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Release Round-Up: Week of August 27

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Beach Boys Made in California BoxThe Beach Boys, Made in California (Capitol/UMe)

Six discs of career-spanning tunes – hits and rarities aplenty – from the best band to come out of Hawthorne, California. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Dylan Bootleg 10Bob Dylan, Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 (Columbia)

Revisit one of the most polarizing periods of Dylan’s career with the latest Bootleg Series entry, featuring outtakes from Nashville SkylineSelf Portrait and New Morning. A deluxe version includes Dylan and The Band’s complete Isle of Wight performance and a remastered version of Self Portrait, and a vinyl version also exists.

2CD standard edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
4CD deluxe edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3LP vinyl edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Sly and the Family Stone - HigherSly & The Family Stone, Higher! (Epic/Legacy)

A four-disc box celebrating one of the pioneers of funk and R&B. Intriguing tracks from the vault and little-heard mono mixes are complemented by a really striking visual presentation, and a healthy book of liner notes. Amazon U.S. has got a six-track bonus disc with the box, and there’s also a highlights disc for the less curious.

4CD box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
4CD box + bonus disc: Amazon U.S.
8LP box: Amazon U.K.
8LP box + bonus disc: Amazon U.S.
1CD compilation: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Belinda Heaven on Earth DeluxeBelinda Carlisle, Heaven on Earth Runaway Horses Live Your Life Be Free Real: Deluxe Editions (Edsel)

When The Go-Go’s leader went full-on pop, the music world was all the better for it. Belinda’s Virgin discography has now been expanded as 2CD/1DVD sets, Edsel-style.

Heaven on Earth: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Runaway HorsesAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Live Your Life Be FreeAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
RealAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Robert Palmer Pride-RiptideRobert Palmer, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley/Pressure DropSome People Can Do What They Like/Double Fun / Secrets/Clues/Maybe It’s LivePride/Riptide (Edsel)

The Robert Palmer Island Records discography is finally remastered and expanded – not as we’d imagine (as two-fers and one three-fer), but at least this late great is getting the attention he so greatly deserves.

Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley/Pressure Drop: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Some People Can Do What They Like/Double Fun: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Secrets/Clues/Maybe It’s LiveAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Pride/RiptideAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Mario Lanza - Toast of HollywoodMario Lanza, The Toast of Hollywood (Sony Masterworks)

A new two-disc compilation celebrating MGM’s beloved actor-tenor features six previously unreleased recordings. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Dexter Gordon - Daddy Plays the HornOscar Pettiford, Modern Quintet / Chris Connor, Sings Lullabys For Lovers / Dexter Gordon, Daddy Plays The Horn / Charles Mingus, The Jazz Experiments of Charles Mingus / Nina Simone, Little Girl Blue / Booker Ervin, The Book Cooks (Naxos/Bethlehem)

The first of several batches of reissues from the classic Bethlehem label (additional batches are planned through next summer!) are hitting CD, LP and MP3, back in print after too long. (The above link is being updated with full links as they’re available.)

CHIC Vinyl SinglesCHIC, The 12″ Singles Collection (Atlantic/Rhino U.K.)

Ten tracks of disco goodness spanning the entire, immortal partnership of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, on five pieces of vinyl. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Fuel for the FireNaked Eyes, Fuel for the Fire: Expanded Edition (Cherry Pop)

The second and final Naked Eyes LP debuts on CD with rare bonus tracks and unreleased demos for your enjoyment. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Mario Lanza Is “The Toast of Hollywood” On New Set From TCM, Sony

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Mario Lanza - Toast of HollywoodIn the 1950 film of the same name, Mario Lanza was anointed The Toast of New Orleans.  According to the fine folks at Turner Classic Movies and Sony Masterworks, however, the Pennsylvania-born, Italian-American tenor is also The Toast of Hollywood.  TCM and Masterworks are following up their 2012 release of Doris Day’s With a Smile and a Song with a new, similarly-designed 2-CD set dedicated to the late Hollywood singing star Lanza.  The rich-voiced singer may have perished in 1959 at just 38 years of age, but his body of work on both film and record is still fondly remembered.  The Toast of Hollywood is due on August 27, and will include six previously-unissued recording plus a further three new-to-Sony CD selections among its 30 tracks.

Mario Lanza made his first big splash in Hollywood thanks to the largesse of Louis B. Mayer.  Some of Lanza’s recordings had impressed the second “M” in “MGM” but the deal was sealed when Lanza electrified a crowd in summer 1947 at the Hollywood Bowl, and Mayer’s secretary Ida Koverman was among those in the crowd.  Mayer rushed to sign this electrifying young star-in-the-making, described by producer Joe Pasternak as possessing a voice that was “rich, warm, sensuous, virile, capable of incredible highs and able to go down in register as deep as a baritone’s.”

Pasternak produced the first five of Lanza’s MGM films, beginning with 1949’s That Midnight Kiss.  The credits proclaimed “Introducing Mario Lanza” for his role opposite Kathryn Grayson and Jose Iturbi, and the score gave him the opportunity to sing both classical repertoire and American popular songs.  Beginning in 1949, Lanza also began an association with RCA Victor as a recording artist.  In addition to other album projects, Lanza would record many of his MGM movie songs for RCA.

Lanza followed his triumph in That Midnight Kiss with The Toast of New Orleans, The Great Caruso (1951), Because You’re Mine (1952) and The Student Prince (recorded 1952, released 1954).  The last film didn’t turn out as expected, however, when a clash with director Curtis Bernhardt led Lanza to storm off the set and, as it turned out, off the MGM lot.  Lawsuits ensued, and when the film adaptation of Sigmund Romberg’s famous operetta was finally released, British actor Edmund Purdom lip-synched to Lanza’s original recordings, under the auspices of new director Richard Thorpe.  Two of Lanza’s soundtrack performances for The Student Prince are included on the new compilation.

Lanza returned to screen supremacy with Warner Bros.’ 1956 Serenade, and eventually headed back to the Metro lot for his final two films: Seven Hills of Rome (1958) and For the First Time (1959).  But on October 27 in Rome, Italy, Lanza perished.  No autopsy was performed, but it’s been speculated that Lanza was felled by either a fatal heart attack or a pulmonary embolism.  Tragically, his widow Betty died just months later of asphyxiation at the age of 37, leaving their four children behind.

What exactly will you find on this new anthology?  Hit the jump for more details including the complete track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 26, 2013 at 13:45