February 3 Releases Include Deluxe Reissues of Albums from Delaney & Bonnie, Lesley Gore, and Thom Bell, Plus Long-Lost Albums from Larry Coryell, Jim Kweskin, and Duke Ellington, Capped with Rare Live Soft Machine on Vinyl and a 2-CD Lynn Anderson Collection
Year after year, Real Gone Music starts the calendar with a bang by putting out a huge slate of releases, and this year’s crop is no exception—the label is putting out a total of ten releases the day after Groundhog Day! Leading off the line-up is a deluxe reissue of the roots-rock classic LP Motel Shot by Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, featuring eight unreleased bonus tracks on a domestic CD debut. The label is also filling in the last big gap in Lesley Gore’s catalog by reissuing her A&M album Love Me by Name, again garnished with bonus tracks. And fabled R&B producer Thom Bell’s classic soundtrack to The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh featuring The Spinners, The Four Tops, The Sylvers, and more receives an expanded reissue with three bonus tracks.
Then, the label delves into the Vanguard vaults for a pair of long-lost classics: guitar god Larry Coryell’s second solo album, and Jug Band leader Jim Kweskin’s first solo album. The liner notes to both feature quotes from their respective artists. The only Duke Ellington album yet to be reissued, 1963’s Serenade to Sweden with Swedish singer Alice Babs, finally sees the light of day on CD. A rare live show from the proto-prog rock band Soft Machine comes out on limited edition “soft” purple vinyl. And a long-overdue, comprehensive collection of the great Lynn Anderson’s hit recordings for the Chart and Columbia labels caps off the schedule with a flourish.
Though they never achieved the popular success enjoyed by some of their peers, Delaney & Bonnie Bramlett spearheaded the roots-rock revolution of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s along with The Allman Brothers and The Band, turning away from the exoticism of psychedelia towards music “rooted” in blues, country, and soul. Witness the fact that the “And Friends” that played with the pair included Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Leon Russell, Dave Mason and Bobby Whitlock….out of Delaney and Bonnie’s various aggregations arose Derek and the Dominoes and Joe Cocker’s band for the legendary Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. And for Delaney & Bonnie and Friends’ Motel Shot, the duo’s fourth studio album and their third for Atco/Atlantic, the circle of “friends” included Cocker, Whitlock, and Mason, plus appearances by Duane Allman, Gram Parsons, and John Hartford among others! But for the most part, this is a largely acoustic, charmingly informal affair dipped in gospel and dominated by the Bramletts and Whitlock; the Motel Shot title refers to informal, after hours jam sessions on the road. But there’s a whole lot more to the story (and to this release!). The project began not in a hotel room but in the living room of engineer Bruce Botnick, with November 1970 sessions as a prospective release for Elektra Records. But, after Delaney had a falling out with label head Jac Holzman, the project moved to Atco, who put the “band” into a proper studio to re-record much of the material. Those later sessions comprise the original album, which has heretofore only appeared briefly on CD in Japan; but, after hours of tape research, co-producers Bill Inglot and Pat Thomas uncovered the original “living room” sessions that yielded the eight unreleased tracks on this Expanded Edition CD release – and notably is the first American CD release of the original Motel Shot album as well. Remastered by Inglot, with an essay by Thomas that includes exclusive (and extremely candid) quotes from Bonnie Bramlett, Bobby Whitlock, Bruce Botnick, and Jac Holzman, Motel Shot finally is presented here the way it was originally conceived, and takes its rightful place as one of the great albums of the classic era of the roots rock movement.
