The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for September 8th, 2010

Reissue Theory: Max Q

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This is an unusual segue for today’s Reissue Theory, so please bear with me: Miss Disc recently lost a family member – one who knew well of my own passion for keeping catalogue music discussion alive. In an odd way, moments like these help put things in perspective; we all slump our shoulders in defeat when a catalogue title is delayed or mishandled, because it sucks. But at the end of the day, all of this – from the labels conceiving and releasing product to sites like The Second Disc or MusicTAP or Slicing Up Eyeballs discussing it – is about the love of music. These songs bind us, strengthen us and heal us in times of trouble. So we dedicate this post – which involves a musician also gone too soon – to anyone who needs strength through whatever life throws our way. May you find what you need – ideally, through a song or two.

Today’s Reissue Theory revisits one of the more interesting side projects in the long history of INXS. Following the success of the worldwide smash Kick (1987), the band took a short break to stretch their legs outside of the confines of the band. Michael Hutchence, the charismatic frontman, made one of the most high-profile but unusual steps in the business: the band known as Max Q. Hutchence could have collaborated with anyone, given his star status, but he made the more interesting decision to collaborate with friends in the Australian music scene. He primarily turned to Ollie Olsen, a prominent Australian musician best known for his work in Aussie alternative and post-punk bands like Whirlywirld, Orchestra of Skin and Bone and NO. Both were supporters of the “little band” scene in Melbourne (a wave of post-punk music that also, in a roundabout way, spun off bands like Dead Can Dance and Hunters & Collectors) and had collaborated on the soundtrack to the film Dogs in Space (1986), a fictional tribute to the scene.

The Max Q project – featuring Hutchence and Olsen backed by local post-punk rockers (including members of Orchestra of Skin and Bone and NO) – was a very different animal from INXS. It was rougher-edged, with surprisingly political lyrics and a bit of a dance-punk sound. (It was pretty well-mixed in its own right by up-and-coming house remixer Todd Terry.) The success of Kick ensured its release on a major label, but despite a positive response from critics, it was not a critical success. (Blame the mixed-up promotion for the record, hampered by a lack of live dates by the band.) While Hutchence and Olsen never collaborated on record after Max Q, fans have determined small sonic nods to the band in subsequent INXS records.

We have discussed the less-than-perfect state of INXS’ catalogue on The Second Disc in the past, but the Max Q LP has actually never been reissued past its original release. It would certainly be a heck of a neat thing for a smaller label to license, and such a release could include all the non-LP remixes commissioned for the two or three singles from the set. Take a look at what could be after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 8, 2010 at 14:13

Posted in Features, INXS, Reissues

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You Must Remember This: Classic Gerhardt Titles Being Reissued

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A surprise find on Amazon today: it looks like RCA is reissuing six classic film score compilations recorded by Charles Gerhardt and The National Philharmonic Orchestra.

The American conductor, who made a name for himself as a producer/compiler of LP box sets sold through Reader’s Digest, founded The National Philharmonic Orchestra, a crack team of London session musicians, in 1970. Within two years, the unit was earning high marks in the film world for “The Classic Film Scores” series, meticulously arranged and re-recorded suites and cues from great films that could often stand toe to toe with the original recordings. The series, a staple of RCA’s discography from 1972 into the 1980s, included recordings of music by Max Steiner, Miklós Rózsa, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Franz Waxman, Bernard Hermann, John Williams and many others. (Gerhardt’s approaches to each film in the original Star Wars trilogy are essential to any fan of Williams’ work for the space series.)

Many of these titles had been released before, but it appears that another issue is planned for October 19, putting six of these albums back in print for film score fans who deserve a good compilation or two. Check out the pre-order pages here and find details for each set after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 8, 2010 at 12:33

It’s Monkee-Mania: “Head” Soundtrack Expanded as Deluxe Box Set

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Just a few short weeks ago on August 19, The Second Disc reported on the Criterion Collection release of the Monkees’ trippy cinematic opus, Head. At the end of that article, we opined, “Perhaps the success of this set will inspire Rhino Handmade to revisit the Head soundtrack as a deluxe edition should its Monkees reissue program continue.”  Well, we didn’t even have to wait that long.

Rhino Handmade has announced a three-disc deluxe box set of the soundtrack to Head and much, much more. Available for pre-order on September 20 and due on October 26, roughly one month before the film itself hits Blu-Ray, the expanded and remastered Head will boast 21 unreleased tracks (including outtakes, rare mixes and live tracks recorded for the film but ultimately unused) and the CD debut of a 1968 Colgems promotional LP containing a radio interview with Davy Jones. Noted Monkees historian Andrew Sandoval joins with Rachel Lichtman to pen the liner notes drawing on new interviews with Mike Nesmith and director Bob Rafelson, and the set is housed in a 7” x 7” box with a mirrored finish similar to that of the original LP release.

Starting September 20, Head can be pre-ordered at Rhino for the price of $59.98. Those who pre-order directly from Rhino will receive a bonus 7” vinyl disc with otherwise-unavailable, previously-unreleased instrumentals of Carole King’s two compositions for the film: “Porpoise Song” (with Gerry Goffin) and “As We Go Along” (with Toni Stern).

Hit the jump for the track listing of the eagerly-awaited, expanded and remastered Head box set!

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Written by Joe Marchese

September 8, 2010 at 08:27