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Culture Factory Reveals “Supreme” Slate with Motown, James Taylor, Robert Palmer and More [UPDATED]

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Supremes - Cream of the Crop Paper SleeveUPDATE: In the days since this article has been posted, Culture Factory has revised the street dates for all of the titles mentioned here.  See below for corrected information as of March 28, 2013.

ORIGINAL POST OF 3/25: Since its inaugural wave of releases in 2011, the Culture Factory label has carved out a niche in the catalogue field. Artists such as Robert Palmer, Hot Tuna, Paul Williams, Bob Welch, The Flamin’ Groovies, Sylvie Vartan, Rare Earth and The Motels are all among the recipients of the Culture Factory treatment. The label’s modus operandi finds the original album with no bonus tracks or additional liner notes packaged in a Japanese-style paper sleeves with an OBI strip. The CD label itself resembles black vinyl with period label art. All discs are remastered with 96 kHz/24-bit technology (although playback in that high resolution is not possible as these are standard “redbook”44/16 compact discs playable in all units). The next waves of releases from Culture Factory widen the label’s scope further, with campaigns dedicated to a classic singer-songwriter, some diverse and well-chosen rockers, and perhaps most tantalizingly, choice offerings from the “Sound of Young America.”

On April 30, Culture Factory will reissue two albums from West, Bruce and Laing, another two from Walter Egan, and a trio of titles from James Taylor.  Amped-up blues-rock was the order of the day when Jack Bruce of Cream joined forces with Leslie West and Corky Laing of Mountain to form a new power trio.  The union was short-lived but burned brightly; Clive Davis recalled fierce competition in signing the band to CBS/Columbia.  West, Bruce and Laing ultimately recorded just three albums (two in the studio, and one live) before disbanding, though Jack Bruce’s son Malcolm replaced his dad in a revised band line-up years later, in 2009.  WB&L’s second studio album, 1973’s Whatever Turns You On, and the 1974 live album/swansong Live ‘n’ Kickin’ have both been selected for the Culture Factory treatment.

1977’s Fundamental Roll and 1978’s Not Shy kicked off the career of singer-songwriter Walter EganNot Shy was co-produced by Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham and Richard Dashut and yielded the gold-selling single “Magnet and Steel,” for which Egan is still best known today.  “Magnet and Steel” was, of course, inspired by Stevie Nicks.  She sang background vocals on the song, and had worked with Buckingham and Egan on Fundamental Roll.

James Taylor - JT Paper SleeveJames Taylor’s first three albums for Columbia round out Culture Factory’s April 30 slate.  1977’s JT was nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy, and Taylor picked up the trophy for his sublime revival of Otis Blackwell and Jimmy Jones’ “Handy Man.”  Other highlights include the upbeat “Your Smiling Face” and reflective “Secret o’ Life.”  JT followed JT with 1979’s Flag, which included his two songs for the Broadway musical Working (“Millworker” and “Brother Trucker”) as well as covers of The Beatles’ “Day Tripper” and Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Up on the Roof.”  The latter became a Top 30 U.S. hit and is still a signature song for Taylor.  1981’s Dad Loves His Work introduced the No. 1 Pop single duet with co-writer J.D. Souther, “Her Town, Too.”

After the jump: the lowdown on titles from Robert Palmer, the New York Dolls, Edgar Winter, .38 Special, and a certain Miss Ross!  Plus: pre-order links for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 28, 2013 at 13:04

Release Round-Up: Week of March 12

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Motown Musical - OriginalsVarious Artists, Motown the Musical – Originals: The Classic Songs That Inspired the Broadway Show (Motown/UMe)

The Sound of Young America is now the sound of The Great White Way, with a new musical entering previews this week. This new compilation presents all the original versions of the songs that feature in the show!

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

TV ManiaTV Mania, Bored with Prozac and the Internet? (Tapemodern)

Completed by Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes and former band guitarist Warren Cuccurullo in the late ’90s and presumed lost until recently, this experimental concept disc offered some surprisingly trenchant social commentary on an increasingly wacky media culture. (MP3: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Stack-a-Tracks-Digi-with-discsJellyfish, Stack-a-Tracks (Omnivore)

Released last year as a Record Store Day/Black Friday exclusive, this 2CD set, featuring original, lead vocal-free mixes of the power pop legends’ Bellybutton and Spilt Milk, is now available for all audiences to enjoy. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Jamiroquai, Emergency on Planet Earth Return of the Space Cowboy Travelling Without Moving: Deluxe Editions (Sony Music U.K.)

