Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up, featuring a selection of the new titles in stores today!
Stephen Stills, Live at Berkeley 1971 (Omnivore/Iconic)
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2LP Box: Stephen Stills Webstore
Omnivore and Iconic Artists are serving up a previously unreleased 14-song live album drawn from Stephen Stills' concerts at the Berkeley Community Theater in Berkeley, CA, on August 20 and 21, 1971. Culling songs from his solo catalogue as well as that of Buffalo Springfield and CSN(Y), Stills opened with an acoustic set and closed with an electric one featuring The Memphis Horns; both offer numerous highlights. A supple solo "Love the One You're With" is the ideal crowd-pleasing introduction, but there's an intimate magic in the quieter moments such as "Do for the Others" from Stills' solo debut LP and Manassas' "Jesus Gave Love Away for Free." The singer-songwriter-guitarist is fiery on the sadly still-relevant "Word Game" from Stephen Stills II and switches gears to piano for that same LP's "Sugar Babe" as well as "49 Bye-Byes" with a snippet of "For What It's Worth." Stills had some surprises in store for the Bay Area audience, including a guest appearance by the late David Crosby on "You Don't Have to Cry" (from Crosby, Stills, and Nash's 1969 eponymous debut) and "The Lee Shore" (which had appeared on CSNY's 1971 live album 4 Way Street); with their voices so closely intertwined, both performances are appropriately spine-tingling. The Memphis Horns add muscle and a dash of soul to "Bluebird Revisited," "Lean on Me," "Ecology Song," and a loose, free-flowing, and funky "Cherokee." Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering has beautifully remastered from the original tapes. Live at Berkeley 1971 is a snapshot of Stephen Stills' heady blend of rock, folk, blues, pop, and soul - as well as of the era itself. One wishes the whole concert had been included, however; it does appear that numerous tracks performed in Berkeley are absent. The album is available in 2LP, 1CD, digital, and deluxe box set formats. The latter will be available exclusively at Stills' webstore and contains the double-LP set, four 8x10 photos by Henry Diltz taken during the tour, and a 12x12 numbered, limited-edition self-portrait framed lithograph signed by Stills. The box set is limited to just 100 copies, of which only a few remain. Diltz's photos are featured in the standard packages too; the CD is housed in a six-panel digipak and also includes brief liner notes by Howie Edelson. Read more here!
Rush, Signals: Super Deluxe Edition (Mercury/UMe) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Rush's ninth studio album, Signals, is going super deluxe in a new box set containing:
- 2015 remastered Signals on CD (previously issued on vinyl) for the first time;
- 2015 remastered Signals on half-speed mastered, 180-gram LP in a tip-on jacket;
- Blu-ray Audio Disc featuring Signals in both Dolby Atmos and 5.1 surround mixes by Richard Chycki as well as the 2015 remaster in 48/24 stereo, new animated visualizers, and music videos for "Subdivisions" and "Countdown";
- "Subdivisions" b/w "Red Barchetta" (Live) 7-inch single;
- "Countdown" b/w "New World Man" 7-inch single;
- "New World Man" b/w "Vital Signs" (Live) 7-inch single; and
- "New World Man" (Single Edit) b/w "Digital Man" 7-inch single.
The box is rounded out with a 40-page hardcover book featuring previously unpublished photos from the Signals tour and new illustrations, plus an assortment of swag: three lenticular pieces transitioning from black-and-white headshots into the "Digital Man" color headshots, four Signals tour lithographs, a replica of Syme's original cover sketch; and a double-sided poster with Syme's art on one side and an outtake photo from the cover shoot on the other side. Read more here.
Ace of Base, Beautiful Life: The Singles (Demon) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
This 26-CD, 340-track box collects 25 expanded single releases from Ace of Base with original artwork retained, including hits, B-sides, demos, and previously unreleased remixes. A bonus disc, All That She Wants: Remixed, rounds out the set with 15 remixes of the song. The package includes a 44-page color booklet with liner notes, lyrics, and discographical annotation, and six postcards. Out April 28 in the U.K. and the following Friday in North America.
