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Release Round-Up: Week of July 29

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Allman Brothers - Fillmore BoxThe Allman Brothers Band, The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings (Mercury/UMe)

The four shows in March 1971 that made up the band’s legendary breakthrough album are presented in full for the first time, along with the group’s closing set at the Fillmore East that following June. The Blu-ray version features the material in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound.

6CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3-BD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
4LP Highlights: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Dream Academy - Morning LastedPeggy Lipton, The Complete Ode Recordings / Gene Rains, Far Away Lands — The Exotic Music of Gene Rains /How to Stuff a Wild Bikini: Original Stereo Soundtrack / Cass Elliot, Don’t Call Me Mama Anymore Plus Rarities – Her Final Recordings / Dee Dee Warwick, The Complete Atco Recordings / The Shirelles, Happy and in Love/Shirelles / The Dream AcademyThe Morning Lasted All Day — A Retrospective (Real Gone Music)

This diverse Real Gone set includes a compilation from underrated ’80s synthpop group The Dream Academy and recordings from Peggy Lipton, star of The Mod Squad; she covers the songs of Carole King, Laura Nyro, Brian Wilson and Tony Asher, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and Jimmy Webb on this release, which has liner notes from our own Joe Marchese!

Peggy Lipton: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Gene Rains: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Wild BikiniAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Cass Elliot: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Dee Dee Warwick: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Shirelles: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Dream Academy: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Deep Purple Mark 1Deep Purple, Hard Road: The Mark 1 Studio Recordings 1968-1969 (Parlophone U.K.)

Deep Purple’s first three albums get the box set treatment with bonus tracks and stereo and mono mixes of the first two albums. (Amazon U.S.Amazon U.K.)

Get On UpJames Brown, Get on Up: The James Brown Story – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Polydor/UMe)

In honor of the new film opening this week, Universal’s got a new JB compilation, naturally featuring a pair of unreleased live tracks from 1966. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The BreezeEric Clapton and Friends, The Breeze (An Appreciation of J.J. Cale) (Bushbranch/Surfdog)

The legendary bluesman and some famous friends (Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, Mark Knopfler, John Mayer) pay tribute to the late blues singer-songwriter on this new album.

Standard Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2CD Box Set: Surfdog Records
4LP: Surfdog Records

LC CookeL.C. Cooke, The Complete SAR Records Recordings (ABKCO)

This anthology collects the complete recordings of L.C. Cooke for his older brother Sam’s SAR Records label, including one complete shelved album produced and largely written by Sam, plus alternate takes, unreleased tracks, session chatter and bonus recordings from the Checker and Destination labels!  Musicians include Bobby and Cecil Womack, Billy Preston and “Pink Panther” saxophonist Plas Johnson! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

I Hope We Get to Love in TimeSilver Convention, Get Up and Boogie: Expanded Edition / Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., I Hope We Get to Love in Time: Expanded Edition / Phyllis Nelson, Move Closer (Big Break Records)

Big Break has three more R&B classics arriving on CD this week  including the first post-5th Dimension album from Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. featuring their smash “You Don’t Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show).”

Silver Convention: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Marilyn & Billy: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Phyllis Nelson: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Super ChiefVan Dyke Parks, Super Chief (Yep Roc)

Yep Roc reissues Van Dyke Parks’ 2013 “orchestral fantasy” on standalone CD (previously only available as part of a Record Store Day vinyl package) for the first time! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

GOTG SoundtrackVarious Artists, Guardians of the Galaxy: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack/Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (Hollywood Records)

Here’s the only collection approved for listening by The Star Lord! This indeed-awesome all-catalogue mix includes vintage cuts from The Jackson 5, The Raspberries, David Bowie, The Runaways, Blue Swede, Rupert Holmes and more – all but one of which (Norman Greenbaum’s immortal “Spirit in the Sky”) play key roles in the Marvel blockbuster-to-be! Also available as part of a 2CD or 2LP deluxe edition also including the film’s orchestral score by Tyler Bates!

