Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up, featuring a selection of the new titles available today.
Little Feat, Sailin' Shoes: Deluxe Edition (Warner/Rhino)
1972's Sailin' Shoes was the second album from the original Little Feat lineup of singer-guitarist Lowell George, drummer Richard Hayward, keyboard player Bill Payne, and bassist Roy Estrada. The LP spawned numerous signature songs which would later be covered by the band's many fans, including "Sailin' Shoes" (Van Dyke Parks, Robert Palmer), "Easy to Slip" (Bob Weir, Black Crowes), "A Apolitical Blues" (Van Halen), and "Teenage Nervous Breakdown" (Nazareth). The most famous, though, is "Willin," a re-recording of a Lowell George tune from Little Feat's debut. The Byrds, Phish, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, and Mandy Moore have all sung the ode to "weed, whites, and wine" - as did Linda Ronstadt on her seminal 1974 album Heart Like a Wheel. This 2-CD or 3-LP expansion adds previously unreleased demos, alternate versions, and outtakes, as well as a newly unearthed and previously unreleased complete concert recorded at Los Angeles' Palladium on August 28, 1971. This live set, drawing on songs from both Little Feat and Sailin' Shoes, marks the only existing multi-track recording to feature the original lineup of the band. Both editions include new liner notes by rock historian David Fricke.
Little Feat, Dixie Chicken: Deluxe Edition (Warner/Rhino)
1973's Dixie Chicken introduced a new, six-piece Little Feat line-up led by Lowell George, Bill Payne, and Richard Heyward, with Paul Barrere, Sam Clayton, and Kenny Gradney joining for the first time. The album signaled the band's move towards New Orleans-style R&B and funk, and welcomed Bonnie Raitt, Gloria Jones, Bonnie Bramlett, and Danny Hutton as background vocalists; Wrecking Crew drummer Milt Holland appeared on Dixie Chicken as he had on Sailin' Shoes. Numerous previously unreleased session recordings debut on the new expanded edition, including alternate takes of "Roll Um Easy," "On Your Way Down," and "Juliette." An unreleased live set from Paul's Mall in Boston was recorded on March 1, 1973 boasting tunes from Dixie Chicken ("Two Trains," "Walkin' All Night") and the band's previous two albums ("Willin'," "Got No Shadow."). Rarities from the 2000 Hotcakes and Outtakes box set round out the bonus material. Onetime Grateful Dead publicist Dennis McNally has written the new liner notes. Get the track listings and more here, and watch this space for a full review of both Little Feat titles!
Eric Clapton, The Definitive 24 Nights (Duck/Reprise/Rhino)
The Definitive 24 Nights (Duck/Reprise/Rhino, 2023)
CD 1-2/LP 1-3: 24 Nights: Rock
CD 3-4/LP 4-5: 24 Nights: Blues
CD 5-6/LP 6-8: 24 Nights: Orchestral
Rhino rolls out a series of releases telling an even deeper story of the period that birthed Eric Clapton's classic 1991Gold-certified live set 24 Nights. The Definitive 24 Nights is a three-part box set, spread over six CDs or eight LPs and three Blu-rays, offering mostly unreleased material from those famed London sets at Clapton's longtime home of Royal Albert Hall. Each "set," grouped into three categories - rock, blues and orchestral - is available separately. All audiovisual material has been restored and remixed by producer Simon Climie along with video producer Peter Worsley and director David Barnard. David Fricke has penned new liner notes for the set, included in the box as a hardbound book with an individually numbered lithograph featuring a photo of Clapton by Carl Sudna. The Definiitive 24 Nights provides an alternative look at those concerts: only 12 of the 47 tracks on the collection have been released before. (Note that the original album had 15 tracks, and in fact four of them are not replicated here; one of the previously released cuts was used as a B-side. So hold on to your original copies, completists!) Read more here.
Following the recent, massive Wattstax box, the team at Craft Recordings has another major Stax archival excavation: Written in Their Soul: The Stax Songwriter Demos is an impressive 7CD anthology including 146 demo versions of enduring Stax hits and fan favorites, songs written by label songwriters that ended up elsewhere as well as a number of songs unveiled here for the first time. Only six of these tracks have ever been released! The material here runs the gamut of Stax's style and influence throughout the '60s and '70s. The box features raw, early song sketches and fleshed-out full-band ideas; rough versions of hits for The Staple Singers ("Respect Yourself"), Luther Ingram ("If Loving You is Wrong (I Don't Want to Be Right)"), and even non-Stax artist Wilson Pickett (whose "634-5789 (Soulsville, USA)" can be heard above, in co-writer Eddie Floyd's original pass); and works by some of the greatest names to pen for Stax, including Isaac Hayes & David Porter, Carla Thomas and the team known as We Three (Homer Banks, Bettye Crutcher and Raymond Jackson). Michael Graves has mastered the audio. Read more here.
