The Second Disc

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Reissue Theory: Version Especial por Cinco de Mayo

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Today is Cinco de Mayo, so The Second Disc is going to bring you two of the most unusual Spanish-oriented pop music endeavors in recent memory. These are two deluxe editions with very different sounds, but they’re connected not only by record label group but their wacky reinterpretation for Spanish audiences.

Viva la musica after the jump!

Alright, this first one isn’t much of a surprise. …Nothing Like the Sun, the second solo LP by Sting, was heavily influenced by world music, particularly the sounds of South American and Spain. Chalk it up to Sting’s growing presence as an activist (this is right before he started going to rainforests to raise money for them, and he was already a stalwart of the Amnesty International Conspiracy of Hope Tour) or his good-natured pretension, but the record actually works very well. It’s a dense affair that shakes off any of the jazzy stiffness The Dream of the Blue Turtles had two years earlier. Cuts like “Fragile,” “Be Still My Beating Heart” and even the dumbed-down-obvious-first-single “We’ll Be Together” are high points in Sting’s catalog nearly 23 years later, and deeper cuts like the polyrhythmic “Straight to My Heart” and “Sister Moon” (later masterfully re-recorded with Herbie Hancock in 2005) flesh out the whole experience.

There’s also a lot of bonus-ready material should a reissue ever occur, notably (and this is where we get to the Cinco de Mayo connection) an EP of Spanish (and one Portuguese) re-recordings of Sun tracks called …Nada Como El Sol. They don’t add or subtract from the material, but they provide a fascinating look into pop music gone international (and Sting actually isn’t terrible at enunciating in other languages, as foreign fans who’ve seen him live can attest to). Behold the Reissue Theory take on …Nothing Like the Sun.

Sting – …Nothing Like the Sun (originally released A&M AMA 6402 (U.K.)/SP-6402 (U.S.), 1987)

Disc 1: Original LP

  1. The Lazarus Heart
  2. Be Still My Beating Heart
  3. Englishman in New York
  4. History Will Teach Us Nothing
  5. They Dance Alone (Cueca Solo)
  6. Fragile
  7. We’ll Be Together
  8. Straight to My Heart
  9. Rock Steady
  10. Sister Moon
  11. Little Wing
  12. The Secret Marriage

Disc 2: B-sides and remixes

  1. Mariposa Libre (“Little Wing” in Spanish)
  2. Fragil (“Fragile” in Portuguese)
  3. Si Estamos Juntos (“We’ll Be Together” in Spanish)
  4. Ellas Danzan Solas (Cueca Solas) (“They Dance Alone” in Spanish)
  5. Fragilidad (“Fragile” in Spanish)
  6. Ghost in the Strand
  7. Conversation with a Dog
  8. Someone to Watch Over Me
  9. Up from the Skies
  10. If You There
  11. We’ll Be Together (Previous Version)
  12. Englishman in New York (Ben Liebrand Remix)

Tracks 1-5 from Nada Como El Sol: Selecciones Especiales en Españoles y Portugues (A&M SP-3295, 1988)
Track 6 is the B-side to “Be Still My Beating Heart” – A&M AM 2992, 1987
Track 7 is the B-side to “We’ll Be Together” – A&M AM 410, 1987
Tracks 8-9 are B-sides to “Englishman in New York” – A&M CDS 48, 1988
Track 10 is the B-side to “They Dance Alone” cassette – A&M TS 1242, 1988
Track 11 is the B-side to “We’ll Be Together” CD single – A&M AMCD 410, 1987
Track 12 is a 12″ A-side – A&M AMY 580, 1990

Our next selection is II, the second standard LP by Boyz II Men (third if you count the Christmas record). This was the disc that turned the Philly quartet into superstars, thanks to the immortal “I’ll Make Love to You,” “Thank You,” “Water Runs Dry” and others. Not many remember, however, that II helped mark the Boyz’ entrenchment into Spanish-speaking markets. After debut LP Cooleyhighharmony was reissued in 1993 containing a heap of bonus tracks (including a Spanish version of non-LP hit “End of the Road”), Motown commissioned a few Spanish remakes of the big hits off II and revised the Spanish tracklist on the newly-titled album II: Yo Te Voy a Amar. Perhaps Hip-o Select could commission a deluxe edition of II – not unlike the excellent double-disc version of Cooleyhighharmony from last year – and revisit these songs. Here’s how it might go down:

Boyz II Men – II: Expanded Edition

Disc 1: Original LP (released as Motown 314 530 323-2, 1994) and more

  1. Thank You
  2. All Around the World
  3. U Know
  4. Vibin’
  5. I Sit Away
  6. Jezzebel
  7. Khalil (Interlude)
  8. Trying Times
  9. I’ll Make Love to You
  10. On Bended Knee
  11. 50 Candles
  12. Water Runs Dry
  13. Yesterday
  14. No Dejemos Que Muera el Amor (Water Runs Dry)
  15. Yo Te Voy a Amar (I’ll Make Love to You)
  16. Me Rindo Ante Ti (On Bended Knee)
  17. Yesterday (Spanish Version)
  18. Fallin’

Tracks 14-17 from II: Yo Te Voy a Amar – Motown 530 576-2, 1995
Track 18 from international releases of II – Motown MOTD 3023, 1994

Disc 2: Bonus cuts and remixes

  1. I Remember (Long Version)
  2. I’ll Make Love to You (“Make Love to You” Version)
  3. On Bended Knee (Human Rhythm Mix)
  4. On Bended Knee (Swingamix)
  5. Thank You (Moog Flava Mix)
  6. Thank You (The Mercenary Mix)
  7. Thank You (The Remix)
  8. Water Runs Dry (Strat Mix)
  9. Water Runs Dry (Groove Mix)
  10. Water Runs Dry (Mood Mix)
  11. Vibin’ (The New Flava Long Version)
  12. Vibin’ (Cool Summer Mellow Mix)
  13. U Know (Dallas Austin Remix)
  14. I’ll Make Love to You (A Cappella)

Track 1 from “I Remember” promotional 12″ – Motown 374 631 382-1, 1995. Original version from The Remix Collection – Motown 314 530 584-2, 1995
Tracks 2-4 from “On Bended Knee” CD single – Motown 422 860 245-2, 1994
Tracks 5-7 from “Thank You” CD single – Motown 422 860 275-2, 1995
Tracks 8-10 from “Water Runs Dry” CD single – Motown 422 860 359-2, 1995
Tracks 11 and 12 from “Vibin'” 12″ – Motown 422 860 407-1, 1995
Track 13 from The Remix Collection – Motown 314 530 584-2, 1995
Track 14 from “I’ll Make Love to You” CD single – Motown 374 631 191-2, 1994

Written by Mike Duquette

May 5, 2010 at 12:33

Posted in Boyz II Men, Features, Reissues, Sting

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