We've already told you about one of Real Gonem Music's April projects: the 3-CD collection The Complete Scepter Singles 1962-1973 from Dionne Warwick. Now we've got the details on an additional six releases, due to hit shelves tomorrow, April 7: five vinyl reissues from the 1980s-2000s with genres encompassing soul, disco, gospel, heavy metal, and soundtracks, plus an all-new CD from the co-founder of Real Gone.
First up are two albums by artists with very small discographies. 1980's Mother Nature was the only full-length LP from singer Mary Mundy. Released on the tiny Image label, the album features seven tracks of bass-heavy disco. The album came and went quickly and has become a collector's item over the years. Mundy moved to the Laurie label and released a couple of singles in 1982 and has since become a university professor. Real Gone's new vinyl reissue has been remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision. Two versions are available: a pink vinyl version, limited to 1,000 copies and a "purple rain" vinyl edition, limited to 100 copies and only available from Real Gone's website.
The gospel duo of Charles McCloud and Roslyn Charles only made two albums during their brief career. Both were released on the obscure Cheri label, which only had about thirteen releases. 1981's Everything Must Change, produced by Julius Brockington (who played with Larry Young), finds Roslyn & Charles performing gospel classics and originals with a soul and disco vibe. It had a short shelf life upon its release and has become sought after by collectors. Real Gone's reissue marks the first time the album has been reissued and comes in two varieties: a black vinyl version limited to 1,000 copies and a pink vinyl version, limited to just 50 copies and available only from Real Gone's website. The album has been remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision.
Canadian heavy metal band Voivod was started in Quebec in 1982. The initial lineup consisted of vocalist Denis "Snake" Bélanger, guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour, drummer Michel "Away" Langevin, and bassist Jean-Yves "Blacky" Thériault. Influenced by hardcore punk and British heavy metal, the band's lyrics often feature political and science-fiction themes. Their debut album, War and Pain, was released in 1984. Their fifth album, 1989's Nothingface, moved the band away from their early thrash sound to a more expansive, prog-rock style; if the change in direction wasn't already clear, their cover of Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine" would have driven it home. Nothingface became the group's biggest hit record and the only one to enter the Billboard 200, where it peaked at No. 114. A music video for "Astronomy Domine" also received airplay on MTV's Headbanger's Ball. Their next album, 1991's Angel Rat, was produced by Terry Brown (Rush) and continued in the progressive style with heavy psychedelic overtones on such cuts as the title track and "Golem." After Angel Rat, Voivod went through several line-up changes and even disbanded for a time in 2001. They soon got back together and have released nine studio albums since 1993, with last year's Synchro Anarchy being the most recent.
Real Gone released vinyl versions of Nothingface and Angel Rat for last year's Record Store Day. These new pressings come on different colored vinyl than the RSD versions, with Nothingface featuring metallic red and Angel Rat coming on metallic blue vinyl. Both titles have been remastered by Peter Moore.
The 2008 romantic comedy Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist was based upon the 2006 Rachel Cohn/David Levithan novel of the same name. The movie, directed by Peter Sollett, stars Michael Cera as Nick and Kat Dennings as Norah. The plot revolves around a single night in New York City as the pair search for the location of a secret concert by one of their favorite bands while encountering complications with their friends and exes. The film was generally well-received and did respectable business at the box office. As the title may indicate, music plays a large role in the film. For the soundtrack, Sollett, along with his editor and music supervisor, chose most of the songs and wanted to feature up and coming bands from around New York City. The soundtrack album has fifteen tracks and includes such artists as The Dead 60s, Band of Horses, The Submarines, We Are Scientists, Chris Bell, Bishop Allen, Takka Takka, and Vampire Weekend. DEVO's Mark Mothersbaugh wrote the score and his theme for the movie concludes the soundtrack. Upon its release in September 2008 on Atlantic, the album hit No. 44 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 on their top soundtracks survey.
Real Gone's new 15th anniversary 2-LP reissue is the first reissue of the soundtrack album. The package includes a "scrapbook" gatefold jacket with production stills. The album has been remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision and comes on yellow vinyl to match Nick's Yugo from the movie.
And although it is not a reissue, we thought we would mention Real Gone's last release coming out this Friday: a new album featuring label co-founder Gordon Anderson. He released his solo debut Moon Man on the label in 2020. During the pandemic, Anderson found that his teenaged daughter Edie had a talent for playing the drums. The pair decided to record a father-daughter project and laid down 15 tracks during spring break of 2022. They then chose a name for their band, NXTOFKIN, and compiled the songs they had recorded onto a debut album: Where Did We Go Wrong?. The label describes it as a "psychedelic-hardcore punk-power pop-alt-country-shoegaze father-daughter project." That's intriguing enough for us! The album will be available on CD and digital/streaming.
If you would like to give any of these titles available this Friday, April 7 a try, we've got the full tracklistings and ordering links below.
