Opeth To Release Anticipated New Album, Pale Communion, In August

Opeth Pale CommunionThe popular Swedish progressive band, Opeth, released their last album back in 2011. The album, Heritage, was issued in 2011. The album, a breath of fresh air for Opeth fans, delivered a strong set of Rock and Roll tracks that, in any other era, would have sold at least half a million units. But being in this time, the album, while selling well for these days’ sets of standards, does not live up to the sales it should have had.

From the beginning, Opeth, who started with Candlelight Records back in 1995, before signing with other labels (Music For Nations, Roadrunner Records), has delivered a robust collection of albums, ten in all. In addition, Opeth has released several well-received live sets (Lamentations – 2003, The Roundhouse Tapes – 2008, In Live Concert At The Royal Albert Hall – 2010), as well as having a Candlelight Box collection released in 2008.

On August 26, Roadrunner Records will release Opeth’s eleventh studio effort, Pale Communion. The new album will be released in multiple formats that include CD, a CD/BD Special Edition, and an LP set. All sets have a special bundles that can can be pre-ordered over at the band’s site. Some of the bundles include t-shirts, leather coasters, a limited edition corkscrew, postcards, and signed, numbered sets.

“Cusps Of Eternity”, one of the eight tracks from Pale Communion, was released ahead of the album on June 6. The song previews well, and underscores what is likely a fine, fine Opeth effort.

Me? I would love to hear this band do a cover of ELP’s “From the Beginning”. Don’t ask me why. I just feel they could do a rather phenomenal version of it.

Opeth – Cusp of Eternity (OFFICIAL) from Jesse Coolbroth on Vimeo.

Suzanne Vega’s Respected Close-Up Series To Be Reissued As Box Set

Vega closeup SeriesThe Close-Up albums were explicitly designed by Suzanne Vega to provide a fresh coat to much of her already well-loved songs. Re-done in personal acoustic style, the series created a thematic approach that resonated with her fans.  In 2010, Suzanne Vega released her first volume of her four Close-Up albums, Love Songs. Love Songs reached into her many solo albums and stripped away the high production that may have chained her real feeling about each song. Later in the year, she followed up Love Songs with the second volume of Close-Up, People and Places. It is in People and Places that her biggest hit, “Luka”, in its new incarnation, can be found.

In 2011, Suzanne Vega issued her third volume, States Of Being, with her last volume, Songs Of Family arriving in 2012. All in all, Suzanne Vega re-interpreted 53 of her songs, more if you counted the exclusive iTunes bonus tracks that were offered only if you went the iTunes way.

On August 12, Razor & Tie Records will combine all four volumes into a single boxed edition (Close-Up Series) that will give the Suzanne Vega fan physical access to the personal re-recorded tracks. As a desirable extra, the bonus iTunes tracks previously mentioned will be included on a fifth CD, completing the entire journey within a single set, 63 tracks in all. To add more value, the 5CD set will be augmented by a DVD inclusion that features Suzanne Vega’s live Close-Up performances at the City Winery in New York City. The DVD will also include an interview with the artist, and a look at rehearsals for the show.

The set is beautiful and well-rounded. All of the discs, the five CDs and the single DVD, will be housed in a 68-page hard-bound book within pockets. the book itself will contain pictures, lyrics, song and album information, and memorabilia tied into the the sessions.

Close Up Series Set

 

Talia’s Overflow Notes: In Great Appreciation – Bobby Womack

Bobby Womack RIPIt is Saturday, June 28th as I write this.  Last night, as I was beginning to prepare my dinner, I did my usual thing.  I said my evening prayers while performing the task.  When I got to the part about being thankful for all of the great musicians, past and present, I started having some really intense thoughts about Bobby Womack.  Something kept telling me that he had died.  I was taken aback that I would have this thought and I consciously told myself to knock it off and that he wasn’t dead.  This went on for a minute or so before I was able to move on with the rest of my prayers.

And now it is Saturday.  I was just over at my Mom’s house and was able to thumb through my local newspaper like I always do.  Imagine how it scared me when I opened the front page section of the news to discover that Womack had indeed passed away.

Bobby Womack was one of the Soul guys who had his pulse on both the Soul Music scene and the Rock Music scene.  He moved among both crowds with ease as he was known as a communicator.  One of the enduring images of Womack that I will always carry with me is the one of his having spoken to Janis Joplin on the night that she died from her heroin overdose.

A ton of press reports are making light of the fact that Bobby greatly influenced the Brian Jones-Era Rolling Stones because of the Stones popularizing the old Valentinos number “It’s All Over Now” on the 12 X 5 album (U.S.).  What some people will likely not know is that Ronnie Wood (the third guitar Era member of the Stones) and Bobby were very tight friends.  Keith Richards was as well.  Right now, I’m sure the both of them are hurting a great deal over this news.

