New Releases for February 5

February looks to be a month packed with anticipated new music along with a continued focus on re-releasing music made in years gone by (some dating back to 50 years or more).
During the past several years, a group of our customers/friends have become fond of the work that a Netherlands-based Record Label has amassed and produced and Kiss The Sky has found it appropriate to feature their accomplishments by way of a special focus, soon to come here on the website and, most importantly, physically in the store by way of a Music On Vinyl (the name of the label) racking located at the end of the Rock section of the New Vinyl racks.
For more information and a look at some of the Music On Vinyl titles being featured and carried, go to that webpage or simply come to the store and check it out in person.

A Special Note worth repeating …
As mentioned before, New Release schedules are subject to change due to production and shipping delays and cancellations. Sometimes we find out about these occurrences, if and when they happen, at the last minute. In addition, although Import Releases may be scheduled for a particular date, the physical product often does not show up prior to, or on the date of release, but rather a week and sometimes two weeks later. Please bear that in mind when heading to the store to snag that coveted piece. We will always try to make note of those releases that are of the Import variety but we ain’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination.


Vinyl Releases

Foo Fighters Medicine At Midnight

Medicine at Midnight is the new album from the Foo Fighters, and packs nine new songs into a tight-ass 37 minutes … a “perfect” length for vinyl. This collection includes the smoldering new single, “Shame Shame.” Medicine at Midnight is produced by Greg Kurstin and Foo Fighters, and is the band’s 10th album. Foo Fighters are Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear, and Rami Jaffee.

The release comes in two versions … a very limited Indie Only version in addition to a “normal” Black Vinyl offering. Kiss The Sky is carrying both.

Arcade Fire
Reflektor

Double vinyl LP pressing in gatefold jacket. Reflektor is the fourth studio album by Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire. It was released as a double album on October 28, 2013, in Canada by Sonovox Records and in the United States by Merge Records. The album was recorded in multiple studios and was co-produced by LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy, regular Arcade Fire producer Markus Dravs, and the band themselves.

Emperor
Self-Titled

Limited vinyl LP pressing in gatefold jacket. Half-speed master.1993 EP release

Emperor
The Nightside Eclipse

Vinyl LP pressing. In The Nightside Eclipse is the band’s first album and takes on the full symphonic sound that they were best known for. This classic returns to vinyl as a half speed master done at the legendary Abbey Road studios.

Pop Smoke
Shoot For The Stars
Aim For The Moon

Pop Smoke’s legacy continues with the release of his posthumous debut album, Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon. The album finds Pop’s voice in concert with collaborators both old and new such as Quavo, Roddy Ricch, Lil Baby, and more. Staying true to his intention to use his debut album to show the breadth of his artistry, fans will discover a Pop Smoke that they had yet to see – one that is singing, stepping outside of the Brooklyn drill sound that he helped bring to a global level and more.

A BENEFIT FOR EQUALITY VOL.1

 A LIMITED EDITION LP THAT CELEBRATES BLACK ARTISTRY IN THE BLUES GENRE. A PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS WILL BENEFIT THE NAACP. LIMITED TO 500 COPIES.

Import … Music On Vinyl Release … Limited 180gm vinyl LP pressing in gatefold jacket. 22-20s is the debut self-titled album by English blues rock band 22-20s. The album was met with critical acclaim upon initial release in 2004. NME called it one of the best British rock albums of the year, praising the band’s ability to sound fresh and vital, while remaining intense.

Vinyl LP pressing. As one of the Big Four of thrash, Anthrax helped usher in a style of metal that not only dominated throughout the ’80s, but yielded the template for metal to come. Yet while their Big Four counterparts (Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer) were West Coast acts, Anthrax formed in New York City. It’s a distinction that set them apart from their peers and the group remains the most notable East Coast metal act of the era, infusing their music with some distinctly New York sensibilities – not least a CBGB-indebted punk intensity. On top of that, Anthrax’s grip on melody meant that, for all their aggression and astounding precision speed playing, they also wrote unavoidably hook-laden songs, making them a unique proposition among the thrash metal elite. 1995’s Stomp 442 was recorded with Philadelphia-based producers Butcher Brothers and finds the band in full on groove metal form readily apparent on the raw and chugging singles “Fueled” and “Nothing.”

