The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for September 16th, 2010

Reissue Theory: Linkin Park, “Hybrid Theory”

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This week, rock band Linkin Park released their fourth studio album, A Thousand Suns. The results are, sad to say, not pretty; since 2007’s Minutes to Midnight, the California rap-metal band has become more of an angsty Depeche Mode-lite with U2 aspirations and a guaranteed spot on every soundtrack to a Transformers film.

Maybe it’s the middle school nostalgia talking, but they were something else when they first burst onto the scene a decade ago. Chester Bennington, the throaty lead singer, was more of a secret weapon, balancing his angry choruses with spitfire rapped from Mike Shinoda. Bolstered by unique turntable scratches from Joseph “Mr.” Hahn and the solid guitar work of Brad Delson, they were one of the best acts to come from the burgeoning early-’00s nu-metal scene. They were also one of the most successful; their debut LP, Hybrid Theory, sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S. and spun off three Top 5 Modern Rock tracks (“One Step Closer,” “Crawling” and “In the End”).

Though their latter material is something of a snooze to this writer, Hybrid Theory still sounds fresh a decade later. It’s a dark, jittery record with some surprising pop choral sensibilities, as key album tracks “Papercut,” “With You” and “Points of Authority” prove. It couldn’t really be improved on, either, as the band themselves learned when, in the interim between their first and second albums, they released the ridiculous remix record Reanimation (2002). (An EP which paired some tracks from this record and 2003 follow-up Meteora with tracks from rapper Jay-Z, 2004’s Collision Course, was a much better experiment.)

Perhaps ten years is too soon for Warner to seriously consider a reissue of one of their most recently successful albums, but if they ever get around to it, it might look something like this. Have a go after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

September 16, 2010 at 14:17

Posted in Features, Linkin Park, Reissues

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Funky Town Grooves Digs Up Treasure from Brick, Full Force and More

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Here’s a look at the upcoming slate from the R&B reissuers at Funky Town Grooves.

September 30 will see three new titles added to the label’s discography. First, there’s a two-fer from jazz-funk hitmakers Brick, best known for 1976’s “Dazz,” a U.S. Top 5 hit. This set will put the band’s last two albums for Bang Records – Summer Heat (1981), which included the band’s last big hit, the Top 10 R&B single “Sweat (Till You Get Wet),” and After 5 (1982) – onto one remastered CD.

Next up, we have the sophomore record from legendary producers Full Force. The brothers and cousins that made up Full Force already made a name for themselves as producers for Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam (“I Wonder if I Take You Home”) and UTFO (“Roxanne, Roxanne”) and had released one self-titled album on Columbia Records in 1984 (also recently reissued from FTG). But it was Full Force Get Busy 1 Time in 1986 that brought the group substantial R&B airplay with tracks like “Temporary Love Thing” and “Unfaithful.” This new edition adds five bonus tracks and will be a must-have for the beat lovers in your life.

The last September release is the final LP by Platinum Hook, an underrated group who’d toiled for Motown in the late ’70s before releasing this last album, Watching You (1983), for RCA. The guest personnel on this album is pretty solid, including production work from Reggie Andrews (The Dazz Band’s “Let It Whip”) and Leon “Ndugu” Chancler (the man who gave “Billie Jean” its iconic drum line) plus contributions from Paulinho DaCosta and Fred Wesley.

On October 22 and 29, FTG will release four forgotten R&B LPs, one of which will be expanded. The first date sees reissues of the sole albums by Forecast, an R&B band on RCA in 1982, and Centerfold, an act from 1988 produced by Monte Moir of The Time. The following week will see a reissue of Welcome Back, the 1981 album by Philly soul providers Blue Magic, and an expanded reissue of Skyy’s From the Left Side (1986) for Capitol, featuring the Top 10 R&B song “Givin’ It to You” and five bonus tracks.