As for myself, the song which always pops into my mind whenever I’ve thought about Womack over the years is “Lookin” For A Love”.  When it came out back in 1974, it was during that time when I didn’t realize that it would be a part of the last full Summer when Soul Music was still the Soul Music I knew and things morphed into Disco.  This song was a part of a long continuum of Soul singles that were so cool.  It felt like I was being pointed towards a better way of living as a kid.  Bobby was one of the guys taking me there.  He was also instilling within me an optimisim about ‘lookin” for love that I was going to begin losing as I grew older.

Coming a close second for me was his very late 1971 single, “That’s The Way I Feel About Cha”.

Whenever one of my guys (or ladies) from the Soul scene passes on, it always hits me in a big way.  They made such important music.  But I sometimes get the impression that they get overlooked by the Rock crowd who grew up on Rock.  The reason why I say that is because of how some of the Rock guys grew up back then.  Some of them were taught to kind of put the accomplishments of Black people in the background.  But those of us who had open minds and were given the better lessons by Top 40 radio knew better.  We had it all and we knew to lay appreciation equally to both sides because we knew where it was all coming from.

Bobby, you were one of the great ambassadors to the fellow musicians who surrounded you.  You shared their pain because you went through the ones they were going through as well – both personally and professionally.  You felt it deeply because you had your own road to traverse.  You made it out alive.  You triumphed over the scars.  I hope you will always know how much we all appreciated you – the musicians and the fans who really knew their stuff and knew where to listen.

Bobby Womack
1944-2014
RIP

–Steve Talia

TAPSheet: Release Notes – 06/26/2014 (US Report)

We don’t hear much from Elvin Bishop, but I’m always pleased when we do. Most know him as the ‘one hit wonder’, when, in fact, Elvin Bishop is much more than that. (You might remember “Fooled Around And Fell In Love”, which had Mickey Thomas (Jefferson Starship) at the vocal helm.) Elvin bishop has a rich musical history that would do you well to investigate. His last album, Red Dog Speaks (2010), was a good album.

Can't Even Do Wrong Right by Elvin Bishop

On August 19, Alligator Records will release the next album from Elvin Bishop, Can’t Even Do Wrong Right. Interesting album cover.

Fuel Records will release an Etta James feature for CD, It Takes Love To Keep A Woman: The Allen Toussaint Sessions. This disc is set for release on August 5.

Mercury Records have Get Hurt, the new album from The Gaslight Anthem, planned for August 19.

Gaslight Anthem Get Hurt

On September 9, Rhino and Parlophone Records will reissue The Best Of The Specials, a ‘best of’ previously released in 2008. Since this previously released with a DVD, my guess is that this one will ditch the DVD, issuing just the CD.

Specials the Best

Rhino will bring the much anticipated Introducing Morrissey, a loved video, previously only available on VHS, to the DVD format. This Morrissey video features his 1995 British concert tour. It is expected on September 9.

Introducing Morrissey

Blue Note has the self-titled album from Ryan Adams coming on September 9.

Between 2010 and 2012, Suzanne Vega reinterpreted her own material in a four album series called Close-Up. Now, Razor & Tie will combine all four issues into a 5CD/DVD Box entitled Close-Up Series. The Box is a hard-cover book with 68 pages of lyrics, photos, and credits. Adding to the original four CDs, a fifth CD will feature previously available digital bonus tracks.  The DVD features Suzanne Vega in a concert setting at The City Winery in New York City, as well as an interview, and a rehearsal for the show featured.

Vega closeup Series

Vega Series

Close Up Series Set

 

Close-Up Series will be released on August 12.

Razor & Tie Records have Transmissions coming from Starset, scheduled for July 8.

Starset Transmissions

This isn’t CD but since we’ve already posted a vinyl report, this will just have to slot in here. Fantasy Records will br releasing a 7LP Box titled Creedence Clearwater Revival, planning the set for October 21. If you’re a vinyl aficionado, be prepared. I’m guessing this will be 180g-weight, with all the cool extras.

CCR

There are two new Essential series 2CD sets arriving on July 29. The first is The Essential N’Sync, which will have 34 tracks.  The second is The Essential Britney Spears, containing 32 songs.

RCA Records will release the new Imogen Heap album, Sparks, in both standard CD and Deluxe Edition sets. All issues are set for August 19.

And to close this day out, how about a listen to a cover track, “Sea Of Love” by Lily and Madeleine as they visited KCRW. They even showcased a new song on the show. Enjoy!

TAPSheet: Vinyl Release Notes – 06/25/2014 (US Report)

Zappa Records will reissue Apostrophe (‘) (1974) by Frank Zappa, on September 2.

