The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for April 15th, 2010

Something to Shout About

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A few new titles coming our way from Shout! Factory. The label perhaps best known for being born of Rhino ex-pats – ex-pats who got one of the best live concert films ever out on DVD for the first time – have announced reissues of two very different titles that will please rock fans out there.

First up, Concrete Blonde – the seminal Los Angeles alt-rockers of the late ’80s and early ’90s – had previously announced a reunion tour to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their most famous LP Bloodletting (home of the Top 20 hit “Joey”). Today, they announced plans to reissue the record with a nice heap of bonus tracks, due out on July 13.

Two weeks later, Billy Squier will reissue Don’t Say No, his 1981 hit, on the label. This record, which includes the enduring hit “The Stroke” and production from Mack (Queen’s producer through much of the 1980s), will include two as-yet live bonus tracks when it’s released on July 27.

Hit the jump for track lists for both sets. (Thanks to our friends Slicing Up Eyeballs and Pause & Play for the tips.) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

April 15, 2010 at 18:35

Back Tracks: Cheap Trick

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In reading about Cheap Trick on Web sites like the All Music Guide, one keeps finding aspects of the band’s work described as “perverse.” That’s a weird way of defining it – not in the sexual sense, mind you, but as a means of describing how unusual they are – but I guess it fits well enough, for a number of reasons.

In the Rockford, Ill.-based band are, visually, one of the most arresting bands ever; vocalist Robin Zander and basist Tom Petersson look like your typical gorgeous rockers, while guitar whiz Rick Neilsen resembles an overgrown class clown, with his Huntz Hall-esque baseball caps, checkerboard fashion sense and kinetic limbs (limbs that manipulate his many guitars like few others). And Bun E. Carlos, one of the strongest drummers of the late ’70s and early ’80s, looks like your dad.

But it’s not the physical style of the band that captivates us so. Cheap Trick’s early discography helped write the book on American power pop, that nearly-indescribable genre. It was a striking sound coupled to some darkly comedic lyrics (perhaps most famously “Surrender,” in which a typical teen finds out his parents are probably cooler than he’ll ever be), and it was a combination that had to be heard live to truly believe (to justify this, the band has what may be one of the Top 10 best-known live records of all time).

The other perverse qualities of Cheap Trick shine through on their catalogue titles. The band’s early works (from 1977 to 1980) were reissued, remastered and expanded between 1998 and 2008 (a major gap, to be sure) – then nothing. Finally, there’s some hope – Sony looks to be partnering with indie label Friday Music to get the band’s ’80s catalogue back into print. But very recently, the ICE boards report that Wounded Bird is tackling some Cheap Trick CDs as well. The inevitable question of what’s remastered and/or expanded rears its head once more between both companies. Ahh, reissue fandom!

So in celebration of these ongoing developments (and a back catalogue that is pretty darn good no matter who releases or re-releases it), here’s a look at the bigges, baddest and best of the Cheap Trick catalogue, as seen through the eyes of Back Tracks.

Surrender (but don’t give yourself away) after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

April 15, 2010 at 14:49