Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up, featuring a selection of the new titles in stores today!
State of the Heart celebrates the timeless voice of Earth, Wind & Fire's Philip Bailey with expanded editions of his three solo LPs for Columbia Records in the '80s: 1983's Continuation, 1984's Chinese Wall (including the mega-hit Phil Collins duet "Easy Lover") and 1986's Inside Out. The set features eight bonus tracks, including rare dance remixes and a few soundtrack songs (including the cult classic "Twins," a duet with Little Richard). It's been produced and compiled by The Second Disc's own Mike Duquette and Joe Marchese, and features a brand-new essay by Mike on Bailey's solo career, utilizing insights from a new interview conducted with the singer. The package designed by John Sellards (in the style of SoulMusic's releases) includes some rare publicity photos from the Sony Music archives, and the discs have been remastered by Donald Cleveland. Read more here.
What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat and Tears? That's the question posed by award-winning filmmaker John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs. John Lennon, Herb Alpert Is...) in a new documentary film exploring the band's controversial State Department-sponsored trip behind the Iron Curtain in 1970. If the movie provides the full answer, the soundtrack from Omnivore Recordings will leave you certain that the groundbreaking horn-rock ensemble deserved better. It's on CD and digital formats today alongside a digital-only companion of the movie's new instrumental score. The core album features 10 previously unreleased live performances from Yugoslavia, Romania, and Poland, including powerful and punchy runs through "You've Made Me So Very Happy," "Spinning Wheel," "And When I Die," "Hi-De-Ho (That Old Sweet Roll)," and "I Can't Quit Her." Other than the band's Woodstock set (released for the first time on the 2019 Rhino mega-box documenting the festival), this marks the only live document of this era of the group; Columbia didn't release a live BS&T album until 1976. These newly-discovered performances of material from BS&T's first three albums are well worth the wait, as singer David Clayton-Thomas and his bandmates cut loose and stretch out with genuine virtuosity and equal attention to both the jazz and rock parts of the jazz-rock equation. The unit's tight musicianship has too often been underrated or overlooked; one listen to these roof-raising recordings will rectify that. This was a band at the top of its considerable game - and one whose music has more than stood the test of time. The CD is housed within a six-panel digipak including essays from Bobby Colomby and John Scheinfeld. Supplementing the CD release is Colomby's instrumental score to the film (amounting to roughly 20 minutes of music), performed by the current 2023 lineup of Blood, Sweat and Tears. It, in essence, amounts to the band's first studio release since 1980. No CD or LP has been announced for that short program.What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat and Tears? One thing is clear, anyway; they released one helluva entertaining live album that just might leave you reconsidering their place in the rock pantheon. Read more here.
Ian Hunter, Defiance: Part One (Sun)
Ian Hunter is back with a new studio record featuring the new single "Bed of Roses" and a "Who's Who" of guests including Ringo Starr, Todd Rundgren, Jeff Tweedy, the late Jeff Beck, Johnny Depp, Billy F. Gibbons, Slash, Duff McKagan, and many more.
Everything But the Girl, Fuse (Buzzin' Fly/Verve)
Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn, a.k.a. Everything But the Girl, return with their first studio album in almost a quarter century, including the new single "Nothing Left to Lose."
Jethro Tull, Rokflote (Inside Out Music)
The masters of "rock flute" - or Rokflote - are back with a new studio album inspired by the Norse gods: think "Ragnarok" as part of the title. The album features the current Tull lineup of Ian Anderson (flute/vocals), David Goodier (bass), John O'Hara (piano/keyboard/organ), Scott Hammond (drums), and Joe Parrish-James (guitar). Available in a variety of formats; the Blu-ray adds 5.1 surround and stereo mixes plus an interview with Anderson, while the bonus discs have alternative mixes and demos.
Watch this space later today for full coverage of Liberation Hall's Record Store Day slate comprising vinyl LPs available tomorrow and CD counterparts out today!