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Release Round-Up: Week of March 15

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Queen, Queen / Queen II / Sheer Heart Attack / A Night at the Opera / A Day at the Races: Deluxe Editions (Island/UMe)

Deluxe editions of the band’s first five albums are out in the U.K., all remastered with bonus discs of rare or unreleased content. (They’ll be out in the U.S. in May!) (Official site)

Nick Lowe, Labour of Lust (Proper (U.K.)/Yep Roc (U.S.))

Lowe’s New Wave classic, featuring the immortal “Cruel to Be Kind,” is reissued on both sides of the Atlantic, featuring all the tracks heard on original U.K. and U.S. pressings and a non-LP B-side. (Yep Roc)

Rick Springfield, Eartha Kitt, Django Reinhardt, Steve Vai, Nina Simone, The 5th Dimension, Paul Revere and The Raiders and Ricky Skaggs, The Essential(RCA/Columbia/Epic/Legacy)

New two-disc compilations for each of the above artist, each featuring their share of hits and deeper cuts. (We’ve posted the track lists for The 5th Dimension and Paul Revere and The Raiders and will post the remaining track lists later today.) (Amazon)

Peabo Bryson, Reaching for the Sky / Crosswinds: Expanded Edition / Billy Preston, Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music / Jennifer Holliday, I’m on Your Side (Soul Music/Cherry Red)

Remastered editions of four soul classics (the Peabo set is expanded with some U.S. single edits) coming out in the U.K. today. (Soul Music: Peabo, Preston, Holliday)

The Collage, The Collage: Expanded Edition (Now Sounds)

A lost psych-pop classic with some impressive people involved in its recording and production gets a deluxe release on the Now Sounds label in the U.S., having been out for two weeks in England. (Now Sounds)

Inner City: Original Broadway Cast Recording (Masterworks Broadway/Arkiv)

The out-of-print soundtrack to the Tony-winning musical is out through Arkiv as a made-to-order CD-R. (Masterworks)

Various Artists, American Idol 10th Anniversary: The Hits (19/RCA)

Notable tracks from various winners and finalists of American Idol in America. (Official site)

Written by Mike Duquette

March 15, 2011 at 08:51

Now Sounds Readies “The Collage” for Expanded CD Debut

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When The Collage signed with Mercury Records’ Smash division in 1968 (also the home of The Left Banke), the group was on the verge of a breakthrough. Consisting of Jerry Careaga, Ron Joelson, Donna Byrd and Jodie Cline, the two-man, two-woman Collage was in the mold of The Mamas and the Papas, but with two ace songwriters instead of one; Careaga and Joelson worked as a team. Their songs – described by Careaga as “beat-poetry lyrics to show-tune-style melodies” – grabbed the attention of industry movers and shakers including Nik Venet at Capitol. But it was Steve Douglas, famed Wrecking Crew saxophonist and Mercury A&R man, who had faith in The Collage and produced their self-titled debut LP. This was a top-tier production all the way, with the Wrecking Crew working their legendary session magic (more on them here and here), and future star J.J. Cale engineering. While the basic tracks were cut at North Hollywood’s Amigo Studios, additional recording was conducted at Hollywood’s renowned United Recorders. Harry Nilsson’s frequent collaborator Perry Botkin Jr. provided the arrangements. Hot on the heels of its acclaimed reissues of Paul Williams’ Someday Man and The Cowsills’ On My Side, the Now Sounds label will on February 28 release a deluxe expanded edition of this lost slice of late-sixties psych/sunshine pop, The Collage. Fans of The Mamas and the Papas, The Free Design or harmony pop: this one’s for you!

The songwriting lineup of The Collage is a virtual “Who’s Who” of the era. Joelson and Careaga’s own compositions were augmented with cuts written by Roger Nichols and Tony Asher (“Can I Go,” well-known to fans of Roger Nichols and the Small Circle of Friends), The Addrisi Brothers (“She’s Just Laughin’ at Me”), Price and Walsh (“Virginia Day’s Ragtime Memories”) and Curt Boettcher (“Would You Like to Go”). Producer Steve Stanley has doubled the length of the original 1968 LP, adding a whopping ten bonus tracks!  You can expect mono single mixes of “Driftin’,” “Virginia Day’s Ragtime Memories,”  “Lookin’ at a Baby” and “Any Day’s a Sunday Afternoon.”  Six rare songs round out the set, including a version of Harry Nilsson’s “The Story of Rock and Roll” and an instrumental track of Roger Nichols’ and Paul Williams’ “Someday Man.”

The Collage was released in January 1968, but despite its rich harmonies, lush orchestrations and psychedelic touches, the album failed to take off in the charts. The group hit the television circuit on such programs on American Bandstand, The Joey Bishop Show, The Steve Allen Show, It’s Happening and Playboy After Dark, and made appearances in Las Vegas at The Sands and Caesar’s Palace before disbanding.

Hit the jump for further information including the confirmed track listing, pre-order information and full discography! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 23, 2011 at 09:12

Posted in News, Reissues, The Collage