Music Guy

by YES! Weekly staff

James can be reached via cyberspace at

by John M. James

One of the most beloved albums of the 1970s, Billy Joel’s The Stranger, gets a labor-of-love reissue next week from Columbia Records’ Legacy imprint. Celebrating 30 years since its original release and double Grammy win, the remastered edition in a book-style case boasts a live concert CD recorded at Carnegie Hall from June 1977, and in special limited edition featuring a bonus DVD with promotional videos from the album’s title track and “Just the Way You Are,” and 10 songs filmed for the BBC’s “Old Grey Whistle Test” television show from the following March. Also looking back with a “bottle of red, and a bottle of white,” is a 30-minute documentary on the DVD with Joel and producer Phil Ramone… Yaz has reunited and embark on a new tour this month in Las Vegas. Mute Records has collected both of their

dancefloor party smashes, Upstairs at Eric’s and You and Me Both, into a new four-disc box set, In Your Room, due this coming Tuesday. The remastered collection features 5.1 mixes to really get the room spinning, B-sides, interviews, videos and other treats. Also up is a domestic release of vocalist Alison Moyet’s most recent release from last year, The Turn, on the Decca label. Taking a bit of an Edith Piaf touch with tango rhythms and accordion waltzes, the album features three songs from her role in the stage play Smaller… This coming Tuesday brings the accompanying soundtrack CD to the third season of Showtime televisions’ “Weeds.” While Randy Newman turns in his take on the show’s opening theme, Malvina’s Reynolds’ “Little Boxes,” alongside tracks from the Dresden Dolls, Ween and Great Lake Swimmers, a digital only collection of 10 other versions of the theme song are also available from Lionsgate Records. Calling it the Little Boxes Dimebag, other artists putting their spin on the 1962 “new classic” include Billy Bob Thornton & the Boxmasters, Englebert Humperdinck, Rise Against, Kinky, Goat and Angelique Kidjo… Speaking of covers, 10 years ago when Me First & the Gimme Gimmes recorded their Have Another Ball! covers collection, a jumping fistful of tracks from those original sessions were left on the shelf. Next week Fat Wreck Chords releases those “lost” tributes in Have Another Ball! The Unearthed A-Sides Album. AM radio pop standards going under their punky, upbeat bounce delight include Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs,” Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me,” Hall & Oates’ “Rich Girl” and — dig this — John Denver’s “Country Roads.”

Television Alert:

“The Late Show with David Letterman” welcomes Donna Summer tonight and Kid Rock on Monday; “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” hosts John Hiatt on Thursday overnight; “Last Call with Carson Daly” features Local H this evening and Cloud Cult on Thursday overnight; and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” chats with Heart on Monday.