Steven Wilson Stereo Remixed Chicago II Planned for January

chicago-chicago-two-sw-remix-cdIf there’s nothing I like better (especially in a usually barren November, December, January for music news), it’s seeing how busy that Steven Wilson is. Not too long ago, it was hinted that Wilson was potentially involved in work on Chicago II, and that there was a possible 5.1 mix in the making. And while that 5.1 remix never materialized (although it was likely made), it’s great news to read that the Steven Wilson remix of Chicago II is just around the corner.

On January 27, Rhino Records will release the SW Stereo remix of the great Chicago set that gave the world not only this classic Chicago II album from 1970, but also three strong hits in “Colour My World”, “25 or 6 to 4”, and “Make Me Smile”. Two of those songs were parts of a larger track, “Ballet For A Girl In Buchannon” that tracked for nearly 13 minutes (“Colour My World”, “Make Me Smile”). The two disc album is currently a multi-platinum album with well over five million units traded for currency!

There is a 2003 DVD-Audio WITH 5.1 Surround mixes, if you could get one these days!

(I LOVE the Steven Wilson Remix tag at the top left of the new cover!)


3CD/1BD Deluxe Edition Of Fresh Cream by Cream Planned For January

cream-fresh-cream-coverConsidered one of the great Rock and Roll albums in release, Fresh Cream certainly rocked! It was the 1966 debut release of the newly formed super group, Cream, which boasted the instruments of Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Jack Bruce. Cream would go on to create the extraordinary Disraeli Gears (1967) that contained “Strange Brew”, and “Sunshine Of Your Love”. That was followed by Wheels Of Fire (1968) with “White Room”, and Goodbye (1969). Over the years, these classic albums have been remastered and reissued with extras.

On January 27, watch for a 4disc definitive edition of Fresh Cream. It will be bolstered by a sizable book no doubt stuffed to capacity with history, photos, labels shots, liner notes, essays, memorabilia, and more. This is one to have in your library if you’re a Cream fan.

On the three CDs, there will be the UK edition of the mono original along with outtakes, singles, and EPs, he original album in Stereo with outtakes, remixes and alternate versions of tracks, and a CD of early versions, demos, and BBC recordings. The fourth disc is a Blu-ray Audio with 96kHz/24-bit of both the US Mono and Stereo mixes plus bonus tracks.

There will be an update with actual tracks.



UK Reissues Complete Derringer Albums on 5CD Box, The Complete Blue Sky Albums 1976-1978

derringer-the-complete-blue-sky-albums-1976-1978While you might remember Rick Derringer for his roles in The McCoys, which released “Hang On Sloopy”, and his solo work that included his break hits, “Rock and Roll, Hootchie Koo”, and “Teenage Love Affair”. you might also remember his tenure with the Winter brothers. But if you went than far, then you no doubt are very aware of his successful Rock band, Derringer.

Derringer enjoyed a brief run of popularity with the release of his Blue Sky debut 1976 issue, Derringer. It had great songs like “Let Me In”, “Sailor”, and “Beyond The Universe”. Over the next few years, Rick Derringer and Kenny Aaronson (bass), Vinny Appice (drums), and Danny Johnson (guitars), known collectively as Derringer, pushed out three studio sets (Derringer, Sweet Evil – 1977, If I Weren’t So Romantic, I’d Shoot You, 1978), and a nice Live set, Derringer Live (1977). There was a promo-only Derringer – Live In Cleveland issued in 1976 to promote the band to radio.

On January 27, Hear No Evil will release a 5CD Box collection of all Derringer releases including those listed above! In addition, the CDs containing the albums will add in several bonus cuts (a mono version of “Let Me In” on the debut disc, a mono version of “Don’t Stop Loving Me” on the Sweet Evil disc, and a mono version of “Lawyers, Guns and Money” from their last studio set.) The two live sets are released as they were track-listed!

The 5CD Box is called Derringer: The Complete Blue Sky Albums 1976-1978.

I want!!


Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 On CD and TV

tony-bennett-celebrates-90There are few classic performers like Tony Bennett in the world of music. Last August, the legend celebrated his 90th birthday with several offerings that included a Radio City Music Hall performance back in September. That star-studded performance that included Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, k.d. lang, and others, Even Kevin Spacey got in on the event in a singing role. For the benefit of all, a distilled two hour special can be viewed on NBC planned for December 16. The NBC Special is being called Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet To Come.

Also on December 16, RPM Records and historic Columbia Records will be releasing an audio celebration as a companion piece to the television special called Tony Bennett Celebrates 90. The CD will contain eighteen performance tracks by various artists including Mr Bennett himself (see track list below). Added to the CD will be an informative and photo-filled 28-page booklet containing essays by Bill Clinton, Martin Scorsese, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Mandelbaum, Bill Charlap, and Everett Kinsler.

