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The Legacy of Harry Nilsson, Andy Williams, Johnny Winter, Jerry Lee Lewis and More Anthologized On “Essential” Releases

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Essential NilssonToday, Legacy Recordings issues a number of titles from some of music’s greatest artists as part of the label’s ongoing Essential series of anthologies.  We’re taking a look at the collections from Harry Nilsson, Andy Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pete Seeger, Mott the Hoople and Midnight Oil!  Plus: we have track listings for all titles!

A 2010 documentary posed the question, Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)?  Well, if you don’t already know the answer, The Essential Nilsson will go a long way in providing it for you.  Harry Nilsson was the songwriter’s songwriter, who enjoyed his two biggest hits with songs not written by him: Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talkin’” and Pete Ham and Tom Evans’ “Without You.”  He was the hard-partying pal of John Lennon’s capable of almost painfully tender moments in song like “Don’t Forget Me.”  He was the rocker who penned vaudeville tunes for The Monkees (“Daddy’s Song,” “Cuddly Toy”) and recorded an album of standards with legendary arranger Gordon Jenkins long before such albums were in vogue.  And he was the composer of effortless pop melodies like “You’re Breakin’ My Heart,” which he provided with a four-letter punch line as if to torpedo its chances for the Top 40.  Harry Nilsson was a man of many contradictions, but they’re all represented in this 2-CD, 40-track collection of his RCA years (1967-1977) produced by Rob Santos and Andrew Sandoval.  (Sandoval also contributes the essay.)

By the numbers, The Essential Nilsson falls short of the standard set by 1995’s 49-song survey Personal Best: The Harry Nilsson Anthology.  But even those who own Personal Best should invest in Essential, both for Vic Anesini’s revelatory remastering and for a couple of unreleased tracks and a handful of mono single rarities.  You’ll savor Nilsson’s perky melody in the new, previously unissued remix of “Girlfriend” (better known as “Best Friend,” the theme to TV’s The Courtship of Eddie’s Father), and the touching simplicity of “Life Line” in a never-before-heard piano-and-voice take.  There’s plenty of Harry’s trademark humor on The Essential (the aforementioned “You’re Breakin’ My Heart,” the novelty-esque hit “Coconut,” the offbeat television homage “Kojak Columbo”) as well as his tributes to pals Lennon and McCartney (“You Can’t Do That”) and Randy Newman (“Sail Away,” “Vine Street” and the sublime “Living Without You”).  That last-named Newman song boasts the lyric “It’s so hard, it’s so hard, living without you.”  For fans of intelligent, frequently stunningly-crafted pop, it’s been so hard living without Harry Nilsson.  The Essential Nilsson captures Harry –the angel-faced choirboy of his early albums and the bearded, vocally-battered figure of his later albums – in all his many colors.  Don’t miss it.

After the jump: plenty more on every title in this batch including full track listings and order links!

Essential Andy WilliamsIt’s hard to believe that the new release of The Essential Andy Williams is the singer’s first true 2-CD anthology.  Sure, Taragon’s 2002 The Complete Columbia Chart Singles Collection covered most of the bases via 50 songs on 2 CDs recorded between 1961 and 1975; indeed, it’s still a shock for many to find that the sweater-clad crooner continued to chart hit singles well into the rock era. But Williams always had an affinity for contemporary pop, and 36 of his best single and album tracks – plus one stunning, previously unreleased medley – appear on The Essential.  Producer/annotator Didier C. Deutsch begins the Williams story with two of his pre-Columbia hits at Cadence (1956’s No. 7 “Canadian Sunset” and 1957’s No. 1 “Butterfly”) and ends it with 1974’s “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me,” just one of many hits for other artists that Andy Williams made all his own.  Along the way there are plenty of film songs, a field in which Williams excelled.  Five come from the pen of Henry Mancini, including, of course, the singer’s signature “Moon River.”  Mancini also plays a key role in the sole previously unreleased track: a 10+ minute medley of famous movie tunes conducted by the composer at the Hollywood Bowl on September 25, 1963.  It’s an outtake from the Columbia LP of the Music from Hollywood concert staged that evening, and it’s worth the price of admission here.

Andy even rocks – a little bit – on 1967’s “Music to Watch Girls By,” and offers up one of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman’s most irresistible hits with 1962’s subtly insinuating “Can’t Get Used to Losing You.”  Deutsch has included standards (Lerner and Loewe’s “On the Street Where You Live” from My Fair Lady), Christmas perennials (“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” of course!), and contemporary material from Burt Bacharach and Hal David (“Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”), Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield (“One Day of Your Life”) and Brit hitmakers Tony Macaulay, Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway (“Home Lovin’ Man”).  His groovy rendition of Clifton Davis’ Jackson 5 hit “Never Can Say Goodbye” (still performed in the 2000s in concert by Williams) is still smile-inducing, but the collection’s emotional high point is doubtless Williams’ recording of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” dedicated to his slain friend, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Andy Williams passed away in 2012, but his easygoing charm and pristine voice both resonate on The Essential Andy Williams, newly (and nicely) remastered by Tim Sturges.  This release shouldn’t be confused with the U.K. 2002 single-disc release of the same name.  That compilation placed more emphasis on Williams’ later pop-oriented recordings like “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “I Think I Love You,” “Spooky,” “Up, Up and Away” and “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In.”  This iteration of The Essential Andy Williams is a fine and well-selected tribute to the iconic blue-eyed vocalist that’s suitable for listening all year round, not just at Christmas!

