Welcome to another edition of The Weekend Stream, The Second Disc's review of notable catalogue titles making digital debuts. More Madonna remixes, a trove of rarities from Matt Monro, and two solo albums from an Elton John sideman are all here - plus new EPs from a current Broadway star and a neat new vocal group!
A super-sized bundle of mixes to the final single from 2003's American Life is the latest digital archival EP from the Queen of Pop.
Matt Monro, The Capitol Rarities / The Capitol Singles / The Spanish Rarities Collection / Matt Sings Monro, Live At The BBC / We're Gonna Change the World (Capitol/UMe)
Capitol and UMe have teamed up with The Matt Monro Estate for this set of essential new-to-digital releases including the 1970 album We're Gonna Change the World in an expanded edition and four new compilations. While much of the material on these releases has been issued on the Estate's exemplary CD compilations and box sets of the past few years, there are a number of new remasters and previously unreleased mixes on these (currently) digital-only titles. They add up to truly essential listening from one of popular music's greatest and most-missed vocalists.
Nigel Olsson, Nigel / Changing Tides (Bang/Epic)
A member of Elton John's band since its inception, drummer Nigel Olsson was several years removed from a temporary break from that ensemble and about as long into a solo career. This pair of albums was released on the late Bert Berns' Bang label, recently sold to CBS; 1979's Nigel featured Top 40 hits in "Dancin' Shoes" (co-produced by "I Go Crazy" singer Paul Davis) and Berns' own "Little Bit of Soap." Follow-up Changing Tides was released a year later, and featured guest appearances from Elton and his bassist Dee Murray on "Showdown."
The star of Broadway's Funny Girl and, currently, Harmony has released her very first holiday EP. Christmas with You is a delightful gift bag of tunes sung by Benko and arranged by her husband, Jason Yeager, including the swingin' classic "The Man with the Bag," the beautiful "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," Ukrainian-Yiddish folk song "Tumbalalaika," and the title track penned by Benko and featuring a guest appearance by Mykal Kilgore, "(I Never Had a) Christmas with You." It's a sweet treat for the holiday season!
Warner Music Group's Arts Music has released a new EP from trio of Liam Fennecken, Jim Hogan, and Brendan Jacob Smith, or T.3, the first signing to Straight No Chaser's SNC imprint. The group has taken social media and online platforms by storm, with 425,000 followers and 5 million views on TikTok, 126,000 Instagram followers, and 39,000 YouTube subscribers. They're joined by Broadway stars Shoshana Bean, Morgan James, and Aisha Jackson for an eclectic set which features the original song "Dilly Dilly," a reimagined cover of Kansas' "Carry On Wayward Son," the Les Miserables showstopper "Bring Him Home," and a Disney mega-medley.