Real Gone's line-up for February features music from the 1970s and 1990s, representing genres from funk to classic rock. Available today are vinyl reissues for The Soul Searchers' second album, Salt of the Earth, the One Fine Day soundtrack, and a CD reissue of Grateful Dead's Road Trips Vol.1 No.1: Fall '79. Coming out in two weeks, on February 17, is a vinyl reissue of the debut album from Canadian band Harem Scarem.
Washington, D.C.-based group The Soul Searchers formed in the early 1970s and were signed to the small Sussex label where they released two albums. Led by the "Godfather of Go-Go," guitarist and singer Chuck Brown, the other members of the band included John "J.B" Buchanan (trombone, piano, synth, percussion), Donald Tilley (trumpet, percussion), John Euwell (bass guitar), Kenneth Scoggins (drums, percussion), Lino Druitt (congas, bongos, percussion), Lloyd Pinchback (flute, saxophone, percussion), and Bennie Braxton (organ). Salt of the Earth, released in 1974, was their second album for Sussex, following 1972's We the People. The nine-song LP is composed mostly of original material written by Buchanan, Brown, Tilley, or Pinchback. The one cover featured is Bacharach and David's "(They Long to Be) Close to You." The album has become known for being heavily sampled by hip-hop artists over the years. Performers including Run-D.M.C., Eric B. & Rakim, Lloyd featuring Lil Wayne and LL Cool J, among others, have sampled "Ashley's Roachclip." Eve and Public Enemy have used parts of "Blow Your Whistle" and 2Pac sampled "We Share." The band changed their name to Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers after leaving Sussex and eventually signed with Source Records. They topped the R&B chart with "Bustin' Loose," released in 1978. After joining a couple of other record labels in 1980s, the group broke up in the early 1990s with Brown pursuing a solo career until he passed away in 2012.
Real Gone's new edition is the first new vinyl reissue in North America. Salt of the Earth has been previously reissued on vinyl and CD in both the U.K. and Japan. It comes on "coke clear" vinyl.
One Fine Day, a 1996 romantic comedy directed by Michael Hoffman, starred Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney as single parents whose lives become intertwined one fateful day due to their children missing a field trip. The title comes from the 1963 hit song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and popularized by The Chiffons. The film was released in December of 1996 and grossed nearly 100 million dollars. The soundtrack came out a little over a week before the film's premiere and featured both new and old recordings. In addition to The Chiffons' version of "One Fine Day," Natalie Merchant contributed her own take on the classic. Other artists covering older songs include Shawn Colvin (Van Morrison's "Someone Like You"), Harry Connick Jr. (Bacharach and David's "This Guy's in Love with You), Tony Bennett (Maria Grever's "What A Difference A Day Makes) and Keb' Mo' (William Hill's "The Glory of Love"). Keb' Mo' is featured a second time with his own "Just Like You," from the album of the same name, also released in 1996. Other previously released recordings include songs from The Ad-Libs, Ella Fitzgerald, The Shirelles, and Van Morrison. Australia's Tina Arena contributed an original song, "Love's Funny That Way," covered the next year by Wynonna Judd. The biggest hit from the soundtrack was Kenny Loggins' "For the First Time," written by the film's score composer James Newton Howard, Jud J. Friedman, and Allan Rich. It peaked at No. 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 but hit the top spot for two weeks on the AC chart. It is Loggins' only number one hit on that chart. It was also nominated for the Best Original Song Oscar, but lost to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's "You Must Love Me" from Evita. The soundtrack album itself peaked at No. 57.
Real Gone's new reissue marks the first time the album has ever appeared on vinyl. It comes on "coke clear with yellow swirl" vinyl and features an inner sleeve.