Vinyl LP pressing. As one of the Big Four of thrash, Anthrax helped usher in a style of metal that not only dominated throughout the ’80s, but yielded the template for metal to come. Yet while their Big Four counterparts (Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer) were West Coast acts, Anthrax formed in New York City. It’s a distinction that set them apart from their peers and the group remains the most notable East Coast metal act of the era, infusing their music with some distinctly New York sensibilities – not least a CBGB-indebted punk intensity. On top of that, Anthrax’s grip on melody meant that, for all their aggression and astounding precision speed playing, they also wrote unavoidably hook-laden songs, making them a unique proposition among the thrash metal elite. 2003’s heavy and dynamic We’ve Come for You All served as Anthrax’s first studio effort with guitarist Rob Caggiano (Volbeat) and last with longtime frontman John Bush. The undiluted thrash-metal return to form also happens to feature guest appearances from none other than The Who’s Roger Daltrey and Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell for good measure.

Limited colored vinyl LP pressing. Classic Grammy winning album that contains 2 sought after classics: ‘This Masquerad’e and ‘Breezin’. Classic Grammy winning album that contains 2 sought after classics: This Masquerade and Breezin’. On blue/badge vinyl. George Benson is simply one of the greatest guitarists in jazz history, but he is also an amazingly versatile musician, and that frustrates to no end critics who would paint him into a narrow bop box. He can play in just about any style – from swing to bop to R&B to pop – with supreme taste, a beautiful rounded tone, terrific speed, a marvelous sense of logic in building solos, and, always, an unquenchable urge to swing. His inspirations may have been Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery – and he can do dead-on impressions of both – but his style is completely his own. Not only can he play lead brilliantly, he is also one of the best rhythm guitarists around, supportive to soloists and a dangerous swinger, particularly in a soul-jazz format.
Yet Benson can also sing in a lush, soulful tenor with mannerisms similar to those of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, and it is his voice that has proved to be more marketable to the public than his guitar. Benson is the guitar-playing equivalent of Nat King Cole – a fantastic pianist whose smooth way with a pop vocal eventually eclipsed his instrumental prowess in the marketplace – but unlike Cole, Benson has been granted enough time after his fling with the pop charts to reaffirm his jazz guitar credentials, which he still does at his concerts.

Limited yellow colored vinyl LP pressing. Includes digital download. 2018 release. The Beths occupy a warm, energetic sonic space between joyful hooks, sun-soaked harmonies, and acerbic lyrics. Their debut album Future Me Hates Me, produced by guitarist Jonathan Pearce, delivers an astonishment of roadtrip-ready pleasures, each song hitting your ears with an exhilarating endorphin rush. Fans of artists like Sleater-Kinney and Best Coast should remain on high alert for the first full-length from their new favorite band.

From his roots on the south side of Chicago, to his subsequent explosion onto Los Angeles ‘burgeoning Hip Hop scene, Chali 2na epitomizes the portrait of a 21st century artist. Probably best known as front man for the groups Jurassic 5 & Ozomatli, Chali 2na presents his first solo effort in a 15+ year career – Fish Outta Water. Featuring appearances from Talib Kweli, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and Stephen Marley, Anthony Hamilton, Beenie Man and others.

The Chi-Lites’ third album, “(For God’s Sake) Give More Power to the People”, finds the group tapping into the social consciousness movement of the early ’70s, presumably influenced by contemporaries like Sly & the Family Stone and fellow Chicagoan Curtis Mayfield. They had one of sweetest voices in soul music with Eugene Record, but their 1971 release showed a different side of the band, both in terms of lyrical content and production on tracks like “We Are Neighbors”. Ironically, the biggest single on the album was “Have You Seen Her?”, a sweet soul ballad which topped the R&B charts. “(For God’s Sake) Give More Power to the People” was the best album the Chi-Lites ever released, and it’s finally coming back to vinyl for the first time in decades. The music sounds better than ever on this 180gram audiophile-grade vinyl pressing, mastered from original analog tapes.

For the frist time ever on vinyl – the 1996 melodic rock classic from Chicago heroes Enuff Z’nuff!
Features brand new artwork to help this underappreciated gem find a whole new audience! Limited edition PEACH colored vinyl!

