The Second Disc

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News Roundup: Going for the Gold

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Yet another sub-genre of the catalogue world is the audiophile reissue. Companies like Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Audio Fidelity and Analogue Productions specialize in reissuing classic titles for an audiophile audience, often utilizing the original master tapes for a release on gold CD, hybrid SACD or high-quality LP. With excellent sound quality as the main mandate, bonus tracks and new liner notes are rare on these releases which generally intend to replicate the original artwork and listening experience. Audio Fidelity last week announced two titles due on CD in June which may be of more than passing interest to readers of The Second Disc.

Stevie Wonder’s 1972 Talking Book is one of Wonder’s most beloved albums, including the massive hits “Superstition” and “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” in addition to the gorgeous “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever).” Jeff Beck, David Sanborn and Ray Parker, Jr. all guested on the album which receives the Audio Fidelity 24 Karat Gold CD treatment courtesy of mastering engineer Kevin Gray. This marks the first Motown release to be licensed to Audio Fidelity.

In addition, the label will offer the audiophile debut of Laura Nyro’s Time and Love: The Essential Masters, a 2000 Sony Legacy compilation containing 16 of the influential singer/songwriter’s best tracks. While Nyro may be best known for providing classic hit singles for artists as diverse as The Fifth Dimension (“Wedding Bell Blues,” “Stoned Soul Picnic”), Three Dog Night (“Eli’s Comin’”), Barbra Streisand (“Stoney End”) and Blood Sweat and Tears (“And When I Die”), her own renditions of her famous songs are considered by many to be definitive. This release should be a fitting tribute to the late, underrated Nyro, who successfully blended Broadway, blues, gospel, jazz, soul and rock into a sound uniquely her own. Her musical collaborators on these tracks include notable talents such as Roy Halee, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Charlie Calello, Arif Mardin and Felix Cavaliere. Steve Hoffman does the mastering honors here.

Pre-order here and here, and read the track listings after the jump!

Stevie Wonder – Talking Book (Audio Fidelity AFZ085 – originally released as Tamla 319, 1972)

  1. You Are the Sunshine of My Life
  2. Maybe Your Baby
  3. You and I
  4. Tuesday Heartbreak
  5. You’ve Got It Bad Girl
  6. Superstition
  7. Big Brother
  8. Blame It on the Sun
  9. Lookin’ for Another Pure Love
  10. I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)

Laura Nyro – Time and Love: The Essential Masters (Audio Fidelity AFZ076 – originally released as Legacy CK 61567)

  1. Sweet Blindness
  2. Wedding Bell Blues
  3. And When I Die
  4. Blowin’ Away
  5. Eli’s Comin’
  6. Goodbye Joe
  7. Stoney End
  8. It’s Gonna Take a Miracle
  9. Stoned Soul Picnic
  10. Lu
  11. Save the Country
  12. When I Was a Freeport and You Were the Main Drag
  13. Blackpatch
  14. Time and Love
  15. Sexy Mama
  16. Up on the Roof

Tracks 1, 5, 9 and 10 from Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (Columbia KCS 9626, 1968)
Tracks 2-4, 6 and 7 from More Than a New Discovery (Verve Folkways FTS 3020, 1967 – reissued as The First Songs, Columbia KC 313410, 1973)
Track 8 from Gonna Take a Miracle (Columbia KC 30987, 1971)
Tracks 11 and 14 from New York Tendaberry (Columbia KCS 9737, 1968)
Tracks 12, 13 and 16 from Christmas and the Beads of Sweat (Columbia KC 30259, 1969)
Track 15 from Smile (Columbia KC 33912, 1970)

Written by Joe Marchese

May 24, 2010 at 11:53

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