Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up, featuring a selection of today’s new releases!
Neil Young, Official Release Series Volume 4 (Reprise)
A new box set brings together three of Neil Young’s ’80s albums, along with a rare EP making its widest release yet. Official Release Series Volume 4 runs the gamut of Young’s eclectic output in the ’80s – likely because it only covers his releases on his longtime home base of Reprise Records. (From 1982 to 1987, Young signed instead to Geffen Records.) The ’80s were a time of transition and experimentation for Young – much of it done on Geffen, though sparks of that restless spirit are present on this set. This volume jumps from 1980’s Hawks and Doves and 1981’s Re·ac·tor (the latter with Crazy Horse) to 1988’s This Note’s for You with The Bluenotes and the 1989 EP Eldorado with The Restless. The box will be available on CD at general retail and on vinyl through indie retailers as well as Young’s own webstore. Eldorado will also receive a standalone digital release on the same day. Read more here!
Norah Jones, Come Away with Me: 20th Anniversary Edition [Various Formats] (Blue Note)
Norah Jones’ chart-topping, eight-time Grammy-winning Blue Note debut LP returns in a variety of formats for its 20th anniversary, including 1CD, 1LP, 3CD, and 4LP sets as well as digitally. While the standard CD and LP versions will feature the remastered original album only, the 3CD and 4LP iterations will add 30 bonus tracks (22 of which are previously unreleased) to chronicle the development of Jones’ massively successful debut. The bonus programs consist of Demos, First Sessions Outtakes, and The First Sessions EP (17 tracks total), and the 13-track The Allaire Sessions, named for the studio in Shokan, New York where early recording sessions took place. (The First Sessions EP was a limited pressing sold at Jones’ shows and on her website in 2001.) Jones has penned new liner notes for the remastered reissues. Read more here!
Various Artists, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Music from Season Four (Legacy)
Legacy issues the soundtrack to the fourth season of Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and it’s another collection of favorites and rarities from the show’s period setting as well as a handful of original songs sung on the show. This time out, the set features Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Blossom Dearie, Judy Garland and Fred Astaire, and Broadway showstoppers from Wonderful Town, Oh, Captain!, and The Pajama Game. It’s streaming now, hits CD on April 29, and vinyl on November 4. Read more here!
Resonance has two previously unreleased Bill Evans concerts coming to CD and digital today following their vinyl releases last week on Record Store Day. The 2CD Morning Glory, featuring Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell and recorded on June 24, 1973, has been remastered from the original tape reels and includes an extensive booklet with rare photos from the concert, plus essays and interviews with Gomez, Morell, and pianist Richie Beirach.
Next up is Inner Spirit, preserving Evans’ September 27, 1979 gig with Marc Johnson and Joe LaBarbera. The 2CD set (also out digitally) has been remastered from the original tape reels and includes a thick booklet with rare photos from the concert, plus essays and new interviews with Marc Johnson, Joe LaBarbera, and pianist Enrico Pieranunzi.
Resonance has another CD/digital premiere today: a previously unreleased live recording of bassist-composer Charles Mingus from Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London captured in August 1972. The Lost Album from Ronnie Scott’s also features alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, tenor saxophonist Bobby Jones, trumpeter Jon Faddis, pianist John Foster, and drummer Roy Brooks. The 3CD package includes an extensive insert with photos, essays, and new interviews with Charles McPherson, Fran Lebowitz, and renowned bassists Eddie Gomez and Christian McBride.
Sparks, Balls / Lil’ Beethoven / Hello, Young Lovers (BMG)
Sparks releases three titles today in the 21st Century Sparks collection. Each title has been freshly remastered and also expanded with numerous rare and previously unreleased bonus tracks. Vinyl LPs are also available with only the remastered album (and no bonus tracks). The series continues on May 27 with another pair of titles.
Prolific legend Willie Nelson is back with his newest studio album – and 17th for Legacy Recordings – with A Beautiful Time. Arriving on Willie’s 89th birthday, it features new compositions from Willie and longtime collaborator Buddy Cannon as well as Willie-fied covers of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends” and Leonard Cohen’s “Tower of Song.” Cannon has produced with musicians including Jim “Moose” Brown (B-3 organ, Wurlitzer), Fred Elringham (drums), Barry Bales (upright bass), Bob Terry (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, steel guitar), James Mitchell (electric guitar), and of course, Mickey Raphael (harmonica). Melonie Cannon sings backup on five of the album’s tracks. Available on CD, LP, Barnes and Noble-exclusive orange LP, and digital formats including Atmos and 360RA spatial audio.
Ann Wilson, Eli “Paperboy” Reed
The Second Disc
The Second Disc is devoted to the weird, wild and wonderful world of music catalogue projects. Every week, Mike Duquette, Joe Marchese, and Randy Fairman bring you news, reviews, commentary and features on remasters, reissues, compilations and box sets.