The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for May 11th, 2010

Obligatory a-ha Post (Plus One for The Cure)

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The a-ha deluxe editions are out exclusively on Rhino’s Web site. Do it now!

Okay, now that that’s cleared up, another brief Rhino tidbit of ’80s goodness. In a sign that The Cure’s Disintegration is finally coming out in its deluxe, three-disc form (on June 3), Rhino’s offering a special collectible to the first 500 pre-orders – a nine-track promo disc of choice cuts from the new set entitled 3x3x3. Cure fans are not going to want to pass this one up, so head here and get ’em while they’re hot.

Written by Mike Duquette

May 11, 2010 at 23:39

Posted in a-ha, News, Reissues, The Cure

Reissue Theory: “Stoney and Meatloaf”

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This week sees the release of Hang Cool, Teddy Bear, the 11th studio offering from Meat Loaf. The outsized rock personality skyrocketed to fame with 1977’s Bat Out of Hell, the theatrical rock opus penned by Jim Steinman and produced by Todd Rundgren. As Meat prepares to unleash his latest work (cheekily placing a roman numeral “IV” on the album’s back cover, making it clear that he intends Hang Cool as another Steinman-less sequel to Bat), could there be a better time for a Reissue Theory-style look at his long-lost 1971 debut, Stoney and Meatloaf?

An aspiring actor and singer, Meat Loaf had taken to the road in a touring company of the Broadway musical Hair by early 1971. Fortuitously, one of the stops on the tour was the Motor City, Detroit. In attendance at one of the performances was Motown engineer Russ Terrana, who was captivated by the oddly-named actor (birth name: Marvin Lee Aday) and big-voiced blue-eyed soul singer Cheryl “Shaun” Murphy, a.k.a. Stoney. In her role as Sheila, it was Stoney who got to belt the musical’s biggest ballad, “Easy to Be Hard,” popularized by Three Dog Night. Terrana seized upon the idea of pairing Meat Loaf (whose name, somewhere along the way, became one word) and Stoney for Motown, and he enlisted his brother Ralph Terrana, a staff producer.

The Terrana brothers teamed with Mike Valvano to produce Rare Earth 5027, “What You See Is What You Get” b/w “Lady Be Mine.” The single was released on April 14, 1971. It performed respectably, hitting No. 36 on Billboard’s Soul charts and No.  71 on the Hot 100. A second single followed on July 21, 1971 as Rare Earth 5033F: “It Takes All Kinds of People” b/w a revival of the Temptations’ 1964 hit, “The Way You Do the Things You Do.” This single didn’t chart, but an album arrived in September, simply entitled Stoney and Meatloaf (Rare Earth R528L). The less-than-stellar showing of the album, though, led the Motown brass to assign the duo to the producing team of Nick Zesses and Dino Fekaris. One track produced by Zesses and Fekaris, “Who is the Leader of the People?” had the makings of a hit.  For a reason now lost to time, though, the company decided to overdub Edwin Starr on vocals. Meat Loaf walked from Motown in anger, with Stoney sticking around to release one single in 1973. A second album for the duo never materialized. Meat Loaf returned to Hair, and made his way to New York, where he starred in one ill-fated Broadway musical (1976’s Rockabye Hamlet), one cult classic (1975’s The Rocky Horror Show) and one altogether-forgotten musical (1973’s More Than You Deserve). It was on that latter project for Joseph Papp’s Public Theater that Meat Loaf met its young composer, one Jim Steinman. The rest, as they say, is history. Stoney became an in-demand backup singer, and would join the permanent roster of Little Feat in 1994. Stoney and Meatloaf has never seen a CD release, although tracks were remixed to emphasize Meat Loaf’s vocals for a 1978 LP on Motown’s Prodigal imprint which also included three previously-unreleased songs. (Could more reside in the Motown vault?  Anything is possible!) 

Intrigued by this Motown might-have-been?  Read a prospective tracklist for an Expanded Edition after the jump, and let’s hope our esteemed friends at Hip-O Select might consider such a set! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 11, 2010 at 13:36

Posted in Features, Meat Loaf, Reissues

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The Great Label Switch-Off

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Last night, Vintage Vinyl News reported a story that could probably only happen in today’s music industry: according to the Times of London, Queen is leaving their longtime label EMI for Universal later in the year.

As of right now, a few details about the rumored switch remain unclear. For starters, the article never definitively says whether the band’s voluminous back catalogue is moving with the members of Queen. Sure, they recorded one not-so-good LP with Paul Rodgers a year or two ago, but since the death of lead singer Freddie Mercury in 1991, the band’s output has almost entirely consisted of back catalogue sets. The article also fails to mention whether or not this move will apply to the United States, where Disney’s Hollywood Records has control of the Queen catalogue.

But until those questions are answered, I thought this might make for an interesting question to pose to readers: let’s say a venerable catalogue act of your choice decides to do what Queen might do (and Paul McCartney has done) and remove their catalogue from their label’s control. Let’s further say that the act in question lets you pick which catalogue label they choose to affiliate with, in the hopes of producing quality reissue/box set/compilation products.

Who would you pick? The question seems odd, but it is an odd time for the industry anyway, and fans of reissues have the smarts to know what label is putting out quality product (and who among their favorite artists could benefit from that quality).

Written by Mike Duquette

May 11, 2010 at 10:46

A “Four Score” from Intrada

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Get ready to run up a staircase with excitement: Intrada has announced the first-ever score release of Vince DiCola’s Rocky IV.

The fourth, perhaps most over-the-top sequel in the long-running franchise pitted Sylvester Stallone’s heavyweight champ against a feared opponent from the Soviet Union. Like its predecessor, Rocky IV was buoyed by a handful of pop hits, including two Top 5 smashes for Survivor (“Burning Heart”) and James Brown (the vaguely left-field “Living in America”). Often overlooked was DiCola’s score, which opted for an electronic/orchestral style that relied far less on Bill Conti’s Oscar-nominated theme (Rocky IV was in fact the only film in the series not scored by Conti). The few released score tracks on the main soundtrack, though, have become recognizable over the past 25 years, notably the oft-parodied “Training Montage” cue.

Intrada has assembled a 15-track presentation of the score, remastered from Sony’s original digital masters. A new liner notes booklet includes notes by writer Daniel Schweiger. Best of all, it’s an unlimited release, so fans will have every opportunity to rediscover the score to Rocky IV.

The label also announced a limited, 1000-copy release of Charles Bernstein’s score to the 1973 Burt Reynolds cult classic White Lightning (Quentin Tarantino fans will recognize parts of this score having been used in Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds.) Check out the specs for both titles after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

May 11, 2010 at 08:53

Posted in News, Soundtracks