Legacies: David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Elvis Presley, Depeche Mode and...The Partridge Family?

11/23/2016 10:50 am ET Updated Nov 23, 2016

DAVID BOWIE / LEGACY

David Bowie / <em>Legacy</em>
David Bowie Legacy artwork
David Bowie / Legacy

David Bowie’s Legacy releases—in both double and single CD formats—are concise overviews of the art rocker’s music built upon album tracks, radio edits, and the PBS remix of “Hallo Spaceboy.” Both span the 50+ years of Bowie output though with the abundance of collections on this artist, you have to carefully pick your poison considering there are also his Nothing Has Changed triple and single disc compilations. Reason to be cheerful? The appearance of an alternate version of “Life On Mars?” that was mixed by its original producer Ken Scott in 2011. Reason not to be cheerful? Where is “Suffragette City,” one of classic rock radio’s major anthems for decades? Its exclusion is a very big faux pas and is almost worth a recall of at least the double disc to include it. But for nice introductions to David Bowie’s catalog, these work and the music sings for itself.

SINGLE DISC VERSION:

1. Let’s Dance 2. Ashes To Ashes 3. Under Pressure – Queen & David Bowie 4. Life On Mars? (2016 mix) 5. Changes 6. Oh! You Pretty Things 7. The Man Who Sold The World 8. Space Oddity 9. Starman 10. Ziggy Stardust 11. The Jean Genie 12. Rebel Rebel 13. Golden Years 14. Dancing In The Street – David Bowie & Mick Jagger 15. China Girl 16. Fame 17. Sound And Vision 18. Heroes 19. Where Are We Now? 20. Lazarus

DOUBLE DISC VERSION:

Disc One: 1. Space Oddity 2. The Man Who Sold The World 3. Changes 4. Oh! You Pretty Things 5. Life On Mars? (2016 mix) 6. Starman 7. Ziggy Stardust 8. Moonage Daydream 9. The Jean Genie 10. All The Young Dudes 11. Drive-In Saturday 12. Sorrow 13. Rebel Rebel 14. Young Americans 15. Fame 16. Golden Years 17. Sound And Vision 18. Heroes 19. Boys Keep Swinging 20. Ashes To Ashes 21. Fashion

Disc Two: 1. Under Pressure – Queen & David Bowie 2. Let’s Dance 3. China Girl 4. Modern Love 5. Blue Jean 6. This Is Not America – with The Pat Metheny Group 7. Dancing In The Street – David Bowie & Mick Jagger 8. Absolute Beginners 9. Jump They Say 10. Hallo Spaceboy – with The Pet Shop Boys 11. Little Wonder 12. I’m Afraid Of Americans 13. Thursday’s Child 14. Slow Burn 15. Everyone Says “Hi” 16. New Killer Star 17. Where Are We Now? 18. Lazarus 19. I Can’t Give Everything Away

PINK FLOYD / THE EARLY YEARS 1965-1972

Pink Floyd
photo credit: Storm Thorggerson
Pink Floyd

A Pink Floyd apocrypha is spreading throughout the lands, let us be glad and rejoice! The breadth and depth of these eternally worshipped psychedelic progsters’ The Early Years 1965-1972 box set is so massive that, forget Thanksgiving, your eyes and ears will be feasting for about a month. Highlights from these 27 discs of audio and video are tracks from their Live at Pompeii film, performances from the 1972 Brighton Dome, performances with the Roland Petit Ballet Company, 5.1 mixes, 7” singles, unreleased demos, 20+ unreleased songs including “Vegetable Man,” and three feature films, and this is admittedly a poor overview since one can’t list all the overwhelming minutia. Possibly the most revealing material focuses on Syd Barrett’s tenure, the time before David Gilmour’s arrival that created the iconic roster of Waters, Gilmour, Wright and Mason. Enthusiastically recommended, especially for those interested in production, rock engineering and the roots of prog. For those with less time for such consumption, there is a two-disc sampler with the theme Cre/ation. But you know you want the box.

Pink Floyd / <em>The Early Years: 1965-1972</em>
Pink Floyd box set artwork
Pink Floyd / The Early Years: 1965-1972
Pink Floyd / <em>The Early Years 1967-1972 Cre&#x2F;ation</em>
Pink Floyd double disc Cre/ation artwork
Pink Floyd / The Early Years 1967-1972 Cre/ation

ELVIS PRESLEY / THE ALBUM COLLECTION

Elvis Presley / <em>The Album Collection</em>
Elvis Presley Album Collection artwork
Elvis Presley / The Album Collection

Though traditional artist or band box sets are always interesting for unearthed gems that are discovered during the master tape and historical research, it’s listening to a body of released work mostly chronologically that best shows evolution. Elvis Presley’s box set, The Album Collection, employs both of those presentation styles by assembling 60 discs of albums and rarities from three decades. It’s basically all here, framing every regal and not-so-regal phase of The King as rockabilly provocateur, rocker, movie star, balladeer, Memphis soulster, live performer, Gospel singer, country artist, Vegas-ish entertainer, aging crooner, and more. As a study of Elvis and his music and their eternal effect on rock ’n’ roll, you can’t do better than this.