Fine Young Cannibals’ first, eponymous album, originally released in 1985, remastered for the very first time with Roland Gift’s involvement. Solid Red 140 G vinyl editon, gatefold, printed inner sleeve. The album remastered for the very first time , with Roland Gift’s involvement. Includes download card, featuring the album + 29 rare/unreleased tracks (B Sides, live, remixes). “When Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger split from the rest of the English Beat to form General Public, Andy Cox and Dave Steele originally advertised on MTV for a new lead singer for the Beat. When that didn’t pan out (although it did work for Wall of Voodoo), Cox and Steele hooked up with the unique and soulful singer Roland Gift and formed the Fine Young Cannibals. Though the trio first hit the mass U.S. consciousness with 1989’s electronic dance-pop The Raw and the Cooked, their 1985 debut was a soul-jazz pop charmer that’s more low-key but every bit as entertaining. Along the lines of early Everything But the Girl (the two groups share a producer, Robin Millar) with a heavier Motown influence, the songs on Fine Young Cannibals are uniformly strong. The singles ‘Johnny Come Home’ (a plea to a runaway that sounds like the Beat’s ska stripped down to its tense and obsessive essentials) and ‘Blue’ (one of the more oblique and successful anti-Margaret Thatcher tracks of its era) are terrific, but album tracks like the casually devastating ‘Funny How Love Is’ and the manic ‘Like a Stranger’ (which incongruously ends with a female chorus shrieking ‘You’ve been too long in an institution!’ repeatedly while Gift tries out his Otis Redding impression) are even better. The album’s highlight, though, is a reworking of ‘Suspicious Minds’ (with scarifying backing vocals by Jimmy Somerville) that, while it doesn’t replace Elvis’ version, certainly takes the song into an interesting new direction. Although often overlooked, especially in the U.S., in the wake of their massively successful follow-up, Fine Young Cannibals is a powerful and satisfying debut.”

Limited colored vinyl LP pressing. Formed by Steve Marriott in 1969 after the break-up of Small Faces, Humble Pie epitomized the British rock supergroups emerging at the turn of the decade. With the charismatic Marriott taking on frontman duties, he enlisted Peter Frampton (then of The Herd) on guitar, Spooky Tooth’s Greg Ridley on bass and a teenage Jerry Shirley on drums. The group released two beloved albums on Small Faces’ former label, Immediate, before making a switch to A&M in 1970 and working up a harder, blues-rock sound that would earn acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. After a five year hiatus Humble Pie jumped to ATCO for 1980’s On To Victory with a new blues-based boogie line-up featuring Marriott, Shirley, vocalist/guitarist Bobby Tench (The Jeff Beck Group) and bassist Anthony “Sooty” Jones. Includes the single “Fool for a Pretty Face.”

Double vinyl LP pressing. A collection of the J5’s biggest group and solo hits, first issued in 1995 and now, for it’s 25th anniversary, on vinyl for the first time. Also includes the rare vault track, “It’s Your Thing,” in two mixes available only on this set.

Double colored vinyl LP pressing in gatefold jacket. For the first time ever on vinyl – KMK’s stellar 2005 self-titled album! Features guest appearances by South LA hip hop icons Cypress Hill plus rapper/producer Tech N9ne. This is the band’s sixth studio album (seventh release overall) and landed at the #2 spot on Billboard’s Top Rap Albums chart!

Vinyl LP pressing. Throughout their career, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings remained in high demand both publicly and privately to recreate and often re-imagine songs by other artists. More often than not, these covers were recorded by request, commissioned for placement in movies, television programs, tribute albums, or for samples. This album compiles some of their most popular as well as never-before-heard renditions. Though the band has mostly built their career on a prolific catalog of originals, these forays into other artists’ compositions lay bare their gift for arrangement and the unmatched studio prowess that earned them their reputation as The Baddest Band in the Land.

Featuring 33 tracks, including ‘Wardance’, ‘Eighties’, ‘Love Like Blood’, ‘Millennium’ & ‘Pandemonium’, this chronological collection of the band’s singles has never previously been pressed onto vinyl. This 4 LP set will be available as a deluxe gatefold package, on Yellow/Red/Black/Clear colored vinyl.

Double clear vinyl LP pressing. Pandemonium is the ninth studio album by English post-punk band Killing Joke, released on 2 August 1994 by Butterfly Records. The album marked Killing Joke’s return after a four-year hiatus, the longest the band had taken since it was founded. It also featured the return of founding member Youth, who replaced Paul Raven on bass.

Vinyl LP pressing. Given the amount of attention directed towards this track (from most recent studio album Pylon’ 2015), it’s now being made available as a limited edition collector’s single complete with artwork from Mike Coles and previously unreleased Dub Remix by Youth – the ‘Apocalyptic Meltdown Dub Remix'”.

