Sony Legacy Record Store Day 2018
Record Store Day 2018 is in the books, and EXCLUSIVE MAGAZINE wants to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who went out to the stores on Saturday, April 21st to support and celebrate them.
We hope you found something you loved to take home with you, whether that was something released exclusively for Record Store Day or something fantastic from what they regularly stock.
Yes, every day should be Record Store Day, so we encourage you to make stopping by your favorite record store AND stopping by this website a regular thing - because we'll be telling you about awesome things going on at record stores all year long!
Today we are highlighting, and reviewing, fifteen (15) Record Store Day 2018 vinyl releases that were kindly sent to us for review from Sony Legacy Recordings.
As there were 29 releases on 7” and 12” vinyl, as well as cassette, this extraordinary collection of titles is Legacy’s largest release slate in 11 years of celebrating Record Store Day with independent record retailers across the globe.
Reviewing those that were sent to us below, please know the remainder of the released titles are all listed and accounted for at the base of this article.
Legacy Recordings’ Live From The Vaults series uncovers rare and unreleased concerts on vinyl, featuring classic bootleg-inspired jacket design with unique, artist-specific outer wraps (OBIs)! For this RSD 2018, they lovingly unearthed live shows from Soul Asylum, Hot Tuna and Living Colour.
Hot Tuna - 'Live At The New Orleans House, Berkley California, September 1969' (2LP – First Time on Vinyl).
Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane first conceived Hot Tuna as a loose, easygoing side project showcasing the duo’s favorite pre-war country and blues songs in an intimate, acoustic style.
'Live At The New Orleans House' features alternate performances from the same week long run of shows in Berkeley, California that were used for the band’s self-titled debut in 1970.
Whether you're a fan of Hot Tuna or not, there's no escaping the fact that this live collection - one that was recorded in September 1969, but only ever first made available to the public back in April 2010 - showcases one of the finest live bands we've ever witnessed.
Along with harmonica player Will Scarlett, Jorma Kaukonen sings and plays acoustic guitar, and Jack Casady plays bass guitar. So what we get, now spread over two delicious vinyl LPs for the very first time, is Kaukonen's truly amazing technical facility on the acoustic guitar alongside the perfectly blended funky electric bass lines from Casady.
Chock full of utterly contemporary interpretations of blues, rags, and folk songs, these live performances flow spontaneously and organically from start to finish, clocking in at a full 68 minutes without a weak moment to be found.
Side A: 1. 'Come Back Baby' 2. 'Keep On Truckin' 3. 'Death Don't Have No Mercy'
Side B: 1. Winin' Boy Blues' 2. 'Uncle Sam Blues' 3. 'Know Your Rider' 4. 'Don't You Leave Me Here'
Side C: 1. 'Never Happen No More' 2. 'How Long Blues' 3. 'True Religion'
Side d: 1. 'Sea Child' 2. 'Candy Man' 3. 'Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning'
Living Colour - 'Live At CBGB’s, 12.19.89' (LP – First Time on Vinyl).
For the first time on LP, experience Living Colour’s triumphant homecoming set at the legendary New York City punk club. Recorded at the end of the tour promoting the group’s smash debut album Vivid, this hard-driving set also previews songs from the band’s next album, Time’s Up, released in the summer of 1990.
Personally, I've loved everything that Living Colour have ever done. There's just something about their music, their style, their musical swagger that I grew up with and hooked onto.
Therefore, it was a real pleasure to get this physically to review as spread over two vinyl LPs for the first time ever, it's a flashback to a time when, maybe for us all, things were better in our world.
In truth, when their debut album, from where a lot of these tracks are born, burst onto the scene in 1988 there was really nothing like it. They hit a home run right out of the gate with the big hit single 'Cult of Personality,' and backed it up with quality cuts such as 'Middle Man,' and the highly underrated 'Open Letter To A Landlord.'
The passion these guys exude in this live performance seeps through the speakers like sweat on a stinking hot day, as they leave no note unturned. For me, it's the blazing opener, 'Cult of Personality' that first kickstart's the head and heart, but a brilliant showing of both 'Funny Vibe' and 'Solace of You' also have me standing to applaud.