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Essential NSYNC*NSYNC, The Essential *NSYNC (Jive/Legacy)

This two-disc set from the late ’90s/early ’00s boy band lives up to its name for fans, featuring all the great hits (“Bye Bye Bye,” “Tearin’ Up My Heart,” “Pop”) plus a myriad of rarities from compilations, soundtracks and international pressings. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Ghostbusters_SoundtrackVarious Artists, Ghostbusters: Original Soundtrack Album (Arista/Legacy)

A sequel of sorts to the Record Store Day single co-produced by our own Mike Duquette, this is a straight reissue of the original soundtrack, newly remastered for vinyl. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The Allman Brothers Band’s “Fillmore East” Goes Super Deluxe In New Box Set

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Allman Brothers - Fillmore Box

2014 has been a year of upheaval for The Allman Brothers Band.  Following word that Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks would be departing the venerable group at year’s end, Gregg Allman confirmed that he, too, would stop touring after 2014 – effectively ending the band that bears his name.  Despite his claims that “this is the end of it,” Allman has left the door open to reunions down the road. “Who’s to say?,” he pondered in the pages of Relix.  “We may get together every five years and just do one play at a time.”  In the meantime, there could hardly be a better time to celebrate not the end, but the beginning, of The Allman Brothers Band’s live legacy.  On July 29, Universal will release The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings, a 6-CD or 3-BD complete sets  or 4-LP highlights set expanding the band’s first, landmark live album.

The original At Fillmore East – the 1971 album that was the group’s third release overall – was recorded during the band’s three-night stand in March ’71 at Bill Graham’s sadly-departed New York rock palace.  The double-LP set introduced those who hadn’t seen the band live to its epic improvisational abilities, featuring just seven songs on four sides of vinyl.  Producer Tom Dowd captured Gregg Allman, Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Jai Johanny Johanson and Butch Trucks on a set of originals and covers including Blind Willie McTell’s “Statesboro Blues,” T Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday,” Gregg’s “Whipping Post” and Betts’ “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.”  Two more tracks from the March Fillmore gigs premiered on Eat a Peach, the 1972 studio-live hybrid album released by the band in the wake of Duane Allman’s tragic October 1971 death.

These thunderous blues-rock jam sessions have been revisited on numerous past releases.  The Duane Allman Anthology volumes unearthed tracks, as did the 1975 compilation The Road Goes On Forever (itself expanded on CD in 2001) and 1989’s Dreams box set.  1992’s The Fillmore Concerts combined tracks from the original At Fillmore East and Eat a Peach with one track from a June Fillmore performance, remixed and re-edited by Tom Dowd.  2003’s Deluxe Edition of At Fillmore East added six previously issued tracks from both the March and June stands – including “Drunken-Hearted Boy” performed with support act Elvin Bishop – to recreate a complete concert experience.  More previously unheard material from June premiered on the 2006 Deluxe Edition of Eat a Peach.

What’s on the new box set?  Hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 16, 2014 at 10:32

Of Ghosts, Panthers and Ronettes: Legacy Unveils Record Store Day 2014 Slate

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Ghostbusters 30th Ecto Green VinylToday’s the day!  This morning, Los Angeles’ vinyl mecca Amoeba Music hosted the “Official List Launch” for Record Store Day, with simultaneous unveilings of the extensive RSD ’14 line-up occurring in Nashville and across the pond in London.  We’ve already filled you in on some of the exciting titles arriving on Saturday, April 19 from many of our favorite labels (Real Gone Music, Omnivore Recordings) and artists alike (Creedence Clearwater Revival, Devo, Neil Young, R.E.M. ), and there’s plenty more news on the way!  Among those slates revealed today was that of Legacy Recordings.  An eclectic variety of vinyl goodies will be arriving on 33 and 45 RPM from some of RSD’s heaviest hitters.

For those ready to get back in the saddle at their local record store, Legacy is obliging with vintage albums – a number of which are making their vinyl debut – from 311, Aerosmith, MGMT and Outkast.  The Allman Brothers Band’s recent Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theatre 1992 gets a double-vinyl highlights release, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Live at Monterey makes its Legacy LP premiere.  If you’re less about leather pants and more about a natty suit, the label is extending an invitation to Dream with Dean via the late Mr. Martin’s 1964 album.  Legacy now has the Rat Packer’s Reprise recordings, and this elegant album is one of the most choice titles from that catalogue.  Dream features his original recording of “Everybody Loves Somebody” plus perennials like “Fools Rush In,” “Blue Moon” and “Smile.”  And even the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau would likely be able to spot the new pink vinyl reissue of Henry Mancini’s original album recording of his sublimely sinuous music from The Pink Panther.

