Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up!
Frank Zappa, Funky Nothingness (Zappa/UMe)
3CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Zappa.com / uDiscoverMusic.com
2LP Standard Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Zappa.com / uDiscoverMusic.com
2LP Colored Vinyl with exclusive guitar pick: Zappa.com / uDiscoverMusic.com / SoundofVinyl.com
UMe and Zappa Records have taken another deep dive into the vaults for Funky Nothingness. Recorded in the year following the release of Hot Rats and building upon its sound with many of the same musicians including Ian Underwood, violinist Don "Sugarcane" Harris, and Wrecking Crew bassist Max Bennett, the previously unreleased sessions include both compositions and jams. The five-piece group was completed by drummer Aynsley Dunbar whom Zappa had recently met (and who would play a key role in future projects). Fusing rock, blues, and jazz, Funky Nothingness arrives in multiple formats including a 3-CD deluxe edition and different color variants of a 2-LP set. Read more here, and watch this space for our full review!
Grateful Dead, RFK Stadium, Washington, DC 6/10/73 (Grateful Dead/Rhino)
Grateful Dead's closing RFK Stadium mega-show of June 10, 1973 (of almost five hours in length!) has been culled from the band's new, massive Here Comes Sunshine box set for this standalone 4CD and digital release; an 8LP version follows on July 28. The release includes the final set with Dickey Betts and Butch Trucks of The Allman Brothers Band sitting in. For those who ordered the lavish Here Comes Sunshine, it's also shipping now!
Universal Music Recordings celebrates an often-overlooked period of jazz-pop chanteuse Blossom Dearie's career with the release of Discover Who I Am: The Fontana Years London 1966-1970. The 6-CD box set includes all four original albums which Dearie released on Fontana (each one of which is expanded with non-LP singles) plus two bonus discs with 27 previously unreleased recordings including renditions of contemporary songs from Jimmy Webb, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Dave Frishberg, and others, as well as her own compositions. Audio for the collection has been mastered by Simon Gibson at Abbey Road, and the discs are presented in a hardback book featuring a new essay by Dearie's friend Jaime Smith of her Daffodil Records label. Previously unpublished photos provided by her niece and nephew are also showcased. Blossom Dearie was an American original who found much of her success and fame abroad; this collection is the first comprehensive look at this period of her fascinating career. Available today in the U.K. and next Friday in North America. Read more here!
Following similar releases for Big Country's material through the '90s (including the expansive Out Beyond the River set and a deluxe edition of 1995's Why the Long Face), 1999's Driving to Damascus will be celebrated by Cherry Red with a 4CD box set that collects the album, B-side material, remixes included on a belated U.S. release titled John Wayne's Dream, and 36 demo recordings. The newly-redesigned package, sporting new cover art and packaged in a clamshell box like the others, also includes new liner notes by Ian Grey, the band's manager from 1981 to 2013. Read more here!
Charlie Watts, Anthology (BMG)
This new 2CD (27-song) or 2LP (17-song) compendium celebrates Charlie Watts' work outside of The Rolling Stones. The legendary drummer showed off his jazz chops in live and studio settings, both of which are represented on this set. Songs include his renditions of such classics as "Stompin' at the Savoy," "Perdido," "You Go to My Head," "My Ship," and "What's New." Paul Sexton writes a new appreciation in the booklet.
GarciaLive Vol. 20 showcases the Jerry Garcia Band with the Grateful Dead's Bill Kreutzmann supporting his friend on drums. The release offers the complete Cape Cod '82 set, plus over 45 minutes of additional music from a 1981 set at The Stone in San Francisco. Everything has been sourced and remastered from soundboard recordings. The Band tackles covers of Motown, The Beatles, Dylan, and J.J. Cale on these spirited sets. Available on CD and digital formats.
Stage Door revisits the "play about a musical" Say, Darling by Abe Burrows, Richard and Marian Bissell, Jule Styne, and Betty Comden and Adolph Green in a new 2-CD Deluxe Edition. Stage Door's reissue is the first appearance of Say, Darling on CD since 2008 (in an edition which added some originally discarded narration), and has been newly remastered from a reel-to-reel tape of the stereo recording. The show stars David Wayne, Johnny Desmond, and Vivian Blaine. At the time of its premiere, RCA proffered the songs to its diverse stable of artists, resulting in covers from the likes of Perry Como, Tony Martin, Dinah Shore, Dennis Farnon and His Orchestra, and others. Not to be outdone, other labels including MGM, Roulette, Capitol, and Decca got into the act with cover versions. Almost two dozen of these fun renditions are preserved on the second disc of this deluxe edition, with most of these tracks never having appeared previously on CD. Get more details here!
Following up on her recent memoir, Lucinda Williams delivers a new studio album with guest appearances from Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa, and Angel Olsen as well as members of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers and The Replacements. Available on CD, vinyl, and digitally.
The current Broadway revival of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's Camelot - featuring a new book by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, The Social Network) - comes to CD today featuring the performances of Andrew Burnap (Arthur), Phillipa Soo (Guenevere), and Jordan Donica (Lancelot) as well as the original, lush and full orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett and Philip J. Lang. The show is playing through July 23, so now is a great opportunity to head to the Vivian Beaumont Theater or hear what you're missing on this new release.
Omnivore has the fourth release from this supergroup featuring Scott McCaughey (The Minus 5/Young Fresh Fellows), Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate), Peter Buck and Mike Mills (R.E.M.), and Linda Pitmon (Filthy Friends). Mitch Easter produced Grand Salami Time! at his Fidelitorium Studios in Kernersville, North Carolina, with the band performing live together in the same room. Stephen McCarthy (The Long Ryders) and Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) guest on the album which is available on CD, LP, and digitally.