Essential Jerry Lee LewisThe perennial bad boy of rock ‘n’ roll gets the Legacy treatment with The Essential Jerry Lee Lewis: The Sun Sessions.  The rare installment of the Essential series to be drawn from outside of the Sony archives, this 40-track volume as produced by Gregg Geller draws on Lewis’ Sun years only (1956-1963).  However, as Sam Phillips’ legendary label had mastered the art of packaging and repackaging an artist’s material – both released and unreleased – “new” Lewis material continued to arrive long after his departure from Sun.  (All told, he recorded somewhere around 240 tracks while at Sun.)  So songs have been included here that were first released in 1969, 1970 and even 1989 on Bear Family’s exhaustive Jerry Lee-at-Sun box set Classic Jerry Lee Lewis.

Without a doubt, Jerry Lee is the most-anthologized of the artists in this batch of Essential releases, but the spiffy new remastering by Mark Wilder may be enough for completists who already own even the Bear Family box to take a chance on The Essential.  All of Lewis’ piano-pounding early classics are here, of course, including “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Goin’ On.”  What comes through in all of these songs as well as the less-familiar cuts is Lewis’ fierce, intense, wild, swaggering, sexy and above all, dangerous persona.  It’s hard to divorce these uninhibited songs from the outsized antics that have dotted Lewis’ life – a new marriage to a 13-year old while still wed to his previous love, car crashes, alcohol abuse, et cetera. The next major chapter of Lewis’ recording career was somewhat more subdued, as he reinvented himself in the recording studio with well-received albums of country music.  He even recorded gospel songs and has lived long enough to return to his rockabilly roots as inspiration to new generations.  The Essential previews Lewis’ country period with takes on Hank Williams’ “Cold, Cold Heart” and Jimmie Rodgers’ “Waiting for a Train,” and also shows his versatility with folk tunes from Lead Belly and Stephen Foster, rock-and-roll from onetime Sun compatriot Elvis Presley (“Jailhouse Rock”) and R&B from Ray Charles (“What’d I Say”).  New liner notes from Robert Gordon pull all of these various strands into focus.  The Essential Jerry Lee Lewis isn’t a definitive chronicle of the artist’s long career, but as a snapshot of his most groundbreaking period, it’s all-Killer, no-filler.

Essential MottMott the Hoople will forever be remembered for 1972’s No. 3 U.K. hit “All the Young Dudes,” penned and produced by David Bowie and epitomizing the sound of glam rock.  But there was more to these rock-and-rollers, especially thanks to the songwriting prowess of frontman Ian Hunter.  Following the success of “Young Dudes,” the band – previously on the verge of a break-up – stuck it out, notching up further hits with songs like “Honaloochie Boogie” and “All the Way From Memphis.”  But by the end of 1974, Hunter was out, and soon Mott was no more.  The Essential Mott the Hoople, then, draws just on 1969-1974, when Hunter, Mick Ralphs, Pete Overend Watts, Dale “Buffin” Griffin and Verden Allen (plus Morgan Fisher, Ariel Bender and Mick Ronson) turned out one crunchy rock anthem after another.

The Essential smartly includes eight of the band’s Island/Atlantic tracks before yielding, inevitably, to the more familiar material.  Six tracks come from the All the Young Dudes album (counting the single version of the title song and B-side “One of the Boys”), six plus a B-side from follow-up Mott (1973) and a further six and a B-side from The Hoople (1974).  A sampling of live material shows the band’s power in that arena.  Naturally, those who own the band’s relatively small album discography might not find much here; there’s no previously unreleased material.  As a chronicle of the band, however, The Essential is on par with 1993’s The Ballad of Mott: A Retrospective, which offered 33 songs to this collection’s 34.  1998’s All the Young Dudes – An Anthology presented numerous rarities on its three discs, tracks which don’t fall within the purview of this “hits” collection.  The Essential also carves out a niche distinct from 2008’s fine Shout! Factory compilation, Old Records Never Die: The Mott the Hoople/Ian Hunter Anthology, as that 2-CD, 32-song set made room for Hunter’s solo material (16 from Mott, 16 from Hunter).  Produced by Bruce Dickinson and splendidly remastered by Vic Anesini, The Essential Mott the Hoople is one-stop shopping for those who want to trace the band’s evolution from the rough-and-tumble Atlantic period to their brief, blazing days as glam gods.

Essential Pete SeegerTake a cursory look at the track listing of The Essential Pete Seeger, a 36-track, non-chronological journey through the iconic folksinger’s Columbia Records years, and his influence on the entire rock and roll generation is immediately evident.  His composition “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” became a hit for the Kingston Trio and Johnny Rivers, and his “If I Had a Hammer” scored for Peter, Paul and Mary as well as Trini Lopez.  His adaptations of “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season)” and “The Bells of Rhymney” were adopted by The Byrds, and “Guantanamera” became a smash hit for The Sandpipers.  Yet hit songs weren’t necessarily on Pete Seeger’s mind as the survivor of the blacklist took to the world’s stages singing of peace, civil rights and harmony with nature and each other.

