Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Todd Rundgren and Joe Jackson’s 2005 international tour featuring post-classical string quartet Ethel is brought to a 2CD/DVD set from Purple Pyramid collecting all three artists’ sets plus the encore which brought them together. Both Jackson and Rundgren performed solo for sets blending fan favorites with deeper cuts. The show was recorded at New Brunswick, New Jersey’s State Theatre on April 29, 2005. Read more here.
Frank Zappa, Zappa ’88: The Last U.S. Show (Zappa/UMe)
Zappa ’88: The Last U.S. Show preserves the March 25, 1988 show at Uniondale, New York’s Nassau Coliseum that turned out to be the musician and bandleader’s final show on American soil. Zappa ’88: The Last U.S. Show, featuring the first release of Zappa’s “Beatles Medley” with lyrics rewritten to reflect the Jimmy Swaggart scandal, is available from Zappa Records and UMe as a 2-CD set or a 4-LP 180-gram black vinyl box set as well as in digital configurations. A purple vinyl variant is also up for pre-order exclusively from uDiscoverMusic and the Zappa online store. Ahmet Zappa and “Vaultmeister” Joe Travers have produced this release featuring new mixes by Craig Parker Adams from the original 48-track digital masters. Liner notes have been written by Travers and Chad Wackerman; the drummer was celebrating his 28th birthday during the concert and was feted in song by Zappa and the audience. Peder Andersson’s photos round out the package. Get more info here.
This run of concerts from Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Jai Johanny Johanson a.k.a. Jaimoe, and Butch Trucks was recorded by Owsley “Bear” Stanley at Bill Graham’s late, lamented Fillmore East on February 11, 13, and 14, 1970. Grateful Dead Records released a 7-track live compilation drawn from the shows in 1996. (The Dead’s performances from those shows has also been released.) Then, in 2018, the album was reissued and remastered on CD, and a limited edition 3-CD set was also issued. The 3-CD iteration presented the already-released compilation CD along as the first disc, with the remaining two CDs offering the source material from all three nights: the complete set of Bear’s Sonic Journals from each show as played by the Allman Brothers Band at the Fillmore East on February 11, 13, and 14, 1970. Now, that limited edition gets a wide release from Allman Brothers Recording Company and the Owsley Stanley Foundation. Read more here.
Various Artists, The Trojan Story (Trojan/BMG)
The 1971 collection The Trojan Story, celebrating the first three years of the groundbreaking reggae label, has been revisited and reimagined for its 50th anniversary with an adjusted track listing and a lavish illustrated booklet (50 pages in the LP edition and 28 pages in the CD version). It’s housed in the original artwork (which had been modified for subsequent reissues) and features replica labels on the discs. Read more here.
After debuting on vinyl last weekend for Record Store Day, Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey bring Our Back Pages to CD and digital formats. On this engaging collection of new recordings, the duo revisit their work with the dB’s in intimate acoustic arrangements that emphasize the catchy hooks and enduring songcraft with startling clarity. There are even a few surprises including a couple of tracks first performed by the band after Stamey’s departure; “Picture Sleeve,” reconstructed and rebuilt from a tune neither man could completely remember; and an actual dB’s rehearsal of “Nothing Is Wrong.”
This 8-CD clamshell collection has all seven of disco-dance-funk band Kleeer’s Atlantic albums plus a bonus disc of 15 related bonus tracks.
Robinsongs takes a more streamlined approach with this 4-CD, 63-song anthology from R&B/soul vocal group The Whispers’ recordings for the Janus, Soul Train, and Solar labels.
Cherry Red’s Grapefruit imprint has curated a 2-CD compendium of The Merseybeats/Merseys’ 1960s output as originally released on the Fontana label including hits such as “It’s Love That Really Counts,” “I Think of You,” “Wishin’ and Hopin’,” “I Stand Accused,” and “Sorrow.” Watch this space for full rundowns of these three Cherry Red sets which are available today in the U.K. and next Friday in North America.
Sony Classical brings together the complete RCA and Columbia albums of Grammy-winning violinist Jaime Laredo (who turned 80 earlier this month) in this new 23-CD box set spanning 1959-2000. Emanuel Ax provides liner notes while Yo-Yo Ma has penned an introduction.