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. We've got new remixes from David Bowie, old remixes from Madonna, an unheard Lou Reed song and much more - including another music writer who could use your help.
David Bowie, Let's Dance (40th Anniversary Remix E.P.) / Let's Dance (Club Bolly Mixes) / China Girl (Riff & Vox Mixes) (Parlophone)
40th Anniversary Remix: iTunes / Amazon
Club Bolly: iTunes / Amazon
China Girl: iTunes / Amazon
The David Bowie estate celebrated the 40th anniversary of his commercial juggernaut/MTV-era staple Let's Dance with a trio of newer remixes of his worldwide chart-topper and the hit follow-up "China Girl." Some of these mixes - which like most modern works, deviate pretty heavily from the original tracks - were commissioned for a fitness program on the trendy Peloton service.
Madonna, Love Don't Live Here Anymore (Remixes) (Warner/Rhino) (iTunes / Amazon)
This aching cover of a song made famous by Rose Royce was a key cut showing the Queen's vocal style on Like a Virgin. More than a decade later (27 years ago this weekend, to be exact), a remixed version became a single from Madonna's ballad collection Something to Remember; those mixes from 1996 are collected here.
Lou Reed, Open Invitation (RCA/Legacy) (iTunes / Amazon)
This week, Laurie Anderson has released The Art of the Straight Line, a newly-compiled book drawn from notes by her late husband Lou Reed about his journey through the Chinese martial art tai chi. To celebrate, they've also unearthed this New Sensations outtake that is one of the first examples of his practice making its way into the music.
Jerry Lee Lewis, The Mercury Sessions: Unreleased Masters Collection (Mercury/UMe) (iTunes / Amazon)
The Killer's career was already curtailed by the controversial marriage to his cousin in the late '50s, but the piano-pounding rocker got another blow by being in the wrong place in the wrong time: in 1963, he signed a contract with Mercury's Smash Records, and attempts at a comeback hit of sorts were baffled by the British Invasion. Still, as this rare collection attests, he was pretty prolific at the time.
Louis Armstrong, I Will Wait for You (Brunswick) (iTunes / Amazon)
One of Satchmo's final albums (arriving chronologically just before What a Wonderful World) found him singing film songs and show tunes like "Talk to the Animals," "You'll Never Walk Alone," "Sunrise, Sunset" and more.
Nat "King" Cole, After Midnight (Capitol) (iTunes / Amazon)
Criticized by some purists for going too "pop," Cole returned to his jazz roots on this splendid 1957 album. It's billed on the cover as by a trio; the arrangements are a little more expansive than that, but it's jazzy through and through.
Nazareth, Loud 'N' Proud (Expanded Edition) / Rampant (Expanded Edition) / Play 'N' the Game (Expanded Edition) (A&M/UMe)
Loud 'N' Proud: iTunes / Amazon
Rampant: iTunes / Amazon
Play 'N' the Game: iTunes / Amazon
Three expanded albums from the Scottish hard-rockers, landing on either side of biggest album Hair of the Dog. Bonus tracks include B-sides, single versions and other previously released goodies.
The Chipmunks, The Alvin Show / Chipmunks A Go-Go (Capitol)
Alvin Show: iTunes / Amazon
A Go-Go: iTunes / Amazon
With 1961's The Alvin Show, David Seville's already-popular Chipmunks ventured into animated television; as such, this is the first album to bear the now-iconic looks of Alvin, Simon and Theodore. Chipmunks A Go-Go, issued four years later, is an oddity in the group's discography: the long-suffering Seville (portrayed by singer/songwriter/producer Ross Bagdasaraian) doesn't appear on the record, nor does Bagdasarian use his own voice for The Chipmunks. It's all sped-up session singers tackling favorites like "California Girls," "What's New, Pussycat?" and "Mr. Tambourine Man."
Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor, Come What May (Interscope) (iTunes / Amazon)
While Baz Luhrmann's splashy period musical Moulin Rouge! is loaded with anachronistic pop performances through its turn-of-the-20th-century narrative, the 2001blockbuster also had an original tune, written by David Baerwald and the late Toy Matinee frontman Kevin Gilbert and sung by the film's leads. (It was initially intended for Baz's sleek 1996 version of William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet.) This EP reconciled differentiations in the versions of the song heard in the film and on the soundtrack, as well as offering a spiffy radio-ready remix.
Finally: help a music writer out. Charlie Brigden's work has been seen at Film School Rejects, RogerEbert.com and elsewhere, along with some killer soundtrack liner notes. They're currently dealing with some difficult business involving mortgage payments while caring for a sick partner and family, and have turned to a GoFundMe to help out. If you believe (as we do!) that housing is a basic right and no one should be in danger of losing it for any reason, maybe you can help out?
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