Gone Digital: Echo & The Bunnymen, Bobby Short, Connie Stevens, Wendy Waldman, and James Darren
If it’s Tuesday, then it must be time for Gone Digital, our weekly look at five albums in Rhino’s digital catalog that you may not even realize were out there for your listening enjoyment. As ever, the types of music we’ll be covering will be all over the place, but that’s Rhino for you: we’re all about variety!
• Echo & The Bunnymen, THE JOHN PEEL SESSIONS 1979-1983 (2019): Any Anglophile worth their salt knows the late John Peel and how important his radio show was to the careers of countless artists. This 21-song compilation pulls together several performances by Ian McCulloch, Will Sergeant, and the boys on Peel’s show, including such classic tunes as “Over the Wall,” “All My Colours,” “Heaven Up Here,” “Silver,” “Seven Seas,” and the iconic “The Killing Moon.”
• Bobby Short, GUESS WHO’S BACK IN TOWN: BOBBY SHORT PERFORMS THE SONGS OF ANDY RAZAF (1987): First signed to Atlantic Records back in 1955, Short concluded his career for the label with this LP, a tribute to Razaf’s long career as a songwriter which features Short belting out “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” and more.
• Connie Stevens, FROM ME TO YOU (1962): In the early 1960s, Connie Stevens managed to be both the girl next door and one of the sexiest woman on the planet, and she’s still cute as a button even now. Although better known for her work as an actress, this collection doubtlessly made more than a few teenage boys weak in the knees...and probably still has that effect on them now, although the arthritis could have more to do with it nowadays.
• Wendy Waldman, STRANGE COMPANY (1978): She started out with a group called Bryndle with – dig this line-up! – Karla Bonoff, Andrew Gold, and Kenny Edwards, then rebounded from the group’s dissolution by securing a solo deal with Warner Brothers. This was the last of her five albums for the label, and in addition to the great faux tabloid cover art, it also features some great tunes, including the single “Long Hot Summer Nights.”
• James Darren, SINGS FOR ALL SIZES (1962): He started his acting career in the 1950s, and if he’s not currently working, he at least was working as recently as 2017, when he co-starred in Harry Dean Stanton’s final film, Lucky, but Darren found enough fame as a singer that he ended up playing a recurring role as a nightclub crooner on – of all places – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. This was one of several albums that Darren released on Warner Brothers, but it’s the one that features his biggest hit, “Goodbye Cruel World,” which hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.