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! From buckets of EPs by Portishead and the Black Crowes to a deep dive on Judy Garland, you'll find much to listen to and love.
There's plenty of celebrating the late, great Judy Garland's centennial this month (her date of birth was yesterday, June 10) - and Warner's soundtrack arm got into the celebration, too! They turned the 1996 double-disc set Collector's Gems from the M-G-M Films into a massive 115-track archive that, over six hours(!), features just about every one of the legend's featured tunes from her time with Metro Goldwyn Mayer - including team-ups with Mickey Rooney, Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. It's streaming-only, but don't let that distract you from immersing yourself in one of the screen's greatest voice. (A special thanks to reader Roger Grodsky for sharing the great news with us!)
The summer of Exodus continues! It's the second week in a row that a concert from Marley's legendary 1977 run at London's Rainbow Theatre has been released in full. The third of four nights follows next week, then a new digital deluxe version of Exodus.
Billy Preston & Syreeta, Music from the Motion Picture "Fast Break" / Billy Preston, Late At Night / The Way I Am / Pressin' On (Motown)
Having filled the holes in Preston's A&M albums discography over recent Weekend Streams, UMe now in one drop covers all four of his out-of-print albums for the Motown label. The mostly forgotten soundtrack for the Gabe Kaplan comedy film Fast Break did yield a massive hit, the Top 5 "With You I'm Born Again," a duet with Syreeta Wright. It was included on both the soundtrack album and Billy's proper Motown debut, Late At Night. The Way I Am is notable for striking covers of "A Change is Gonna Come" and the Motown classic "Keep On Truckin'."
To celebrate five years since the soulful SZA's acclaimed debut - named the best album of 2017 by TIme, Vice and the New York Daily News as well as a four-time Grammy nominee - she's reissued it digitally with seven previously unreleased tracks including an alternate of "Love Galore" and "Jodie," produced by Tyler, the Creator.
You might not know her voice, but Holly Knight was one of the top songwriters of the '80s, penning songs for Pat Benatar ("Love is a Battlefield," "Invincible"), Tina Turner ("Better Be Good to Me," "The Best"), Aerosmith ("Rag Doll"), Scandal ("The Warrior") and more. After two releases with her band Spider and one with Device, she released one album under her own name in 1988. "Every Man's Fear" and "Heart Don't Fail Me Now" were the singles that didn't take hold with audiences at the time, but the album also features her version of "Battlefield."
Portishead, Numb EP / Sour Times EP / Glory Box EP / All Mine EP (Mercury)
They've bristled at the term "trip hop," but British trio Portishead pioneered what was eventually called that style of music, combining rock, hip-hop and electronica into a potent blend of unorthodox soundscapes. The B-sides on this digital EP comprise all the non-LP material from debut album Dummy (1994) plus one single from their 1997 self-titled follow-up.
The Black Crowes, Twice As Hard EP / Hard to Handle EP / By Your Side EP (American)
A triplicate of digital EPs from the unpredictable Southern rockers. "Twice As Hard" and "Hard to Handle" feature B-sides heard on the deluxe box set reissue of debut Shake Your Money Maker, while "By Your Side" comes from the 1999 album of the same name.
Con Funk Shun, Loveshine / Candy / Touch (Mercury)
Three out-of-print albums from the California funk outfit get digital deliveries; these collectively feature Top 10 R&B hits "Shake and Dance with Me," "Chase Me" and "Too Tight."
Finally, from back when he was called "Common Sense" (and his co-producer "Immenslope" before he became No I.D.), a Top 10 rap single from the emcee/activist's 1993 debut Can I Borrow a Dollar? It features remixes by both No I.D. and The Beatnuts.