Real Gone Music have announced their reissue campaign for next month will include releases from Ricky Nelson, Mark Lindsay, Sean Bonniwell, Hank Thompson, McGough & McGear (from Scaffold), funk star Eddie Hazel and Red Bird Records girl groups.
Conqueroo sent over these details: Rick Nelson’s The Complete Epic Recordings and Mark Lindsay’s The Complete Columbia Singles headline the February release schedule for Real Gone Music, the new indie label helmed by reissue veterans Gordon Anderson and Gabby Castellana. The February rollout will include the late Sean Bonniwell’s only solo album, Close (recorded under the name T.S. Bonniwell) and Hank Thompson’s classic Songs for Rounders on 160-gram vinyl, plus CDs by Eddie Hazel and McGough & McGear. Also in February is the anthology The Red Bird Girls: Very First Time in True Stereo, a collection of early ’60s girl group recordings from Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s label.
Rick Nelson’s short, late-’70s tenure at Epic Records was a creative and productive period for him, but one might not know it from what has been released in the U.S. He recorded three albums worth of material but only 1977’s Intakes was released during his lifetime. The next Epic album, the Al Kooper-produced Back to Vienna, was never released at all. And its follow-up, Rockabilly Renaissance, a return to Nelson’s rockabilly roots and a forerunner to the alt-country movement, was released posthumously in heavily overdubbed form as Memphis Sessions. The Real Gone compilation The Complete Epic Recordings, due out February 28, 2012, will mark the first time 11 of the 41 tracks will be released in the U.S., and the first time these three albums have appeared on CD in the U.S. The volume was produced and annotated by Rick Nelson expert James Ritz, and Rockabilly Renaissance restored to its original sound by Richard Weize.
After a spectacularly successful stint as lead singer and saxophonist for Paul Revere & the Raiders, Mark Lindsay commenced a solo career for Columbia that cemented his reputation and legacy with a string of hits. With Real Gone’s The Complete Columbia Singles, all of his singles for the label — plus an unreleased track, Tim Hardin’s composition “Reason to Believe,” that was slated to be the B-side of Lindsay’s first solo single — have been collected on CD in chronological order. This means mono on the first five tracks and stereo on the rest. All have the original single mixes. The accompanying booklet features photos from Lindsay’s archive and liner notes by Ed Osborne, with interviews with Lindsay, Jerry Fuller, Artie Butler and Tom Bahler, all of whom worked on the singles. Street date is February 28.
T.S. Bonniwell is best known as leader of the ’60s garage band the Music Machine (“Talk Talk”). Close is his long-lost, sole solo album. Seldom has an artist made a career shift as abrupt as that made on this 1969 Capitol release, which finds Bonniwell trading the crashing rock sounds of his previous outfit for deeply introspective and melancholy lyrics and melodies inflected with touches of flamenco, bossa nova, horns and strings. While the album didn’t sell in its own time, it has become a serious collector’s item. Bonniwell retired from music directly afterwards, but returned to remix and lend quotes to the notes for the reissue shortly before his untimely death from cancer last month. Real Gone is honored to release this highly personal manifesto from this visionary artist on February 21.
The late ’50s were a time of crushing conformity, well-manicured lawns, white picket fences and men in gray suits. Not in country legend Hank Thompson’s world, however. With its tales of drunkenness, prostitution, drug abuse, gambling and vagrancy — not to mention a notorious album cover — Thompson’s 1959 Songs for Rounders remains one of country’s essential albums. Real Gone will reissue it February 28 in stereo in its original format, remastered by Maria Triana and lacquer-cut by Peter Black on 160-gram vinyl, with liner notes by Grammy® winner Colin Escott. Sessions for the album began when Capitol country A&R head Ken Nelson urged Thompson to record a song, “Cocaine Blues,” that highlighted his live show. Realizing it had no airplay potential, it became part of an album concept. This album wasn’t part of the Outlaw Country movement, but it certainly raised some hackles on Music Row.
Roger McGough & Mike McGear were members of the Scaffold, the British music/comedy act that scored a hit with “Thank U Very Much.” The duo album was recorded in 1967 and has become a prime collectible over the years, in part because McGear’s real name is Mike McCartney (brother of Paul), and in part because of the album’s A-list guest list. His better-known brother appears on the album, as do Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall, Spencer Davis, Paul Samwell-Smith and Graham Nash. This essential bit of obscure ’60s pop culture, with notes by Richie Unterberger, will be issued on CD for the first time in the U.S. on February 21.
The Red Bird Girls, a collection of 20 tracks discovered deep in the vaults of Leiber & Stoller’s Red Bird label, features such artists as Ellie Greenwich, Evie Sands, the Goodies, the Jelly Beans, the Dixie Cups, the Ad-Libs, the Bouquets and more — each track appearing in stereo for the first time. Among the gems here are a newly discovered Greenwich track written by Neil Diamond, “Call Me His”; Bessie Banks’ version of “Go Now,” which would later be a hit for the Moody Blues; and Sands’ take on “I Can’t Let Go,” ditto the Hollies. Remastered and mixed into stereo from the original tapes by Ron Furmanek; a 16-page booklet contains interviews with selected artists plus producer Brooks Arthur. Street date is February 21.
As a 17-year-old, Eddie Hazel found himself playing guitar in funk mothership Parliament/Funkadelic with George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell. His 1977 Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs is one of the great lost guitar albums of all time, with production by Clinton and Hazel, and appearances by many of the P-Funk all-stars. Real Gone will issue it with a gatefold wallet CD sleeve and liner notes on February 21.