Side A: 1. 'Cult of Personality' 2. 'Pride' 3. 'Someone Like You'
Side B: 1. 'Fight The Fight' 2. 'Funny Vibe' 3. 'Sailin' On' 4. 'Information Overload'
Side C: 1. 'Love Rears It's Ugly Head' 2. 'Soldier's Blues' 3. 'Open Letter To A Landlord'
Side D: 1. 'Solace Of You' 2. 'Middle Man' 3. 'Little Lies'
Soul Asylum – 'Live From Liberty Lunch, Austin TX, December 3, 1992' (2LP – Previously Unreleased – First Time on Vinyl)
This never-before-heard set features Soul Asylum’s hard-driving performance at the legendary Austin venue Liberty Lunch, just months after the release of their breakthrough album Grave Dancers Union.
One of the better band's to come out of Minneapolis, and sure, most people purchased their stand-out album Grave Digger's Reunion purposefully for 'Runaway Train,' but that album, much like this blistering live set, also contains airplay gems such as 'Black Gold' and 'Someone To Shove.'
Sadly, aside from the aforementioned 'Runaway Train,' Soul Asylum didn't have too many hit's in the '90s, but this live set, spread over two vinyl LPs is a stunning recollection of a band that could have been so much more (but their decade ran out, sadly).
Side A: 'Without A Trace' (4:08) 'All The Kings Friends' (3:08) 'Sometime To Return' (3:40) 'Veil Of Tears' (4:13) 'Get On Out' (4:07)
Side B: 'Runaway Train' (4:42) 'Black Gold' (4:06) 'Cartoon' (4:09) 'Somebody To Shove' (3:21)
Side C: 'Nice Guys' (5:31) 'April Fool' (4:53) 'To Sir With Love' (3:09) 'Gullibles Travels' (4:26)
Side D: 'Don’t Cry To Me' (5:38) 'Keep It Up' (4:26) '99%' (3:49) 'Closer To The Stars' (3:11)
Johnny Mathis - 'I Love My Lady' (LP – Clear Smoke Vinyl – First Time on Vinyl)
In 1982, Johnny Mathis attempted one of the biggest gambles of his lengthy career: an album of disco-ready funk and bossa nova tracks, written and produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, the founders of CHIC and hitmakers for Sister Sledge, Diana Ross and others.
Unreleased for more than 35 years, the legend of I Love My Lady looms large. First released in Mathis’ 2017 career-spanning CD box set The Voice of Romance: The Columbia Original Album Collection, I Love My Lady now makes its standalone debut, pressed on clear smoke vinyl and packaged in a jacket that captures the look and feel of a 1982 vintage Columbia Records release.
With all the 8 tracks for the album having been written by the aforementioned duo, it's been said that Mathis himself was once quoted as having enjoyed the project: "What a joy to work and sing with Bernard and Nile. A unique experience that introduced me to new and exciting singing, as though using musical notes and phrases as brush strokes. A true departure for me as a vocalist and a milestone in my career."
Sadly, the album never saw the light of day until 2017 when included in his box-set, but that said, it is still a formidable, if not uneven album from the great man.
An album of less funk than Rodgers and Edwards were previously known for (ala CHIC) and more jazz (ala Weather Report), I Love My Lady is an album chock full of bright melodic hooks; but stops short of being a renowned Mathis sound, that's all.
Now released as an amazing clear smoke vinyl album, for the very first time, Mathis has recently said about the musical arc of the album, "That was just stuff that was happening at the moment and I’m glad I did it.” Mathis, 82, added, "It was a learning process, though. It was like: tell me what to do and I’ll try to do it.”
Indeed, four of the eight tracks from the album have made their way onto compilations by Rodgers, which shows that, for the most part, most of the album still sounds good to the co-producer.