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the U.K. dance group’s first album, the first three Jamiroquai LPs have been remastered and expanded.

Emergency 2CD: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S. :: 2LP: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S. (no pre-order link available at present)
Cowboy 2CD:  Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S. :: 2LP: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
Travelling 2CD:  Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S. :: 2LP: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.

Paul Revere - Evolution to RevolutionPaul Revere and the Raiders, Evolution to Revolution: 5 Classic Albums 1965-1967 (Raven)

Five of The Raiders’ classic Columbia LPs are put on two discs for the value-savvy collector. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Merman - Her GreatestAndrews Sisters, Greatest Hits in Stereo/Great Golden Hits / Enoch Light and the Light Brigade, Provocative Percussion 3 & 4 / Ethel Merman, Her Greatest / Various Artists, Stars for a Summer Night (Sepia Recordings)

The latest vintage hits compilations from Sepia include some classic compilations from The Andrews Sisters and Ethel Merman and a great set of easy listening classics for summertime!

Andrews: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Enoch: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Ethel: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
StarsAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Get Ready! Songs of “Motown: The Musical” Are Collected In Original Hit Versions

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Motown Musical - OriginalsWhen Motown: The Musical opens at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 14, it will mark yet another career landmark for Berry Gordy, the songwriter-producer-entrepreneur who turned Detroit, Michigan into Hitsville, USA some fifty-five years ago.  The musical, written by Gordy and directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, depicts the rise to prominence of the Sound of Young America, with Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple, The Scottsboro Boys) starring as Gordy.  He’s joined by a cast of roughly 40 including Valisia Lekae as Diana Ross, Charl Brown as Smokey Robinson, Bryan Terrell Clark as Marvin Gaye and Ryan Shaw as Stevie Wonder.  Despite the considerable talent of the youthful cast, however, the star of Motown: The Musical is undoubtedly the music written by such composers and lyricists as Brian Holland, Eddie Holland and Lamont Dozier, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and Gordy himself.  While plans are already afoot for the Original Broadway Cast Recording to arrive from UMe, the label is further supporting the new “jukebox musical” with the release of Motown Originals: The Classic Songs That Inspired the Broadway Show, available in 1-CD, 2-CD and digital formats on March 5.

The Broadway berth of Motown isn’t Gordy’s first foray into theatre.  Motown, under Gordy’s aegis, made a sizeable investment in Roger O. Hirson and Stephen Schwartz’s 1972 musical Pippin, directed by the legendary Bob Fosse.  Gordy’s team at Motown saw the potential in the score by Stephen Schwartz, who had already made a name for himself with Godspell and its hit single “Day by Day” on the Bell label.  In exchange for the company’s investment in the musical, Motown’s Jobete publishing arm received rights to Schwartz’s delectable pop-rock-flavored score for Pippin.  Hence, the Diana Ross-less Supremes recorded the torch ballad “I Guess I’ll Miss the Man,” the Jackson 5 surveyed the beautifully yearning “Corner of the Sky,” and solo Michael Jackson tackled the optimistic “Morning Glow.”  Motown also released the original cast recording, the label’s first, co-produced by Schwartz and Phil Ramone.  Gordy’s investment paid off; when Pippin closed in June 1977, it had run 1,944 performances.  It returns to Broadway this spring in its first revival, melding an all-new circus concept by director Diane Paulus to choreography inspired by Bob Fosse’s original work.

Motown also isn’t the first time Gordy has attempted to bring the story of his renowned label to the musical theatre stage.  Ain’t No Mountain High Enough was announced in late 2006 to close out the season at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre in summer 2007.  A report in Variety promised “a book by Gordy and 30 Motown tunes.”  Ain’t No Mountain even announced an opening date of July 15, but it wasn’t meant to be.  The production was scrapped, and Gordy continued the journey that has finally taken his story to Broadway.  The new Motown: The Musical has assembled an 18-piece orchestra to play the orchestrations of Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook, likely inspired by the original hit record arrangements.