Having filled a major gap in the late, great Lesley Gore’s discography with its release of her Motown album Someplace Else Now, Real Gone Music now turns its attention to the other major missing piece of her catalog, the 1976 album she recorded for A&M Records. Love Me by Name not only reunited Lesley with producer Quincy Jones from her hit-making ‘60s days, but brought her into together with a truly staggering array of talent, including Herbie Hancock, Toots Thielemans, Harvey Mason, Jim Keltner, Dave Grusin and just about every other studio superstar you could name, even the Partridge Family! Love Me by Name features compositions written by Gore and her songwriting partner Ellen Weston, most notably the title track, which was later covered by Dusty Springfield, Patti Austin, and Jennifer Holiday among others. The album also gave a nod to the disco and funk trends that were so prominent in pop music at the time, particularly on the lead-off track, “Sometimes,” which paired her unmistakable pipes with the Brothers Johnson. Our Real Gone reissue marks the worldwide debut of this album on CD, and adds two rare single versions as well as liner notes by Joe Marchese that explore the life and times of this remarkable lady. Remastered by Mike Milchner at SonicVision and featuring rare photos, this Expanded Edition of Love Me by Name is the one release that Lesley Gore fans worldwide have been waiting for.
Real Gone Music and Second Disc Records are tipping off 2017 with a slam dunk release! The 1979 cult favorite film The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh featured an all-star team from the worlds of basketball and Hollywood - Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Meadowlark Lemon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry Tarkanian, Stockard Channing, Jonathan Winters, Flip Wilson, Debbie Allen, Harry Shearer, and more – for its fantastical tale of a struggling Pittsburgh basketball team that beats the odds with a little help from the heavens. The movie’s soundtrack was equally illustrious. Pop-soul maestro Thom Bell, renowned for his work with The Spinners, The Stylistics, The Delfonics, and Johnny Mathis, wrote, produced, arranged, and conducted his very first motion picture score, and the result was a soul symphony incorporating funk, disco, and jazz rhythms, and of course, Bell’s trademark luscious balladry. An A-team of R&B’s finest artists was enlisted to perform Bell’s all-new songs, including The Four Tops, The Spinners, Bell and James, Phyllis Hyman, The Delfonics’ William “Poogie” Hart, and The Sylvers, plus country superstar Loretta Lynn, ragtime legend Eubie Blake, and the one and only Doc Severinsen. Yet, when the movie came and went from theatres, so did the soundtrack album…until now! The Fish gained a cult following on television and VHS, and now, it’s time for its sizzling soundtrack to have its chance on the court, too. Hip-hop’s most tuned-in artists have already sampled these lost grooves; now you can hear the originals! The first-ever CD release of The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh boasts a sparkling new remastering from the original Lorimar Records tapes by Sean Brennan at Sony’s Battery Studios, detailed liner notes by The Second Disc’s Joe Marchese featuring fresh quotes from Thom Bell, and three rare bonus tracks: two distinctive 12-inch mixes of Bell and James’ infectious title track, and the lush, dramatic “Pisces Theme.” This deluxe Expanded Edition is nothing but net, and a must-have for classic soul fans from Philly to Motown…and of course, Pittsburgh. The Doctor is in!
Larry Coryell is one of the greatest guitarists ever to walk the face of the earth, but he remains somewhat underappreciated—witness the fact that this, his second solo album, has never been released on CD until this Real Gone reissue! 1969’s Coryell offers an intriguing blend of improvised and arranged pieces, with an all-star cast that includes Ron Carter, Bernard Purdie, Albert Stinson (“The Jam with Albert” is perhaps the highlight of the entire album), Chuck Rainey, and Free Spirits bandmate Jim Pepper. Jimi Hendrix is definitely an influence on this jazz-rock gem, but Coryell takes his axe in directions only known to him; at this time, only John McLaughlin (with whom Coryell would shortly cut the one-off Spaces) could rival him in the fusion field. Bill Kopp’s notes include copious quotes from Larry Coryell himself; Mike Milchner’s remastering lets this overlooked album shine.
After a couple of albums on Vanguard Records established Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band as a major force in the folk scene, their leader had something different in mind for his first LP without the group. Billed to Jim Kweskin, 1965’s Relax Your Mind gave him the opportunity to, as he puts it in Richie Unterberger’s liner notes, record “music that was a little more meaningful to me personally.” With accompaniment by the Jug Band members Fritz Richmond on washtub bass and Mel Lyman on harmonica, Kweskin delivered a set just as diverse as his records with the full Jug Band, encompassing traditional folk standards, blues, gospel, African music, and more. Mel Lyman’s original, stream-of-consciousness liner notes (also included here) describe an uproarious, impromptu jam session in the Vanguard studios from which much of this record was taken; the rest comes from a live date recorded at Cambridge’s Club 47 a year or two earlier. Remastering by Mike Milchner at SonicVision and copious Kweskin quotes in the notes present this fine folk album—which sees its first domestic release to retail—in its best light.
