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The Tra-La Days Are Back: Wounded Bird to Offer Sedaka Two-on-One

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Neil Sedaka famously proclaimed that “The Tra-La Days Are Over” as the title of his (unfortunately out-of-print) 1973 album. But thanks to Wounded Bird (as if the label hadn’t announced a big enough bonanza for reissue fans already!), fans of rock and roll’s golden age have another chance to enjoy Sedaka’s days as king of the shoo-be-doos and tra-la-lasLittle Devil and His Other Hits/The Many Sides of Neil Sedaka is set for release on September 7 according to Pause and Play. For an artist with as impressively deep a catalogue as Sedaka, far too few of his original albums are available on CD, making this release a welcome surprise.

Sedaka’s RCA label prime has been collected in complete form by Germany’s Bear Family Records, but domestically, RCA has been largely content to release only greatest hits compilations for the singer and songwriter behind “Breaking Up is Hard to Do,” “Oh! Carol” and “Calendar Girl.” In fact, re-recordings made by Sedaka of his 1960s hits (licensed for various projects including 2007’s charting The Definitive Collection on Razor & Tie 82968) may be easier to find than the chart-topping originals. 1961’s Little Devil and His Other Hits lived up to its name, with no fewer than seven hit singles, three of which went Top Ten: “Calendar Girl,” “Oh! Carol” and “Stairway to Heaven,” an irresistible piece of Sedaka pop now perhaps better known for sharing a name with the Led Zeppelin anthem.

The Many Sides of Neil Sedaka comprises material of mid-sixties RCA Victor vintage, but was released years later in 1978. The artist had experienced a career rebirth just a few years prior, collaborating with members of 10cc and receiving the patronage of Elton John. RCA realized the time was right for a cash-in, as songs like “Laughter in the Rain,” “Bad Blood,” “Solitaire” and “Love Will Keep Us Together” made Sedaka a hot commodity once again. While the titles on The Many Sides are not as familiar as those on Little Devil (and the cover art cannily depicted a 1970s-era Sedaka), they’re of equally high caliber, with songs such as “Bad Girl” and “The World Through a Tear” as delightful as his hit singles.

Kudos to Wounded Bird for excavating these LPs; next, can we please have Sedaka’s Elektra albums, including 1977’s A Song, produced by none other than George Martin? In the meantime, click on the jump for the track listing for Little Devil and His Other Hits/The Many Sides of Neil Sedaka, which can be pre-ordered here at Amazon, still showing an August 10 release date.

Neil Sedaka, Little Devil and His Other Hits/The Many Sides of Neil Sedaka (Wounded Bird, 2010)

  1. Little Devil
  2. Oh! Carol
  3. You Mean Everything to Me
  4. Run Samson Run
  5. The Girl for Me
  6. Stairway to Heaven
  7. Calendar Girl
  8. I Must Be Dreaming
  9. Going Home to Mary Lou
  10. The Diary
  11. What Am I Gonna Do
  12. One Way Ticket
  13. Blue Boy
  14. The Answer to My Prayer
  15. Don’t Lead Me On
  16. The Same Old Fool
  17. No Vacancy
  18. Waiting for Never
  19. Wait ‘Til You See My Baby
  20. Pictures from the Past
  21. Look Inside Your Heart
  22. Bad Girl
  23. Your Heart Has Changed Its Mind
  24. The World Through a Tear

Tracks 1-12 originally released as RCA LP LSP/LPM-2421 Little Devil and His Other Hits, 1961
Tracks 13-24 originally released as RCA LP AFL-2524 The Many Sides of Neil Sedaka, 1978

Written by Joe Marchese

August 3, 2010 at 08:27

Posted in Neil Sedaka, News, Reissues

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