Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up, featuring a selection of the new titles in stores today!
Billy Joel, Live at Yankee Stadium (Columbia/Legacy)
2CD/Blu-ray: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
3LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Billy Joel's Live at Yankee Stadium, originally released on video, is getting a major makeover. The concert film, shot on June 22 and 23, 1990, has been restored and remixed from original audio and video elements for a 2CD/Blu-ray or 3LP package. Eleven of the tracks have never been released in any format. The ground-up restoration of Live at Yankee Stadium includes the original 16-millimeter footage of the sets (overseen by Joel's onetime Atilla bandmate Jon Small) restored in 4K and re-edited, while the concert multi-tracks have been remixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos by Jay Vicari, under the guidance of Joel's longtime sound tech Brian Ruggles. The concert feature, including behind-the-scenes footage and vintage interviews with Billy, was screened last month in theatres and makes its Blu-ray debut here. Read more here!
Barbra Streisand, Live at the Bon Soir: Greenwich Village, November 1962 (Columbia/Legacy)
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Hybrid Stereo SACD / LP: Impex Records
Barbra Streisand's 1962 live album recorded at New York's tiny Bon Soir - once intended to be her very first Columbia Records LP release - gets a long-overdue premiere marking the superstar's 60th anniversary with the label. It arrives today in multiple formats including standard CD and digital release from Columbia/Legacy; hybrid stereo SACD (playable on all CD players) from Impex Records; and 180-gram black vinyl LP from Impex Records. Live at the Bon Soir features the near-two dozen songs recorded on those historic nights in November 1962 as newly mixed from the original multitrack tapes. The 2022 mixes have been supervised by Barbra and engineer Jochem van der Saag and sourced from the original master tapes engineered by Roy Halee (Simon and Garfunkel) and Ad "Pappy" Theroux. Jay Landers provides liner notes for all formats including track-by-track descriptions and Streisand also offers her commentary. The Impex vinyl edition will be housed in a tip-on gatefold jacket and includes a 12-page booklet while the hybrid stereo SACD is housed in a hardcover book-style package with 32 pages of notes, photographs, and more. Get more details here.
Steely Dan, Can't Buy a Thrill (Geffen/UMe/Analogue Productions)
180-gram Remastered LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
UHQR Box Set: Analogue Productions
Stereo Hybrid SACD: Analogue Productions
Geffen/UMe and Analogue Productions kick off their sonic overhaul of the Steely Dan discography with the band's 1972 debut album Can't Buy a Thrill. Each title in the series will be available on standard 180-gram remastered LP; a limited edition UHQR vinyl box set with the pressing at 45 RPM on 200-gram vinyl; and as a stereo hybrid SACD (playable on all CD players). Read about the full campaign here!
Eric Clapton, The Complete Reprise Studio Albums Vol. 1 (Reprise/Rhino) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
This new vinyl box set chronicles the highs and lows of Eric Clapton's solo career in the '80s and '90s, from pop-adjacent player to triumphant elder statesman. Rhino's The Complete Reprise Studio Albums Volume 1 will include six of Slowhand's LPs issued between 1983 and 1998 - from Money and Cigarettes to Pilgrim - as well as an eight-track selection of non-LP live tracks and B-sides that includes two unreleased songs. Nearly every album (save Money and Cigarettes) has been pressed on two LPs - each comprising three sides of vinyl - and all feature new mastering from Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering and new lacquers cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering. Read more here.
John Mellencamp, Scarecrow: Deluxe Edition (Mercury/UMe)
2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2CD/Blu-ray/LP/7": Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
John Mellencamp's 1984 landmark Scarecrow launched five Top 40 singles: the Top 10 hits "Small Town," "Lonely Ol' Night," and "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (A Salute to '60s Rock)," along with rock radio staple "Rumbleseat" and the haunting opener "Rain on the Scarecrow." The album sold more than 5 million copies and remains one of his most successful efforts. It's being reissued in a new stereo mix, while a bonus disc features 11 rare B-sides, rough mixes and demos. (A deluxe box set includes the new album mix on 180-gram half-speed mastered vinyl as well as the new stereo and Atmos mixes on Blu-ray, plus a poster, lithograph and 7" reissue of the "Small Town" single.) Anthony DeCurtis has contributed liner notes for both editions. Read more here.