‘Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone is a 2004 album featuring recordings from Morricone’s various film scores by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Ennio Morricone. The album was recorded with the Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra and Gilda Butta on piano. Morricone functioned as orchestrator, conductor and producer. The album stayed 105 weeks on the Billboard Top Classical Albums. Overall this is a stunning collection of classic film scores featuring music from ‘Once Upon A Time In America’, ‘The Legend of 1900’, ‘The Untouchables, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ and many more. This is a limited edition contains of 2000 individually numbered copies on solid red vinyl. The package includes a download coupon.

Bob Marley & the Wailers -“Songs Of Freedom: The Island Years” A newly revised ‘Island Years’ edition of the Classic Bob Marley Box Set, first time on vinyl outside Jamaica and on vinyl anywhere in nearly 30 years. Featuring Marley’s many classics from “Concrete Jungle” through “Redemption Song,” plus rare 12″ mixes, B-Sides, Jamaican singles, and alternates. This 6LP set with custom labels also includes a 20-page booklet with rare photos, essays and track information.

Pink vinyl LP pressing. 2021 Re-release. Originally re-released in 2020 in a variety of other colors for the vinyl pressings. The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo is the fourth studio album by Northern California-based band Mr. Bungle. It’s a re-recording of the band’s first self-released demo tape of the same name from 1985. It’s also the first album to be released in over 20 years. The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo is the first album to feature former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo and Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian.

This unique box set includes five classic albums in their original, short-lived 10-inch format, remastered by Alex Abrash (AA Mastering) with faithful reproductions of the David Stone Martin artwork and liner notes on heavy stock. The Mercury & Clef 10-inch LP Collection is some of the greatest bebop of all time. The five albums included are 1950’s Charlie Parker With Strings, 1952’s Bird and Diz and Charlie Parker Plays South of the Border, 1953’s Charlie Parker With Strings (Vol. 2) and 1954’s Charlie Parker. Also inside the collector’s slipcase is a 10″ x 10″ book featuring exclusive liner notes by Ethan Iverson, an essay by author David Ritz and full track-by-track session notes.

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets continue to assert their status as one of Australia’s hardest working bands – pandemic be damned – in announcing the release of their new album, SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound, set for release February 2021. For the Perth group, creativity and production hasn’t stopped in 2020.

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have already given fans an early taste of the forthcoming SHYGA! Era, with ‘Mr. Prism’ in August. Earning acclaim upon it’s release across Spotify, Apple Music, Triple J, BBC Radio One, Radio X and titles including NME, CLASH, The Line Of Best Fit and Rolling Stone Australia, ‘Mr. Prism’ signaled something special was building out on the West Coast; Psychedelic Porn Crumpets were gearing up for something big. The creation of SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound, especially off the back of 2019’s huge LP And Now For The Whatchamacallit, came together in a different environment for McEwan and the results speak to the band’s evolution and McEwan’s evolution as a songwriter.

Limited edition with CD, The recordings for Slash’s second live album Made In Stoke 24/7/11 were made at the Victoria Hall in Stoke On Trent. The concert was a very personal one for the guitarist extraordinaire since he grew up in Stoke. This bond is reflected in the unique atmosphere and in the chemistry between the talented roll call of musicians and the rapturous audience. Featuring vocalist Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge, the album also includes songs originally performed by Guns N’ Roses and Slash’s previous bands Slash’s Snakepit and Velvet Revolver. Vinyl 3LP + 2CD edition from earMUSIC.

Vinyl LP pressing. 2021 release. Good Woman was written and recorded in a time of tremendous turmoil and change for the band, between the ending of relationships, the death of their beloved mother, and the birth of Emily’s first child. The album is a testament to the Stavely-Taylors’ strength and that of other women; to sisters, mothers, and daughters; to love, loss, and change; and to trying to be a good woman. The band explains: “We have been working on this for a long time and are thrilled to share the title track. When we think about making this album we think about moments and snapshots of all the different contexts we were in as it was made.
Living in each other’s pockets and then living with oceans between us. Of voice notes and field recordings and ideas in emails sent across continents. We think of homesickness and family. Of being an outsider. Of endless notebooks and scraps of paper. Of studios in the winter and recordings under the summer sun. Of rainy London days and long American nights with coffees and beers, dogs, and cats. We think of love. Big, big love. Our Mum. Our Dad. Our friends. And of loss. Death and birth. Womanhood, motherhood. Sisterhood. “And coming home. “

Originally released in 1989, Venom’s Prime Evil was the first album to feature former Atomkraft bassist and vocalist Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan. The album is a thrilling and ridiculously catchy slab of British black/thrash metal that never loses it’s ferocity or momentum. Often overlooked, this heavy metal gem is a must have in the collection of every metal head out there!

