-and-roll from a ferocious California band. Blixa Sounds’ new reissue features the original album remastered by Bill Inglot and Dave Schultz on CD 1. The second disc features Live at the Spring Valley Inn, 1983, a potent document of the sound that hooked Perloff and Stewart; this set was first issued in 2003. It’s all housed in a six-panel digipak with a 24-page booklet containing photos, memorabilia, and Dan Perloff’s vivid and personal remembrances of the band’s early days at Rhino. This set is, appropriately, dedicated to the memories of Gary Stewart, Buddy Blue, and Country Dick Montana.
The saxophonist-vocalist-composer has rounded up hits and rarities from her 20+-year career including “eight tracks and edits that I promise you don’t own yet. No one does.” The 19-track anthology features a previously unreleased cover of “Imagine” as well as collaborations with Booker T. Jones, Keb’ Mo’, and the late Gregg Allman. It’s available on CD and digitally.
Since October 2020, Legacy has been periodically expanding the 2018 collection Johnny Cash: Forever Words on digital download/streaming services with drops of additional bonus tracks. The fourth and final drop happens today, with bonus cuts from Ronnie Dunn and Brad Paisley; Runaway June; Ruston Kelly; Aaron Lewis; and Bill Miller. All of these tracks have lyrics (many previously unheard or previously unset to music) by Johnny Cash. Read more here.
Jon Klages, Fabulous Twilight (Danbury Fair)
Singer-songwriter-guitarist and indie rock hero Jon Klages of New Jersey’s The Individuals has returned with an enjoyably eclectic new album. If Fabulous Twilight visually resembles one of those classic Command Records LPs such as Enoch Light’s Big Band Bossa Nova or Tony Mottola’s Roman Guitar, that’s no mistake; Enoch Light was Klages’ grandfather. He also pays tribute to Light on “1133 Ave. of the Americas (For Enoch Light),” a loping, shimmering tune name-checking The Free Design’s “Kites Are Fun,” one of Light’s productions for his Project 3 label. Klages is joined by an all-star band including Neil Larsen of Larsen-Feiten Band on keyboards and Davey Faragher and Pete Thomas of Elvis Costello’s Imposters; background vocal veteran Arnold McCuller and The Honey Whiskey Trio join in, too. Fabulous Twilight is delightfully diverse, encompassing sophisticated pop and blue-eyed soul (“Best That We Can,” “Rosalie,” “Goin’ Home”), romantic doo-wop (“The Fabulous Twilights”), whimsical flights of fancy (“God Bless the Columbia House Record Club,” “Kazoos Are People Too”), and even a John Barry homage (“Too Cool for Spy School”). On Fabulous Twilight, you’ll hear a pinch of Nilsson, a dash of Steely Dan, a touch of John Barry, and a heaping helping of the musical ingenuity of Jon Klages.
Drummer Steve Gadd has brought his powerful sound to recordings from Paul Simon, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Eric Clapton, and just about every A-list artist in the realms of rock and jazz. His latest LP captures him and his band – Walt Fowler on trumpet and flugelhorn, Kevin Hays on keyboard and vocals, Jimmy Johnson on bass, and David Spinozza on guitar – in peak form at Tokyo’s Blue Note on December 18, 2019 with a setlist of band originals and covers (Bob Dylan’s “Watching the River Flow,” The Crusaders’ “Way Back Home”) alike.