Eric Carmen - Brand New YearOn the singles front, Legacy follows up this year’s Playlist: The Very Best of Ronnie Spector with a replica 45 of “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” b/w “Baby Please Don’t Go,” on which the former Ronette is backed by none other than Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.   Eric Carmen’s new “Brand New Day” also arrives on vinyl in an alternate mix supporting The Essential Eric Carmen, and post-punk band The The’s 1983 track “Giant” gets the 12-inch single treatment with a new remix!

Last, but certainly not least, we’re posing the question: Who you gonna call?  In Legacy’s case, the label called our very own Mike Duquette!  Mike wasn’t afraid of no ghost, and has co-produced a one-of-a-kind collectible for Legacy that just might keep you up at night with excitement!  To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Ivan Reitman’s blockbuster Ghostbusters, Legacy will offer a 10-inch vinyl EP with four versions of Ray Parker Jr.’s chart-topping, Academy Award-nominated hit “Ghostbusters,” including the original 12-inch and dub remixes.  As if that’s not enough, it’s going to be pressed on special, glow-in-the-dark Ecto Green vinyl!  It’s the next best thing to a visit from Slimer or the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man – and a heck of a lot less trouble to clean up after!  This project has been a labor of love for Mike and the team at Legacy, and we’re thrilled to finally be able to share the news with you.

Mark your calendar now for Saturday, April 19 – and rev up your Ecto One to be first on line at your local independent record retailer.  After the jump, we have full specs on all of these limited edition releases from Legacy Recordings! Read the rest of this entry »

Eric Clapton Goes to the “Crossroads” and Brings Friends On New CD, DVD, BD

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Eric Clapton - Crossroads

Eric Clapton is big on giving back.  The guitar god founded Antigua’s Crossroads Centre for the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction in 1998, and in 2004, spearheaded the creation of the Crossroads Eric Clapton Guitar Festival to benefit the facility of the same name.  Since that first ’04 fest, Crossroads Festivals have taken place every three years, in 2007, 2010 and 2013.  Highlights from the 2013 shows, which took place on April 12 and 13 at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden, are now available on CD, DVD and Blu-ray Disc from Rhino.

Headlined of course by Clapton, the first Crossroads Festival was held in Dallas, Texas and endeavored to represent instrumentalists from the blues, rock, country and even jazz realms.  The festival featured such diverse guitar greats as Jeff Beck, J.J. Cale, Bo Diddley, B.B. King, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana as well as singer-songwriters like Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, James Taylor and the up-and-coming John Mayer, as well as bands like Booker T and the MG’s, Styx and ZZ Top.  The 2013 line-up welcomed back many artists who had played at that very first event (and subsequent ones) such as B.B. King, Booker T. Jones, Jeff Beck, John Mayer, Robert Randolph, Robert Cray, Vince Gill, Buddy Guy, Doyle Bramhall II, Jimmie Vaughan and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos.  Other performers included Keith Richards, Earl Klugh, Gary Clark Jr., Keith Urban, Keb’ Mo’ and Taj Mahal.

The DVD and BD releases present 45 songs from both evenings of Crossroads 2013 in director Martyn Atkins’ concert film, playable in either stereo or 5.1 surround.  The CD edition boasts 29 tracks on two discs.  In all formats you’ll get Clapton’s performances of signature songs “Tears in Heaven,” “Sunshine of Your Love,” “Got to Get Better in a Little While” and some collaborations: “Lay Down Sally” with Gill, “Key to the Highway” with moonlighting Glimmer Twin Richards, “Why Does Love Got to Be So Bad” with the Allman Brothers Band, and “Gin House Blues” on which he accompanies Andy Fairweather-Low.  The DVD/BD releases add Clapton’s “Crossroads,” “Spider Jiving” with Fairweather-Low, “Big Road Blues” with Kurt Rosenwinkel, “Everyday I Have the Blues” with B.B. King, Jimmie Vaughan and The Robert Cray Band, and Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” with The Band’s Robbie Robertson.