The Deluxe Edition of Seal will include the British singer's first album, remastered for the first time on CD, and three sides of vinyl in one package. A further three bonus discs collect rare B-sides and remixes (including the original "premix" versions of key songs from early pressings) plus an unreleased concert recorded in Ireland in the wake of the album. The 12" x 12" package contains rare photos and new liner notes from journalist Jim Farber. Original album producer Trevor Horn has also created a Dolby Atmos mix, to be exclusively available digitally alongside the album. Read more here.
Spice Girls, Spiceworld: 25th Anniversary Editions (UMC (U.K.) / UMe (U.S.))
2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Clear vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Picture Disc: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
UMC celebrates Spice Girls' second album with a variety of releases. The Spiceworld reissue will be built around a 2CD edition curated by the group, featuring the remastered album and a disc of 15 bonus cuts. THighlights include non-album tracks like promo single "Step to Me" (along with an unheard demo of the same), live performances, and remixes including a newly-constructed megamix. It'll be packaged in an A5-size hardback package with rare images and a new introduction from the Girls, and is now due on December 16. A clear vinyl and picture disc version of the original album are out today. Black vinyl and double cassette formats are for sale through the group's official store. Get more info here.
The Hits 1: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Target (color variant)
The Hits 2: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Walmart (color variant)
Legacy Recordings is bringing Prince's 1993 greatest hits collections back to vinyl. Though not a complete overview of Prince's chart entries, both sets of The Hits offered a comprehensive review of the artist's core discography. For completists, more than a dozen single edits and mixes were included therein, along with four brand new tracks: a live version of the Prince-penned "Nothing Compares 2 U" (a No. 1 hit for Sinead O'Connor in 1991), the acoustic-driven vault track "Pink Cashmere" (recorded in 1988 for the shelved Rave Unto the Joy Fantastic album), and rousing experiments in blues ("Peach") and even hip-hop ("Pope"). For their premiere vinyl release from Legacy (The Hits 1 was reissued by Warner in 2020 before Legacy controlled most of the material's distribution), each 150-gram 2LP set will come out on black vinyl instead of the by-now typical purple wax that most Legacy reissues have been put upon. But there are color options for U.S. retailers: each volume will be available on "creamy white" vinyl, with Target being the place to get that variant for The Hits 1 and Walmart for The Hits 2. You'll find the track listings and more here.
The Police's 1981 album Ghost in the Machine is receiving a picture disc vinyl reissue - with a twist. The UMC release will present the album with its "original" expanded track list that was apparently shortened at the last minute. In addition to the inclusion of three non-album tracks - the haunting tracks "I Burn for You" and "Once Upon a Daydream" (released on the soundtrack to Brimstone & Treacle and the B-side of 1983's "Synchronicity II," respectively) and the instrumental jam "Shambelle" - four of the album tracks will include a brief archival treat in the form of drummer Stewart Copeland's count-ins before tracking began. Read more here.
Various Artists, Stranger Things: Soundtrack from the Netflix Series Season 4 (Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
This 22-track collection gathers the eclectic music featured in the fourth season of Netflix's supernatural drama Stranger Things, including Kate Bush's chart-topping "Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)," KISS' "Detroit Rock City," The Beach Boys' "California Dreamin'," James Taylor's "Fire and Rain," Metallica's "Master of Puppets," Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong's "A Kiss to Build a Dream On," and two versions of Journey with Steve Perry's "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)." Available on CD, digital formats, and a host of 2-LP versions: standard black vinyl which includes a 12x12 Stranger Things poster insert; and exclusives at Walmart (Creel House cover and puzzle), Target (California cover and diorama), Barnes & Noble (Russia cover and stickers), and Amazon (Lab cover and a 12x12 Butcher Billy lithograph).
Donna Summer, Donna Summer: 40th Anniversary Edition (Driven by the Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Driven by the Music reissues Donna Summer's 1982 Geffen album in a new book-style edition containing the original album plus seven bonus tracks: the B-side "Sometimes Like Butterflies," three single edits, two Le Flex remixes of "Mystery of Love," and a remix of "Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)."
