Fall has just begun and Halloween is nearly upon. Real Gone's slate for this month includes two releases to celebrate that day as well as bit of rare Philly Soul. The label is also repressing some titles from its considerable back catalogue. All of these titles are hitting store shelves, tomorrow, October 7.
First up is a reissue of the only album from Philly Soul group Honey & The Bees: 1970's Love. Jean Davis, Gwen Oliver, and Cassandra Wooten were known as The Yum-Yums when they auditioned for Arctic label founder Jimmy Bishop, who renamed them as Honey and the Bees and added Nadine Felder to the line-up as lead vocalist. They recorded several singles on Arctic in the mid-to-late 1960s until that label folded. The group then got signed to Jubilee imprint Josie Records in 1970. That year saw Honey & The Bees release their first full-length LP. Recorded at Sigma Sound and featuring arrangements from Philly Soul stalwarts Norman Harris, Ronnie Baker and Bobby Martin, Love includes ten tracks including a cover of the The Royalettes' "It's Gonna Take a Miracle" which became a hit for the group. After the album, Honey & The Bees recorded a few more singles for Josie before moving to Bell Records and breaking up in 1972. Oliver and Wooten would join the group The Ritchie Family later in the decade and have some hits in the disco era.
Honey & The Bees have had a couple of CD compilations over the years and Love received a CD reissue in Japan in 2014. But the original LP has become a collector's item and has never been reissued on vinyl until this new Real Gone version. It has been remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision and comes on honey-colored vinyl, limited to 2,000 copies.
Next up are a pair of reissues celebrating Halloween. The earliest hails from 1964. Introducing Frankie Stein and His Ghouls by the fictional band Frankie Stein and His Ghouls appeared on Power Records, an imprint of Peter Pan Records. The children's novelty LP features creepy and monster-themed song titles, followed by the suggested dances that should accompany them. The songs also feature Halloween sound effects. Introducing was the first in a series of five albums by the fictitious group, with the remaining four being released in 1965. Children's records often didn't include credits, which is the case here. But rumor has it that the line-up for Introducing included guitarist Duane Eddy, saxophonist Max Greger, free jazz legend Sun Ra, and members of The Blues Project. Unfortunately, the personnel has never been confirmed and remains a mystery. Real Gone's new reissue is the first since 1971 and comes on neon green vinyl.
Moving to 1986 brings us to Fastway's soundtrack to the film Trick or Treat. Fastway was formed in 1982 by guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke from Motörhead and bassist Pete Way. Way would leave before the group began recording. Signed to Columbia, their first self-titled album was released in 1983. All Fired Up followed the next year. The band then went through some personnel changes and by 1986's Waiting for the Roar the line-up was Clarke, Dave King (vocals), Shane Carroll (second guitar), Paul Reid (bass), and Alan Connor (drums). Waiting experimented with a different sound than the group's earlier heavy metal leanings and disappointed some fans. But their earlier sound was back for the next project of that year.
Trick or Treat, a horror film revolving around a high school student being haunted by the ghost of his favorite rock star, featured appearances by Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne. The movie's producer, Dino DeLaurentis, tapped Fastway to provide songs for the film. The eventual soundtrack album, a return to form for Fastway, spent eleven months on the Billboard charts. But in-fighting soon caused the band to break up. Clarke reformed the group several times beginning in 1988. Their last album was 2011's Eat Dog Eat on Steamhammer. Clarke passed away in 2018. Real Gone's new edition is the first vinyl reissue of the album. It comes on "hellfire" vinyl and is limited to 2,000 copies.
Real Gone is also going back to press on three titles. First is 45 Grave's Sleep In Safety from 1983, the band's first album. The group was formed in 1979 in California and initially consisted of Paul B. Cutler (guitar), Dinah Cancer (vocals), Rob Grave (bass), and Dan Bolles (drums). Their style was rooted in punk rock but contained elements of horror movies; alongside Christian Death, the group is considered one of the first Gothic rock bands. 45 Grave's first recording came in 1980: a cover of the 1964 novelty song "Riboflavin Flavored, Non-Carbonated, Poly-Unsaturated Blood" for a compilation. After releasing a couple of singles, Sleep In Safety arrived on Enigma Records in 1983. The group would also appear on MTV and in the film Blade Runner. The group broke up in 1985, but Cancer reformed them with all-new members in 2004 and recorded a new album in 2012. Real Gone first released a vinyl edition of Sleep in Safety in 2017 and repressed it in 2020. This new pressing comes on purple with black streaks vinyl.
Next are two vinyl represses from L7 - 1994's Hungry for Stink and 1997's The Beauty Process: Triple Platinum. The all-female band formed in California in 1985 and are viewed as a precursor to grunge and the riot grrl genres. They had a couple of line-up changes, but by 1994, the members were Donita Sparks (guitar and vocals), Suzi Gardner (guitar and vocals), Jennifer Finch (bass and vocals), and Demetra Plakas (drums and vocals).