Mark your calendars.

Tony Bennett Celebrates 90 – Tony Bennett

01. The Lady Is a Tramp – Lady Gaga
02. The Good Life – Michael Bublé
03. Ave María – Andrea Bocelli
04. The Very Thought of You / If I Ruled the World; The Very Thought of You\ If I
Ruled the World – Kevin Spacey
05. I’ve Got the World on a String – Diana Krall
06. New York State of Mind – Tony Bennett and Billy Joel
07. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love – Rufus Wainwright
08. A Kiss to Build a Dream On – k.d. lang
09. Visions – Stevie Wonder
10. La Vie en Rose – Lady Gaga
11. Can You Feel the Love Tonight – Elton John
12. Autumn Leaves – Leslie Odom, Jr.
13. Who Cares? – Tony Bennett
14. The Best Is Yet to Come – Tony Bennett
15. I Left My Heart in San Francisco – Tony Bennett
16. I Got Rhythm – Tony Bennett
17. How Do You Keep the Music Playing? – Tony Bennett
18. Happy Birthday – Stevie Wonder


[UPDATE] New Ozzy-era Black Sabbath Set – The Ultimate Collection

[UPDATE: This CD and LP set commemorating the Ozzy-era Black Sabbath was previously scheduled for November 18 but is now on the calendar for February 3, 2017. Also, an unboxing video found at the end of this article.]

black-sabbath-the-ultimate-collectionFor many of us, we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 4CD Paranoid Box set of the classic 1970 Black Sabbath album. But before that arrives, BMG will be releasing a nice 2CD ‘best of’ for the band, filled with songs that you know and love. All of the songs found on this collection are representative of the Ozzy-era ONLY! That means the set collects from the 1970 eponymous debut on through the last to feature Ozzy, Never Say Die! from 1978.

The new Ozzy-era Anthology is being called The Ultimate Collection. It is planned for CD, DD, hi-res HD DD, and a cool 1980g-weight vinyl LP set with 4LPs.

The 2CD sett is now planned for February 3, 2017.

The four LPs will be housed in a uniquely designed ‘crucifold’ jacket hat folds outward into a crucifix shape. Each end of the cross will house an LP. The 4LP set will arrive on February 3.

All tracks are newly remastered!


The Ultimate Collection – Black Sabbath


01 Paranoid
02 Never Say Die
03 Iron Man
04 Black Sabbath
05 Children Of The Grave
06 Fairies Wear Boots
07 Changes
08 Rat Salad
09 Sweet Leaf
10 War Pigs
11 Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
12 Hole In The Sky
13 Symptom Of The Universe
14 Spiral Architect
15 Rock ‘N’ Roll Doctor


01.Dirty Women
02 Evil Woman, Don’t Play Your Games With Me
03 A Hard Road
04 Lord Of This World
05 Into The Void
06 Behind The Wall Of Sleep
07 Snowblind
08 Tomorrow’s Dream
09 The Wizard
10 N.I.B.
11 Electric Funeral
12 Embryo
13 Killing Yourself To Live
14 Am I Going Insane
15 Wicked World
16 It’s Alright




Syd Barrett CDs Re-released In November

barrett-the-madcap-laughsOne of the main components to Pink Floyd during their startup years on through to the recording of their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets (1968). Although his contribution to that album was small, he left behind such a legacy that he was often admired by other Rock luminaries of the time. After his departure from Pink Floyd, he recorded a solo effort, The Madcap Laughs, which was eventually released in 1970. It provided interest among the Pink Floyd faithful although it hardly lit much of a fire beneath the mass record buying public. Shortly after the debut release, Barrett’s second – and last – solo album, Barrett, was released. It was produced by David Gilmour, and Richard Wright.

Not long afterwards, a streamlined volume appeared called Syd Barrett. Released in 1974, it contained both original albums in a 2-fer package in the hopes to create an interest in Barrett given the attention lavished on him from Pink Floyd via their album, The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973). Much later, a collected set of unreleased songs and alternate takes recorded during he sessions for his two solo sets was released. Issued in 1988, Opel seems to complete a a full run of Barrett offerings outside the womb of Pink Floyd.

In late Spring, Legacy Recordings reissued the three Barrett essentials as digital downloads. Now, for those that still have an interest in Syd Barrett and his music, Legacy Recordings will be reissuing the three albums on CD.

On November 25, you’ll be able to acquire The Madcap Laughs, Barrett, and Opel on CD.