Produced by Bruce Dickinson, remastered by Mark Wilder and annotated by Eric Andersen, The Essential features (in addition to all of those songs named above), the banjo-playing folk troubadour’s originals and adaptations, as well as his tributes to fellow artists like Phil Ochs (“The Power and the Glory,” “Draft Dodger Rag”), Joni Mitchell (“Both Sides Now”) and Woody Guthrie, born just seven years before Seeger (“This Land is Your Land,” “The Sinking of the Reuben James”).  On The Essential, you’ll hear Seeger’s powers of communication in peak form, introducing his songs and encouraging sing-alongs with his live audiences.   (Half of this compilation consists of live performances.)  He was aided by sympathetic producers including legendary Columbia Records figures like Goddard Lieberson, John Hammond, Tom Wilson and Bob Johnston in his musical journey.  These songs are truly part of the tapestry of America, not least of all “We Shall Overcome,” so named by Seeger when he substituted “Shall” for “Will” in his version of the song.  With the gift to speak to children and adults alike, and teach as well as entertain, Pete Seeger continues to perform at 93 years of age.  Just last year, he contributed a spoken-word version of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” to a tribute album.  This new compilation supersedes 2005’s single disc also titled The Essential Pete Seeger, although not every track on that CD is duplicated here.  This is an introduction worthy of the man who didn’t “just” sing folk music, but sang music for all folks.

Essential Johnny WinterWhen Johnny Winter was signed to CBS Records in February 1969, the sum paid to him was a record for a solo signing to the label: $600,000.00.  Winter, who hailed from Texas, represented the vanguard of American blues-rock.  Jimi Hendrix was riding high in ’69 with his psychedelic blues, and the idiom had been co-opted by any number of British guitar-slingers, too, but Winter brought his own virtuosic sound.  Like his brother and frequent collaborator Edgar, Winter was born with albinism, and encouraged from an early age to immerse himself in music.  Winter found an affinity with the great bluesmen, something that translated to his gutsy, howling, soulful reinterpretations of classic blues standards.

The Essential Johnny Winter handily supplants 2002’s The Best of Johnny Winter.  That Legacy compilation brought together 16 tracks from the singer-songwriter-guitarist-producer, all but three recorded between 1969 and 1971 when Winter’s fire blazed brightest.  The Essential boasts 34 songs, which puts it in contention with Shout! Factory’s 2009 Anthology as the best double-disc introduction to Winter’s art.  Anthology has 35 tracks, but unlike The Essential, draws from all periods of Winter’s career including his later-career stints at Alligator, Point Blank and Virgin.  The Essential sticks exclusively to his CBS years (1969-1980).  In Winter’s hands, even an oft-covered standard like B.B. King’s “Rock Me Baby” could be reinvigorated in raw style.  Roughly one-third of the compilation’s tracks are live, including two from his incendiary performance at Woodstock: “Mama, Talk to Your Daughter” and “Mean Town Blues.”  Another two tracks (“Rollin’ and Tumblin’” and “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”) come from Live at the Fillmore East, recorded on October 3, 1970 but not released until 2010 on the Collector’s Choice label. Naturally there’s an emphasis on his powerfully charged electric blues.  But Winter could be just as forceful and raucous when playing an acoustic instrument.  His acoustic slide performance of “TV Mama” from 1977’s Nothin’ But the Blues is a master class in miniature.

The Essential also spotlights the contributions of other key players like brother Edgar and of course, Rick Derringer.  (“Harlem Shuffle” with Edgar is included from their live duo album, Together.  They had particular fun on that LP with songs ranging from “Soul Man” to “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.”)  There’s plenty of rip-roaring rock-and-roll: a heavy “Johnny B Goode” from the expanded Legacy Edition of 1969’s Second Winter; searing takes on “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”  A yelping, impassioned and brass-infused reading of “Drown In My Own Tears” from his debut Columbia long-player asserts Winter’s deep-soul credentials, too, in case anyone needed any convincing.  Produced by Jerry Rappaport, remastered by Mark Wilder and with notes by Brad Tolinski, The Essential is far from a complete chronicle of the man’s scorching talent, as Winter has recorded as recently as 2011.  It’s missing some favorite tracks such as “Silver Train,” written for Winter by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (though “Rock and Roll People,” a gift to Winter from John Lennon, has made the cut) and the Winter brothers’ live oldies medley.  But as a primer on Winter’s influential CBS years which hits the first decade of career landmarks and plenty of high points, The Essential is a true rave-up – rock and roll, hoochie koo!

Midnight Oil - Essential OilsOur last title isn’t technically in the proper Essential series, but follows much the same mandate.  Essential Oils collects 36 songs from Aussie band Midnight Oil drawn from all twelve of the Oils’ studio albums plus two EPs.  The first disc of the chronologically-assembled Essential Oils spotlights the band’s formative years, through 1985’s Species Diseases EP, while the second disc picks up with 1988’s international hit Diesel and Dust and ends up all the way at 2002’s swansong Capricornia. All told, 28 single sides are joined by eight album and EP tracks.  It makes for a potent introduction to the band as well as a reasonably comprehensive, career-spanning survey for those fans who don’t own every album already.

Peter Garrett on vocals and synthesizer, Rob Hirst on drums, Andrew James on bass guitar and Jim Moginie on keyboards and lead guitar from the band Farm evolved into Midnight Oil, adding Martin Rotsey on guitar in 1977.  Peter Gifford would replace James by 1982, and Gifford would, in turn, depart in 1987, to be replaced by Bones Hillman.  But despite these personnel changes, Midnight Oil’s modus operandi would see little change.  Snarling, punk-ish vocals joined with crunchy, aggressive guitar riffs, roiling drums and forceful bass to create music as an instrument of social and political change.