After the jump: what will you find on the various versions of Motown: Originals?  We’ve got more details, full track listings and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Release Round-Up: Week of October 9

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The Beach Boys, 2012 Remasters / Greatest Hits Greatest Hits: Fifty Big Ones (Capitol/EMI)

The summer gets a little more endless with a new compilation (in two formats) and remasters of nearly all of the band’s ’60s albums. (A full breakdown of those albums is here, and a full review is coming up from Joe today!)

The Beatles, Magical Mystery Tour (Apple/EMI)

The Fab Four’s kooky film is making its Blu-Ray debut in standard and deluxe box formats.

Deep Purple, Machine Head: 40th Anniversary Edition (EMI)

A five-disc box set devoted to this classic rock LP, featuring various different mixes of the album (including quad and 5.1 mixes) and other goodies.

Barbra Streisand, Release Me (Columbia)

The incomparable Barbra’s newest album is actually an offering of entirely unreleased performances from the vaults. Lots of great discoveries herein!

B.B. King, Ladies and Gentlemen…Mr B.B. King (Hip-O/UMe)

Available in four-disc and Amazon-exclusive 10-disc formats, these box sets are the latest way to honor one of the greatest living blues legends.

The Supremes, I Hear a Symphony: Expanded Edition (Hip-O Select/Motown)

Another Supremes classic expanded to two discs, featuring the original album in mono and stereo and a host of live and studio treasures from the vault.

David Ruffin, David: The Unreleased LP and More (Hip-O Select/Motown)

Out of print for years, Hip-O Select reissues this compilation of the Temptation’s unissued 1971 album and a host of outtakes from the album sessions.

Various Artists, The Best of Bond…James Bond: 50 Years, 50 Tracks (Capitol/EMI)

It’s been 50 years since Dr. No hit theaters and it’s only a few weeks until Skyfall is released, so it’s time for a new 007 compilation that features all the classic title themes on one disc and a sampling of other tracks from the Bond films on the other.

Level 42, Running in the Family: 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Polydor/UMC)

This ’80s hit is available from the U.K. as a double-disc expansion or four-disc, extras-packed box set.

The Who, Live in Texas 1975 (Eagle Rock)

Their latest at the time was The Who by Numbers, but this newly-restored show, on DVD in its first official release, is anything but.

Old 97’s, Too Far to Care: Deluxe Edition (Omnivore)

A demo-packed reissue of the 1997 country-rocker.

Various Artists, Athens, GA – Inside Out (Omnivore)

A nice deluxe set featuring both the classic documentary on the colorful Athens, GA music scene in the 1980s on DVD (with new special features) and the expanded soundtrack on CD.

Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Charlie Brown Christmas: Original Sound Track from the CBS Television Special (Fantasy)

The classic holiday album gets a brand new remaster with three bonus tracks. Full review coming later today!

Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb, In Session (Fantasy)

Two legends collaborate on this live performance from 1983, newly released as a CD/DVD set.

Adam AntDestiny’s Child, Shawn ColvinAlan Jackson, Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson, George Jones & Tammy Wynette, Carole KingTaj MahalRicky Martin, Johnny Mathis, Meat Loaf, Laura Nyro, Collin Raye, Starship, Porter Wagoner & Dolly PartonPlaylist (Legacy)

A surprisingly strong batch of Playlist titles includes a few neat surprises, too, from brand-new compilations for Destiny’s Child and Ricky Martin to rare and unreleased tracks on the Meat Loaf, Starship and Laura Nyro sets.

The Chipmunks, Christmas Collection (Capitol)

Because it wouldn’t be the holidays without some squeaky-voiced renditions of holiday classics, plus the immortal “Christmas Don’t Be Late.”

