The Second Disc

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Archive for June 8th, 2010

Prince Week Day 5: Prince in Other Places

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Prince’s influence has been discussed far and wide, from fashion to music videos to the actual, Hendrixian quality of his guitar playing. But it’s always unusual when the mercurial purple genius decides to directly contribute to another artist’s canon, particularly since one really never knows where he’s going to end up next.

What follows is a chronological list of ten of Prince’s most interesting “guest appearances.” Half of them are actual guest appearances, the other half either songs he wrote or covers of his hits (we have disqualified anything Prince produced, as everyone knows as soon as Prince sits in a producer’s chair, it’s essentially his song). Some of these might not be new to you if you’re a die-hard Prince fan, but at least you can reflect on His Royal Badness and the far-flung influence he’s had on pop music for more than a quarter-century. Take a look after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 8, 2010 at 13:11

Reissue Theory: Green Day, “Dookie”

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On this day, seminal ’90s pop-punk band Green Day gets the kind of musical immortality only reserved for a select few. That’s right, today’s the day that the Green Day: Rock Band video game hits stores. Fans will finally be able to control Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool as they ascend from obscurity to supposed sellouts.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: I don’t get the concept of selling out at all. So many supposed fans get mad when their beloved local act hits the big time and has the nerve to be well-received by the population en masse. Why don’t these fans instead devote their energy to welcoming and shepherding new fans, thereby connecting to a new friend or two? I’m not sure, but I do know that Green Day has been pelted with that “sellout” brickbat for years. I don’t care if they deserve it or not (whether they do only gets tenuous when you bring that Broadway show into the equation), because they put out some damn good music in their tenure as a band thus far.

Perhaps ironically, given the vitriol delivered unto Green Day when they signed to major label Reprise Records, none of that material has ever been remastered or reissued. (The earlier stuff on indie label Lookout has been given its share of repackages – double irony.) Naturally, in honor of the band’s entrance into video game immortality, it makes sense to look at the album that put them into the national consciousness – 1994’s Dookie – and present a Reissue Theory track list for the disc.

Do you have the time to listen to me…uh, speculate? Do so after the jump.
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Written by Mike Duquette

June 8, 2010 at 12:15

Posted in Features, Green Day, Reissues

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Soundtrack Reissue Round-Up: Beyond Thunderdome and Another Brian May

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It might be premature to write about the film score news of the day – especially since the La-La Land label will be announcing some titles later today – but a few labels have announced some worthwhile titles to kick off your Tuesday morning.

Although it was announced late last month, the Tadlow Music label is now shipping copies of the complete score to Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, composed and conducted by Maurice Jarre (an Oscar winner for Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago). This deluxe set features all of the orchestral score plus several bonus tracks over two discs. (Regrettably left out are the three songs sung by co-star Tina Turner, so hold onto your copy if you have one.) This set is limited to 3000 copies.

Intrada interestingly has announced a score from Brian May, the Australian composer who scored the first two Mad Max films. This score is the one to Cloak & Dagger, an unusual action flick from 1984 about a young boy (Henry Thomas of E.T. fame) who dreams of living as a spy and gets more than he bargained for when he gets involved in a case of real-life espionage. This premiere release will be limited to 1500 copies.

Order each of them here and here, and check out the full specs after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 8, 2010 at 11:01

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks

The Sweetest Punch: Costello Compiles the Universal Years

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Upon its acquisition of the Elvis Costello catalog in 2007, UMe wasted no time in releasing The Best of Elvis Costello: The First 10 Years (Hip-O B0008640-02). That self-explanatory set was compiled by Costello himself, and so it’s fitting that some three years later, Costello and Hip-O are bookending that disc with Pomp & Pout: The Universal Years. This 18-track compilation, slated for a July 13 release, draws from the 10 years Costello spent at various Universal labels between 1998 and 2008.

Those years were marked by much genre exploration from the artist. Although all of the various strands were familiar to his longtime fans as key elements of his music, they found full expression in this 10-year period; the many labels reflected the stylistic journey from pop to rock to country to classical. All of his Universal studio albums are represented with the exception of his 2004 classical piece Il Sogno, perhaps a fair exclusion considering Costello himself doesn’t play on the album (which he composed and orchestrated). Pomp & Pout does feature three tracks off his 1998 collaboration with Burt Bacharach, Painted from Memory, and two from his equally-acclaimed 2006 pairing with Allen Toussaint, The River in Reverse. 2008’s Momofuku is the most recent album represented.

Seeing as Elvis compiled and (non-chronologically) sequenced the album himself, it’s no surprise that some obvious choices are missing, such as Painted from Memory’s “God Give Me Strength,” which has become somewhat of a cabaret standard in the ensuing years. While Pomp & Pout doesn’t include any unreleased material (will the prolific Costello ever release his Carole King co-write, “Burnt Sugar is So Bitter,” or the powerful “Suspect My Tears,” both written in the Universal period?), it does include tracks off various Deluxe Editions, Japanese pressings and soundtracks, even if none were particularly difficult to find beforehand. Still, Pomp & Pout should make for solidly terrific listening for those looking to delve into Costello’s recent oeuvre. Taken with The First 10 Years and Warner Bros.’ Extreme Honey (9 46801-2, 1997) which compiles his work between 1988 and 1997, one can basically assemble a definitive Costello 3-CD box set covering his entire recording career. It’s unknown whether he will supply liner notes explaining his choices for this compilation, though I’m not holding my breath. While the Rhino catalog reissues all featured witty, verbose essays penned by Costello, Hip-O’s releases have so far had no notes whatsoever, not even reprinting the Rhino essays. Here’s hoping.

In the meantime, check out the track listing after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 8, 2010 at 00:16