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Archive for the ‘GQ’ Category

Release Round-Up: Week of August 9

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GQ, Two (Funkytowngrooves)

GQ’s 1980 Arista album gets the remastered treatment. (Amazon)

Jefferson Airplane, Red Octopus (Friday Music)

The 1975 effort from Paul Kantner, Marty Balin, Grace Slick and co. arrives on 180-gram vinyl with the mega-hit “Miracles” a highlight!  (Official site)

Evelyn “Champagne” King, Music Box (Funkytowngrooves)

King teams with T-Life for this groove-laden RCA set from 1979! (Amazon)

The Motels, Apocalypso (Omnivore)

The Motels’ lost album from 1981 finally surfaces, and Omnivore’s expanded edition boasts seven additional tracks!  Full story here.  (Amazon)

Mickey Newbury, An American Trilogy (Drag City)

Drag City compiles three albums from Mickey Newbury, the writer/arranger of Elvis Presley’s titanic “An American Trilogy.”  The box brings together Looks Like Rain, `Frisco Mabel Joy, and Heaven Help the Child, and adds one extra disc of bonus material.  (Amazon)

Original Broadway Cast, Say, Darling (Masterworks Broadway)

Jule Styne (Gypsy, Funny Girl) teamed with Betty Comden and Adolph Green (Singin’ in the Rain, On the Town) for this Broadway play about the writing of a Broadway musical.  Got that straight?  Either way, the score is fantastic fun!  Johnny Desmond stars.  Visit the official site of Masterworks Broadway here and our coverage of all of the label’s upcoming releases here.  (Digital-only)

Original Off-Broadway Cast, Ernest in Love (Masterworks Broadway)

This 1960 musical version of The Importance of Being Earnest features a score by lyricist Anne Croswell and composer Lee Pockriss, also the writer of Brian Hyland’s “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” Shelley Fabares’ “Johnny Angel” and The Cuff Links’ “Tracy.” (Digital-only)

Original Off-Broadway Cast, The Mad Show (Masterworks Broadway)

Linda Lavin and Jo Anne Worley are among the cast members in this 1966 revue based on Mad Magazine.  With talents like Joe Raposo (Sesame Street), Mary Rodgers and even Stephen Sondheim involved, however, it’s definitely Not Brand Eccch!  (Digital-only)

Original Off-Broadway Cast, The Nervous Set (Masterworks Broadway)

Here’s the off-Broadway musical that introduced the standards “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most” and “Ballad of the Sad Young Men.”  (Digital-only)

Original Off-Broadway Cast, Now is the Time For All Good Men (Masterworks Broadway)

This 1967 musical with a pop/rock sound reflects its Vietnam-era setting with a score by Nancy Ford and Gretchen Cryer.    Gretchen’s then-husband David Cryer starred.  (They are also the parents of Two and a Half Men’s Jon Cryer!) (Digital-only)

Original Studio Cast Recording, archy and mehitabel (Masterworks Broadway)

Columbia Records brought to life this 1954 musical based on Don Marquis’ beloved stories of the poetic cockroach archy and alley cat mehitabel, with songs by George Kleinsinger (Tubby the Tuba) and Joe Darion (Man of La Mancha).  Darion contributed to the musical’s book with a young writer named Mel Brooks!  Carol Channing and Eddie Bracken are the stars.  (Digital-only)

Leon Russell, Live in Japan (Omnivore)

The renaissance of The Master of Space and Time continues!  Omnivore’s release pairs a 1973 concert from Japan’s Budokan Hall with a 1971 gig at Texas’ Sam Houston Coliseum.  Our full story here.  (Amazon)

Styx, The Grand Illusion (Friday Music)

Friday Music remasters the original 1977 arena rock classic on 180-gram vinyl!  (Official site)

Various Artists, CTI Records 40th Anniversary series (CTI/Masterworks Jazz)

Four rare titles from the CTI jazz catalogue arrive in remastered editions: Airto’s Fingers; Jackie Cain and Roy Kral’s A Wilder Alias; Joe Farrell’s Outback; and Randy Weston’s Blue Moses. (Official site)

Written by Joe Marchese

August 9, 2011 at 09:05

Funky Town Preps Reissues From GQ, Melba Moore, Evelyn “Champagne” King and More

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And the great soul music just keeps on comin’.  Our friends at Funky Town Grooves have announced quite a slate of dance classics sure to keep your feet moving this May.  The varied line-up has been drawn from the vaults of Sony (CBS, Arista and RCA) and EMI (Capitol) and includes both artists new to the label and returning favorites.  In addition, a number of titles are making their first-ever CD debuts and some editions have been expanded with rare dance mixes.  Intrigued?

Ron Banks of The Dramatics sees his 1983 CBS effort Truly Bad rewarded with its first CD release.  On Truly Bad, Banks applies classic soul vocals over modern keyboards and drums.  “Let Love Flow” is a beautiful slow groove while “Make It Easy On Yourself” is a cover of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David standard.  Another CD debut is Beau Williams’ Bodacious.  Williams was another underrated talent from the Capitol soul stable and Bodacious again marries strong vocals to a slick, beat-laden modern production.  Paul Laurence’s 1985 Capitol LP Haven’t You Heard gets the expanded treatment from Funky Town with four rare single cuts, and Melba Moore’s 1986 A Lot of Love, also on Capitol, continues the label’s series of Moore reissues.  A Lot of Love is bolstered by five rare mixes including duets with Freddie Jackson and Kashif.

Like Melba Moore, Evelyn “Champagne” King has been celebrated of late with reissue love from not only Funky Town but also the fine folks at Big Break Records.  Funky Town takes on King’s 1979 RCA Victor LP Music Box and expands it with three 12-inch mixes and one 7-inch.  Also from RCA’s archives comes Fonzi Thornton’s 1983 Pumpin’, which boasts three alternate versions, and Esther Williams’ Inside of Me (1981).

GQ’s 1981 Arista LP Face to Face is also due, adding the non-LP track “Try Smurfin’.”  Face to Face is another stellar blend of Chicago soul and disco beats from the Bronx group.

Hit the jump for full track listings and discographical information as well as pre-order links for the entire Funky Town slate for May!  The release dates may vary by title, and while we have provided Amazon links below where available, all titles can also be obtained direct from the source.  Just pay a visit to! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 27, 2011 at 10:07