Bob Dylan, The Philosophy of Modern Song (Simon & Schuster)
Book: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Audiobook: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Bob Dylan examines 66 of his favorite songs through his own, idiosyncratic perspective in this entertaining new tome. Dylan adopts the tone of a pulp writer for many of his most fanciful excursions and extrapolations: discussing the My Fair Lady ballad "On the Street Where You Live," he imagines that "you've got a habit, a bad habit. You fell in love with the hard stuff. You fell for the foxy harlot, the vamp who lives around here somewhere, and you're silly about her, she's got you hooked. You're on the street where she lives..." But he just as soon switches gears, astutely praising lyricist Alan Jay Lerner's three-syllable rhymes ("street before/feet before," "heart of town/part of town," "bother me/rather be"). His alternately illuminating and head-scratching passages bring new perspective to such familiar songs as "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves," "Blue Moon," "Mack the Knife," "Ball of Confusion," "Strangers in the Night," and "Come on-a My House," all rendered with an impish zest. Dylan's singular voice leaps off the page but if you'd like to hear him read it - along with Helen Mirren, Renee Zellweger, Oscar Isaac, Rita Moreno, John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, and others - there's an audiobook, too. (Too bad the songs aren't included!) The Philosophy of Modern Song is distinctly Dylan, embracing all his many contradictions.
Very bad reviews for the Spice Girls reissue, it looks like the majority of live tracks are Youtube rips and the Viva Forever "new" mix is a lossy file sourced from mp3. The magamix is quite bad and unispired. The "new" Never give up on the good times" video is just a generic montage.
What a mess of a reissue.
Rob M says
When you have reissues by Joni Mitchell or Quincy Jones coming out with glitches that make you say, “and WHERE was the QC on this?”…how can you expect a Spice Girls campaign to be given any sort of serious credence?
They don’t care anymore. They just don’t care.
The money we spend and we give to labels have no glitches or made by something else than real money. Spice Girls releases are from Universal, who was supposed to be the #1 label worldwide.
But, please, the name on the cover is not important: I want a perfect reissue, be it of The Beatles, Madonna, Toyah, Spice Girls, Joni Mitchell, Seal, Prince or Oingo Boingo. Just because a Toyah live album reissue is supposed to be bought by 2000 people and a Prince reissue by 800.000 can't justify a bad Toyah reissue and a perfect Prince one. They both have to be perfect the same way at the highest level.
btw, I agree with you: they just don't care. At least Spice Girls.
Donna's '82 self-titled album was actually her 2nd album released on Geffen, The Wanderer being the 1st. With these anniversary reissues that have been steadily appearing from Driven By The Music I hope this means that She Works Hard For The Money will be next. If the label continues to follow the chronology of her catalog that would be a logical assumption. Could that album finally be on the deluxe edition horizon?
Question being: does her estate now hold the rights, or is it still controlled by Universal, along with the her Casablanca material? While I agree that a deluxe “Money” might be nice, DBTM has had to leave it out of all their other compilations until now. Maybe someday…
Rob M says
I’d say that depends on Driven’s deal. “Money” is a weird album in that it was released on Mercury smack dab in the middle of her Geffen deal, because it was discovered she still owed one more album to Casablanca (which had dissolved into Mercury via PolyGram).
That’s why that one album always gets treated differently amongst that eras reissues.
Yup. And all those old labels (Casablanca, Mercury, Polygram) are all part of Universal now. So if they regard it as the last album under her Casablanca contract, chances are that Driven won't be able to do anything with it for quite some time yet, if ever.
Yes, but I'm hoping that her Polygram catalog being included in the Enore box is good indication that SWHFTM will follow. Perhaps a deal has been reached with the licensing & these anniversary reissues will move forward smoothly in proper order. Hmmm, we'll see next year when the SWHFTM Anniversary comes along.
Colin Harper says
'Bert Jansch at the BBC' 8CD or 4LP+DL also released this week on Earth Recordings. 147 tracks, almost all previously unreleased, with fabulous LP sized packaging and booklet paper stock. I was the curator, metaphorical blood was sweated on the restoration/mastering and presentation.