Edie Adams, The Edie Adams Christmas Album (Omnivore)

Another Christmas treat, sourced from rare kinescopes of Adams on television in the ’50s.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: Anniversary Collector’s Edition (Universal Studios Home Video)

A timeless favorite at Second Disc HQ (in particular, Mike’s favorite movie!) comes home on Blu-Ray for the first time, featuring the restored original 1982 version of the film and a new retrospective consisting entirely of on-set footage shot by John Toll. Retail exclusives abound: Target’s offering a deluxe steelbook package (available internationally as a basic deluxe edition), Best Buy has a special book package with pages of full-color notes and artwork, Walmart throws in a free E.T. doll for the kids, and Amazon carried a limited deluxe package (now sold out) housed in a replica of E.T.’s spaceship.

Little Shop of Horrors: The Director’s Cut (Warner Home Video)

One of the most purely fun musicals of the past few decades, this loving musical adaptation of the Roger Corman cult classic features a killer, ’60s-flavored pop score from future Disney legends Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. For this special Blu-Ray release, the hilarious, 20-minute alternate ending (seen only on a quickly-recalled, highly-collectible DVD) has been fully restored and added to the end of the picture, and other great special features abound, too!

With a Song in Their Hearts: Supremes’ “Symphony” is Latest Expansion from Hip-O Select

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Hip-O Select’s latest release is quite literally “so inviting, so exciting”: The Supremes’ 1966 LP I Hear a Symphony is the latest in the girl group’s discography to get the deluxe treatment.

The year before, Motown founder Berry Gordy was shocked by the soft chart placement of his Supremes’ latest effort, “Nothing But Heartaches.” The single “only” placed just one spot under the Billboard Top 10 – but it was still a blow for Gordy, who’d seen his onetime “no-hit” trio enjoy a run of five consecutive No. 1 singles. Bolstered by a memo in which Gordy vowed “nothing less than Top 10 product on any artist; and because The Supremes’ world-wide acceptance is greater than the other artists, on them we will only release number-one records,” the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team broke their predictable-if-catchy style of songwriting (in turn binning the single release of “Mother Dear” from More Hits by The Supremes) and penned “I Hear a Symphony.”

The tender, uplifting love song, with a swelling orchestral arrangement to justify its title and a rising tide of key changes, was just what Gordy wanted. “Symphony” was another chart-topper for the group, and follow-up “My World is Empty Without You,” a surprisingly somber heartbreak song, was a Top 5 single. Those tunes were the gems of the I Hear a Symphony album, released three months after the title track topped the charts, but the album is full of strong selections itself, not solely from the H-D-H brain trust (“Any Girl in Love,” “He’s All I’ve Got”) but from across the canon of ’60s pop (The Beatles’ “Yesterday,” The Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody”; Linzer and Randell’s “A Lover’s Concerto,” a No. 2 hit for The Toys in 1965) and Broadway (Rodgers and Hart’s “With a Song in My Heart,” “Stranger in Paradise” from the musical Kismet).

In the tradition of Hip-O Select’s best releases, bonus material is abundant. The first disc includes the original mono and stereo mixes of the LP (the latter of which is almost entirely making its CD debut); as was so often the case with two distinct mixes of the same album, listeners will enjoy several alternate vocal tracks and unfamiliar mixes of these beloved tracks. Those alternate experiences continue with new mixes of “Symphony” and “My World is Empty” appended to the first disc and alternate takes of “Unchained Melody,” “A Lover’s Concerto” and “Wonderful! Wonderful!” – and the set closes out with a 20-track live set at Detroit’s Roostertail in September 1966, recorded nearly a year after the release of the “I Hear a Symphony” single that bought The Supremes right back to the top.

The deluxe I Hear a Symphony, limited to 2,000 copies, begins shipping from Hip-O Select on September 21 and has a general retail date of October 9. The full track list and order link are, as always, after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 19, 2012 at 11:16

Posted in News, Reissues, The Supremes

Review: The Supremes, “The Supremes at the Copa”

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The building on New York’s East 60th Street might between 5th and Madison Avenues might not have looked like much from the outside.  But within the walls of 10 E. 60th, it was a different story altogether, as that address housed the fabled Copacabana.  Lyricist Fred Ebb asserted of New York City itself, “If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere,” but he could have been writing of The Copacabana.  And Berry Gordy wanted to make it there.  More accurately, the Motown Records chief wanted his acts to make it there, breaking not just a color barrier but an age barrier.  Diana, then Diane, Ross quipped from the Copa stage, “I know if there were teenagers in the house, they’d know our names!” as she introduced her fellow group members to the sophisticated Manhattan crowd. The Supremes’ August 1965 engagement was such a success that it led to stands there by Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. It also yielded the only full live album issued by the classic Supremes trio line-up, which has just been remastered and expanded by Hip-o Select.  In its new 2-CD form, The Supremes at the Copa (Motown/Hip-o Select B0016644-02, 2012) has never sounded fresher.