Zappa Apostrophe

Separate Mono versions of Beatles albums will be sold individually from Please, Please Me (1963) through The Beatles White Album (1968), and including the newer Mono Masters. As with the Boxed set, these are expected on September 9.

Smithsonian Folkways will release vinyl LP versions of Union Train (1975), Garbage And Other Songs Of Our Times (1980), and Old Folks Ain’t All the Same (1987), all by Joe Glazer, on August 12.

Joe Glazer Union Train

Alternative Distribution Alliance will release a 2014 re-recording of the 1974 classic Journey To The Centre Of The Earth by Rick Wakeman, on July 15. It will be a 40th Anniversary issue of the title.

Kscope will reissue Stupid Dream (2009) by Porcupine Tree on vinyl, slated for July 8.

Ghostly International is releasing a 2LP set of In Decay, the 2012 electronic music set from Com Truise. It’s planned for August 19.

Com Truise In Decay

Geffen Records have The Eels‘ 1996 classic Beautiful Freak, ready for 180g-weight vinyl, and scheduled for August 19. “Novocaine For The Soul” came from this album.

Milan Records will release an LP version of the soundtrack for Chef on August 26.

Merge Records have Shadows (2010), and Man-Made (2005) by Teenage Fanclub planned for vinyl LP on August 5. These reissues include download cards, and will also include bonus download tracks (“Secret Heart”, “Dark And Lonely” with Shadows, and “Please Stay”, “Falling Leaf” with Man-Made).

Teenage Fanclub ManMade   Teenage Fanclub Shadows

Knitting Factory Records have three classic Fela Kuti albums slated for vinyl LP on August 19. The titles included will be Teacher, Don’t Teach Me Nonsense (1986), Confusion (1975), and Sorrow, Tears and Blood (1977).

Epitaph Records will release a 20th Anniversary LP Edition of Smash by Offspring on August 19. The remastered LP will be released in a die-cut box, and will contain a CD of the full album inside.

Offspring Smash

Friday Music will reissue Inner Secrets, the 1978 Columbia set by Santana. It is slated for remastered 180g reissue on August 19.

Plastic Head Records have two Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman & Howe sets scheduled for LP issue on September 23. Those will be An Evening Of Yes Music, Volume 1, and An Evening Of Yes Music, Volume 2.

Aida/Surfdog Records will release a vinyl LP set of the latest by Brian Setzer (CD too) called Rockabilly Riot! All Original, on August 12. The LP set will also feature a DD rights card.

Setzer Rockabilly Riot

Highnote Records have three jazz offerings in 180g remastered vinyl LP with Monk, Trane, Miles & Me (1999) by Larry Coryell, Joey Defrancesco Plays Sinatra His Way (2004) by Joey Defrancesco, and Special Requests (and Other Favorites) (2013) from Kenny Burrell. These are planned for August 12.

The classic John Lennon ‘best of’ from 1975, Shaved Fish, is set for vinyl LP reissue on August 19.

Lennon Shaved Fish

Elektra Records will reissue Hejira (1976) from Joni Mitchell on vinyl LP slated for July 22.

Inner Wound Recordings have High Road by Night Ranger arriving on vinyl LP, scheduled for August 5.

The Taste For Music In The US And Elsewhere : Rival Sons

RivalSons Great Western ValkyrieI have to throw this out there simply because I’m a bit perplexed. But it could also be that perhaps we HAVE changed that dramatically.

On April 8, I mentioned the upcoming new release for Rival Sons called Great Western Valkyrie. Rival Sons is a blues/rock band originating from Long Beach, CA. Here is the link to revisit that post along with a video previewing the songs from the new album. Great Western Valkyrie was released in the US on June 10, the UK, on June 9, and the rest of the world on June 6.

I’ve received an email detailing the album’s reception in each location where it was released. Here are the results:

Official Album Chart Positions:

UK: #14
USA: #125
AUSTRIA: #41
CANADA: #7
FINLAND: #3
FRANCE: #47
GERMANY: #24
NETHERLANDS: #55
NORWAY: #5
SWEDEN: #10
SWITZERLAND: #12

Now, I do not propose to change the tastes of America or the world for that matter. Nor am I chastising anyone. What I am interested in, however, is what is the US primarily listening to? With such a wide divide for this excellent band between the US and the rest of the world in reception, I sometimes am forced to remember my own sayings, which is that the UK, Japan, even Canada, enjoys music on a much wider scale than we may.

And so, I’m opening the floor for discussion on what might be the divide. Does Rival Sons appeal only elsewhere, and not the US? Is the US preferential to only a certain kind of music that relegates the rest to obscurity?

Curious.