Side A: 1. 'Fall In Love (I Want To)' 2. 'It's Alright to Love Me' 3. 'Something to Sing About' 4. 'I Love My Lady'
Side B: 1. 'Take Me' 2. 'Judy' 3. 'Stay with Me' 4. 'Love and Be Loved'
Kenny Loggins - 'Return To Pooh Corner' (LP – Purple Swirl Vinyl – First Time on Vinyl)
Kenny Loggins’ 1994 children’s album featured tender, gentle renditions of songs like 'Rainbow Connection,' 'Somewhere Out There' and 'Pure Imagination,' plus a re-recording of Loggins & Messina’s classic 'House At Pooh Corner.'
This album (featuring guest appearances by David Crosby, Graham Nash and Amy Grant) makes its LP debut, pressed on purple swirl vinyl; and boy, what a delightful album this still is.
Let's make no bones about this, for the original album was a very successful album for Loggins, selling over 500,000 copies, and was even nominated for a Grammy. For the record (all pun intended), Loggins also returned to Pooh Corner several years later with 2000's More Songs from Pooh Corner.
I personally consider these mostly classic compositions, beautiful and simple; some written for movies, some haunting standards and a few written by contemporary singers for their own children.
Of all the things my kids and I have done together, the quiet times of night-songs and bedtime snuggles will endure as my most precious memories. And this album worked its way seamlessly into those loving moments.
Loggins creates heartfelt music to sooth the soul, of that you can count on here. And whilst his version of 'Rainbow Connection' is, perhaps, not as memorable as Kermit's, it is pretty close!
Side A: 1. 'All The Pretty Little Ponies' 2. 'Neverland Medley' 3. 'Return To Pooh Corner' 4. 'Rainbow Connection' 5. 'St. Judy's Comet'
Side B: 1. 'The Last Unicorn' 2. 'Cody's Song' 3. 'The Horses' 4. 'Love' 5. 'To-Ra-Loo-Ra'
Circle Jerks - 'Gig' (LP)
Released during a four-year hiatus for the seminal Los Angeles punk band, Gig features live highlights from the group’s tenure on the Combat label during the latter half of the 1980s.
For those not in the know, the Circle Jerks were an American hardcore punk band, formed in 1979 in Los Angeles, California. The group was founded by former Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris and Redd Kross guitarist Greg Hetson.
The band broke up and re-formed three times, sometimes with different bassists and/or drummers. They disbanded for the first time after the release of their fifth album, 1987's VI, as Hetson decided to continue touring and releasing albums with Bad Religion.
They reunited around 1994 and recorded a reunion album, Oddities, Abnormalities and Curiosities, during the following year, followed by a tour. After that, the Circle Jerks once again parted ways as Hetson was still involved in Bad Religion. They reunited again c. 2001, but as of 2010, are on hiatus.
To date, Circle Jerks have released six studio albums, one compilation, a live album and a live DVD. Their last studio album, Oddities, Abnormalities and Curiosities, was released in 1995 and was the band's only reunion album to date.
The aforementioned RSD release Gig is now available on vinyl for the first time in the United States, and features newly-restored album packaging.
It's truly unfortunate how underrated the Circle Jerks have become over the years. Too many have dismissed them for being too poppy, not being hardcore enough or as being too childish. I find that most people who describe them that way only have a cursory knowledge of one of the greatest punk bands ever.
In fact, listening to their lyrics here on this 22 track live Gig album and you'll instantly note that said lyrics are smart, their music makes sense, and most importantly (and which rarely happens nowadays) you can hear the band having FUN on stage!
Gig is an outstanding example of just why I love this band and a nice refresher course covering all but their 1995 album. I was never fortunate enough to see them live, yet, so, the amazing part is how tight this band was on stage. Keith, Zander, Keith C. and Greg don't miss a note. Even better, the sound recording is top notch. Excellent car jammin' album.
