Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up, featuring a selection of the new titles in stores today.
Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, That Holiday Feeling! (Real Gone Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Real Gone Music)
Real Gone Music presents a newly-remastered and expanded edition of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme's 1964 Christmas classic That Holiday Feeling! This new edition adds eight bonus tracks including all three of Steve and Eydie's songs from the 1969 RCA album Christmastime in Carol and Song on which they were supported by the orchestra and chorus of renowned conductor Arthur Fiedler (Steve's "Go Tell It on the Mountain," Eydie's "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," and Steve and Eydie's "Hurry Home for Christmas"); their early duet of Frank Loesser's "Baby, It's Cold Outside;" Steve's take on "White Christmas" (Eydie's exquisite rendition is heard on the original album); Steve's never-before-on-CD "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" and previously unreleased 1967 recording of "The First Noel;" and Eydie's brassy "My Favorite Things." It adds up to the ultimate Steve and Eydie Christmas celebration. Their son David Lawrence has written a new introduction, and TSD's Joe Marchese provides the liner notes for the expanded booklet designed by John Sellards which also includes rare photos of the famous pair. The album has been remastered and restored from the original stereo tapes under the supervision of David Lawrence. Read more here!
Guns N' Roses, Use Your Illusion I & II: Super Deluxe Edition (Geffen/UMe)
7CD/Blu-ray: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
12LP/Blu-ray: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Use Your Illusion I (Deluxe Edition): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Use Your Illusion II (Deluxe Edition): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
4LP colored vinyl with slipmat: Official Store
UYI I 1CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
UYI I 2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
UYI II 1CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
UYI II 2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
UMe collects Guns N' Roses' twin 1991 albums on a new super deluxe box that spans seven CDs or 12 LPs and a Blu-ray. Both boxes include new remasters of Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, plus two complete live sets, newly mixed from the original multi-track tapes: a "warm-up" gig at The Ritz in New York, some four months before the albums dropped, and a later show from the accompanying tour recorded in Las Vegas in January 1992. (By this point, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin had departed, and Gilby Clarke took his place.) The Ritz show, also captured on 35 millimeter film and recently digitized in 4K Ultra HD, will feature on the Blu-ray with stereo, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos audio mix options. A folio of new and replica swag is also included, from photo prints to replicas of fan club newsletters, backstage passes and ticket stubs, as is a 100-page book of liner notes and memorabilia. There are also 2CD versions with tracks that do not appear on the box, and 1CD or 2LP original album remasters. Note the caveat that all versions of "November Rain" have been replaced with a new mix by Steven Wilson featuring a 50-piece orchestra under the direction of composer Christopher Lennertz replacing the synth orchestra patches of the original track. Read our full article for all of the details on each edition. Get more details here.
Various Artists, Life Moves Pretty Fast: The John Hughes Mixtapes (Edsel)
4CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
4CD/7"/Cassette: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
6LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
A new box set devoted to late filmmaker John Hughes presents a diverse collection of pop songs he helped bring to the masses. Life Moves Pretty Fast. The John Hughes Mixtapes offers four volumes of songs from the writer/director's popular comedies and teen dramas including The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The director's longtime music supervisor Tarquin Gotch has curated the collection with the help of Hughes' son James, even working from some of the filmmaker's personal mix tapes as featured on the cover of the package. Gotch, the younger Hughes, and Ferris Bueller himself (actor Matthew Broderick) have all penned notes and tributes for the accompanying booklet, which will also include track-by-track annotations. The box will be available as a 4CD or 6LP set, with a double vinyl cutdown also available. A limited version of the 4CD set will add in a reissue of a 7" sent to members of Hughes' fan club featuring two tracks from Ferris Bueller's Day Off (which wouldn't appear on CD until decades later) as well as a Hughesian cassette featuring a selection from the box. Read more here!
Louis Armstrong, Louis Wishes You a Cool Yule (Verve/UMe)
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
For an artist who never recorded a proper Christmas album, Louis Armstrong has become associated with the holiday due to the seasonal warmth of "What a Wonderful World" and even the irreverent "Zat You, Santa Claus?" which finds its way yearly to Christmas radio and playlists. Numerous Christmas compilations have been built around Armstrong's discography, but most tapped either non-holiday songs in Armstrong's catalogue or tracks from other artists to round out his few Christmas recordings. Verve and UMe are now releasing what's being billed as the late trumpeter's first "official" Christmas album. Louis Wishes You a Cool Yule brings together nearly every Christmas side released by Armstrong including six Decca singles as well as one previously unreleased goodie: his February 26, 1971 reading - just months before his death, and likely his final recording - of "A Visit from St. Nicholas," or "The Night Before Christmas," set to new piano accompaniment by Sullivan Fortner. Armstrong historian Ricky Riccardi provides the new liner notes for this 11-song compendium. Louis Wishes You a Cool Yule will be issued on CD, red vinyl, picture disc vinyl, and digitally including high-res and Dolby Atmos. Read more here.
