Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
For our first release of 2021, Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music take a deep dive into the archives for Michael Nesmith’s Different Drum: The Lost RCA Victor Recordings. This compendium features 22 tracks on CD drawn from the RCA Victor vaults, every one of which is previously unreleased in any physical format. These songs were originally released to digital platforms in 2018 as bonus tracks to Nesmith’s RCA six albums – solo and with The First and Second National Bands. Over the course of those LPs released between 1970 and 1973, Nesmith blossomed as a singer, songwriter, bandleader, and producer under the aegis of RCA Nashville legends Chet Atkins and Felton Jarvis. With bandmates including legendary pedal steel guitarist O.J. “Red” Rhodes, John Ware, and John London, Nesmith pioneered country-rock with a spiritual and searching style all his own. The set boasts a 24-page full-color booklet with rare and previously unreleased photos from photographers including Henry Diltz; new liner notes from TSD’s Joe Marchese based on his new interviews with Nesmith; and design from John Sellards. Want Nez to sign a copy for you? Head over to Videoranch! Read more about Different Drum here.
Pink Floyd, Live at Knebworth 1990 (Pink Floyd Records)
Pink Floyd breaks out this remixed version of Live at Knebworth 1990 from last year’s The Later Years box set into standalone CD, LP, and digital editions. The seven-song, single-disc set features renditions of such Floyd staples as “Wish You Were Here,” “Money,” “Comfortably Numb,” and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.” Read more here.
Real Gone unveils another 50 previously unreleased radio transcriptions from “King of Western Swing” Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys on this deluxe 2-CD set. The oversized booklet features liner notes from James Austin (Rhino, Rockbeat Records) encompassing testimonials from folks including ZZ Top’s Billy F Gibbons, Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson, and singer-songwriter Chris Isaak. All 50 recordings have been restored and remastered by Bob Fisher. Get more details here.
Real Gone has this Black Jazz gem from keyboardist Chester Thompson (Tower of Power, Santana) on which he’s joined by Rudolph Johnson, Raymond Pounds, and Al Hall for four lengthy jams. Pat Thomas provides the new liner notes. Available on CD and vinyl. And don’t miss Real Gone’s 10th anniversary sale, going on now at realgonemusic.com. Everything on the label’s website including Black Jazz titles, Second Disc Records releases, and much more is on sale now!
Bobby Womack, The Poet and The Poet II (ABKCO)
ABKCO has reissued Bobby Womack’s 1980s comeback albums, The Poet and The Poet II. The 1981 original features the hit single “If You Think You’re Lonely Now” (a sample of which was the basis of Mariah Carey’s subsequent hit “We Belong Together”) while the 1984 sequel boasts three duets with Patti LaBelle including the top 5 R&B hit “Love Has Finally Come at Last.”. Remastered from the original tapes and available on CD, 180-gram LP, and digital formats. Read more here.
Stage Door Records brings the 1969 London Studio Cast Recording of Mame, starring Beryl Reid and Joan Turner and produced by Norman Newell at Abbey Road, to CD for the very first time in a remastered and expanded edition that adds two bonus single sides performed by Turner. One of the few English-language recordings of Mame, it features all of Jerry Herman’s main numbers for the show including “It’s Today,” “We Need a Little Christmas,” “Bosom Buddies,” and “If He Walked Into My Life” with full, brassy orchestrations. Read more here.
The 5th Dimension’s legendary Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. return with an all-new studio album inspired by current events and featuring the classic songs of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, individually and collectively. Its ten tracks include reimagined versions of “Blackbird,” “Ticket to Ride,” “And I Love Her,” “Help!,” and “Silly Love Songs.” The couple have stated, “Each song, image, timeline, and video praises everyone who dares fight hatred.” The album, available on CD and digital formats, has been produced by Nic Mendoza.
Ronnie Milsap returns with his 30th studio album. A Better Word for Love has been co-produced by Rob Galbraith and features new recordings as well as a 1993 performance of Cindy Richardson and Carol Chase’s “Civil War.” Among its nine new tracks is the premiere recording of the last song Carl Perkins ever wrote, “Big Bertha.” For the ode to a famous golf driver, Milsap has been joined by Vince Gill. The late Jim Weatherly is represented with two tracks he’d co-written (“Too Bad for My Own Good,” “Wild Honey”); Randy Goodrum and David Ball’s “Almost Mine” is another highlight. The title track was previously recorded by Milsap for 2011’s Country Again.
Howard Jones, In the Running: Expanded Deluxe Edition (Cherry Red)
Howard Jones’ fifth album (and final major label release) gets the deluxe treatment from Cherry Red on 3 CDs and 1 DVD including 34 bonus tracks, music videos, and interviews. Read all about it here.
Jon Anderson’s third solo album, 1982’s Animation, returns from Cherry Red’s Esoteric imprint with two bonus tracks and an expanded booklet. Read more here!
The Jacksons, digital expanded editions (Epic/Legacy)
The Jacksons’ final three studio albums – Triumph (1980), Victory (1984), and 2300 Jackson Street (1989) – receive remastered and expanded digital editions today from Legacy. A generous 39 bonus tracks are spread across the three digital releases.
Allman Brothers Band founding member Dickey Betts expands his first Official Bootleg as a new 2-CD set featuring six previously unreleased performances with Great Southern. All of the tracks were recorded between 2003-2008, and $1.00 from the sale of each disc will benefit Musicares.
Mick Fleetwood and Friends, Celebrate the Music of Peter Green and The Early Years of Fleetwood Mac (BMG)
On February 25, 2020 – just before COVID-19 forced the world into lockdown – Mick Fleetwood assembled a starry roster of his famous friends (including Pete Townshend, Christine McVie, John Mayall, Steven Tyler, David Gilmour, Billy Gibbons, Bill Wyman, Noel Gallagher, Neil Finn, and Jeremy Spencer) to celebrate Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac’s early blues-rock era. That once-in-a-lifetime concert featuring “Black Magic Woman,” “Oh Well,” “Man of the World,” “Albatross,” and more has been captured in various formats: 2CD, 2CD/BD, 4LP, and 2CD/BD/4LP.
Sony Classical rounds up the landmark RCA and Columbia recordings conducted by Leonard Bernstein (for The Boston Symphony Orchestra, The London Symphony Orchestra, and The New York Philharmonic) of Igor Stravinsky’s greatest works, plus the maestro’s lectures on Stravinsky, in this new box set. Each disc utilizes “the newest remastering from analogue tape.”
Marianne Faithfull and Warren Ellis have created this spoken-musical hybrid in which Faithfull recites 19th century poetry by the likes of Byron and Shelley over atmospheric backgrounds. Brian Eno and Nick Cave make guest appearances. Available in CD, digital, and vinyl formats.