Sunday , April 14 2024
Is this really the best the record industry can do?

New Album Releases 10/16/07: R.E.M., Luther, Hendrix, The Queen Of Soul, And More Reissues Than You Can Shake A Christmas Tree At

Welcome to this week's edition of the New Album Release roundup, in which we ask the million-dollar question:

Is this really the best the record companies can do?

The last time I checked the calendar, we were at about nine weeks and counting until Christmas. This is supposed to be the time of year that the major labels (as well as the independents) come out with both barrels blazing as far as the new releases go. Yet, what we have here — after a promising start to October with Springsteen, Dylan, Fogerty, Foo Fighters, Joni Mitchell, etc. back at the beginning of the month — is the second week in a row of slim pickings.

After last week's most talked about release — Radiohead's In Rainbows — not even being an album you'd could buy at retail, you'd think the major labels could do better than a live R.E.M. CD this week. But as far as "big guns" go, the 2-CD/1-DVD set R.E.M. Live pretty much leads the pack here.

Don't get me wrong here, because I actually like R.E.M. a lot — although I'd probably have to go as far as back as something like New Adventures In Hi-Fi to remember actually buying one of their CDs. I haven't heard this new live disc, although I did read a decent, if slightly lukewarm review of it, right here on Blogcritics just yesterday. My advice here would be to read that review, and make up your own mind.

Speaking of reviews, there is another good one here on the site of the new four-CD box set from Luther Vandross. I'm not a huge fan of Vandross, although I've been told that the ladies adore the late, great R&B love man. His new Love, Luther sounds like it's a pretty complete retrospective, and according to the usual very reliable sources, one that was very well put together. Again, consult the review.

Leading the repackaged material from the vaults this week is a double-CD set capturing the coveted-by-fans Atlantic Records material from the Queen Of Soul herself. Aretha Franklin's Rare & Unreleased Recordings from the Golden Reign of the Queen of Soul is said to include a treasure trove of rarities and B-sides from the years which most critics and fans alike agree was her peak period. If anyone here is reading, I wouldn't mind seeing Aretha in my own Christmas stocking this year.

Another reissue that could be promising is the Hendrix estate's revamped version of Jimi Hendrix's complete Live At Monterey, which features the great guitarist's legendary performance at the 1967 rock festival which established his career in America, after he had already conquered Britain.

Other reissues and retrospective packages out this week include Santana's Ultimate Santana, as well as several albums from the catalog of Love Sculpture, which was the early psychedelic blues-rock band led by guitarist Dave Edmunds.

Rounding out the highlights this week are the return of emo/alternative band Jimmy Eat World (Chase This Light), while Toby Keith loads the presents into the Ford pickup truck for A Classic Christmas.

At least next week, we'll have a new Neil Young to talk about.

Here are all of this week's new album releases courtesy of All Music Guide:

Aretha Franklin
Rare & Unreleased Recordings from the Golden Reign of the Queen of Soul
Deep Soul, Soul, Southern Soul, Pop

Jimmy Eat World
Chase This Light
Alternative Pop/Rock, Emo

Oblivion with Bells
Techno, Acid Techno, Club/Dance

Alabama 3
One Little Indian
Electronica, Alternative Pop/Rock, Trip-Hop

Cecilia Bartoli
Romantic & Classical Vocal Music

Behold… The Arctopus
Metal Blade
Progressive Metal, Speed Metal

The Blakes
The Blakes
Light in the Attic
Indie Rock

The Capstan Shafts
Environ Maiden
Rainbow Quartz
Indie Pop, Lo-Fi

Natalie Clein
Elgar: Cello Concerto
EMI Classics
Post-Romantic Cello Music

Edwyn Collins
Home Again
Indie Pop, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

DJ Spooky
Creation Rebel
Sanctuary Trojan Us
Contemporary Reggae, Downtempo, Roots Reggae, Dancehall

Juan Diego Florez
Arias for Rubini
Romantic Opera Arias

The Fray
Reason EP
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, American Trad Rock

Stephen Fretwell
Man on the Roof
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Folk-Rock

Gov't Mule
Mighty High
Southern Rock, Hard Rock, Blues-Rock, Rock & Roll

Peter Grant
Adult Contemporary, Standards, Traditional Pop, Vocal Pop

Grit Boys
Ghetto Reality in Texas
MoBetta Music/TVT
Southern Rap, Hardcore Rap

The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Live at Monterey
Experience Hendrix
Album Rock, Psychedelic, Hard Rock, Blues-Rock, Acid Rock

Extreme Behavior (Deluxe Edition) (CD/DVD)

Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette
My Foolish Heart: Live at Montreux
Hard Bop, Post-Bop, Bop

Jeru the Damaja
Still Rising
East Coast Rap, Hip-Hop

Joan of Arc
Orchard Vale Soundtrack
Record Label
Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia

Toby Keith
A Classic Christmas
Show Dog Nashville
Contemporary Country, Christmas, Holiday

Make Sure They See My Face
Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock

The Launderettes
Fluff 'n' Fold: The Best of the Launderettes
Wicked Cool Record
Garage Rock Revival

Love Sculpture
Blues Helping
Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Blues-Rock

Love Sculpture
Forms & Feelings
Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Blues-Rock

Moros Eros
Jealous Me Was Killed by Curiosity
Indie Rock

Trio Mediaeval
Folk Songs
Traditional Norwegian Folksongs

Pet Shop Boys
Disco 4
Alternative Dance, Club/Dance, Dance-Pop

Pieces of Peace
Pieces of Peace
Quannum Projects
Funk, Soul

R.E.M. Live
Warner Bros.
College Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Ultimate Santana
Arista/Columbia Legacy
Latin Rock, Album Rock, Pop/Rock, Fusion, Hard Rock, Blues-Rock

It's Not How Far You Fall, It's the Way You Land
Red Ink/Columbia
Electronica, Downbeat

Steel Train
Drive Thru
Indie Rock, American Trad Rock

Angie Stone
The Art of Love and War
Neo-Soul, Contemporary R&B

The Alchemy Index, Vols. 1-2
Post-Hardcore, Punk Revival, Screamo

Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza
Danza II: The Electric Boogaloo
Metal Blade
Thrash, Grindcore, Punk Metal

Umphrey's McGee
Live at the Murat
Sci Fidelity
Jam Bands, Prog-Rock/Art Rock

Luther Vandross
Love, Luther
Contemporary R&B, Adult Contemporary

Various Artists
Alex Shapiro: Notes from the Kelp
Contemporary Chamber Music

Various Artists
City of Dreams: A Collection of New Orleans Music
New Orleans Brass Bands, Jazz Blues, New Orleans R&B, New Orleans Jazz, New Orleans Blues, Piano Blues

Various Artists
Coolest Songs in the World, Vol. 3
Wicked Cool Record
Garage Rock Revival, Garage Rock

Various Artists
Summer Records Anthology 1974-1988
Light in the Attic
Roots Reggae, Dub, Reggae-Pop

Ben Webster
Dig Ben!
Swing, Mainstream Jazz

About Glen Boyd

Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ, released in May 2012 by Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard Publishing. He is a former BC Music Editor and current contributor, whose work has also appeared in SPIN, Ultimate Classic Rock, The Rocket, The Source and other publications. You can read more of Glen's work at the official Neil Young FAQ site. Follow Glen on Twitter and on Facebook.

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