Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up, featuring a selection of the titles hitting stores today!
Elton John, Madman Across the Water: 50th Anniversary Edition (Rocket/UMe)
Elton John's 1971 Madman Across the Water receives a new 50th anniversary reissue. Available in three different formats, its most expansive is a 3CD/Blu-ray collection that'll offer the original album (remastered by Bob Ludwig in 2016), five rare bonus tracks, a dozen solo piano demos, an unreleased full version of outtake "Rock Me When He's Gone," Elton's live set from BBC's Sounds of Saturday performing nearly the entire album, surround mixes, and more. The packaging features a 104-page book featuring rare photos, memorabilia, liner notes and essays, plus a reproduced concert poster from 1971. (The audio on the three CDs will also be available on four LPs, and a 2CD edition - without the Blu-ray or Sounds of Saturday audio - will also be available. A limited edition blue/white swirl vinyl pressing of the original album is a web exclusive.) Read more here. Reports are indicating that there is an error on the Blu-ray; the Mick Ronson recording of "Madman Across the Water" is absent, with the standard version in its place. Universal is manufacturing replacement discs which are expected to ship next month; if you purchased the 3CD/BD set, please email OperationsSupport@umusic.com and submit the request along with your name, address, and proof of purchase (receipt, order confirmation, etc.). It's understood that all copies of the existing set are affected by this issue, so readers are encouraged to contact Universal for replacement discs now.
The Rolling Stones, Licked Live in NYC (Mercury Studios)
Licked Live in NYC presents The Rolling Stones' January 2003 Madison Square Garden show from the 40th anniversary Licked tour, in multiple formats including 2CD/DVD; 2CD/SD-BD (Standard Definition Blu-ray); 2CD; and 3LP (180-gram white vinyl). First released in 2003 as an HBO special and as part of the Best Buy-exclusive Four Flicks DVD package, audio and video for the concert has been newly restored and remastered, picking up four previously unreleased songs (each one a Stone-cold classic): "Start Me Up", "Tumbling Dice", "Gimme Shelter," and "Sympathy for the Devil." Sheryl Crow joins in on "Honky Tonk Women," and the band features such greats as Blondie Chaplin, Bobby Keys, and vocalist Lisa Fischer. The concert's song sequence is identical in all formats. This release marks the audio debut of this show. The DVD and Blu-ray formats add three bonus performances from Amsterdam ("Star Star," "I Just Want to Make Love to You," and "Street Fighting Man") plus rehearsal footage. The Blu-ray also includes the additional 51-minute documentary Tip of the Tongue. Get more details here!
That's not all today from The World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band. The Rolling Stones 7" Singles 1963-1966 collects on vinyl eighteen 7-inch singles and EPs from their remarkable first years as originally issued on the Decca and London labels. This release reconfigures the 2004 CD box sets presenting the identical content in miniature replica sleeves, containing the entirety of The Singles 1963-1965 and the first four discs of The Singles 1965-1967. Like the earlier CDs, the new vinyl edition features Bob Ludwig's remastering and fully restored original artwork for each single and EP. The release comes with a 32-page booklet featuring Nigel Williamson's liner notes plus photos, as well as a set of five photo cards and a poster. It's all housed within a sturdy, hard-shell box. The second collection in the series, 7" Singles 1966-1971, will pick up next year where this box leaves off with another international No. 1, "Paint It, Black." Read more here.
KISS continues its Off the Soundboard series with this previously unreleased live recording captured during the Monsters of Rock Festival at Donington Park in England on August 17, 1996. The 2-CD set includes "Do You Love Me," "God of Thunder," and more performed by the line-up of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss. Also available digitally.
Notorious B.I.G.'s 1997 album Life After Death was released on Bad Boy and Arista Records just sixteen days after his death. The expansive double album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and yielded two consecutive chart-topping singles, "Hypnotize" and "Mo Money Mo Problems." Now, it's being reissued as a vinyl box set that's quadruple the size of the original double-LP, with eight vinyl albums including the remastered Life After Death (now presented on three LPs), and reissues of the original 12-inch singles of "Hypnotize," "Mo Money Mo Problems," "Sky's the Limit," and "Nasty Boy." These are accompanied by a booklet featuring new liner notes by Sheldon Pearce, exclusive quotes from key personnel involved with the album, and rare photos from the original album cover shoot. Everything is housed within a lavish box with a lift-up lid. Read more here!
Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Bill Anderson earned his first recording contract in 1958 for Decca Records. Since then, the singer-songwriter known as Whispering Bill has enjoyed a long and remarkable career; his 45th studio album arrived in 2020. Now, he's looking back with this new collection from MCA Nashville. The 16-song set offers highlights from Anderson's career as well as two collaborations with his longtime friend Dolly Parton: one brand-new duet, "Someday It Will All Make Sense," and a rare 1964 demo, "If It Is All the Same to You."
Rufus Wainwright has returned once more to the milieu of Judy Garland with this new tribute recorded on the hallowed ground of Capitol Studios for what would have been Judy's 100th birthday. This new album features a dozen songs associated with the late superstar including "The Man That Got Away," "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Over the Rainbow," and a duet with Kristin Chenoweth recreating Garland and Barbra Streisand's arrangement of "Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy." It's available on CD and digital formats today with a vinyl LP arriving in September.
Kritzerland is moving ever closer to the conclusion of its long-running reissue series drawn from the archives of Ben Bagley's Painted Smiles Records with this trio of new releases. Oscar Hammerstein Revisited features a typically starry and eclectic Bagley cast (Cab Calloway, Blossom Dearie, Alfred Drake, Dorothy Loudon, Elaine Stritch, Gloria Swanson, and even "Over the Rainbow" lyricist E.Y. Harburg!) on a host of rare songs penned by Hammerstein II with collaborators including Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, and Sigmund Romberg. For Everyone Else Revisited, he assembled Nell Carter, Dorothy Loudon, Arthur Siegel, and Diane Carnevale for rarities written by Hoagy Carmichael, Moose Charlap, Duke Ellington, Burton Lane, Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, and other top-tier songwriterss he missed along the way. Last up is Bagley's recording of late comedienne-singer-actress Kaye Ballard's salute to The Ladies Who Wrote the Lyrics (Dorothy Fields, Carolyn Leigh, and Nancy Hamilton) featuring music by Cy Coleman, Elmer Bernstein, Jule Styne, and many others. Ballard is accompanied by Arthur Siegel. The audio for all three reissues has been spruced up, and each is limited to just 500 units. All three are available for pre-order now directly from Kritzerland; CDs will ship by the third week of July but the label usually sends them out before the release date. Visit Kritzerland to order all three titles!