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Release Round-Up: Week of April 17

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Janis Joplin, The Pearl Sessions (Columbia/Legacy)

Essentially a new double-disc deluxe edition of Joplin’s final album, with mono single mixes and a heap of mostly unreleased session outtakes as bonus tracks.

Little Richard, Here’s Little Richard (Specialty/Concord)

One of the cornerstone albums of modern rock is newly remastered and expanded with two demos, video content and an interview with Specialty label founder Art Rupe.

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Marley: The Original Soundtrack (Tuff Gong/Island)

It won’t supplant Legend, but this new two-disc compilation (to tie in with the new film) features hits, early obscurities and an unreleased live version of “Jammin'” from the historic One Love Peace concert.

Aretha Franklin, Who’s Zoomin’ Who? Deluxe Edition (Funky Town Grooves)

The Queen of Soul’s legendary ’80s comeback, expanded with every mix and edit of hit singles like “Freeway of Love,” “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” and the title track.

Cowboy Copas/Little Willie John/The Ad Libs, Complete Hit SIngles As & Bs (Real Gone Music)

The latest from Real Gone compiles singles from pioneers of their genres (country for Cowboy Copas, doo-wop for The Ad Libs and R&B for Willie John).

Grand Funk Railroad, Mark, Don & Mel 1969-71 (Iconoclassic)

This classic GFR compilation has been released by Iconoclassic before, but previous copies were plagued with mastering issues. Now, they’ve all been cleared, and if you buy now, you’ll get a good one.

Luther Vandross, Hidden Gems (Epic/Legacy)

In honor of what would have been the late crooner’s birthday, a new single-disc compilation highlighting lesser-known album tracks and soundtrack rarities.

Donovan/Brooks & Dunn/Alan Jackson/Mariah CareyThe Essential (Legacy)

Four double-disc Essential sets from Legacy, but only one (from recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Donovan) isn’t a repackaging of a prior compilation.

Essentially Repackaged: Legacy Reissues Double-Disc Compilations Under New Names

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There’s something familiar about many of Legacy’s new entries in their ongoing The Essential series hitting stores in April and May.

Of the four double-disc compilations – one for prog-rock masters Blue Öyster Cult, one apiece for country stars Alan Jackson and Brooks & Dunn and one for pop chanteuse Mariah Carey – three have already been reissued under different names. The country ones are repackages of each performer’s latest hits set (Jackson’s 2010 contract-closing 34 Number One Hits and Brooks & Dunn’s 2009 #1s…and Then Some, released ahead of the duo’s farewell tour), while Mariah’s set came out in 2001 as Greatest Hits, once the singer left Columbia for a brief, disastrous run with Virgin. (That set has already been reissued as The Essential Mariah Carey in Europe as of last year.)

And while the new set, The Essential Blue Öyster Cult, provides new fans with a healthy look at their lengthy career beyond just the cowbell-heavy antics of “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” (not to mention expanding heavily upon the 2003 single-disc set of the same name), none of the material here is new. The compilation slightly resembles a less-rarity-packed version of 1995’s Workshop of the Telescopes (one track of which, the cover of “Born to Be Wild,” appears here).

All of these sets are out April 17 except the Mariah Carey set, available May 8. Hit the jump for full details on all of them.

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Written by Mike Duquette

April 4, 2012 at 14:51