The final item on Real Gone's lineup coming out today is another entry in the label's long-running Grateful Dead series of reissues. This time they go back to the very beginning of the band's Road Trips series with Vol. 1 No. 1: Fall '79, a 2-CD volume featuring excerpts of five shows from the Dead's fall 1979 tour of the East Coast. The show included are: New Haven Coliseum, New Haven, Connecticut, 10/25/1979; The Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 11/6/79; Capital Centre, Landover, Maryland, 11/8/79; Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, 11/9/79 and Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 11/10/79. This period, which fell during the recording of the album Go to Heaven, welcomed new keyboardist Brent Mydland. Highlights include the fourth-ever performance of "Alabama Getaway," and a boogieing take on Martha Reeves and the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Street" (leading into "Franklin's Tower" for one of just three times ever).
Available for the first time at general retail, Real Gone's reissue features notes by Blair Jackson and mastering by Jeffrey Norman in HDCD sound. This version does not feature the bonus third disc that was available with the original release on the Grateful Dead's website in 2007 which included an additional nine songs.
In two weeks, on February 17, Real Gone is releasing a vinyl reissue of the self-titled debut album from Canadian hard-rockers Harem Scarem. Founded in Toronto in 1987 by guitarist Pete Lesperance and singer Harry Hess and taking their name from a Bugs Bunny cartoon, the band eventually included drummer Darren Smith and bassist Mike Gionet. A demo CD got them signed to Warner Music and their self-titled debut came out in August 1991. The ten songs on the album were all penned by Hess and Lesperance with some other co-writers, including Christopher Ward of "Black Velvet" fame. The CD also featured some Canadian musical guest stars like Ray Coburn (Honeymoon Suite), Carl Dixon (Coney Hatch), and Ray MacAusland (Haywire). The album would really take off on the charts in 1992 when eight of its songs were featured in School's Out, the finale movie of the popular CBC series DeGrassi Junior High. Harem Scarem would peak at No. 68 on the Canadian music charts and three singles would also hit the country's charts, with "Slowly Slipping Away" performing the best with a No. 25 peak.
Since the band's debut, Harem Scarem has been prolific. Even with a five-year break, they have released a total of 15 studio albums, seven live albums, 3 EPs, plus assorted DVDs and singles. Their last album was 2020's Change the World.
This new vinyl edition from Real Gone marks the first North American vinyl reissue of Harem Scarem and comes on red "grape" vinyl, limited to 1,000 copies. A 500-copy limited white vinyl pressing is also available exclusively from Canadian retailers.
The Soul Searchers, One Fine Day soundtrack and Grateful Dead reissues are available today and Harem Scarem hits store shelves on February 17. If you would like to give any of these titles a try, we've got the full tracklistings and ordering links below.
- I Rolled It You Hold It
- Blow Your Whistle
- Close to You
- Funk to the Folks
- Ain't It Heavy
- Ashley's Roachclip
- We Share
- If It Ain't Funky
- One Fine Day - Natalie Merchant
- The Boy from New York City - The Ad Libs
- For the First Time - Kenny Loggins
- Mama Said - The Shirelles
- Someone Like You - Shawn Colvin
- Love's Funny That Way - Tina Arena
- Have I Told You Lately? - Van Morrison
- The Glory of Love - Keb' Mo'
- What a Diff'rence a Day Made - Tony Bennett
- Isn't It Romantic - Ella Fitzgerald
- This Guy's in Love with You - Harry Connick, Jr.
- Just Like You - Keb' Mo'
- One Fine Day - The Chiffons
- Suite from "One Fine Day" - James Newton Howard
- Alabama Getaway
- Promised Land
- Jack Straw
- Dancing in the Street
- Franklin's Tower
- Wharf Rat
- I Need a Miracle
- Good Lovin'
- Shakedown Street
- Terrapin Station
- Playing in the Band
- Not Fade Away
- Morning Dew
- Hard to Love
- Distant Memory
- With a Little Love
- Love Reaction
- Slowly Slipping Away
- All Over Again
- Don't Give Your Heart Away
- How Long
- Something to Say