Summer brings the live festival season, and Real Gone Music is giving music fans a V.I.P. pass to its own star-studded event with a pair of unreleased concerts from two great live bands: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band featuring the killer guitar duo of Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, and the quintessential British folk-rock band Fairport Convention. Both sets come complete with liner notes, photos, and, most importantly, amazing performances. Then, the label takes a stylistic swerve as it only can with an expanded and remastered version of the seminal West Coast gangsta rap album No One Can Do It Better by The D.O.C., known for his work with Dr. Dre and N.W.A.
The label also tackles the work of two superstars of the ‘70s and ‘80s, respectively, with a pair of two-CD compilations covering the work of Edgar Winter and Air Supply. Both collections are the largest ever afforded the artist(s). Real Gone continues its survey of the great British female vocalists (e.g. Dusty Springfield, Lesley Gore) with a collection of the rare Scotti Brothers recordings by the legendary Petula Clark. And the earliest recordings by Loudon Wainwright III, the two albums he made for the Atlantic label, receive a long-overdue reissue.
Real Gone is also putting back into print some key titles from the early days of the label, including the long-lost solo album from Sam Samudio (the man who put the “Sam” in Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs), the two rare Cameo albums from trumpeter and bandleader Maynard Ferguson, and a very limited, “wine-red” vinyl pressing of a spoken word album from cult figure Charles Bukowski. Finally, Real Gone resurrects a couple of long-deleted volumes of the Dick’s Picks series featuring some of the greatest Grateful Dead live performances ever captured on tape.
If the Summer of 1967 was the Summer of Love, the Summer of 1966 set the stage for the musical revolution that was to come. Albums released during the season, like The Beatles’ Revolver and The Byrds’ Fifth Dimension, brilliantly blended the burgeoning influence of Eastern exoticism into the rock music format, and the term “psychedelia” entered the common lexicon to stay. But beating them all to the punch was a multi-racial blues band that cut its teeth in Chicago, far from the hippie havens of London, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Issued in July 1966, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band’s East-West took blues-rock to places only free jazz had dared to tread, offering lengthy, modal improvisational passages that sparked the West Coast rock revolution, and, in Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, fully unleashing the first great guitar tandem in rock history. Now, Real Gone Music is very proud to release, for the first time in legitimate fashion, a legendary bootleg that captures this singular sextet on the brink of the stylistic breakthrough that would shake the rock ‘n’ roll world to its core: recorded live at Boston’s Unicorn Coffee House 50 years ago in May 1966, two months before the release of East-West, Got a Mind to Give Up Living—Live 1966 reaffirms that The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was simply untouchable live, capable of turning on a dime from slow-burning blues tunes to up-tempo rave-ups. And, particularly on a pair of tunes that were soon to be released on East-West, “Work Song” and “I Got a Mind to Give Up Living,” the raga influence (check Bloomfield’s solos!) comes through loud and clear, combining with the band’s blues tropes to create a truly new style of rock and rock guitar playing. Butterfield fans will also delight in the early appearances of “One More Heartache” (from The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw) and “Walking by Myself” (from Keep On Movin’), plus a pair of tunes, “Comin’ Home Baby” and “Memory Pain,” that the band never commercially recorded. Notes by Chris Morris featuring fresh quotes from Elvin Bishop and Mark Naftalin, rare pictures and memorabilia, editorial input from Bloomfield aficionado and co-producer Toby Byron, and some audio spit ‘n’ polish from Mike Milchner at SonicVision make this a package indispensable for any ‘60s rock (or jazz or R&B!) fan.