The band wasn’t subtle in its ambitions or in its political stances.  1983’s serious-minded, martial Red Sails in the Sunset coincided with Garrett’s run for the Australian Senate on a Nuclear Disarmament platform. The Oils’ 1985 EP Species Deceases recognized the 40th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings that brought World War II to a close. Diesel and Dust‘s haunting hit single “The Dead Heart” (1987) was notable for having been written as a response to the “handing back” ceremony of Uluru (then Ayers Rock) to its Aboriginal owners.  (This internationally successful album also yielded another hit in “Beds Are Burning.”)  1990’s Blue Sky Mining, the band’s highest-charting album in the U.S., was so named in honor of the blue asbestos miners in Western Australia who developed mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.  1998’s Redneck Wonderland chastised the anti-migrant and anti-Aboriginal sentiments still rampant down under, while the group’s final album to date, 2002’s Capricornia, was too inspired by the plight of the Aborigines.  Each of these albums is represented on Essential Oils.  The chronological approach, too, allows the band’s many sonic journeys to be chronicled.  There are hints of pop, of course, in the more radio-ready tracks, but you’ll also hear sixties jangle (“Surf’s Up Tonight”), folk and orchestral pomp (both in “One Country”) and electronic textures (“Redneck Wonderland”) in addition to the prevailing, tough guitar-rock style.

There are moments of relief, too, like the soft, surf-style instrumental “Wedding Cake Island” and the aforementioned “Surf’s Up Tonight,” but Essential Oils captures the fire at the heart of a band who could make polemics entertaining, melodic and anthemic.  The best part of the package is David Fricke’s essay; the booklet lacks the detailed discographical information of the standard Essential releases, and the remastering by Steve Smart is unfortunately far less subtle, as well.  On a strictly musical basis, though, Midnight Oil’s legacy burns brightly on the Essential Oils: tough, uncompromising, angry, defiant and powerful.

The Essential Mott the Hoople (Columbia/Legacy 88765 42277-2, 2013)

Disc 1

  1. You Really Got Me
  2. Rock and Roll Queen
  3. Thunderbuck Ram
  4. Walkin’ with a Mountain
  5. Whiskey Women
  6. Waterlow
  7. The Moon Upstairs
  8. Sweet Angeline
  9. All the Young Dudes
  10. Momma’s Little Jewel
  11. One of the Boys
  12. Ready for Love/After Lights
  13. Sucker
  14. Sweet Jane
  15. Violence
  16. I Wish I Was Your Mother
  17. Rose

Disc 2

  1. All the Way from Memphis
  2. Honaloochie Boogie
  3. Whizz Kid
  4. Hymn for the Dudes
  5. The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll
  6. Rest in Peace
  7. Alice
  8. Marionette
  9. Crash Street Kids
  10. Roll Away the Stone
  11. Born Late ’58
  12. Where Do You All Come From
  13. Through the Looking Glass
  14. Foxy Foxy
  15. (Do You Remember) The Saturday Gigs?
  16. Lounge Lizzard
  17. American Pie/The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Disc 1, Tracks 1-2 from Mott the Hoople (Atlantic, 1969)
Disc 1, Tracks 3-4 from Mad Shadows (Atlantic, 1970)
Disc 1, Tracks 5-6 from Wildlife (Atlantic, 1971)
Disc 1, Tracks 7-8 from Brain Capers (Atlantic, 1971)
Disc 1, Tracks 9-14 from All the Young Dudes (Columbia, 1972)
Disc 1, Tracks 15-16 and Disc 2, Tracks 1-4 from Mott (Columbia, 1973)
Disc 1, Track 17 was the B-side to “Honaloochie Boogie” (Columbia, 1973)
Disc 2, Tracks 5, 7-11 and 13 from The Hoople (Columbia, 1974)
Disc 2, Track 6 was the B-side to “The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll” (Columbia, 1974)
Disc 2, Tracks 12 was the B-side to “Roll Away the Stone” (Columbia, 1973)
Disc 2, Tracks 14-15 were non-LP singles (Columbia, 1974)
Disc 2, Tracks 16-17 from expanded edition of The Hoople (Columbia/Legacy, 2006)

The Essential Indigo Girls (Epic/Legacy 88765 42621-2, 2013)

Disc 1

  1. Crazy Game
  2. Everybody’s Waiting for Someone to Come Home
  3. Land of Canaan
  4. Closer to Fine
  5. Kid Fears
  6. Love’s Recovery
  7. Hammer and a Nail
  8. Watershed
  9. Welcome Me
  10. Love Will Come to You
  11. Galileo
  12. Ghost
  13. Three Hits
  14. Least Complicated
  15. Power of Two
  16. Fugitive
  17. This Train Revised

Disc 2

  1. Get Out the Map
  2. It’s Alright
  3. Shed Your Skin
  4. Trouble
  5. Peace Tonight
  6. Go
  7. Moment of Forgiveness
  8. Become You
  9. You’ve Got to Show
  10. Starkville
  11. Fill It Up Again
  12. Free in You
  13. Dairy Queen
  14. Heartache for Everyone
  15. Three County Highway
  16. What Are You Like?
  17. Love of Our Lives
  18. Sugar Tongue
  19. Share the Moon
  20. Clampdown

