The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for March 3rd, 2010

There They Go Again

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Thanks to the ICE boards (where I’d read this a bit ago but foolishly forgot to post here) for pointing out the upcoming release of Callin’ All, an enormous 4-disc box set from indie-pop favorites The La’s. Despite recording only one LP and a handful of singles in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the band has earned cult immortality thanks to the irresistible “There She Goes.” Their other material is pretty neat too, and even though they’ve had their share of reissues and repackagings over the years, this set uncovers a lot of unreleased or hard-to-find gems.

There’s no artwork or pricing info for this set (I’m hearing a May 3 release in the U.K.), but there’s at least a press release and track list direct from Universal (I’ve made what I believe are a few corrections – the track list was a bit oddly formatted), which you can read after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

March 3, 2010 at 11:03

Posted in Box Sets, News, The La's

The Paradox

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If you’re an avid follower of the music business at large, you know the common narrative that defines the industry: once, record labels signed great talents and earned lots of money and influence off the back of that art. Gradually, that art became secondary to business and excess, and as labels became absorbed into bigger corporations and followed trends instead of setting them, music fans got increasingly put off by the product. By the time rapid technological advances changed the way we listened to music – first peer-to-peer networks, than organized downloading in the form of iTunes – the labels found it difficult to keep up, and now many wonder how and when the entire bloated industry will come crashing down.

In the world of catalogue projects, however, the narrative is a bit different. In fact, if you keep up with some of the most recent stories in the field, you may realize there really is no proper narrative. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

March 3, 2010 at 10:19

Reissue Theory: The Family, “The Family”

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Tuesday was the 20th – count it! – anniversary of I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, the polarizing breakthrough LP by Sinead O’Connor. There’s a fascinating write-up about the record and its aftermath over at Popdose that really shows off what an intriguing figure O’Connor was at the time. It certainly says something that an album with one Top 40 hit (her only one) sold over 7 million copies in its day. Clearly something was up here.

I completely forgot that the record was given a double-disc reissue last year, which more or less took it off the books for a Reissue Theory post. But the album does give way to discussion of a much more obscure group from a few years prior to the success of I Do Not Want.

Everyone knows that Sinead’s chart-topping hit, “Nothing Compares 2 U,” was written by Prince. To this day, it remains the most successful cover of a Prince song (even more so than The Bangles’ Manic Monday” or Chaka Khan’s “I Feel for You”). But the heartrending breakup song wasn’t a mere outtake from Prince’s fabled vault; it was a fleshed-out work recorded by The Family.

The side project, comprised of former members of The Time and a few other session musicians with Prince connections, was one of The Purple One’s early attempts to get back into mogul status. Having lost The Time and Apollonia 6 after the Purple Rain tour, Prince split his own duties as an artist in 1985 with producing two hit records for Sheila E. and intending for The Family to follow her successes on the fledgling Paisley Park label.

The self-titled record featured a number of Prince songs generously credited to others (but, tellingly, he received credit for “Nothing Compares 2 U”). However, the song wasn’t released as a single. Those honors went to funky dance tracks “The Screams of Passion” and “Mutiny,” both of which tanked. The album fared little better, hitting no major sales landmarks and never actually getting a proper CD release in America.

Twenty-five years later, though, it’s interesting to look back at The Family – hell, of the entire, mostly-out-of-print Paisley Park discography – and watch what seeds they planted in Prince’s own career. Besides being the first of Prince’s many collaborations with saxophonist Eric Leeds, it started to get The Artist out of his New Wave/R&B trappings and into some other genres, notably jazz fusion (which he’d revisit through the equally obscure Paisley Park group Madhouse). So, after noting again how much a revisiting of Paisley Park’s brief catalogue would be welcome, I present the Reissue Theory take on The Family. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

March 3, 2010 at 01:36

Posted in Features, Prince, Reissues

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