Mary Mundy, Mother Nature (Originally released on Image Records LP IM-308, 1980 - reissued Real Gone Music, 2023) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- Love Me, Love Me
- You Put a Hurtin' on Me
- I Can't Stop Dancin'
- Each Other
- Mother Nature
- Take Me in Your Arms
- The Ride Is Over
Roslyn & Charles, Everything Must Change (Originally released on Cheri Records LP CLP-1, 1981 - reissued Real Gone Music, 2023) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- Amazing Grace
- Was Not Intended
- Everything Must Change
- Come Go with Me
- Told to Tell You
- Someday We'll All Be Free
Voivod, Nothingface (Metallic Red Vinyl Edition) (Originally released on MCA/Mechanic Records CD MCA-6326, 1989 - reissued Real Gone Music, 2023) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- The Unknown Knows
- Astronomy Domine
- Missing Sequences
- X-Ray Mirror
- Inner Combustion
- Into My Hypercube
Voivod, Angel Rat (Metallic Blue Vinyl Edition) (Originally released on MCA/Mechanic Records CD MRSD-10293, 1991 - reissued Real Gone Music, 2023) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- Shortwave Intro
- Clouds in My House
- The Prow; Best Regards
- Twin Dummy
- Angel Rat
- The Outcast
- Nuage Fractal
- None of the Above
Various Artists, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (15th Anniversary Yellow Vinyl Edition) (Originally released on Atlantic Records LP 1-516007, 2008 - reissued Real Gone Music, 2023) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- Speed of Sound--Chris Bell
- Lover--Devendra Banhart
- Middle Management--Bishop Allen
- Ottoman--Vampire Weekend
- Riot Radio--The Dead 60s
- Fever--Takka Takka
- Xavia--The Submarines
- After Hours--We Are Scientists
- After Hours--We Are Scientists
- Our Swords--Band of Horses
- Silvery Sleds--Army Navy
- Baby, You're My Light--Richard Hawley
- Very Loud--Shout Out Louds
- How to Say Goodbye--Paul Tiernan
- Last Words--The Real Tuesday Weld
- Nick & Norah's Theme--Mark Mothersbaugh
NXTOFKIN, Where Did We Go Wrong? (Real Gone Music, 2023) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- (I'm Still Waiting for) The Punchline
- Bad for Business
- A Little Insane
- Energy Star
- Couch Surfer
- Empty Nest
- Block Party
- Paying My Disrespects
- Game Over
- Bad for My Health
- Last Gasp
- Hollywood Squares
- House of Mirrors
- Nothing Left to Say
Harry N Cohen says
What is happening at Real Gone? 90% of their releases are vinyl only, and some are beyond obscure.
I realize that fans of pop music of the 60s-80s are aging out, but there is so much pop material that has yet to be reissued. (I know that there are many hoops to go through to get reissues done, but still...)
Boomers unite to get Real Gone to acknowledge the customers that supported them since their inception!
Only kidding...sort of.
Paul E. says
I’m with you and fully onboard. It seems reissue clearances are lopsided and CDs are getting ignored. No one needs to come out and say it, but this seems to be a very purposeful move to fast track the CD/my preferred formats end. Aren’t sales on any physical format just that…SALES? I may be relegated to streaming only soon because I no longer have a choice. So much for trying to best support my favorite artists…one hundredth of a penny per stream and this approach doesn’t really add up.
I agree, and not only regarding Real Gone Music (who have over the years released some really awesome stuff) but on other labels as well. For some time now I have been seeing numerous releases coming out only on vinyl and digital formats- some by well-known artists, bands, singers, and quite a lot of mostly obscure artists/recordings from different genres of music (I like a lot of different kinds of vintage music especially 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's). I would like to see some of these recordings released on CD and not only on vinyl or as downloads. A lot of the focus seems to be geared towards vinyl nowadays. Not that I have anything against vinyl albums as I bought loads of vinyl albums way back when. I think collecting vinyl albums it totally awesome and cool if it's your thing whether it's a new release, reissue or an exciting thrift store discovery. However, I think a lot of us CD fans, collectors, and enthusiasts are kind of missing out on some of these non-CD releases. Just saying...
It would be interesting to hear Real Gone's thoughts on this - could they comment here perhaps?
I simply don't have space or capacity to collect vinyl releases (which are often much more expensive than CD) and am opposed to streaming for all manner of reasons (not least the poor return for artists). Frankly, I have more CDs than I can ever listen to and it wouldn't be such a bad thing (not least for my bank balance) if I never bought another one - which is exactly what will happen if more and more music is released on vinyl/download rather than CD. I've also noticed how many recent CD reissues (the Primary Wave ONJ reissues being just one example) are REALLY expensive - especially for anyone who lives outside the US where so many of the best reissue labels are based - which does give credence to Paul's suggestion that it may be part of, in effect, an attempt to accelerate the format's demise. Whether or not that's true, I can't be the only keen consumer of back catalogue music who prefers CD (and I'm only 60 so there's plenty of buying years in me yet!) and I am surprised that labels seem content to lose me as a customer.