The juggernaut known as Pink Floyd is not even close to being finished although their recording together as a band ceased long, long ago. That includes the avid interest in the once prominent member of the band, Syd Barrett. As they say, Shine on, you crazy diamond.

barrett-barrett     barrett-opel


13CD Vangelis Box, Delectus, Arrives in February

I first came into contact with Vangelis via his band, Aphrodite’s Child and their last album, 666. Familiarity brought me over to the Vangelis solo side, but not until Albedo 0.39, which was released in 1976. That’s a small three year gap but in terms of albums released, that was a massive gap. Still, I’m glad to have made the journey. Especially given the classics that he would make years later with Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner, and a string of great solo efforts that were not soundtracks. And we can’t forget that blend of talent with Jon Anderson. I still listen to many of those collaborative tunes today.

On February 3, a 13-disc Box will arrive that is firmly interested in Vangelis’ music from his Vertigo years (that began with Earth), and his years with Polydor that provided Chariots of Fire. All of the Vangelis albums from those labels have been newly remastered under the watchful eyes – and ears – of the master himself. The box is being called Delectus – The Polydor & Vertigo Recordings 1973-1985.


The included albums are Earth (1973), L’Apocalypse des animaux (1973), Opéra sauvage (1979), China (1979),  See You Later (1980), Chariots of Fire (1981), Antarctica (1983), Soil Festivities (1984), Mask (1985), Invisible Connections (1985) along with his Jon & Vangelis collaborations, Short Stories (1980), The Friends of Mr. Cairo (1981) and Private Collection (1983). This box will include a collection of previously unreleased tracks, and inaccessible B-sides.

A massive and expressive book will be included with the Box.


New Brian Eno Album, Reflection, Arrives In January

reflection-brian-enoThe last album from Brian Eno was The Ship, released earlier in 2016. It featured vocals and was an extraordinary album that many of us fans knew he was capable of. However, vocalized albums, or musically ambient, Brian Eno’s body of work is always mesmerizing. To date, we have over 25 solo sets that include Here Come The Warm Jets (1974), Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (1974), Discreet Music (1975), Music For Airports (Ambient 1) (1978), Thursday Afternoon(1985), and the previously mentioned The Ship (2016). That doesn’t even incllude his list of brilliant collaborative sets that add in classics like No Pussyfooting (with Robert Fripp – 1973), High Life (with Karl Hyde – 2014, and not to ever forget My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts (with David Byrne – 1981) and their follow-up in Everything That Will Happen Will Happen Today (2008). But Brian Eno is never done.

On January 1, via Warp Records, Brian Eno will release a single track ambient album called Reflection. Eno equates it to his decades ago album, Thursday Afternoon, which also contained a single ambient track. To date, there are no snippets to get a feel of what’s going through his musical mind.

I just feel lucky to to soon be able to immerse within the confines of his imaginative music palate. In this case, Eno says that the sounds are making themselves, after which he becomes the proprietor of their mix. He refers to this next step in his musical evolution as “generative”. He has also hinted that the captured by recording sounds were mixed in various ways, or generations of mixes, one making way for a better one until he arrived at the most satisfying mix to be presented in Reflection.

Reflection will be delivered on CD, and vinyl LP.


2CD 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Of The Grateful Dead Arrives In January

grateful-dead-50th-2cdThe Grateful Dead has left behind a legacy of awe and respect. The band enjoyed three distinct periods of popularity: their emergence and their Warner Brothers years and their UA-distributed Grateful Dead Records years, their Arista Records years, and the years that followed their official recordings (their last was Built To Last back in 1989). But their fan-base is still as rabid as ever. Plus, they continue to gain new fans.

The band formed in the middle ’60s. Their first album for Warner Records was their self-titled classic, released in 1967. And in 2017, that album will be fifty years old!

On January 13, Grateful Dead Productions will recognize that 50th Anniversary with a newly remastered Deluxe Edition of The Grateful Dead. In addition to already welcomed news, the release will add in another CD that contains the previously unreleased FULL show of their July 29, 1966 set at the P.N.E. Garden Auditorium in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and as another bonus, will include four live performance tracks from the subsequent evening at the same venue.

This 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition will also be released on vinyl LP as a picture disc. It will be limited to a run of only 10,000 copies.

Good news, indeed, Deadheads!
The Grateful Dead (50th Anniversary Edition – 2CD) – The Grateful Dead

CD1 – Original Album Remastered:

01 The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)
02 Beat It On Down The Line
03 Good Morning Little School Girl
04 Cold Rain And Snow
05 Sitting On Top Of The World
06 Cream Puff War
07 Morning Dew
08 New, New Minglewood Blues
09 Viola Lee Blues

CD2 – Live at P.N.E. Garden Auditorium, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 7/29/66:

01 Standing On The Corner
02 I Know You Rider
03 Next Time You See Me
04 Sitting On Top Of The World
05 You Don’t Have To Ask
06 Big Boss Man
07 Stealin’
08 Cardboard Cowboy
09 It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
10 Cream Puff War
11 Viola Lee Blues
12 Beat It On Down The Line
13 Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
14 Cold Rain And Snow
15 One Kind Favor
16 Hey Little One
17 New, New Minglewood Blues

Talia’s Notes: Leon Russell

leon-russell-st-notesMy thoughts are so scattered as I type this. A short while ago, I found out that Leon Russell has passed away. For all of us in the music community, 2016 has felt like one long funeral procession. They’ve been coming one after the other.

