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 expansions from Jan Berry, Brian McKnight and Weezer; new songs from The Guess Who and a member of Jellyfish - plus a great way to provide aid in the face of the week's biggest natural disaster.
Soulful crooner Brian McKnight started to come into his own with his third album, issued in 1997 and featuring a slight hip-hop edge to the contemporary soul style he'd offered on previous works. Sean "Puffy" Combs produced Top 20 single "You Should Be Mine," which had a guest verse from Ma$e, while Poke & Tone and Cory Rooney produced the standout "Hold Me." Six vintage remixes round out this digital deluxe edition.
Whether this was a mysterious digital omission or routine re-delivery, you'd do right to check out this extras-packed version of the alt-rock icons' Ric Ocasek-produced 1994 debut, reissued on two CDs for its 10th anniversary. In addition to some of their best tunes ("Buddy Holly," "Undone (The Sweater Song)"), it's got great B-sides, demos and alternate takes plus the rare original mix of "Say It Ain't So" - a subtle but notable cut for hardcore Weezer collectors.
A colorful new comic-based cartoon that just premiered on the Disney Channel has some fascinating musical pedigrees: not only has Raphael Saadiq written new songs for the show, but there's also "Go Big," a new track from Andy Sturmer - best known as the singer/drummer of '90s power pop cult icons Jellyfish. Sturmer's been writing for plenty of animated series in the 21st century, but when a script called for a Jellyfish-esque track, he not only played all the instruments but contributed a new vocal as well.
The current iteration of the classic Canadian rock band - featuring original drummer Garry Peterson, singer Derek Sharp and keyboardist Leonard Shaw (both heard on the band's last album, 2018's The Future IS What It Used to Be) and new guitarist and bassist Michael Staertow and Michael Devin - readies the lead single from their forthcoming album Plein D'Amour.
In time for Valentine's Day, 14 sentimental tunes from the peerless Nat "King" Cole make their proper digital appearances - some debuting here for the first time.
In 1997, Jan Berry - one half of the sensational '60s pop duo Jan & Dean - issued his only solo album, featuring re-recordings of favorites like "Surf City," "Dead Man's Curve" and "The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena)." Reissued posthumously by Wounded Bird for its 20th anniversary with a pair of bonus tracks, this digital edition features even more than that disc did: seven bonus cuts, including multiple versions of the track "Spring Break."
Don't ask how, but sometimes catalogue songs just take off on popular social video app TikTok - often through sped-up versions. The latest to do so: a song off Mariah Carey's Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel (2009), which skyrocketed in popularity after Carey herself decided to give the track some shine in a humorous clip. This four-track EP includes the original and sped-up tracks, an edit and a rare duet version with Mary J. Blige intended for an unreleased remix album.
A well-known film composer with credits on diverse pictures from The Hitcher and Point Break to A River Runs Through It, Mark Isham also cut multiple solo albums for the celebrated New Age label Windham Hill. Vapor Drawings , issued in 1983, was one of the label's first to use extensive electronics throughout.
One of the weirder stories of '90s pop was that of the A*Teens, a squeaky-clean quartet whose debut album solely consisted of ABBA covers, with production slightly updated for modern listeners. This South American-exclusive EP took the ABBA comparison one step further, with Spanish language versions of "Mamma Mia!" and "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" - both of which the original group recorded in the same language in the '70s - and a rare megamix.
Finally: help the survivors of the earthquake in Turkey. The 7.8 earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria this week has claimed a staggering amount of lives (25,000 and counting) and has caused unbelievable damage to communities who will no doubt need the help of people who can give. If you fit that bill, consider donating to Ahbap, an NGO in that region working to raise funds in the ongoing relief efforts.