The Supremes weren’t the first African-American artists to play The Copacabana, with Harry Belafonte, Sam Cooke and Sammy Davis Jr. all having preceded them.  But when they triumphed at the venue, it was clear that the Sound of Young America had appeal to a much wider demographic than might have been expected.  The transformation of the Supremes, already the No. 1 vocal group in America,  into supper-club superstars was orchestrated to a tee by arranger/musical directors Gil Askey and Maurice King, choreographer Cholly Atkins and Artist Development personnel including producer Harvey Fuqua and instructor Maxine Powell.  No stone was left unturned in Motown’s quest for true Supremacy.  Luckily for Gordy, Diane Ross (jokingly referred to as “the intelligent one” in her own stage patter), Mary Wilson (“the sexy one”) and Florence Ballard (“the quiet one”) were all up to the task.

Hit the jump to explore The Supremes at the Copa! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 13, 2012 at 09:46

Posted in Diana Ross, News, Reissues, Reviews, The Supremes

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Release Round-Up, Week of May 29

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Amen Corner, Round Amen Corner: The Complete Deram Recordings (RPM)

The complete Deram output of Andy Fairweather-Low’s soulful group Amen Corner is collected by RPM Records, including the 1968 album that gives this reissue its title!

The Critters, Younger Girl: The Complete Kapp and Musicor Recordings (Now Sounds)

The first album from New Jersey’s Critters (“Younger Girl,” “Mr. Dieingly Sad”) is reissued along with a plethora of rare singles and bonus songs!

Everything But the Girl, Eden…Plus / Idlewild, Plus… / Baby The Stars Shine Bright…Plus / Love Not Money…Plus (Edsel)

Edsel unveils beautifully-designed reissues of the first four albums from the sophisticated British pop duo!  Each 2-CD set is housed in a hardcover digi-book and bolsters the original album with rare songs and performances that no fan will want to miss.

Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo, I’m Not Me / Jerry Reed, The Unbelievable Guitar and Voice of Jerry Reed / Nashville Underground (Real Gone Music)

Real Gone Music offers the CD debut of  a rare outing from Mick Fleetwood plus two albums on one CD from Nashville’s legendary “guitar man,” Jerry Reed!

Small Faces, Small Faces (Decca) / In the Beginning (Decca/Universal)

The 1966 and 1967 Decca albums from Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan arrive in eagerly-awaited 2-CD expanded editions!

The Supremes, The Supremes at the Copa (Motown/Hip-o Select)

Detroit’s legendary ladies take New York’s swank Copacabana by storm in this 1965 set, now expanded to 2 CDs and jam-packed with unreleased material!

Various Artists, Playlist titles (Legacy Recordings)

Sony’s Legacy Recordings offers a variety of budget-priced Playlist compilations from a diverse array of artists including Harry Belafonte, Jim Brickman, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, Ciara, Alice Cooper, Rodney Crowell, Raheem DeVaughn, Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, The Fugees, Heather Headley, Kenny Loggins, Prong, Pete Seeger and Tonex!

Written by Joe Marchese

May 29, 2012 at 08:45

At The Copa: The Supremes Take New York City By Storm On New Expanded Edition

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The name of the Copacabana conjures up many memories: maybe of Lola’s love triangle with Tony and Rico, maybe of Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz trying to get their husbands there in the very first episode of I Love Lucy to air.  The famous New York nightspot opened in 1940 on East 60th Street, playing host to the biggest and brightest names in entertainment and becoming synonymous with sophistication and glamour.  It made headlines when it ended its “no blacks” policy, playing host to acclaimed gigs by Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis Jr. and Sam Cooke.  So it was no surprise that when Berry Gordy wished his top girl group, The Supremes, to cross over to a more “mainstream” (read: white) audience, he got Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson booked into The Copacabana.  The August 1965 engagement was such a success that it led to stands there by Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.  It also yielded the only full live album issued by the classic Supremes trio line-up, and the November release of The Supremes at the Copa scored a respectable No. 11 placement on the Billboard pop chart and fared even better (No. 6) on the R&B survey despite its supper-club repertoire.

