The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for July 14th, 2010

A Little More a-ha

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A quick heads-up regarding the new a-ha deluxe reissues which buyers have been getting from Rhino this week: Looks like there will be some bonus download-only tracks available. But the best part is, you don’t have to spend $15-20 on the full album to get them!

I haven’t seen ’em posted yet on either Rhino’s Web site or iTunes, but the band’s Web site has unveiled the tracks:

  • The Sun Always Shines on T.V. (Steve Thompson Dance Remix) (U.S. 12″ A-side – Warner Bros. 20410-0, 1985) – 8:27
  • Take on Me (Instrumental Mix) – 3:51 *
  • Hunting High and Low (Slow Version Demo) – 3:47 *
  • Take on Me (Long Version) (12″ A-side – Warner Bros. W9146T, 1984) – 4:46
  • I’ve Been Losing You (Dub) (12″ B-side – Warner Bros. W8594T, 1986) – 4:23
  • Soft Rains of April (Piano Version) – 2:23 *
  • The Swing of Things (Demo #1) – 4:07 (from the bonus CD included with the book The Swing of Things)
  • I’ve Been Losing You (Early Demo) – 4:11 *

* previously unreleased

And you can expect reviews of both sets by the end of the week. Trust me, though, they’re well worth it.

Written by Mike Duquette

July 14, 2010 at 14:57

Posted in a-ha, News, Reissues

Back Tracks: Rupert Holmes

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If you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain”…Come on, you know how it goes, sing along…“If you’re not into yoga, if you have half a brain…” So goes the song that got Rupert Holmes into the record books as singer/songwriter of the last No. 1 hit of the 1970s and the first of the 1980s. While it may be the most famous song penned by the idiosyncratic artist/composer/producer (and collaborator of artists ranging from Streisand to Sparks!), it’s merely the tip of the iceberg for Rupert Holmes. Over the course of eight albums recorded between 1974 and 1994, Holmes established himself as an intensely creative artist with a unique lyrical perspective, melodic sensibility and knack for the story song. Holmes’ musical journey began as a vocalist and arranger for studio “groups” such as The Cuff Links (whose big hit “Tracy” featured Ron Dante on all voices) and The Street People; he soon became recognized as a songwriter thanks to efforts such as The Partridge Family’s wistful “Echo Valley 2-6809” and perhaps the only hit song about cannibalism, the Buoys’ controversial “Timothy.” Holmes’ ambitions, though, fully bloomed with the 1974 release of his first LP. Read about this quintessential artist and songwriter’s complete solo catalogue, Back Tracks-style, after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 14, 2010 at 13:36

Posted in Features, Reissues, Rupert Holmes

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Does EMI Stand for “Every Mastering Insignificant”?

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Immense praise to Slicing Up Eyeballs for bringing this story to our attention: EMI have released a statement regarding the mastering of the last two entries in the ongoing Duran Duran remaster series. And it ain’t pretty.

If you’ve been following this story at all, through ICE or Amazon or even our own review of the first album, here’s how it goes: the new reissues of Duran Duran (1981) and Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983), while stuffed with some great bonus content, suffer thanks to admittedly poor mastering on each of the original albums. In particular, the punchiness of the first album has been largely sucked out of the mix, and there’s a notable defect in the very beginning of lead track “Girls on Film”; the iconic camera shutter noise fades in awkwardly. (Seven and the Ragged Tiger doesn’t fare much better, and for hardcore collectors the only sell is two new-to-CD live tracks and the DVD.)

Now EMI has responded through Duran Duran’s official Web site, and it reads in part:

[…]Mastering is always subjective, and we acknowledge that the mastering on these versions is different to that of previous remasters, however that does not necessarily make it wrong. We have received both positive and negative comments about the mastering which is usual for any project – although those that don’t like the sound of these new records are by far in the minority. […]

There is a glitch due to tape deterioration in the camera clicks at the very start of Girls On Film on the Duran Duran album. Whilst this glitch is not ideal, as it is in the camera clicks and not within the main body of the music, there are no plans to replace any discs.

Bullshit. Like, five counts of bullshit. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

July 14, 2010 at 13:05