Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up featuring a selection of the week’s new titles!
The Beach Boys, Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys – Expanded Edition (Capitol/UMe)
3CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
6LP Standard: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
1CD (contains CD 1 only): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2LP Standard: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
All Formats (including 2LP and 6LP exclusives): The Beach Boys Official Store
Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of The Beach Boys was originally issued in 2003, peaking within the top 20 of the Billboard 200 and remaining on the charts for 104 weeks. The 4x platinum overview of The Beach Boys’ discography will now be reissued in a variety of formats in an edition that both adds tracks and gives a sonic overhaul to many of the original songs on the compilation. The 30-track CD will grow to 80 tracks encompassing the band’s classic hits as well as deeper cuts and longtime fan favorites spanning Surfin’ Safari through 1989’s Still Cruisin’ which included the Number One smash “Kokomo.” The new release premieres 26 new mixes including two first-time stereo mixes and 24 new-and-improved stereo mixes including some which have employed current digital extraction technology to present mono tracks into stereo for the first time. Stay tuned for our review, and read more here!
Frank Zappa, Zappa/Erie (Zappa Records/UMe)
Zappa Records and UMe are continuing their series of Frank Zappa boxes with Zappa/Erie. The 6-CD, 71-track box (also available digitally) features three 1974-1976 shows from the Erie, Pennsylvania area (including Edinboro, some eighteen miles outside of Erie) plus a handful of bonus tracks from other locales including Toledo, Ohio; South Bend, Indiana; and most far-flung, Montreal, Canada. The set boasts over seven hours of music, of which only 10 minutes has ever been officially released. The audio for the set was professionally recorded on four-track tape by Zappa’s team of engineers Bill Hennigh, Brian Krokus, Davey Moire, and Claus Weideman, and newly mixed from the original tapes by Craig Parker Adams and mastered by John Polito at Audio Mechanics. Watch this space for our review, and read more here!
Lakeshore Records premieres on CD the soundtrack to director Brent Wilson’s acclaimed 2021 documentary about Brian Wilson (no relation). Long Promised Road features 12 previously unreleased tracks including the Carl Wilson-penned title track, the Brian Wilson/Jim James co-write “Right Where I Belong,” a rollicking revival of the Bob Merrill classic “Honeycomb,” and a number of rare tunes recorded in the 1990s by Brian with Andy Paley. Read all about it here.
The Everly Brothers, Hey Doll Baby (Warner Records)
This 17-song collection – curated by Tom Petty’s daughter Adria with input from Phil Everly’s widow Patti and son Jason, the late Don Everly, and Don’s widow Adela – draws on both hits and deep cuts from The Everly Brothers’ tenures at Cadence and Warner Bros. Records. A limited edition blue vinyl version was released for Record Store Day ’22; this wide release arrives on CD, digital formats, and 180-gram black vinyl. Get more details here.
David Bowie, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (Parlophone)
Ziggy Stardust was released 50 years ago yesterday, on June 16, 1972. Parlophone is marking that anniversary with two new half-speed-mastered vinyl reissues: one on black vinyl and one as a picture disc. The latter format also includes a replica promotional poster. Both versions utilize the 2012 remaster of the album.
Whitesnake, Greatest Hits: Revisited, Remixed, Remastered (Rhino)
Whitesnake has retooled its familiar 1994 Greatest Hits collection in “Revisited, Remixed, and Remastered” form. Its release will be staggered, with the currently-available digital version to be followed on June 17 with CD and black vinyl 180-gram double-LP editions and on July 15 with a CD/Blu-ray combo. The original 14-song collection has been expanded to 16 tracks, though some selections have been dropped and other cuts added. All 16 songs on the 2022 Greatest Hits have been newly mixed, with many now featuring additional instrumentation. Read more details here.
The fine folks at Liberation Hall have dusted off this funky 1973 gem from Young-Holt Unlimited, a.k.a. bassist Eldee Young and drummer Isaac “Redd” Holt. The Chicago duo, formerly of Ramsey Lewis’ band, are best-known today for the 1968 top 5 hit “Soulful Strut.” That same soul-jazz spirit infuses this album featuring electric pianist Ken Chaney, percussionist Derf Reklaw, and pseudonymous organist/guitarist “Ringo.” Four songs from Curtis Mayfield’s score to Super Fly open the album which also includes a couple of originals (Young and Holt’s “Hey Pancho,” Chaney’s “Mystical Man”) plus Bacharach and David’s “(They Long to Be) Close to You” and two songs from Thom Bell’s Philly soul oeuvre: “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love” and “People Make the World Go Round.” Available on CD and LP.