1994's Hungry for Stink was the band's second album on Slash Records and their fourth overall. It was released around the same time the group appeared on the main stage at that year's Lollapalooza tour. Entirely self-written, the album contains such fan favorites as "Fuel My Fire" and "Andres." The album bubbled under the Billboard 200 but made the Top 30 on the U.K. Albums Chart. Their next album came three years later - The Beauty Process: Triple Platinum. It was the band's heaviest-sounding album to date and also saw a transition in the group as Finch left during the recording sessions. It peaked at No. 172 on the Billboard chart and the songs "Drama" and "Off The Wagon" were released as singles. The group supported the album by opening for Marilyn Manson on tour and releasing a concert film, L7: The Beauty Process the next year. However, the sales performance of the album was not up to Slash's expectations and the label dropped the band.
The group disbanded in 2001 after two more albums but reunited in 2014. A documentary, Pretend We're Dead, was released in 2016. Their last album, Scatter the Rats was released in 2019 on Joan Jett's Blackheart Records label. Real Gone first reissued Hungry for Stink on vinyl in 2018. This new pressing comes on clear with red streaks "Bloodshot" vinyl. RGM also first released The Beauty Process: Triple Platinum on vinyl for last year's Record Store Day. The new pressing at general retail comes on black vinyl.
If you're interested in any of these titles, we've got the full track listings and ordering links below. All are due tomorrow, October 7, though Amazon is showing next Friday, October 14, for 45 Grave's Sleep in Safety.
Honey & The Bees, Love (Originally released on Josie LP JOS 4013, 1970 - reissued Real Gone Music, 2022) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Real Gone Music)
- We Got to Stay Together
- Make Love to Me
- Please Have Mercy
- Help Me (Get Over My Used to Be Lover)
- It's Gonna Take a Miracle
- Do You Understand
- Now That I Know
- What About Me
- I'll Spend My Life Loving You
- Love Is the Key
Frankie Stein and His Ghouls, Introducing Frankie Stein and His Ghouls (Originally released on Power Records LP 338, 1964 - reissued Real Gone Music, 2022) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Real Gone Music)
- Weerdo the Wolf (Twist)
- Goon River (Swim)
- A Hearse Is Not A Home (Frug)
- Little Weirds (Monkey, Lindy)
- Lullaby of Ghost Land (Fox Trot)
- Knives and Lovers (Swim)
- Little Ghoul Blue (Mashed Potato, Shimmy)
- Ghoul Days (Watusi)
- Little Brown Bug (Hully Gully)
- The Neck Twist (Twist)
Fastway, Trick or Treat (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Originally released on Columbia Records LP C 40549, 1986 - reissued Real Gone Music, 2022) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- Trick or Treat
- After Midnight
- Don't Stop the Fight
- Stand Up
- Tear Down the Walls
- Get Tough
- Hold On To the Night
- If You Could See
45 Grave, Sleep in Safety (Purple with Black Streaks Vinyl Edition) (Originally released on Enigma Records LP ENIGMA 13, 1983 - reissued Real Gone Music, 2022) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Real Gone Music)
- Insurance From God
- Dream Hits II
- Slice O' Life
- 45 Grave
- Violent World
- Bad Love
- Surf Bat
L7, Hungry for Stink (Clear With Red Streaks "Bloodshot" Vinyl Edition) (Originally released on Slash Records LP 9 45624-1, 1994 - reissued Real Gone Music, 2022) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Real Gone Music)
- Can I Run
- The Bomb
- Questioning My Sanity
- Riding with a Movie Star
- Stuck Here Again
- Fuel My Fire
- Freak Magnet
- She Has Eyes
- Talk Box
L7, The Beauty Process: Triple Platinum (Black Vinyl Edition) (Originally released on Slash Records CD 946237-2, 1997 - reissued Real Gone Music, 2022) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Real Gone Music)
- The Beauty Process
- Off the Wagon
- I Need
- Bitter Wine
- The Masses Are Asses
- Bad Things
- Must Have More
- Non-Existent Patricia
- Me, Myself & I
- Lorenza, Giada, Alessandra
Seems like all Real Gone is doing these days is oddball vinyl. So disappointing.
Joe Marchese says
Don't forget all of our Second Disc Records CD releases this year (Melissa Manchester, Darlene Love, Liza Minnelli, Stoney & Meatloaf) and the upcoming Steve & Eydie Christmas reissue! And there are more fun CDs on the way, I promise! 😉
I had a pleasant exchange with the Real Gone folks on Facebook the other day re: the Honey & the Bees reissue. I was told there isn't enough of a market to reissue a CD that's already out there.
So I noted this album was only released on CD once, and that was in Japan in 2014, which hardly made it widely available. The anthology of their Josie recordings from the early 1970s was released by Westside, a UK label, which also made that another import release. And that was in 2000. These may still circulate in the used market to varying degrees, but they're otherwise real gone.
The response that came back was that its "gotten to the point that Amazon is about 60% of the market and only a handful of accounts order CDs. Really tough to make a release work." So it sounds like the margins from Amazon aren't so great and fewer stores are stocking CDs or even around anymore. I get it.
On the other hand, while no one discloses their actual sales numbers or market analysis, there are CD reissues of other vintage/archival material from various labels, big and small, for artists renowned and relatively obscure. I know there's always debate about the longevity of the CD and overall sales decline. I'm not denying that. I do think, however, some CDs that are truly 'real gone' deserve a closer look.
All that said, Real Gone has been at the top of the CD reissue pack for years and, beyond the recent titles you mentioned, hopefully will maintain that role with the upcoming batch of releases you hinted at.
Have a nice weekend,