The Second Disc

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Archive for September 28th, 2010

Reissue Theory: Ben Folds Five, “The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner”

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Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we reflect on well-known albums of the past and the reissues they could someday see. With a new album from a modern-day piano man released today, we take a look back at one of his best classic albums.

Today is a day pissed-off geeky guys like myself love celebrating: Ben Folds has released a new album. Lonely Avenue makes one of his most intriguing LPs since going solo with Rockin’ the Suburbs nine years ago. This time, the lyrics Folds sings are not his own, but lines written by British author Nick Hornby, the man behind great novels like High Fidelity, About a Boy, Fever Pitch and others. The album is earning praise after a handful of uneven affairs by Folds, often considered to be an indie-rock hybrid of Elton John and Randy Newman, meaning that Folds may have finally found his own Bernie Taupin.

Of course, what a lot of Folds fans may be overlooking (mostly because his audience tends to skew on the younger side – odd, considering his presence as a musician for some 15 years) is the work he did before flying solo, with his band Ben Folds Five. One of the greatest walking contradictions of the post-grunge era, BF5 was a trio – bassist Robert Sledge, drummer Darren Jessee and singer-pianist Folds – without a guitar in sight. They walked a fine line between melodic, ’70s AM-radio-ready pop and messy, feedback-laden punk rock (“for sissies,” they were quick to add) for much of their career, particularly their major-label debut (and sophomore LP) Whatever and Ever Amen (1997), which spun off an unlikely Top 40 hit in “Brick,” a lump-in-the-throat ballad about the true story of a teenaged Folds and his girlfriend getting an abortion.

WAEA was expanded and reissued by Epic in 2005, as Folds’ second LP Songs for Silverman was released. The Second Disc also outlined a fantastic way to have commemorated the band’s self-titled indie debut, some 15 years after it was released, in one of our first Reissue Theory posts. With a new creative high point for Folds in stores today, it’s high time to revisit the Five’s last, and possibly best, studio album, Reissue Theory-style. Read on after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 28, 2010 at 15:25

U.K. Comps from En Vogue, Faith No More Arrive from Music Club Deluxe

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Last week The Second Disc reported on a double-disc anthology from The Jesus and Mary Chain from Music Club Deluxe Records. It turns out that set was just the tip of the iceberg; the label, owned by Demon Music Group, has just put out some more double-disc sets aimed at collectors and anthologists. We’re pleased to present to you their latest slate, including sets from En Vogue, Faith No More, All Saints and more.

Though their reunion tour is about to come to an end, West Coast rockers Faith No More have cut an impressive swath of music, including crossover hits like “Epic,” “We Care a Lot” and “Midlife Crisis.” Music Club Deluxe’s new set, Midlife Crisis: The Very Best of Faith No More, compiles all those hits with a respectable amount of album sides and rarities.

Also hailing from the state of California is the R&B group En Vogue. They gave audiences in the early ’90s something to dance to in hits like “Hold On,” “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” “Free Your Mind” and “Whatta Man,” their collaboration with Salt-N-Pepa. Don’t Let Go: The Very Best of En Vogue spans the group’s entire career, including some hard-to-find remixes.

Here’s something else for the ’90s British pop fan in your life: Pure Shores: The Very Best of All Saints is the first fully career-spanning compilation from the British hit singers, who rose to fame off a string of Top 10 singles including the chart-toppers “Never Ever,” “Pure Shores,” “Black Coffee” and covers of “Under the Bridge” and “Lady Marmalade.” For collectors, it not only includes tracks from all three of their studio albums, including the EMI-released Studio 1 (2006), but a handful of B-sides and remixes.

Finally, another British pop group gets compiled with Stay Another Day: The Very Best of East 17 . The boy band racked up a dozen U.K. Top 10 hits throughout the 1990s, and those singles and more album cuts make the cut on this set.

Check out all the track listings after the jump and head on over to Music Club Deluxe’s site to place your orders, as they’re all available now.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 28, 2010 at 14:05

Intrada Displays “Uncommon Valor”

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James Horner has seen quite a few of his orchestral soundtracks get the deluxe treatment in the past year or so. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Krull (1983), Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983), The Journey of Natty Gann (1985), Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), the planned release of Jade (1995) – the list goes on, and it’s safe to say Horner has been admitted into the hall of fame for great composers.

Add another one to the list from Intrada – his score to the 1983 film Uncommon Valor. In the picture, Gene Hackman played a retired marine colonel who led a group of soldiers into the wilds of Vietnam to rescue his POW/MIA son. It packed plenty of action and moving drama, and Horner – having made his mark with Khan the year before – provided one of his first of many militaristic scores (a tradition that would continue with works like Aliens (1986) and Apollo 13 (1995)).

The disc presents the complete score in stereo for the first time on any format, and includes several unused bonus cues. The set is limited to 3,000 copies, a worthy amount for the increasingly popular Horner. Take a look after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 28, 2010 at 11:33

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks

“Pinkerton” Deluxe Edition Details Unveiled

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With the release of the surprisingly strong Hurley from those crazy pop-rockers Weezer, it’s a delight to see Rivers Cuomo and company back in the public eye. Sure, everyone likes to come down on their more recent material – say, everything after their self-titled “Green Album” in 2001 – for being overly polished and lacking the depth of their excellent first two records, but the fact that Cuomo can pen so many catchy pop hooks on a single album is admittedly stunning. And this year, the band’s longtime home Geffen Records (which Weezer only recently left for indie label Epitaph earlier this year) will release a deluge of material revisiting some of the more prolific years in the band’s career.

We’ve known about the planned titles for awhile: both a long-discussed compilation of unreleased material, Death to False Metal (previously titled Odds and Ends), and a deluxe edition of 1995’s monumental Pinkerton are planned for a November 2 release, while another volume in Rivers Cuomo’s home demo series – Alone III: The Pinkerton Years – is also planned for an as-yet undetermined future release.

Details have now come out for the Pinkerton reissue, which will feature all the relevant B-sides from the era as well as a few long-requested unreleased tunes. Check out the track listings after the jump. (Annotation comes courtesy of the insanely devoted Weezerpedia.)

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 28, 2010 at 10:33