Though the original album has briefly appeared on CD before, Hip-o Select is pulling out all the stops for its return to CD, with a 2-disc expanded edition due on May 11 from the label and May 29 at general retail.  Disc One of At The Copa: Expanded Edition kicks off with the remastered original 15-track stereo album.  The repertoire is eclectic, from Motown hits (“Back in My Arms Again,” “Baby Love,” “Stop!  In the Name of Love”) and showtunes (“Put On a Happy Face” from Bye Bye Birdie, “Make Someone Happy” from Do Re Mi, “Somewhere” from West Side Story) to current hit covers (“The Boy From Ipanema”) and even a medley of songs made famous by past Copa headliner Sam Cooke.  However, Supremes aficionados know that this album used lead vocals overdubbed by Diana Ross in the studio.  The expanded edition follows the original album with ten previously unreleased original mono reference mixes, with Ross’ original live lead vocals.

But that’s not all.  There’s much, much more vault material on Disc Two!  Just hit the jump, and you’ll find that information plus a full track listing and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 26, 2012 at 10:03

Eight More ICON Sets for You to Briefly Consider

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What you will see after the jump are eight more of Universal’s generic ICON titles, released this past Tuesday. There are two country acts, two Motown acts, two Motown compilations, one from Dean Martin and one from pop/rock band Fall Out Boy. A stranger collection you’ll rarely find. I’d give a halfhearted recommendation to the Motown ones if you want to spend a little money on someone who has the distinct displeasure of never having heard any Motown song, ever. If you have more money to spend, though, get a box set or something. You won’t regret it. Trust me.

Follow the jump for order links (the single-disc Motown Classics did not appear on Amazon; we’ve used a Barnes & Noble link instead.)

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Release Round-Up: Week of November 15

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A brief note before we kick off the Release Round-Up: first, an apology for missing the last one. And second, a moment of crowd-sourcing from you, our beloved readers. As nice a service as the Round-Up is, it also seems….boring. Do you agree? How might one change it up? Sound off in the comments.

The Who, Quadrophenia: The Director’s Cut (Geffen/UMe)

Four discs of Quadrophenia goodness: the remastered album, demos, vinyl, a book of liner notes and, heaven knows why, part of the album remixed in 5.1 surround.

Ray Charles, Singular Genius: The Complete ABC Singles (Concord)

Five discs of the Genius’ single sides of the ’60s and ’70s, including “Georgia on My Mind,” “One Mint Julep,” “Hit the Road Jack,” “I Can’t Stop Loving You” and “America the Beautiful.”

Frank Sinatra, Best of the Best (Capitol/Reprise)

The first compilation to span the Chairman’s best-loved eras, available as a single-disc set or a deluxe set with a rare live show.

The Supremes, More Hits by the Supremes: Expanded Edition (Hip-o Select/Motown)

The original album in mono and stereo plus scores of rarities for the discerning fan.

R.E.M., Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1981-2011 (Warner Bros.)

The American rock legends put a period on the end of their career with their first double-disc compilation, spanning both the I.R.S. and Warner Bros. years.

Various Artists, Cameo-Parkway Holiday Hits (Real Gone)

Eighteen rockin’ holiday hits from Bobby Rydell, The Cameos and…Bob Seger? A must hear in a slightly weaker season for Christmas catalogue titles.

Wall of Voodoo, Lost Weekend: The Best of the I.R.S. Years (Varese Vintage)

The first career-spanning compilation from the “Mexican Radio” band, bringing a lot of latter-day tracks to CD that many have probably not heard much, if at all.

Original West End Cast, The Phantom of the Opera: 25th Anniversary Box Set (Decca)

The cast albums for Phantom and its not-nearly-as-good sequel, Love Never Dies, plus a bonus DVD.

Written by Mike Duquette

November 15, 2011 at 09:19