LAURA NYRO – ” American Dreamer “Box Set and “Go Find the Moon: The Audition Tape”

Posted: April 29, 2021 in MUSIC
Laura Nyro American Dreamer Packshot

A collection of original albums and a pair of new titles featuring rarities from the late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro are being released.

Omnivore Recordings will release the two sets of rare Nyro music: “Trees of the Ages: Laura Nyro Live in Japan” and the never-before-issued “Go Find the Moon: The Audition Tape“. Both will be available on CD and digital, with Go Find the Moon also available on vinyl (as a 45-rpm LP). Each was restored and mastered by Grammy-winner Michael Graves and produced for release by Grammy-winner Cheryl Pawelski and George Gilbert with the approval of the Laura Nyro Trust. Originally issued only in Japan only as Live in Japan in 2003, the 16 tracks recorded at Kintetsu Hall, plus five recorded at On Air West, return as Trees of the Ages: Laura Nyro Live in Japan, to be released July 16th, 2021.

The set runs the gamut of her career, from Nyro-penned hits including “And When I Die,” “Wedding Bell Blues” and “Save the Country,” to covers of Bacharach/David, Smokey Robinson and Phil Spector classics. Capturing Nyro’s February 1994 visit to Japan, the set features Nyro on piano and vocals, augmented by the harmonies by Diane Wilson, Dian Sorrell and Diane Garisto.

In the summer of 1966, a year before her appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival, an 18-year-old Laura Nyro auditioned for producer Milt Okun and Artie Mogull, a noted A&R man. After the session, Mogull became Nyro’s manager and Okun signed on to produce her debut record, More Than a New Discovery. The first song she performed, “And When I Die,” became the opening track on The Peter, Paul and Mary Album, and achieved even bigger success with a cover by Blood, Sweat and Tears.

Go Find the Moon: The Audition Tape is due out September 10th, 2021.

Also due is Laura Nyro—American Dreamer, an eight-LP deluxe vinyl boxed set housing seven of the artist’s original albums from 1967-1978, all remastered especially for these editions. The package includes the LPs More Than a New Discovery, Eli and the Thirteenth Confession, New York Tendaberry, Christmas and the Beads of Sweat, Gonna Take a Miracle, Smile and Nested, alongside an original LP of Rarities and Live Recordings. Housed in a bookshelf slipcase box that includes a 36-page, 12-inch book with extensive liner notes, the collection features rare photographs and interviews with Todd Rundgren, Charlie Callelo, Herb Bernstein and many more.

A member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Nyro not only wrote songs that became hits for artists like 5th Dimension, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Three Dog Night and Barbra Streisand, but has been cited as a major influence by artists as varied as Kate Bush, Elton John, Elvis Costello, Cyndi Lauper, Todd Rundgren, Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz and others. Born in the Bronx in 1947, she died at age 49 following a bout with ovarian cancer. She recorded 10 of her own studio albums (one released posthumously).

We’ve long championed the extraordinary legacy of singer songwriter Laura Nyro. Madfish are to release “American Dreamer”, a limited edition remastered vinyl box set of albums by the influential and celebrated singer-songwriter Laura Nyro. Now, the U.K.’s Madfish Records label is returning her 1967-1978 catalogue for Verve and Columbia to vinyl in a new box set. During the singer/songwriter movement in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, Laura Nyro was one of the most celebrated tunesmiths of her day. She penned soulful, literate songs that took the folky introspection of her peers and infused it with element of soul, R&B, jazz, and gospel, giving them an emotional heat that set her apart.

The 8-LP box set “American Dreamer” is due on July 30th.  The slipcased collection presents newly remastered versions of her original studio albums:

  • More Than a New Discovery (1967)
  • Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (1968)
  • New York Tendaberry (1969)
  • Christmas and the Beads of Sweat (1970)
  • Gonna Take a Miracle – with Labelle (1971)
  • Smile (1976); and
  • Nested (1978).

The set does not include her final two Columbia long-players (1984’s Mother’s Spiritual and 1993’s Walk the Dog and Light the Light) nor the posthumously-released Angel in the Dark (2001).  Similarly, Laura’s live albums including 1977’s Season of Lights have not been included.

However, “American Dreamer” will also include a bonus eighth LP, Rarities and Live Recordings, of 15 previously issued gems including the mono single versions of “Stoney End” and “Eli’s Comin’;” the Bones Howe-produced “pop” single version of “Save the Country;” the demos of “Lu,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” and “Emmie” from the 2002 CD reissue of Eli and the Thirteenth Confession; the outtake “In the Country Way” from the 2002 CD reissue of New York Tendaberry; four tracks (“Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “O-o-h Child,” “Up on the Roof”)  from Laura’s May 30th, 1971 Fillmore East set as released on CD in 2004; the demos of “Someone Loves You,” “Get Me My Cap” from the CD expanded editions of Smile; and the live medley of “Emily” and “Nested” from the Nested expanded edition.

This collection features a 36-page booklet with liner notes by author Peter Doggett and appreciations from Elton John, Rosanne Cash, Rickie Lee Jones, Donald Fagen, Bette Midler, Alice Cooper, Graham Nash, and others; as well as new interviews with Todd Rundgren, Charlie Calello, Herb Bernstein, and others.  There’s no word yet on who handled the remastering or, in the case of More Than a New Discovery, whether the mono or stereo master was utilized.  Each LP is adorned with a custom Madfish label.

Fortunately for those of us who loved her music, that was not the end of the story. She returned briefly to the fray for three turbulent years in the mid-to-late 1970s, and then enjoyed a final decade of artistic achievement and public acclaim, before illness took her from us at the tragically early age of 49 in 1997. Nyro found her early fame challenging yet despite living under an unrelenting spotlight, she was able to create this series of utterly beautiful and stunningly unique albums.

The box celebrating this singular artist is due from the U.K.’s Madfish label on July 30th. 

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