Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up, featuring a selection of new titles available today!
Bob Marley and The Chineke! Orchestra (Island/UMe) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
This 10-song set, recorded at Abbey Road Studios under the aegis of producer Nick Patrick, merges Bob Marley's original vocal tracks with new orchestrations played by The Chineke! Orchestra, an adventurous ensemble dedicated to increasing diversity in music. The album features many of the reggae pioneer's most beloved compositions including "Get Up, Stand Up," "Is This Love," "One Love," and "I Shot the Sheriff." Available on CD, LP, and digital formats. as well as in a Target-exclusive 2-CD edition with the Marley originals on Disc Two. Read more here!
The Hagers, The Complete Capitol Albums (Omnivore) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Identical twins Jim and John Hager's three albums released by Capitol Records in 1970-1971 - The Hagers, Two Hagers Are Better Than One, and Motherhood, Apple Pie, and The Flag - come to CD today from Omnivore Recordings. The Hagers notched an impressive 135 appearances on Hee Haw and remained a draw on the country music circuit until Jim's death in 2008 (John passed just months later in 2009). This collection has been remastered by Michael Graves from the original tapes and features new liner notes by Randy Poe. Available on CD and digital formats.
ZZ Top, RAW - That Little Ol' Band from Texas: Original Soundtrack (BMG) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
A belated soundtrack arrives to the 2019 documentary, and it's become a fitting tribute to the band's late bassist, Dusty Hill (1949-2021). The album captures an impromptu live performance at Texas' Gruene Hall, recorded without an audience in front of the cameras. The stripped-down and yes, raw, approach allows the bandmates' tight interplay and musicianship to shine. Available on CD, digitally, and vinyl, including a Walmart-exclusive "Ghostly Gray" color pressing.
Tony Joe White, The Beginning (New West) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
The "Rainy Night in Georgia" and "Polk Salad Annie" singer-songwriter's 29th album - recorded in stripped-down fashion to emphasize White's voice as a storyteller and swamp-rock guitar - returns to CD and LP. The CD contains a booklet with both lyrics and photos.
Gilbert O'Sullivan, Driven (Union Square) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
The veteran singer-songwriter is back with his first studio album in four years. Driven features "Take Love" with KT Tunstall and "Let Bygones Be Bygones" with Mick Hucknall plus eleven other compositions with O'Sullivan's expected emphasis on melody. Available on CD, LP, and digitally.
She and Him, Melt Away: A Tribute to Brian Wilson (Fantasy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
For their seventh studio album, She and Him - a.k.a. Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward - pay tribute to The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson. Melt Away features fourteen intimate reinterpretations from the Wilson songbook, with the title track pulled from his solo debut and the rest from the Beach Boys' discography. Brian himself joins the duo on "Do It Again." Available on CD, LP, and digitally.
Bananarama, Masquerade (Absolute) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Bananarama is back with Masquerade, their 12th studio album. The LP celebrates Bananarama's 40th year, and reunites Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward with producer Ian Masterson. Available in a variety of formats including CD, standard black LP (coming September 9), and digitally plus exclusive color LPs and cassettes at the band's official store.
The Hagers have one of the more unusual stories in country music history. Although they received extensive TV exposure from 17 seasons on Hee Haw and performed as a featured act on Buck Owens popular road show in the early 70's, their familiarity never translated into hit records. Jim & John recorded for four different record labels but could never manage to score even one top 40 country single hit. Perhaps it was their timing or the songs selected for single release or not receiving adequate promotion by their record labels or a combination of all three. But clearly they were excellent harmony vocalists that did record some very good music. Now 50 years later their earliest recorded performances are receiving their first CD and digital releases.
The duo's affiliation with Buck Owens, who discovered them performing at Disneyland, facilitated their first recording contract with Buck's label Capitol Records. This new anthology features every studio recording the duo released for that imprint from 1969 to 1971. Their "live" performances released on Buck Owens' concert albums are not part of this release. This Omnivore anthology contains all three Hager albums that included the A and B sides of their seven Capitol singles for a total of 30 tracks. Highlights include a superb rendition of Merle Haggard's "Silver Wings" and a rockin' take on "Silver Threads And Golden Needles."
Thanks to Omnivore for making these tracks available.
Jon Young says
One track has been deleted from the original issue of the Tony Joe White album. Curious!
Philip John Birtwistle says
Don't forget the 5.1 mix of Gilbert's album, available exclusively through Super Deluxe Edition.