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, we've got long-lost pop from a teenaged star, a crop of country classics, cool West Coast jazz, freestyle hits, and more!
Island brings two compilations from British singer-songwriter Nik Kershaw to digital services today. B-Sides is just that, collecting nine such cuts from Kershaw while Extended Versions has 30 remixes - almost three hours of music - including versions of many of his most popular hit tunes including "Dancing Girls," "Wouldn't It Be Good," "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," "Human Racing," "The Riddle," and "Wide Boy."
The 2003 expanded edition of "Sing Along" leader Mitch's 1956 concept album - originally billed as a "Mitch Miller Musical" - featuring Jerry Vale, Jill Corey, and The Michael Stewart Chorus goes digital today. While the lush music is recommended, it's worth a click just to see its beautiful cover, inviting listeners to "follow your heart on a heavenly holiday to all Europe."
Family band The Jets might be best remembered for their irresistible No. 3 Pop/No. 1 AC/No. 2 R&B hit "You Got It All" - written by Rupert Holmes and sung by 13-year old Elizabeth Wolfgramm. Here's their fourth album, 1989's Believe, featuring another Holmes tune ("Leave It to Me") and a pair from Diane Warren ("The Same Love," a top 20 AC hit, and Karate Kid Part III soundtrack cut "Under Any Moon," with Glenn Medeiros). Blending pop, R&B, and dance, Believe was The Jets' final major label studio album.
Here's looking at you, kid: Time Life has released four new collections from "Key Largo" singer-songwriter and yacht rock mainstay Bertie Higgins including that 1981 top ten Pop/No. 1 AC hit as well as "Just Another Day in Paradise" and covers of summery tunes such as "Kokomo," "Margaritaville," "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)", and "Volcano." Sit back, pour yourself a cool refreshment, and sail away!
The Blood, Sweat & Tears' frontman's third eponymous solo album (this time for RCA, following albums of that name for Decca and Columbia) is a showcase for his full-throated soul vocals on both original tunes ("Harmony Junction," "Professor Longhair") and covers ("Can't Buy Me Love," "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby"," "Hernando's Hideaway").
Sam's sublime, intimate 1958 Decca set is among his most highly romantic, featuring his vocals and Mundell Lowe's guitar on such smoky standards as "Bewitched," "Try a Little Tenderness," "This Love of Mine," and "I've Got a Crush on You."
The jazz chanteuse's 1963 album, featuring arrangements by Marty Manning, takes her commanding vocals in a (slightly) classical direction with unusual if compelling takes on "Be My Love," "Full Moon and Empty Arms," "Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life" and "If You Are But a Dream."
Following last week's bunch, two more titles from country's Mickey Gilley hit digital services today, from 1983 and 1984.
Singer-actress (and onetime Mrs. Xavier Cugat) Abbe Lane's 1959 RCA long-player Where There's a Man, with arrangements from Sid Ramin, features her saucy vocals on a host of classic songs about, well, men - including "I Must Have That Man," "The Gentleman Is a Dope," "What Is a Man," and "The Man I Love." The concept album begins with Lane proclaiming herself just "A Little Girl from Little Rock" (from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) and ends with her admonition to "Go to Sleep, Go to Sleep, Go to Sleep."