Disc 1, Tracks 1-2 from non-LP single, 1985
Disc 1, Track 3 from Strange Fire (self-released, 1987)
Disc 1, Tracks 4-6 from Indigo Girls (Epic, 1989)
Disc 1, Tracks 7-9 from Nomads Indians Saints (Epic, 1990)
Disc 1, Tracks 10-13 from Rites of Passage (Epic, 1992)
Disc 1, Tracks 14-17 from Swamp Ophelia (Epic, 1994)
Disc 2, Tracks 1-3 from Shaming of the Sun (Epic, 1997)
Disc 2, Tracks 4-6 from Come On Now Social (Epic, 1999)
Disc 2, Tracks 7-10 from Become You (Epic, 2002)
Disc 2, Tracks 11-14 from All That We Let In (Epic, 2004)
Disc 2, Tracks 15 from Despite Our Differences (Hollywood, 2006)
Disc 2, Tracks 16-18 from Poseidon and the Bitter Bug (Vanguard, 2009)
Disc 2, Track 19 from Beauty Queen Sister (Vanguard, 2011)
Disc 2, Track 20 from Burning London: The Clash Tribute (Epic EK 69106, 1999)

The Essential Andy Williams (Columbia/Legacy 88765 47127-2, 2013)

Disc 1

  1. Canadian Sunset
  2. Butterfly
  3. Danny Boy
  4. Moon River
  5. Stranger on the Shore
  6. Can’t Get Used to Losing You
  7. Hopeless
  8. Days of Wine and Roses
  9. The Peking Theme (So Little Time)
  10. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
  11. A Fool Never Learns
  12. Charade
  13. On the Street Where You Live
  14. Dear Heart
  15. I Can’t Stop Loving You
  16. …And Roses and Roses
  17. Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)
  18. In the Arms of Love

Disc 2

  1. Music to Watch Girls By
  2. Born Free
  3. More and More
  4. Holly
  5. Sweet Memories
  6. The Impossible Dream (The Quest)
  7. Battle Hymn of the Republic
  8. Happy Heart
  9. A Woman’s Way
  10. Can’t Help Falling in Love
  11. Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head
  12. One Day of Your Life
  13. Home Lovin’ Man
  14. (Where Do I Begin) Love Story
  15. Never Can Say Goodbye
  16. Love Theme from The Godfather (Speak Softly Love)
  17. You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
  18. Award-Winning Song Medley: Love is a Many-Splendored Thing/Mona Lisa/On the Atchison, Topeka and The Santa Fe/All the Way/Moon River (Live)

Disc 1, Track 1 from Cadence single 1297, 1956
Disc 1, Track 2 from Cadence single 1308, 1957
Disc 1, Track 3 from Danny Boy (Columbia, 1961)
Disc 1, Track 4 from Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes (Columbia, 1962)
Disc 1, Track 5 from Columbia single 4-42451, 1962
Disc 1, Tracks 6 and 8 from Days of Wine and Roses (Columbia, 1963)
Disc 1, Track 7 from Columbia single 42784, 1963
Disc 1, Track 9 from 55 Days at Peking (Columbia, 1963)
Disc 1, Track 10 from The Andy Williams Christmas Album (Columbia, 1963)
Disc 1, Track 11 from Columbia single 4-42950, 1963
Disc 1, Track 12 from The Wonderful World of Andy Williams (Columbia, 1963)
Disc 1, Track 13 from The Great Songs from My Fair Lady (Columbia, 1964)
Disc 1, Tracks 14-15 from Dear Heart (Columbia, 1965)
Disc 1, Track 16 from Columbia single 4-43257, 1965
Disc 1, Track 17 from Columbia single 4-43456, 1965
Disc 1, Track 18 from In The Arms of Love (Columbia, 1966)
Disc 2, Tracks 1-2 from Born Free (Columbia, 1967)
Disc 2, Track 3 from Columbia single 4-44202, 1967
Disc 2, Track 4 from Love, Andy (Columbia, 1967)
Disc 2, Track 5 from Columbia single 4-44527, 1968
Disc 2, Track 6 from Honey (Columbia, 1968)
Disc 2, Track 7 from Columbia single 44560, 1968
Disc 2, Track 8 from Columbia single 4-44818, 1969
Disc 2, Track 9 from Columbia single 4-45003, 1969
Disc 2, Track 10 from Columbia single 4-45094, 1970
Disc 2, Track 11 from Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head (Columbia, 1970)
Disc 2, Track 12 from Columbia single 4-445174, 1970
Disc 2, Track 13 from Alone Again (Naturally) (Columbia, 1972)
Disc 2, Track 14 from Love Story (Columbia, 1971)
Disc 2, Track 15 from You’ve Got a Friend (Columbia, 1971)
Disc 2, Track 16 from Love Theme from “The Godfather” (Columbia, 1972)
Disc 2, Track 17 from Columbia single 4-46049, 1974
Disc 2, Track 18 previously unreleased outtake from Music From Hollywood (Columbia, 1963)

The Essential Nilsson (RCA/Legacy 88765 48494-2, 2013)

Disc 1

  1. 1941
  2. Cuddly Toy
  3. You Can’t Do That
  4. Without Her
  5. Daddy’s Song
  6. Good Old Desk
  7. Mr. Richland’s Favorite Song
  8. Together
  9. Everybody’s Talkin’
  10. One (Mono Single Version)
  11. Girlfriend (Remix)
  12. I Guess The Lord Must Be in New York City
  13. Rainmaker (Mono Single Version)
  14. I Will Take You There (Mono Single Version)
  15. The Puppy Song
  16. Vine Street
  17. Living Without You
  18. Life Line (Alternate Piano Take 13)
  19. Me and My Arrow
  20. Think About Your Troubles