Hosts of the annual Cropredy Festival and a mere year shy of their 50th anniversary, Fairport Convention is the British folk-rock group, and many of the most talented and celebrated musicians in the scene have passed through their ranks. Of their many line-ups, generally it’s the Richard Thompson-Ashley Hutchings-Sandy Denny era that gets the most attention, followed by the return of Denny in the mid-‘70s with husband Trevor Lucas. But if there is one line-up that really doesn’t get its due, it would be the quartet of guitarist Simon Nicol, bassist Dave Pegg, fiddler Dave Swarbrick, and drummer Dave Mattacks that remained after Richard Thompson departed following Full House. Together, the four made two fine, underrated studio albums, Angel Delight and “Babbacombe” Lee, but live—as this unreleased August 1971 concert demonstrates—they were a revelation. Never during any of its eras did Fairport rock harder, and, though the band lacked any lead vocalist of the stature of Denny or Iain Matthews, all four members of the group sang and sang well, which lent their on-stage act extra energy. Live in Finland 1971 begins with the viola/violin duet between Nicol and Swarbrick on “Bridge over the River Ash” that appeared on Angel Delight along with the second track, “The Journeyman’s Grace,” but then the set list gets delightfully obscure for Fairport fans with a piledriving version of “Mason’s Apron,” a tune that never showed up on any of their studio albums. Old faves “Sir Patrick Spens” (from Full House) and “Matty Groves” (from Liege and Lief) follow, but then the band launches into the rollicking three-song medley “Sir B. McKenzie’s Daughter’s Lament” which only appeared on a 1970 single and whose extended original title vied for entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest of its kind. The show winds up with the more elegiac “Sir William Gower” from Angel Delight, but, make no mistake, this is one blazing set of music, and the ample low-end of this concert recording—mastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision—will have you dancing a jig across your living room. With notes by Richie Unterberger featuring quotes from the band, and photos from the Fairport archives, this is a major addition to the band’s vast discography.
With the 2015 release of the film Straight Outta Compton, we at Real Gone Music figured it was about time somebody revisited one of the landmark albums of West Coast rap, The D.O.C.’s No One Can Do It Better. The D.O.C. a.k.a. Tracy Lynn Curry was a behind-the-scenes contributor to some of the biggest and most hallowed rap releases ever, including Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, NWA’s Straight Outta Compton, Eazy-E’s Eazy-Duz-It, and Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle, and his Dr. Dre-produced debut record lived up to the braggadocio of its title by going platinum, spawning the #1 rap singles “It’s Funky Enough” and “The D.O.C. & The Doctor,” and being hailed by critics nationwide as one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever recorded. However, there has never been an updated reissue of the original 1989 CD, which, like most releases of the early CD era, doesn’t really do the music sonic justice. Real Gone Music’s Expanded Edition of this classic album adds seven impossible-to-find 12” single mixes to a remastered version of the original release, along with liner notes by Aaron Kannowski that feature exclusive quotes from The D.O.C. himself. No one really could do it better than The D.O.C.—now here’s a better (and longer…75 minutes!) edition of his career-making classic.
After gaining notice as a sideman on his brother Johnny’s Second Winter album, keyboardist-saxophonist-composer Edgar Winter signed to Epic Records and quickly became one of the biggest stars of the ‘70s, releasing eight charting albums during the decade including the #3 smash They Only Come Out at Night. But aside from his commercial success, what makes Edgar Winter such an intriguing artist—and worthy of a 2-CD, 30-track retrospective, his biggest ever—is that he never stayed in one stylistic rut. Elements of blues, jazz, soul, rock and funk swirl within his music, sometimes even in the same song (e.g. “Frankenstein”), and the level of musicianship—with such sidemen/band members as Rick Derringer, Ronnie Montrose, Dan Hartman, and, of course, brother Johnny Winter—is never less than top shelf. The Definitive Collection hits all the high points in chronological order, offering such hits and album tracks as “Give It Everything You Got,” “Keep Playin’ That Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “Rock & Roll, Hoochie Koo.” “Free Ride,” “Frankenstein,” “River’s Risin’,” “Easy Steet,” and more, and pulls tracks from all 11 of the albums he recorded for Epic and Blue Sky featuring all of the various aggregations (Edgar Winter’s White Trash, The Edgar Winter Group, and his Together album with Johnny) that he led. Bill Kopp’s liner notes share the fruits of a 2 ½ hour-long interview, and we’ve included copious photos and album shots. Remastered by Darren Salmieri at Battery Studios in New York…some of the best blues-rock of the ‘70s!
