Category Archives: CDs

Frank Zappa Family Trust and UMe team for a frankly incredible genre-leaping Zappa canon

In his trailblazing and incredibly prolific career, artist, composer and all-around musical pioneer Frank Zappa released more than 60 albums in his lifetime, as a solo artist and with his bands the Mothers of Invention and the Mothers. Coupled with more than 40 posthumous releases since his death in 1993 at 52, figuring out where to start in Zappa’s vast, genre-leaping catalog can be daunting. ZAPPAtite–Frank Zappa’s Tastiest Tracks, due September 23 on Zappa Records/UMe and available for pre-order now, collects some of Zappa’s best known and beloved compositions, from his early psychedelic rock beginnings to his avant-garde experimentation, jazz-rock explorations, symphonic suites and satirical send-ups, compiling them into one easily digestible collection and offering key entryways into the many musical worlds of the visionary musician.
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Available on CD and digitally, with vinyl to come at a later date, the album is divided into three courses–Appetizers, Entrees and Desserts–and the food-centric theme oozes throughout the album art, which features Zappa in a diner on the cover, a track list that resembles a menu and some of Zappa’s favorite eats.

The 18 compositions that make up ZAPPAtite were compiled by Zappa’s son Ahmet Zappa and encyclopedic Zappa archivist, VaultmeisterJoe Travers.

“This isn’t a greatest hits album as Frank didn’t really have ‘hits,’ per se, nor is it a ‘best of’ since that would be an impossibility to fit so much awesome onto one disc,” says Ahmet. “It’s a veritable smorgasbord of musicality for the curious and a buffet of favorites for the fans, ZAPPAtite collects a cross section of my favorite songs composed by my dad, that lean more towards the rock side of his expansive repertoire. I hope you’re hungry because this meal for your ears rocks!”

Kicking off with the one-two punch of “I’m The Slime” and “Dirty Love” from Zappa’s 1973 watershed Gold album, Over-Nite Sensation, the collection quickly introduces Zappa’s eclecticism and salacious tongue as the songs meld polyrhythmic psychedelic rock and heavy funk with his trademark innuendo-filled lyrics. From there, the album travels through Zappa’s sprawling musical universe, highlighting vital songs and important eras of his career.frank-zappa-mona-lisa-poster

The Appetizers portion also includes the Grammy-nominated disco satire “Dancin’ Fool” and the controversial European smash “Bobby Brown Goes Down” from Zappa’s popular 1979 album, Sheik Yerbouti; and “Trouble Every Day” from Zappa’s embryonic rock band the Mothers of Invention’s groundbreaking 1966 debut, Freak Out!.

Entrees includes one of Zappa’s best known works, the universally loved instrumental “Peaches En Regalia from his classic 1969 solo sophomore record, Hot Rats; ubiquitous Top 40 hit Valley Girl, featuring his then 14-year-old daughter Moon Unit affecting a valley girl “gag-me-with-a-spoon” patois, from 1982’s Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch; to the possible autobiographical track from a parallel dimension “Joe’s Garage” of 1979’s LP of the same name; and the waggish blues rocker Cosmik Debris and the humorous Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow, two standouts from one of Zappa’s most commercial and accessible albums, 1974’s Apostrophe (‘).

Desserts explores Zappa’s musical virtuosity and singular live performances and includes the comedic“Titties & Beer” from the 1978 live album, Zappa In New York; the frenetic Synclavier-fueled “G-Spot Tornado” from 1986’s Jazz From Hell; the anti-drug screed, “Cocaine Decisions” from 1983’s The Man From Utopia; and “Zoot Allures,” the heady instrumental featuring some of Zappa’s electrifying guitar playing, from 1976’s Zoot Allures. The album culminates with a performance of “Strictly Genteel” with the London Symphony Orchestra. The epic, orchestral-rock piece originally served as the grand finale to Zappa’s surrealist 1971 film, “200 Motels.”

As this year marks 50 years since the release of the Mothers of Invention’s seminal debut album, Freak Out!, hailed as one of the 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time by Rolling Stone, Zappa’s music and enduring legacy has been experiencing a renaissance as younger generations discover his music. A pair of documentaries has also brought about a renewed interest and focus on the forward-thinking iconoclast’s lasting impact. In June, Sony Pictures Classics released the feature documentary, “Eat That Question – Frank Zappa In His Own Words” to widespread acclaim. Comprised of TV interviews, performances and rare archival footage, the film reveals a provocative 20th century musical genius, rock legend and intellectual firebrand whose worldview reverberates into the present day and beyond. In April, filmmaker Alex Winter announced his plans for a documentary entitled, Who The F*@% Is Frank Zappa, and it quickly pushed past its goal of $500,000 to became the highest-funded documentary film in Kickstarter’s history by collecting just over $1.1 million by offering t-shirts, posters, inclusion in the film’s credits, access to never-released audio recordings, video footage, visual materials from the vault, and even the chance to purchase Zappa’s 8,000 sq. ft. Hollywood home.

