Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Rhino reissues Fleetwood Mac’s 1980 Live – the first live album from the line-up of Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood – as a deluxe 3CD/2LP/7″ box set. The two CDs and two LPs will both have the remastered original double album. The third CD will offer 14 previously unreleased performances plus the unique single remix of “Fireflies,” while the 7-inch single offers the never-before-heard demos of “Fireflies” and “One More Night.” David Wild has penned the liner notes, and the booklet also includes a full Tusk tour itinerary and rare photos. Rhino.com is offering a special “Tour Edition” which adds replica Mac tour swag including a ticket, backstage pass, iron-on patch, ad, button, and sticker. Read more here.
This 2-CD, 40-track collection brings together a host of rare and previously unreleased performances from CBS Radio’s 1951-1952 Peggy Lee Show, all expertly restored and remastered by Michael Graves. These encompass renditions of classic American standards written by a “Who’s Who” of great songwriters, among them Johnny Mercer, Richard Rodgers with Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II, Cole Porter, Matt Dennis, Hoagy Carmichael, Frank Loesser, and Lee herself. TSD’s Joe Marchese provides the new liner notes. Read more here.
Sony Classical revisits Eugene Ormandy and The Philadelphia Orchestra’s early Columbia recordings with a massive 120-disc box set, The Columbia Legacy. This will be the second-largest box in Sony Classical history after the complete Arthur Rubinstein set of 142 CDs released in 2011. The Columbia Legacy is dedicated to Ormandy’s mono recordings made for Columbia through 1957; his subsequent stereo albums beginning in 1958 number over 200. While Columbia parent Sony has released various boxes of Ormandy material over the years, this is the first large-scale effort to chronologically collect all of his Columbia recordings with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Philadelphia “Pops” Orchestra in order. The set is in “original album” format, and Sony has also retained the material from the original albums even when Ormandy wasn’t conducting; hence, the inclusion here of a number of recordings conducted by Andre Kostelanetz, Bruno Walter, George Szell, and others. The hefty box contains a hardcover book of around 200 pages with an introduction, historical essay, credits/discography for all discs, composers/work index, photographs, and memorabilia; all told, the box weighs in at nearly 13 pounds. Get more information here.
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Live at Knebworth ’76 (Eagle Rock)
Live At Knebworth ’76 presents Lynyrd Skynyrd’s landmark performance at the 1976 festival, fully restored for the first time, in CD/Blu-ray, CD/DVD, and 2LP/DVD configurations. The concert film and album document Skynyrd’s classic lineup as they rose to international prominence. Singer Ronnie Van Zant and the “three guitar army” of Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, and Steve Gaines joined keyboardist Billy Powell, bassist Leon Wilkeson, drummer Artemis Pyle, and backup group The Honkettes before the enthusiastic Knebworth crowd of 150,000-250,000 audience members on August 21, 1976. Read more here.
Sunset Blvd. has a 2-CD collection of Willie Nelson’s early, pre-fame demos. Of these 40 tracks, the label promises that 20 are unavailable on CD or digitally. The set features liner notes by Bill Dahl and design by John Sellards. $1.00 from each album sold will go to Farm Aid.
The powerful voice of Merry Clayton returns on Beautiful Scars, a poignant new album that reunites her with legendary producer Lou Adler. Beautiful Scars is the singer’s first album after an accident in 2014 robbed her of both her legs but not her spirit, determination, and voice. It merges gospel and soul as only Clayton can do, on material including Donny Hathaway’s “A Song for You,” Chris Martin’s “Love Is a Mighty River,” and Diane Warren’s title track.
Making good on her wish to gain full creative control of her works, Taylor Swift begins her re-recording series today with this new “spot the difference” version of 2008’s Fearless, her first No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Fearless was not only the best-selling album of 2009 but earned a Grammy Award for Album of the Year and a Diamond sales certification. The 2-CD Taylor’s Version has 26 songs including the original 19 from the Fearless: Platinum Edition and “Today Was a Fairytale” from the film Valentine’s Day, plus six new “From the Vault” songs. Target will carry an exclusive edition with a poster featuring lyrics and photos.
Bay Area mainstay Joel Selvin has chronicled some of rock-and-roll’s greatest stories in his books including Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rock and Roll; Altamont: The Rolling Stones, The Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock’s Darkest Day; and Fare Thee Well: The Final Chapter of the Grateful Dead’s Long, Strange Trip. Now, Selvin – known for his hard-hitting and insightful prose – turns his critical eye to the golden age of California music, with a cast including Brian Wilson, Phil Spector, Herb Alpert, Jan and Dean, Nancy Sinatra, Kim Fowley, Lou Adler, P.F. Sloan, Lee Hazlewood, The Mamas and The Papas, and the Wrecking Crew. Selvin explores the post-WWII blossoming of teenaged culture in the Golden State, reflecting on how the warmth of the sun impacted the music being created. Those sounds, of course, would ultimately be shared throughout the world. It wasn’t all fun, fun, fun: Hollywood Eden doesn’t shy away from the darkness that often boiled under the sun-flecked harmonies, but it ultimately celebrates these audacious young people and the enduring art they created. The book even contains a playlist for the ultimate soundtrack to your reading. Hollywood Eden is a vivid and engaging snapshot of California in the 1960s – both the harsh reality and the fantasy world of song.