Welcome to The Weekend Stream, a relaxing review of notable digital-only catalogue titles. There may be no CD or vinyl, but there's plenty of great new/old music to float you into the weekend. Enjoy a hometown birthday present from The Boss and a holiday collection first put on CD by The Second Disc - plus remixes from Madonna and The Art of Noise and so much more - all in this week's latest round-up.
In honor of Springsteen's 74th birthday, The Live Series debuts 20 archival live tracks on streaming, all songs about his home state and recorded in venues in New Jersey or New York. (We went long on the set yesterday here.)
One of the many standouts from Ray of Light, this melancholy hit (a worldwide Top 10 and No. 11 in the U.S.) is resurrected, 25 years after its single release, with a quartet of period remixes by Dallas Austin, Fabian Waltmann and Luke Slater.
An accomplished guitarist and early member of the Steve Miller Band, Box Scaggs was a mainstay on the Columbia label for most of the '70s, striking big with his multi-platinum album Silk Degrees (1976), which featured the hits "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" as well as key contributions from session musicians David Paich, David Hungate and Jeff Porcaro, who'd become founding members of Toto just a few years later. This 16-track compilations offers rare single versions (many of them in mono), B-sides and live cuts from Scagg's Columbia tenure.
After an eclectic career that found them darlings of jazz and soul in the '70s and among the most consistent pop hitmakers of the '80s, The Pointer Sisters (Anita, June and Ruth) took one last bow on record with Only Sisters Can Do That, which found them collaborating with pop producers Peter Wolf and Keith Forsey. Ruth's daughter Issa sings background vocals on two tracks - a prelude to her eventual (and current) tenure in the band alongside her mother, the sole original member.
More from the Art of Noise's early works for the ZTT Definition Series; this time, it's Worship, an early assemblage of Who's Afraid of The Art of Noise? - the collective's first studio album from 1984 - featuring alternate and early mixes and versions of the tracks. This collection was unreleased until 2011, when it appeared as a bonus program on an expanded CD reissue of 1983's Into Battle with The Art of Noise EP.
As released on CD back in 2018 by Real Gone Music and Second Disc Records, this collection brings together 1963's Christmas on the Ponderosa - a holiday album featuring the cast of Bonanza - plus 1965's Have a Happy Holiday, a solo album by Greene - plus a double-sided Christmas single Greene released the following year, too. That's quite the festive round-up!
Louis Arrmstrong & The All-Stars, The Glenn Miller Story / King Louis (Mono Version) (Decca/Verve)
Two releases from the jazz legend: a companion EP to a Glenn Miller biopic that Armstrong appeared in, and a rare mono version of the 1962 album King Louis. Interestingly, both feature versions of a Satchmo standard: "Struttin' with Some Barbecue."
Last week's digital drop of "Bad Cover Version," the last Island-era single by Pulp, was in fact preceded by a B-side-rich EP to "The Trees" and "Sunrise," the group's first offerings from the band's to-date final album We Love Life.
Originally recorded for iTunes in the wake of his soulful Top 10 album Love Behind the Melody, this rare live performance by Raheem DeVaughn includes versions of that album's singles "Woman," "Customer" and "Energy" (here, as on the record, featuring a guest rap by Big Boi of OutKast).
Patti Page, Sings for Romance / Song Souvenir / Patti's Songs / So Many Memories (Mercury)
A quartet of '50s LPs by country-pop hitmaker Page make digital debuts.
Roger Williams, More Songs of the Fabulous Fifties / With These Hands / Always / Songs of the Soaring '60s (Volume 1) (Kapp/Geffen)
Pop covers, standards and other potpourri from the beloved pianist, a mainstay of the pop charts in the '50s and '60s.
Finally, a collection of EDM/pop tracks by French DJ David Guetta celebrates its fifth anniversary with this heavily expanded set. In addition to featured vocals from the likes of Justin Bieber, Jason Derulo, Nicki Minaj and others, the album originally included a mixtape of underground house works credited to Guetta's alter ego Jack Back, and now features another seven bonus remixes.