Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up!
This 9LP slipcased box set collects Billy Joel's first six solo studio albums plus his first live album and a box set-exclusive pressing of Live at The Great American Music Hall - 1975, a previously unreleased concert recording on 2 LPs from the famed San Francisco venue. All of the albums have been sourced from the original master tapes and prepared by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound. Jensen previously mastered Joel's entire albums discography for 2011's limited edition CD release The Complete Albums Collection. The collection includes a 50-page booklet with an essay by Anthony DeCurtis, insights and observations from Billy, tributes from musicians and friends, and numerous archival photos. Note that Cold Spring Harbor is featured in the 1983 remix, not the 1971 original version, and Live at The Great American Music Hall will not be available on CD or digitally at the present time. Watch for our full review coming soon! Read more here.
Pretenders: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Sire/Rhino)
Pretenders II: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Sire/Rhino)
Rhino delivers new 3-CD deluxe editions of The Pretenders' first two albums, both curated by Chrissie Hynde, to mark the 40th anniversary of the sophomore set. These 12 x 12 sets contain the newly remastered albums plus demos, rarities, and live tracks (many of which are previously unreleased). Both albums are also available on limited edition red and white vinyl, respectively. Get the full track listings and more details here.
Parlophone reissues Jethro Tull's 1971 classic Benefit as a 4CD/2DVD set, The 50th Anniversary Enhanced Edition, featuring all of the material from the 2013 expanded 2CD/DVD edition plus:
- Two previously released Steven Wilson remixes from Aqualung reissue in 2011 ("My God (Early Version)" and "Just Trying to Be");
- Five original 1971 stereo remixes not included on the 2013 bonus disc;
- Two unreleased live concerts - one newly mixed by Wilson (Fillmore at Tanglewood 1970), one in mono (Live at the Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, 1970); and
- DVD of Fillmore at Tanglewood concert synced to Wilson's stereo and 5.1 surround mixes commissioned in 2020.
Benefit is housed within a 100-page book featuring an expanded version of Martin Webb's 2013 essay, track-by-track commentary from Ian Anderson, Martin Barre, Glenn Cornick, and Clive Bunker, interviews with engineer Robin Black, Terry Ellis, Tanglewood film director Joshua White, and Steven Wilson. Read more here.
Real Gone Music reissues Merry Christmas, Baby, one of the earliest compilations of Christmas music singles. Originally issued in 1956 and subtitled Intimate Christmas Music for Young Lovers, the R&B album was released on the independent Hollywood Records and takes its name from the 1947 Charles Brown hit which it features. Johnny's Moore's Blazers contribute another four songs to the compilation and the Jackson Trio (brothers Eugene and Freddie Jackson and a rotating third musician) add another two holiday compositions. Another hit on the album is Lowell Fulson's "Lonesome Christmas (Parts 1 and 2)." Also included is Jimmy Witherspoon's "Christmas Blues". In 1954, Hollywood released it on a single paired with another song: Mabel Scott's "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus," which is an additional track on the compilation. Scott recorded the song in 1947 and it earned a top 15 berth on the R&B chart. Real Gone's reissue is the first ever appearance of the original album on CD. It has been remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVison and features liner notes by Bill Dahl.
Real Gone continues its Christmas celebration this week with a vinyl repressing of the soundtrack to 2018's Dr. Seuss' The Grinch. This was first released in 2020 by the label as an exclusive at Urban Outfitters. It is now hitting general retail for the first time. Last year, The Second Disc said this about the album: "The 2018 reboot of the classic Christmas tale is full of great music - from Danny Elfman's original score to musical selections by Jackie Wilson, Nat "King" Cole, The Supremes, Brian Setzer, Run-D.M.C., Tyler The Creator, and more." This new pressing comes on clear with red and white swirl vinyl.
Cyndi Lauper's Merry Christmas... Have A Nice Life! is a fresh spin on the time-honored tradition of the Christmas album. The album was partly inspired by motherhood; in fact, the story goes that Cyndi tracked most of the album at her home while her son slept, including the tribute "New Years's Baby (First Lullaby)." In addition to traditional fare like "Three Ships" and "Silent Night," and more recent classics like "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," Cyndi offers up eight original yuletide-themed tunes. Real Gone's re-press is on season-appropriate clear with red and white swirl vinyl. It will be housed in a gatefold jacket with lyrics. You'll find the track listings for all three Real Gone Christmas releases here.
Omnivore returns to late folk hero Steve Goodman's catalogue with a 19-track anthology of his finest songs drawn from studio cuts, live recordings, and demos. Highlights include a previously unreleased demo of "City of New Orleans" and a John Prine co-write, "You Never Even Call Me by My Name," which has never received a commercial release. Lee Zimmerman provides the new liner notes, and Michael Graves has mastered.
Real Gone also reissues a cult favorite R&B album from North Carolina's The Brief Encounter. The original pressing of Introducing Brief Encounter has been a collectors' item for years. The album was reissued in Japan and the U.K. on CD and LP in 2010 but this vinyl reissue from Real Gone is the first U.S. reissue of the LP. To honor the band's roots, it has been pressed in North Carolina and comes on smoky (mountain)-colored vinyl.