Disc 2

  1. Gotta Get Up
  2. Without You
  3. Jump Into the Fire (Single Version)
  4. Coconut
  5. I’ll Never Leave You
  6. Old Forgotten Soldier (Demo)
  7. Remember (Christmas)
  8. You’re Breakin’ My Heart
  9. Spaceman
  10. Daybreak (Single Version)
  11. As Time Goes By
  12. Many Rivers to Cross
  13. Don’t Forget Me
  14. Black Sails
  15. Kojak Columbo
  16. Easier for Me
  17. (Thursday) Here’s Why I Did Not Go to Work Today
  18. Sail Away
  19. All I Think About is You
  20. Perfect Day

Disc 1, Tracks 1-4 from Pandemonium Shadow Show (RCA, 1967)
Disc 1, Tracks 5-9 from Aerial Ballet (RCA, 1968)
Disc 1, Track 10 from RCA single 47-9462, 1968
Disc 1, Track 11 previously unreleased. Original mix from Personal Best: The Harry Nilsson Anthology (RCA, 1995)
Disc 1, Tracks 12 and 15 from Harry (RCA, 1969)
Disc 1, Tracks 13-14 from RCA single 47-9675, 1968
Disc 1, Tracks 16-17 from Nilsson Sings Newman (RCA, 1970)
Disc 1, Track 18 previously unreleased
Disc 1, Tracks 19-20 from The Point! (RCA, 1971)
Disc 2, Tracks 1-5 from Nilsson Schmilsson (RCA, 1971)
Disc 2, Track 6 from expanded edition of Nilsson Schmilsson (RCA/BMG Heritage, 2004)
Disc 2, Tracks 7-9 from Son of Schmilsson (RCA, 1972)
Disc 2, Track 10 from RCA single APBO-0246, 1974)
Disc 2, Track 11 from A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night (RCA, 1973)
Disc 2, Tracks 12-14 from Pussy Cats (RCA, 1974)
Disc 2, Tracks 15-16 from Duit on Mon Dei (RCA, 1976)
Disc 2, Track 17 from Sandman (RCA, 1976)
Disc 2, Track 18 from …That’s the Way It Is (RCA, 1976)
Disc 2, Tracks 19-20 from Knnillssonn (RCA, 1977)

The Essential Johnny Winter (Columbia/Legacy 88883 70494-2, 2013)

Disc 1

  1. Rock Me Baby
  2. Highway 61 Revisited
  3. One Step At a Time
  4. Leland Mississippi Blues
  5. Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo
  6. TV Mama
  7. Good Morning Little School Girl (Live)
  8. Talk is Cheap
  9. Roll with Me (Live)
  10. Rock and Roll People
  11. It’s My Own Fault (Live)
  12. Hustled Down in Texas
  13. Still Alive and Well
  14. Black Cat Bone (Live)
  15. Honest I Do
  16. Bon Ton Roulet
  17. Johnny B. Goode (Live)

Disc 2

  1. Mama, Talk to Your Daughter (Live at Woodstock)
  2. I’m Yours and I’m Hers
  3. Rollin’ ‘Cross the Country
  4. Bony Moronie (Live)
  5. Dallas
  6. Miss Ann
  7. Self Destructive Blues
  8. Be Careful with a Fool
  9. Mean Town Blues (Live at Woodstock)
  10. I’ll Drown in My Tears
  11. Tired of Tryin’
  12. Harlem Shuffle (Live) – Johnny and Edgar Winter
  13. Sweet Papa John
  14. Prodigal Son
  15. Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Live)
  16. Hurtin’ So Bad
  17. Rollin’ and Tumblin’ (Live)

Disc 1, Tracks 1 and 13 from Still Alive and Well (Columbia, 1973)
Disc 1, Tracks 2 and 12 and Disc 2, Track 6 from Second Winter (Columbia, 1969)
Disc 1, Track 3 and 15 from White, Hot and Blue (Columbia, 1978)
Disc 1, Track 4 and Disc 2, Tracks 2, 8 and 10 from Johnny Winter (Columbia, 1969)
Disc 1, Tracks 5 and 11 from Johnny Winter And (Columbia, 1970)
Disc 1, Track 6 and Disc 2, Track 11 from Nothin’ But the Blues (Columbia, 1977)
Disc 1, Tracks 7 and 17 and Disc 2, Track 15 from Live Johnny Winter And (Columbia, 1971)
Disc 1, Tracks 8 and 16 from Raisin’ Cain (Blue Sky/Columbia, 1980)
Disc 1, Track 9 and Disc 2, Track 4 from Captured Live! (Columbia, 1976)
Disc 1, Track 10 and Disc 2, Tracks 7 and 14 from John Dawson Winter III (Columbia, 1974)
Disc 1, Track 14 from Second Winter: Legacy Edition (Columbia/Legacy, 2004)
Disc 2, Tracks 1 and 9 from The Woodstock Experience (Columbia/Legacy, 2009)
Disc 2, Tracks 3 and 16 from Saints & Sinners (Columbia, 1974)
Disc 2, Track 12 from Together (Columbia, 1976)
Disc 2, Track 18 from Johnny Winter And: Live At The Fillmore East 10/3/70 (Collector’s Choice, 2010)

Midnight Oil, Essential Oils (Columbia/Legacy 88725 49763 2, 2013)

Disc 1

  1. Run By Night
  2. Cold Cold Change
  3. Back On the Borderline
  4. Wedding Cake Island
  5. No Time for Games
  6. Don’t Wanna Be the One
  7. Armistice Day
  8. Lucky Country
  9. Only the Strong
  10. Short Memory
  11. Read About It
  12. US Forces
  13. Power and the Passion
  14. When the Generals Talk
  15. Best of Both Worlds
  16. Kosciusko
  17. Progress
  18. Hercules

