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Byrds, Cooke, Corea, Getz “Complete Album Collections” Coming from Legacy

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This morning, Sony’s Legacy division kicked off a new catalogue initiative that’s sure to raise a few eyebrows!  The Complete Album Collection box sets bring together an artist’s entire tenure at a label (in these cases, Columbia and RCA Victor) in one tidy box set, with albums in individual mini-LP sleeves.  The first four artists to receive this treatment are The Byrds, Sam Cooke, Stan Getz and Return to Forever, and the boxes are available for pre-order now exclusively through PopMarket.  While many of the titles included have been released on CD in the past, other albums will be making their U.S. CD debuts.  (The Cooke is the most exciting set in this respect, with six of the eight albums new to American CD.  The Getz set has a special surprise, too, in the form of a bonus disc with stray Getz selections.)

We’ll fill in the details later, but in the interest of passing this information to you as quickly as possible, hit the jump for the titles included in each box set and the label-supplied information for each title!  All titles can be pre-ordered now at PopMarket.

The Byrds, The Complete Columbia Albums (Columbia/Legacy, 2011)

During their original 1965–1971 lifespan, the Byrds were one of rock’s most consistently inventive and influential bands, embodying the ’60s ideals of restless experimentation and creative risk-taking. Through a lengthy series of artistic evolutions and personnel shifts, the Byrds maintained their place on rock’s cutting edge, with founding visionary Roger McGuinn joined over the years by such legendary figures as Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, Gram Parsons and Clarence White. The musicians’ diverse talents combined to produce one of rock’s richest and most rewarding album catalogs.

The Byrds’ first two albums, Mr. Tambourine Man and Turn! Turn! Turn!, gave birth to the folk-rock movement by applying soaring vocal harmonies and jangly 12-string guitars to Bob Dylan songs, traditional folk material and memorable originals. The band’s subsequent releases Fifth Dimension, Younger Than Yesterday and The Notorious Byrd Brothers helped to usher in the psychedelic era. With 1968’s Sweetheart of the Rodeo, featuring new member Gram Parsons, the Byrds became the first major rock act to explore the traditions of country music. After that album, McGuinn reinvented the Byrds once again, with a new lineup featuring the brilliant guitarist Clarence White, for a series of eclectic psychedelic-country-soul albums, including Dr. Byrds and Mr. Hyde, and Ballad of Easy Rider.

  • Mr. Tambourine Man
  • Turn! Turn! Turn!
  • Fifth Dimension
  • Younger Than Yesterday
  • The Notorious Byrd Brothers
  • Sweetheart of the Rodeo (2 CDs)
  • Dr. Byrds and Mr. Hyde
  • Ballad of Easy Rider
  • (Untitled)/(Unissued) (2 CDs)
  • Byrdmaniax
  • Farther Along

Sam Cooke, The RCA Albums Collection (RCA/Legacy, 2011)

Sam Cooke is widely regarded as the first and greatest soul singer, and as one of the most important figures in modern American music. His good looks, personal charisma and golden voice made him a superstar in the 1950s, winning him an unprecedented crossover appeal. Rather than coasting on his commercial success, the multi-talented artist worked to maximize his music’s capacity for personal expression and artistic growth.

As lead singer of the Soul Stirrers, Cooke was already an established star on the gospel circuit in the mid-’50s, when he made a daring transition into the secular music world. That risky move paid off. Not only was he immensely popular with both black and white audiences; he also appealed to teenagers as well as their parents. But it was after his 1960 move to the RCA label that Cooke truly came into his own as an artist. At RCA, he recorded a historic series of albums that demonstrated the full range of his diverse talents, showing him to be equally at ease with raw R&B, smooth pop, gritty gospel, bluesy ballads and socially-conscious songcraft.

Although he died in 1964 at the age of 33, Sam Cooke produced a remarkably accomplished body of work in his short life. This box set celebrates that rich musical legacy, collecting eight of his greatest albums, six of which have never before been released on CD in the United States. This collection charts Sam Cooke’s remarkable musical evolution, and stands as a powerful testament to his timeless talent.

Albums included:

  • Cooke’s Tour
  • Hits of the 50’s
  • Sam Cooke/Swing Low
  • My Kind of Blues
  • Twistin’ the Night Away
  • Mr. Soul
  • Night Beat
  • One Night Stand! Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963

Stan Getz, The Complete Columbia Albums Collection (Columbia/Legacy, 2011)

It was not long after tenor saxophonist Stan Getz (1927-1991) rose to fame during his late 1940’s stint with the Woody Herman band that he came to be known as “The Sound.”  Few sobriquets have been so apt, for in his nearly half-century career, Getz retained an instrumental tone that, in blending an ethereal sonority with muscular heft, became both a jazz trademark and the inspiration for generations of horn players. Combined with his effervescent swing and a gift for lyrical melody making, Getz became one of the most popular and influential jazz musicians the music has known.

