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November 17, 2020

Elvis Costello, Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Keith Richards, Joni Mitchell and Elton John

Jewel Box Digital Cover Art copy

Rhino/Warner Music Group on October 9 released a 50 anniversary retail issue of the Doors fifth studio album, Morrison Hotel, with a special deluxe edition.

Doors_MorrisonHotel_delxue copyThe original album from Feb. 1970, includes such fan favorites as “Roadhouse Blues” and “Peace Frog” as the group returned to their roots and were reborn a rock ’n’ roll band. Morrison Hotel, the group’s fifth studio album and fifth consecutive gold-certified record, took its name from the Skid Row hotel in downtown Los Angeles that’s featured in the iconic cover photo taken by Henry Diltz.

Rhino’s 2-CD/1-LP set houses the original album newly remastered by the Doors’ longtime engineer and mixer Bruce Botnick, plus a bonus disc of unreleased studio outtakes, and the original album on 180-gram
virgin vinyl.

415 records the San Fran-cisco-birthed record label that started in the late seventies will have a new retail profile this fall. Liberation Hall, distributed by MVD in Oct. just released a collection of label recordings Disturbing the Peace. Once again discover the recordings of the Nuns, the Mutants, Pearl Harbor and the Explosions, VKTMS, the Offs, Red Rockers, and others. Additional catalog titles are due in November from SVT and Uptones, while December 11 brings the Readymades and Pop-O-Pies.

Out on November 6 via UMe, and personally curat-ed by Elvis Costello, The Complete Armed Forces is the definitive statement of the songwriter and musician’s revered and essential 1979 album, featuring the classic hits “Accidents Will Happen,” “Green Shirt,” “Oliver’s Army” and “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding.” 

Armed Forces is explored across nine pieces of vinyl (3 12-inch LPs, 3 10-inch LPs and 3 7-inch singles), including a new 2020 remaster of the album, B-sides, alternate versions and outtakes, demos, and a slew of live recordings – including 23 unreleased live tracks taken from three especially riotous concerts. This lavish box set fully embraces iconic designer Barney Bubbles’ epic pop-art packaging, including the paint-splattered cover artwork by Bubbles and Bazooka (used for the American release and included in the fold-out UK version) and features a unique origami cover that folds out to beautifully display the bold art and graphics and the six vinyl LPs, which are rounded out by three 7-inch reissues of the album’s singles. Armed Forces has been newly remastered by Costello and mastering engineer Bob Ludwig from the original analog tapes to match the sonic fidelity of the initial 1979 UK pressing.

Joni_Mitchell_Archives_Vol_1 Flat cover copyOn October 30, Rhino issued the Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 1: The Early Years (1963-1967), which features nearly six hours of unreleased home, live, and radio recordings that flow chronologically to paint a rich portrait of Mitchell’s rapid growth as a performer and songwriter during the period leading up to her debut album. This treasure trove of unheard audio includes 29 original Mitchell compositions that have never been released before with her vocals. The collection will be available as a deluxe 5-CD set ($64.98) as well as digitally.

The collection begins in 1963 with her earliest-known recording as a 19-year-old Mitchell performs at CFQC AM, a radio station in her hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The box culminates with a stirring, three-set 1967 nightclub performance recorded at the Canterbury House in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Archives Vol. 1 reveals just how prolific a songwriter Mitchell was at the time. In addition to early versions of songs that would appear on Song To A Seagull (“Michael From Mountains” and “I Had A King”), the set also features songs destined for later albums: “Chelsea Morning”  “Both Sides Now” (Clouds, 1969); “The Circle Game” (Ladies of the Canyon, 1970); and “Little Green” (Blue, 1971).

More than a just historic document, these recordings crackle with energy thanks to a vibrant and enchanting Mitchell. On many, you can hear her tuning her guitar and telling a story about the song before playing it. That includes her rare 1967 cover of Neil Young’s “Sugar Mountain,” a song she says inspired her to write “The Circle Game.”

The 5-CD collection includes a 40-page booklet that features many unseen photos from Mitchell’s personal collection as well as new liner notes by writer/filmmaker Cameron Crowe

Riahards copyOn December 15, 1988, Keith Richards and his band, The X-Pensive Winos, played the Hollywood Palladium. It was the penultimate show in a 12 city US tour and a night both band and audience will never forget. Now this concert is available for the first time as a limited edition box Live at the Hollywood Palladium set on Nov. 13 on BMG. Across all formats — Boxset, CD, 2LP vinyl & digital — Keith Richards leads his band through  solo tracks ‘Take It So Hard’, ‘Make No Mistake,’ to Stones classics ‘Happy’ and ‘Connection’. Exclusive to the Boxset and Digital formats are three previously unreleased tracks “Little T&A,”  “You Don’t Move Me” and the Lennon-McCartney penned hit “I Wanna Be Your Man.”

