Manufacturer: Mountain Apple Company
Brand: Kamakawiwo'ole, Israel
Iz's breezy Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World medley brought legions of new fans to this 1993 album when it appeared on several TV and film soundtracks years later. His second solo album also features Kuhio Bay; Ka Huila Wai ; his take on Take Me Home, Country Roads , and more! To gauge the magnitude of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's popularity in his native Hawaii, consider this: following his death in 1997 (at age 38, attributed to his profound obesity), Kamakawiwo'ole's body lay in state in the state capitol, only the second person to receive such an honor. Kamakawiwo'ole's appeal lies in his love for prestatehood, precondominium Hawaii and the expressiveness of his gently passionate voice, which can float through higher registers with an ease that brings Johnny Mathis to mind. Several selections ("Ka Pua U'i," "White Sandy Beach of Hawai'i," the sun-kissed "La 'Elima") feature Kamakawiwo'ole in a traditional mood, using only his ukulele to adorn the charm of his native lyricism. Others, such as the Jimmy Buffett-like "Maui Hawaiian Sup'pa Man" add playful contemporary touches that suit Kamakawiwo'ole's style. Most touching are the string-backed laments that open and close the album, "Hawai'i '78 Introduction" and "Hawai'i '78," initially a reflection on his father's death, later on the passing of Hawaii's native culture. Best known is his medley "Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World," which played over the closing credits of the film Meet Joe Black. --Terry Wood
Manufacturer: Sony Legacy
We've sold a ton of Marty's legendary 1959 concept album about the Old West on expensive import, but now it's out domestically with the rare B-sides The Hanging Tree; Saddle Tramp , and the long version of El Paso joining such classics as Big Iron and Billy the Kid ! A lonely Westerner in Nashville, Marty Robbins salved his soul by cutting an album (in one afternoon) of mostly self-composed cowboy ballads. One of them was a four-and-a-half-minute epic, "El Paso," that broke every rule of Top 40 programming to become a No. 1 pop and country hit in 1960. Robbins was arguably the most surefooted and accomplished singer in all country music, and that was never more obvious than on these Western ballads performed to often breathtaking perfection with a very small group and a vocal trio. Other titles include "Big Iron" (also a Top 30 hit), "Running Gun," and Western classics like "Cool Water," "Billy the Kid," and "The Strawberry Roan." Three extra tracks flesh out the 1999 release, including "Saddle Tramp" (the B-side of "Big Iron") and "The Hanging Tree" (title song from the 1959 Gary Cooper Western). --Colin Escott
Manufacturer: Mountain Apple Company
This posthumous 2001 collection of unissued songs and alternate arrangements puts the spotlight firmly on Iz's sublimely soothing voice. His beautiful renditions of Over the Rainbow and Mona Lisa join Hi'ilawe; 'Opae E; 'Ulili E; La 'Elima; Panini Pua Kea; Kaleohano; In This Life , and more. The artist behind Facing Future, the top-selling Hawaiian album of all time, the late Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole was possessed of a voice so sweet, so tender, and so lovely that it continues to deeply stir those who hear it long after he died. Lovingly assembled and notated by producer Jon de Mello, Alone in IZ World is comprised of both alternate versions of Kamakawio'ole's best-loved songs as well as tracks never before heard by the public. The latter category includes versions of "Hanohano No Na Cowboy," the playfully incomplete opening on "Mona Lisa," and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," on which IZ takes a rare turn at harmonizing with himself. In light of his premature passing, devastatingly beautiful alternate cuts of "Starting All Over Again" and "In This Life" are especially poignant. And "Over the Rainbow"--IZ's renditions were heard in Meet Joe Black and Finding Forrester--may never again sound so pure. --Paige La Grone
A billion watched the live broadcast of this concert. The resultant double album went multi-platinum, and now, for its 25th anniversary, it's being reissued with five bonus tracks left off the original release! 29 songs in all.