Side A: 1. 'Beat Me Senseless' 2. 'High Price On Our Heads' 3. 'Letter Bomb' 4. 'In Your Eyes' 5. 'Making The Bombs' 6. 'All Wound Up' 7. 'Coup D'Etat' 8. 'Mrs. Jones' 9. 'Back Against The Wall' 10. 'Casualty Vampires' 11. 'I Don't'
Side B: 1. 'Making Time' 2. 'Junk Mail' 3. 'I, I & I' 4. 'World Up My Ass' 5. 'I Just Want Some Skank' 6. 'Beverly Hills' 7. 'The Crowd' 8. 'When The Shit Hits The Fan' 9. 'Deny Everything' 10. 'Wonderful' 11. 'Wild In The Streets'
Eddie Murphy - 'Eddie Murphy: Comedian' (LP)
Recorded in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1983, Saturday Night Live superstar Eddie Murphy’s raucous, no-holds-barred stand-up set tackled family barbecues, ice cream trucks and Reaganomics with the one-of-a-kind energy that quickly established him as one of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars.
That set became the acclaimed stand-up special Delirious and the album Eddie Murphy: Comedian, a Grammy Award winner for Best Comedy Album—now back on vinyl for the first time in more than 30 years!
Well, if you've never heard of either this album or the now infamous Delirious stand up routine, you must have had your head buried in the sand for the past 30+ years, that's all I say!
The landmark stand-up album from Murphy's 1983 live performance, Eddie Murphy: Comedian is as good as it gets; save for Delirious, of course. And I keep saying that as the full concert of this performance was released as a 1983 HBO special called, well, you know ... Eddie Murphy Delirious.
As for this album, well, it's a classic '80s comedy album, that's for sure. As I'm sure you are all well aware by now, it does have a substantial amount of swearing; which may offend some people, even today (maybe even more so, in truth!).
Indeed, for those of you who have seen Delirious, a lot of the main stuff from that video is on this album, as noted, and, for me, the Mr T material is, of course, as classic today as his Mick Jagger impression!
But yeah, a lot of the comedy is rather dated, but it does reflect the times of the '80s. The Aids stuff especially related to the fear and unknown aspects of the disease at the time. I found it interesting his description of Michael Jackson truly nails the self-proclaimed King of Pop's personality in the early '80s.
There's a fair bit of prejudice jokes against homosexuals, women and other races, but if you can overlook that, those jokes are pretty funny; but not for everyone, especially today, sadly.
Side A: 1. 'Faggots Revisited/Sexual Prime' (8:09) 2. 'Singers' (10:04) 3. 'Ice Cream Man/Shoe Throwin' Mothers' (5:52) 4. 'Modern Women' (2:16)
Side B: 1. 'The Barbecue' (12:44) 2. 'The Fart Game' (1:55) 3. 'Politics/Racism' (4:34) 4. 'Languages' (2:13) 5. 'TV' (2:25)
Various Artists - 'Dogfish Head Brewery: Music To Drink Beer and Make Love To' (LP)
Dogfish Head Brewery and Legacy Recordings’ ongoing Music To Drink Beer To series is a Record Store Day tradition — and this year’s entry offers a perfect playlist for refreshment as well as romance!
Get in the mood with tracks from Teddy Pendergrass, Ginuwine, Jeff Buckley, Bill Withers, A Tribe Called Quest, Nina Simone and many more here on Volume 4 of this now-infamous series.
Personally, I'd never heard of this series, but wow, I'm in LOVE with it now, believe me! Indeed, I've spun both sides four times in a row, back to back, flipping over the vinyl each time and I'm still considering one more of each for the night!
Containing, as the label says, music to drink beer to and make love to, we have 14 songs that range from Blue Öyster Cult's 'Burnin' For You (Single Version)' and Redbone's 'Come And Get Your Love (Single Version), on through to Nina Simone's 'I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl' and Teddy Pendergrass' always-excellent-to-hear 'Turn off the Lights (Single Version), and it even rounds out with a fantastic early '90s flashback gem in TLC's 'Red Light Special (Single Version).'