New Robert Plant Album, lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar, Planned for September

Robert Plant LullabyWith all of the noise surrounding the wishes of a Led Zeppelin reunion, especially with Jimmy Page being fed up with Robert Plant’s reticence, and Plant’s rather eloquent rebuttal about not “being bored”, it’s a wonder anything got done. But Robert Plant did say that he was busy, and not interested in any such trivial “jukebox” adventures. For some fans, that’s great news.

It is now known that Robert Plant has a new album coming on September 9 via his new label, Nonesuch Records. The new album is being called lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar (yes, that’s the title and the correct case for part of it), and is being called “a celebratory record, powerful, gritty, African, Trance meets Zep”. Well, how much fun can that be?

The album is being preceded by a song, “Rainbow”, which you can enjoy below.  I have to say…I like it! It still makes Robert Plant feel very compelling.

Neil Diamond Columbia Albums Move To Universal – Digital Downloads Coming

Neil Diamond SerenadeIf you’re a Neil Diamond fan, it is therefore important to note that all Columbia released Diamond titles have been moved over to the Universal umbrella, and will be made available as downloadable sets beginning on July 1. What this means for down the road is not known.

I have been hoping to get remastered reissues of many of the Neil Diamond catalog up through I’m Glad You’re Here With Me Tonight (1977). Beyond that, I’m not that much of a fan anymore.  As with the Stones moveover, all of their non-Abkco catalog were remastered and repackaged using the new label, I hope we will see this in the future.  Nevertheless, not all titles (thus far) are on the DD list (like I’m Glad You’re Here With Me Tonight, which is not…yet).

The titles being made available will include Beautiful Noise (1976), Classics The Early Years (1983), Headed For The Future (1986), Heartlight (1982), In My Lifetime (1996), Live In America (1994), Lovescape (1991), On The Way To The Sky (1981), Primitive (1984), Serenade (1974), Stage Performances 1970-2002 (2003), Tennessee Moon (1996), The Best Of The Movie Album, The Best Years Of Our Lives (1988), The Christmas Album (1992), The Christmas Album, Volume 2 (1994), The Jazz Singer (1980), The Movie Album: As Time Goes By (1998), Up On The Roof: Songs From the Brill Building (1993), and You Don’t Bring Me Flowers (1978).

Missing, so far, are Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1973), I’m Glad You’re Here With Me Tonight (1977), September Morn (1979), Three Chord Opera (2001), 12 Songs (2005), Home Before Dark (2008), A Cherry Cherry Christmas (2009), Dreams (2010), Hot August Night II (1987), Love At The Greek (1977), Hot August Night/NYC (2010), and a host of compilations too numerous to list.

Here’s hoping for remasters and repackaged reissues.

Roxanna Debuts New Album, Exotica, In July

Roxanna ExoticaWhile an RN in the nursing field, Roxanna sang to her patients. For her, and for the people she sang to in the hospital, the results of her willingness to sing produced positive results. Soon, encouraged and financially backed by a relative of one of her patients, Roxanna launched into a career that will take her singing talents to a wider audience where it belongs.

On first listen, the striking thing about Roxanna is easily her voice, as well as her effortless ability to capture your attention with it.  DISNEY, TAKE NOTE: My first impression was that her’s is a voice that you always hear in a Disney song. In fact, I have no doubt that one day that will surely be a reality.

Roxanna has already released two pre-album release singles that includes “Close Your Eyes”, and a cover of Lionel Richie’s 1984 hit, “Hello” . Both songs are already a clear dynamic of the grace and power that Roxanna possesses for the Pop market.  As a treat (for me), she covers The Hollies’ 1972 gem, “The Air That I Breathe”, putting her own unique mark on the song.

Roxanna has a debut album arriving on July 8. That album is called Exotica and is produced by Mark Portmann, who has worked with Julio Iglesias, Barbra Streisand, and Christina Aquilera.

With Roxanna’s ready for primetime voice, I believe that she will be heading concert halls all around the world in very short time.

New Album, Wallflower, From Diana Krall Expected In September

Diana Krall, whose last album, Glad Rag Doll, was released in 2012, has a new album on the calendar. But, it isn’t new material. Instead, the new album, being called Wallflower, is a collection of cover that Diana has recorded over time.  With Diana, there is a quality that is rather unmatched among her peers in the recording industry. And while that is true with many, Diana Krall is one that we look forward to hearing.

Wallflower is planned for release on September 9. It will contain Krall-arranged songs made popular by The Eagles (“Desperadoes”), The Mamas and The Papas (“California Dreamin'”), Elton John (“Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word”), Fred Neil (“Everybody’ Talkin'”), and a McCartney song recorded for his own Kisses On the Bottom album, but left off.  There will be others, most of which have not been announced as of yet.

Wallflower will be released by Verve Records.

Diana Krall