A teenage prodigy, Getz had already played with such illustrious Swing Era bandleaders as Benny Goodman before establishing himself as a star soloist in the Herman band’s celebrated  “Four Brothers” saxophone section; Getz’s brief but beautiful turn on “Early Autumn” in 1949, catapulted him to stardom, an exalted position in the jazz universe he held until his death in 1991. Initially influenced by the airy sonority and melodiousness of saxophone legend Lester Young, Getz quickly developed his own instantly recognizable stylistic voice.

A renowned player throughout the bebop era of the 1940s and 50s, Getz achieved his greatest popularity in the early 1960s when his Jazz Samba and Getz-Gilberto albums, and the subsequent hit single, “The Girl From Ipanema,” ushered in and defined the bossa nova craze. Getz, displaying the craving for new musical interest that characterized his entire career, then began working with adventurous younger players including Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Dave Holland and Fred Hersch. Never resting on his laurels, Getz, while maintaining his stature as the foremost mainstream saxophone stylist, continued to explore diverse musical paths. “The Sound” still rings clearly two decades since his passing.

Albums included:

  • Captain Marvel (1972) w/ Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Tony Williams
  • Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto: The Best Of Two Worlds (1975)
  • The Master (1975)
  • Stan Getz/ Jimmy Rowles: The Peacocks (1975)
  • Another World
  • Children Of The World
  • Forest Eyes (music composed, arranged & conducted by Jurre Haanstra) CBS (Holland)
  • Bonus Disc (U.S. Only):  includes selections from Woody Herman – Carnegie Hall 40th Anniversary Concert, Montreux Summit, and Havana Jam.

Return to Forever, The Complete Columbia Albums Collection (Columbia/Legacy, 2011)

Pianist, keyboardist, composer, arranger, and  bandleader Chick Corea (b. 1941) flaunts his eclectic musical nature like a badge of honor. Moving fluidly within the realms of jazz, classical, fusion and Latin-Jazz, Corea’s stylistic identity cannot be pinned down; his musical personality is defined only by the consistent excellence of his multifarious endeavors. Fifty years into his career, Corea is unquestionably a jazz icon, beloved by devoted listeners, and as influential with fellow musicians, as he has ever been.

After important early experience with both Latin music bands and jazz ensembles, including those of Mongo Santamaria, Stan Getz, and Sarah Vaughan, Corea gained significantly wider recognition when he replaced Herbie Hancock in Miles Davis’s acclaimed quintet in 1968. His work with Davis and his own recordings, including the brilliant Now He Sings, Now He Sobs, positioned Corea as one of the premier post bop pianists of his generation. Yet his eclecticism was about to blossom. After delving into free jazz with the band Circle, Corea turned to the electric piano and formed Return to Forever, which in its original incarnation, took Latin jazz as its focus. Return to Forever would then quickly morph into a highly successful fusion band, one that found Corea making extensive use of synthesizers and electronic keyboards.

From the mid-1970s onwards, the musically peripatetic Corea has formed new ensembles – both acoustic and electric – collaborated with a dizzyingly diverse cast of prominent musicians (Gary Burton, Bobby McFerrin, and Bela Fleck, among them), composed works that range from classical extravaganzas to children’s songs, and has continued to exert wide influence as an adventurous improvising pianist who is nonetheless thoroughly grounded in the jazz tradition. Recent tours with John McLaughlin and a reunited Return to Forever proved that Corea’s popular esteem is rock solid.

Albums included:

  • Romantic Warrior (1976)
  • Musicmagic (1977)
  • Return To Forever Live (1977) [3 CDs]

Written by Joe Marchese

May 24, 2011 at 12:41

19 Responses

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  1. Even though I usually gritch about sets like these that aren’t “Complete On…” sets with outtakes and unreleased material a la Mosaic and Bear Family, I have to say: I think these are pretty cool! Especially since they’re not “limited edition” releases, that drives me crazy. =)


    May 24, 2011 at 12:45

  2. Actually, 5 of the 8 discs in the Cooke collection haven’t been released previously. Hits Of The 50s came out via BMG Germany in the mid-90s. Still, it’s a hard disc to find.

    I still wish that Sam Cooke (self-titled), Encore, Hit Kit, I Thank God, and The Wonderful World Of Sam Cooke (all on Keen) would find a release as well as Shake and Try A Little Love (both on RCA) would fine a release.

    Shake – I consider his last album, even though it was released posthumously. However, it contained material that he had been working on just a month before his death. Try A Little Love had some previously unissued songs but were from older sessions.