Side A: 1. 'I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl' (Nina Simone) 2. 'Sixty Minute Man (Single Version)' (The Trammps) 3. 'Hey, Good Lookin' (Mose Allison) 4. 'Burnin’ For You (Single Version)' (Blue Öyster Cult) 5. 'Use Me' (Bill Withers) 6. 'Electric Relaxation [Properly Relaxed Mix]' (A Tribe Called Quest vs. Propellerheads) 7.' Turn off the Lights (Single Version)' (Teddy Pendergrass)
Side B: 1. 'I Want Someone Badly' (Jeff Buckley) 2. 'Pony (Single Version)' (Ginuwine) 3. 'Am I Grooving You' (Freddie Scott) 4. 'Between the Sheets (Single Version)' (The Isley Brothers) 5. 'Sweet Sue, Just You' (The Johnny Watson Trio) 6. 'Come and Get Your Love [Single Version]' (Redbone) 7. 'Red Light Special (Single Version)' (TLC)
Various Artists - 'Universal Love: Wedding Songs Reimagined' (LP)
'Universal Love: Wedding Songs Reimagined' brings us six classic love songs with a modern twist as Bob Dylan, Kesha, Ben Gibbard, St. Vincent, Valerie June and Kele Okereke flip the gender pronouns on their heads.
Originally conceived by MGM Resorts who were hoping to create "wedding anthems for same-sex couples", this is, quite easily, one of the most highly inventive musical ventures that I have had the pleasure to review in a long, long time.
So, what we have here are six well-known musicians delivering fresh interpretations of familiar tunes, but swapping out “he” and “she” pronouns, and then pairing them with a same-sex voice.
I know, right! How inventive is that. Dylan, for example, brings his unmistakable croak and impeccable phrasing to 'He’s Funny That Way,' a 1928 song performed by various male and female artists over the years using both “he” and “she” within.
Also featuring an exposed-piano verse that pays homage to the iconic Billie Holiday recording, blending the two into a gender-bending musical dialogue with the song’s own history, that's just the first song that kickstart's all this!
Another stand out, for my money just happens to be the next track, St. Vincent’s take on 'Then He Kissed Me,' the jangling Phil Spector girl pop number made famous by The Crystals in 1963. Here it now gets a grungy electro treatment sung by a modern pop-rock goddess, and The Temptations’ 1964 hit 'My Girl' becomes 'My Guy' - thanks to Kele Okereke of Bloc Party, in a modern plunky interpretation.
On Side B, the much-recorded 1932 standard 'Mad About the Boy' gets redone as a bluesy 'Mad About the Girl' by Americana songstress Valerie June, the 1964 minimalist bongo-driven pop track 'And I Love Her' (by The Beatles) becomes a dreamy indie trip now in 'And I Love Him' (by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service).
The album then wraps up seamlessly with Kesha standing high and mighty, and rightfully so, performing her rendition of Janis Joplin’s 1968 performance of 'I Need a Man to Love' (now 'I Need a Woman to Love,' of course). As front woman of Big Brother & the Holding Company, Kesha keeps the song more on the original tracks than the others here, but still manages to make pieces of it her own.
Side A: 1. Bob Dylan – 'He’s Funny That Way' 2. St. Vincent – 'And Then She Kissed Me' 3. Kele Okereke – 'My Guy'
Side B: 1. Valerie June – 'Mad About The Girl' 2. Ben Gibbard – 'And I Love Him' 3. Kesha – 'I Need A Woman To Love'
Eurythmics - '1984 (For The Love of Big Brother)' (LP)
To be released on vinyl in the U.S. only for Record Store Day, the mostly-instrumental soundtrack to the British film adaptation of George Orwell’s renowned dystopian novel (also released in 1984) is one of Eurythmics’ most experimental works, as well as one of the duo’s personal favorites.
Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart’s diverse electronic stylings accentuate the dark mood of the film, and 'Sexcrime (1984)' — which was met with controversy from U.S. radio for its perceived content — became the duo’s sixth consecutive U.K. Top 10 hit.