Here they are…the ones that you love. The Columbia & Arista Years—The Definitive Collection includes ALL of the hits that the Australian duo of Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell scored during their sterling, 40-year career, plus a whole lot more—their biggest collection ever! Air Supply simply ruled the ‘80s charts with Top Five hits like “Lost in Love,” “All Out of Love,” “Every Woman in the World,” “The One That You Love,” “Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was over You,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Even the Nights Are Better,” and “Making Love Out of Nothing at All,” and they’re all here, newly remastered by Sean Brennan at Battery Studios to make their indelible pop melodies soar even more than before. But this two-CD, 30-track set contains a lot more for Air Supply fans to savor, like their first single for Columbia, “Love and Other Bruises,” and the David Foster-produced “I Can Wait Forever” from the Ghostbusters soundtrack. Liner notes by Joe Marchese follow the duo’s meteoric rise to the top of the charts, and the package includes art from their albums and added photos. Supreme popcraft in every track!
After achieving tremendous success as an international music star in the 1960s and 1970s, Petula Clark began a new phase of her American music career when, after a short hiatus from the States, she was approached by Scotti Brothers Records to return to the recording studio. Label owner Tony Scotti was a fan of Petula's work, and knew that she was capable of singing a variety of styles, including country-flavored tunes. Scotti’s instincts proved dead-on; the slick and twangy toe-tapper “Natural Love,” Petula's debut release for Scotti Brothers, not only brought her back to the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts but also to the Top 20 Country Singles list in 1981. Its success set the stage for follow-ups: Petula's plaintive take on the western torch favorite "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" and a pair of pop ballads, "Love Won't Always Pass You By" and "Dreamin' with My Eyes Wide Open." Ironically, at the time Petula wasn't able to capitalize on or properly promote her renewed popularity in the U.S., as she was tied up starring in a record-setting revival of The Sound of Music on stage in London through 1982. However, Scotti Brothers did take advantage by issuing a single for the British market of Petula performing "Edelweiss" from the beloved musical—a song popularized by Petula's childhood friend Julie Andrews in the movie version. Now, for the first time, all of Petula's Scotti Brothers Records masters are brought together on Natural Love—The Scotti Brothers Recordings, which offers all eight single sides—including a pair of original Clark compositions ("Because I Love Him," "Darkness")—and three additional songs not originally released for a total of 11 tracks, several of which are making their CD debut. It's a missing cache of music from one of the most important and versatile voices in the pop world, with incisive liner notes from The Second Disc's Joe Marchese featuring quotes from Petula, period photos and digital remastering by Mike Milchner of SonicVision. Another all-time great female singer brought to you by Real Gone Music.
No singer-songwriter has ever stared at himself in the mirror with quite the intense honesty displayed by Loudon Wainwright III throughout his career, but his first two albums, Loudon Wainwright III/Album II, cut for Atlantic in 1970 and 1971, respectively, really bare the soul to a degree perhaps only rivaled by John Lennon’s first solo album with the Plastic Ono Band. Lust, suicidal feelings, fear of parenthood; all are grist for Loudon’s songwriting mill—with such fearless introspection, little wonder he later became an acclaimed actor. But if this all sounds like a tedious wallow, it’s not, for Wainwright is also probably the funniest singer-songwriter ever (Sample rhyming couplet: “And a baby can spot your shtick/All the coochy coochy coo is a lot of poo poo when you spread it on that thick”). This Real Gone release finally brings to retail the original limited edition Rhino Handmade set that was only available online, and then only for a heartbeat before it sold out, complete with bonus track (“Drinking Song”). These 24 tracks represent Loudon’s complete Atlantic recordings…indispensable stuff.