All-star duets are often among the most tantalizing aspects of benefit concert performances, and Crossroads 2013 is no exception.  In addition to the previously mentioned Clapton duets, the Crossroads CD includes such collaborations as John Mayer and Keith Urban on The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down,” Mayer and Doyle Bramhall II on “Change It,” Vince Gill with Albert Lee on “I Ain’t Living Long Like This,” Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ on “Diving Duck Blues,” and a jam on the stone-cold Stax classic “Green Onions” with Booker T. Jones and Steve Cropper joined by Keb’ Mo’, Blake Mills, Matt “Guitar” Murphy and Albert Lee.  Of course, there’s more on the DVD/BD such as the same group doing Jones’ “Born Under a Bad Sign,” Booker T and Cropper’s “Green Onions,” and Gill, Urban and Lee doing The Rolling Stones’ “Tumbling Dice.”

After the jump: more on Crossroads, including full track listings and order links for each format! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 19, 2013 at 11:44

Release Round-Up: Week of July 2

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CHIC Up All Night Greatest HitsCHIC and Various Artists, Nile Rodgers Presents The CHIC Organization: Up All Night – The Greatest Hits (Rhino U.K.)

This new double-disc compilation, featuring hits from CHIC, Sister Sledge, Debbie Harry and more, might be the best Nile Rodgers-centric compilation in its price range. (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)

Blood Sweat & Tears - Rare Rarer & RarestBlood Sweat & Tears, Rare, Rarer & Rarest / Joe Farrell Quartet, Joe Farrell Quartet / Herbie Hancock, Treasure Chest / Sha Na Na, The Night is Still Young (Wounded Bird)

A new batch from Wounded Bird includes a compilation of rarities from Blood, Sweat & Tears (featuring, among other things, their soundtrack to The Owl and The Pussycat) and a disc featuring all three of Herbie Hancock’s albums for Warner Bros., before joining Columbia in the ’70s.

Blood, Sweat & Tears: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Joe Farrell Quartet: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Herbie Hancock: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Sha Na Na: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The AssociationThe Association, The Association: Deluxe Expanded Edition (Now Sounds)

The Association’s 1969 album is newly expanded with 10 bonus cuts, including mono mixes and non-LP singles! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Eat a Peach MoFiThe Allman Brothers Band, Eat a Peach / Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde / Foreigner, 4 /Billy Joel, An Innocent Man (SACDs) (Mobile Fidelity)

The latest hybrid SACDs from MoFi.

The Allman Brothers Band: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Bob Dylan: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Foreigner: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Billy Joel: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Hackamore BrickHackamore Brick, One Kiss Leads to Another (CD/LP) / Russ Giguere, Hexagram 16 / The Browns, Complete Pop & Country Hits / Ahmed Abdul Malik, Spellbound / George Braith, Musart / Stan Hunter & Sonny Fortune, Trip on the Strip / Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 22 – Kings Beach Bowl, Kings Beach Lake Tahoe, CA 2/23-2/24/68 / Fire on the Mountain: Reggae Celebrates the Grateful Dead Vols. 1 & 2 (Real Gone Music)

Among the highlights of Real Gone’s release slate this week is the expanded reissue of the long-lost One Kiss Leads to Another by cult Brooklyn band Hackamore Brick.

Los NuggetzVarious Artists, Los Nuggetz: 1960s Punk, Pop, Psychedelic from Latin America (RockBeat)

America and Europe weren’t the only happening scenes in the ’60s, as this new box showcases.

Release Round-Up: Week of June 25

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Help BDThe Beatles, Help! (Blu-Ray Disc) (Capitol/Apple)

The Fab Four’s second film gets the hi-def disc treatment. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The Hidden World RevealedThe Three O’Clock, The Hidden World Revealed (Omnivore)

Early works by power-pop legends The Three O’Clock shine on this new compilation, featuring cuts from their early works on Frontier Records and 10 unreleased tracks. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Big Star - Nothing Can Hurt MeBig Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Omnivore)

Released on limited colored vinyl for Record Store Day this year, the soundtrack to this new Big Star documentary features 21 unreleased outtakes and new mixes of favorites from the legendary cult heroes.