Capitol Nashville delivers a 25th Anniversary Edition of the 5x-platinum 1996 debut album of country singer/songwriter Deana Carter. All songs have been remastered, and two new songs have been appended: a new ensemble collaboration of the title track featuring Terri Clark, Sara Evans, Ashley McBryde, and Vince Gill on guitar, plus "Strawberry Wine" featuring Lauren Alaina, Martina McBride, Ashley, Kylie Morgan, and Vince Gill.
The oft-reissued soundtrack album to A Charlie Brown Christmas returns today on cassette (!) to complement the recent vinyl reissue with a silver foil cover (various pressings of which are exclusively available at Target and Barnes and Noble).
Billy Idol revisits his 2006 Christmas album for the recently-reactivated Dark Horse label in a new edition that drops a few of the original tracks ("Merry Christmas, Baby," "Blue Christmas," "Christmas Love") and adds one ("On Christmas Day"). Available on CD and vinyl.
Manifesto continues its Allan Holdsworth series with this CD/DVD set featuring the guitar hero live at the Leverkusen Jazztage Festival on November 9, 2010 - thirteen years after his landmark 1997 performance there (previously released by the label). Both audio and video have been newly remastered for this release (with Bill Inglot and Dave Schultz handling the audio), and the six-panel digipak also includes a brief recollection of Holdsworth by bassist Ernest Tibbs. Both Tibbs and Wackerman are interviewed on the DVD, as well.
Radiohead has combined and expanded 2000's Kid A and 2001's Amnesiac into one album as the band originally envisioned. The 3-CD set is rounded out with a disc of bonus material including the previously unreleased "If You Say the Word" and "Follow Me Around."
ABBA, Voyage (Capitol)
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Black LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Amazon-Exclusive Orange LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Target-Exclusive CD: Target.com
Target-Exclusive Yellow LP: Target.com
Indie-Exclusive Blue LP: Your Local Record Store [Visit RecordStoreDay.com's store finder]
Various formats including exclusive vinyl, CDs, and cassettes: Official ABBA Store
Mamma mia! ABBA is back. 40 years after the November 1981 release of The Visitors, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog, and Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad have reunited to record a brand-new album of ten original songs. The album, Voyage, shares its title with the concert residency that will begin in May 2022 at a custom-built London arena featuring avatars, erm, ABBAtars, created using state-of-the-art motion capture technology and an 850-person team from Industrial Light and Magic, the firm created by George Lucas. Based on the single releases of "I Still Have Faith in You," "Don't Shut Me Down," and "Just a Notion," fans will be in for quite a treat with the full Voyage LP. Read more here!
Diana Ross, Thank You (Decca)
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Slipcased CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2LP (Black): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2LP (Pink Marble): Universal Music Store
Cassette: Universal Music Store
Various Bundles: Universal Music Store
Diana Ross returns with Thank You, her first studio album since 2006 and first of original material since 1999. Thank You was recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic in Miss Ross' home studio and was written and recorded by the artist together with a cadre of songwriters and producers including Jack Antonoff, Troy Miller, Triangle Park, Spike Stent, Prince Charlez, Amy Wadge, Neff-U, Freddie Wexler, Jimmy Napes, Tayla Parx, Fred White, and Nathanial Ledgewick.
The perennially cool Steve Tyrell dedicates his latest album to The Genius, Ray Charles. In addition to solo renditions of such staples as "I Got a Woman," "You Don't Know Me," and "Georgia on My Mind," Tyrell duets with Sharlotte Gibson on "Hit the Road, Jack," Nita Whitaker on "Big Bad Love," and the late Ray himself on "Curiosity." Available on CD and digital/streaming.
This new CD/DVD release captures Alan Parsons' May 5, 2019 concert in which he performed Alan Parsons Project classics alongside new songs. The release also includes one new studio track, "The NeverEnding Show."
Jim Peterik (The Ides of March, Survivor) is back with a new album featuring a host of talented women artists. Peterik states in the press release, "I discovered that I needed to write songs that reflected the female perspective more than the male. It was gratifying when talented women from all over the world, heroes of mine such as Janet Gardner (Vixen), Cathy Richardson (Jefferson Starship), Jenniffer Batten, Mindi Abair, Kate French, Kimi Hayes, Chez Kane, Rosa Laricchiuta (Black Rose Maze, Trans-Siberian Orchestra), and so many others gave me the big thumbs up! Up-and-comers like Lindsay Kent, Leslie Hunt, Chloe Lowery, Marine Lacoste, and so many others all added their unique personalities to make this a landmark album in my career." It's out today on CD and digital formats, while the vinyl version follows in December.
Steve Perry's new Christmas album arrives today on CD and LP with his renditions of eight holiday favorites including "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," "Silver Bells," and "Winter Wonderland." Target has exclusive editions in both formats (CD / red vinyl LP) with a bonus Christmas card.