New Releases: Carole King Demos, Monkees Reissues, Jack White Channels The ’70s
Let’s take a look at this week’s albums, reissues and other musical goodies from classic artists making musical waves yet again.
Spotlight Release of the Week: Forty-one years after the release of Carole King‘s Tapestry – not only her biggest record but one of the best-selling albums ever – 2012 is turning out to an exciting year for the singer-songwriter. Two weeks ago, King released her memoir, A Natural Woman, and this week she continues her stroll down memory lane with a collection of previously unheard demos, titled The Legendary Demos. On the 13-song collection, King presents the demo versions of hits she crafted throughout her ’60s songwriter days and her transition into successful singer. Stripped-down piano demos of Tapestry hits like “It’s Too Late,” “You’ve Got a Friend” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” feel, well, natural sung in King’s voice. But take “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and “So Goes Love,” for example: Both songs were penned by King and her songwriting partner (and then husband) Gerry Goffin and made famous by the Monkees, but here on The Legendary Demos, fans hear King lead surprisingly polished demos of the pop hits. For those who may not be well-versed in King’s story, this demos collection may serve as an education. Because not everyone knows that she, alongside Goffin and Phil Spector, was behind the Righteous Brothers 1965 hit “Just Once In My Life.”
We move from Carole King’s demos of Monkees tracks she helped pen to remastered reissues of the Monkees 1987 reunion album, Pool It! and Davy Jones’ 1971 solo album, The Bell Recordings. Both releases, out today and previously limited in their availability, include bonus tracks, with the Jones package offering up more extra goodies in honor of the recently passed Monkees leader.
Allman Brothers guitarist gone solo, Warren Haynes, offers up three-disc (two CD, one DVD) live collection titled Warren Haynes Band: Live From The Moody Theater this week. Throughout the live set recorded in Austin, Texas, fans hear and see Haynes performing selections from his catalog in addition to a number of jam-filled covers including Steely Dan’s “Pretzel Logic,” Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Spanish Castle Magic.” The Faces’ Ian McLagan joined Haynes live during the recording.
And finally this week, we find one of rock’s biggest modern stars, Jack White, releasing his first solo album, following the dissolution of his garage rock duo, the White Stripes, last year. On the album, titled Blunderbuss, White explores territory that may be of great interest to those with a predilection for 1970s guitar gods. White tops it off with colorful lyrical tales and a healthy helping of Neil Young-esque folk twinges.
–Jillian Mapes, CBS Local