Welcome to The Weekend Stream, a relaxing weekly review of notable digital-only catalogue titles. There may be no CD or vinyl, but there's plenty of great new/old music to usher you into the weekend. Today sees digital reissues of Raw Power, The Chronic, rare Motown, unreleased music from a Cash family member and more.
The Stooges, Raw Power (50th Anniversary Legacy Edition) (Columbia/Legacy) (iTunes / Amazon)
Look out honey, 'cause he's using technology! The Stooges' seminal proto-punk classic celebrates a half-century with a new digital deluxe edition that bundles up everything from previous re-releases: the original album as mixed in 1973 by David Bowie, frontman Iggy Pop's ear-splitting remix from 1997, and the bonus material from Legacy's 2010 reissue of the album, including a live set and a collection of outtakes and rarities.
Dr. Dre, The Chronic (ARY/Interscope) (iTunes / Amazon)
The 21st century has not been easy for iconic hip-hop label Death Row. After declaring bankruptcy in 2006, the catalogue has changed hands multiple times (including, at one point, toy company Hasbro) before being purchased in 2022 by one of its former artists, Snoop Dogg (who took the catalogue off streaming). One of the label's first releases was The Chronic - the debut by ex-N.W.A. member Dr. Dre, which in fact helped introduce Snoop to the public - and getting the Death Row affairs in order at one point meant seeing this 1992 classic come back to streaming. However, it's been redelivered once more, with Dre having purchased the rights and licensed it to Death Row's onetime distributor, Interscope Records.
Various Artists, The Break Down: Motown Instrumentals 1960-1972 (Motown/UMe) (iTunes / Amazon)
Released by Ace last year under the title All Turned On, this 24-track set isn't original backing tracks from the legendary label but actual instrumental sides released during their early years. Includes tracks by Junior Walker & The All-Stars, Earl Van Dyke & The Soul Brothers, Stevie Wonder (including a cover of "Grazing in the Grass" released under his Eivets Rednow pseudonym) and plenty of local groups, including five tracks first released on this set.
Bill Summers, Feel the Heat / Bill Summers & Summers Heat, Cayenne / Straight to the Bank / On Sunshine (Prestige/Craft)
Heat: iTunes / Amazon
Cayenne: iTunes / Amazon
Bank: iTunes / Amazon
Sunshine: iTunes / Amazon
An accomplished jazz percussionist who's logged time with Quincy Jones, Sonny Rollins and most notably Herbie Hancock (playing on 10 of his albums starting with the celebrated Head Hunters (1973), Bill Summers struck out on his own as a bandleader in 1977. His first four albums - debut Feel the Heat, produced by Skip Scarborough, and three albums with group Summers Heat (two of which were produced by drummer Leon "Ndugu" Chancler) - now make their digital debuts.
Ginuwine, When Doves Cry - The Remixes (Epic) (iTunes / Amazon)
After breaking through in America with debut single "Pony" in 1996, R&B singer Ginuwine had an even bigger U.K. hit with a cover of Prince's Purple Rain hit a year later. Now, six original remixes are digitally available.
Kenny Rogers, Duets (Capitol Nashville) (iTunes / Amazon)
This 1984 compilation, issued after Rogers left Liberty for RCA Nashville, primarily features duets taken from two late '70s albums with Dottie West, plus the '80s Top 10s "Don't Fall in Love with a Dreamer" and "We've Got Tonight," cut with Kim Carnes and Sheena Easton, respectively.
Tommy Cash, That Certain One (Columbia/Legacy) (iTunes / Amazon)
The younger brother of Johnny Cash had a few Top 10 country hits of his own in the late '60s, including "Six White Horses," "Rise and Shine" and "One Song Away." That Certain One is presumably a sixth album assembled by Epic in 1972 but shelved in favor of a hits compilation that featured a handful of this material (more of which was released over time on non-album singles - about four of the tracks are unreleased).
Groucho Marx, Hooray for Captain Spaulding (Expanded Edition) (Decca/Geffen) (iTunes / Amazon)
First issued as a set of three 7" singles in 1952, this release from the legendary comedian is anchored by a version of his signature song from the comedy Animal Crackers - later dutifully used as the theme to the Marx-hosted You Bet Your Life - along with three other cuts backed by Victor Young & His Orchestra. Bonus tracks include two sides of a 1951 single cut with Danny Kaye, Jimmy Durante and Jane Wyman, and a track from a 1969 Marx Brothers album narrated by Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In announced Gary Owens.
Great to see this new Tommy Cash download. Columbia/Legacy has done a great job making his first five Epic albums available as downloads including quite a few that were never issued on CD. Now they've issued this previously unreleased Tommy Cash album with unheard tracks available to his fans Thank you for highlighting this surprise release!
Hope Sony/Legacy will continue to do this for other country acts from the Columbia/Epic roster as well as more first-time digital reissues.
Jarmo Keranen says
Shame that Raw Power didn't have third mix. It would be nice to hear it in "normal" sound. Bowie's mix is strange and Iggy's mix is just awful. When i listened it for the first time, i nearly blow up my speakers, because i didn't know it was so LOUD!