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! This week's got some choice soundtracks plus rock, hip-hop, country, and classic vocalists.
Rhino continues its series of 12" single releases from the Depeche Mode catalogue. This offering gathers up the extended mixes from the band's third album, originally released in 1983.
Eighteen years after his solo debut If I Could Only Remember My Name, David Crosby returned with a belated sophomore set. Oh Yes I Can, originally released on A&M in 1989, welcomed a "Who's Who" of guest musicians including Graham Nash, James Taylor, J.D. Souther, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Danny Kortchmar, David Lindley, Steve Lukather, Lee Sklar, and Russ Kunkel, and featured a number of songs dating back to the 1970s, some of which had been attempted with CSN.
Recorded and released the same year Williams won his third Oscar for Star Wars and helped audiences take flight with Superman: The Movie, it's easy to overlook The Maestro's work on Brian De Palma's supernatural thriller. But in an era stuffed with classic scores, The Fury has become deservedly championed by fans of the legendary composer. Part of that is owed to the unique original soundtrack LP, recorded not by the studio orchestra that scored the final film, but a lush re-recording by The London Symphony Orchestra, fresh from Star Wars and hard at work on Superman. Thanks to a left-field sync of the album's main title in the season finale of HBO's super-hyped teen drama Euphoria, that original album is available digitally for the first time - yet another gift in Williams' 90th year.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, director Nicholas Meyer's Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is considered by many to be the best of the long-lived franchise's films. With the composer of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Jerry Goldsmith, too expensive for the sequel's budget, James Horner was brought in. It would be a breakthrough scoring gig for the future Academy Award winner (Titanic), and he would return for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Rhino's reissue features the LP sequence of the original Atlantic Records soundtrack album.
The Mills Brothers made history as the first African-American artists to have their own national radio show (on CBS, in 1930) and the first to have a No. 1 Billboard hit in 1943 with the irresistible "Paper Doll." UMe has dusted off the Vocal Group Hall of Fame inductees' 1948 Decca Souvenir Album, originally issued as a true album of 78s. The groundbreaking quartet work their silky magic on eight tracks including Alec Wilder's "I'll Be Around," Buddy Kaye and Don Mills' "After You," and of course, Johnny S. Black's "Paper Doll" (as well as Black's "Too Many Irons in the Fire").
Texas-born Tejano country singer Johnny Rodriguez gets two trips down the Weekend Stream today. UMe has reissued his third and fourth long-players for Mercury, both originally issued in 1974. My Third Album and Songs About Ladies and Love both went to the top ten of the Billboard Country chart and yielded top ten singles collectively including a cover of The Beatles' "Something," Johnny's own "Dance With Me (Just One More Time)," Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil's "We're Over," and Larry Gatlin's "I Just Can't Get Her Out of My Mind."
2006's Konvicted was Akon's sophomore album and remains his biggest seller to date, having sold over five million copies worldwide. The three-time Grammy-nominated LP features collaborations with Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Styles P, and T-Pain; this Complete Edition adds fifteen bonus tracks drawn from period retail and international exclusives (remember Circuit City?) including six non-LP sides, four remixes, and five live performances.
If you liked last week's offerings of Less Than the Song and Snowblind Friend from the hitmaking songwriter behind "Joy to the World" (the one about Jeremiah the bullfrog!) and "Never Been to Spain," we've got another of his A&M albums for you: 1974's Life Machine featuring "Billie's Theme" from the Columbia film Buster and Billie and covers of Chuck Berry ("Maybelline"), Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup ("That's All Right"), and Michael Martin Murphey ("Geronimo's Cadillac").