Today, Craft Recordings announces its exclusive line-up of titles for Record Store Day’s 2023 Black Friday event, taking place on November 24 at participating independent retailers. This year’s releases include seven limited-edition pressings from a wide range of genres and eras, encompassing everything from midcentury jazz to post-millennium punk. For jazz aficionados, offerings include a mono edition of Gil Evans’ classic 1957 Prestige Records album Gil Evans & Ten and a 50th anniversary edition of Chico Hamilton’s The Master (a 1973 lost gem featuring members of Little Feat). Among this year’s specially curated compilations are Written in Their Soul – The Hits: The Stax Songwriter Demos (featuring newly unearthed early versions of hits from Stax Records’ heyday) and Jazz Dispensary: At the Movies (a collection of cult-classic soundtrack cuts from the likes of Melvin Van Peebles, Isaac Hayes, and Booker T. & The M.G.’s). Other highlights include the first-ever vinyl pressing of Alan Silvestri’s score for the 1992 black comedy Death Becomes Her, as well as a deluxe edition of the soundtrack to Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1984 film Blood Simple (curated and produced by famed composer Carter Burwell himself). Meanwhile, a 10-year anniversary pressing of the long-out-of-print Punk Goes Christmas finds pop-punk acts like Yellowcard and All Time Low delivering their own high-energy versions of holiday favorites.
Alan Silvestri – Death Becomes Her (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1-LP; Purple Vinyl)
For nearly four decades, the Academy Award®-winning partnership between director/producer Robert Zemeckis and composer/conductor Alan Silvestri has yielded some of the world’s most beloved films and celebrated scores, including Forrest Gump, The Polar Express, and all three installments of Back to the Future. Released in 1992, Death Becomes Her is no exception. With its satirical and ghoulish look at Hollywood’s quest for eternal youth, this comedy cult classic follows a movie star (Meryl Streep) and novelist (Goldie Hawn) as they feud over the same man – a plastic surgeon, played by Bruce Willis. At the center of the plot is a miracle potion that offers eternal youth, even after death. As things go increasingly awry, the women attempt to maintain appearances over the years, despite a series of ghastly accidents.
In addition to its Oscar®-winning visual effects, Death Becomes Her features an unforgettable score by Silvestri, who deftly captures the film’s tone: grand yet wry, large-scale and symphonic for the supernatural drama, with a lighthearted touch of the macabre. Throughout the film, a devilish fiddle reminds audiences of the Faustian bargain that the characters have made with immortality.
The first-ever vinyl pressing of Death Becomes Her (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), this expanded edition includes seven cues not featured on the original soundtrack release, as well as an extended version of the original song “Me,” performed by the legendary Meryl Streep. Limited to 4,000 copies worldwide, the soundtrack is pressed on purple vinyl with the original cover art and a printed inner sleeve.
Death Becomes Her (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Tracklist:
- Main Title (From The Motion Picture Death Becomes Her)
- Woman On The Verge
- The Altar / Sexual
- A Touch Of Magic
- Now, A Warning
- Sempre Viva
- Another Drunk Driver
- Self Defense / New Mad Arrives Home
- Hurry Up, You Wimp
- It’s Alive
- Violation Of Natural Law
- To The Morgue
- Helen Spies
- She Was A Bad Actress
- Another Miracle
- I’ll Be Upstairs
- Loving You
- Seal The Room
- I’d Rather Die
- End Credits (From The Motion Picture Death Becomes Her)
Carter Burwell – Blood Simple (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack/Deluxe Edition) (1-LP; Bloodshot Vinyl)
Another of the most iconic director/composer partnerships in film history, Joel and Ethan Coen’s collaboration with award-winning composer Carter Burwell began with the duo’s 1984 directorial debut Blood Simple. Not only an auspicious debut for the Coen brothers — whose genre-spanning, massively influential filmography includes classics like 2007’s No Country for Old Men, winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture — the independent neo-noir thriller marked the feature-film debut of four-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand. Also starring John Getz, Dan Hedaya, and M. Emmet Walsh, the film centers on the Coen brothers’ signature mix of psychodrama and dark humor as it follows a Texas bartender embroiled in a murder plot involving the bar owner’s young wife.