Real Gone Music is proud to present what is probably the rarest album in the voluminous Duke Ellington discography, his 1963 date with Swedish singer Alice Babs, Serenade to Sweden. That year, Ellington was hired by the Reprise label as an A&R man, free to sign any artist he wanted and to record them. His first choice was Babs, who, in Ellington’s words, was “the most unique artist I know…She sings opera, she sings lieder, she sings what we call jazz and blues, she sings like an instrument, she even yodels, and she can read any and all of it!” For her part, Babs (born Hildur Alice Nilson) had a hit in Sweden when was only 15 (“Swing It Teacher”), and was an iconic figure in her homeland, appearing in 14 Swedish films from 1938 to 1959. The result of this meeting of legendary musical minds was a sublime cool jazz masterpiece that, sadly, never received a proper release in the U.S. and appears to be the only Ellington album never to be reissued on CD or even digitally, having eluded even the most comprehensive compilers. Needless to say, original copies go for big Swedish krona online, and not just because it’s rare; Babs’ wordless vocals and scat singing on “The Boy in My Dreams,” “Strange Visitor,” and “Babsie” are positively Ella-worthy, and Ellington’s masterful arrangements—at times filigreed with a French horn section—provide the perfect accompaniment. We’ve added liner notes by Scott Yanow, while the album boasts remastering by Aaron Kannowski. Fascinating for any jazz fan—essential for Ellington enthusiasts!
Soft Machine was one of the first prog-rock bands, but if your vision of prog-rock consists of musicians wreathed in pot smoke airily singing of fairies and wizards, it will be summarily dispelled by this fantastic “authorized bootleg,” which captures the band in March 1969 at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, playing material that was to be released six months later on Soft Machine: Volume Two. The trio of Robert Wyatt on drums and vocals, Mike Ratledge on organ, and Hugh Hopper on bass launch what can only be called a high-decibel, jazz-rock sonic assault; “Like vindaloo for the ears” is how Hopper puts it on the accompanying notes on the inner sleeve, adding, “I do remember playing incredibly loud, Mike on fuzz organ and me on fuzz bass, both through hundred-watt Marshall stacks.” Some of the frenzied instrumental passages on Live at the Paradiso might recall Miles Davis’ Agharta-era band, but remember, this is a trio making all this racket (in 1969, no less); Soft Machine at this point in time were on a journey all their own. This is the first-ever vinyl release of this notorious concert, and it comes on “soft” purple vinyl limited to 1000 copies. Anybody interested in just how far out rock got in the late ‘60s will want to give this repeated listens.
She is one of the Top Ten charting female country singers of all time, the first to win an American Music Award, the first to headline and sell out Madison Square Garden, and was a regular on TV including everything from The Lawrence Welk Show to The Tonight Show to Starsky & Hutch. Now, Real Gone Music is proud to present a collection that finally does justice to the superstar career of Lynn Anderson: 40 tracks, 38 hits, all of her classic Chart and Columbia sides, lovingly remastered by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios and annotated by Joe Marchese. The Definitive Collection starts with her first hit, “Ride, Ride, Ride,” and continues with every other notable song, including “Rose Garden,” “You’re My Man,” “How Can I Unlove You,” “What a Man, My Man Is,” “Keep Me in Mind,” “Mother, May I” (with her mother, Liz Anderson), “That’s a No No,” “Cry,” “Listen to a Country Song,” “Fool Me,” and many more hits both major and minor. Great, great ‘70s country from an oft-overlooked artist (why isn’t Lynn in the Country Music Hall of Fame?)!