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Timeless Flight full boxThe Moody Blues, Timeless Flight (UMe)

Released in the U.K. earlier this month, this new anthology from the Moodies comes in two-disc, four-disc or 17-disc CD/DVD editions. Nothing like freedom of choice, right?

2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
4CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
11CD/6DVD box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Scared to Get HappyVarious Artists, Scared to Get Happy: A Story of Indie Pop 1980-1989 (Cherry Red)

A new five-disc anthology that’s basically the Nuggets of its genre, from Creation to Rough Trade, The Jesus & Mary Chain to The Stone Roses. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Brothers and Sisters - Super DeluxeAllman Brothers Band, Brothers and Sisters: 40th Anniversary Edition (Mercury)

Four decades after “Ramblin’ Man” was an immense pop hit, the Allmans’ 1973 album comes back as a super-deluxe box featuring a disc of unreleased outtakes and a complete show from the Winterland Ballroom.

4CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2CD: Amazon U.S. Amazon U.K.
1CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
1LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

JB Apollo 50James Brown, Best of ‘Live at the Apollo’ 50th Anniversary (Polydor/UMe)

A single-disc compilation of the best of JB’s three King/Polydor live albums from the famed New York venue, along with two unreleased tracks from an unreleased fourth volume of material. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Hardcore DEVODevo, Hardcore Vols. 1 & 2 (Superior Viaduct)

Long out-of-print, these compilations of early Devo works make their debut on vinyl; a reissued CD edition with extra tracks will be released in two weeks.

Volume 1: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Volume 2 (2LP):  Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Earle WBSteve Earle, The Warner Bros. Years (Shout! Factory)

This new box features Steve Earle’s three Warner albums from 1995 to 1997, plus two unreleased concerts on CD and DVD. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Going for the One SACDElvis Presley, King Creole / Yes, Going for the One (SACDs) (Audio Fidelity)

Yes’ 1977 album, the first with Rick Wakeman since 1973, and Elvis’ 1958 soundtrack album (featuring “Hard Headed Woman”), are the latest to get the Audio Fidelity SACD treatment, mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray respectively.

King Creole: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Going for the One: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Mighty RealSylvester, Mighty Real: Greatest Dance Hits (Fantasy)

The legendary disco performer is celebrated with a new compilation featuring his most classic hits and a new remix of “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).”

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S.

Magica DeluxeDio, Magica: Deluxe Edition (Niji Entertainment)

A new two-disc edition of the 2000 Dio album. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Legend RemixedBob Marley and The Wailers, Legend Remixed (Tuff Gong/Island/UMe)

New remixes of classic reggae favorites.

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Ramblin’ Men: Allman Brothers Band’s “Brothers and Sisters” Goes Super Deluxe In June

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Allman Brothers - Brothers and Sisters StandardThough it was The Allman Brothers Band’s fifth album, 1973’s Brothers and Sisters actually marked a rebirth.  The tight-knit unit had weathered the tragic deaths of leader Duane Allman and Berry Oakley in 1971 and 1972, respectively.  The 1972 double album Eat a Peach would be the last to feature Duane’s inimitable slide guitar, as he died during its recording.  And Oakley perished as sessions for Brothers and Sisters were occurring.  Yet the band soldiered on, and even flourished.  The completed Brothers and Sisters became a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 (remaining in the top spot for five weeks) and spawned a No. 2 Pop single, “Ramblin’ Man.”  Now, forty years on, the album is being celebrated by Universal’s Mercury label with a new anniversary reissue.  On June 25, a remastered edition of the platinum seller will arrive in four formats: vinyl, CD, 2-CD Deluxe Edition, and 4-CD Super Deluxe Edition.