There’s so many places where one could begin with Leon Russell. There are some great articles going around this evening from places like Rolling Stone Magazine and from The New York Times which can tell you all about Leon’s accomplishments as a singer, songwriter, pianist, session man, producer, bandleader and live revue leader. It’s all out there for people to learn about him if they choose to seek it. But I can’t go through all of his accomplishments here. I can only tell you about how I felt about Leon Russell over the years through my own prism.

Little did I know about it at the time, but Leon played on one of my favorite songs of all-time. It would take me many years later to learn that he played piano on Badfinger’s “Day After Day” back in 1971. He filled the spaces with such loving care for the song with those gentle waves emanating from the ivories. So many people focus, and rightly so, on the double guitar tracking of Pete Ham and George Harrison. Those guitars would not have had the natural fullness and effectiveness without Leon giving a deeper sound presence. His previous work as a session man gave him the gift of understatement when it came to working on the material of others. And in the case of this standout track from one of the greatest albums (Straight Up) of the early ’70s, Russell’s giving lift to a great song was no exception.

In August of 1972, I became a fan of The Rolling Stones. Again, it would take me until I got my first vinyl copy of Exile On Main Street before Leon would enter into my life again (even though my two older brothers had a copy of Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs And Englishmen and I was getting bits of exposure to it at my young age at the time of which it was released). “Shine A Light” is one of the beacon performances on a 5-star album of which all of the players were key to the success of the album. What always knocked me out about the song was how the reverb in Mick Taylor’s lead guitar playing and Leon’s piano on that track seemed to come together so perfectly. Leon’s piano was the river of life running through it and Taylor’s guitar was the expression of love, pain and burnout all at once. It all seemed to flow together effortlessly just as the life we live and the river which takes all through the same places was destined to be the paradox which binds us and puzzles us all at the same time.

It was at the end of 1972 and into the early months of 1973 that Leon Russell specifically took root in my mind as someone I knowingly liked. He released the Carney album then. The single that came with it was “Tight Rope”. As someone who was in 5th Grade at the time, it puzzled the living hell out of me. But I sang along to as much of the lyrics that my hearing impaired ears could figure out and took it to heart. I’ve spent the better part of over 40 years trying to figure it out what it means. It takes on different meanings to different people. Some can see it as a performer’s career struggle between its own existence and ever-present possibility of being snubbed out. And there are those of us, like myself (when I finally got to see all of the lyrics through the magic of YouTube), who see the tune as being about the balance between life and death we all struggle with. Frankly, the song has grown so much more with me as it ages. It has an honest poignancy for those of us who need to frame our private fragile realities within the larger scheme of things. What has been taking me back to this song this evening is that “Tight Rope” was released back when the American public was bracing for all of the hell that would break loose two years later when a certain tricky guy was going to resign from an awfully big post. We were living our own individual lives on a tight rope. We also thought the American landscape was walking one of its own.

There was one more time when Leon would make a huge impression on me back in the day. This was in 1975 and the Will O’ The Wisp album was released. The single that he released from that album nailed me right between the eyes and knocked me completely out. “Lady Blue”. Oh my God! If there was ever a reason to enshrine this man into a balladry hall of fame, he got my vote in this song. He created perfection. Plus, that sax solo to go with his piano playing made for a mid-’70s production lesson of which I wish more had payed attention to upon looking back in hindsight. This was that period of time in the ’70s when production methods applied to records would tragically turn into much too dry results. Leon made the song sound like it sprung naturally from within a musical garden. As I was morphing from a child into my teenage years, the musical sounds within the song honestly planted a lot of Eros within me. It would play in my mind when I used to see beautiful women around me. And when I was alone and I was outside at night, it was one of those songs that had the ability to have you stop and look up into the night sky as it was playing in your head. It took you places.

As I am thinking of Leon Russell tonight, I am thinking of all of the musicians he came into contact with during the course of his life. I can’t think of anytime that I ever heard a bad thing come out of anybody’s mouth when it came to talking about him. There are a plethora of musicians still with us who are feeling a gaping hole in their hearts right now. They owe a great debt of gratitude for what he did for their records. Go ahead and look it all up. You can start from when he was a member of the famed Wrecking Crew and work your way out from there. He was one of the most valuable musicians that we have ever known. His loss is the loss of all of the musicians who ever toiled for that one perfect moment. That is to say, it is gigantic.