Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Toomorrow: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Second Disc Records/Real Gone Music)
Purple Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Real Gone Music
Clear with Copper and Red Swirl Vinyl: Real Gone Music [SOLD OUT]
Clear with Red, Blue, and Green “Freak” Swirl Vinyl: Rough Trade [PRE-ORDERS SOLD OUT, MAY BE AVAILABLE AT ROUGH TRADE RETAIL LOCATIONS]
Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music are proud to present the first-ever vinyl reissue of the 1970 soundtrack to Toomorrow, the groovy sci-fi musical starring Olivia Newton-John, Ben Thomas, Karl Chambers, and Vic Cooper. The brainchild of music impresario Don Kirshner and James Bond producer Harry Saltzman, Toomorrow featured songs by Mark Barkan and Ritchie Adams and a score by Hugo Montenegro. Toomorrow will be available in three colors: purple vinyl (available everywhere), clear with copper and red swirl (available exclusively from Real Gone Music and limited to 100 units), and clear with red, blue, and green “freak” swirl (available exclusively from Rough Trade and limited to 300 units). Our reissue recreates the original 1970 album artwork and also includes an insert with expanded and updated liner notes from TSD’s Joe Marchese as well as additional photos of Newton-John and her bandmates. Read more here.
Aretha Franklin, Aretha (Atlantic/Rhino)
The new 4-CD box set Aretha (delayed since last year due to the pandemic) collects 81 tracks spanning the Queen of Soul’s entire career – from her first single on JBV Records through her years on Columbia, Atlantic, and Arista – via hits, rarities, live tracks, and many previously unreleased cuts. Note that this set also has numerous tracks from or related to Aretha’s final five Atlantic studio LPs, none of which have been officially released on CD to date. Aretha adds up to an alternative history of Franklin’s extraordinary career. The box features new liner notes by Rochelle Riley, director of Arts and Culture for the city of Detroit, and SoulMusic.com founder David Nathan. Makeba KEEBS Rainey has provided the eye-popping new artwork based upon a portrait by acclaimed photographer Neal Preston. Read more here.
Prince, Welcome 2 America [Various Formats] (NPG/Legacy)
Welcome 2 America was completed in the wake of Prince’s 20Ten (issued free with the purchase of different newspapers and magazines in Europe) but, like so many of The Artist’s projects, put aside. Now, the 2010 album is finally seeing the light of day from the Prince Estate and Legacy Recordings. Welcome 2 America will be available as a single CD, double LP, or deluxe box set with both audio formats plus a Blu-ray of Prince’s performance at The Forum in Inglewood, CA on April 28, 2011. A lively mix of his biggest hits (including songs written for others) and covers of everyone from Janet Jackson and Bob Dylan to Roxy Music and Kool & The Gang, the concert is presented in stereo, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos mixes. Read more here.
Real Gone continues its Black Jazz series with two new entries this week. Mirage hails from The Awakening, the lone group on the Black Jazz roster. Their sophomore album, Mirage features seven songs all composed by the band members including Richard “Ari” Brown (saxophone), Ken Chaney (keyboard/piano), Arlington Davis, Jr. (drums/percussion), Steve Galloway (trombone/percussion), Frank Gordon (trumpet), and Roger Willis (bass).
1974’s The Skipper at Home was bassist Henry Franklin’s second LP for Black Jazz. He was joined on the album by sidemen including trumpeter/flugelhornist Oscar Brashear, saxophonist Charles Owens, and pianist Bill Henderson (billed on the LP as Kemang Sunduza) as well as keyboardist Kirk Lightsey, trombonist Al Hall, Jr., and drummer Leon “Ndugu” Chancler. The six songs, including one Chick Corea cover, are all rooted in the sounds of bop. Both Black Jazz reissues are available on CD and LP, are remastered by Mike Milchner, and feature new liner notes by Pat Thomas.
The 9-CD box set Old Friend: The Deluxe Collection 1976-1998 traces the late Phyllis Hyman’s musical journey by bringing together her studio albums as originally released on the Buddah, Arista, and Philadelphia International labels plus select bonus tracks including collaborations with Barry Manilow, Norman Connors, McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders, Grover Washington Jr., and Michael Henderson. It’s very much in the mold of Cherry Red/SoulMusic’s 2020 box for Phyllis’ onetime Arista labelmate Dionne Warwick, with expanded editions of numerous albums. Many of those have been reconfigured from past reissues on SoulMusic and other labels. This release follows SoulMusic’s 2017 two-disc anthology of Hyman’s Buddah and Arista recordings. Nick Robbins has remastered the audio. Read more here.
On her sophomore LP produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Yola blends symphonic soul with classic pop stylings. Available on CD, LP, and digital/streaming.