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Archive for March 4th, 2010

Reissue Theory: Robert Palmer – “Riptide”

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It’s no secret that I’m a huge Duran Duran fan (these upcoming reissues are seriously a thing of beauty). But I also credit them with opening me up to a whole lot of other acts. Had I not started listening to them in middle school, I would not have been drawn to other synth/New Wave bands, CHIC, Madonna, David Bowie or Robert Palmer.

Palmer in particular was quite the performer. His Duran connections were smallish – he was the lead vocalist for DD side-project The Power Station – but he was a soulful singer who put out a very diverse body of work. I’ll be honest; his death in 2003 made me more than a little sad.

Sadder still is the relative lack of love given to Palmer’s discography on the catalogue side of things. Maybe it’s because his material (on his own and with The Power Station) was split up between multiple labels, but his solo records definitely deserve the kind of reissue attention that the Power Station LP got. (Bonus remixes and a DVD? Yes, please.) As a tribute to Robert Palmer, I present a Reissue Theory look at Riptide, one of his most commercially successful albums with enough hits and rarities to appeal to every kinda people. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

March 4, 2010 at 14:04

Posted in Features, Reissues, Robert Palmer

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Rarities Editions: Half of a Good Idea?

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A few weeks before I started this blog, I kept seeing pre-order links for a bunch of catalogue titles from Universal Music Enterprises under the banner of “Rarities Edition.” By the time the first batch of them came out in January, I had found out that the sets were essentially the bonus discs from some of UMe’s unmistakable Deluxe Edition titles, priced to entice those collectors who wanted those bonus cuts on disc without purchasing (or re-purchasing) a more expensive set.

Now at first blush, these releases – which cover titles like Weezer’s first record, Diana Ross’ Diana, Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and a forthcoming set for Bob Marley’s Legend compilation – seem kind of neat. After all, those Deluxe Editions can sometimes get expensive – usually $25-$30 for a new copy – and not everyone is infatuated with the idea of buying titles on CD more than once to get the best mastered version out there.

But when you really think about it, there are a couple of flaws inherent for some buyers. For one thing, despite the less expensive price tag, one of the biggest selling points of Universal’s Deluxe Editions is that slick packaging. That plastic O-card. Those thick, four-panel digipaks. Liner notes that you want to read more than once. I have no clue if there are liner notes in these sets or not, although it wouldn’t make sense since the album in question isn’t there.

The other trick is slightly more deceptive: some of the Deluxe Edition titles have bonus tracks on the first disc as well. Sometimes these are worth the price of admission; keeping them out of a mid-priced rarities set is a bit of a gyp for the uninformed consumer. And even for the sets that have all their bonus tracks on the second disc, you’ll still have to make sure you have a copy of the first disc proper. Otherwise, you’ll have to spend the same amount of cash on two separate releases, which isn’t as efficient to a guy like me.

So as a public service, I’ve established a bit of a buyer’s guide to all the current and forthcoming Rarities Editions after the jump. Some of them are actually worthwhile if you’ve missed the Deluxe Editions, but more than a few are sorely lacking. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

March 4, 2010 at 12:57

Release Round-Up: From Chicago to the White House

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  • Rhino Handmade has announced its latest title, the first-ever true quadraphonic release of The Chicago Transit Authority, the 1969 debut LP by Chicago. Featuring hits like “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” and “Questions 67 and 68,” this DVD release includes the entire album presented in four discrete channels of sound. Order it here and have a go at a demo of “quadio” over here.
  • A couple of soundtrack tidbits coming up. First up, new releases from La La Land Records have been announced for sale March 9. Marc Shaiman’s score to the Michael Keaton/Geena Davis comedy Speechless (1994) and Miles Goodman’s score to the hilarious Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1987) are both making their CD debuts at 1200 copies each.
  • Elsewhere, it was confirmed that Film Score Monthly will soon release a five-disc box set devoted to the work of Lalo Schifrin (The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible and four of the five Dirty Harry films). No details about which works will be included have been announced.
  • Finally, a well-known, well-liked modern-day composer has hinted that one of his most-requested scores will see an expanded release soon. David Arnold, best known as the current composer for the James Bond films, tweeted that the complete score to Independence Day (1996) is “happening now…should be ready in a month or two.” He later added that La La Land Records would be the label that would release it, referring to their previous expansion of his score to the 1998 American version of Godzilla. “[T]hink its the same people who did [G]odzilla. [N]o other releases as far as [I] know,” he wrote.

Written by Mike Duquette

March 4, 2010 at 01:36

That’s Why They’ve Done It Again (UPDATED 3/4)

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A break from the usual weekend radio silence to report on a very exciting story over at Slicing Up Eyeballs: EMI’s Dutch Web site has added reissues of Duran Duran’s Notorious and Big Thing to their catalogue schedule. Both titles have a release date of June 7, and will ostensibly serve as companion pieces to the great, recent deluxe editions of the Duran discography (Rio and a vintage live show, Hammersmith ’82, were released last fall, and 2 CD/1 DVD versions of Duran Duran, Seven and the Ragged Tiger, and the Duran side-project Arcadia’s So Red the Rose are due in the next two months).

These two Duran LPs are two of the more intriguing entries in the band’s catalogue. Recorded after the departure of guitarist Andy Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor, these more “mature” sounding albums signified the beginning of the end for worldwide Duran-mania but opened the door for some intriguing new sonic directions. Notorious was more of a straight-ahead rock record than its predecessors, with a heavy dose of funk courtesy of producer Nile Rodgers. And Big Thing dabbled both in Chicago house and more atmospheric ballads than the traditional New Wave sounds of yore. And each had a handful of hits or just great singles, including “Notorious” and “Skin Trade” from the former album and “I Don’t Want Your Love” and “All She Wants Is” from the latter.

As of March 3, track lists have been released for each, along with a boatload of extras, viewable after the jump. For posterity purposes, my original speculations have been retained after the listings. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

March 4, 2010 at 00:20

Posted in Duran Duran, News, Reissues