An Aretha Franklin career-spanning box set arrives on Nov. 20 via Rhino in a variety of editions, including a 4 CD-set. Aretha includes recordings from record label’s she recorded for but the bulk of the tracks were culled from her significant tenure with Atlantic Records between 1967 and 1979, which earned five consecutive #1 R&B albums.

Steel_Wheels_6disc_2D (1) copySteel Wheels Live – Atlantic City, New Jersey is the Rolling Stones latest release by the Rolling Stones archives from Eagle Rock Entertainment and has been restored, remixed and remastered.  Steel Wheels Live is out as a limited 180gm 4LP coloured vinyl, DVD + 2CD, SD Blu-ray + 2CD and digital formats. Additionally, the set is issued as a special limited 6-disc version, which includes the Atlantic City performance on DVD, SD-Blu-ray, 2CD, a DVD of their Steel Wheels tour performance at the famed Tokyo Dome, as well as Steel Wheels Rare Reels, a CD featuring tracks which didn’t feature on the core tour set list.

Definitive Audiophile Grade versions of Nina Simone‘s Classic Philips Records Albums I Put a Spell on You and Pastel Blues are next up in Verve/UMe’s Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series Acoustic Sounds. Nina Simone’s classic 1965 albums I Put a Spell on You and Pastel Blues will be released as definitive audiophile grade versions as the third installment of Verve/UMe’s recently launched audiophile vinyl reissues series Acoustic Sounds. Utilizing the skills of the top mastering engineers and the unsurpassed production craft of Quality Record Pressings, the LPs, which has just now been made available. The releases are being supervised by Chad Kassem, CEO of Acoustic Sounds, the world’s largest source for audiophile recordings.

The Simone titles follow the Acoustic Sounds editions of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme and Ballads set released October 9.  Also coming on November 20 is EmArcy Records Sarah VaughanSarah Vaughan (with Clifford Brown) (1954) Clifford Brown and Max Roach – Study In Brown (1955).

Jazz Dispensary, the branch of Craft Recordings that answers to a higher power, is thrilled to announce a partnership with Vinyl Me, Please to offer a series of five heavyweight digs from their secret stash of the finest, funkiest, dankest grooves on the planet.

Vinyl Me, Please (VMP) is a subscription service that brings its members monthly installments of curated vinyl packages of the utmost quality, both in form and musical content—storytellers via wax who aim to connect with their customers via personalized musical travelogues.

The series will kick off with David Axelrod’s cult classic groove journey Heavy Axe followed by a rhythm trip by the great Jack DeJohnette, and will conclude with a triple-threat of albums from Bernard Purdie, Idris Muhammad and Leon Spencer on Nov. 20.

Kinks copyThe Kinks are continuing the 50th anniversary celebration of their studio albums with various new editions of 1970’s Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Pt 1. The Dec. 18 release via Sanctuary Records is produced in association with the Kinks, with audio and visual content curated by Ray Davies. The original album, released on Nov. 27, 1970, included the worldwide hit single, “Lola,” as well as “Apeman,” a top five record in many markets.

From the October 14 announcement: The concept album, their eighth studio release, is a satirical appraisal of the music industry, including song publishers, unions, the press, accountants, business managers, and life on the road. This classic album appeared during a transitional period for the Kinks, and was a critical and commercial success.

The limited deluxe edition is lavishly packaged, with a 50th anniversary deluxe 10” book-pack of that album, containing many previously unreleased tracks and versions.

The package includes a matte laminated rigid slipcase featuring the original LP cover reproduced with foil and metallic silver finishes. Three CDs contain: The original album new remaster from original HD master tapes, singles (stereo and mono mixes), B-sides, alternate original mixes, new medleys with Ray and Dave Davies conversations, new Ray Davies remixes and original session out-takes, previously unreleased session and live tape audio, instrumental and acoustic versions, previously unreleased demos and BBC material.

The 50th anniversary LP release features the newly remastered original stereo album on heavyweight vinyl in a carefully restored and replicated original gatefold sleeve. The package includes a 12” booklet with comprehensive notes, new band quotes, rare photos and memorabilia.

Out in November from Ume is an Elton John in-depth exploration of his catalog, Jewel Box, an 8 CD boxset which includes rarities from 1965-1971, lesser-known B-sides and deep cuts personally curated by Elton. The collection contains 60 previously unreleased tracks, hardback book, and 81 tracks available for the first time on digital formats.

Tom Petty’s solo album Wildflowers just got an expanded edition.  The multi-format set shipped Oct. 16 on Warner Records. It incorporates a Super Deluxe Edition with 70 tracks including nine unreleased songs and 34 unreleased versions, available on either 5-CDs or 9-LPs.

