Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Grateful Dead, Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses): 50th Anniversary Edition (Grateful Dead/Rhino)
Rhino continues its series of 50th anniversary reissues for Grateful Dead with the band’s 1971 self-titled live album with the famous “Skull and Roses” cover. The centerpiece of the reissue is more than hour of previously unreleased music from another famed SF venue, Bill Graham’s Fillmore West, recorded on July 2, 1971 during the Dead’s final show at the Fillmore West. Highlights include “Good Lovin’,” “Sing Me Back Home,” “Mama Tried,” and a closing medley of “Not Fade Away” and “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad.” The reissue is available as a 2CD set with the Fillmore material on CD 2, or on vinyl with the original album only. The album has been remastered from the original analog tapes by David Glasser using the Plangent Process. Read more here.
The Yardbirds, Roger the Engineer [Box Set] (Demon)
Last Record Store Day Black Friday, Demon Music Group reissued The Yardbirds’ Roger the Engineer as a 2-LP Expanded Edition. Now, the 1966 rock classic is getting even more expanded – this time, as a 2-LP/3-CD/1-7″ single deluxe box set. Utilizing the original master tapes, the box (announced this morning) features new remastering by Phil Kinrade at Alchemy Mastering at AIR, overseen by original album producer Paul Samwell-Smith. It contains the original mono and stereo mixes on CD and LP plus a bonus CD of additional tracks, a 7-inch single, a fold-out poster, and a 24-page booklet. Read more here.
Bill Evans, Everybody Still Digs Bill Evans / On a Friday Evening (Craft Recordings)
The late pianist-composer’s first career-spanning box set, the 5-CD Everybody Still Digs Bill Evans: A Career Retrospective (1956-1980) covers many of Evans’ key label affiliations as a leader including Riverside, Milestone, Fantasy, Verve, Warner Bros., and Elektra. (He was so prolific that he also recorded for United Artists, Atlantic, MGM, Philips, MPS, CTI, and Columbia.) Personnel includes Stan Getz, Shelly Manne, Kenny Burrell, and many other boldface names. It also features a previously unreleased live set from 1975 recorded at Oil Can Harry’s in Vancouver, British Columbia. That concert, titled On a Friday Evening, is also available as a standalone release in 2-LP, CD, and digital formats (including 192/24 and 96/24 high resolution options). Read more here.
Nina Simone, The Montreux Years (BMG)
Nina Simone first took the Montreux Jazz Festival stage on June 16, 1968 at the second edition. Nina Simone: The Montreux Years spotlights all five of her performances at Montreux (1968, 1976, 1981, 1987, and 1990). While the first disc presents a composite show drawn from the various years, the second presents her landmark 1968 concert in full for the very first time. The material is typically eclectic for Simone – and always electric. Songs heard on the two CDs or LPs include Janis Ian’s “Stars,” Rodgers and Hart’s “Little Girl Blue,” the Hair medley “Ain’t Got No/I Got Life,” The Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody,” Jacques Brel’s “Ne Me Quitte Pas,” Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry,” and her final ever Montreux encore, Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn’s “My Baby Cares Just for Me.”
Etta James, The Montreux Years (BMG)
Etta James was a frequent visitor to the Montreux Jazz Festival stage. Her volume of The Montreux Years culls performances from her concerts in 1975, 1977, 1978, 1989, 1990 and 1993. Like Nina Simone (also represented in this series of releases), there was no song that James couldn’t make her own with grit and guts. Among the songs featured are her Muscle Shoals hit “Tell Mama” (James’ highest-charting pop record), the top five R&B smash “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” (which she co-wrote), and her smoldering reinvention of Harry Warren and Mack Gordon’s romantic standard “At Last.” The second disc showcases highlights from James’ 1975 Montreux debut; it also was the singer’s first European concert. Read more about both Montreux titles here.
Miles Davis, Merci Miles! Live at Vienne (Rhino)
This previously unreleased concert from Miles Davis was recorded at the Vienne Jazz Festival on July 1, 1991. The legendary musician would be honored by France mere days later, becoming a Knight of the Legion of Honour, before passing away in September at the age of 65. At the Jazz Festival, Davis and his band tackled then-recent pop covers (Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature,” Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”) plus a very special pair of treasures: “Penetration” and “Jailbait,” both written by Prince for his fusion project Madhouse (earmarked for an album recorded in 1988 but never released). Available on 2 CDs or 2 LPs. Get more information here.