Lindeman’s debut for Fat Possum Records, Ignorance, is her most sonically adventurous and rhythmically dense album to date. Lindeman’s early releases were filled with fingerpicked folk songs, guided by a careful eye for detail and Lindeman’s swooping, graceful voice; 2017’s self-titled effort expanded that sound with bigger, buzzier guitars and moody string arrangements (“I wanted to make a rock and roll record,” Lindeman then explained in a press release). On Ignorance, she worked with two percussionists, a saxophonist and a flutist, plus bass, keys and guitar; together they built elegant arrangements that scaffold Lindeman’s vulnerable lyrics about conflict, loss and love.

Captured in Las Vegas while touring in support of “The Ladder”, “House Of Yes” captures a mix of Yes classics, along with more recent compositions. The Yes lineup for this show consists of: Jon Anderson (vocals), Steve Howe (guitars and vocals), Chris Squire (bass and vocals), Alan White (drums and vocals), Billy Sherwood (guitars and vocals), and Igor Khoroshev (keyboards and vocals). On limited edition translucent blue vinyl.

Transatlantic
The Absolute Universe

Transatlantic – the prog supergroup featuring Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt & Pete Trewavas – will release their fifth studio album, The Absolute Universe.
Representing the band’s first new music since 2014’s Kaleidoscope, with The Absolute Universe the band have done something unique and created two versions of the record: The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version) & The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version).
Each album will be available on CD, LP & digitally. But there will also be what has been called The Absolute Universe: The Ultimate Edition, which collects both versions together in one lavish package that includes 5LPs, 3CDs & a Blu-ray that contains a 5.1 surround sound mix with visuals & a behind the scenes documentary. All editions have unique artwork created by Thomas Ewerhard featuring the airship by Pavel Zhovba.
As Portnoy explains: “We’ve got two versions of this album. There is a two CD presentation, which is 90 minutes long, and a single one – that’s 60 minutes. However, the single CD is NOT merely an edited version of the double CD. They each contain alternate versions and even in some cases, new recordings. We wrote fresh lyrics and have different people singing on the single CD version tracks as compared to those on the double CD. Some of the song titles have also been changed, while others might remain the same, but compositionally what you’ll hear has been altered. You must appreciate that what we have done is unique. We revamped the songs to make the two versions different.” Pete Trewavas adds: “We did write some new music for the single CD, what’s more, there are also differences in the instruments used on some of the tracks across the two records.”

Abridged Version
Extended Version

The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version):
– Special Edition CD Digipak
– Gatefold 2LP+CD
– Digital Album

Tracklisting:
“Overture”
“Reaching For The Sky”
“Higher Than The Morning”
“The Darkness In The Light”
“Take Now My Soul”
“Looking For The Light”
“Love Made  A Way” (Prelude)
“Owl Howl”
“Solitude”
“Belong”
“Can You Feel It”
“Looking For The Light” (Reprise)
“The Greatest Story Never Ends”
“Love Made A Way”

The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version):
– Special Edition 2CD Digipak
– 3LP+2CD Boxset
– Digital Album

Tracklisting:
Disc 1:
“Overture”
“Heart Like A Whirlwind”
“Higher Than The Morning”
“The Darkness In The Light”
“Swing High, Swing Low”
“Bully”
“Rainbow Sky”
“Looking For The Light”
“The World We Used To Know”

Disc 2:
“The Sun Comes Up Today”
“Love Made A Way” (Prelude)
“Owl Howl”
“Solitude”
“Belong”
“Lonesome Rebel”
“Looking For The Light” (Reprise)
“The Greatest Story Never Ends”
“Love Made A Way”

More vinyl on order and due in … the above is what we have as of Thursday Night … perhaps the others will arrive on the morning of the 5th or trickle in during next week!?


Compact Disc Releases

CD reissue. Reflektor is the fourth studio album by Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire. The album was recorded in multiple studios and was co-produced by LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy, regular Arcade Fire producer Markus Dravs, and the band themselves. Featuring the single of the same name, ‘Reflektor’ debuted at #1 in the UK Albums Chart. The album, for which the cover features an image of Rodin’s sculpture of Orpheus and Eurydice, also includes the tracks ‘Normal Person’, ‘Porno’ and ‘We Exist’.

