The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for January 2010

New Review – Whitney Houston: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition

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Need a cure and tonic from the truly dismal Grammys, currently invading airspace across the East Coast? The inimitable Matt Rowe at MusicTAP has been kind enough to post another catalogue review of mine. This time it’s Legacy’s neat reissue of Whitney Houston’s 1985 debut LP. While I can’t yet confirm if I “might just be the next MusicTAP,” as Matt very kindly speculates, I am more than happy to try.

To that end, check out the review here and keep reading The Second Disc for all the expanded and remastered news you can stand.

Written by Mike Duquette

January 31, 2010 at 21:17

J is for What Now?

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Among the many releases on MusicTAP‘s calendar today is a new Motown title for The Jackson 5, rather simply titled J is for Jackson 5. What could this possibly entail?

My educated guess comes from elsewhere in the Universal Music Group back catalogue. Last summer, UMe released B is for Bob, a kid-friendly compilation of newly-remixed Bob Marley songs supervised by Ziggy Marley. (Fear not, purists: four of the tracks were presented in their original mixes.)

J is for J5 might go over easier since the group in question already has a mass appeal to younger ones – and those singsong bubblegum pop hits may go over well enough to avoid any terribly drastic remixes. (For collectors, I’m willing to bank on something for you as well – maybe a few instrumental versions of some big J5 hits.)

In any case, J is for Jackson 5 is due March 30.

Written by Mike Duquette

January 31, 2010 at 21:05

Release Info: The Miracles “City of Angels”

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More info has come through on last week’s mention of the reissue of City of Angels, a “lost” 1975 album by The Miracles.

City of Angels, the fourth Miracles LP with vocalist Billy Griffin (who’d replaced Smokey Robinson in 1972), was a smash thanks to its huge No. 1 hit “Love Machine (Part 1).” But amazingly, it’s never gotten a proper CD release until now. Hip-O Select, Universal Music Enterprises’ boutique label, has reissued the disc with its original album art, a new essay written by soul music writer David Nathan, a bonus interview Nathan conducted with Griffin and fellow Miracle Warren “Pete” Moore, and an unreleased bonus track: a 12″ instrumental version of “Love Machine.”

Order it here, and as always stick with The Second Disc for more expanded and remastered news as it happens.

Written by Mike Duquette

January 29, 2010 at 13:56

Posted in News, Reissues, The Miracles

Journey to “Neptune”

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In case you missed it yesterday, AOL’s Spinner music Web site posted a stream of the lead single and title track of Legacy’s new Jimi Hendrix vault compilation, Valleys of Neptune. Me? I dig it quite a bit. It’s a solid track, and not a patch on his greatest hits (that can sometimes be the trick with posthumous works, especially when they’re released as singles).

Hear it here, plus read a cool interview with Valleys co-producer/Hendrix historian John McDermott here. And check out the full track listing for the record at Amazon if you haven’t already.

Written by Mike Duquette

January 29, 2010 at 13:31

Posted in Jimi Hendrix, News

News Roundup: ZTT and All That

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Awhile back there’d been talk of classic label ZTT – the label that gave us Art of Noise, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Propaganda – reissuing some of its classics with unreleased material from the vaults. Now it seems the first pieces of that plan are coming to fruition! ZTT have recently announced The Element Series, currently comprised of six releases by ZTT artists and associated acts.

After the jump, have a go at the titles, track lists and all that.  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 29, 2010 at 13:06

This is It (Part 2)

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Now that I’ve gotten all my gripes out about the This is It soundtrack, I’m more than happy to pen some thoughts on the actual film, now out on DVD and Blu-Ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

For years after Michael Jackson rose from a nasty string of legal troubles in 2004, I had been ruminating on what could become of one of my favorite pop entertainers. His rumored forays back into the recording studio always left me cold; why would he collaborate with will.i.am or Akon when he had Quincy Jones on speed dial to orchestrate a classy comeback?

I remember thinking, as one rumor put him in the midst of planning a Vegas act, that he needed to do something big with his art. Maybe turn himself into a James Brown-style showman, heavy on musicality and less on artifice. Maybe by the end of the decade, he could do a soul-baring Rolling Stone interview, where he stopped acting for the cameras that followed him for most of his life and speak from the heart on his highs and lows.