Disc 2

  1. Beds Are Burning (Mainstream Rock #6)
  2. Put Down That Weapon
  3. Dreamworld (Modern Rock #16, Mainstream Rock #37)
  4. The Dead Heart (Mainstream Rock #11)
  5. Warakurna
  6. Blue Sky Mine (Mainstream Rock #1, Modern Rock #1)
  7. Forgotten Years (Modern Rock #1, Mainstream Rock #11)
  8. King of the Mountain (Modern Rock #3, Mainstream Rock #20)
  9. One Country
  10. Truganini (Modern Rock #4)
  11. My Country
  12. In the Valley
  13. Surf’s Up Tonight
  14. Redneck Wonderland
  15. White Skin Black Heart
  16. Say Your Prayers
  17. Golden Age
  18. Luritja Way

CD 1, Track 1 from Midnight Oil (originally issued Australia 1978, Powderworks)
CD 1, Tracks 2-3 from Head Injuries (originally issued Australia 1979, Powderworks)
CD 1, Tracks 4-5 from Bird Noises (EP originally issued Australia 1980, Powderworks)
CD 1, Tracks 6-8 from Place Without A Postcard (originally issued Australia 1981, CBS)
CD 1, Tracks 9-13 from 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 (originally issued Australia 1982, CBS; U.S. 1983, Columbia)
CD 1, Tracks 14-16 from Red Sails In the Sunset (originally issued Australia 1984, CBS; U.S. 1985, Columbia)
CD 1, Tracks 17-18 from Species Deceases (EP originally issued Australia 1985, CBS; U.S. 1990, Columbia)
CD 2, Tracks 1-5 from Diesel and Dust (originally issued Australia 1987, CBS; U.S. 1988, Columbia)
CD 2, Tracks 6-9 from Blue Sky Mining (originally issued Australia & U.S. 1992, Columbia)
CD 2, Tracks 10-12 from Earth and Sun and Moon (originally issued Australia & U.S. 1993, Columbia)
CD 2, Track 13 from Breathe (originally issued Australia & U.S. 1996, Columbia/W.O.R.K.)
CD 2, Tracks 14-15 from Redneck Wonderland (originally issued Australia & U.S. 1998, Columbia)
CD 2, Track 16 from The Real Thing (Studio and live recordings, originally issued Australia & U.S. 2000, Columbia)
CD 2, Tracks 17-18 from Capricornia (originally issued Australia 2002, Sony Music & internationally on Liquid 8)

The Essential Jerry Lee Lewis: The Sun Sessions (Legacy 88883 70609-2, 2013)

Disc 1

  1. Crazy Arms
  2. End of the Road
  3. Goodnight Irene
  4. Hand Me Down My Walking Cane
  5. Sixty Minute Man’
  6. Whole Lot of Shakin’ Goin’ On
  7. It’ll Be Me
  8. Lewis Boogie
  9. When the Saints Go Marchin’ In
  10. Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee
  11. Ubangi Stomp
  12. You Win Again
  13. Mean Woman Blues
  14. Great Balls of Fire
  15. Milkshake Madamoiselle
  16. Breathless
  17. Good Rockin’ Tonight
  18. Jailhouse Rock
  19. Jambalaya (On the Bayou)
  20. Big Legged Woman

Disc 2

  1. Hello, Hello Baby
  2. Fools Like Me
  3. Put Me Down
  4. High School Confidential
  5. Wild One (Real Wild Child)
  6. Break Up
  7. Big Blon’ Baby
  8. Lovin’ Up a Storm
  9. Hillbilly Fever
  10. Let’s Talk About Us
  11. Old Black Joe
  12. What’d I Say
  13. It Won’t Happen with Me
  14. Cold, Cold Heart
  15. Waiting for a Train
  16. One Minute Past Eternity
  17. Invitation to Your Party
  18. I Can’t Seem to Say Goodbye
  19. Will the Circle Be Unbroken
  20. Settin’ the Woods On Fire

CD 1, Tracks 1 & 2 from Sun single 259, 1956
CD 1, Tracks 3, 9, 11, 19 & CD 2, Track 3 from Jerry Lee Lewis (Sun, 1958)
CD 1, Track 4 rec. c. 1956/1957 – from Old Tyme Country Music (Sun International, 1970)
CD 1, Track 5 rec. c. 1956/1957 – from Rare Jerry Lee Lewis Volume 1 (Charly, 1974)
CD 1, Tracks 6 & 7 from Sun single 267, 1957
CD 1, Track 8 from Sun single 301, 1958
CD 1, Track 10 rec. 1957 & CD 2, Track 18 rec. 1958 – from Monsters (Sun International, 1970)
CD 1, Tracks 12 & 14 from Sun single 281, 1957
CD 1, Track 13 from Great Balls of Fire EP (Sun, 1957)
CD 1, Track 15 rec. 1958 – from Rockin’ Up a Storm (Sun U.K., 1973)
CD 1, Track 16 from Sun single 288, 1958
CD 1, Track 17 rec. 1958 – from The Sun Years (Sun U.K., 1982)
CD  1, Track 20 rec. possibly 1958 – from Rockin’ Rhythm and Blues (Sun International, 1969)
CD 2, Tracks 1, 9 from Jerry Lee’s Greatest (Sun, 1962)
CD 2, Tracks 2 & 4 from Sun single 296, 1958
CD 2, Track 5 from Jerry Lee Lewis and His Pumping Piano (rec. 1956 – issued Charly, 1974)
CD 2, Track 6 from Sun single 303, 1958
CD 2, Tracks 7 & 8 from Sun single 317, 1959
CD 2, Track 10 from Sun single 324, 1959
CD 2, Track 11 from Sun single 337, 1960
CD 2, Track 12 from Sun single 356, 1961
CD 2, Tracks 13 & 14 from Sun single 364, 1961
CD 2, Track 15 rec. 1962 – from Sun International single 1119, 1970
CD 2, Track 16 rec. 1963 – from Sun International single 1107, 1969
CD 2, Track 17 rec. 1963 – from Sun International single 1101, 1969
CD 2, Track 18 rec. 1963 – from Sun International single 1115, 1970
CD 2, Track 19 rec. 1959 – from Sunday Down South (Sun International, 1970)
CD 2, Track 20 rec. possibly 1958 – from Classic Jerry Lee Lewis (Bear Family, 1989)