The Complete EMI Recordings 1971-1984 features four complete albums, 15 singles, and various outtakes and rarities (including live performances and alternative mixes) from the late, great Matt Monro to paint a complete portrait of the artist during this period of enormous change and creativity. A handful of previously unreleased tracks premiere here, among them "And You Smiled" in Spanish (1973), an early mix of "Darling, Come Home Soon," and a pair of live tracks recorded down under in 1981: "If They Could See Me Now" and a medley of "You Are My Sunshine/You Are the Sunshine of My Life." Neither was ever recorded by Monro in the studio. The new collection has been mastered from the original tapes by Richard Moore at Mint Audio and designed by John Sellards; it's fully authorized by Michele Monro and the Matt Monro Estate. The four discs are housed in a digipak. Read more here!
Charles Mingus, Changes: The Complete 1970s Atlantic Recordings (Atlantic/Rhino)
Changes: The Complete 1970s Atlantic Recordings - on 7 CDs, 8 LPs, and digital formats - collects new remasters of all seven of jazz bassist-composer-leader Charles Mingus' studio albums as originally released on Atlantic Records between 1974 and 1979 plus bonus material. The CD version includes three previously unreleased outtakes: "Big Alice," "The Call," and "Music for 'Todo Modo.'" The LP version, though, offers more: those three tracks plus additional unreleased takes for "Big Alice" and "The Call" and previously released alternates (which first appeared on CD in 1993) of "Big Alice" and "The Call." Get more info here.
The vibrant San Francisco music scene of the early 1980s is vividly brought back to life on this latest collection from Liberation Hall. Power pop quintet The Lloyds had everything - crackling original songs with radio-friendly hooks, a commanding frontwoman in the personage of Lulu Lewis, and energy to spare. Lewis, David Martin (lead guitar, piano, synths), Ronnie Jay (guitar, harmonica), Alan Thiele (drums), Peter M. Heimlich (original bassist), and Dan DeShara (later bassist) filled clubs throughout the Bay Area and environs with their driving brand of "hard pop." Sadly, a major label contract never materialized - but you may well be scratching your heads and asking "Why?" after listening to Attitude Check. This 20-track compendium is based on last year's vinyl release Let's Go, Lloyds! but adds an additional seven previously unreleased live cuts from San Fran's Old Waldorf in 1980, all of which happily showcase The Lloyds in their natural habitat onstage. Among the new wave nuggets here are two versions of Bert Berns' Exciters classic "Tell Him" and the original recording of "Rock and Roll Made Me What I Am Today," which was later covered by Lita Ford. The Lloyds' first bassist Heimlich provides the liner notes for this superlative set. Let's go, Lloyds!
Rough Mix, Pete Townshend's second "solo" album, was recorded with bassist-songwriter Ronnie Lane (Small Faces, Faces) and producer Glyn Johns. Featuring guests John Entwistle, Eric Clapton, Charlie Watts, Ian Stewart, and the duo of Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle, Rough Mix gets the Half-Speed Mastered treatment, mastered by Jon Astley and cut for vinyl by Miles Showell at Abbey Road. It's housed within a gatefold sleeve and has replica U.K. Polydor labels.
Pete Townshend's Empty Glass (1980) found the singer-songwriter-guitarist reflecting on mortality, drugs, alcohol, spirituality, and falling out of love. Some have called it the best Who album the band never recorded, with Roger Daltrey reportedly having expressed disappointment that it wasn't a Who record. "Rabbit" Bundrick joined in, as did Faces/Who drummer Kenney Jones, Big Country bassist Tony Butler, drummer Simon Phillips, and others. Featuring the U.S. top ten hit "Let My Love Open the Door" and the U.K. top 40 entry "Rough Boys," Empty Glass has been Half-Speed Mastered by Jon Astley and cut for vinyl by Miles Showell at Abbey Road. It features a full-color inner bag with lyrics and a 12" x 24" poster. Read more about both Townshend reissues here.
Sonny Rollins, Go West! The Contemporary Records Albums (Contemporary/Craft)
Available on both CD and LP, Go West! collects saxophone great Sonny Rollins' two classic albums for Contemporary Records (Way Out West, Sonny Rollins and the Contemporary Leaders) as well as a third disc of six alternate takes. Bernie Grundman has remastered both versions, with the LP set mastered in an all-analog chain from the original stereo tapes and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI. Ashley Kahn has penned new liner notes for both releases.
The Police's Stewart Copeland revisits his old band's songs including "Don't Stand So Close to Me," "Every Breath You Take," and "Roxanne" in new orchestral arrangements. Drummer Copeland welcomed bassist Armand Sabal Lecco, guitarist Rusty Anderson and vocalists Amy Keys, Carmel Helene, and Ashley Tamar to the sessions. Available on CD, LP, and digitally.
A cappella group Straight No Chaser tackles a yacht rock playlist on this new LP produced by Yacht Rock Revue's Nicholsa Niespodziani. Songs include Rupert Holmes' "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)," Earth Wind & Fire's "After the Love Is Gone," Steely Dan's "Reelin' in the Years," The Doobie Brothers' "What a Fool Believes," Christopher Cross' "Sailing," Kenny Loggins' "Heart to Heart," Philip Bailey and Phil Collins' "Easy Lover" (get the original on this new package from SoulMusic Records and Team TSD!) and much more. Toto's David Paich guests on the mashup "Waves of Toto." Available today on CD and digitally, with an LP following in August.