The Second Disc

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Archive for May 13th, 2010

Jackson 5 in Fine “Forum”

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The Second Disc is pleased to pass along the long-awaited track list for Hip-o Select’s upcoming Live @ The Forum by The Jackson 5.

This two-disc set, to be released June 22 – almost a year to the day since Michael Jackson passed away – collects two previously unreleased shows recorded at the legendary Los Angeles venue: one taken from a week before the J5 scored their third consecutive No. 1 with their third single (“The Love You Save”), and another just days before Michael turned 14.

The Second Disc can attest, from our ears to yours, that this is some of the best live Jackson 5 material available. Hip-o Select’s reissue of In Japan! (previously only available in said country) was sterilely recorded at best, and captured Michael at a difficult vocal transition period. The material from both these shows is tight and well-arranged (not to mention full of some intriguing covers), and the audience responds in kind.

And rarity hunters have got a few things to smile about over this set: a pair of additional live bonus tracks – one from the concert that formed the basis of the band’s Goin’ Back to Indiana TV special and another from the long-out-of-print Motown live LP Save the Children.

Check out the tracks after the jump, and get the Amazon pre-order link here. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

May 13, 2010 at 09:34

If You’ve Been Seeking P.F. Sloan…

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“I have been seeking P.F. Sloan/But no one knows where he has gone…” With those lyrics, Jimmy Webb immortalized the reclusive songwriter, admonishing listeners, “Don’t sing this song, it belongs to P.F. Sloan.” But when Webb wrote those words in 1971, Sloan had only been away from the music scene for three or four years; in fact, he was a quite prolific writer in the years between 1964 and 1967, often in collaboration with Steve Barri. Sloan, already an established writer of pure pop songs like “Secret Agent Man” and “Summer Means Fun,” made the transition to folk rock with the controversial “Eve of Destruction,” and began to record his own, less overtly pop-oriented material. And then he was gone. Webb told MusicTalk magazine that “P.F. Sloan is the heroic figure of the songwriter who goes out and keeps writing no matter what. The guy was hot, and he was one of the first…who wanted to be a singer, and it was tough to do that.” Sloan called the moment he heard Webb’s ode “a divine moment” and it was for many listeners, too, despite its lack of chart success.  Webb’s song, in short, kept the legend of P.F. Sloan alive.

So for those readers of The Second Disc who have been seeking P.F. Sloan, look no further. Not only has Sloan returned to the public eye (his “comeback” album, Sailover, was released on the Hightone label in 2006), but on June 8, Ace will unleash the latest volume in its ongoing Songwriters Series, which has already honored such luminaries as Goffin and King, Mann and Weil and Bacharach and David. It’s called You Baby: Words and Music by P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri, and it traces the evolution of Sloan and Barri’s songwriting. Like most of the volumes in this series, You Baby walks the line between familiar hits (Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction”), rarities (Murray the K’s “Sins of a Family”) and offbeat cover versions (Mel Torme’s groovy take on “Secret Agent Man,” anybody?). 

Ace differs from many of the labels covered here at The Second Disc because they produce as many themed compilations/anthologies as straight album reissues. But Ace shares the same mission as many of those other specialist reissue labels, in that their goal is restore great music to print. They succeed mightily, and You Baby looks like a terrific addition to their already-remarkable catalog. A 10,000-word essay drawing on new interviews with Sloan and Barri is promised, along with the usual copious amount of photos and memorabilia. (Ace’s liner notes are generally second to none!) Read the tracklist after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 13, 2010 at 01:15

Posted in Compilations, News, Reissues