So, not only released on vinyl in the U.S. only for Record Store Day, but on special limited edition Red Coloured vinyl, newly mastered from the original 1/4" tapes, PLUS all overseen and approved by both Stewart and Lennox, this RSD release (which also comes complete with redesigned sleeve artwork and a download code) is as good as it gets for us Eurythmics fans!
For those not in the know, Eurythmics actually abandoned their normal pop synth format here to venture into the realm of the concept album. Indeed, they concentrate on the theme of Orwell's story, deviating only for an instant with 'Sexcrime' - which was clearly designed to grab airtime.
A thread of constant paranoia invades the album, and it stays true to Orwell's claustrophobic portrayal of a society bent upon absolute totalitarian control. I especially felt that "DoublePlusGood" and "Room101" accomplished this very well.
In fact, "DoublePlusGood"s rapid fire newscaster distillation of issues to simple goods, bads, plusgoods, etc, building to an almost orgasmic(ly) cheerful ending of repeated good, good doubleplusgood, was delivered with the same cheer and artificiality as Seattle's 'King 5 News; which made me wonder exactly how deep the connection ran.
That said, it's been noted that a piece of 'Ministry of Love' serves as background for a large portion of the movie's background. And, of course, 'Julia' plays during the ending credits, so perhaps it might have been a bit more accurate to title this brilliant album, Music From and Inspired by; but, that's all water under the bridge now.
Side A: 1. 'I Did It Just The Same' 2. 'Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)' 3. 'For The Love Of Big Brother' 4. 'Winston's Diary' 5. 'Greetings From A Dead Man'
Side B: 1. 'Julia' 2. 'DoublePlusGood' 3. 'Ministry Of Love' 4. 'Room 101'
Big Audio Dynamite II - 'On The Road Live ’92' (12” Single – First Time on Vinyl)
The Clash’s Mick Jones resurrected Big Audio Dynamite with a new lineup in the early 1990s, releasing The Globe, the band’s best-selling album in America, in 1991.
This five-track EP, available for the first time on vinyl, features performances from live dates in Chicago and New York—including a rendition of the band’s U.K. No. 1 single, 'Rush.'
The Clash. like many other people spread across the world, were one of my favorite bands of all time, so when, after a break, BAD was formed, I got on board. Then came BAD II, so I got back on board and as much as the music hadn't changed (unlike the personnel), it did seem a little watered down at this stage.
So, we had Big Audio Dynamite (BAD) version I from 1984–1990, and then BAD II came 1991-1993, which this live tour recording falls squarely in the middle of. With only Jones remained from the original BAD, this new lineup featured two guitarists and that made the live show's way more electric; and loud!
Their album, The Globe, featured the band's most commercially successful single, 'Rush,' whereas both 'Innocent Child' and 'The Globe' were also released as singles. Here, at a show recorded at The Ritz in NYC on April 24th, 1992 (save for the opener 'Kool-Aid,' which was recorded live by WXRT at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago on October 5th, 1991), the energy is palpable from the very start - both on stage and in the audience.
The aforementioned 'Kool-Aid' is a rampant way to start any show off, and backing it with the vibrancy of both 'Can't Wait' and 'Contact' was a masterstroke. Side B may only have two tracks, but what a pairing in both 'Innocent Child' and the pulsating 'Rush.'
Side A: 1. Kool-Aid' 2. 'Can't Wait' 3. 'Contact'
Side B: 1. 'Innocent Child' 2. 'Rush'
Aaliyah - 'Back & Forth EP' (12” Single – Purple Vinyl)
Aaliyah’s debut single 'Back & Forth' firmly established the Detroit-born singer as a bold new talent in the R&B world—one whose pivotal body of work continues to enchant new fans around the globe.
This unforgettable Top 5 hit is celebrated with a recreation of the original 12” single release on opaque purple vinyl, featuring the original version of 'Back & Forth' plus five dance mixes by Mr. Lee, R. Kelly and Ms. Mello.
Aaliyah's debut single, from her debut studio album Age Ain't Nothing But a Number couldn't have hit the amazing heights any higher than it did back in 1994.