Experience Hendrix L.L.C. in partnership with Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, are releasing the brand new feature length documentary Music, Money, Madness . . . Jimi Hendrix In Maui as well as the accompanying album Live In Maui on November 20..

The film chronicles the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s storied visit to Maui and how they became ensnared with the ill-fated Rainbow Bridge movie produced by their controversial manager Michael Jeffery. The Blu-ray will include the documentary as well as bonus footage of all the existing 16mm color film shot of the two performances that afternoon mixed in both stereo and  5.1 surround sound. The package incorporates Live In Maui — both of the aforementioned sets spread across 2 CDs or 3 vinyl LPs, newly restored and mixed by longtime Jimi Hendrix engineer Eddie Kramer, and mastered by Bernie Grundman. 

Directed by John McDermott  and produced by Janie Hendrix, George Scott and McDermott, Music, Money, Madness . . . Jimi Hendrix In Maui incorporates never before released original footage and new interviews with firsthand participants and key players such as Billy Cox, Eddie Kramer, Warner Bros. executives and several Rainbow Bridge cast members, as well as its director Chuck Wein. Their fascinating account tells the definitive story about one of the most controversial independent films ever made. 

The documentary sets the proverbial stage for Live In Maui ­— the two full Jimi Hendrix Experience sets, including breathtaking renditions of crowd favorites like “Foxey Lady,” “Purple Haze” and Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” as well as then-unreleased songs like “Dolly Dagger” and “Freedom” that showcased the new direction Hendrix was moving toward.

“Jimi loved adventure and there was certainly no shortage of it during his time in Hawaii, a place he also loved,” said Janie Hendrix. “The back story of Rainbow Bridge and these recordings paint a picture of Jimi’s uncanny ability to turn the bizarre into something amazing! We’re excited about this release because it gives the world a closer look at Jimi’s genius.”

Goin' Home with The Rolling Stones - Cover copyNow out is a photograph-ic book from Reel Art Press Goin’ Home With The Rolling Stones ’66 by Gered Mankowitz, the Rolling Stones official 1965-1967 photographer. He first met the lads courtesy of their manager and record producer, Andrew Loog Oldham.  Wordsmith Oldham penned the foreword to this era-specific volume.

And speaking of terrific books, you are politely ordered to read the autobiography of Chris Hillman, Time Between: My Life as a Byrd, Burrito Brother and Beyond, due out Nov. 17, 2020 via BMG Books. The company has also published the exceptional Ready, Steady, Go! The Weekend Starts Here, a comprehensive book on the epic UK music program by music writer Andy Neill.

The story of Detroit’s Fortune Records, a family-owned label that set the blueprint for Motown and laid the groundwork for the celebrated musical legacy of the Motor City, is finally being told in new book Mind Over Matter: The Myths & Mysteries of Detroit’s Fortune Records. Authors Billy Miller and Michael Hurtt leave no stone unturned in chasing down the wild tales behind some of the coolest music that you may have never heard. A virtual alternate history of early rock ‘n’ roll and soul, Fortune Records influenced a generation of Midwestern luminaries including Smokey Robinson and the MC5’s Wayne Kramer, as well as other music heads like Lou Reed, Jonathan Richman and Lenny Kaye of the Patti
Smith Group.

SittinIn_COVER_2ndpass_B copyAlso published in mid-November is Sittin’ In: Jazz Clubs of the 1940s and 1950s (Harper Design; November 17, 2020), from Grammy®-winning historian, archivist, author, and record executive Jeff Gold offers an unprecedented look inside the jazz clubs from this era across the U.S. Drawing on an incredible trove of never-before-seen photos and memorabilia, he gives us a glimpse at a world that was rich in culture, music, dining, fashion, and more. In exclusive interviews with Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, Jason Moran and others explore the important role jazz clubs played in integration. See excerpts, photographs, playlists and more at Sittinin.com. It’s a stunner. 

BMG recently celebrated the genius and pioneering influence of Marc Bolan’s T. Rex — 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and one of the great rock musicians of all time — with the release of AngelHeaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T. Rex. It features 26 songs culled from Bolan’s vast body of work released as T. Rex and Tyrannosaurus Rex from 1968-77.  AngelHeaded Hipster was created by Hal Willner, who passed away on April 7 from COVID-19.

Frederick “Toots” Hibbert,
the founder and longtime leader of Toots and the Maytals, one of the most important groups in the history of reggae music, died Sept. 11. Hibbert, who was 77, had been in the intensive care unit of a Kingston, Jamaica, hospital since last August, suffering from COVID-19.  Songwriter
Mac Davis, the country-pop performer who wrote such hits as “In the Ghetto,” “Memories” and “A Little Less Conversation” for Elvis Presley, and later penned his own pop hit in 1972 with “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On  Me,” died after heart surgery on Sept. 29.






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