I'm aware that the Second Disc website has considerable reach - and the UK's SuperDeluxeEdition is another site where the same subject comes up quite often - perhaps we can begin a useful debate? Some other recent decisions - e.g. the reissue of Roberta Flack's debut CD as a premium price vinyl/CD combo - seem perverse - surely labels must lose more sales than they gain by releasing what ought to be widely popular product as a single, high-priced option? I know it's easy enough to pick up the original album on CD for pennies but surely there is a large market for all those unreleased tracks? There doesn't seem to be any consistency either - I guess I can see why the Nancy Sinatra reissues are coming out on every format except wax cylinder when they have been so hard to find for so long - but surely Roberta has at least as good sales potential? And other major artists with endless iterations of their releases available for a few bob on EBay still seem to merit multiple, simultaneous releases on a range of formats.
I (kind of) get decisions like the one to reissue the Dionne 60s singles set after quite a few of us paid premium prices for the original release on Discogs - it may feel a bit like profiteering to us humble customers but at least the original sales served a good cause and many will be delighted to see it more generally available. But other strategies do feel a little as though they are an attempt to milk as much profit as possible from a relatively small group of hyper-loyal consumers - by, for example, obliging them to buy vinyl that they don’t want just to get the bonus tracks on an accompanying CD. I’m not sure that this is a sustainable strategy – if those customers decide they are being taken for a ride then who will replace them?
This isn’t a moan (well it is a bit) but I am genuinely interested to know what the strategy behind all this is. And I don’t want to stop buying music because I don't have the technology to play it on – but it may come to that. Every cloud has a silver lining I guess – music I haven’t listened to for years might get a look in - but I can’t see that doing much for the reissue market or the labels that serve it.
I'm not an insider but have communicated with the Real Gone folks from time to time over this issue and they say the money often isn't there for some CD reissues, depending upon prior CD release and perceived demand, as well as margins when Amazon scoops up most of the sales.
That said, I would imagine Real Gone did well with the recent Cheap Trick live set, so it suggests, to me, that opportunity exists, but of course, much depends on reaching agreements. And in this case, it was more along the lines of what Omnivore also does, which is to mine the archives for something that actually wasn't previously issued, at least as far as I know.
But with vinyl prices and unit sales rising, I would guess the margins are better for folks who reissue music. That makes sense, although the market for some titles may be better suited for the demographic that still buys or favors CDs. In which case, the company has to calculate whether sufficient demand exists to go down that path. Real Gone recently reissued a classic OV Wright album only on vinyl and passed on doing a CD because it had once been reissued on CD (in Japan, anyway) and figured those interested in classic soul are buying vinyl. Was the label right? Only they know the numbers.
Elsewhere, I think Iconoclassic and Omnivore are doing a good job selectively reissuing some titles, depending upon taste, anyway. NRBQ, Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, Dwight Twilley, Peter Green, Junie Morrison. There are many others, actually. I passed on some, but bought others. At least they are still in the game.
I do agree that packaging vinyl and CD together is a blunder, to me. I don't have data, but I know I won't spend extra money because I don't want the vinyl. And maybe some vinyl folks will open their wallets if the CDs contain music not on the vinyl. Whatever the content, I've passed on a few Rhino sets of favorite artists whose classic albums were reissued only as vinyl and CD packages - Lou Reed's New York and CSN&Y's Deja Vu come to mind - because the vinyl just raised the cost prohibitively and unnecessarily. And yes, the Roberta Flack was another mindless example.
And I read complaints on the Hoffman forum from time to time about prices for super deluxe editions - containing CDs - rising ever higher. Is the value really there? Depends because some folks are true audiophiles and care about not just mixes and bonus tracks, but compression, blu-ray, atmos mixes and on and on. So configurations are important to a segment of that market. I guess the question is what the data says about the potential sales. The latest Elton John reissue - Honky Chateau - is a 2-cd set and not released in a super deluxe package with audiophile-type extras. What does that say? If nothing else, it suggests to me that companies are measuring the calculus carefully.
So I guess we ultimately vote with our wallets - maybe sometimes with our hearts and ears - and have to hope the ultimate numbers support more releases that make sense for our tastes.
Thanks for your thoughts Ed. Really interesting. I guess, if people are prepared to pay more for vinyl I can see why that makes it appealing to the labels.
And, of course, you're right about Amazon who have driven down margins so effectively. I always try to buy CDs direct from labels or the few remaining independent sellers if I can but realise that isn't possible for everyone (although it is worth noting that, with specialist reissues at least, it is usually possible to by product cheaper from sources other than Amazon if you’re prepared to scout around a bit).
It's interesting how labels seem to have completely different strategies. The wonderful ACE here in the UK has remained loyal to CD for album reissues with some titles also coming out on vinyl - but very rarely vinyl ONLY. They reissue a lot soul and R&B and are obviously still finding a market for it on CD.
It will be interesting to see how things develop - and meanwhile, there is still Discogs for those older CD reissues if the newer ones dry up! Not sure I'm quite ready to embrace the download yet...!
Earl Cambron says
While we are at it - how about asking the McCartney camp to reissue London Town and Back To The Egg?