Limited edition boxed set features restored and remastered vinyl editions classic out–print albums
For the first time, Little Steven’s pioneering early solo career albums have been collected together in a new boxed set, RockNRoll Rebel – The Early Work (Wicked Cool/UMe), which includes all the Rock & Roll Hall Famer’s solo records between 1982 and 1999, as well as the landmark protest album, Sun City, by Artists United Against Apartheid, the supergroup musicians brought together by Little Steven aka Steven Van Zandt and record producer Arthur Baker to fight racial injustice in South Africa. RockNRoll Rebel – The Early Work is available exclusively uDiscoverMusic. The set will be released on January 24th.
Limited to just 1,000 copies, the bespoke slipcase multi-format set includes remastered editions five long-out–print classic albums – Men Without Women (1982), Voice Of America (1983), Sun City (1985), Freedom – No Compromise (1987), Revolution (1989) and the vinyl debut Born Again Savage (1999) – across seven-colored vinyl LPs. The comprehensive collection also boasts four CDs rarities culled from Van Zandt’s personal vault, allowing an in-depth look at his early solo career with 51 tracks spanning previously unreleased demos, B-sides, rehearsals, outtakes, radio spots, non-album singles, classic concert performances, and a number never-before-heard studio gems, complete with corresponding liner notes from Van Zandt about each the bonus tracks. The collection also marks the first time Revolution is available on vinyl in the U.S., having previously only been released in Europe.
“It’s been a blast going through the archives and finding all these hidden gems,” says Van Zandt. “In addition to demos in various stages completion, there are entire songs I’d completely forgotten about, and we found some really early things pre-Jukes like Southside Johnny and the Kid (the kid being me!). I’m excited to have my stuff back on vinyl for the first time in decades!”
In addition, all the albums included in the box are now available digitally as deluxe editions, expanding each album with the same rare and unreleased tracks from the era that make up the four discs rarities in the physical collection.
Sun City, which has never been available digitally, has been expanded with four bonus tracks, including the previously unreleased “Soweto Nights,” described by Van Zandt in the liners as “a phenomenal track seemingly composed at the session (as far as I know) by Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams, who we brought in to improvise along with what Miles Davis had laid down (‘The Struggle Continues’),” and “The Struggle Continues (Extra Miles Davis Version)” which includes an additional six minutes Davis performing. It also features the extended “Sun City (Last Remix)” and its B-side “Not So Far Away (Dub Mix)” from the rare UK 12” single. Also now available digitally is the rare 1985 three-song 12” EP, Let Me See Your I.D., with the Extended Mix, Street Mix and Beat and Scratch Mix the Sun City track that brought together an international cadre artists which included Gil Scott-Heron, Miles Davis, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Peter Wolf, Kurtis Blow, Scorpio, The Fat Boys, Sonny Okosuns and Duke Bootee for a song to protest South Africa’s mandatory I.D. “Pass Laws,” imposed by the apartheid regime. Van Zandt is donating all artist and publishing royalties from Sun City to the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation for the TeachRock.org music history curriculum.
A special digital only album dubbed The Early Work, which collects ten previously unreleased tracks early rehearsals and live performances with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes spanning 1973-77, is also now available. It’s capped f with a live performance from 1995 The Temptations’ “I Wish It Would Rain.” All albums can be streamed/downloaded below.
In conjunction with RockNRoll Rebel, a limited edition standalone 144-page, 12” x 12” companion book is in the works featuring Van Zandt’s in-depth liner notes and memories and stories about the making each album, lyrics to every song and hundreds never-before-seen photos. It will be available for pre-order soon.
Host the long-running syndicated radio show Little Steven’s Underground Garage and the incredibly popular SiriusXM channel the same name, Little Steven will explore four examples what he calls “Wisdom Art,” art that can only be made by artists that have been around for a while, on this weekend’s show. He will delve into Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and the Who’s new song, “All This Music Must Fade.” The show airs on over 100 stations in the United States, over 100 countries worldwide, and is excerpted on Van Zandt’s SiriusXM Channel 21.
To coincide with the release RockNRoll Rebel, Van Zandt has been making select videos from his early career available on his ficial YouTube channel for the first time as well as fering up a ton other visuals from the era.
As Van Zandt looks back on his early solo career with the release RockNRoll Rebel – The Early Work, the creatively restless songwriter and musician has been busy with a slew new releases including the recently released theatrical, Gene Kelly-inspired video for his song “Love Again” from his latest album, Summer Of Sorcery, and an exuberant live performance video Bruce Springsteen’s “Tucson Train.” The video for “Love Again” stars Gino Cosculluela, a Top 4 finalist from the most recent season FOX’s hit TV show So You Think You Can Dance, who performs skillful vintage-inspired dance sequences in front rear-screen projections some the global landmarks Van Zandt sings about in the soulful, up-tempo number.
“I am honored that Gino chose us to be his first project after ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and I also want to thank my wife Maureen for suggesting I call Nigel Lythgoe who gave us his blessing and amazing positive energy,” states Van Zandt. “‘Love Again’ is one my two Sam Cooke tributes on the album. It’s a fun little fiction about a character who has been burned by a relationship so he travels the world trying to distract himself only to find there’s no escape from the addiction love! The video does an amazing job bringing this song to life in a whole new way.”
When Little Steven and The Disciples Soul pulled in to Tucson, AZ on their U.S. tour this past September, Van Zandt and his 14 piece band paid homage to his longtime musical partner Bruce Springsteen with a live performance his song “Tucson Train,” from his latest album Western Stars. Out now, the video, recorded September 15, 2019 at the Rialto Theatre, captures the rollicking band putting their rock n’ soul spin on the song for the first time. An additional performance the song recorded a few days later on September 17, 2019 at the Gothic Theatre in Englewood, CO is also available to stream and download.
Little Steven and the Disciples Soul recently wrapped up two years near constant touring, totaling 187 shows across North America, Europe, and Australia, with triumphant shows in Boston and New York where they brought the back-to-back Soulfire/Summer Of Sorcery world tour to an end with an epic concert that was filmed for future release.