The song was written and produced by R&B singer R. Kelly, and chronicles a teenage girl's excitement to celebrate the weekend by going to a party and having fun with her friends. Furthermore, the music video for the song was shot in her hometown of Detroit and features Aaliyah and Kelly performing in a gym with her real-life friends from high school (Kelly performs the rap in the song).
It was obvious right there and then that Aaliyah was destined to be a pop and urban smash chart presence. Her vocal styling was full of charm, her range already stunning.
Indeed, her overall approach to being perceived as hard and sexy in comparison to her peers - who seemingly struggled to be seen as hard and sexy, for the most part - was effortless; and sexy, all in it's own beautiful way.
Side A: 1. 'Back & Forth (LP Version)' 2. 'Back & Forth (Mr. Lee & R. Kelly's Remix)' 3. 'Back & Forth (Ms. Mello Remix)'
Side B: 1. 'Back & Forth (Mr. Lee's Club Mix)' 2. 'Back & Forth (Ms. Mello Instrumental)' 3. 'Back & Forth (Mr. Lee's Bonus Beats)'
Marvin Gaye - 'Sexual Healing: The Remixes' (12” Single – Red Smoke Vinyl)
In 1983, after a six-year absence from the upper reaches of the pop charts, Marvin Gaye re-established his soul supremacy with 'Sexual Healing,' an addictive romantic classic and the final pop hit of his lifetime.
This EP, pressed on red smoke vinyl, includes seven versions of this unforgettable song (several making their vinyl debuts), including the original 12” single version, a rare alternate vocal version and remixes by Ben Liebrand, Kygo, SNBRN and more.
Wow! I mean, simply put ... wow! These incredible seven remixes of Gaye's now infamous 'Sexual Healing' have revitalized within me the need to have more listens to this song in my life; and I hope it does the same for you also.
Begin a fan of Gaye, the lead up to this wondrous song is as fascinating as these remixes are, trust me. The short story is that in the winter of 1981, Gaye had relocated to Ostend, Belgium, following the end of a European tour amid financial difficulties with the Internal Revenue Service and the end of his second marriage.
Struggling with depression and cocaine addiction, Gaye had agreed to move to Ostend on the advice of longtime resident Freddy Cousaert. Whilst there he began cutting ties with his longtime recording label, Motown, and even publicly said that he would never record with the label ever again.
Over the years, Gaye had received offers from labels such as I.R.S. Records, Arista Records and Elektra Records while still with Motown; afterwards, he sought to make a deal with CBS Records after they offered him a contract. The label agreed to sign him and help clear his financial debt and sent him out on a month-long England tour between June 13 and July 1, 1981.
At the end of the tour, two of Gaye's musicians, Gordon Banks and Odell Brown, had decided to stay in Ostend as Gaye had been planning on new musical material after being exposed to reggae music while in England.
With Brown and Banks, Gaye created and composed an instrumental track that featured reggae overtones, recorded around December 1981. Gaye was still working on the track when David Ritz, then a reviewer for Rolling Stone, arrived at Ostend to locate Gaye.
Although the story has been disputed on how the lyrics to 'Sexual Healing' were devised, Ritz claims that Gaye had been viewing sadomasochism comic books and advised Gaye he needed "sexual healing". When Ritz explained to Gaye what that meant, Gaye told him to "write a poem" while Gaye came up with the melody.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Side A: 1. 'Sexual Healing (12-Inch Version)' 2. 'Sexual Healing (Alternate Vocal/Mix)' 3. 'Sexual Healing (Sexual Healing Suite Remix)'
Side B: 1. 'Sexual Healing (Kygo Remix') 2. 'Sexual Healing (SNBRN Remix)' 3. 'Sexual Healing (Felguk Remix)' 4. 'Sexual Healing (Extended Dance Mix)'
Prodigy - 'Keep It Thoro' (12" Single Vinyl Picture Disc)
As half of the iconic group Mobb Deep, Prodigy (1974-2017) was a key player in New York hip-hop’s mid-1990s renaissance, delivering in-depth, uncompromising verses about life in the Queensbridge projects.