ALBUMS:

Elvis Presley (1956) Elvis (1956) Loving You (1957) Elvis Christmas Album (1957) Elvis' Golden Records (1958) King Creole (1958) For LP Fans Only (1959) A Date With Elvis (1959) Elvis' Gold Records Volume 2 – 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong (1959) Elvis Is Back! (1960) G.I. Blues (1960) His Hand in Mine (1960) Something for Everybody (1961) Blue Hawaii (1961) Pot Luck (1962) Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962) It Happened at the World's Fair (1963) Elvis' Golden Records Volume 3 (1963) Fun in Acapulco (1963) Kissin' Cousins (1964) Roustabout (1964) Girl Happy (1965) Elvis for Everyone (1965) Harum Scarum (1965) Frankie and Johnny (1966) Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966) Spinout (1966) How Great Thou Art (1967) Double Trouble (1967) Clambake (1967) Elvis' Gold Records Volume 4 (1968) Speedway (1968) Elvis Sings Flaming Star (1968) Elvis (NBC-TV Special) (1968) From Elvis in Memphis (1969) From Memphis to Vegas / From Vegas to Memphis (1969) Let's Be Friends (1970) On Stage (1970) Almost in Love (1970) That's the Way It Is (1970) Elvis Country (I'm 10,000 Years Old) (1971) Love Letters From Elvis (1971) C'mon Everybody (1971) I Got Lucky (1971) Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas (1971) Elvis Now (1972) He Touched Me (1972) Elvis: As Recorded at Madison Square Garden (1972) Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite (2 discs, 1973) Elvis (Fool) (1973) Raised on Rock (1973) Good Times (1974) Elvis: As Recorded Live On Stage in Memphis (1974) Promised Land (1975) Elvis Today (1975) From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee (1976) Moody Blue (1977) '50s Rarities (2016) '60s Rarities (2016) '70s Rarities (2016)

ELVIS PRESLEY WITH THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA / THE WONDER OF YOU

Elvis Presley with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / <em>The Wonder Of You</em>
Elvis Presley's The Wonder Of You artowrk
Elvis Presley with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / The Wonder Of You

Last year, the Elvis Presley hybrid If I Can Dream was released, a project that surrounded The King with the lushness of the The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Its followup, The Wonder Of You, repeats the successful formula though just as with the last outing, it’s a mix that shouldn’t make sense, transplanting the former rockabilly prototype into a forest of dense instrumentation. But tracks like “Let It Be Me” and “Always On My Mind” come off even more majestic, and though its blasphemous to even suggest this, “Amazing Grace” settles into its heavenly arrangement as if this was the recording it always was meant to be. The Wonder Of You definitely is worth checking out if you’re looking for a big hunk o’ different.

TRACKLIST: A Big Hunk O' Love, I've Got A Thing About You Baby, Suspicious Minds, Don't, I Just Can't Help Believin', Just Pretend, Love Letters, Amazing Grace, Starting Today, Kentucky Rain, Memories, Let It Be Me, Always On My Mind, The Wonder Of You, Just Pretend - duet with Helene Fischer - bonus track

DEPECHE MODE / VIDEO SINGLES COLLECTION

Depeche Mode / <em>Video Singles Collection</em>
Depeche Mode's Video Singles Collection artwork
Depeche Mode / Video Singles Collection

Question: What has 55 videos—some directed by Julien Temple, Clive Richardson and Anton Corbijn—and is spread across three DVDs? Answer: Why, it’s Depeche Mode’s Video Singles Collection, of course. But wait a minute. DVD? Is that like an 8-track or something? The up side is production costs probably were low enough to cover mechanical rights, some restoration, and production in a medium that has become fairly inexpensive to use in 2016, therefore making it affordable to release such a hefty video collection. But given the great talents involved—Julien Temple, Anton Corbijn, and let’s not forget Depeche Mode with the alt left vocals of David Gahan—and considering this is a group with influential, memorable music clips, perhaps blu-ray might have added even more weight to this otherwise enjoyable release. Then again, you do get “People Are People,” “Strangelove,” “Personal Jesus” and its 2011 upgrade. Plus the sound is excellent, so who’s complaining? These sing-alongs string along beyond nostalgia, telling the story of a Basildon, Essex, New Wave band that later helped energize Europe’s New Romantic genre of the ’80s as it inspired new acts for decades to come.