    Eric Luecking

    May 24, 2011 at 13:24

    • Agreed, Eric! This box is a particularly smart move in light of the fact that PD labels in the U.K. have started mining Cooke’s catalogue for these otherwise unavailable LPs. (RE: Hits of the 50s – I think the key is “previously unreleased on CD in the United States,” so they’re not counting European releases.)

      Joe Marchese

      May 24, 2011 at 13:37

      • Are these ONLY available from PopMarket or will they be available also at Amazon etc at better prices?
        Eric, the other albums you mention fall into the “ABKCO/Tracey” domain, which could mean another very long wait…


        May 24, 2011 at 14:35

      • RE: Dave

        I’ve read that ABKCO controls recordings after some point in 1963 (August/September, I think). So I wasn’t expecting that Shake, etc., would have been in this box.

        However, a person I spoke to at ABKCO just a few weeks ago told me that Sony/Legacy controls the US rights to his Keen material. So when I first caught wind of this set a few weeks ago from another source, I was hoping that the Keen material would make it.

        Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but I must say I’m still VERY happy these titles are getting released, although I’m curious as to why Night Beat and Harlem Square Club are getting another release (it’s at least the 3rd issue of each of them).

        Eric Luecking

        May 24, 2011 at 15:45

    • Hey Eric, you can get Sam Cooke (self-titled), Encore, and Hit Kit, PLUS Tribute to the The Lady in a recent “budget” 3CD set called “The Keen Records Story” which came out last year. I say “budget” because the set seems semi-thrown together. The sound quality isn’t near the ABKCO releases but it is a chance to get all those albums in one collection at a low price. I bought my copy for $9.99, currently around $15 (give or take) on Amazon.


      May 25, 2011 at 09:44

      • I’ve got a different Cooke set similar to the Keen Records Story called You Send Me that has the self-titled album and Encore along with some Soul Stirrers material. I also have the ABKCO version of Tribute To The Lady that was issued overseas a few years ago (that also has 7 of the 12 tracks, but curiously not all of the Encore material on it).

        The quality of that release isn’t good, and I question how legitimate it even is. That’s why I’ve shied away from The Keen Records Story, although I have seen it.

        I’d just like to see that material get an official release from one of the majors done properly. His Keen material alone could be another 6-CD box set (Sam Cooke, Encore, Tribute To The Lady, Hit Kit, The Wonderful World Of Sam Cooke, his 4 tracks from the I Thank God comp from Keen, 2 of which are already on TWWOSC, and a slew of other 45s sides).

        Eric Luecking

        May 25, 2011 at 10:42

  3. I may have to check out the Chick Corea/Return to Forever set if the live album is a 3-CD set. Originally released as a 4-L.P. set & 1-L.P. highlights album, the previous CD edition was a slightly edited 2-CD set, omiting band introductions, and presenting two songs(“The Musician” & “So Long Mickey Mouse”) via the edited versions heard on the 1-L.P. highlights album.

    Phil Cohen

    May 24, 2011 at 13:31

  4. That might be just a bit more Byrds than I need, really, particularly since those last two albums aren’t very good… but it’s still a cool collection.

    Now when’s Legacy going to get those Billy Joel catalogue reissues out? The ones that were announced, what, 8-9 months ago?


    May 24, 2011 at 13:47

    • I am a fan of “Farther Along”. It has two of my favorite Byrds tracks, the title song and “Bugler”.


      May 24, 2011 at 15:29

  5. Dave, it appears that these are exclusive to PopMarket, at least for the time being. I will say that PopMarket has provided me with swift, exemplary service in the past, and they do offer free shipping.

    Joe Marchese

    May 24, 2011 at 15:09

    • My Sam Cooke set was mailed out today!


      May 25, 2011 at 14:53

      • My Sam Cooke was mailed today, too. Wish there was a tracking number. I didn’t see any different shipping options when I placed my order yesterday. Shipping was $3.98.

        Eric Luecking

        May 25, 2011 at 15:02

      • How is the Cooke set?? How is the sound quality, is it worth the money?? Been holding out waiting to hear from someone who has it!


        June 21, 2011 at 00:41

      • Funny you ask, Bradley! A review will (finally!) be up this afternoon! Our friend Eric over at also has a fine review posted.

        Joe Marchese

        June 21, 2011 at 10:17

      • Thanks for the mention Joe. Looking forward to your review.

        For those interested, here is my review of the set:

        Eric Luecking

        June 21, 2011 at 10:35

      • Thanks guys! Awesome : )

        Bradley James

        June 21, 2011 at 12:44

  6. OK, so where’s the Herbie Hancock?


    May 24, 2011 at 17:08

    • My guess is that Hancock himself vetoed it.

      Phil Cohen

      May 24, 2011 at 17:49

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