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Release Round-Up: Weeks of October 30 and November 6

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Election Day is upon us today!  But if you’re looking to cast your vote for some music, too, we might be able to help!  Though we were able to keep the lights on each day at The Second Disc, Hurricane Sandy kept us from publishing a Release Round-Up last week.  So without further ado, here’s the best of the best for the weeks of October 30 and November 6!

Louis Armstrong, The Complete OKeh, Columbia and RCA Victor Recordings 1925-1933 (OKeh/Columbia/RCA/Legacy) (10 CDs) / Charlie Christian, The Genius of the Electric Guitar (Columbia/ Legacy) (4 CDs) / Duke Ellington, The Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection 1951-1958 (Columbia/ Legacy) (9 CDs) / Bessie Smith, The Complete Columbia Recordings (Columbia/ Legacy) (10 CDs)

Four titans of jazz are celebrated with comprehensive box sets from Legacy Recordings!  Full details on each box can be found here!

Glen Campbell, Try a Little Kindness / The Glen Campbell Goodtime Album / The Last Time I Saw Her (BGO)

Three long-out-of-print albums from the country and pop legend arrive on two CDs from BGO!  Campbell’s renditions of “MacArthur Park,” “Honey, Come Back,” “Try a Little Kindness,” “Just Another Piece of Paper,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Help Me Make It Through the Night” are among the great songs you’ll hear here!

Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ultimate Creedence Clearwater Revival: Greatest Hits & All-Time Classics (Fantasy, 2012)

You’ll find 3 CDs of hits, deep cuts and live tracks here from the Bay Area swamp-rock legends!  Full track listing and more can be found here.

El Topo Soundtrack (LP & CD)/ David Peel & the Lower East Side, Have a Marijuana / Perry Como, Complete RCA Christmas Collection / Doris Day, The Complete Christmas Collection / SSgt. Barry Sadler, Ballads of the Green Berets

Real Gone Music’s October 30 slate included a counterculture classic from David Peel, a lost Apple Records soundtrack, two Christmas collections from beloved vocalists and an expanded reissue of SSgt. Barry Sadler’s Ballads of the Green Berets!  Full details are here!

Bert Jansch, Heartbreak: 30th Anniversary Edition (Omnivore) (CD / LP)

The great guitarist, singer and songwriter’s 1982 album arrives in an expanded edition on both CD and LP from Omnivore Recordings!  Track listing and all details are here.

Jethro Tull, Thick as a Brick: 40th Anniversary Edition (Chrysalis) (CD/DVD Box and 2-LP Edition)

Extra!  Extra!  Jethro Tull’s 1971 album is celebrated in a CD/DVD box set and as a 2-LP vinyl edition!  Read all about it here.

Barbara Lewis, The Complete Atlantic Singles / Johnny Mathis, This Is Love/Olé / Johnny Mathis, The Sweetheart Tree/The Shadow of Your Smile

For November 6, Real Gone has released a 2-CD set of soulful singles from the “Baby, I’m Yours” singer, plus another two of Johnny Mathis’ long-unavailable Mercury Records albums! Full details are here!

Gary Lewis and the Playboys, (You Don’t Have To) Paint Me a Picture / New Directions / Now! (BGO)

Three albums circa 1967-1968 arrive on CD from the sixties’ pop sensations, including New Directions with its line-up of songs from the “Happy Together” team of Bonner and Gordon; and Now! with its Playboys takes on pop hits such as “Windy” and “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight.”  You’ll also find contributions on this new 2-CD set from the young Leon Russell.

The Rolling Stones, Charlie is My Darling (Super Deluxe Box Set) (ABKCO, 2012)

The documentary Charlie is My Darling chronicles the early days of The Rolling Stones, and it’s arrived in a DVD/BD/CD/LP box set from ABKCO!  Track listing and full details are here.

James Taylor, James Taylor at Christmas (UMe)

JT’s 2004 Christmas collection arrives, with an altered track listing and a couple of newly-compiled tracks, in a new iteration from Universal!  Watch this space for full details!

Various Artists, Now That’s What I Call Disney (Sony/Universal/EMI/Walt Disney)

This 20-track collection reaches back as far as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and brings the Disney legacy up to date with songs from more recent classics like Toy Story and Tangled.  The title is derived from a 2011 3-CD compilation that arrived in the United Kingdom.

Various Artists, Rodgers & Hammerstein: The Complete Broadway Musicals (Masterworks Broadway, 2012)

Oh, what a beautiful box set!  This impressive 12-CD box set brings together one recording of each of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s groundbreaking Broadway musicals!  Full details are here.

The Velvet Underground and Nico: 45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Verve/UMe, 2012)

The Velvets’ debut album goes Super Deluxe in this 6-CD set.  Read more here!