TRACKLIST:

Just Can’t Get Enough (directed by Clive Richardson)

See You (directed by Julien Temple), The Meaning Of Love (directed by Julien Temple)

Leave In Silence (directed by Julien Temple)

Get The Balance Right (directed by Kevin Hewitt)

Everything Counts (directed by Clive Richardson)

Love, In Itself (directed by Clive Richardson)

People Are People (directed by Clive Richardson)

Master And Servant (directed by Clive Richardson)

Blasphemous Rumours (directed by Clive Richardson)

Somebody (directed by Clive Richardson)

Shake The Disease (directed by Peter Care)

It’s Called A Heart (directed by Peter Care)

Stripped (directed by Peter Care)

But Not Tonight (directed by Tamra Davis)

A Question Of Lust (directed by Clive Richardson)

A Question Of Time (directed by Anton Corbijn)

Strangelove (directed by Anton Corbijn)

Never Let Me Down Again (directed by Anton Corbijn)

Behind The Wheel (directed by Anton Corbijn)

Little 15 (directed by Martyn Atkins)

Strangelove ’88 (directed by Martyn Atkins)

Everything Counts (Live – from “101”) (directed by D.A. Pennebaker)

Personal Jesus (directed by Anton Corbijn)

Enjoy The Silence (directed by Anton Corbijn)

Policy Of Truth (directed by Anton Corbijn)

World In My Eyes (directed by Anton Corbijn)

I Feel You (directed by Anton Corbijn)

Walking In My Shoes (directed by Anton Corbijn)

Condemnation (Paris Mix) (directed by Anton Corbijn)

One Caress (directed by Kevin Kerslake)

In Your Room (directed by Anton Corbijn)

Barrel Of A Gun (directed by Anton Corbijn)

It’s No Good (directed by Anton Corbijn)

Home (directed by Steven Green)

Useless (directed by Anton Corbijn)

Only When I Lose Myself (directed by Brian Griffin)

Dream On (directed by Stephane Sednaoui)

I Feel Loved (directed by John Hillcoat)

Freelove (directed by John Hillcoat)

Goodnight Lovers (directed by John Hillcoat)

Enjoy The Silence ’04 (directed by Uwe Flade)

Precious (directed by Uwe Flade)

A Pain That I’m Used To (directed by Uwe Flade)

Suffer Well (directed by Anton Corbijn)

John The Revelator (directed by Blue Leach)

Martyr (directed by Robert Chandler)

Wrong (directed by Patrick Daughters)

Peace (directed by Jonas and François)

Hole To Feed (directed by Eric Wareheim)

Fragile Tension (directed by Rob Chandler and Barney Steel)

Personal Jesus 2011 (directed by Patrick Daughters)

Heaven (directed by Timothy Saccenti)

Soothe My Soul (directed by Warren Fu)

Should Be Higher (directed by Anton Corbijn)

WHEN WE’RE SINGIN’ - THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY & THEIR MUSIC BY JOHNNY RAY MILLER

<em>When We’re Singing - The Partridge Family &amp; Their Music</em>
Johnny Ray Miller's When We're Singing book cover artwork
When We’re Singing - The Partridge Family & Their Music

Johnny Ray’s When We’re Singin’—The Partridge Family & Their Music is one of the most thoroughly researched books with quotes from virtually everyone who had anything to do with the television and recording phenomenon. Astonishingly, it even includes a foreword by David Cassidy, which is a coup if you know any of the behind the scenes drama associated with the star’s fight with Sony Music over royalties. And with all of the Partridge “experts” out there (I’ve occasionally fancied myself as one), it took someone with an innocent approach and ridiculous drive to achieve what no one else was able to concerning this much maligned/beloved fictitious musical family. Through interviews, endless photos, and hundreds of pages of knowledge, Johnny Miller’s book reads smoothly yet also serves as a meticulous encyclopedia of The Partridge Family’s released and unreleased recordings and what took place over the “group”’s brief four years of existence. Even if you hate the group, you might find yourself giving their musical story a little slack since this book also comes off like a primer on the music business of the early ’70s.

So before everyone who loved this show is dead, please Sony, can you get the unreleased material on the market? It seems like over the last twenty-five or so years, every burp and hiccup has been released on much more obscure artists than this, so here are a couple of suggestions: Release an original albums box with an approximation of what the last unreleased album was proposed to be plus a final disc of rarities. Or combine their complete output with David Cassidy’s solo albums since you own all of his Bell and RCA material as well as his Romance album. Either approach could make a highly marketable product that could be a terrific last statement on the group and a pretty compelling audio story of Cassidy’s prolific, almost Beatles-level international popularity and early career. Or how about a sacrifice to Zeus? Whatever it takes, just do it and get this over with, okay? Love ya... ;)

For more information: Johnny Ray's When We're Singin'

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