Since the Zappa Family Trust and UMe entered into a global partnership for a long-term, licensing agreement encompassing Zappa’s entire recorded catalog, as well as rights management participation across the rest of the cultural icon’s creative canon, together they have been steadily reissuing the catalog on CD, LP and digitally. They have also been digging deep into Zappa’s famed vault to make available a bevy of unreleased material, live concerts and other assorted rarities.

Continuing the reissues, Zappa’s classic Hot Rats was just released on 180-gram vinyl on August 26. Recorded in 1969, his second solo album is widely known for its pioneering fusion of jazz and rock and contains one of his best known songs, “Peaches En Regalia.” Mostly an instrumental album, sans “Willie The Pimp” which features Captain Beefheart’s craggy vocals, the six-song LP is filled with complex musical passages, breathtaking playing and some beautifully melodic moments.

Enjoy a listen here UMe.lnk.to/ZappaHotRatsStream.

A chat with Barbara Cook: “If someone reads my book with an open mind, he or she can come back from dark places”

The tastiest cookbook this season? Make that Cook book, as in Barbara Cook’s autobiography Then and Now: A Memoir  (Harper, $28.99). The 88-year-old icon shares her life and career, the highs and lows, some of which are quite painful to read. There are warm memories of her golden years as Broadway’s newest ingénue and Broadway’s favorite soprano in the original productions of Plain and Fancy (1955), Candide (1956), The Music Man (1957) and She Loves Me (1963) and later into a sophisticated cabaret and concert artist . . . as well as much sadder, deeply painful memories.barbaracook01_1320848280
At the lowest point of her career, she was drunk and desperate, sleeping through the day and “I didn’t shower or brush my teeth for days at a time.” She confesses that she was “so broke I was stealing food from the supermarket by slipping sandwich meat into my coat pocket.”

Today, Cook suffers from polymyalgia rheumatica, a disease that forces her to use a wheelchair. She may be slower, her voice much softer, but she refuses to give in.  As a recovering alcoholic she still attends her AA meetings. (She quit drinking in 1977.) For that we continue to applaud her. We caught up with Cook one summer afternoon at her Upper West Side apartment and had a lovely conversation, fraught with lots of coughing and short sentences, of the good and bad and both acts—before and after sobriety—of her life. Read her story, and enjoy performances we share.2016-06-27-1467056258-9031733-Cover_BarbaraCook-thumb

First things first: You have been asked to write a book for years. Why did you finally write an autobiography?
Yes, people have wanted me to write a book for some time. I kept saying, ‘Why? Who the hell cares?’ Then it occurred to me that I have had this up and down life, and if someone reads my book with an open mind he or she can come back from dark places and have a successful career. I wrote every word, mostly by hand, on white-lined paper.

And what dark places!
They were things I have lived with for so long. They were a huge part of my life. It’s the first time I am talking about them publicly . . . it was time to talk about the things I had held inside for a long time. It had always been easier not to discuss mother, my sister’s death, the shame and blame I had felt. I spent decades often thinking that I didn’t deserve the nice things that have happened for me. I drank and I ate. I found myself mad at my mother since she blamed me for my sister’s death from double pneumonia. I thought I could help people who have gone through or who are going through what I did. [Barbara’s sister died at 18 months; Barbara was three years old]

No wonder we didn’t like your mother after reading the book. She blamed you, as a child, for your sister’s death!
Yes. My sister had pneumonia, and then I got pneumonia and whooping cough. I gave her whooping cough on top of the pneumonia. (Pauses) When I was in therapy, my first therapist said something that was so smart ‘Did it ever occur to you that she caught it and that you didn’t give it to her?’ Wow. That really helped me because I grew up thinking I was responsible for my sister’s death. I started to think, well, if my sister hadn’t died father wouldn’t have left. I was five. (Pauses, quietly) I became responsible for my sister’s death and his leaving as well.

