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Archive for March 30th, 2010

Guessing Game: Devo – “New Traditionalists” (UPDATED 3/30)

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It was recently announced that, not long after Devo’s Duty Now for the Future reissue and upcoming new single, Warner Bros. will be continuing the reissue chain with New Traditionalists, the band’s fourth LP from 1981, due back in stores on May 11.

To date, no bonus tracks have been announced. Prior reissues have seen bonus tracks ranging from new live material (the 2009 live performance of Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! that accompanied the reissue of the original) to old live material (the DEV-O Live EP was added to the Freedom of Choice reissue) or just a bunch of B-sides (as is the case on the forthcoming Duty Now for the Future reissue).

With all of this in mind, it seemed like a good idea to pore through some tracks that might be included.

  • “Working in the Coalmine”: this song was cut from New Traditionalists but, after being a minor hit from the Heavy Metal soundtrack, it was included as a bonus 7″ single with the album itself. There’d be no reason not to include it, honestly.
  • “Mecha-Mania Boy”: a non-LP single that was included on the Infinite Zero reissue of New Traditionalists in 1997 (along with “Coalmine” and the next track.
  • “Nu-Tra Speaks (New Traditionalist Man)”: A spoken-word transmission for the Devo devotees that was the B-side to the “Beautiful World” 7″ picture-disc and included on the Infinite Zero reissue.
  • The Dance Velocity Remixes: While they’re not for everybody, there was a 7″ single pressed with remixes of “Through Being Cool” and “Going Under” that, as far as I know, haven’t seen a CD release.
  • Devo on Fridays: In October of 1981, Devo made their final of three appearances on the cult comedy show Fridays. The band performed five songs in total – “Adventures of the Smart Patrol,” “Jerkin’ Back ‘N’ Forth,” “I Saw Jesus,” “Through Being Cool” and “Working in the Coalmine.” View them all here.
  • Demos: The Recombo DNA demo compilation by Rhino Handmade included demos of “I Saw Jesus,” “Pity You,” “Beautiful World” and “The Super Thing” (under the title “Psychology of Desire”), and the Rykodisc Hardcore Devo collection of pre-Warner demos included a version of “Working in the Coalmine.” Perhaps these (or others as yet unreleased) might be dusted off for the reissue.

UPDATE: Anti-Music has posted the full track list, including six bonus tracks, for New Traditionalists – and The Second Disc got two of them right! Check out the full track list after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

March 30, 2010 at 22:15

Posted in Devo, News, Reissues

Reissue Theory: Tracy Chapman, “Tracy Chapman”

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We music fans live for that moment when a song comes from nowhere – through a radio, perhaps, or more likely through your computer speakers nowadays – grabs us and doesn’t let go. That was undoubtedly the case with “Fast Car,” the first single by singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman.

The song – for the ten or so of you who might have missed it over the better part of 20 years – is an achingly bittersweet, first-person ballad about a woman planning to escape her impoverished, broken family only to fall into the same hardships herself with the man she loves. The rapid delivery of the lyrics – sung in Chapman’s beautiful low voice without sounding overwrought – is balanced with those chords coming out of her acoustic guitar, particularly the moving bridge sequence that just knots your stomach with those lines at the end: “I had a feeling that I belonged/I had a feeling I could be someone.”

It’s hard to believe that, by all accounts, Chapman had a long, hard road to major-label success (Rolling Stone once reported that she sent a demo to a label which turned her down and suggested she learn how to tune her guitar). Frankly, had “Fast Car” not become a Top 10 hit and Chapman not won three Grammys (including Best New Artist) that year, it’s hard to imagine the next decade being as populated with such strong female singer-songwriters as Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morrissette or Tori Amos.

It’s harder still to realize that, as Tracy Chapman the album gets older, it hasn’t seen the kind of reissue that such a lauded record usually gets. To honor her achievements (not to mention her 46th birthday, which is today), why don’t we take a look at how a re-release might go down, the Reissue Theory way. Hit the jump and keep on drivin’. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

March 30, 2010 at 09:48

Posted in Features, Reissues, Tracy Chapman

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Rarities Editions: Round Two

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The Second Disc did a run-through earlier this month concerning Universal Music Enterprises’ “Rarities Editions,” repackagings of the second discs of various Universal Deluxe Editions. Some of them were worth it if you avoided buying the Deluxe Edition before, but a few lacked the bonus tracks that were on some of the deluxe titles’ first discs.

However, they must have been enough of a success for UMe, because another seven in the series have been announced for April 27. Thus, it would be worth taking a look at these titles and assessing their worth to you, the buyer. Read on after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

March 30, 2010 at 00:54