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. Follow up your Record Store Day with a few digital versions of the latest exclusive vinyl releases, plus rare live material from Bruce Springsteen, rare studio material from Little Richard, one of Billy Joel's first bands, a new way to hear an old favorite by The Police and even more!
Billy Joel, Live At The Great American Music Hall - 1975 (Columbia/Legacy) / Nas, Made You Look: God's Son Live 2002 (Columbia/Legacy) / M.E.B./Miles Davis, That You Not Dare to Forget (Legacy)
Billy Joel: iTunes / Amazon
Nas: iTunes / Amazon
Miles: iTunes / Amazon
Missing out on Record Store Day? Legacy has kindly made three of its exclusives day and date on digital, too: live albums from Billy Joel and Nas and the intriguing all-star EP of alumni of Miles Davis' bands (plus some archival appearances from the man with the horn himself).
The Hassles, The Hassles (Expanded Edition) (Capitol/UMe) (iTunes / Amazon)
And that's not the only Billy Joel surprise today! Available digitally for what we think is the first time ever is the self-titled debut by garage rock outfit The Hassles, for which Joel sang and played keyboards from 1966 to 1969. (He'd later form the proggy duo Attila with Hassles drummer Jon Small, marry Small's ex-wife Elizabeth Weber (who'd manage his early solo career) and utilize Small to produce many live videos. Oh, and the whole solo career thing, too.) The album was released on CD in 1992 with eight bonus tracks, all of which appear here. Is a digital reissue of the group's second, never-on-CD album Hour of the Wolf - featuring much more songwriting contributions from the future Piano Man - in the cards? We can't wait to find out.
Madonna, American Life (The Remixes) (Warner/Rhino) (iTunes / Amazon)
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of Madonna's most polarizing albums, five remixes of the title track and two of Bond theme "Die Another Day." Some of these likely also appear on the Record Store Day single out today.
The Police, Ghost in the Machine (Alternate Sequence Edition) (Polydor/UMO) (iTunes / Amazon)
Surprise released with no fanfare at some point is this alternate, extended version of The Police's penultimate studio album, released on picture disc last year. The studio count-ins and extra tracks remain, meaning this is the place to digitally enjoy one of the group's best B-sides, "I Burn for You."
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, The Live Series: Songs of Character (Columbia/Legacy) (iTunes / Amazon)
From Springsteen's streaming-only collections curated from his live archival releases comes a tribute to the fictional woman of his legendary songbook - Mary, Rosalita, Kitty, Bobby Jean and everyone in between.
Little Richard, RCA Sessions (1951-1952) (RCA/Legacy) (iTunes / Amazon)
A perfectly-timed set for anyone catching the new documentary on the rock legend, these eight sides (and four alternate takes) mark the first releases from the piano-pounding madman Little Richard. Though they never became hits - and his personality would become an even more integral part of his next recordings for Specialty - their historical value is impossible to deny.
Jay-Z feat. Gil Scott-Heron, NEW YORK (CONCEPT DE PARIS) (Roc Nation) (iTunes / Amazon)
The celebrated rapper recently made his first live appearance in years at a gala opening for a Warhol/Basquiat exhibition in Paris. A surprise on the set list: a new mix of chart-topper "Empire State of Mind" featuring a sample of Gil Scott-Heron's "New York is Killing Me." It's now available for all to hear.
The Neighbourhood, I Love You. (10th Anniversary Edition) / The Neighbourhood & OG Ron C, I Love You. (Chopped Not Slopped) (Columbia/Legacy)
10th Anniversary: iTunes / Amazon
Chopped Not Slopped: iTunes / Amazon
It was that rare thing in 2010s radio: a rock band - California group The Neighbourhood - with a crossover pop hit. "Sweater Weather," the slow-burning, hooky lead single from the group's debut I Love You., recently achieved the impressive feat of being certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America, long after it peaked in the Top 20 of the Billboard 200. Two new digital versions of the group's debut are available: an expanded edition with tracks from accompanying EPs, and the first official release of a remix album by Houston DJ OG Ron C that was a favorite of mixtape site DatPiff back in the day.
All Saints 22.214.171.124., Silver Shadow (ZTT) (iTunes / Amazon)
ZTT's latest 40th anniversary release is a major "one that got away" scenario. Singers Melanie Blatt, Shaznay Lewis and Simone Rainford released two singles as a trio that failed to make much impact in England. Rainford left the group, which in turn got dropped; Blatt and Lewis hired sisters Nicole and Natalie Appleton in her place, took some very convoluted numbers off the group name, and All Saints would score a myriad of more traditional pop hits in the U.K. between 1997 and 2006, including the ballad "Never Ever," a Top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic. But "Silver Shadow" (and its remixes, all available here) is where the story begins.
Greg T. says
Wow! Great lineup today! But because I’m greedy, I was hoping that a few tracks from Elton John’s “Don’t Shoot Me…” RSD release would be made available. Especially since the fabled missing verse from “Daniel” was recently unearthed.
Tod H. says
Just an FYI that the Bruce Springsteen album does not appear to be available to purchase in the U.S. iTunes Store. It is on Apple Music, however.