LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Omnivore Recordings will release two sets of rare Laura Nyro music over the next few months: 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 (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.
A member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Laura 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 (Godspell, Wicked), and countless others. Born in the Bronx in 1947, she left us far too soon, at age 49 following a bout with ovarian cancer.
She recorded ten of her own studio albums (one released posthumously), but a live performance from Nyro was always a particularly special event.
Originally issued only in Japan 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 16, 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. It is an essential document of her historic February 1994 visit to Japan. With Nyro on piano and vocals, augmented by the harmonies by Diane Wilson, Dian Sorrell, Diane Garisto, the performances are sublime.
The reissue packaging contains updated artwork and new liner notes from author and musician John Kruth. Looking and sounding incredible, this essential addition to Nyro’s discography is available worldwide for the first time. Trees of the Ages: Laura Nyro Live in Japan cements the legacy of an incomparable artist.
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In the summer of 1966, an 18-year-old Laura Nyro auditioned for Milt Okun, one of the most respected music producers of the day, and Artie Mogull, a noted A&R man. After the session, these eventual music business legends were so blown away that Mogull became her manager, and Okun signed on to produce her debut record, More Than Just a Discovery. The first song she performed, “And When I Die,” became the opening track on Peter, Paul and Mary’s hit album, The Peter, Paul and Mary Album, and achieved even bigger success with the cover by Blood, Sweat, & Tears, which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969. Quite a song with which to begin an audition!
Nyro certainly wrote other future smashes delivered to the charts by artists like Three Dog Night (“Eli’s Coming”), the 5th Dimension (“Stoned Soul Picnic,” “Save the Country,” and “Wedding Bell Blues”), Barbra Streisand (“Stoney End”), and more. But it was Nyro’s heart, soul, songwriting brilliance and magnificent vocal talent that drove music fans to discover her own work.
Go Find the Moon: The Audition Tape, due out September 10, 2021, puts the listener in the room at the very beginning of Nyro’s legendary career. Available now for the first time, it includes “And When I Die” as well as songs she never officially released, and her own versions of classics, all delivered with a deft and distinctive touch.
As journalist Jim Farber writes in the liners: “Here, Laura Nyro led the way with a performance that captured an artist who, however young, was, at root, already fully formed.”
Omnivore will offer a special bundle of the LP Go Find The Moon: The Audition Tape with a numbered litho print of the cover limited to 200.
Trees of the Ages: Laura Nyro Live in Japan
1. Dedicated to the One I Love
2. Ooh Baby Baby
3. Woman of the World
4. Louise’s Church
5. Lite a Flame (The Animal Rights Song)
6. Walk the Dog & Light the Light (Song of the Road)
7. The Japanese Restaurant Song
8. And When I Die
9. To a Child
10. The Descent of Luna Rose
11. Wild World
12. Save the Country
13. Wedding Bell Blues
14. Trees of the Ages/Emmie
15. Walk on By
16. Let It Be Me
17. Oh Yeah Maybe Baby (The Heebie Jeebies)
19. Broken Rainbow
20. My Innocence/Sophia
21. Art of Love
Go Find The Moon: The Audition Tapeeion
1. And When I Die
2. Lazy Susan (False Start)
3. Enough of You
4. In and Out
5. Go Find the Moon
6. Luckie/Studio Talk
7. When Sunny Gets Blue (Fragment)/Kansas City (Fragment)/I Only Want to Be With You
8. Lazy Susan