Lea Michele, Christmas in the City (Real Gone Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Real Gone Music)
Real Gone has the vinyl premiere of the first Christmas album from Broadway's new Funny Girl, Lea Michele. Christmas in the City not only placed within the top thirty of the Billboard 200 upon its original release, but reached No. 3 on the Christmas Albums chart. The album, blending contemporary and retro holiday sounds, was produced by Alex and Adam Anders and features a host of guest singers including Michele's Spring Awakening co-star (and the voice of Kristoff in the Frozen franchise), Jonathan Groff, Color Purple star Cynthia Erivo, and Glee co-star Darren Criss. Real Gone's vinyl debut from this showstopping artist is pressed on "snow white" vinyl and is limited to 1,500 units. It's housed in a gatefold jacket adorned with photos of the former Glee star at her most festive.
Pat Martino, Baiyina (The Clear Evidence) (Real Gone Music, 2022) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Real Gone Music)
Guitarist Pat Martino's fourth album for Prestige returns from Real Gone. For this LP, Martino began to explore more diverse musical styles by including sitars and featuring drones and unusual time signatures. The style is similar to that of Coltrane and Ravi Shankar. Martino composed all of the tracks and is joined by bassist Richard Davis, drummer Charlie Persip, and, making his recording debut, Gregory Herbert on alto sax and flute. Real Gone's vinyl release of Baiyina is the album's first reissue in over 30 years. It comes on orange vinyl. There is also a pink and red marble edition, limited to 100 copies, which is available exclusively from Real Gone's website.
Herb Ellis and Remo Palmier, Windflower (Real Gone Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Real Gone Music)
Windflower features the duo of Herb Ellis and Remo Palmier joined by George Duvivier on bass and Ron Traxler on drums. The album features covers of nine songs including "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," "Danny Boy", and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Triste." Real Gone's new edition of Windflower is the first ever vinyl reissue of the album. (It got CD reissues in 1992 and 2002). The vinyl is colored emerald green. A 100-copy limited edition on yellow and orange vinyl is available exclusively from Real Gone's website.
Less Than Jake, In With The Out Crowd (Real Gone Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Real Gone Music)
Real Gone has Less Than Jake's sixth album, 2006's In with the Out Crowd, on vinyl. Originally released on the Sire label, the album peaked at No. 78 in the U.S. and No. 55 in the U.K. Two of the singles off the album, "Overrated (Everything Is)" and "The Rest of My Life," topped the U.K. Rock chart. Real Gone's new reissue is the first time a vinyl version will hit regular store shelves (as the band previously self-released a limited edition in the format). Released with cooperation from the group, this release has been remastered for vinyl by Roger Lima. The package features a gatefold and it comes on purple "grape" vinyl.
A Nelson Family Christmas (UMe) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
A Nelson Family Christmas celebrates the holiday with classic songs from three generations of the Nelson family. Its 14 tracks include "Jingle Bells" by Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, "The Christmas Song" and "Jingle Bells" by Ricky Nelson, and eleven songs from Ricky's sons Gunnar and Matthew, a.k.a. Nelson. Carnie and Wendy Wilson guest on "This Christmas" from 2015's album of the same name. Available on CD and digital formats.
Bruce Springsteen, Only the Strong Survive (Columbia) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Bruce Springsteen's new release, subtitled Covers Vol. 1, finds The Boss reinterpreting some of his favorite R&B songs including The Commodores' "Nightshift," Frank Wilson's "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)," Tyrone Davis' "Turn Back the Hands of Time," 4 Tops' "Seven Rooms of Gloom," The Temptations' "I Wish It Would Rain," and the Jerry Butler/Kenny Gamble/Leon Huff title track. He even indulges a bit of blue-eyed soul with Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio's "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore." Sam Moore joins Springsteen on "Soul Days" and "I Forgot to Be Your Lover." This tribute to Motown, Stax, Philadelphia International, and beyond is available on CD, LP, and digital formats.
Victoria Clark, December Songs for Voice and Orchestra (PS Classics) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
December Songs, the acclaimed song cycle by composer-lyricist Maury Yeston (Nine, Titanic) is reborn in this beautiful, lush new recording by vocalist Victoria Clark (currently starring on Broadway in Kimberly Akimbo) and a 37-piece orchestra playing Larry Hochman's all-new orchestrations under the baton of Ted Sperling. Commissioned by Carnegie Hall in 1991 to commemorate its 100th anniversary, December Songs takes in a wide variety of musical styles, making it a tour de force for the singer. Though it's since been translated into multiple languages and received numerous recordings (including from vocalists Andrea Marcovicci and Isabelle Georges), it gains a thrilling new dimension with Hochman's orchestrations. A theatrical and musical journey perfect for those meditative winter days, December Songs for Voice and Orchestra arrives today in streaming and digital formats, with a CD to follow on November 25.
I LOVE the new Steve & Eydie release from Real Gone. I preordered it from Real Gone, receiving it last week. After 3 listens, I can vouch that the Real Gone royal treatment and care for yesteryear's Christmas Classics carries on and continues to impress. While I don't have a previous version (cd or lp) to compare this release to, I can say that it sounds grand. It's a welcome addition to countless other RGM holiday releases in my collection. Kudos!
Joe Marchese says
Thanks so much, Ed! I know it’s cliche, but it was a labor of love for every one of us.
I too love this this album. I have the CD version with most everything from years back but I'll buy this for the artwork and extras. Songs from this album were often on Columbia records tire company Christmas Albums, that's where I first heard some of them. "That Holiday Feeling" is a great song. We should hear it more often. Thanks and Merry Christmas!