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 is packed with a few digital-led campaigns for Leonard Cohen, Bob Marley and Avril Lavigne, plus batches of releases for fans of Gloria Estefan and country singer Gene Watson!
It's getting to the point where Weekend Stream concerns are leaders for bigger catalogue news out there. This week, Sony has put out a new compilation featuring exactly what it promises (though it's worth noting that the version of "Hallelujah," performed by Cohen at the Glastonbury Festival in 2008, is previously unreleased). It'll be out physically in October, but the reason it's out now is to tie into the dual release of the expanded paperback edition of Alan Light's brilliant The Holy or the Broken - which chronicles the evolution of "Hallelujah" from forgotten epic to Cohen's (and Jeff Buckley's) signature song - as well as the impending premiere of Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song, a documentary inspired by the book.
This one's going to require a whole separate article next week, too: this month, the Bob Marley estate will celebrate 45 years of Exodus with a quartet of digital releases. Three of them are live sets from The Wailers' June 1977 run at London's Rainbow Theatre (all excerpted in part on various deluxe editions of Exodus) and the fourth will be a new digital deluxe of that original album featuring a few tracks that are digitally unavailable.
Look, even if we didn't cover catalogue music here, we'd think of some reason to report on a press release about the first-ever reggae remix of the late country icon's No. 1 smash. Some things are too fascinating to pass up.
Here's another digital first reissue (coming to vinyl in January 2023, whew!). Avril Lavigne's 2002 debut album deftly combined TRL-era pop with a punk-adjacent edge, spinning off three Top 10s for the Canadian singer ("Complicated," "Sk8er Boi," "I'm with You"). Now, it features five B-sides and soundtrack cuts plus a new recording of "Breakaway," a song co-written for the album but ultimately recorded by Kelly Clarkson, who took it to No. 1.
Gloria Estefan, I See Your Smile / Heaven's What I Feel / Corazón Prohibido / Oye! (English Remixes) / Oye! (Spanish Remixes) / Cuba Libre / Don't Let This Moment End (Epic)
This week is the (looks at calendar) 24th anniversary of Gloria Estefan's Gloria!, a full on dance floor-aimed album. So it's only natural that a half dozen remix EPs (plus some remixes/megamixes tied to Estefan's 1992 greatest hits collection on the "I See Your Smile" bundle) make it to streaming and download.
A little treat for fans of the Chili Peppers' newest album Unlimited Love, released in April: as you might have guessed from the obi on the digital cover art, this is a Japanese bonus track from the LP.
Gene Watson, Love in the Hot Afternoon / Because You Believed in Me / Paper Rosie / Gene Watson's Beautiful Country / The Best of Gene Watson / Reflections / Should I Come Home / No One Will Ever Know (Capitol Nashville)
A straightforward country balladeer in the '70s and '80s who racked up a handful of genre Top 10s during that period (including "Farewell Party," "Love in the Hot Afternoon" and others), Gene Watson's entire discography for Capitol is now digitally available.
Maria McKee, I Can't Make It Alone EP / Live (Live in Glasgow/1993) EP (Geffen)
More '90s rarities from the former Lone Justice singer, including a rare live EP.
Paul Anka, Paul Anka / Jubilation (Buddah)
Unavailable for some time, Paul Anka cut these two albums for Buddah in the early '70s. They're all mostly originals (including a version of "My Way," the lyrics of which Anka wrote for Frank Sinatra to sing) and feature top-notch production by Phil Ramone and David Van DePitte (on the self-titled) and British pop producer/arranger Johnny Harris (on Jubilation). Though neither charted particularly well, Anka would find himself back on top a few years later with "(You're) Having My Baby."
Released in 1956, this live swinger of an LP united a trio of solid tenor sax players: Al Cohn, Bill Perkins and Richie Kamuca. Mosaic reissued it on CD with four bonus tracks; that's the version debuting here.
Finally, a little weekend treat: one of Second Disc HQ's favorite current bands, pop trio MUNA, have covered Britney Spears' "Sometimes" for the much-talked about new film Fire Island, currently streaming on Hulu.