Today's Short Takes gathers news of three upcoming releases, all of which are currently scheduled for this Friday, November 17. We are an Amazon affiliate and earn on qualifying purchases.
Josh Groban, currently packing houses as Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, is looking back to his 6x Platinum sophomore album, 2003's Closer, for a new 2CD or 2LP anniversary reissue (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada). Like his self-titled debut, Closer featured songs in English as well as other languages: in this case, Italian, Spanish, and French. It yielded an AC No. 1 with the David Foster production of Rolf Lovland and Brendan Graham's "You Raise Me Up" (which also made the Hot 100) and topped the Billboard 200 in its ninth week of release. Foster was joined by a host of other producers including Walter Afanasieff, Jochem van der Saag, and Eric Mouquet. The 20th anniversary deluxe edition of the pop-classical triumph - reportedly the best-selling classical album of the 2000s - adds six bonus tracks including four songs originally included as bonus tracks on various editions ("She's Out of My Life," "Mi Morena," "You're the Only Place," and "My December") and two previously unreleased cuts (an extended mix of "You Raise Me Up" and the vocal/piano version of "Broken Vow" featuring Foster on piano). It's out on 2 CDs or digitally as well as a limited edition 2LP set pressed on orange vinyl. The new cast recording of Sweeney Todd is available now on all digital platforms and awaiting its CD release currently scheduled for December 15 from Reprise (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada).
Following the March release of The Journey - Part I, BMG returns to The Kinks' catalogue for another 2CD or 2LP entry in the series. Ray Davies, Dave Davies, and Mick Avory have curated Part 2 (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada), which is arranged as a series of thematic suites rather than in chronological order. Drawing on single A- and B-sides and album tracks alike, the second part of The Journey also premieres six new mixes by Ray Davies: "Artificial Man," "Money Talks," and "Where Are They Now?" plus three previously unreleased live tracks recorded at England's New Victoria Theatre in 1975 ("Everybody's a Star," "Slum Kids," "(A) Face in the Crowd"). The set boasts numerous hits ("Lola," "A Well Respected Man," "Sunny Afternoon," "Dedicated Follower of Fashion") and draws on the albums Face To Face, The Kink Kontroversy, Something Else, The Village Green Preservation Society, Lola Versus Powerman and The Moneygoround, Muswell Hillbillies, Everybody's In Show-Biz, Preservation Acts 1 & 2, and A Soap Opera. Kevin Gray has remastered all audio under the supervision of Andrew Sandoval. An HD digital version will also be available in addition to the standard 2CD, 2LP, and digital issues.
Earlier this year, Columbia and Legacy released a 10th anniversary expanded edition of Daft Punk's critically and commercially successful swansong, the Grammy-winning, Double Platinum Album of the Year Random Access Memories. Now the album which merged contemporary and classic disco sensibilities, and boasted an array of guests including Paul Williams, Nile Rodgers, Julian Casablancas, Pharrell Williams, Todd Edwards, and Panda Bear, is back - again! - in a Drumless Edition (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada). This new, stripped-down release removes all of the drums and percussion from the album's mix, in effect reinventing the dance-oriented album by concentrating on its compositions and arrangements. The Drumless Edition will arrive on CD, 2 LPs, digitally, and in Dolby Atmos spatial audio, as well.