The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for September 30th, 2010

Reissue Theory: General Public, “…All the Rage”

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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. Today, a department store ad unleashes an earworm from the New Wave days.

The music industry will never be desperate enough to reissue albums based on certain tunes appearing in commercials, but if they did it would save a lot of headaches for this author.

If you watch enough television in the U.S., you’ve probably noticed those innocuous ads for Target, the big retailer that everyone likes (as opposed to Wal-Mart, the retailer everyone seems to hate). They usually show “regular folks” coping with eccentricities of day-to-day life – paying bills, feeding kids and so on – punctuated by a product sold at Target that will solve their problems and a brief song cue under the tagline (“Life’s a moving target” – ha ha, get it?).

Most of those tunes are early ’80s pop songs, for whatever reason – maybe Target’s ad agency just can’t get enough of New Wave hits – and while a few of them are familiar to the soccer moms and weekend warriors that make up Target’s core audience, some are not. For every ad that uses “Let’s Go” by The Cars or “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar, there’s one that uses “Age of Consent” by New Order or “Tenderness” by General Public.

That last one was a particular pain for this author, as it became one of those songs you know you’ve heard, but can’t for the life of you pin down where it came from. Even if you haven’t seen the ad, you might have recognized its six-note hook from the soundtrack to the film Weird Science in 1985. And if you still haven’t recalled the tune, hit the jump and take a look back, Reissue Theory-style.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 30, 2010 at 15:30

The Burton-Elfman Monolith Emerges

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It’s not every day you get to talk about two major box sets in a 24-hour span. And this one makes the U.K. Black Sabbath box look like something thrown into a digipak.

The Danny Elfman & Tim Burton 25th Anniversary Music Box is ready to order. Sixteen CDs, a DVD, a 250-page book and a collectible USB drive, all loaded with a heap of unreleased music, demos, rarities and other jaw-dropping stuff. And it’s literally enormous. Check out the size of it in this video; it looks like a box for moving into a new house.

Now, as beautiful a box like this is, both visually and in terms of the music, you always have some trepidations. For one, the price tag is rather steep – $500, for 1,000 limited edition numbered copies – particularly when considering the target audience, the soundtrack buyer. (Most limited edition titles, usually released every other week or so, are around $20 to $30; box sets can span between $125 and $250 from the soundtrack labels. That doesn’t leave much room to budget for this box, not that Warner Bros., the masterminds behind this set, were thinking about that.)

Still, the level of detail on this thing is such that you wish any of your favorite artists got such a devoted, loving, red-carpet treatment. You can see that treatment for yourself by going to the box’s official site and hitting the jump for a full track list. (And check this set actually getting some attention from a major newspaper!)

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 30, 2010 at 14:42

New U.K. Black Sabbath Box Set: What’s to Be Cross About?

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Since The Second Disc began, we’ve seen more than a bit of Black Sabbath reissues and remasters, all of them confined to the United Kingdom, where the band’s catalogue is distributed by Universal Music Group’s Sanctuary Records (Warner Bros. handles it in the U.S.). The latest British-only set has been announced, and it’s a doozy.

A new box, The Ozzy Years: Complete Albums Box Set, will make its way to U.K. record shops on November 15. It has exactly what it says: nine remastered Sabbath albums with Ozzy Osbourne as the lead vocalist (including the compilation We Sold Our Soul for Rock ‘N’ Roll), along with the usual extra goodies (in this case, three radio documentaries of as-yet-undetermined origins, a 100-page booklet, a set of guitar picks and a poster). All of it is stored in one of the most delightfully unique box sets in recent memory – a large, black cross.

Now, this isn’t the first time such an undertaking has been released; Rhino did a Black Box: The Complete Original Black Sabbath 1970-1978 in 2004 compiling all the Ozzy-era LPs (minus the compilation) and adding a DVD. And this set isn’t much more thorough, as you might have guessed; none of the albums include the deluxe edition bonus discs that have been released in Europe between last year and this year (including outtakes discs for Black Sabbath (1970) and Master of Reality (1971) and the quadrophonic mix of Paranoid (1970) available on a DVD with the deluxe edition).

If you’re a collector who can see past those flaws, though, you’ll definitely want to click the link from a few paragraphs back. Skeptics can be further decisive after seeing the rundown after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 30, 2010 at 10:59