Cherry Red’s SoulMusic imprint has boxed Deniece Williams’ 11 Columbia Records albums plus bonus tracks on one comprehensive 8-CD box set. Watch this space for a full rundown later today!
Yep Roc Records has unearthed a piece of history from Berkeley, California’s power-pop heroes The Rubinoos. On November 3, 1976, co-founders Jon Rubin (vocals) and Tommy Dunbar (guitar) entered CBS Studios in San Francisco with drummer Donn Spindt and bassist Royse Ader to get a feel for the studio prior to the recording of their first album. Now, that session is being released as The CBS Tapes with 11 tracks encompassing both covers and originals in energetic Rubinoos style. Available on CD, LP, and digital formats. Read more here.
Following The Show Time Series EP Collection Volume One, Stage Door Records has released Volume Two of the series premiering RCA Victor’s 1953 Show Time EPs on CD. The single-CD 20-track release features five musicals:
- Mademoiselle Modiste (Victor Herbert/Henry Blossom);
- Naughty Marietta (Victor Herbert/Rida Johnson Young);
- Shuffle Along (Eubie Blake/Noble Sissle);
- Blackbirds of 1928 (Jimmy McHugh/Dorothy Fields); and
- The Band Wagon (Arthur Schwartz/Howard Dietz).
Cast members include Doretta Morrow, Thelma Carpenter, Avon Long, Cab Calloway, Harold Lang, and Edie Adams. This release is limited to just 500 units. Orders are shipping now directly from Stage Door; it’s due from Amazon today in the U.K. and next Friday in North America. Get more details here.
Harbinger Records brings the 1981 Smithsonian Institution concert cast recording of Victor Herbert and Rida Johnson Young’s operetta Naughty Marietta – also represented on Show Time Vol. 2, above – to CD. This 2-LP complete recording of the lush, romantic score stars Judy Blazer as Marietta.
Herb Alpert reissues his 2005 compilation originally issued on Shout! Factory. Lost Treasures features 22 rarities including “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” “Fire and Rain,” “Whistlestar,” “Promises, Promises,” and “The Wailing of the Willow.”
The Goo Goo Dolls have compiled a set of 20 rarities spanning 1995-2007 – encompassing B-sides, live tracks, acoustic versions, international bonus tracks, and more – on CD, LP, and digital formats.
The one and only Frankie Valli joins with jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco for this intimate set of American standards including the lead single, a rendition of the 1940 classic “How High the Moon.” Available on CD and digitally.
Toto, With a Little Help from My Friends (Players Club)
With A Little Help From My Friends preserves the evening of November 21, 2020 when Steve Lukather, Joseph Williams, and David Paich appeared alongside the new line-up of Toto in Los Angeles. They welcomed bassist John Pierce (Huey Lewis and The News), drummer Robert “Sput” Searight (Ghost-Note / Snarky Puppy), and keyboardist / background vocalist Steve Maggiora (Robert Jon & The Wreck) as well as continuing members Dominique “Xavier” Taplin on keyboards and Warren Ham on vocals and various instruments. segued over continuing their tenure in the ensemble. This marks the fifteenth incarnation of the Toto line-up in consideration of band members or sidemen who joined or exited. The live show arrives on 180-gram vinyl, CD/DVD, and CD/Blu-ray. The DVD and BD include documentary footage as well as the full concert.
Jennifer Nettles tackles the classic Broadway songbook on Always Like New, featuring arrangements by Alex Lacamoire (Hamilton, In the Heights). Expect to hear songs from classic musicals (My Fair Lady‘s “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” Guys and Dolls‘ “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat”) and more recent shows (Dear Evan Hansen‘s “You Will Be Found,” Hamilton‘s “Wait for It.”) The album is available on CD, LP, Barnes and Noble-exclusive translucent cobalt vinyl, and Target-exclusive CD with two bonus songs: Sweeney Todd‘s “Not While I’m Around” and Waitress‘ “She Used to Be Mine.”