The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for June 29th, 2010

So Much News

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Apologies if The Second Disc is flooding your Web space with posts today. I, for one, am thrilled; it’s nice to see great news getting us catalogue enthusiasts through the week. And here are three little briefs to further your excitement for all things reissues:

  • Steven Van Zandt recently talked to a U.K. radio station about the long-in-development reissue of Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978). It looks like it might follow the format of this year’s Exile on Main St. reissue; Van Zandt said that at least ten outtakes not included on the Tracks outtake box set have been found – and Springsteen is doing “a little bit of fixes” on them. “I’m not sure how many we’ll put on there,” he said. “We’ll go back and he might finish a lyric on one or two, or finish a harmony on one or two, but we’ll keep them intact pretty much.”
  • EMI has given out a few streamable goodies from the upcoming reissue of R.E.M.’s Fables of the Reconstruction (1985). Hear the demo of “Auctioneer (Another Engine)” at Consequence of Sound and the demo of “Can’t Get There from Here” at Entertainment Weekly‘s Music Mix blog.
  • And some grist for the rumor mill: David Wild, one of your catalogue correspondent’s favorite journalists, is penning liner notes for something related to Barry Manilow. Last time I recall him mentioning liner notes, it was Bon Jovi-related, months before the reissues were announced. So this might be a hint at something. Stay tuned, as always.

Written by Mike Duquette

June 29, 2010 at 15:11

Reissue Theory: Solo Folds

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Could this man have been the heir to Randy Newman’s hysterically biting throne?

The Second Disc’s coverage of Randy Newman’s reissues from last week got your catalogue correspondent thinking about the possibilities lately that Folds – the definitive indie-pop pianist and one-time leader of Ben Folds Five, one of the best acts of the 1990s – should have ascended to that same jaunty position Newman commanded in the prime of his pop career. Sadly, this didn’t happen – and admittedly, it isn’t hard to see why.

As a songwriter, Folds knew how to create a narrative that could draw pure emotion out of you. Casual fans know (and in many cases over-exaggerate the virtues of) “Brick,” the band’s most commercially-successful single despite being an incredibly tragic, true-life tale of Folds taking a high-school girlfriend to get an abortion. Dig deeper through the Ben Folds Five discography (all three albums and one compilation worth) and you’ll discover plenty of other biting tunes that fuse you-are-there lyrics with eminently hummable melodies (“Steven’s Last Night in Town,” “Underground,” “Don’t Change Your Plans”).

It’s a fascinating output, and simultaneously an upsetting reminder of how far the guy’s gone. Proper solo debut Rockin’ the Suburbs, released a year after the Five imploded, continued that trend of well-written, occasionally ornate pop songs, but it was lost on most audiences thanks to an unfortunate release date (September 11, 2001). Folds went indie for a string of EPs in 2003 and 2004, but some of the songs felt too dashed-off or bloated. Songs for Silverman (2005) had its moments, but not enough. And his most recent effort, Way to Normal (2008), was elevated by material that wasn’t on the record; Folds leaked “fake” versions of several of the songs that were brilliantly anti-funny.

And that’s just the music; Folds is even more insufferable as a personality, making ridiculous videos on ChatRoulette and judging ridiculous music shows for NBC. None of these things have polarized much of his fan base, though, making one wonder what Folds would have to do to alienate listeners – and if he should consider doing it, just for kicks.

Folds’ newest record, Lonely Avenue, is set for release in September on a new label, Nonesuch Records (his first effort away from Epic Records, his home for 15 years). Encouragingly, it features lyrics from another, less-tired pen: that of Nick Hornby, the British author/music enthusiast famous for novels like High Fidelity and Fever Pitch. Time will tell if Hornby becomes the much-needed Bernie Taupin to Folds’ Elton John, but in the meantime, it might do well for Epic to start considering what they can do with Folds’ catalogue. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 29, 2010 at 14:53

EMI to Give Us Some Truth

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Whether you’re more of a John Lennon or Paul McCartney fan, it’s hard to overstate the contributions these two made to the pop-rock world, first as the principle songwriters of The Beatles and then as solo artists in their own right. Last year, of course, saw The Beatles’ discography get remastered for the first time since the original releases of the records on CD in 1987. The McCartney catalogue is slated to come back out on CD through Paul’s new homebase, Concord Records, starting with a new reissue of Band on the Run this August.