The original 14-track, double-platinum soundtrack album, plus goodies like the movie version of Steppin' Out of Line , which was cut from the final print, and six unreleased alternate takes (of Rock-A-Hula-Baby; Beach Boy Blues; Blue Hawaii; Can't Help Falling In Love , and Steppin' Out of Line again)!
Manufacturer: Sony Legacy
I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair; Bali Ha'i; Some Enchanted Evening , and the rest of those Rodgers & Hammerstein classics. This reissue features remastered sound, original artwork and a new essay!
Manufacturer: Mountain Apple Company HAWAII & Big Boy Record Com
Israel, or "Iz," as he is known to his fans, was Hawaii's most popular singer until his death in 1997. His version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" is still in demand. This album features his intimate vocals with a full orchestra. Even a decade after his death at age 38 in 1997, Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole remains Hawaii's best-known and most beloved singer. His career began when he and his older brother, Skippy, formed a group in their hometown near Honolulu. The two performed together until the latter died in 1982. The band continued on for some years but it was Iz's haunting voice, with its searing yet limpid falsetto, that captured the popular imagination. Indeed, his 'ukulele-laced version of "Over the Rainbow" is widely thought to be the only interpretation that could possibly stand up to Judy Garland's original. Now that the definitive retrospective, Alone in IZ World (2001), has been released, it is perhaps inevitable that new arrangements should be slipped in under Iz's inimitable, indelible vocal tracks. The good news is, however, that these particular lush orchestrations, while totally superfluous, are nonetheless respectful and in good taste, never overwhelming the singing (as if anything could!). There are no revelations, but, fortunately, no unpleasant shocks, either. Perhaps, had he lived, Iz might have decided to go this route anyway. As with Louis Armstrong's (the title of this album refers to Iz's own cover of "What A Wonderful World") and Buddy Holly's string-backed experiments, it's simply yet another way to celebrate the legacy of a departed genius. --Christina Roden
Manufacturer: Masterworks Broadway / Sony / BMG
New Broadway Cast Recording of South Pacific. The landmark musical's first-ever Broadway revival! The curtain rang down on Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific in 1954 after five years of extraordinary acclaim and countless awards including nine Tonys and a Pulitzer. Based on James Michener's Pulitzer Prize winning book Tales of the South Pacific, the musical is set on a tropical island during WW II and tells the sweeping romantic story of two couples - U.S. Navy nurse Nellie Forbush and French plantation owner Emile de Becque and Marine Joe Cable and a young local native girl Liat - and how their happiness is threatened by the realities of the war and by their own prejudices. The score's songs include such musical theater classics as "Some Enchanted Evening," "Younger Than Springtime," "Bali Ha'i," "There is Nothin' Like a Dame" and "A Wonderful Guy."
Manufacturer: RCA / Legacy
Performed at the H.I.C. Arena in Honolulu on January 14, 1973, Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite was the first, worldwide live satellite broadcast of a concert - broadcast to over 40 Nations and screened to others several weeks later. The concert debuted in the U.S. TV on NBC on April 4 and the Nielsen ratings had the show at 33.8% of homes and 51% of those watching TV - and in the Far-East, TV viewing records were broken in Japan, Philippines, Australia, Korea and Hong Kong! On Jan 12, a full dress rehearsal took place prior to the main show. Previously issued as "The Alternate Aloha", this dress rehearsal performance makes up the first 21 tracks of Disc 2 of this Legacy Edition, which has been REMIXED and REMASTERED by Steve Rosenthal and Rob Santos. At the end of the main show on Jan 14, Elvis recorded 5 bonus songs behind closed doors for the US version of the TV show (tracks 23 to 27 Disc 2). Although previously issued, it is the first time all 5 songs have appeared in their rightful place!This new 2-CD Legacy Edition features: Disc 1 The Original Album (REMASTERED)Disc 2 The Jan 12 Dress Rehearsal + 5 bonus tracks (REMIXED & REMASTERED)24 page booklet with rare photos and new liner notes