The Essential Pete Seeger (Columbia/Legacy 88765 49050-2, 2013)

Disc 1

  1. Last Train to Nuremberg
  2. The Power and the Glory
  3. John Henry (Live)
  4. The Sinking of the Reuben James
  5. East Virginia
  6. Hobo’s Lullaby
  7. Waist Deep in the Big Muddy
  8. Draft Dodger Rag
  9. Pretty Boy Floyd (Live)
  10. Where Have All the Flowers Gone (Live)
  11. The Bells of Rhymney (Live)
  12. Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season) (Live)
  13. Guantanamera (Live)
  14. If I Had a Hammer (Live)
  15. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize (Live)
  16. We Shall Overcome (Live)
  17. Those Three Are On My Mind
  18. Living in the Country (Live)

Disc 2

  1. Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
  2. Both Sides Now
  3. The Pill
  4. Coal Creek March
  5. Jesse James
  6. Talking Union
  7. Which Side Are You On (Live)
  8. Harry Simms
  9. Little Boxes (Live)
  10. My Oklahoma Home Blowed Away (Live)
  11. Darling Corey
  12. Barbara Allen (Live)
  13. Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies
  14. Abiyoyo (Live)
  15. Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) (Live)
  16. Michael Row the Boat Ashore (Live)
  17. This Land is Your Land (Live)
  18. My Dirty Stream (The Hudson River Song)

CD 1, Tracks 1, 6 from Rainbow Race (Columbia, 1972)
CD 1, Track 2 from God Bless the Green Grass (Columbia, 1965)
CD 1, Tracks 3, 9 from Story Songs (Columbia, 1961)
CD 1, Tracks 4-5, 7, 17 & CD 2, Tracks 1, 13 from Waist Deep in the Big Muddy and Other Love Songs (Columbia, 1967)
CD 1, Track 8 & CD 2, Tracks 3, 8 from Dangerous Songs (Columbia, 1966)
CD 1, Tracks 10, 12, 18 & CD 2, Track 12 from The Bitter and the Sweet (Recorded Live at the Bitter End) (Columbia, 1962)
CD 1, Track 11 & CD 2, Track 17 from I Can See a New Day (Columbia, 1964)
CD 1, Tracks 13, 15-16 & CD 2, Track 9 from We Shall Overcome (Recorded Live at the Historic Carnegie Hall Concert) (Columbia, 1963)
CD 1, Track 14 from Strangers and Cousins (Columbia, 1965)
CD 2, Track 2 from Young vs. Old (Columbia, 1969)
CD 2, Tracks 4 & 18 from God Bless the Grass (Columbia, 1966)
CD 2, Track 5 from The Badmen (Columbia, 1963)
CD 2, Tracks 6-7, 11, 15 from Greatest Hits (Columbia, 1967)
CD 2, Track 10 recorded for Story Songs (Columbia, 1961), available on A Link in the Chain (Columbia/Legacy, 1996)
CD 2, Tracks 14 & 16 from Children’s Concert at Town Hall (Columbia, 1963)

Written by Joe Marchese

April 30, 2013 at 10:05

7 Responses

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  1. Just got this today. Overall, it’s one of the better entries in the entire Essential series, IMO. It’s missing a few important songs, but for the most part, it hits the vast majority of Harry’s key work. And the sound quality, courtesy of Vic Anesini, one of the very best mastering engineers on the planet, is absolutely ravishing, just like Vic’s work on Nilsson’s individual albums. It’s easily the best-sounding Nilsson comp I’ve ever owned. For the price, it’s a no-brainer, even if you have only a passing interest in Harry. One listen to this, though, and I doubt your interest will be passing any longer! I wish all compilations were done with this much care.


    April 30, 2013 at 14:30

  2. Nilsson is notorious for never (NEVER) having performed a concert. He has appeared on a few
    tv shows (I found one on Youtube). But he was one heck of a writer.


    April 30, 2013 at 15:50

  3. Glad to see the someone at Sony finally got it right with an Andy Williams collection by including the song Home Lovin’ Man this time!


    April 30, 2013 at 20:09

    • I’ve always had a “soft spot” for Andy Williams – Christmas music and otherwise. This is a nice 2CD compilation – great selelction of tracks — I always thought that “Music To Watch Girls By” was super cool, especially with the raucous rock-ish guitar riffs throughout !!

      Rich Dudas

      April 30, 2013 at 21:20

  4. Loved Harry Nilsson! Will look into Legacy’s reissues, thanks!


    May 2, 2013 at 16:20

  5. Any word on an Essential Edgar Winter release?


    June 3, 2013 at 11:24

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