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.From Rufus Wainwright to Lana Del Rey, Donna Summer to ZTT, we're bringing you the goods.
One of the best-reviewed albums of 1998 was the baroque-pop debut from singer/songwriter Rufus Wainright. With an incredible family pedigree (his parents are Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle), he carved an indelible niche for himself in the popular music canon. Now, his first album been remastered and expanded with nine outtakes from the album sessions - six of which were released on an out-of-print box set and three heard for the first time anywhere.
A "lost" hit of the disco queen's - a U.S. No. 1 dance chart hit co-written with Robert Clivillés and David Cole of C+C Music Factory and issued on a 1994 greatest hits album - is found just in time for tomorrow's premiere of Love to Love You, Donna Summer, a new documentary airing on HBO. This digital EP includes several long out-of-print remixes.
One of the least predictable trends on TikTok is the popularity of sped-up versions of songs. What was a generational aesthetic has actually led to completely unexpected hits; R&B singer Miguel barely scraped the Top 40 with his second single "Sure Thing" in 2010, but the sped-up trend got its hooks into the tune, and this year it became his best-charting single. The sped-up effect on Lana Del Rey is even stranger: the song that went viral on the app is a leaked outtake from 2012. Though the iconoclastic singer has been promoting a new album since the beginning of the year, she surprise-released "Say Yes to Heaven" today. Who could have guessed?
Another James Brown remix EP from the Scotti Bros./Volcano years, this one taken from the funk-forward Love Over-Due (1991).
Bronx-born Samara Jay garnered considerable acclaim with Linger Awhile, which featured a bold new voice tackling some terrific jazz standards; she won two Grammy Awards for her effort, including Best New Artist. Now, a digital deluxe edition includes eight more tracks, including some new duo and trio arrangements of some of the tunes on the original LP.
A most intriguing historical find in the early ZTT discography has been unearthed for the label's 40th anniversary! Influential U.K. post-punk group Pigbag split up in 1983, and three of its members - singer Angela Jaeger, guitarist James Johnstone and bassist Simon Underwood formed Instinct, meant to be a part of Zang Tumb Tuum's roster until disagreements over sonic directions with producer Trevor Horn arose. A planned single didn't materialize - until now!
After second solo album Jasmine Nightdreams, blues keyboardist Edgar Winter made one more album each with The Edgar Winter Group and Edgar Winter's White Trash. When he re-emerged as a solo artist in 1979, it was a most unexpected move: The Edgar Winter Album flirts heavily with disco courtesy of producer Tom Moulton. This theme is borne out on instrumental and extended mixes of "Above and Beyond," included as bonus tracks alongside two single edits.
The son of actor Alan Thicke was a surprising contender in smooth white-boy R&B throughout the '00s. Then came "Blurred Lines" and...a lot of other stuff. Still, when he was hot, he was hot. This reissue includes two rare bonus tracks making their digital debuts (including the bizarrely-titled "High School Man").
Tanya Tucker, Lovin' and Learnin' / Here's Some Love / Ridin' Rainbows / Dreamlovers / Should I Do It (MCA Nashville)
Finally, five '70s and '80s albums from the onetime teen country star, featuring Top 10 country hits like "You've Got Me to Hold On To," "Here's Some Love," "It's a Cowboy Lovin' Night" and "Can I See You Tonight."