The Second Disc

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Archive for February 19th, 2010

Reissue Theory: The Bangles

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The other night, my radio happened upon “Manic Monday,” one of the best pop songs of the 1980s. I’m sure you’re all aware that the tune was written by Prince (under the pseudonym “Christopher,” an effect from his Under the Cherry Moon days) and given to Susanna Hoffs and company after Apollonia 6 recorded a version that was never released. You may also know that the song itself hit No. 2 on the charts, kept from the top by none other than Prince and The Revolution’s “Kiss.”

You might not know why Sunday would be considered a fun-day (or an I-don’t-have-to-run-day for that matter). I don’t either, and that always makes me think why Prince would come up with such a line. Clearly he had more fun on Sundays than I did as a kid (I often used Sunday to mope about soon-to-be-manic Mondays). But I don’t think I could take it up with him – or The Bangles for that matter. And not only because Susanna Hoffs is crazy pretty, but because there’s better things to say to the band – like, “Hey! What if your albums got a heavy-duty reissue treatment?” (How’s that for a segue! Now, I realize all three are available, with a bonus track each, from Wounded Bird Records. But I suppose there isn’t anything stopping a guy from imagining what could be.)

In tribute to one of the best female rock groups of the ’80s, I give you a special three-for-one version of Reissue Theory, where I tackle All Over the Place, Different Light and Everything. Read on after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

February 19, 2010 at 17:57

Posted in Features, Reissues, The Bangles

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And Don’t It Feel Good

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Some news is coming through the pipeline that a good chunk of the Katrina and The Waves discography is being reissued in honor of the 25th anniversary of “Walking on Sunshine,” their biggest U.S. hit and one of those inescapable summer anthems. There’s a lot of confusion surrounding these reissues (more on that in a minute), but these look pretty interesting, especially because of the material that’s being released themselves.

You see, before the smash success of Katrina and the Waves, the band’s 1985 LP for Capitol, many of their best known songs – “Walking on Sunshine,” “Do You Want Crying” and “Going Down to Liverpool” (later covered by The Bangles) – were already recorded on their indie albums. They lack the spit and polish that made the Capitol versions such big sellers, but that’s what makes them interesting. These original versions are raw and poppy, which will make them a fine addition to anyone’s collection.

Now here’s where things get interesting. I’ve seen release dates (per MusicTAP) for three titles: Shock Horror, The Waves’ 1983 debut (of which almost no info can be easily found on the Internet) will hit stores on March 29, Katrina and The Waves (1983) will come out on April 12 and Katrina and The Waves II (1984) will come out April 29.

There are two issues with that info. One, I’m not sure any of those release dates are right. March 29 and April 12 may be – they’re both Mondays and could be referring to U.K. release dates, so one could assume March 30 and April 13 releases here. But April 29 is a Thursday this year. I somehow doubt a reissue is coming out on such a day of the week. And furthermore, most Waves discographies list their 1983 LP as Walking on Sunshine, not Katrina and The Waves (that would be the name of their first LP for Capitol, whom I’m now pretty sure has nothing to do with these reissues).

Finally, in researching these titles, I happened upon this article, which indicates that Kimberley Rew (co-founder of the band and primary songwriter for the group) is masterminding these reissues, which will also include The Bible of Bop, Rew’s 1982 solo album featuring the first recordings of The Waves.

Until this mess is sorted out, I can at least give you the track lists for the three Waves LPs that are to be reissued. View them after the jump and keep your eyes peeled because there’s got to be more to this story. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

February 19, 2010 at 10:41

A Genius Move?

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Amazon has an April 6 date for a new reissue of Genius + Soul = Jazz, a 1961 instrumental album by Ray Charles. Backed by members of the Count Basie Orchestra, featuring orchestrations by Quincy Jones and propelled by a Top 10 hit, “One Mint Julep,” the LP served as his first for Impulse! Records and is now owned and distributed by the Concord label (which owns the rights to all his Impulse and ABC/Paramount material, from 1960 to 1973).

Concord’s done quite a bit of stuff with this part of Brother Ray’s discography in the past year, including a deluxe version of The Genius Hits the Road (1960), a two-for-one version of Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music Volumes 1 and 2 (both 1962), the CD premiere of Message for the People (1972) and several digital releases of other sets in the Concord catalogue.

In 1997, Rhino released this album on a double bill with My Kind of Jazz, an instrumental LP recorded for Tangerine nearly a decade later in 1970. No bonus tracks were had there and it remains to be seen what will be dug up now. Keep it here for the latest, as always.

Written by Mike Duquette

February 19, 2010 at 00:10

Posted in News, Ray Charles, Reissues