Bill Evans, Treasures: Solo, Trio, and Orchestra (Elemental) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Elemental Music has unearthed more Treasures from the Bill Evans archives on this new 2-CD set (released on vinyl for Record Store Day) featuring the pianist in various settings including solo, trio, and with the Royal Danish Symphony Orchestra and Danish Radio Big Band. Among the highlights of this deluxe package is the only solo piano version by Evans known of "My Funny Valentine."
Chet Baker, Blue Room: The 1979 VARA Sessions in Holland (Jazz Detective/Elemental) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
This new 2-CD set (available on vinyl for Record Store Day) features two recordings of trumpet titan Chet Baker at the VARA Studio 2 in Hilversum, the Netherlands, recorded for the KRO Radio program Nine O'Clock Jazz. The April 10 session has Baker supported by Phil Markowitz (piano), Jean-Louis Rassinfosse (bass) and Charles Rice (drums). The November 9 session showcases sidemen Frans Elsen (piano), Victor Kaihatu (bass), and Eric Ineke (drums).
Sonny Stitt, Boppin' in Baltimore: Live at the Left Bank (Jazz Detective/Elemental) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
This new 2-CD set captures sax man Sonny Stitt at the Famous Ballroom in Baltimore, Maryland on November 11, 1973. He's joined by Kenny Barron on piano, Sam Jones on bass, and Louis Hayes on drums for this set which features such standards as "Lover Man," "They Can't Take That Away from Me," and "Stella by Starlight." A vinyl version was recently released for Record Store Day.
Rickie Lee Jones, Pieces of Treasure (BMG/Modern) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Rickie Lee Jones' fifteenth studio album, Pieces of Treasure features the singer's renditions of such classic standards as "Just in Time," "There Will Never Be Another You," "September Song," and "On the Sunny Side of the Street." The album, available on CD, digital/streaming, and vinyl, reunites Jones with veteran producer Russ Titelman.
Smokey Robinson, Gasms (TLR) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
Smokey Robinson returns with his first full album of original material in almost 15 years, featuring such suggestively-titled songs as "I Wanna Know Your Body," "Roll Around," and "I Fit in There." Available on CD and digital/streaming.
Taj Mahal, Savoy (Stony Plain) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
The versatile bluesman has teamed here with veteran producer John Simon (The Band, Leonard Cohen) for a set of classic standards including "Stompin' at the Savoy," "Summertime," "Mood Indigo," "Sweet Georgia Brown," and "Baby, It's Cold Outside."
Various Artists, NOW That's What I Call Eurovision Song Contest (Universal U.K.) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
This new 4-CD, 84-song collection brings together winners and fan favorites alike from 65+ years of Eurovision, with performers including ABBA, Olivia Newton-John, Lulu, The New Seekers, Cliff Richard, Sandie Shaw, Celine Dion, Frances Ruffelle, Carola, Brotherhood of Man, Bucks Fizz, and 2022 winner Kalush.
Tommy Emmanuel, Accomplice Two (CGP Sounds) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
The famed guitarist - a Certified Guitar Player per the late, legendary Chet Atkins - is joined by a variety of guests on this new release; his friends include Michael McDonald, Jerry Douglas, Jorma Kaukonen, Billy Strings, and the members of Little Feat.
Amazon in UK has the Smokey Robinson cd as being released at the end of December. Is that correct?
Shawn C. says
The Smokey Robinson album wins the "Worst Album Title of All Time" award.
Rob M says
“I Fit In There”?! I cringed at McCartney’s “Fuh You”, but this one…
The whole thing is creepy in my opinion. "Suggestive" is a mild way to describe the titles. The man is 83 years old. He could get away with it if he were a 23 year old hip hop artist, but at 83, its just gross.
I'm all for having an opinion, but has either one of you actually heard this song? I have. Smokey is singing about fitting in someone's life. It's a gorgeous ballad. The entire album is very tasteful, hardly worth the criticism it's getting here. Smokey's constructed a sophisticated album that's more about being in love than anything crude, as the title might suggest to anyone who may not be capable of a broaden vision or who may not be familiar with what a classy guy Smokey Robinson is to begin with.
Greg T. says
They’re not really known in the US, but the new Reverend and the Makers album dropped this week.
Jarmo Keranen says
Is that real Smokey Robinson in the picture or is it a wax doll? Frank Zappa made a joke of Peter Frampton's I'm In You as I Have Been In You. If he were still alive what he would make of I Fit In There?