Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up, featuring a selection of new releases arriving in stores today!
Iconoclassic offers the first-ever anthology from rock-and-roll revivalists John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band. Its 16 tracks encompass all nine of the band's chart hits (including "On the Dark Side") as well as fan favorites from the Eddie and the Cruisers albums, the Rocky IV soundtrack, and more. Vic Anesini at Battery Studios has remastered everything from the original tapes. Read more here!
The latest release from 7a Records draws on the late Davy Jones' archives. In the 1990s, Jones self-pressed a four-volume series called Just for the Record that's now fiendishly hard to find. Manchester Boy: Personal File culls 15 of the best of those Just for the Record tracks, originally recorded between the 1960s and 1980s, and brought them together on this newly-remastered CD and LP release. Despite the minimal accompaniment on many of these demos, Jones' distinctive voice and always-appealing delivery shines through - whether on autobiographical material such as "Manchester Boy" or renditions of James Taylor's "Fire and Rain," Paul McCartney's "Man, We Was Lonely," and Bobbie Gentry's "I Saw an Angel Die." These tracks are all making their debuts on vinyl. The LP is pressed on 180-gram black-and-white splatter vinyl, housed in a gatefold jacket. The CD includes a 28-page booklet with detailed liner notes, and both formats are presented with 7a's customary care and top-notch design. Available today in the U.K. and next Friday in North America.
Iconoclassic reissues The Damned's fifth album, 1982's Strawberries, as a 2-CD deluxe edition. The top 20 entry on the U.K. albums chart has been expanded with 15 bonus tracks including the non-LP singles "Lovely Money," boasting a cameo from Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band's Viv Stanshall, and "Fun Factory," with guest Robert Fripp. It also collects the associated B-sides and non-LP tracks from the era as well as the single edit of "Dozen Girls" and five live tracks recorded the month of Strawberries' release. These bonus tracks paint a full portrait of The Damned's many sonic excursions of the period. The 40th Anniversary Edition has been remastered by Grammy Award-winning engineer Mark Wilder at Battery Studios, and includes a 20-page booklet designed by Edward ODowd with liner notes penned by Jack Rabid (editor/publisher of The Big Takeover). Get more details here!
Mark Knopfler, The Studio Albums 2009-2018 (UMC (U.K.)/UMe (U.S.))
Picking up from where 2021's The Studio Albums 1996-2007 left off, this new box collects Mark Knopfler's four most recent studio albums as well as Back in the Day, a disc of bonus material. While the CD version of Back in the Day has 18 bonus tracks and the LP only has eight, the remaining ten tracks are included on the album presentations within the vinyl box. Two previously unreleased songs, "Back in the Day" and "Precious Voice from Heaven," premiere here. Original mastering engineer Bob Ludwig has overseen the mastering for the box set, and Bernie Grundman has cut the vinyl. Read more here.
Want a vinyl copy of Honey and The Bees' delicious 1970 Philly soul record Love? It would have set you back three figures...until now! Real Gone returns the album, originally released on the Josie label, to print today. Recorded at Sigma Sound (where else?), Love features vocalists Nadine Felder, Jean Davis, Gwen Oliver, and Cassandra Wooten; sweet arrangements by Norman Harris, Ronnie Baker, and Bobby Martin; and the early sound of the group of musicians who would become known as MFSB. It's been remastered by Mike Milchner, and comes on "honey-colored" vinyl.
Bakersfield Gold: Top 10 Hits 1959-1974 brings together 46 songs - all of the legendary Buck Owens' top ten smashes, including a whopping nineteen No. 1s - on 2 CDs, 3 LPs, and digitally. Essentially, this is a comprehensive greatest hits set featuring Owens, his Buckaroos, and associates including Rose Maddox, Susan Raye, and his son Buddy Alan at Capitol Records. All of the expected Owens favorites are here such as "Act Naturally," "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail," "My Heart Skips a Beat," "I Don't Care (Just as Long as You Love Me)," "Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass," and "Only You (Can Break My Heart)" as well as more surprising selections such as covers of "Johnny B. Goode" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Bakersfield Gold boasts new liner notes from Owens historian Randy Poe. A special gold vinyl edition will be available exclusively through independent retailers. Get more info here.
And now onto a trio of holiday-themed releases...
Real Gone also has two Halloween treats up today. First is Introducing Frankie Stein and His Ghouls, a 1964 novelty LP originally released on the Peter Pan label's Power imprint. It offers creepy and monster-themed song titles, followed by the suggested dances that should accompany them. The songs also feature spooky Halloween sound effects. Children's records often didn't include credits, which is the case here, but rumors persist that the line-up included guitarist Duane Eddy, saxophonist Max Greger, free jazz legend Sun Ra and members of the Blues Project. Real Gone's new reissue is its first since 1971 and comes on neon green vinyl.
1986's 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. Their soundtrack ended up spending eleven months on the Billboard charts. 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.
Sepia has a landmark release today for fans of Christmas music and classic cinema with the complete, original soundtrack presentations for two Irving Berlin movie musicals starring Bing Crosby: Holiday Inn (1942, also starring Fred Astaire) and White Christmas (1954, also starring Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, and Vera-Ellen). This premiere release of both complete soundtracks, made possible via current U.K. public domain laws, has been sourced from the original pre-recording acetates. It's packed with additional rarities, too, including a Holiday Inn radio preview special.