Dionne Warwick, Now (Blue Horizon)

The legendary singer returns with an all-new studio set revisiting classics from Burt Bacharach and Hal David.  The Phil Ramone-produced album includes four songs (two penned by Bacharach and two by David) which Warwick had never previously recorded.  The whole story is here!

The Who, Live at Hull 1970 (Geffen/UMe)

The incendiary 2-CD concert from Pete, Roger, John and Keith arrives for the first time as a stand-alone edition; it was previously available as part of the 2010 Live at Leeds box set.  You’ll find the track listing here.

Bill Withers, The Complete Sussex and Columbia Masters (Columbia/Legacy)

You can rediscover the entire album catalogue of the “Ain’t No Sunshine”/Lean on Me” man with this 9-CD box set from Legacy Recordings!  Full track listing and more can be found here!

Frank Zappa, 11 catalogue reissues (UMe/Zappa Records)

Another round of Official Releases from the Frank Zappa camp has arrived, from 1984’s Francesco Zappa through 1991’s Make a Jazz Noise Here.  Plus: the 2012 compilation Understanding America makes its debut.  Read the full rundown with order links here!

Take the “A” Train to Complete Boxes From Ellington, Armstrong, Christian and Smith

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The roaring twenties are back!

Okay – or should that be OKeh? – in fairness, so are the thirties, forties, and fifties, thanks to four upcoming box sets spotlighting legendary jazz and blues stars.  Legacy Recordings adds to its growing Complete Albums Collection library on October 30 with these new volumes:

  • Louis Armstrong, The Complete OKeh, Columbia and RCA Victor Recordings 1925-1933 (OKeh/Columbia/RCA/Legacy) (10 CDs);
  • Charlie Christian, The Genius of the Electric Guitar (Columbia/ Legacy) (4 CDs);
  • Duke Ellington, The Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection 1951-1958 (Columbia/ Legacy) (9 CDs); and
  • Bessie Smith, The Complete Columbia Recordings (Columbia/ Legacy) (10 CDs).

These titles follow up the recent releases from The Brecker Brothers, Etta James and Sarah Vaughan (all due in stores Tuesday) and like those titles and the other Complete Albums sets, these include original albums or compilations packaged in replica mini-LP sleeves.  In most cases, bonus tracks that have been appended to past Legacy reissues have been retained, and booklets have been prepared with new liner notes and full discographical information for each artist and title contained.  Virtually all of the CDs in the Complete Album Collection jazz series have been newly remastered by multiple Grammy-winning engineer Mark Wilder.

The beloved Louis Armstrong was last year the subject of a massive 10-CD box set spotlighting his entire career, a set which drew considerable attention when Elvis Costello proclaimed it a superior purchase to a similarly-priced set of his own material.  Well, Mr. Costello would likely approve of The Complete OKeh, Columbia and RCA Victor Recordings 1925-1933, with its ten CDs of some of the earliest recordings by the man alternately known as Satchmo or Pops.  This period yielded the famous Hot Fives and Hot Sevens recordings, among the most historically important and, indeed, entertaining, of Armstrong’s long career during which he influenced virtually every musician who’s ever picked up a horn.  Any understanding of popular music begins with these famous sessions, featured on the first three discs of this new set.  (A 2000 Legacy box set was previously dedicated to these recordings.)

CDs 1-7 of the new box replicate the contents of the first seven volumes of the now out-of-print Armstrong Columbia Jazz Masterpieces series, released 1988 to 1993; the first three discs are dedicated to the Hot Fives and Hot Sevens as recorded between 1925 and 1928.  CD 4 spotlights Pops’ recordings alongside pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines with a variety of groups in 1927-1928, while CDs 5 and 6 cover the seminal 1929-1930 period during which time Armstrong recorded in New York and Los Angeles.  CDs 7 and 8 find Louis embracing the 1930s with open arms with sessions in Chicago, while the final two discs in the box pick up with his move to Victor in late 1932 with recordings made from Camden to Chicago!  The ten-CD set ends with Louis (and wife Lil on piano!) backing country –and-western pioneer Jimmie Rodgers on his “Blue Yodel No. 9,” recorded in Los Angeles in July 1930.

Legacy notes that The Complete OKeh, Columbia and RCA Victor Recordings 1925-1933 does not include the recordings on which Armstrong served as a sideman during these years for artists such as  Maggie Jones and Lillie Delk Christian.  Ricky Riccardi, author of the must-read What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years (and keeper of a fine Armstrong blog), provides the new liner notes for the box.  Louis Armstrong returned to RCA Victor in 1946-1947 and Columbia in 1954-1956; perhaps those sessions will see release down the road!

After the jump, we’ll explore the sets from Charlie Christian, Duke Ellington and Bessie Smith.  Plus: we have pre-order links for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 24, 2012 at 08:58