The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for June 14th, 2010

Bacharach: Reissued, Remastered and Remixed

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Hot on the heels of The Second Disc’s look at the solo recordings of Burt Bacharach, news just broke that one of the maestro’s most famous non-solo albums is receiving the limited-edition deluxe reissue treatment from the Kritzerland label. United Artists’ cast recording of the 1968 Broadway musical Promises, Promises has long been a favorite recording of Bacharach & David aficionados for introducing their songs “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” “Promises, Promises” and “Knowing When to Leave” to the world, and for capturing the indelible, Tony Award-winning lead performance of a pre-Law & Order Jerry Orbach in one of his many triumphant stage roles.

Promises has been reissued on CD twice before. Rykodisc brought the album into the digital age with its 1999 release (RCD 10750) remastered by NDR’s Dr. Toby Mountain, and when Ryko’s license with MGM Music (successor to United Artists Records) expired, Varese Sarabande picked up Promises for a 2005 edition (Varese 302 066 647 2) remastered by Erick Labson. In researching Promises for the new reissue, Kritzerland’s Bruce Kimmel discovered that Rykodisc had remixed the album from the 8-track session master tapes for the 1999 CD, and Varese had also used this remix. So as Disc 1 of this 2-CD set, Kritzerland is presenting the Grammy-winning original album mix of Promises, Promises (produced by UA’s Henry Jerome with Bacharach’s close collaborator Phil Ramone) in a new remaster from the two-track album masters, for the first time ever on CD.

The real surprise, however, is Disc 2. As was (and largely still is) the custom for the making of Broadway cast recordings, Promises was recorded in a one-day session with little time for retakes and fixes. The performers on the cast album, recording on their day off from the actual show, committed some faulty pitches to wax. Now, taking advantage of modern technology common to present-day recordings, Kritzerland has corrected the pitch problems. Doing so involved going back to those 8-track masters for a thorough remix, and as a result, Kimmel has also recovered minor bits never before released, and has been able to highlight some of Jonathan Tunick’s orchestrations which were previously buried. One bonus track (to be “hidden”) will also be included: female lead Jill O’Hara’s recording of the title song. Finally, Krtizerland has restored all tracks to their original show order. The end result should make for a completely different album experience.  Ordering information and more can be found after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 14, 2010 at 13:34

Hancock in a Box

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A quick heads-up from the Twitter feed of music Web site Innerviews (thanks to MusicTAP for the heads-up) that Legacy plans on releasing yet another humongous box set for one of their artists. Jazz legend Herbie Hancock will join the ranks of Miles Davis, Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan in getting a super-sized box.

CD Universe has a pre-order page for The Complete Columbia Collection, a 35-disc box encompassing everything Hancock did for the label, from 1973’s Sextant to Perfect Machine (1988). This is not a career-spanning set, as Hancock recorded for Blue Note, MGM and Warner Bros. in the years leading up to Sextant and has been signed to Verve since the endpoint of the box set to the present day.

The pre-order page implies that the set (which is set at $248.98, down from a MSRP of about $300) will follow the format of Miles Davis’ LP collection from Columbia, with all the CDs in replica LP sleeves and packed in with a thorough booklet. Your reporter is not entirely sure what albums will make up the set (the pre-order page says 32 albums, my count falls about three short), but once everything is finalized, you will obviously read it here.

Written by Mike Duquette

June 14, 2010 at 13:27

Under the Table and Dreaming (of a Better Compilation)

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Last night at the Bonnaroo Music Festival, the venerable rockers of the Dave Matthews Band did an excellent job of putting the outdoor concert series to bed while kicking off yet another behemoth summer tour – their last before taking a previously-unheard-of break from touring in 2011 after some two decades on the road. The band, though still strong as ever, will benefit from the battery charge; the death of founding member LeRoi Moore in 2008 could have stopped them in their tracks, but they released their strongest album in years with 2009’s Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King.

It’s a safe bet that DMB will keep a low profile after the tour ends in September, but one wonders if the band’s longtime label, RCA, will work with Legacy Recordings to produce any catalogue output in the interim. There’s a bit of catalogue work that would be most welcome – it would be nice to see a legal release of the oft-bootlegged material from 2000 that’s famously known as The Lillywhite Sessions (which became the basis for a later album, 2003’s Busted Stuff) – but perhaps most necessary to at least rein in newer fans while DMB takes a break would be a decent compilation of the band’s output. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 14, 2010 at 12:36

Like Father, Like Son

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Humorously enough, just as word spreads that a large Bob Dylan box set might be in the works, Interscope preps a catalogue compilation devoted to Mr. Zimmerman’s son Jakob and his band The Wallflowers. Looking Through You – Another Collection will compile some of The Wallflowers’ best-known odds and ends from singles, soundtracks and other compilations.

The Wallflowers were a popular band in the late ’90s alt-rock scene for a number of reasons. Yes, Jakob was the son of musical royalty, but his ensemble didn’t owe too much of their style – or their success – to him. Dylan’s songwriting chops were well-honed, as evidenced by early singles “One Headlight” and “6th Avenue Heartache,” and that’s been good enough for audiences to this day. While the status of The Wallflowers is more or less in stasis (Dylan recently released his second solo LP and the band’s last record was in 2005), Interscope has been keeping the flame alive, first with last year’s hits disc Collected 1996-2005 and now this rarities disc.

Look for Looking Through You on June 29. Pre-order it here and check the track list after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 14, 2010 at 08:45