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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

La-La Land’s “Golden Child” Ready to Order

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La-La Land’s newest title, a three-disc expansion of The Chosen One, is ready to order.

By now you already know the story behind this new release (a sort-of fake-out following La-La Land’s scheduling shift ahead of Comic-Con), so it’s worth noting instead the kind of music we’re dealing with on this set. Barry’s epic, James Bond-esque score was largely rejected by the producers for Michel Colombier’s atmospheric, synth-heavy score. But elements of Barry’s work did figure into the movie, not only in terms of instrumentals but in the form of “The Best Man in the World,” a pop song he co-wrote for Ann Wilson of Heart to sing. Some of both composers’ material ended up on the original Capitol Records soundtrack LP, alongside pop and rock tracks by Ratt, Ashford & Simpson, Marlon Jackson(?!) and Martha Davis of The Motels.

Not only does the new set restore all of both orchestral scores on CD for the first time, but it also includes all of those LP tracks, as well as another Barry-penned pop tune (sung by fellow film composer Randy Edelman!) and the instrumental version of “The Best Man in the World” that appeared on the B-side of the eventual single release. If you know someone who’s a superfan of this movie (I’m sure they’re out there), this looks like a must have.

The set, limited to 5,000 copies and featuring extensive liner notes by Jon Burlingame, is yours to order after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

July 12, 2011 at 16:31

“Lonely” No More: Lost Motels Album to Be Released in August

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One of the most desired unreleased records of the New Wave era will finally receive an official release, nearly three decades after it was put on the shelf. The Motels’ Apocalypso was rejected for its lack of commercial appeal by Capitol Records, which accidentally led the band to a path of brief fame in the 1980s…but it’s going to be fun to wonder “what if?” with this set.

In 1981, The Motels – lead singer Martha Davis, guitarist Tim McGovern, keyboardist/saxophonist Marty Jourard, bassist Michael Goodroe and drummer Brian Glascock – were doing pretty well. The band had been signed to Capitol since 1979, following a popular but unsigned incarnation of the band in the mid-’70s (of which Davis was the only holdover). Their first records were moderately successful, particularly in Europe and Australia, but their domestic popularity didn’t stretch further than the L.A. club scene.

For their third album, the band booked sessions with producer Val Garay (who would win a Grammy in a year’s time for producing “Bette Davis Eyes” for Kim Carnes) and recorded a clutch of songs that were incredibly heavy, dark and rock-oriented. (The band was apparently aware of the record’s lack of commercial potential, never sending rough mixes to their label for review.) Where did the weight come from? A good guess lies in the aftermath of the Apocalypso sessions: Davis and McGovern, who were dating, split both personally and professionally. (McGovern went on to form New Wave outfit Burning Sensations, and guitarist Guy Perry was picked to finish out the new sessions.)

The next batch of sessions, also recorded with Garay and using some of the same material, was far more commercially friendly, and it showed. All Four One peaked at No. 16 in the U.S., thanks to the mournful ballad “Only the Lonely,” which reached No. 9. The band still thought highly enough of Apocalypso to call All Four One their fourth album, and included four of the original versions on a remastered and expanded edition of that album in 1999.

This new release, however, from indie label Omnivore Recordings (the same label that presented the special vinyl reissue of Big Star’s Third this past Record Store Day), presents all of the original 10 tracks meant to complete the Apocalypso album. It will be released on both CD and 1,200 copies on translucent orange vinyl. The CD version, though, will add seven bonus tracks, including five of Martha Davis’ demos and an alternate version of lead track “Art Fails,” sourced from a rare acetate. (The five demos will also be separately released as a digital EP.)

Both sets are out August 9. Hit the jump for full track breakdown and order info on what looks to be an exciting release for Motels fans! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

July 6, 2011 at 17:41

Posted in News, Reissues, The Motels, Vinyl