Check all the track lists after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

September 16, 2010 at 13:24

A Very Strange Circle is Completed: New John Spencer Blues Explosion Reissues from Shout! Factory

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Shout! Factory concludes its exhaustive series of reissues with a pair of expansive editions of Orange (1994) and Acme (1998).

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion became one of the most unusual alt-rock bands of the ’90s because they were bizarrely unique. In a review of their 2010 compilation Dirty Shirt Rock N’ Roll: The First Ten Years (which kicked off this whole reissue campaign), Pitchfork called their music “highly crafted and gloriously messy, heavily conceptual but still visceral, serious while also being funny.” If that isn’t bizarre but effective praise, I’m not sure what is.

Each set will feature two discs: the original albums appended with some bonus tracks, and an expanded edition of a relevant EP from the time of the album’s release. For Orange, it’s Experimental Remixes, featuring remixes of Orange Tunes by Beck, Moby, UNKLE, Prince Paul and Mike D of The Beastie Boys; Acme is paired with an expansion of Acme-Plus, a U.K. compilation of relevant B-sides (released Stateside as Xtra-Acme USA with a few exclusive tracks which also appear on this set).

Both sets drop October 19. Read the track lists after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

September 16, 2010 at 11:56

Three from the Hard Rock Archives

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As if there weren’t enough catalogue options on everyone’s plates, here come three more hard-rock reissues – one from Jethro Tull and two from Rainbow.

EMI/Capitol is releasing a deluxe edition of Jethro Tull’s sophomore LP Stand Up (1969). The first album of JT’s in which Ian Anderson had total control over the musical direction was thus a departure from the band’s bluesy debut, This Was, opting instead for more of a folk sound. This set will be an expanded three-disc set with a bonus live show at Carnegie Hall presented on both CD and DVD (in an audio-only surround mix). Look for that on September 28.

And on October 25, Universal’s U.K. branch will release two deluxe reissues from Rainbow, the classic metal band that brought lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio to prominence. Rising (1976) and Down to Earth (1979) will each be bolstered by a bonus disc of rough mixes and outtakes, all previously unreleased.

Only a U.K. pre-order page currently exists for Stand Up; the Rainbow sets have wildly expensive pages on Amazon’s U.S. branch, if you’re inclined. Check all the tracks out after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 16, 2010 at 11:06

Take That! Robbie Williams to Be Compiled Once More (UPDATED 9/16)

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Virgin has released the cover art for a new compilation by Robbie Williams, the consummate U.K. pop star. The two-disc set, In and Out of Consciousness: The Greatest Hits 1990-2010, the final entry on Williams’ longtime contract with EMI, will compile 39 tracks from throughout his long career, including two brand new ones: “Shame” and “Heart and I,” both co-written by Gary Barlow, who was a member with Williams in the British boy band sensation Take That. (Williams will follow this release, it’s recently been announced, by re-joining Take That for a year to release a new album and tour. Put in American terms, this is like if Justin Timberlake re-joined N*SYNC.)

If you’re not familiar with Williams, it’s alright – he never made much of an impact in the States. In England, however, he’s nothing short of a legend, winning 16 BRIT Awards (more than any artist in history) and scoring 30 solo Top 40 hits and seven consecutive chart-topping LPs between 1997 and 2006. Among the British music luminaries he’s collaborated with are Kylie Minogue, Trevor Horn, Steven Duffy, Mark Ronson, The Pet Shop Boys and Stephen Hague. So yeah, across the pond he’s something of a big deal.

(UPDATE 9/16: As if two discs of Robbie weren’t enough, there’s going to be a couple of configurations with even more discs. One will have three CDs, the third comprised of B-sides and rarities. One will include two DVDs of all the accompanying videos alongside the two CDs. And another, six-disc set will pair all those discs with a live set from 2005 on DVD. Big deal, indeed!)

The set is due on October 11 in the U.K., and you can read the track list after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 16, 2010 at 10:24