Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up, featuring a selection of the new titles available today!
Carole Bayer Sager, Sometimes Late at Night: Expanded Edition (Iconoclassic) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Iconoclassic Records is bringing Carole Bayer Sager's star-studded 1981 album Sometimes Late at Night back to CD, for the very first time from the original Boardwalk Records master tapes. Featuring Burt Bacharach, Michael Jackson, Marvin Hamlisch, Neil Diamond, Melissa Manchester, David Foster, and many others, this lush, extraordinary (and extraordinarily personal) set co-produced by Bacharach and Brooks Arthur gets the treatment it deserves. The album (remastered by Vic Anesini) is accompanied by a 24-page booklet designed by John Sellards which features photos, memorabilia, and a 5,600-word essay by The Second Disc's Joe Marchese, drawing on fresh and previously unpublished interviews with Carole Bayer Sager, Burt Bacharach, Melissa Manchester, and the late Brooks Arthur. Read more here!
"Weird Al" Yankovic, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story - Original Soundtrack (Ear Booker/Roku/Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Legacy brings the soundtrack to "Weird Al" Yankovic's hilariously-exaggerated biopic to CD. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, co-written by the artist and starring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter himself) as the legendary pop parodist, has picked up a number of awards (including two Critics' Choice Awards and a trophy from the Toronto International Film Festival) and is still in the running for more (including nods from the Producers' Guild of America and Directors' Guild of America). Al re-recorded five of his enduring hits plus a new end credits song ("Now You Know") for the film, and the soundtrack - already on digital platforms and coming to vinyl in May - also includes a heap of score cues from Cobra Kai composers Leo Birenberg and Zach Robinson, plus some other polka ephemera.
Grateful Dead, Road Trips Vol. 1 No. 1: Fall '79 (Real Gone Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Real Gone goes back to the very beginning of Grateful Dead's Road Trips series with this 2-CD volume featuring excerpts of five shows from the band's Fall 1979 tour. 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," a reggae-inspired "Morning Dew" (for the only time in a two-year span) 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).
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis with Shirley Scott, Cookin' with Jaws and the Queen: The Legendary Prestige Cookbook Albums (Craft Recordings/Prestige) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Released in conjunction with tenor saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis' (1922-1986) centennial, Cookin' with Jaws and the Queen showcases the soul-jazz partnership of Davis and organist Shirley Scott. The 4-CD box brings together the Prestige albums Smokin' and Cookbook, Vols. 1-3 (all recorded in 1958) in a clamshell case with a book.
Dorothy Ashby and Frank Wess, In a Minor Groove [Neon Green Vinyl] (Real Gone Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Dorothy Ashby was a jazz harpist who made her first headlining album in 1957 on the Regent label. For her third album (now on the New Jazz label), she was joined by flautist Wess who was a member of Count Basie's band and who had made several solo recordings himself. In a Minor Groove is one of two albums Ashby made in 1958 with Wess; the duo is backed by Herman Wright on bass and Roy Haynes on drums. For this black vinyl repressing of Real Gone's first-ever domestic vinyl reissue of In a Minor Groove, the label has utilized the original mono sources, not the re-channeled stereo and resequenced track listing that showed up on Prestige's later repackaging called Dorothy Ashby Plays for Beautiful People.
The Soul Searchers, Salt of the Earth (Real Gone Music) (Amazon U.S / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Real Gone has excavated the oft-sampled second album from Washington, D.C.-based funk outfit The Soul Searchers, originally released on the Sussex label. 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). The nine-song LP is composed mostly of original material written by Buchanan, Brown, Tilley, or Pinchback, plus a cover of Bacharach and David's "(They Long to Be) Close to You." Real Gone's release is the first new vinyl reissue in North America, and it's pressed on "coke clear" vinyl.
Various Artists, One Fine Day: Music from the Motion Picture (Real Gone Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Real Gone also has the vinyl premiere of the soundtrack to the 1996 romantic comedy starring Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney. The soundtrack came out a little over a week before the film's premiere and featured new and old recordings from artists including The Chiffons, Natalie Merchant, Harry Connick, Jr., Tony Bennett, Van Morrison, Keb' Mo', The Ad Libs, The Shirelles, and Ella Fitzgerald. Its biggest hit, though, 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 trade paper's AC chart. It is Loggins' only number one hit on that chart. The soundtrack album itself peaked at No. 57 on the Billboard 200. Real Gone's reissue is pressed on "coke clear with yellow swirl" vinyl. Read more about all of RGM's new releases later today!
Shania Twain, Queen of Me (Republic Nashville) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
The country-pop queen returns with her first new album since 2017. Queen of Me, featuring the lead single "Last Day of Summer," is available in a variety of formats including CD, LP, Target-exclusive CD (with two extra songs), Target-exclusive pink vinyl, cassette, and digital/streaming.
Larry Davis says
Two things...first, One Fine Day, you didn't mention one of the key songs, "Love's Funny That Way" by Aussie powerhouse Tina Arena...and second, Shania Twain is not country, she was just marketed that way...she is really a hybrid of eclectic pop, Europop & Def Leppard-esque hard powerpop...if you ever heard her REAL roots, the music she released in the late 80s in Canada, it sounds not country but 80s Heart...she was in pop bands in the 80s in Canada...the only reason why she is marketed as country is she was saddled with it since the dawn of the 90s when her manager contacted people in Nashville & her demo landed on the desk at Mercury Nashville & the prez came up to Canada to see her live & signed her...I don't think she wanted to be marketed as country, but being as green as she was then, she probably had no idea this would happen or that the biz didn't always work that way, but once everything was set in motion, she went along with it...and when she met Mutt Lange in 1993, they figured out how to play their game, tweak it & turn her music from crappy cookie cutter Nashville country to a hybrid of country & Def Leppard...plus, if you heard the UK & Euro mixes of her albums, there is no trace of country at all, but powerpop & dance-friendly Europop...plus the first single from the new album is a mix of dancepop, powerpop, new wave & Genie In A Bottle, zero country, the last album had a reggae feel to it...again, zero country...if anything, that cover should have been ditched for something less country as it is really false advertising...I'm happy she is not country & I have no idea who is in charge of marketing, but they have to stop giving the false impression that she is country...she is not!!!
Paul E. says
Did anyone else remind Shania that she isn’t country?
Just relative to her new album cover:
She’s riding a horse
She’s wearing a cowboy hat
Can’t miss the first song on the album either:
Larry Davis says
Again, false advertising, she is just going along & playing Nashville's game & doesn't want to alienate any of her fanbase who think she is country...while doing her own kind of music which is not...as for Giddy Up, same thing...was reading reviews of the album & all say it's not country & has more in common with Cher when she did "Believe", plus her voice in in a lower register because of the Lyme disease she contracted & almost could not sing again... Shania's thinking is probably this...if many of my fans consider me country, let them, I'm not going to change them whatever I do...however, I will continue doing the music I want to do because my name has a legacy to it & nothing will take that away...I can do electronic music with my son & even extreme industrial metal if I want, and those fans will still consider me country, so let them...me, I know what it really is...understand??