Also the first feature-film score from Burwell (then the director of the New York Institute of Technology’s digital sound department and a member of an art-pop duo called Thick Pigeon), Blood Simple draws much of its unsettling mood from Burwell’s hypnotic piano melodies and inventive use of manipulated field recordings of industrial machinery. After discovering an immediate chemistry with the Coen brothers, Burwell would go on to score most of their films to date, in addition to earning Academy Award nominations for his work on movies like Todd Haynes’ Carol and Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin. Praised by Time Out New York for “evoking a palpable sense of dread with just a couple of piano keys,” the Blood Simple score appeared in an abbreviated version on a 1987 release from Craft’s sister label Varèse Sarabande (which also featured selections from Burwell’s score to the Coens’ next film, Raising Arizona).
Forty years after recording the Blood Simple score, Burwell has personally curated and produced an all-new mix of the ahead-of-its-time soundtrack. While the original Varèse Sarabande release only included seven tracks from the score (totaling just 20 minutes), this deluxe edition features 13 tracks and 35 minutes from the original multitrack session tapes, including three extended cues. Limited to 3,000 copies worldwide and pressed on Bloodshot vinyl, the LP also includes Daniel Schweiger’s detailed liner notes recounting the genesis of the project and the ever-fascinating Coens–Burwell collaboration.
Blood Simple (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack/Deluxe Edition) Tracklist:
- Crash And Burn
- Blood Simple
- Chain Gang
- Looking At Pictures
- The March
- Monkey Chant
- Noise Burn
- Blood Simpler
- The Shooting
- Abby Scampers
- Empty Bar
- If I See Him
Chico Hamilton – The Master (1-LP; Purple Marble 180-Gram Vinyl)
An essential force in the West Coast Jazz scene of the ’50s and ’60s, drummer/bandleader Chico Hamilton possessed a subtle yet immensely creative style that would come to define the cool jazz movement. After getting his start drumming for the likes of Charles Mingus while still in high school in Los Angeles (Hamilton’s hometown and the epicenter of cool jazz), he went on to work with legends like Count Basie, tour as Lena Horne’s drummer, and become a charter member of baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan’s highly influential quartet. In a rare move for a drummer in the ’50s, Hamilton founded his own quintet in 1955 and instantly achieved major success, with the Chico Hamilton Quintet quickly emerging as one of the most popular jazz groups of the time — and later gaining recognition as one of the last important West Coast Jazz bands in music history. Before disbanding in the mid-’60s, the quintet cycled through several line-ups (with one version featuring Eric Dolphy) and explored such eclectic styles as chamber jazz and advanced hard-bop, in addition to appearing in films like Jazz on a Summer’s Day (a concert film set at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival).
Released via Stax Record’s subsidiary, Enterprise Records, Hamilton’s 1973 album The Master finds the world-renowned drummer once again expanding his vast sonic palette and working with members of Southern boogie stronghold Little Feat, including vocalist/guitarist Lowell George, keyboardist Bill Payne, bassist Kenny Gradney, guitarist/vocalist Paul Barrere, and percussionist Sam Clayton. The result is an undeniable hidden gem, merging Hamilton’s melodic and endlessly mesmerizing drumming with a funk-infused, R&B-tinged take on post-bop jazz.
Limited to 4,000 copies worldwide and pressed on Purple Marble 180-gram vinyl in tip-on jacket, the 50th anniversary edition of The Master features lacquers cut from the original tapes (AAA) by Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl.
The Master Tracklist:
- One Day Five Months Ago
- Feels Good
- Conquistadores ‘74
- I Can Hear The Grass Grow
Gil Evans – Gil Evans & Ten (1-LP; Black 180-Gram Vinyl)
Widely regarded as one of the greatest and most forward-thinking orchestrators in jazz history, Canadian composer/arranger Gil Evans upheld an extraordinary career that included arranging for the Claude Thornhill Orchestra and working with Miles Davis on a series of historic albums, including 1957’s Birth of the Cool and Miles Ahead, 1959’s Porgy and Bess, 1960’s Sketches of Spain, and the 1963 collaborative album Quiet Nights. At the encouragement of Davis, the illustrious Prestige Records ultimately granted Evans his own record date — a turn of events that led to the making of the classic 1957 album Gil Evans & Ten.
