Welcome to The Weekend Stream, a relaxing weekly review of notable digital-only catalogue titles. There may be no CD or vinyl, but there's plenty of great new/old music to discover! A quiet week before Christmas offers a new Bowie remix, rare soundtracks from Tangerine Dream and The Simpsons, plus a legendary funk label on Bandcamp.
David Bowie, Changes (2021 Alternative Mix) (Parlophone/Rhino) (Spotify)
Alongside a newly-announced 50th anniversary picture disc of Hunky Dory, slated for release January 7 (a day before what would have been Bowie's 75th birthday), there's now a streaming-only remix of the album's signature tune, done by original producer/mixer Ken Scott. Beyond different balance and panning, there's also a different, unused sax solo in the outro.
A delightful string-laden ballad co-written and co-produced by Babyface, Madonna's "Take a Bow" topped the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks in 1995 - Madonna's 11th, and as of that time, the most by a female solo artist. This digital EP features three remixes/edits and three instrumentals, including work by InDaSoul and Steve "Silk" Hurley.
The Simpsons, Songs in the Key of Springfield (Original Music from the Television Series) / Go Simpsonic with The Simpsons (More Original Music from the Television Series) (20th Century Fox)
Two classic albums of material from The Simpsons make their digital debuts! While 1990's The Simpsons Sing the Blues was comprised of original material sung by Springfield's famous yellow family (including the Michael Jackson-ghostwritten "Do the Bartman"), 1997's Songs in the Key of Springfield and 1999's Go Simpsonic with The Simpsons featured music from the episodes. And great stuff, too: beyond variations on the main and end titles, and The Itchy & Scratchy Show, things like "The Monorail Song," selections from the Planet of the Apes musical, Poochie's rap and much more.
The soundtrack to Ridley Scott's 1985 fantasy film Legend - starring Tom Cruise, Mia Sara and a heavily made-up Tim Curry as the Lord of Darkness - was the subject of some controversy at the time. The film in fact had two soundtracks: in Europe, Jerry Goldsmith provided an orchestral score, while U.S. and home video audiences saw the picture with a more contemporary offering by prog-rockers Tangerine Dream (plus a track apiece by Yes vocalist Jon Anderson and former Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry). It's that latter album that's now digitally available!
Organized Konfusion, Organized Konfusion / Stress: The Extinction Agenda / Stress: The Extinction Agenda (Instrumentals) (OK Music)
The Queens hip-hop duo Organized Konfusion - comprised of Pharoahe Monch and Prince Po - released a pair of critically-lauded if commercially ignored LPs in 1991 and 1995 that finally appear digitally (alongside instrumentals of the latter album, Stress: The Extinction Agenda). A must for fans of the genre.
Loretta Lynn, Loretta Lynn Sings / Who Says God is Dead! / Lyin', Cheatin', Woman Chasin', Honky Tonkin', Whiskey Drinkin' You / Just a Woman (MCA Nashville)
Another quartet of Loretta Lynn's discography comes to digital channels: her very first album, including Top 10 country hit "Success"; a 1968 gospel album, Who Says God is Dead! and two mid-'80s efforts.
A 1980 gumbo of blues styles (and no compositions by the guitarist, opting for covers of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" and Muddy Waters' "Rollin' and Tumblin'"), Raisin' Cain would turn out to be Johnny Winter's final album for Blue Sky/Columbia Records after more than a decade.
Known as a songwriter for Elvis Presley ("Memories," "In the Ghetto") before scoring a No. 1 hit of his own in 1972's "Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me," Will Write Songs for Food marks an important piece of history in the late Mac Davis' career: it was his last studio album. In a nice full-circle moment, it features a new take on "Ghetto" - a song that doubtlessly put food on his table.
This No. 2 album conducted by TV icon Gleason is listed as expanded, which is admittedly a bit confusing: the 16-track line-up is what was initially released to vinyl. (A 12-track pressing also exists, and was serviced digitally as well.) Nonetheless, you'll hear some great easy listening standards like "Let's Face the Music and Dance," "But Beautiful" and "Ive Grown Accustomed to Her Face" - plus two songs written or co-written by The Great One himself.
Various Artists, Westbound Records on Bandcamp
An exciting occurrence on the indie digital provider: the rollout of the Westbound Records discography! The Detroit label featured soul and funk icons like Funkadelic, Ohio Players, Dennis Coffey, Fantastic Four, Junie and more - even an early '90s EP by power-pop group The Romantics.