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Archive for December 3rd, 2013

Return To Itchycoo Park: Small Faces’ “Here Come The Nice” Deluxe Box Set Arrives In January [UPDATED 12/3]

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Small Faces - Here Come the Nice

The culmination of the recent Small Faces reissue series from the Charly/Snapper label is set for arrival in January: Here Come the Nice: The Immediate Years Box Set 1967-1969, a lavish 4-CD, 3-EP box set containing “every [one of the band’s] worldwide hit single A & B side on Immediate Records” plus rare and previously unreleased material, “remastered from recently-discovered original master and multi-track tapes.”  The set has been produced under the supervision of surviving band members Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan, both of whom have signed certificates to be included in each one of the limited edition box sets available in the U.S. on January 28 exclusively at Amazon.comThe box is limited to 3,000 copies worldwide.

The first disc compiles 20 original Immediate mono single sides, while the second and third discs premiere 34 previously unreleased alternates recorded at Olympic, Trident and IBC Studios.  The fourth CD features 21 more previously unreleased outtakes and alternates, plus live material from the Small Faces’ Newcastle City Hall gig of November 18, 1968.  Three replica vinyl EPs are also included.  The first of these, Small Faces Album Sampler, was originally released as a one-sided promotional single to coincide with the band’s first Immediate album, and features excerpts of album cuts along with deejay Tommy Vance’s announcements.  The second EP is a French “Here Come the Nice” with the title track mixed slightly faster, and the third EP is the French “Itchycoo Park” release.  A replica of the original Olympic Sound Studios one-off acetate pressing for Andrew Loog Oldham for the song “Mystery” is another key component.

Designed by Grammy Award winner Rachel Gutek, Here Come the Nice boasts a 72-page hardbound book with introductions from Jones and McLagan, a foreword by Pete Townshend and liner notes by Mark Paytress.  In addition, Robert Plant, Paul Weller, David Bowie, Peter Frampton, Nick Mason, Chris Robinson, Glen Matlock, Chad Smith and Paul Stanley (Kiss) have all contributed to the text.  Track-by-track liner notes and a discography are all included alongside numerous photos and memorabilia images.  The box also makes room for double-sided postcards, a replica of the Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake press kit, two of Gered Mankowitz’s fine art prints, two original poster reproductions, and perhaps most excitingly, a 64-page illustrated lyric booklet for all songs on the box set.

Here Come the Nice is available on January 28 from Amazon U.S. only.  Due to territorial restrictions, the set is not being offered on Amazon U.K. and retailer Burning Shed has indicated that it will cancel any orders placed from within the United Kingdom.

After the jump: you’ll find the contents of our original post detailing previous Small Faces reissues, and then a complete track listing and pre-order link for the new box set! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 3, 2013 at 14:35

Holiday Tunes Watch: Fantasy Collects John Fahey’s “Christmas Soli”

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John Fahey - Christmas Soli

The late John Fahey might not be the first name associated with Christmas music.  But the steel-string acoustic guitarist and pioneer of the American Primitive Guitar style recorded a number of albums of holiday music, one of which (1968’s The New Possibility: John Fahey’s Guitar Solo Christmas Album) remains the most successful release in Fahey’s catalogue.  Fantasy Records’ new compilation Christmas Soli brings together fourteen songs from Fahey’s four holiday platters released between 1968 and 1982.

Fahey’s fingerpicking guitar style proved itself remarkably adaptable to holiday music of both the religious and secular varieties.  Fahey’s minimalist style brought out a stately, often hidden beauty not just in traditional melodies but in Great American Songbook standards by Irving Berlin (“White Christmas”) and Mel Torme and Robert Wells (“The Christmas Song”).  Bluegrass, country, folk and particularly the blues all informed the young Fahey, who released The New Possibility on his own Takoma label.  Named for Fahey’s hometown of Takoma Park, Maryland (a suburb of Washington, DC), Takoma was at one time or another home to other famed musicians including Michael Bloomfield, George Winston and Leo Kottke.

From The New Possibility, Christmas Soli reprises five tracks including Handel’s “Joy to the World” and traditional tunes such as “We Three Kings of Orient Are” and “Auld Lang Syne.”  The album was such a success for Fahey that he returned to the Christmas well with Christmas with John Fahey Volume Two in 1975.  Three tracks have been taken from that LP, including a medley of “O Tannenbaum” and “Angels We Have Heard On High” with “Jingle Bells,” and a duet with Richard (Rick) Ruskin of “Carol of the Bells.”  Guitarist Ruskin recorded three albums for Takoma.

Fahey’s next holiday-themed release, John Fahey Christmas Guitar Volume One, arrived in 1982 on the Varrick label.   Consisting almost entirely of religious-themed favorites, three tracks appear on Christmas Soli: “The First Noel,” “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and “Silent Night.”  The final album represented here is Popular Songs of Christmas and New Year’s, recorded with fellow acoustic guitarist Terry Robb and also released in 1982 on Varrick Records.  That album featured many secular Christmas songs, two of which appear on the new anthology (“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “The Christmas Song”) along with a medley of “Deck the Halls” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”  (The original album also featured Fahey’s surprising renditions of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Winter Wonderland” and “Let It Snow,” among other holiday staples.)

After the jump: more on Christmas Soli, including the full track listing with discographical annotation and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 3, 2013 at 11:19

Release Round-Up: Week of December 4

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Beachwood Sparks - Desert Skies

Beachwood Sparks, Desert Skies (Alive Records) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

We missed this one last week – and didn’t want you to miss it, too!  The previously unreleased debut album from California psychedelic country-rockers Beachwood Sparks arrives on CD with bonus material, all circa the late 1990s.  For fans of The Flying Burrito Brothers, Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, and the West Coast pop-rock sound.

Jones Girls - Coming Back

The Jones Girls, Coming Back (Expansion) (Amazon U.K.)

The Jones Girls, best-known for a string of LPs for Philadelphia International, “came back” with this 1992 album for ARP Records.  Expansion bolsters this rare slice of soulful R&B with six bonus tracks.

Roy Last Concert

Roy Orbison, The Last Concert: 25th Anniversary Edition (Roy’s Boys/Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Legacy reissues the very last concert ever given by Roy Orbison, from December 3, 1988, in a special package with a bonus DVD containing The Last Interview (taped with Roy directly after the performance) and selected performances from 1981 and 1986.  The Big O was gone two days later, but his music lives on.

Poco - From the Inside

Poco, From the Inside (Iconoclassic) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

In case you missed it last week (after all, we almost did!), Iconoclassic’s expanded reissue of Poco’s 1971 album features new remastering by Vic Anesini, an essay by John Einarson, and two previously unreleased bonus tracks: the unreleased studio versions of “C’mon” and “A Man Like Me” produced by Richie Polodor.

Scherrie and Susaye - Partners

Scherrie and Susaye, Partners (Motown/Universal Japan) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Two former Supremes – Scherrie Payne and Susaye Greene – joined with producer Gene McDaniels for this 1979 LP which featured special guest Ray Charles and addition vocals from Joyce Vincent of Tony Orlando and Dawn.  Partners updated the Supremes sound with a sleek, modern R&B vibe, and makes a long-overdue appearance on CD here.

Written by Joe Marchese

December 3, 2013 at 08:53