Known for his unconventional use of brass instruments — and for his exquisitely complex and often-challenging arrangements — Evans made his debut as a bandleader on Gil Evans & Ten and assembled a tentet comprised of trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, bass trombonist Bart Varsalona, trumpeters Louis Mucci and John Carisi, and French horn player Willie Ruff, among others. With Evans making his recording debut as a pianist, the lush and innovative album also features Steve Lacy (on soprano saxophone, at a time before John Coltrane had popularized the use of that instrument among modern jazz groups) as well as alto saxophonist Lee Konitz (Evans’ colleague in both the Thornhill and Davis units of the ’40s). Along with original compositions like Evans’ exuberant “Jambangle,” Gil Evans & Ten includes his elegantly inventive reworkings of pieces by such diverse artists as Leadbelly and Leonard Bernstein.
Limited to 7,000 copies worldwide and pressed on black 180-Gram vinyl at RTI, this special mono edition of Gil Evans & Ten features (AAA) remastering with lacquers cut from the original master tapes by Kevin Gray (a mastering engineer whose extensive credits in the jazz world include releases by Bill Evans Trio, Ornette Coleman, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, and more).
Gil Evans & Ten Tracklist:
- Ella Speed
- Big Stuff
- Nobody’s Heart
- Just One Of Those Things
- If You Could See Me Now
Various Artists – Jazz Dispensary: At the Movies (1-LP; Purple Haze Vinyl)
For the latest installment of the boundary-blurring, mind-expanding Jazz Dispensary series, the homegrown label’s highly discerning sound sommeliers have curated an irresistibly funky selection of songs from midnight movies of the ’60s and ’70s. A movie marathon’s worth of wildly infectious grooves, Jazz Dispensary: At The Movies features can’t-miss classics and deep cuts from Melvin Van Peebles, Isaac Hayes, Booker T. & The M.G.’s, and many more of the soul, funk, and R&B legends behind the soundtracks to a multitude of seminal cult favorites.
A treasure trove of timeless jams, At the Movies kicks off Side A with the euphoric and gospel-inspired “Saturday Night” by Melvin Van Peebles, featured in the famed actor/filmmaker/composer’s musical film Don’t Play Us Cheap (a 1973 release adapted from Peebles’ Broadway production of the same name). Next, Booker T. & the M.G.’s break into the Hammond B-3 organ-driven instrumental “Time Is Tight,” originally recorded for their soundtrack to the 1968 film UpTight and later covered by everyone from The Clash to The Blues Brothers to Buckwheat Zydeco. Another standout on Side A, “The Riot” is a soul-jazz masterpiece performed by Ed Bogas and Ray Shanklin for the score to the 1972 film Fritz the Cat (an adult animated comedy based on the comic strip by R. Crumb).
Elsewhere on At the Movies, Peebles joins forces with a then-unknown Earth, Wind & Fire for “Sweetback’s Theme” — an epic instrumental from Peebles’ 1971 feature film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, widely credited with creating the blaxploitation genre. Also including cuts from more obscure blaxploitation films like Black Girl (Ed Bogas and Ray Shanklin’s “B.J.’s Step”) and The Dynamite Brothers (Charles Earland’s “Incense of Essence”), At the Movies features two songs from soul-music superhero Isaac Hayes: “Joe Bell” from the 1974 crime-action film Three Tough Guys, and “Pursuit of the Pimpmobile” from Truck Turner (a 1974 blaxploitation film starring Hayes himself as a former professional football player turned bounty hunter).
Limited to 5,400 copies worldwide and pressed on Purple Haze vinyl, At the Movies features original artwork by Tiffany Chin.
Jazz Dispensary: At the Movies Tracklist:
- Saturday Night – Melvin Van Peebles
- Time Is Tight – Booker T. & The M.G.’s
- Joe Bell – Isaac Hayes
- The Riot – Ed Bogas, Ray Shanklin
- Incense Of Essence – Charles Earland
- Sweetback’s Theme – Melvin Van Peebles (feat. Earth, Wind & Fire)
- Wilford’s Gone – The Blackbyrds
- Carol’s Theme – Steve Krantz Animation, Inc.
- B.J.’s Step – Ed Bogas, Ray Shanklin
- Pursuit Of The Pimpmobile – Isaac Hayes
Various Artists – Written in Their Soul – The Hits: The Stax Songwriter Demos (1-LP; Orange Crush Vinyl)
As the home to soul superstars like Otis Redding and The Staple Singers, Stax Records boasted an incredible roster of top-notch songwriters in its heyday, generating a steady stream of iconic songs. Earlier this year, Craft Recordings celebrated the work of those often-unsung heroes with the release of Written in Their Soul: The Stax Songwriter Demos — a seven-disc box set featuring 146 demos (140 previously unreleased) from Stax’s A-list songwriting team. Now, with Written in Their Soul – The Hits: The Stax Songwriter Demos, Craft presents a selection of highlights from that box set, allowing fans to experience the pure unbridled magic captured in the demos to 13 indelible hits.