The original album, clocking in at less than forty minutes, tightened the band’s expansive musical style into something leaner, meaner and even more accessible.  But that didn’t mean that the group toned down its expressive, distinct, blues-based musicianship.  Gregg Allman (vocals/organ/rhythm guitar), Dickey Betts (vocals/lead and slide guitars/dobro), Jai Johnny Johanson – or “Jaimoe” (drums/congas) and Butch Trucks (drums/percussion/tympani/congas) were joined by new recruits Chuck Leavell (piano/keyboards/vocals) and Lamar Williams (bass).  Berry’s Oakley’s original contributions, of course, remained on the album, including bass on Betts’ hit single “Ramblin’ Man.”  Betts came into his own as a songwriter on Brothers and Sisters, writing the entirety of the second side.   The upbeat instrumental “Jessica,” the radio-friendly “Southbound” (sung by Gregg) and the country-flecked “Pony Boy” added up to a virtual suite.  The original Capricorn Records release, produced by Johnny Sandlin with the band, featured a gatefold photograph of the Allman Brothers’ extended family, underscoring the ties that still bound the band despite its losses.  (Vaylor Trucks, son of Butch, appeared on the bucolic front cover, and Brittany Oakley, daughter of Berry, appeared on the rear artwork.)

What will you find on Mercury’s 40th anniversary editions?  Hit the jump to find out.  Plus: a full track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 5, 2013 at 10:11

Review: Duane Allman, “Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective”

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Skydog - Duane Allman Retrospective

“I ain’t wastin’ time no more,” Gregg Allman sang following the death of his brother Duane at the age of 24 in October 1971, “’cause time goes by like pouring rain…and much faster things/You don’t need no gypsy to tell you why/You can’t let one precious day slip by.”  Surveying the remarkable new box set Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective (Rounder 11661-9137-2), it’s evident that Duane Allman’s too few days certainly were precious, filled with soulful sounds that transcended genre tags like rock, blues, pop and R&B.  It’s sobering to realize that the seven-disc box’s consistently surprising, dynamic and gripping licks were recorded in just six short years, between 1965 and 1971, and only three of its 129 tracks were recorded under the name of “Duane Allman.”  Rather, as a leader of the Allman Brothers Band and anonymous session man for everybody from Lulu to Aretha Franklin, Duane Allman generously placed his gifts as a musician in the service of others.

Skydog tells the story of Howard Duane Allman’s transformation from journeyman guitarist in a number of bands to session pro and ultimately, rock star.  (“Skydog” was his nickname.)  It’s artfully crafted in chronological fashion by recording date, including all of the major touchstones in Allman’s career as well as a number of tracks that add color, context and a further understanding of the man’s art.  All told, 33 of its tracks are new to CD or previously unreleased altogether, and each disc as so expertly curated by producers Bill Levenson and Duane’s daughter Galadrielle Allman creates a distinct chapter of a tragically too-short story.

Dive in, after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Release Round-Up: Week of March 19

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Skydog ContentsDuane Allman, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective (Rounder)

A massive seven-disc box set celebrates the life and work of a guitar legend, gone far too soon.  Read Joe’s review here!   (Amazon U.S.)

Elvis - Aloha Legacy Edition CoverElvis Presley, Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite: Legacy Edition (RCA/Legacy)

The classic best-selling live album, taken from the famed TV special, is paired with a newly-remixed version of The Alternate Aloha (a rehearsal show recorded days earlier) and rare bonus performances.  You’ll find Joe’s review here.   (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Bing So RareBing Crosby, Bing in Dixieland Seasons: The Closing Chapter – Deluxe Edition Return to Paradise Islands: Deluxe Edition On the Sentimental Side Bing on Broadway / El Señor Bing: Deluxe Edition So Rare: Treasures from the Crosby Archives Bing Sings The Great American Songbook Bing Sings The Sinatra Songbook A Southern Memoir: Deluxe Edition Bing & Rosie: The Crosby-Clooney Radio Sessions (Bing Crosby Enterprises/UMe)

Originally released as part of The Bing Crosby Archive on Collector’s Choice a few years ago, these discs are reprinted by UMe for you to enjoy.

Bing in Dixieland: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Seasons: The Closing Chapter: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Return to Paradise Islands: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
On the Sentimental Side: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Bing on Broadway: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
El Señor Bing: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
So Rare: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Bing Sings The Great American Songbook: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Bing Sings The Sinatra Songbook: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
A Southern Memoir: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Bing & Rosie: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Lee Hazlewood - Trouble is a Lonesome TownLee Hazlewood, Trouble is a Lonesome Town (Light in the Attic)

A mightily-expanded edition of Hazlewood’s solo debut LP features a load of non-LP material and unreleased gems!