After the late-‘60s collapse of Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, the band’s front man and lead singer Domingo “Sam” Samudio signed a solo deal with Atlantic and recorded Sam, Hard and Heavy, a 1971 slice of collector nirvana. Why nirvana? Well, aside from Sam’s estimable vocal and songwriting contributions, the album boasted contributions from, oh, about a half-dozen different flat-out legends, including producers Tom Dowd and Jerry Wexler and sidemen the Dixie Flyers (led by Jim Dickinson), the Memphis Horns, the Sweet Inspirations, and some session guitarist named Duane Allman! The album also won a Grammy for Sam’s hilarious, stream-of-consciousness liner notes (“Thank the monkey”), which we’ve reproduced here along with new notes by Richie Unterberger. Back in print for the first time in years.
Released through Real Gone by arrangement with ABKCO Records, and also finally back in print, New Sounds of Maynard Ferguson/Come Blow Your Horn—the Complete Cameo Recordings features two of the most collectible albums in the entire Maynard Ferguson catalog, the two records he recorded in 1963 for the Cameo label in between his stints at the Roulette and Mainstream labels. Maynard still has his great Roulette band of Lanny Morgan, Willie Maiden, Frank Vicari, Mike Abene, Ronnie Cuber and master arranger Don Sebesky et al. with him on these recordings. Both albums feature driving big band arrangements of both standards and originals, and we have unearthed an unreleased bonus track from the New Sounds sessions, a take on the classic “The Song Is You,” exclusively for this reissue. Remastered straight from the original tapes with new liner notes—Maynard’s complete Cameo recordings.
“This is Charles Bukowski. Well, let me just sit here and drink beer.” Thus begins the September 14, 1972 poetry reading from which Reads His Poetry, his 1980 release on John Fahey’s Takoma label is drawn. This is quintessential Bukowski, from the rude ‘n’ crude drawing that adorns the front cover to the belches that punctuate the poems. As for the work itself, it’s not really what you’d commonly conceive of as poetry, but rather observations and vignettes drawn from life’s darker side, focusing on perversions, poverty, drunkenness, gambling, and bodily functions. But Bukowski’s bemused air and self-deprecating humor blunt the shock value of the words and emphasize the universality of the themes. “I want you to hate me,” he says to the audience, but it’s hopeless—he is one of us. Having rescued this recording from the clinical, digital world of the compact disc and restored it to its proper vinyl format, we at Real Gone are now putting it out in a collector’s “red wine” vinyl edition limited to 375 copies. If there were ever an echo of the analog, non-PC (personal computers or politically correct) world, this album would be it. EXPLICIT MATERIAL.
Real Gone is also reissuing two long out-of-print volumes of live Grateful Dead performances from the Dick’s Picks series. The first, Dick’s Picks Vol. 25—May 10, 1978 New Haven, CT May 11, 1978 Springfield, MA, presents a pair of shows taken from an extended East Coast run in the Spring of 1978. Both concerts—which appear here minus just two and three songs, respectively—find the group in exceptionally lyrical form on ballads like “Loser,” “Stella Blue,” “Looks Like Rain” and “They Love Each Other.” Also not to be missed is a superlative, slowed-down version of “Friend of the Devil” and the rare performance of Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” as an encore (the band only played it about a dozen times live). The second, Dick’s Picks Vol. 31—8/4-5 Philadelphia Civic Center, Philadelphia, PA 8/6/74, Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, NJ, captures the Dead right in the thick of the legendary 1974 Wall of Sound tour and only two months away from leaving the road for a year-and-a-half hiatus. As opposed to most Dick’s Picks collections, this four-disc set offers highlights (including two epic versions of “Playing in the Band”) from three consecutive nights of shows rather than presenting shows in their entirety; the result is that each disc stands on its own as a musical statement. Highly rated by aficionados, and possibly the best Wall of Sound set of shows available, in HDCD sound to boot.
JUNE 3, 2016 RELEASES FROM REAL GONE MUSIC