The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for June 28th, 2010

Rhino’s Next Hand(made Title)

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The latest Rhino Handmade title is up for sale, and it’s an expanded version of “Live” Full House, the 1972 concert chronicle from The J. Geils Band.

The group’s third release (after two relatively well-received studio LPs for Atlantic) was a tight set recorded over two nights at Detroit’s Cinderella Ballroom in April 1972. That eight-track selection is now being expanded to include both shows from both nights.

“Live” Full House, which starts shipping in August, also features six collectible playing cards with each member of the band (an extension of the original album sleeve, naturally) and liner notes from Ben Edmonds, who wrote for Creem at the time of the album’s original release.

As always, pre-order here and check the tracks out after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 28, 2010 at 20:29

Rhino Handmade Redux: Introducing Tartare

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One would think Collectors’ Choice Music would have had its hands full with July’s release of the complete Allan Sherman catalog. Not so. The fine folks at Collectors’ Choice have joined forces with Warner Music Group to introduce a new label designed to reissue LPs so rare, even WMG’s Rhino Handmade wouldn’t tackle them. With that in mind, the new label is named Tartare, and its first 10 releases are all due to ship on July 6. Any new reissue label is cause for readers of The Second Disc to rejoice; what makes this announcement particularly exciting is that many of the initial 10 LPs have long been coveted in a digital format, and all are making their worldwide authorized CD debuts according to Collectors’ Choice. It’s not yet known whether Tartare’s releases will include new liner notes; only original album artwork has been confirmed. It’s also indicated that the label is actually making the CDs to order for their customers, so it’s a fair guess that these may not be released to stores. To find out which titles from the WMG vaults are receiving the Tartare treatment, click to read more after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 28, 2010 at 15:30

Posted in News, Reissues

It is Spartacus

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Confirming months of rumor and speculation, Varese Sarabande Records has announced the full specifications for a lavish box set version of the music to Alex North’s score to the classic sword-and-sandal epic Spartacus.

The honchos at Varese weren’t kidding; the venerable score label’s latest limited release (the 1000th to be produced by longtime producer Robert Townson) is easily the largest set ever devoted to a single film score. A jaw-dropping six CDs and a DVD make up the set, featuring the entire film score in monaural sound, all the surviving stereo mixes of the music, 22 preliminary, alternate or unused cues and two discs of reinterpretations of the film’s love theme led by some of the most successful composers in film (and a few other musical luminaries, as well). The DVD includes eight unedited conversations with film music luminaries about the significance of North’s career. The set also comes with a 168-page, hardcover book featuring detailed analysis on the score, film and composer.

Orders are being taken for this set, priced at $109.98 and limited to 5,000 copies. Get it through the label’s official site here (it’s expected to ship in August) and hit the jump to take a look at the enormity of this set. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 28, 2010 at 11:24

Posted in Box Sets, News, Soundtracks

My Son, the Reissue Campaign

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In the pantheon of American comedy, there’s a special corner reserved for the work of song parodists. The form arguably reached its greatest heights under the aegis of Stan Freberg in the 1950s. Freberg and his stable of talented voice artists (including animation legends Daws Butler, Paul Frees and June Foray) knew no sacred cows and their amazing body of work still inspires gales of laughter today. (Any comedy fan unfamiliar with the Freberg oeuvre is advised to seek out Rhino’s exhaustive 1999 box set, Tip of the Freberg.  You’ll be hooked for life!)

Following in Freberg’s footsteps a few short years later and creating some of the 1960s’ best-selling LPs was an unusual gentleman by the name of Allan Sherman. The portly, bespectacled Sherman had first tackled a popular song in 1951 with his single “A Satchel and a Seck,” recorded with singer Sylvia Froos, parodying Frank Loesser’s hit “A Bushel and a Pack” from Loesser’s musical Guys and Dolls. Despite the single’s lack of success, he continued writing parodies for the amusement of famous friends like Harpo Marx and George Burns. Sherman finally secured a record deal with the still-young Warner Bros. Records label in 1962, and the result was the LP My Son, the Folk Singer. Its familiar melodies outfitted with Jewish-inflected humor turned Sherman into a star virtually overnight, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart and reportedly selling so fast that Warner Bros. had no choice but to start selling the vinyl without its sleeve; the whole package couldn’t be produced quickly enough to meet the album’s high demand. President John F. Kennedy was said to be a fan. (Ironically, Sherman was persuaded by his label to employ public-domain folk standards for this first LP’s source material; eminent composer Richard Rodgers famously called him a “destroyer” while other top names of the day discouraged his parodying their material.)

Sherman’s fame hit its epoch with 1963’s chart-topping My Son, the Nut which introduced his enduring “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh” and stayed at No. 1 for 8 weeks. In all, Sherman recorded eight albums from 1962 to 1967, showing his disdain for rock music with his dry “Pop Hates The Beatles” (from 1964’s For Swingin’ Livers Only, titled in homage to Frank Sinatra but released at the height of Beatlemania) and with the non-LP single “Crazy Downtown,” mocking Petula Clark’s hit. His final LP, Togetherness, gave Sherman’s comic spin to the New Vaudeville Band’s “Winchester Cathedral,” reinvented as “Westchester Hadassah,” and Fiddler on the Roof‘s “If I Were a Rich Man,” which found new life as “If I Were a Tishman.” Not even a young Barbra Streisand escaped Sherman’s eye as he spoofed the cover to her My Name is Barbra for, what else, 1965’s My Name is Allan, which included “That Old Black Magic” rewritten as “That Old Back Scratcher” and an irreverent “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” Late in the decade, Sherman turned his attention to various other areas. He wrote book and lyrics to Albert Hague’s music for a Broadway musical (1969’s The Fig Leaves Are Falling, which was a massive flop) and more successfully performed voiceover work, creating the voice of the animated Cat in the Hat in 1971. Allan Sherman’s story had a tragic ending with his death in 1973 from emphysema, a mere 10 days short of the age of 49.

Yet Sherman’s work lives on. He has been frequently remembered by disciple “Weird Al” Yankovic, and his entire Warner Bros. catalog was anthologized by Rhino Handmade in 2005’s exhaustive box set My Son, the Box. This 6-CD set also included a number of rarities and unreleased tracks, including Sherman’s complete parody of My Fair Lady, which was prevented by the musical’s authors from seeing release in 1962; song titles included “With a Little Bit of Lox” and “Get Me to the Temple on Time.” Still, Sherman’s original LPs have never seen CD release in their original form. Collectors’ Choice Music rectifies this on July 6, when all eight of Sherman’s Warner Bros. LPs will be reissued by the enterprising label, from 1962’s My Son, the Folk Singer to 1967’s Togetherness, his only LP recorded without an audience. Titles and links to pre-order with full track listings follow after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 28, 2010 at 09:39