The opening track to Written in Their Soul – The Hits, Eddie Floyd’s “634-5789 (Soulsville, USA)” arrives as a stark but potent early version of the song famously recorded by Wilson Pickett, who made it a No.1 R&B hit and Top 20 pop single in 1966. On “Respect Yourself” (a 1971 hit for The Staple Singers), Mack Rice delivers an acoustic demo brimming with raw intensity and gloriously defiant attitude. Another Staple Singers smash, the gold-certified “If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me)” cracked the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1973 but started out as a softly swaying and soul-stirring track performed by Memphis-born singer/songwriter/producer Homer Banks. And on “Woman to Woman,” Henderson Thigpen brings his impossibly smooth spoken word to a low-slung rendition of the track that would become a signature hit for Shirley Brown in 1974.
Limited to 5,000 units worldwide, this one-of-a-kind compilation has been pressed on Orange Crush vinyl.
Written in Their Soul – The Hits Tracklist:
- 634-5789 (Soulsville, USA) – Eddie Floyd
- I’ve Got No Time To Lose – Deanie Parker
- A Woman’s Love – Carla Thomas
- I’ll Always Have Faith In You – Eddie Floyd
- Respect Yourself – Mack Rice
- I’ll Be Your Shelter (In Time Of Storm) – Homer Banks
- I’ll Be The Other Woman – Shelbra Bennett
- (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right – Homer Banks
- I Got To Be Myself – Carl Smith
- If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me) – Homer Banks
- Woman To Woman – Henderson Thigpen
- We Can Love – Eddie Floyd
- I’ve Got A Feeling (We’ll Be Seeing Each Other Again) – Homer Banks
Various Artists – Punk Goes Christmas (45 RPM 2-LP set; Green Vinyl)
For more than two decades, Fearless Records has turned out a series of compilation albums in which punk, emo, metalcore, and post-hardcore bands reimagine songs from such wide-ranging genres as hip-hop, classic rock, ’80s pop, and ’90s alt-rock. Since launching the series with Punk Goes Metal in 2000, Fearless has also served up themed compilations like Punk Goes Christmas — a 2013 release that marked the fourteenth offering in the Punk Goes... collection and climbed to No. 9 on Billboard’s Top Holiday Albums chart. Featuring pop-punk heavyweights like Yellowcard, All Time Low, and Set It Off, an expanded edition of the long-out-of-print album now arrives just in time for the tenth anniversary of its initial release.
Opening on a moment of unexpected sweetness, Punk Goes Christmas begins with New Found Glory’s gang-vocal-fueled, acoustic-guitar-driven “Nothing for Christmas” (one of many original numbers included on the album). Along with original tracks from Mayday Parade’s Jason Lancaster, The Ready Set, Real Friends, and more, the 16-song compilation also features plenty of punked-up covers, ranging from time-honored classics (Being as an Ocean’s throat-shredding take on Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”) to tongue-in-cheek rock songs (Man Overboard’s pogo-ready version of The Kinks’ “Father Christmas”) to holiday-movie favorites (August Burns Red’s riff-heavy rendition of John Williams’ “Home Alone Theme”).
Although the tracklist mirrors the previously released deluxe edition of Punk Goes Christmas (a 2015 digital-only variation featuring four bonus tracks), this marks the first time the bonus tracks will appear on vinyl. Limited to 4,500 units worldwide and pressed on green vinyl, Punk Goes Christmas will be available as a 45-RPM 2-LP set.
Punk Goes Christmas Tracklist:
- Nothing For Christmas – New Found Glory
- Fool’s Holiday – All Time Low
- I Had A Heart – Real Friends
- 12 Days Of A Pop-Punk Christmas – Jarrod Alonge
- Father Christmas – Man Overboard
- This Christmas – The Summer Set
- There Will Be No Christmas – Crown The Empire
- Christmas Lights – Yellowcard
- Home Alone Theme – August Burns Red
- Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – Issues
- All I Can Give You – Jason Lancaster
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Being As An Ocean
- I Don’t Wanna Spend Another Christmas Without You – The Ready Set
- Sleigh Ride – This Wild Life
- This Christmas (I’ll Burn It To The Ground) – Set It Off
- Do You Hear What I Hear? – William Beckett