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Andrew Ridgeley: Son Of Albert: Expanded Edition (Cherry Pop)

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February 7, 2018

In 1990, Andrew Ridgeley, the other half of British pop duo Wham!, released his first–and last–solo album. Critically panned at the time, this reissue takes a second look at one of pop music’s most misaligned releases.

Tim Buckley: Venice Mating Call (Manifesto)

In September 1969, legendary singer/songwriter Tim Buckley would introduce the world to his new hybrid of jazz and folk during a residency at Los Angeles’s legendary Troubadour club. This new two-disc collection captures Buckley in fine form as he performs his then-new album, Happy Sad and what would become his most difficult work, 1970s Lorca.

America: Heritage: Home Recordings/Demos 1970-1973 (Omnivore Recordings)

In the late 60s. three American teenagers living in England formed a folk-rock trio. Naming themselves after their homeland, they quickly became one of the biggest bands of the 1970s. This collection captures their formative years, and show a group that found the magic formula for success from the get-go.

Working Week: Compañeros (Cherry Red)

British jazz trio Working Week found themselves with a surprise hit record in 1985, prompting their label to pressure them into making a quick follow-up. That album, 1986’s Compañeros, was the result–a quickly created album of superb, enjoyable, and politically aware jazz/pop songs.

Bill Nelson: Dreamy Screens: Soundtracks From The Echo Observatory (Cocteau Discs)

When Bill Nelson launched his solo career, he began to develop an interest in abstract, moody instrumental music. This three-disc box compiles three early soundtracks written and released in 1981 and 1982, and offer up gorgeous–and sometimes quite challenging–experiments.

Ella Fitzgerald: Ella At Zardi’s (Verve Records)

To celebrate the centennial of jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald’s birth, Verve Records has given the world a delightful treat–a 1956 recording of the legendary singer in a tiny jazz club. It’s a loose, fun set that’s an exciting, delightful listen.

Birds Of A Feather: The Page One Recordings (RPM Records)

Sisters Irene and Doreen Chanter’s sole album as Birds Of A Feather found them in the company of a soon-to-be-famous songwriter and management that had hopes for repeating that success. Their sole album might not have reached those lofty heights, but it is a superb album on its own.

Various Artists: João Gilberto And The Stylists Of Bossa Nova Sing Antonio Carlos Jobim (él Records)

For what would have been his 90th year, él Records has released a lush, delightful two-disc collection of recordings and interpretations of Brazilian songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim, and this set serves as a wonderful introduction into his world, as well as showing how much of an international influence the Bossa Nova master had on the music of the era.

The Beach Boys: 1967-Sunshine Tomorrow 2: The Studio Sessions (Capitol Records)

The end of the year always finds The Beach Boys gifting their fans with dives into their vast studio and live archives. This year’s offering serves as a companion to the superb 1967-Sunshine Tomorrow compilation, and though it’s probably one of the less essential offerings in the ongoing series, it still contains a few moments that make it worthwhile.

Mungo Jerry: The Dawn Albums Collection (7T’s Records)

Mungo Jerry will forever be known for their wonderful 1970 single, “In The Summertime.” But there was much more to this band than that one hit, as this box set compiles their five albums and non-album singles released in quick succession between 1970 and 1974