Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up, featuring a selection of the new titles out today!
George Michael, Older: Deluxe Edition (Legacy)
George Michael's third solo album - and the one he believed to be his finest - returns from Legacy Recordings in a new 5CD/3LP edition and a 2LP set. This expansion of 1996's Older features both the remastered album and the EP Upper (included with reissues of the album in 1997) on 180-gram vinyl and CD, along with an additional three CDs featuring 27 B-sides, live tracks, edits and remixes. (A handful were only released as promo issues, while album producer Jon Douglas' remix of "Spinning the Wheel" makes its debut in any format here.) The set is rounded out by a 48-page book, The Story of Older, featuring rare photos and reminiscences from the album's contributors, plus a set of art prints. (Altogether, this box resembles the deluxe edition of solo debut Faith more than the smaller, CD-only box set of Listen Without Prejudice.) The 2LP version has the original album only, also remastered from the original tapes. A Japan-exclusive 2-CD set has the remastered album plus a disc of bonus tracks. Read more here. UPDATE: Sorry, folks - this one's been delayed until August 12.
Elton John, Regimental Sgt. Zippo (Island/Mercury)
Last year, Elton John surprised fans on Record Store Day with the premiere release of Regimental Sgt. Zippo, a complete studio album which he recorded prior to his first released LP, Empty Sky. Now, the once-lost psych-pop gem is seeing an even wider release. Island/Mercury will debut the stereo version of Regimental Sgt. Zippo on 1CD and 1LP vinyl; the RSD vinyl edition was presented in mono. The CD version is promised to contain the full album in both mono and stereo. Read more here.
Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart (7a Records)
The names of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart have long been inextricably linked with that of The Monkees. The duo penned many of the band's most familiar songs including "(Theme From) 'The Monkees,'" "I Wanna Be Free," "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone," "Valleri," and the chart-topping "Last Train to Clarksville." So when promoters were seeking a Monkees reunion in the mid-1970s, and with Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork unavailable, it's unsurprising that Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz turned to Boyce and Hart - hitmakers in their own right with "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight," "Out and About," and "Alice Long (You're Still My Favorite Girlfriend)" - to form a new foursome. Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart released two albums, one studio set and one live album. Now, both of those albums are returning to print from 7a Records as a new 2-CD or 2-LP deluxe edition simply titled Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart. 7a's release is remastered from the original tapes and will be available in 2CD and 2LP formats. The 2CD set will include a 40-page booklet with new liner notes and previously unpublished photos, while the 2LP version will be housed in a gatefold sleeve and pressed on 180-gram green, black, and yellow "quad" vinyl. Get more info here! UPDATE: The new date for this title is just one week away: July 15!
Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Toast (Reprise)
Young and Crazy Horse recorded the album Toast "around the turn of the millennium" at San Francisco's Toast Studios but the prolific and notoriously mercurial artist soon thought better of releasing it. "Quit" and "Goin' Home" appeared on 2002's Are You Passionate?, the former in a re-recording with a different band (including Booker T. Jones, Donald "Duck" Dunn, and Crazy Horse's Frank "Poncho" Sampedro). Still other tracks including "Standing in the Light of Love" were familiar from Young having played them live in 2001. Young teased a release in 2008, telling Rolling Stone at the time that it was a "mind-blowing record...great rock and roll, very moody, kind of jazzy." On July 8, listeners will finally have a chance to hear (on CD, vinyl, and digital formats) what Young and Crazy Horse cooked up two decades ago. Their last collaborative album to date, Barn, was released in 2021. Read more here.
Dio, Holy Diver: Super Deluxe Edition (Warner/Rhino)
Rhino expands Holy Diver, the first album from the band Dio, in time for what would have been late frontman Ronnie James Dio's 80th birthday. The upcoming Super Deluxe Edition is built around two versions of Holy Diver. CD 1 presents a brand-new 2022 mix of the album made utilizing the original multitracks by Joe Barresi, while CD 2 features a remastered version of the original 1983 mix. Two discs of bonus material round out the package. CD 3, Live at Selland Arena, Fresno, CA, 1983, offers previously unreleased live versions of much of Holy Diver; CD 4 offers 10 additional tracks including Joe Barresi's remixes of session alternates as well as the 1983 B-side "Evil Eyes" and the original mono and stereo single edits of "Rainbow in the Dark." Also today, Rhino releases the new mix of Holy Diver as a 180-gram 2-LP vinyl set; this version features one bonus track, the 1983 recording of "Evil Eyes." Side Four has an etching of the demon known to Dio fans as Murray. Get more details here.
For more than a half century, Kool & The Gang have been synonymous with a special, ever-changing kind of soul music - blending rhythm and blues, disco, jazz and funk, with a few decades of hits as a result. Edsel will celebrate Kool's legacy with a series of box sets starting with The Albums Vol. 1, a 13CD set including the group's studio and live output from the majority of their time together during the '70s. The Albums Vol. 1 includes Kool & The Gang's first dozen De-Lite LPs as well as a 13th bonus disc, Singles Selection, offering 18 notable single versions and non-LP B-sides from the same period.
Elton's double platinum 1992 album The One (featuring "The One," "Runaway Train," "Simple Life," and "The Last Song") and rootsy 2004 set Peachtree Road (with "All That I'm Allowed (I'm Thankful)," "Turn the Lights Out When You Leave," and "Answer in the Sky") are reissued on vinyl today. Peachtree Road will include three bonus tracks performed by John from his Tony Award-nominated score to Broadway's Billy Elliot: "The Letter," "Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher," and "Electricity."
This new collection from the brothers Matthew and Gunnar Nelson boasts the Top 10 hits "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection" and "After the Rain," plus other staples such as "What About Me," "Only Time Will Tell," and "Too Many Dreams." It also premieres a new acoustic version of "Keep One Heart" presents the original, previously unreleased version of "Two Heads Are Better Than One" from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure with Gunnar's vocals as heard in the movie. Available on CD and digitally.
Sting brings together the 13-track deluxe version of his 2021 album The Bridge - with three bonus tracks but not the Japan-exclusive cover of "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City" - with a bonus CD adding six live tracks from Paris' Pantheon and a duet with Latin American artist KURT on "Por Su Amor" ("For Her Love"). The enclosed booklet contains Sting's notes on each song.
Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco) brings his personal touch to an album of country and country-adjacent standards from such artists as Garth Brooks ("The River"), John Denver ("Take Me Home, Country Roads"), and Marc Cohn ("Walking in Memphis"). Val Garay produced the sessions in Nashville. The album is out today as a 12-track CD or LP, and a 14-track digital deluxe edition.
The AOR hitmakers are back with their fifteenth studio album and first in 11 years. Freedom features founding member Neal Schon, mainstay Jonathan Cain, Arnel Pineda, Jason Derlatka, and Deen Castronovo as well as producer-drummer Narada Michael Walden and bassist Randy Jackson in his first appearance on a Journey record since 1986. Available today on CD and digital formats, with an LP to follow in August.