And now, EMI has announced the Gimme Some Truth campaign, a massive catalogue overhaul for John Lennon in celebration of what would have been his 70th birthday (if you can believe that). This wave of product includes a lot of remastering, compiling and vault hunting, so hit the jump and take a look at what’s going to happen. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 29, 2010 at 13:01

Posted in John Lennon, News, Reissues

A Catalogue to Last, Always and Forever

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Here’s some under-the-radar, in-case-you-missed-it news concerning the discography of Heatwave, the multi-national soul/disco group famed for killer cuts like “Boogie Nights” and “Always and Forever.” It looks like these records are getting their due on CD thanks to two indie labels, with one title already available and another few on the way.

First up, Edsel U.K. has combined and released a double-disc set comprising their first two LPs, Too Hot to Handle (1976) and Central Heating (1978). Both records were Top 5 R&B and Top 20 Pop hits and spun off hits like “Boogie Nights,” “Always and Forever” and “The Groove Line.” The set features six B-sides and original dance remixes plus new liner notes featuring an interview with the band’s original producer, Barry Blue.

Jumping ahead, it looks like Big Break Records (another U.K.-based label owned by the Cherry Red Group) is prepping a reissue of the band’s final work, Current (1982). The band looked considerably different; for starters, keyboardist Rod Temperton had left (though he still wrote almost every song for the group, not to mention a handful of cuts on Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall and Thriller LPs). Plus, following several unfortunate accidents, original bassist Mario Mantese had been replaced by Derek Bramble (later the co-producer of David Bowie’s Tonight) and founding member Johnnie Wilder, having been paralyzed in an auto accident, could only do so much in the studio, prompting the addition of several guest vocalists. Still, the band put together a powerful disc to close their career, and BBR promises to honor that with a remastered version of the record bolstered by in-depth liner notes and three bonus cuts. Look for the reissue of Current on August 10.

Order Too Hot to Handle/Central Heating here (no pre-order info for Current yet – the label’s Web site and/or Facebook page will likely have order info as it comes), and take a look at the sets after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 29, 2010 at 10:39

Posted in Heatwave, News, Reissues

Review: John Fogerty, “Centerfield: 25th Anniversary”

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John Fogerty can be called many things. Prolific, though, isn’t one of them. Fogerty’s 1985 Centerfield, originally issued on Warner Bros. Records, marked the former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman’s return to a prominent place in the rock pantheon after a near decade-long absence. After acrimoniously parting ways with his famous band, Fogerty recorded a collection of rootsy country covers (1973’s The Blue Ridge Rangers) for CCR’s longtime label, Fantasy Records. Yet Fogerty was locked in battle with Fantasy’s larger-than-life owner Saul Zaentz, whom he blamed for a number of bad business deals. Adding insult to injury was Fantasy’s ownership of the publishing rights to Fogerty’s famed compositions for Creedence. Yet the fact remained that Fogerty owed the label more albums on his contract, which he found himself unable or unwilling to produce. To extricate himself from this deal and sever all ties with Fantasy, Fogerty signed over an even larger portion of his royalties to Zaentz, and decamped for David Geffen’s artists’ haven, Asylum. His self-titled Asylum debut arrived in 1975, a mixture of originals (including “Rockin’ All Over the World,” later popularized by Status Quo) and covers (“Sea Cruise,” “Lonely Teardrops”). But a 1976 follow-up, Hoodoo, was deemed by both Asylum and Fogerty as unfit for release, and to this day remains fodder for underground music traders only. Fogerty would remain silent until 1985, refusing to play his Creedence hits and generate any more money for Zaentz.

Centerfield’s title had a double meaning, not only referring to baseball but to the position of prominence in the music biz Fogerty so clearly hoped to reattain. And did he ever.  Geffen Records celebrates the 25th anniversary of this chart-topping classic with an expanded CD reissue, arriving in stores today. Fogerty sang, wrote, arranged, produced and played all of the instruments on Centerfield, making an honest, definitive artistic statement. Run the bases after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 29, 2010 at 09:00

Posted in John Fogerty, Reissues, Reviews

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