from the Saturn newsgroup:
a message from Irwin Chusic
Michael D. Anderson and I have been remiss in notifying the list about new Sun Ra digital releases thru the Mastered for iTunes program over the past six months. I will cover them in two emails, and will include links to the iTunes releases, which are high-quality AAC+ 24-bit audio and include free pdf booklets with full album downloads. We had accorded iTunes exclusivity thru the end of 2014 only; as of January 1, all these releases should now be available thru other digital music retailers — but only in mp3 format, and without the pdf booklets.
We have noted occasional gripes against iTunes for various reasons (technical, ethical, economic). All we can say is, without the editor at iTunes who first proposed this massive reissue project (because he's a huge Sun Ra fan), in all likelihood none of these releases would exist in upgraded digital format, and none of the previously unreleased material (including complete reissues of Saturn albums which had been overlooked) would be on the market. That editor (who prefers to remain anonymous) opened the floodgates.
We have signed a deal with Virtual Distribution to release LPs and CDs. However, we have not yet established a release schedule, because we're discussing how to establish a foothold in a market awash with Scorpio's cheap and inferior bootleg vinyl.
We are deeply indebted to a number of Ra scholars who have been helpful in providing info about personnel, recording dates and locations; advice on previous incarnations of particular tracks; tapes and vinyl transfers; cover art; and encouragement. In no particular order, we thank: Christopher Trent, Peter Dennett, Christopher Eddy, John Sudduth, Robert Campbell, John Szwed, Phast Phreddie Patterson; Gilbert Hsiao; Paul Griffiths; and Alan Nahigian. The folks at Strut and !K7 have been a delight to work with on In the Orbit of Ra. Thomas Jenkins, Jr., Sun Ra's nephew and managing member of Sun Ra LLC, deserves tremendous thanks for his cooperation and ceaseless encouragement. I met him in Atlanta in November, and he's a wonderful man for whom I have boundless respect.
-- Irwin Chusid
My Brother the Wind Vol. 1
Solo Moog recordings. Bonus track: the complete 17-minute "Space Probe," also on Moog, which had been released on Art Yard CD, but we did additional clean-up on the audio, and we think there's a perceptible improvement.
My Brother the Wind Vol. 2
"Spaced out barbecue soul" and Moog experiments.
Secrets of the Sun
Bonus tracks: Reflects Motion Parts 1 and 3; Project Black Mass
Continuation Vol. 1
Previously reissued on CD by Corbett vs Dempsey, we did additional cleanup on this album and Vol. 2 below.
Continuation Vol. 2
LOTS of additional cleanup on this; much improved over the CvD CD. We also dropped two tracks on the CD which were identical to two tracks on When Sun Comes Out with different titles (Endlessness = The Rainmaker; Red Planet Mars = When Sun Comes Out).
We also reissued (remastered from pristine vinyl; no tapes available):
Sun Ra Quartet: New Steps
Sun Ra Quartet: Other Voices, Other Blues
Sun Ra & Arkestra: The Other Side of the Sun
Roz Croney: How Low Can You Go (limbo album w/SR & various Arkestra members)
All of these have been remastered, and we trust they sound better than previous CD, LP, and/or digital issues.
Art Forms Dimensions of Tomorrow
"Cluster of Galaxies" = complete version; bonus track: "Chicago, Southside."
Magic City - Stereo
We had originally released the title track (all 28 minutes) in mono, because that's all we had. But Christopher Trent discovered a stereo mix, which is radically different (and one minute shorter!) than the mono. We removed the mono track and replaced it with the stereo last summer, but neglected to notify the list. The entire album is now full stereo.
A Fireside Chat with Lucifer
First reissue of the lengthy title track. Other tracks from Fireside Chat had later appeared on Nuclear War and Celestial Love. The track "Nuclear War" now appears on Fireside Chat, as we have copied the Saturn track sequence. The rest of the Nuclear War CD tracks are being included on a full reissue of Celestial Love (which will be one of our first 2015 releases).
Voice of the Eternal Tomorrow
Live 1980 album recorded at NYC's Squat Theater. Eternal Tomorrow, which had also been released on Saturn under the title Rose Hue Mansions of the Sun, has never been reissued in any format. The music is confrontational, defiant, and studded with explosive outbursts.
Night of the Purple Moon
Full album with alternate takes of the title track and "Love in Outer Space." Sun Ra's "psychedelic rock" album, failed to knock Iron Butterfly off the charts.
Sub Underground #1
Thanks to Peter Dennett and Paul Griffiths for providing a tape transfer of "Cosmo-Earth Fantasy," which had first been issued on Art Yard CD. We did additional clean-up on this track. "World of Africa" was discovered by Michael Anderson (two takes, actually) and sounds far superior to any previous version. Despite claims that this album was "recorded live" at Temple U in 1974, subsequent research by Griffiths points to 1968 recording dates for "Cosmo-Earth" and "World of Africa." The other two tracks were probably recorded at Temple in '74, but not in concert (there is no audience). Michael D. Anderson, who attended Temple, believes they were recorded in the chapel, which served as a makeshift performance space.
Full catalog (some of the above are not yet posted on the Sun Ra page):
Coming in 2015: I Roam the Cosmos (world premiere); Celestial Love; Ra to the Rescue; Live at the Pit Inn; Cymbals; and some surprises.