When I interviewed Liza Minnelli, she told me even recovering alcoholics must always refer themselves as alcoholics. Did Liza break rules by talking about AA? 
AA does not have rules. It has suggestions. They don’t call them rules. I supposed one can break one’s own anonymity which I don’t do.

What did you think went wrong with Liza?
I know Liza and have sat around talking with her. But I don’t think I know her well enough to talk about that.

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Cook with Leonard Bernstein, during the recording of the cast album of “Candide,” the comic operetta, based on Voltaire’s satirical novel

It’s sad seeing you in a wheelchair. Do you believe you will get out of that chair one day?
Well I guess if the condition gets good I will. My spirits are mostly okay, but nobody likes to be like this. There are days when I get down, but I don’t seem to stay down for long.

Many of your fans are gay. Your only child, Adam LeGrant, is gay. You and I are talking less than a month after the tragic massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando. When I say ‘homophobia’ . . .
(Interrupts) It affects me like everyone else. Homophobia is a stupid, horrible way of thinking. It’s getting better, but it’s still, oh God! awful.

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Cook with her son Adam at the opening night of “Sondheim on Sondheim” at Studio 54 on April 22, 2010. Photo by Bruce Glikas

Were you disappointed when you learned your son Adam was gay?
When Adam told me he had something to tell me, I had no idea he was going to tell me he was gay. I thought he was going to tell me he broke up with his girlfriend and was never going to marry her. When he said he was gay, I knew I would never have grandchildren—that entered my psyche immediately. I thought there’s something wrong. I have a son I don’t know. I was really upset and I screamed and cried like crazy for about five days. It occurred to me that  all my life I felt like a little girl with her nose pressed against the glass of a candy shop. I didn’t feel part of real life. But when I bore a son I felt more connected to the world. When Adam told me was gay, I didn’t feel connected anymore.   After crying, I thought, ‘Wait a minute. What on earth is going on with you? What the hell is wrong with you? He is your son!’

I asked Liza about why she has such a gay following. She told me her fans relate to her pain, just as they related to her mother’s pain. You are aware you have a large gay following?
Oh sure. I talked about it with friends a couple of times. But I don’t know what it’s about. Could I be they relate to my problems? Who knows? We all have problems.

You made your Broadway debut in the 1951 musical Flahooley; you won a Tony for The Music Man. A far cry from growing up in Atlanta in such poverty you used to eat dinners of white bread and ketchup. You are a legend! A special survivor!
(Long laugh ) Oh God,  I don’t think of it as way. We all think we’re special. I know I am very, very grateful of the gift I have given. Singing is a wonderful way to move and touch people. I feel that I must sing because it feels so good to get all that out! I suppose it’s a gift from a  higher power.

Where do you keep your Tony?
I have a dining room and it’s kept in a bookcase in there.

After reading your book, I still cannot figure out if you liked Elaine Stritch.
(Laughs) I liked her, but not always what she did. Her behavior sometimes. Somewhere inside her was a very nice person.

Barbara+Cook+Roundabout+Theatre+Company+2016+Ligbg69Xb9flI am going to push you in a corner. What’s your favorite song?
(Laughs) Oh my goodness! The answer is no. I have no favorite.

How about a song you never sang?
I don’t think of things that way; I think of shows I wished I had done. I wanted to do The Most Happy Fella. I auditioned again and again for that and I really wanted to do it. But if I had done that, I wouldn’t have been able to do Candide.

You will be 89 on October 25. Ever think how you want to be remembered? What will be on your gravestone?
Oh gee. Wow. No one ever asked me that. (Pauses) SHE DID HER BEST.

 

 

A new book, “New Barbarians,” sheds the inside scoop on a little-known bit of Rolling Stones history

 

A rolling stone gathers no moss, but The Rolling Stones gathers honors and hosannas, awards and accolades. But did you know there’s a “secret” chapter in their long history? Let us roll out the news about New Barbarians: Outlaws, Gunslingers and Guitars, the first-ever history of a band that has attained cult status among Stones fans. In 1979, Rolling Stones lead guitarist Ron Wood founded the New Barbarians to tour behind his solo album Gimme Some Neck. The group’s all-star lineup included Keith Richards, jazz bassist Stanley Clarke, former Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan, Stones confederate and saxophonist Bobby Keys, and drummer Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste from the Meters. The band’s life was short-lived: It was formed  in 1979, toured only 20 dates and played its final concert in 1980  . . .  gone, but not to be forgotten.