Of course, that never happened. First he planned a series of wildly ambitious comeback concerts. Then, with only weeks to go before they began, he died, plunging millions – myself included – into a rush of nostalgia and a deep questioning of what might have been. Last October, we got our answer. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 29, 2010 at 00:57

This is It (Part 1)

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One of the biggest catalogue-oriented titles this week is a DVD: Tuesday saw the release of Michael Jackson’s This is It, the documentary comprised of tour rehearsal footage for the set of London concerts the King of Pop was working on right before his death in June.

I’ve happily pored through 75 percent of my copy (I have a few features to sift through) and upon completion I’ll be sure to post a review. But I’d also like to take a quick look at the other This is It product that’s been on shelves since the film opened in October: the soundtrack. It’s certainly one of the oddest catalogue titles I’ve ever seen and, as you’ll read after the jump, a product I can’t entirely recommend. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 28, 2010 at 14:46

I Am Spartacus

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Film score fans have had a lot to sing about in the past year or so. Thanks to the Herculean efforts of independent soundtrack labels, a lot of highly sought-after soundtracks that major labels would never think to release have been put on disc to the delight of fans everywhere. The Intrada label recently scored an enormous coup by releasing Alan Silvestri’s complete score to Back to the Future, La La Land Records recently pressed limited editions of James Newton Howard’s music for the film version of The Fugitive and the first-ever CD release of the Caddyshack soundtrack. And Film Score Monthly, which made one of the decade’s best box sets in Superman: The Music 1978-1988, has put out such recent fan faves as James Horner’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and John Williams’ Black Sunday, and (as previously posted) will be putting out a deluxe edition of Jerry Goldsmith’s Poltergeist later in the year.

But one cannot forget the score label that started it all: Varese Sarabande has been releasing new and old soundtracks since 1978, and are rapidly approaching their 1000th-title mark. For what seems like years, fans have speculated that the 1000th release will be the score to Spartacus, a classic soundtrack by Alex North and a favorite of label VP of Soundtracks and score producer Robert Townson.

Yesterday, the first semi-confirmations were issued.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 27, 2010 at 11:32

Posted in News, Soundtracks

Conan Addendum

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I found this funny enough to warrant its own post: I spent the weekend debunking some rumors about the presence of the original master of The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” on one of the last episodes of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. What I almost completely overlooked was another back catalogue-oriented news story that sprung up from the last episode.

Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, drummer for The Roots (a great R&B group in their own right and the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, which follows The Tonight Show), let slip on his Twitter account that there was a hefty price tag for another musical moment from Conan’s last night as host last Friday. His band, led by E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg, greeted guest Tom Hanks with a rendition of The Beatles’ “Lovely Rita.” How much did that set NBC back, according to ?uestlove?

that first stunt was what it was (no spoilers) but tom’s walkon music on conan is on my “restricted” list—wow a $500,000 walkon song lol.

So while the Bugatti Veyron Mouse’s theme may not have dented NBC’s wallet, it looks like The Fab Four did. At least they didn’t use the master for that one.

Written by Mike Duquette

January 25, 2010 at 09:14

Posted in News, The Beatles

Release News: They’re Here

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A quick bit of release news for you: a classic rock title already set up for pre-order, and a pair of popular film composers with reissues in the works.

  • Hip-O Select is taking orders for Chuck Berry’s Have Mercy: His Complete Chess Recordings 1969-1974. The four-disc set is the third and final such set of Berry’s recordings for the legendary label and features 22 unreleased tracks. Find it here.
  • Legendary soundtrack catalogue label Film Score Monthly has quite a new release: the complete score to the 1977 film Black Sunday, composed and conducted by John Williams. It was, to date, the most recent score of Williams’ (whose credits also include Jaws, Star Wars, and the Indiana Jones films) to never see a release. As with most soundtrack releases (due to union regulations), it’s a limited pressing, but it’s a more generous amount than usual at 10,000 copies. More info is here.
  • FSM also dropped a big name recently. Label founder Lukas Kendall confirmed that in 2010 the label would put out a new expanded release of Jerry Goldsmith’s score to Poltergeist. The set will feature the complete score, newly remastered from the original source elements by veteran score producer Mike Matessino, as well as a bonus disc of alternate takes and the original LP program as it was released by Polygram in 1982. (For interested collectors, Rhino did release a slightly expanded version of that LP in 1997.)

Written by Mike Duquette

January 25, 2010 at 09:01