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S.

Del Shannon - UK SinglesDel Shannon, The Complete U.K. Singles (and More) 1961-1966 (Ace)

Shannon was perhaps even bigger in England than Stateside, so it’s nice to see Ace lovingly anthologize his single sides on two discs. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Miles MontreuxMiles Davis, Live at Montreux 1991 (Eagle Rock)

Miles’ last appearance at the famed jazz festival, with the help of Quincy Jones and the Gil Evans Orchestra.

DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Blu-Ray: Amazon U.S.

Nat King Cole - Welcome SACDNat “King” Cole, Welcome to the Club / Harry Belafonte, Calypso (Audio Fidelity)

The newest hybrid SACDs from Audio Fidelity.

Welcome to the Club: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Calypso: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Belinda Carlisle ICONVarious Artists, ICON (UMe/Capitol)

Available at the link above, another batch of the painfully thin Universal (and now EMI) compilation line, featuring a lot of comps by artists nobody needs and one actually worthwhile one by Belinda Carlisle with a new track.

Skydog, Celebrated: Life of Duane Allman Explored in New Career-Spanning Box Set

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Skydog - Duane Allman Retrospective

Duane Allman was just 24 when he perished on the streets of Macon, Georgia, the victim of an accident involving his motorcycle and a flatbed truck carrying a lumber crane. Yet in a short but intense period of time, the Nashville-born slide guitar virtuoso had established a reputation as a creative and versatile musician with invention to spare.  His distinct tones on a Wilson Pickett recording caught the ear of Atlantic Records’ Jerry Wexler, and while based at Rick Hall’s Muscle Shoals studio, Allman graced albums by everyone from Percy Sledge and Aretha Franklin to Lulu and Laura Nyro.  As leader of The Allman Brothers Band, Duane had only participated in three studio albums and one groundbreaking live set before his death, but his music still resonates today for anyone who’s ever felt a connection to soulful southern rock.  Now, more than 40 years after his 1971 death, Rounder Records is celebrating the legacy of Duane Allman with the release of a comprehensive, career-spanning box set.  Due on March 5, Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective is a 7-CD, 129-track box set drawing on every period of Allman’s career from session stalwart to adventurous bandleader.  Rare album tracks and long out-of-print singles sit alongside hits and fan favorites for a box that could easily be called The Ultimate Duane Allman.

Skydog is the first box set to put the entirety of Allman’s too-short career in perspective.  The first disc chronicles Duane’s pre-Allman Brothers bands.  His early band The Escorts, with brother Gregg, opened for The Beach Boys before morphing into the Allman Joys.  Though that pun is hard to resist, it wasn’t long before The Allman Joys joined with the remains of The Men-its to become the trendier Hour Glass. Signed to Liberty Records, the Hour Glass made its name opening for the likes of The Doors and Buffalo Springfield, and recorded two albums of pop-soul very much of its time.  Though Duane and Gregg’s heart was in a sound much earthier, the works of The Hour Glass showed the Allman brothers’ flexibility.  Disc One of Skydog features recordings by The Escorts, The Allman Joys and Hour Glass as well as 31st of February and The Bleus.

Allman’s remarkable session guitar takes precedence on the second disc, adorning tracks by such Atlantic Records artists as Clarence Carter (“Light My Fire”), the “Wicked” Wilson Pickett (“Hey Jude”), Arthur Conley (“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”), Aretha Franklin (“The Weight”), King Curtis (“Games People Play”) and the Sweet Inspirations (“Get a Little Order”).  By the third CD, you’ll find Allman Brothers Band recordings starting to alternate with Duane’s still-busy session career, as well as three tracks from an abortive solo session helmed at Muscle Shoals by Jerry Wexler.  Duane’s “Goin’ Down Slow,” “No Money Down” and “Happily Married Man” are all treats you’ll hear from that date.

What else will you find?  Plenty!  Hit the jump for all of the details, including a full track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 28, 2013 at 10:11