Fans will finally learn the untold story of this legendary cult band and how it helped Keith get through his heroin addiction following his infamous drug bust in Toronto, but they have to wait until Rob Chapman’s opus is released by Voyageur Press in October 1.  The inside scoop is all recounted through never-before-seen photography and in-depth, behind-the-scenes interviews. The book offers an intimate look at the brief history of a band that built a cult following in record time. In addition, included with the book is a 10-track New Barbarians CD, featuring tracks from their 1979 tour.usethis

Though Wood put together the band in 1979, in a roundabout way, the Barbarians’ story begins with Keith Richard’s infamous drug bust in Toronto in February 1977. Unlike Keith’s other brushes with the law due to drugs, this time it looked highly likely that Canadian authorities were going to put him in prison for a very long time–possibly for life. In the end, after nearly two years of limbo, hand-wringing and legal battles, Keith was allowed to serve his sentence by enlisting both the Barbarians and the Stone into playing two charity shows in Oshawa, Canada, on April 22, 1978.

Ultimately, the Barbarians helped pay Keith’s debt to society, but the band and tour did more than that, according to author Chapman. “The Barbarians were more than a band for Ronnie to tour with–they were a sanctuary for Keith,” he says. “In addition to the legal limbo he was also in the midst of kicking heroin.” Indeed, as Keith once said, “the Barbarians saved my life.” From the tour rehearsals in Los Angeles to each of the tour dates, Ronnie and the Barbarians provided the perfect vehicle for Keith to recover and revive himself.

The band became known for it’s members and music, but it also gained notoriety for events such as the riot at the New Barbarians’ first concert in Milwaukee-when the “special guests” did not appear during the show—to craziness at their last show. This and more wild, rollicking stories are detailed with behind-the-scenes anecdotes, interviews with band members and crew members, as well as dirt about its famous tour,  plus background on how the group  influenced future Stones music.

In addition, there are more than 300 amazing photos by over a dozen noted rock photographers. Included are behind-the-scenes and candid shots of the rehearsals, the shows and backstage babble.

 

 

 

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner fans will be stung big-time by Sting

The news is so great we simply gotta spread the buzz: On September 30, A&M/Interscope Records will release The Studio Collection, a career-spanning vinyl LP box set featuring all of Sting’s seminal solo studio albums brought together for the first time.unnamed

The Studio Collection includes eight essential A&M Records albums across 11 LPs–The Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985); …Nothing Like The Sun (1987, double LP); The Soul Cages (1991); Ten Summoner’s Tales (1993); Mercury Falling (1996); Brand New Day (1999, double LP); Sacred Love (2003, double LP); and The Last Ship (2013)–with both Brand New Day and Sacred Love available on vinyl for the first time ever.

All of the included LPs appear in exact replicas of the original artwork presented in an exceptional slipcase package, with brand new vinyl masters cut at the legendary Abbey Road studios to ensure exceptional audio quality.

Contained within The Studio Collection are some of the most iconic albums and songs of all time, including numerous Grammy-winning tracks as well as a plethora of multi-platinum, platinum and gold worldwide awards. Beginning with Sting’s first solo album, the revelatory The Dream Of The Blue Turtles from 1985–featuring the cream of America’s young jazz musicians in a politically-charged set–through 2013’s The Last Ship, exploring the central themes of homecoming and self-discovery in the North East of England, The Studio Collection showcases Sting’s meticulous song writing, evocative storytelling, and continual innovation in a ground breaking mix of musical genres and styles that have continually evolved throughout his remarkable career to date.

To complete The Studio Collection, Sting’s new album 57th & 9th will be released November 11. Take a listen. Your beating heart no longer needs to be still.

 

Dolly Parton asking her poor fans to fork over hundred$ for “collectible” crap

She doesn’t work 9 to 5 . . . according to her flaks, “without a doubt, Dolly Parton continues to be one of the most aggressive artists in music when it comes to marketing themselves.” This time, Dolly is spreading herself as thinly as she can as she prepares for the August 19 release of her new CD Pure & Simple–with four different pre-order bundles to help promote the album.

“I may not be pure, but I’m as simple as they come!”she coos. “This new Pure & Simple project is really special to me because I’m taking my fans back to my roots. I feel like these songs have a pure, tender side and we didn’t go overboard with arrangements. I’m so glad we’ve teamed up with our friends at Sony to get this album out to the fans.” Spoken just like a well-seasoned, well-paid press flak.

Dolly should be ashamed that in this economic market, she knows her fans cannot fork over hundreds of $ for such crap.

