Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up!
Decca will celebrate John Williams' 90th by turning the clock back to 1980 when the famed composer-conductor took the baton from the legendary Arthur Fiedler to lead The Boston Pops Orchestra into a new era. John Williams and The Boston Pops: The Complete Philips Recordings boasts 21 CDs and 22 albums originally released on Philips between 1980 and 1990, at which point the Pops switched affiliations to Sony Classical. (The Sony Classical era was addressed in 2018 on the John Williams: Conductor box set.) Williams remained the Principal Conductor through 1993, but continued to work with them as Laureate Conductor. Keith Lockhart took over as Principal Conductor in 1995 and remains in that role today. Read more about this comprehensive set here.
Cherry Pop's all-encompassing Peter Cetera box, dedicated to his Full Moon/Warner Bros. period, arrives today on 6 CDs. Though a handful of bonus tracks - Cetera's duets with Paul Anka and Cher - had to be dropped since the initial announcement, the box is still chock-full with expanded editions of the former Chicago singer-bassist's four albums originally released between 1981 and 1992. Read more here.
The Light at the End of the Line is Janis Ian's first album of new material in 15 years (since 2006's Folk Is the New Black) and the album promised to be her last. She states in the press release, "I love this album. There is an element of, 'This is the absolute best I can do over the span of 58 years as a writer. This is what I've learned.' And I realized that this album has an arc, and I've never really done anything like that before." It's available on CD and digital platforms today, while an LP will follow in August.
Strictly a One-Eyed Jack is John Mellencamp's 25th studio album; to mark the occasion, he's invited pal Bruce Springsteen to appear on three tracks including the duet "Wasted Days." Recorded at Mellencamp's Indiana studio, the album also features his band members Andy York, Dane Clark, Mike Wanchic, and Troye Kinnett. Available on CD/digital today while an LP arrives in May.
Blues hero Keb' Mo' is back with a new studio album featuring guest turns from Darius Rucker, Vince Gill, and Kristin Chenoweth. The CD and digital versions are out today, and the vinyl LP will be released in May.
Cabaret mainstays Billy Stritch and Jim Caruso have teamed up for this new album recorded live in New York City. Their hip, urbane set includes a medley of Disney classics "Whistle While You Work" and "Give a Little Whistle," Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh's "A Doodlin' Song," a Sinatra saloon medley, and two gems fêting Birdland itself, George Shearing's "Lullaby of Birdland" and Barry Manilow's "Lovin' at Birdland." This delightful album of chic pop and jazz captures the spirit of the famed New York nightspot.
Omnivore has the debut album from an alternative supergroup. Night Crickets features David J (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets), Victor DeLorenzo (Violent Femmes), and San Francisco multi-instrumentalist Darwin Meiners; the three previously collaborated on Meiners' 2014 album Souvenir. A Free Society features a baker's dozen songs, all written and played by the band with a few special guests. The CD is out today, with the vinyl LP coming in July.
Last year's live television version of Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin, and Thomas Meehan's Annie arrives this week on DVD, Blu-ray, and CD preserving the performances of Harry Connick, Jr. (Daddy Warbucks), Taraji B. Henson (Miss Hannigan), Nicole Scherzinger (Grace), Titus Burgess (Rooster), Megan Hilty (Lily), and Celina Smith (Annie).
Julie Christensen (Flesh Eaters, Divine Horsemen, Leonard Cohen) has recorded a new album of songs from Nashville singer-songwriter Kevin Gordon. Christensen's renditions of Gordon's songs touch on Americana, rock-and-roll, country, and jazz - with influences including Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder, Randy Newman, Little Feat, Joni Mitchell, and ZZ Top. Available today on CD and LP.