Medicine at Midnight is the 2021 album from Foo Fighters, and packs nine new songs into a tight-ass 37 minutes. This collection includes the smoldering single, “Shame Shame.” Medicine at Midnight is produced by Greg Kurstin and Foo Fighters, and is the band’s 10th album. Foo Fighters are Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear, and Rami Jaffee.

The Complete Atlantic Singles 1968-1971 – In 1968, Dusty Springfield was already an international superstar with 15 hits under her belt for the Philips label when she decided it was time to for a change. What followed was one of the most legendary and momentous label moves in pop music history: Dusty decamped to Atlantic Records, where, under the tutelage of Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, and Arif Mardin, she recorded one of the greatest albums of all time, Dusty in Memphis, and scored such indelible hits as ‘Son-of-a Preacher Man’ and ‘The Windmills of Your Mind’ before moving on to Philly soul (‘A Brand New Me). We at Real Gone Music have closely examined this crucial period in Dusty’s career over the years, with three previous releases. But there remains one facet of her Atlantic period which has remained largely untouched: her singles. The Complete Atlantic Singles1968-1971 presents the A and B-sides of all dozen singles she recorded for the label in their original mono single mixes, only eight of which have previously appeared on CD. That’s right’only eight (the ones that were on Dusty in Memphis) of these 24 tracks have been on CD, and these singular sides highlight how the move to a more R&B sound at Atlantic (also aided by producers Gamble & Huff and Jeff Barry with such players as The Memphis Boys and The Sweet Inspirations) brilliantly capitalized on the smoky tones of Dusty’s mezzo-soprano to create some of the most potent blue-eyed soul ever recorded. Mastered by Mike Milchner from original tape sources, annotated by Joe Marchese, and featuring copious photos, The Complete Atlantic Singles 1968-1971 is an absolute must for any Dusty devotee or any soul fan to boot

In 2002, Sharon Jones and Daptone Records co-founder/bandleader Bosco Mann claimed that they were suing Janet Jackson over the song “What Have You Done for Me Lately.” The label issued a press release accusing Jackson of copyright violation and alleging that her 1986 hit single was actually written in 1969 by Jones and Mann: “The original recording, ‘a much raunchier version,’ had been only a regional hit on the soul scene in the early seventies and had fallen into relative obscurity by the time Jackson had recorded her pop version fifteen years later.” It just so happened that Daptone was selling a 7″ single with Jones’ version on the A-side and the Dap-Kings’ instrumental on the B, both of which are convincing in their analog production and gritty groove.

Never mind that Mann (aka Gabriel Roth) was born several years after he allegedly co-wrote the song. The name of the law firm—Dewey Cheatham—revealed the whole thing to be a clever hoax engineered to promote the single, taken from Daptone’s first full-length release, Dap-Dippin’ with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. Nearly 20 years later, their cover of Jackson’s hit is less significant for how it sounds than for the way it pitched Jones as an artist removed from time and wronged by the music industry. Which wasn’t too far from the truth: Jones, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2016, had been working day jobs and singing in wedding bands for decades before making her recording debut (singing backup for Lee Fields) in the mid 1990s. She brought to that session, just as she would to Daptone, a stylistic approach and set of techniques from another era, and Jones spent the rest of her life not just defining retro soul for a new generation, but defying the retro part of that label.

Covers were always a significant part of Jones’ repertoire, a means of connecting her to the past and also linking the past to the present, and that gives Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Rendition Was In) the weight of a career retrospective. It might even reveal more about Jones than a greatest-hits collection would, emphasizing her decisions about which songs to sing and how to sing them. She had remarkable range vocally and stylistically. While her take on “What Have You Done for Me Lately” ultimately sounds uncharacteristically tentative, turning Jackson’s icy staccato into a rhythmically limp hook, she had more luck with subsequent covers, navigating established soul classics and usually holding her own against the originals. She conveys a sense of staunch determination on Fontella Bass’s “Rescue Me,” as though she’s not the one who needs saving. And she strips the breathless singing and lush production from the Marvelettes’ “Here I Am Baby,” replacing them with a rawer vocal and a sinewy guitar groove. It sounds like you’re sitting in their practice space with them.

The Weeknd -“The Highlights” On February 5th, XO/Republic will be releasing a career spanning album from The Weeknd pulling together a collection of his biggest songs from the last ten years. EXPLICIT

There are more from where those above came from but they have not arrived yet due to shipping and production problems. Releases from Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Howlin’ Wolf, Common, Smokey Hogg and a couple of cool and interestingly timely compilations are on order as well. We’ll see if they make it in on time or if they trickle in next week.