Pure & Simple Standard Bundle

Standard Bundle ($40) Pure & Simple album cover art on black 100% preshrunk cotton T-shirt, Pure & Simple CD, as well as an album digital download that will be delivered via email on August 19.

Pure & Simple Deluxe Bundle

Deluxe Bundle ($60) Pure & Simple CD, as well as digital download of the album (to be delivered via email on August 19), a set of three notebooks with different Dolly logo designs (each notebook measures a measly 3.5″ x 5.5″) and a rhinestone and lace Dolly tote bag.

Pure & Simple Collectible Bundle

Collectible Bundle ($100) Pure & Simple CD, as well as a digital download of the album (delivered via email on August 19), a Dolly guitar string bracelet and gift box, the set of three notebooks and the Rhinestone and lace Dolly tote bag.

Pure & Simple Commemorative Bundle

Commemorative Bundle ($400) Pure & Simple CD, as well as a digital download of the album (will be delivered via email on August 19), as well as the Dolly guitar string bracelet and gift box, the three notebooks, the rhinestone and lace Dolly photo tote bag and a “Collectible Limited Edition” plaque commemorating the release of Dolly’s new album Pure & Simple.

Sean Combs combs through Bad Boy’s inventory to release a cursed box set

Someone’s got to take the rap, so we figure Sean “Diddy” Combs, known to too many people as Puff Daddy. Combs will be puffing his pride as he celebrates his 20+ year legacy as the ruling authority on hip hop and R&B with the release of the Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Box Set Edition, escaping on August 12.  Bad Boy Entertainment, whose founder and chairman  is Combs, is also puffing the fact that they relish explicit lyrics. How can they accept a song (let’s take the ditty “Blessings”; how can we mix God with the lyric Man, the clique is the tightest, the pussy’s the tightest pussy?

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Disturbed music fans will find the CD constipated with tunes such as “I Need a Girl,” “Juicy,” “I Don’t Wanna Know,” “Hypnotize,” “Money, Power, Respect,” “Peaches & Cream,” “Can’t You See,” “Flava In Ya Ear (Remix),” “Love Like This,” “Feel So Good,” “Pop That,” “Damaged” and “I’ll Be Missing You,” from a lineup of “artists” including Puff Daddy, The Notorious B.I.G., Craig Mack, Faith Evans, Total, Carl Thomas, Mase, 112, The Lox, Cassie, Janelle Monáe, Danity Kane, Machine Gun Kelly and French Montana.  The Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Box Set Edition is available for preorder now digitally and physically at iTunes and Amazon.

Accompanied by a 64-page historiography and foreword by hip hop journalist Michael A. Gonzales, the collection will take readers on a journey through the history of Bad Boy Entertainment, reminding fans of the label’s reputation as hip hop’s most notorious vanguards.  With contributions from music industry veterans, readers and listeners alike will gain a 360 view of the rise of the label and their revolutionary sound.

Following a painstakingly thorough selection process, which was curated by Bad Boy President Harve Pierre, the collection arrives at the perfect time, the announcement of Puff Daddy & the Family’s highly-anticipated Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, set to kick off August 25.  Tickets for the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour are available at Livenation.com. For additional information about the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, click here.

Coos Combs: “Bad Boy helped make hip hop what it is today and this collection highlights all the music, history and vision that made Bad Boy number one. We want to thank our fans, celebrate the music, the people and the Bad Boy lifestyle that have defined the past two decades.  We’ve always made music that makes the people dance; this collection does all that and more, and it is a celebration of all things Bad Boy.”

Earplugs not included.

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Setting such a good example

 

Hank Williams is celebrated in film and a must-have ‘Mother’s Best Flour’ set

Hey good lookin’ . . . yes, I am talking to you. Country music fans will cherish “The Complete Mother’s Best Collection” (Time Life), a treasure trove of recordings by the legendary Hank Williams. Long regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century, Williams was one of America’s first country music superstars. Before his tragic, early death at 29, Williams’ almost single-handedly set the agenda for country music with classic standards such as “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Hey, Good Lookin'” and “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive.”

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His life story was recently put on the big screen in “I Saw the Light“, a biopic starring Tom Hiddleston as the father of contemporary country music; it’s being released on July 5. But for a rare, informal glimpse into the heart and soul of country music’s greatest star look no further than “Hank Williams: The Complete Mother’s Best Collection.” This must-own 15-CD + 1 DVD Collection features 142 performances from the “Mother’s Best Flour Radio Shows” (1951); the DVD features behind-the-Scenes conversations with Williams’ daughter Jett and two members of Hank’s band, Don Helms and Big Bill Lister.

