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! Return from your Record Store Day binge and kick back with some exciting finds, from charity rarities to new mixes of old favorites and even a surprising soundtrack find or two!
Various Artists, EarthPercent Earth Day Initiative (Bandcamp)
Though Bandcamp Friday is back in two weeks, the beloved digital service has partnered with EarthPercent, a charity aiming to connect musicians with meaningful action in the face of the global climate emergency. Dozens of exclusive tracks are on sale, with proceeds going to the group's efforts. Highlights include unique tracks by Coldplay, R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe, Brian Eno. Big Thief, Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, James, a duet between Nile Rodgers and French jazz musician Philippe Sasse, and - perhaps most excitingly - an unreleased, 40-year-old alternate take of Peter Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey." These tracks might be limited, so get them while you can.
War, Why Can't We Be Friends? (Saxsquatch & Stephen Walking Remix) (Avenue/Rhino) (iTunes / Amazon)
One of the immortal funk band's best-known songs gets this surreal, stripped-back mix by electronic producer Walking, featuring searing blasts by the hilariously-named horn player Saxsquatch - and, of course, that catchy group chorus.
Kris Kross, Jump (30th Anniversary Edition) EP (Columbia/Legacy) (iTunes / Amazon)
Next week marks 30 years since Kris Kross' pint-size hip-hop classic "Jump" parked atop the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks. Missing this five-track EP, featuring unique single mixes and edits (including a guest appearance by dancehall icon Super Cat), would be wiggidy-wiggidy-wack - as bad as putting your pants on forwards.
Yo La Tengo, I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (Matador) (iTunes / Amazon)
Considered one of the indie band's best works by many, Yo La Tengo's try-anything 1997 album will get a vinyl reissue this summer - but a new digital expansion includes an EP's worth of bonus tracks, including a live session with John Peel and three remixes of the track "Autumn Sweater." A director's cut of the original music video for "Sugarcube" featuring Mr. Show stars and comedic actors David Cross and Bob Odenkirk, has also made its way to YouTube, seen below.
Fergie, The Dutchess (Deluxe Edition) (A&M/UMe) (iTunes / Amazon)
So enormous were The Black Eyed Peas in the 2000s that, when the group's singer Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson released an inevitable solo album in 2006, it spun off five Top 5 singles in America, including chart-toppers "London Bridge," "Glamorous" and "Big Girls Don't Cry." (The last group to do this with a debut? Er...Milli Vanilli.) As was customary at the time, a lot of stray tracks made it to various international pressings; this new digital deluxe edition includes four such cuts, including a cover of Heart's "Barracuda," a remix of hit "Clumsy" featuring rapper Soulja Boy, and "Labels or Love," from the first of two Sex and the City films.
Remy Shand, The Way I Feel (Deluxe Edition) (Motown/UMe) (iTunes / Amazon)
Though it wasn't a massive blockbuster, Canadian blue-eyed soul man Remy Shand attracted considerable critical praise (and four Grammy nominations) for his only major-label release. Now it's ripe for rediscovery with a new digital reissue featuring six bonus tracks.
Dramarama, What Are We Gonna Do? (The Earth Day Song) (Emendation Mixes) (Chameleon/Elektra) (iTunes / Amazon)
A fan favorite from the alt-rockers' 1991 album Vinyl, a pair of brand-new remixes of this environmentalist anthem (featuring piano by Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers) have been commissioned, with proceeds from songwriting royalties going to the nonprofit Pure Earth.
Roxette & Galantis, Fading Like a Flower (Parlophone) (iTunes / Amazon)
Generations of Swedish pop collide! The original vocals from this international smash from 1991's Joyride (a No. 2 U.S. pop hit!) get incorporated into this sunny dance mix by house duo Galantis, made up of Style of Eye (a co-writer on Icona Pop's hit "I Love It") and Bloodshy (one half of Bloodshy & Avant, the duo behind faves like Britney Spears' "Toxic").
Hoyt Axton, Joy to the World / Country Anthem / Southbound / Fearless / Free Sailin' / American Originals (Capitol/A&M/Geffen)
Joy: iTunes / Amazon
Country: iTunes / Amazon
Southbound: iTunes / Amazon
Fearless: iTunes / Amazon
Sailin': iTunes / Amazon
Originals: iTunes / Amazon
A quintet of gregarious country/folk records from the actor-songwriter behind classics like Three Dog Night's chart-topping "Joy to the World," "The Pusher" and "Never Been to Spain" - featuring many of those songs and released on the Capitol, A&M and MCA labels between 1971 and 1978. (Along with a few previous batches we covered, that puts his whole Universal-controlled catalogue up digitally.) A 1992 compilation, American Originals, ties it all together neatly, offering a summary of the other parts.
Fred Parris and The Satins, Fred Parris and The Satins (Elektra) (iTunes / Amazon)
More than 25 years after The Five Satins recorded the immortal doo-wop single "In the Still of the Night," Fred Parris found his group briefly back on the charts in 1982 with the highly referential "Memories of Days Gone By," a slick mash-up of vocal pop classics trying to catch some of that Stars on 45 heat. It worked, and a mini-album was commissioned, featuring covers of the standard "I'll Be Seeing You" and the Philly soul classic "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind)."
David Arnold, Hot Fuzz (Original Motion Picture Score) (Back Lot Music) (iTunes / Amazon)
Known for an action blockbuster hot streak through the '90s and '00s - including Stargate, Independence Day and five James Bond scores - David Arnold brought that badass energy to a killer British comedy: 2007's Hot Fuzz. The flick reunited writer/director Edgar Wright, writer/actor Simon Pegg and actor Nick Frost (who'd all worked on 2004's zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead) to weave an over-the-top buddy comedy set in a rural English village. The original 23-minute score suite that closed the original soundtrack album was augmented with another five cues and put on vinyl by Mondo in 2017 - and now, that program is available to stream or download.
John Paesano, Avengers Campus: Welcome Recruits (Marvel Music) (iTunes)
To be perfectly frank, despite two dozen films and billions of dollars in revenue, the film scores of the Marvel Cinematic Universe don't often pass "serviceable." So it's a mind-blower to discover this new 12-minute suite created for ambience around the Marvel-themed land at Disney's California Adventure, which is extremely good. John Paesano, whose bona fides include scores for Marvel TV (Daredevil) and video games (Spider-Man), integrates and orchestrates MCU themes by the likes of Alan Silvestri, Michael Giacchino, Brian Tyler, Christophe Beck, Ludwig Göransson and Pinar Toprak in a truly heroic medley.
Rob M says
Remy Shand is an excellent “whatever happened to…” candidate, and a very pleasant surprise for an expanded reissue.
Gary C says
That Hot Fuzz link goes to something diff guys
The David Ruffin, It Takes All Kinds of People to Make a World (Likeminds Remix) you mentioned a few weeks back is an absolute banger and feels like the soundtrack of the summer. Coupled with the latest remix of the War, Why Can't We Be Friends? (Saxsquatch & Stephen Walking Remix), I feel a summer playlist forming. Thanks for these updates and real gems you keep finding for us.