1976’s The Trogg Tapes showed that the band behind “Wild Thing,” “With a Girl Like You,” and “Love Is All Around” still had some steam left in them. The seventies hadn’t tamed The Troggs; the album from lead vocalist Reg Presley, bassist Tony Murray, guitarists Richard Moore and Colin Fletcher, and drummer Ronnie Bond, was a lean, rocking affair. The album boasts taut, crunchy originals such as “Supergirl” and “Down South to Georgia,” the lusty “Get You Tonight,” storming “Gonna Make You,” and covers of Rufus Thomas’ “Walkin’ the Dog” and Brendon Dunning’s “Rock ‘N’ Roll Lady.” The ballad “After the Rain” even channeled a bit of a country sound. Already available on CD and digital formats, the vinyl LP version arrives in stores today.
Scott McCarl only appeared on one album by The Raspberries – the band’s ironically-titled 1974 farewell Starting Over – but he established himself as a power pop pro by co-authoring five of the album’s songs including “Play On” (written with Eric Carmen). But McCarl pursued other avenues after the disbanding of The Raspberries and only occasionally returned to music. More than two decades after Starting Over, he released his first solo album: Play On. (Despite the title, the song was nowhere to be found!) For this new edition on Liberation Hall, roughly half of the original 1997 album has been retained, while other cuts from McCarl’s small but potent discography have been added. With tracks spanning 1970-2021, Play On features 13 shimmering, melodic power pop nuggets (often bringing to mind The Beatles and yes, The Raspberries), with plentiful hooks, chiming guitars, and bright harmonies, including the new “Doin’ It Right.” Already available on CD and digital formats, the vinyl LP version arrives in stores today.
Summer of Soul (…or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised): Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Legacy)
Legacy Recordings delivers a soundtrack to Questlove’s acclaimed 2021 documentary Summer of Soul, chronicling the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. Live recordings are featured from headliners including The 5th Dimension, Nina Simone, David Ruffin, Sly & The Family Stone, Gladys Knight & The Pips, B.B. King, The Chambers Brothers, and more. Available now on CD and digital, with vinyl coming on June 17. Both the digital edition and the 2LP vinyl version add one bonus cut, “Africa,” from Abbey Lincoln and Max Roach.
Pianist Lorin Hollander was still a teenager when he made his first recording for RCA in 1958. This new 8-CD box set collects that debut album plus all of Hollander’s subsequent recordings for RCA’s Red Seal label over the following near-decade plus a 1974 appearance on Columbia.
Earlier this month, the U.S. edition of NOW That’s What I Call Pride hit stores on CD and vinyl with 18 tracks from such diverse artists as George Michael, Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Elton John, Lil Nas X, and Kasey Musgraves. The U.K. version, however, ups the game to 4 CDs and 84 tracks including cuts from Dolly Parton, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Queen, ABBA, The Village People, Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Lizzo, Mariah Carey, Kylie Minogue, and our very own Liza Minnelli! There are numerous dance remixes peppered throughout this ultimate Pride Month celebration. Available today in the U.K. and next week as an import in North America. Happy Pride, everyone!
Vocalist Jeff Harnar – whose past albums have celebrated Sammy Cahn, the golden age of Broadway, and the classic sound of fifties pop – has turned his attention to the late, great Stephen Sondheim for this new album featuring a 20-piece orchestra conducted by Jon Weber (host of NPR’s Piano Jazz), produced by Bart Migal, and orchestrated by Weber. Harnar and Weber have provided the arrangements. Songs include such Sondheim staples as “Being Alive,” “Send in the Clowns,” and “Anyone Can Whistle” as well as a duet with KT Sullivan on A Little Night Music‘s “Every Day a Little Death” and a number of ingenious medleys fusing songs from various Sondheim musicals. The booklet features liner notes by Harnar as well as critic Stephen Holden. Available today on CD and digital formats.
Guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers) makes his solo debut with this new set from BMG. Its 12 songs encompass both original songs and covers (including reimaginings of Steely Dan’s “My Old School” and “Do It Again”) and features guests including Michael McDonald and Clint Black.
The outlaw country artist returns with this down and dirty blues set recorded over three days in Nashville with producer Dan Auerbach at his Easy Eye Sound Studios; songs include both Williams originals and songs by such blues heroes as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Muddy Waters, and Jimmy Reed.