At the peak of his career in 1951, Williams recorded 142 songs for the Mother’s Best Flour Company. The best-known and most sought-after Williams recordings, The Mother’s Best Flour Shows featured the legendary musician and his studio band laying down his chart-busting hits, as well as songs he never recorded commercially anywhere else. Broadcast over the Grand Ole Opry’s parent station, WSM, in Nashville every morning at 7:15 a.m., the format was consistent: Each 15-minute show consisted of one country song, one instrumental or guest vocal and a gospel song to close the show. Recorded in an intimate and casual setting, “The Mother’s Best Shows” highlighted Williams personality, and his relaxed patter was filled with wry, self-deprecating wit.
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For the very first time, “The Complete Mother’s Best Collection” brings together all of the surviving recordings in a single set. Featured among the rare performances are Hank’s greatest hits including “Cold, Cold Heart,” “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You),” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Move It On Over,” and many more. Hank also sings then-current hits by other artists, including “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,” “On Top Of Old Smoky,” “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You” and “Cherokee Boogie” among others. Williams also loved the old hymns, and here he sings sacred classics like ‘Softly and Tenderly,’ shouts out Southern gospel classics like ‘I’ll Have a New Life’ and ‘When the Saints Go Marchin’ In,’ and many he never sang anywhere else such as “Lonely Tombs” and “At the Cross”.

As Colin Escott writes in the liner notes: “Imagine finding a half-dozen unreleased Beatles LPs or a stash of previously unheard Elvis Presley recordings. That’s how significant these ‘Mother’s Best’ Hank Williams radio shows are”. Bravo!

Masterworks Broadway raises the curtain on a trio of summer sizzlers

The curtain continues to go up as Masterworks Broadway announces its Summer 2016 releases, including three classic albums from the archives: Sid and Marty Krofft’s Les Poupees de Paris – 1964 World Fair Recording, I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road: Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording and Alice Through the Looking Glass–1966 Television Soundtrack Recording. Upon release, each title will be accompanied by new album pages and photos on MasterworksBroadway.com.

 
Sid and Marty Krofft’s Les Poupees de Paris is the Grammy-nominated soundtrack from an elaborate puppet show performed on tour and at the 1964 World’s Fair. With the voices of Pearl Bailey, Milton Berle, Cyd Charisse, Annie Fargé, Gene Kelly, Liberace, Jayne Mansfield, Tony Martin, Phil Silvers, Loretta Young and Edie Adams, the score features music and lyrics by Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen. Known for bringing a psychedelic sensibility to children’s TV with shows like The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, H.R. Pufnstuf and Land of the Lost, the Krofft’s got their start with similar puppet shows performed in nightclubs. Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen, the multi award-winning Songwriter’s Hall of Fame duo, are known as the team behind some of Frank Sinatra’s most famous hits including “Come Fly with Me,” “Only the Lonely,” and “Come Dance with Me.” Sid and Marty Krofft’s Les Poupees de Paris will be officially released for the first time on CD in the U.S. July 8, with streaming and downloads available the same day.
Originally produced by Joseph Papp for the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road, was a milestone in the integration of rock-and-roll and musical theater.  It opened June 14, 1978 at the Public Theater and later moved to the Circle in the Square for a total of 1,165 performances, making it one of the most successful Off-Broadway musicals of all time. The book and lyrics are by Gretchen Cryer, who also starred as the lead character Heather Jones in the original production, with music by Nancy Ford. The show follows Jones as she puts together her new cabaret act featuring songs about her own empowerment (she’s just been through a bitter divorce), much to the dismay of her director who tries  to convince her to go back to her old act. The show was nominated for Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics, and its cast album received a Grammy nomination. Recordings of Cryer and Ford’s Off-Broadway musicals Now Is the Time for All Good Men (1967) and The Last Sweet Days of Isaac (1970) are also available from Masterworks Broadway. I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road: Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording will be released on August 8, with streaming and downloads available the same day.
In Alice Through The Looking Glass, Elsie Simmons and Moose Charlap set Lewis Carroll’s timeless classic to music for the NBC television special. First aired November 6, 1966, the star-studded production included Ricardo Montalban, Agnes Moorehead, Jack Palance, Jimmy Durante and the Smothers Brothers. The Television Soundtrack of Alice Through The Looking Glass will be officially released for the first time on CD in the U.S. September 9, with streaming and downloads available the same day.