Certified Classics honors Prodigy’s legendary and undisputed legacy with a special picture disc release using the original artwork from his debut hit solo single, 2000’s 'Keep It Thoro,' and featuring instrumental and a cappella versions of the track as well as a remix by Prodigy’s Mobb Deep partner Havoc.
Prodigy (aka Albert Johnson) was an American rapper, actor and author who died too soon, of that we all know. 'Keep It Thoro' came off his debut solo album H.N.I.C. ("Head Nigga In Charge") in 2000, and was a massive hit the moment it hit the airwaves.
Now, 'Keep It Thoro' may well have sampled Jack Mayborn's 'Disco People,' but nonetheless it was standout work from Prodigy. Furthermore, it was a characteristically ballsy way to kick off his solo career, rhyming relentlessly over a chiming piano loop from the aforementioned 1978 track from Mayborn, and boasting heavy airplay all day with no chorus on a radio single that had a horn break in place of a lyrical refrain!
Side A: 1. 'Keep It Thoro (Clean Version)' 2. 'Keep It Thoro (Main Version)' 3. 'Keep It Thoro (Instrumental)' 4.' Keep It Thoro (Main Acapella)' 5. 'Keep It Thoro (Clean Acapella)'
Side B: 1. 'Keep It Thoro (Clean Remix)' 2. 'Keep It Thoro (Main Remix)' 3. 'Keep It Thoro (Remix Instrumental)'
Van Morrison & Joey DeFrancesco - 'Close Enough for Jazz' b/w 'The Things I Used to Do' (7” Single)
This limited edition 7” single is a collaboration between legendary vocalist Van Morrison and jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco, featuring a new version of Morrison’s 'Close Enough for Jazz' and a stunning rendition of Guitar Slim’s 'The Things I Used to Do.'
As we bring this article to a close, this 7" Single (man, I still LOVE 7" Singles, let alone 12" Singles and vinyl albums!) is yet another transformation by Morrison into someone who knows his musical limitations ... and obviously has none!
The entire album, You're Driving Me Crazy (just released this past April 27th, 2018), is an incredible musical outing, as you can well imagine, so these two songs culled from it are, without a shadow of a doubt, high-class musical fodder.
That aside, the cover of this RSD 7" Single is beyond a joke imaginatively crazy brilliant and I love it so, so very much!
Side A: 'Close Enough For Jazz'
Side B: 'The Things I Used To Do'
And finally, as promised, here are all the other RSD Legacy Recording releases for you to delve into on your own time:
AC/DC - 'Back In Black' (Cassette)
Wu-Tang Clan - 'Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)' (Cassette)
Jimi Hendrix - 'Mannish Boy' b/w 'Trash Man' (7” Single)
The Allman Brothers Band - 'Live At The Atlanta Pop Festival, July 3 & 5, 1970' (4LP 12” vinyl – Individually Numbered – First Time on Vinyl)
Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock - 'It Takes Two: 30th Anniversary Edition' (LP – Red Opaque Vinyl)
Jeff Buckley - 'Live At Sin-é: Legacy Edition' (4LP 12” vinyl – Individually Numbered – First Time on Vinyl)
Johnny Cash - 'At Folsom Prison: Legacy Edition' (5LP 12” vinyl – Individually Numbered – First Time on Vinyl)
Cypress Hill - 'Black Sunday – Remixes' (12” Single)
Bob Dylan & The Grateful Dead - 'Dylan & The Dead' (LP – Red and Blue Tie-Die Vinyl)
Thelonious Monk - 'Monk' (LP)
Pink Floyd - 'The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' (Mono) (LP)
Elvis Presley - 'The King In The Ring' (2LP – Individually Numbered – Red Vinyl – First Time on Vinyl)
Rage Against The Machine - 'Democratic National Convention 2000' (LP – First Time on Vinyl)
Bruce Springsteen - 'Greatest Hits' (2LP – Individually Numbered – Red Vinyl)
Uncle Tupelo - 'No Depression – Demos' (LP – First Time on Vinyl)
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