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, Marvin Gaye gets remixed, two pop icons from different generations join forces, an underrated Olivia Newton-John album resurfaces and more.
Sort of the quiet masterpiece in Marvin Gaye's impressive '70s run, the disco-tinged title track to I Want You was given the remix treatment by John Morales as a limited edition vinyl release in Europe some years back. The two mixes released at the time are now paired with two unreleased versions, including a piano/vocal mix, to celebrate this classic in a whole new way.
The heartbreaking passing of Olivia Newton-John has had fans of all stripes discovering and rediscovering gems in her discography - and one underrated album has just made its digital debut. The Rumour, released in 1988, was the singer's first without producer John Farrar at the helm; it featured a wide variety of mature pop tunes, as well as the glossy title track, featuring piano and vocals from Elton John (who co-wrote the tune with Bernie Taupin).
Speaking of Elton, the pop legend follows up the surprise success of "Cold Heart" - an across-the-generations duet with Dua Lipa and production team PNAU that mixed and mashed a quartet of cuts from his back catalogue (and gave him his 31st U.K. and 28th U.S. Top 10) - with another mash of "Tiny Dancer," "The One" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart." The story here, of course, is its inclusion of Britney Spears; her first single in six years and first artistic output since the controversial conservatorship around her career was ordered terminated by law. The combination of comeback and throwback might mean this could be sitting high on the charts before the summer ends.
Roger Miller, Roger and Out / The 3rd Time Around (Capitol Nashville/UMe)
UMe's Roger Miller rollout continues with the country icon's first and third albums for Smash Records, featuring the Top 10 pop hits "Dang Me," "Chug-a-Lug" and "Engine Engine #9." (Oddly, the press release announcing these reissues promised second album The Return of Roger Miller on this date as well; perhaps it'll loose from the digital pipeline soon.)
Kitty Wells, The Decca Singles 1952-1953 / The Decca Singles 1954-1955 / The Decca Singles 1956-1958 / The Decca Rarities (UMe)
If you've been enjoying UMe's delivery of classic Kitty Wells albums, you might also love these four collections chronicling seven years of hits, single sides and rare gems from her time on Decca Records.
Issued by Cleveland International in June, this smoking set at the storied Agora finds the Jukes in rare form on a 14-song set that includes familiar favorites like the Bruce Springsteen-penned "The Fever," Sam Cooke's immortal "Havin' a Party" and a cover of Billy Joel's "Say Goodbye to Hollywood" featuring vocals by Ronnie Spector (who'd recorded the track with Springsteen and The E Street Band that same year.
The debut album by L.A. soul trio Klique featured writing and production from members of recent Weekend Stream mainstay Con Funk Shun. A modest hit on the R&B charts, Klique would later gain some pop ground with a cover of Jackie Wilson's "Stop Doggin' Me Around," and singer Howard Huntsberry would take his uncanny Jackie impression everywhere from La Bamba (where he appeared as Wilson) to Ghostbusters II.
Kenny Burrell, On View At The Five Spot Cafe (Blue Note) / Night Song / Asphalt Canyon Suite (Verve)
From a decade apart comes three LPs from jazz guitar legend Kenny Burrell. 1959's On View At The Five Spot Cafe is now digitally available in its original five-song configuration (three bonus tracks were later added on CD), featuring a quintet that included hard-bop saxophonist Tina Brooks and Art Blakey on drums. Night Song and Asphalt Canyon Suite, issued on Verve in 1969, respectively offer a large group session and a suite for guitar, piano and orchestra.
Jazz trumpeter Buck Clayton's second album was so named because that's exactly what you got: those two tracks, in side-long jams featuring an 11-player combo that would set the template for most of his "jams" over the next decade. This digital expansion features two alternate takes of the latter track.