Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Summer comes twice this year!

Now that the madness of Record Store Day is behind us, and the 1,200 LP copies of that album in "camp green vinyl" sold out within minutes — and already are turning up on after-market sites such as eBay, at outrageously inflated prices — we can turn our attention to mainstream releases.

The bad news: Patience remains necessary.

The good news: We finally have a solid date — July 5 — for the release on CD, via digital and two new LP editions: a regular black vinyl (available at all retailers) and a Record Store Day Indie Exclusive "summer night blue" vinyl.

The CD, digital, and black vinyl are now available to pre-order from Amazon and other retailers, and the RSD Indie Exclusive is pre-orderable from record stores .

I don't need to repeat everything from the earlier post regarding this album — which includes the full track list — but a few relevant details should be mentioned again:

This is by far the "richest" of Guaraldi's Peanuts TV scores, because he was able to re-unite with many of the jazz cats with whom he also was laying down the tracks for the big screen's debut Peanuts film, A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Thus, this Short Summer session features Guaraldi (piano), Monty Budwig (double bass), Jack Sperling (drums), Conti and Pete Candoli (trumpets), Frank Rosolino (trombone), Victor Feldman (percussion), Herb Ellis (guitar), and William Hood and Peter Christlieb (woodwinds), with John Scott Trotter as orchestra leader. 

This 55th anniversary debut of Guaraldi’s score grants us the opportunity to enjoy these tracks in their full, “little big band” glory: a listening experience not possible while watching the TV special, because — in many cases — the music is significantly “dialed down” behind action and dialogue, making it difficult to appreciate the performance intricacies. 

As an indication of how busy Guaraldi, Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez were in 1969, and the scramble to finish all the elements of this special in time for its September 27 debut on CBS-TV, Guaraldi and his combo didn’t hit the studio to record the music until September 11 and 12. The recorded tracks therefore were edited into the show, and the finished product shipped off to CBS, in just two weeks: almost unprecedented, at that point in time. (One envisions plenty of hair being torn out.)

The full Lee Mendelson Film Productions press release can be found here.

Three sample tracks can be heard here.

For those of you who don't remove the shrink-wrap from your collectible LPs, be advised: It's difficult to distinguish the three.

• The Record Store Day "camp green" edition has a barcode sticker on the outside of the shrink-wrap. That barcode number is 60137-14240.

• The "summer night blue" album will have an "indie exclusive" sticker on the front, and does not have an external barcode sticker. Its barcode number is 60137-14544.

* The black vinyl will also have a barcode sticker on the outside of the shrinkwrap - barcode number still to be determined, but it will be different from either of the other two.

Mind you, these differences are subtle: an indentically sized white sticker placed directly on top of (and covering) the existing white barcode printed on the LP jacket (beneath the shrink-wrap). It would be almost impossible to distinguish between the three when making an online purchase, without being able to see the barcode numbers, so ... caveat emptor.

Finally, this detail is worth a reminder:

This new release was made possible, in great part, by the enthusiastic response — and better-than-anticipated sales figures — of last year's soundtrack debut of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. You know how this works: If Short Summer proves similarly successful, that'll increase the chances of additional Guaraldi treats, moving forward. So don't be parsimonious: Buy a second copy as a gift for a friend!

The Summer of 2024 promises to be quite sweet! 


Jim said...

Here's a new interview with Jason and Sean Mendelson. They reveal another Peanuts soundtrack will be released this fall. Very exciting!

richard said...

Just looked it up on Amazon... Lots of very short tracks, 32 spanning 26 minute, so very much a musical cues selection rather than longer pieces with solos and development. As such I may opt for downloads of certain tracks rather than a whole vinyl album.

I'd really love it if the "He's Your Dog" TV soundtrack got a release, as from what I remember those cues are longer and Pebble Beach had a great flute solo that the original trio version obviously never had.

Scott McGuire said...

Despite the apparently short cues, the album flows quite well and doesn't feel choppy as you might think. Plus it has cohesive themes and melodies, unlike a lot of modern soundtracks that consist of short cues, and the large jazz combo adds to a fuller sound. So I'd suggest considering the whole album!

Mark said...

I ordered the CD directly from MVD, and it arrived yesterday, nearly two months before the official release. And it is glorious.

Derrick Bang said...

While the enthusiasm expressed by Mark is welcome, it's important to note that he received an early copy of the CD specifically for review purposes. As stated above, the general public will not be able to purchase anything until July 5.