The Second Disc

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Archive for October 7th, 2010

Tim McGraw’s Chart-Toppers Compiled on New Set

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Add another compilation to the holiday pile: Curb Records has planned #1 Hits from country star Tim McGraw on November 30.

The Louisiana-born singer/actor first rose to prominence in 1994 with the single “Indian Outlaw,” a controversial country tune that became McGraw’s first Top 10 country hit and a crossover single as well, peaking at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100. His next single, “Don’t Take the Girl,” was the first of 22 solo singles to top the country charts. Along the way, he’s scored ten platinum or multiplatinum albums, branched into acting with roles in Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom and The Blind Side and enjoyed a long-running marriage with another country megastar, singer Faith Hill.

All 22 solo chart-toppers are included (the set does not include “Bring on the Rain,” a 2001 duet with Jo Dee Messina, nor the eyebrow-raising pop crossover No. 1 “Over and Over” with rapper Nelly), along with a new song, “Felt Good on My Lips,” and a dance mix of “Indian Outlaw.” Though McGraw has had no less than three other greatest hits albums in his career (all No. 1 country albums themselves), this set – arguably the most comprehensive thus far – will likely add another chart-topper to his resume.

#1 Hits can be ordered at Amazon, and the track list is after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

October 7, 2010 at 13:48

And They Just Can’t Hide It: Big Break Records to Reissue Two Pointer Sisters Classics

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If you’re a reader of The Second Disc and you’re about to lose control, then we think you’ll like this story: Cherry Red’s Big Break imprint is reissuing two classic albums by The Pointer Sisters: Special Things (1980) and So Excited! (1982).

The Pointer Sisters were instantly recognized as a unique R&B group with their self-titled debut LP in 1973. Their voices were strong and their style was distinctively retro, dealing heavily in jazz and be-bop. They even decked themselves out in costumes of the period, to boot. But by 1977, Bonnie Pointer had flown for a solo career and the remaining sisters (Annie, June and Ruth) were unsure of which musical direction to forge ahead in. Risking their futures on a more contemporary sound (with the help of producer Richard Perry), the Pointers were greeted with even more success stretching through the end of the ’70s and well into the ’80s. Those unique voices and frenetic arrangements amounted to some of the best pop and R&B of the age, including “Fire,” “He’s So Shy,” “I’m So Excited,” “Jump (for My Love),” “Neutron Dance” and others.

These two BBR releases catch the sisters at the peak of their powers: Special Things was the record that yielded “He’s So Shy” and moderate hit “Could I Be Dreaming.” It also featured some of the most seasoned veterans of the music industry, whether it was songwriters (Tom Snow and Cynthia Weil penned “He’s So Shy,” while Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager wrote “The Love Too Good to Last”) or session musicians – a list that included Bacharach and Snow themselves alongside Michael Boddicker, Paulinho da Costa, Greg Phillinganes and Motown legend James Jamerson. And So Excited!, in addition to including most of those musicians (and Perry once again in the producer’s chair), had songwriting credits from Terry Britten (co-writer of “What’s Love Got to Do with It” for Tina Turner), Michael Bolton and Prince (the sisters were the first to cover his “I Feel for You,” a version which sounds faithful to his bouncy version from 1980’s Prince. Of course, two years later, Chaka Khan would turn it into something else entirely.)

Each package contains at least one bonus track (non-LP B-side “Movin’ On” was released on Wounded Bird’s 2007 reissue of Special Things, which is now out of print; two 12″ remixes augment So Excited!) and new liner notes featuring interviews from surviving sisters Anita and Ruth Pointer. The sets will be made available on November 22, but you can order them here.

Let’s get excited for some track lists after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

October 7, 2010 at 12:35

UPDATE: Petula Clark’s “Complete Singles” Cancelled

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Way back on July 26, The Second Disc reported on the rumored news that Collectors’ Choice Music was planning an expansive two-CD collection which would feature all of Petula Clark’s Warner Bros. singles recorded between 1964 and 1970. These plans were confirmed on September 13.

After prominent placement in the label’s September and October catalogues displaying the finalized artwork and track listing, the Clark release disappeared from Collectors’ Choice’s website.

Your humble correspondent is disappointed to now bring the news that Petula Clark: The Complete Warner Bros. Singles has officially been cancelled. Collectors’ Choice’s Senior VP and GM Gordon Anderson was kind enough to confirm to The Second Disc that “at the eleventh hour, Petula’s management decided that they did not want the project to come out.”

The label’s similar projects for the Warner Bros. catalogues of Shelby Flint, Joanie Sommers and Connie Stevens are still scheduled for release and available for pre-ordering at the above links. The Second Disc will continue to report on Collectors’ Choice’s exciting plans for catalogue fans, both on the main label and imprints including the burgeoning made-to-order Tartare division. It should be noted that free standard shipping is still available on all of the label’s products through October 10.

Written by Joe Marchese

October 7, 2010 at 11:05

Review: John Lennon, “Signature Box,” “Double Fantasy: Stripped Down” and “Gimme Some Truth”

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Lift the lid off the giant box set (and objet d’art) The John Lennon Signature Box (EMI/Capitol 50999 906509 2 5) and you’ll see the word “YES” jumping out at you. YES is a good reaction to the thought of having (mostly) all of John Lennon’s solo studio output available in one place, remastered largely by the same team responsible for last year’s Beatles reissues, and accompanied by a hardcover book and art print. Is The John Lennon Signature Box, and its companion discs, an unqualified YES, however? Ummm…NO. But is it a welcome – almost necessary, even – addition to the collection of any serious rock fan? Undoubtedly. It’s also a fitting tribute to the late musician/revolutionary on the event of what would have been, and what should have been, his 70th birthday. Media coverage – and shelf space in the big boxes – has been nonexistent for these reissues, compared to last year’s brief wave of Beatlemania. But fans who seek these titles out likely won’t be disappointed.

Placed alongside 1998’s four-disc John Lennon Anthology, The Signature Box positively dwarfs its predecessor in stature. That box consisted mostly of unreleased demos, studio outtakes and alternate versions; an even earlier box set (1990’s Lennon) concentrated on 80 tracks culled from the artist’s released studio albums. The Signature Box offers Lennon’s eight core studio albums with no bonus tracks, similar to the format employed for the Beatles remasters and the box set which collected them all. It’s important to note what’s not on the box set: the three Lennon/Yoko Ono experimental LPs recorded for Apple and Zapple before the release of 1970’s Plastic Ono Band (the disc which kicks off this collection), and more puzzingly, the seminal Live Peace in Toronto 1969. Also omitted are posthumous compilations such as Menlove Avenue and Live in New York City. This author would welcome remastered editions of all of the above, with the unique John Lennon Collection strip present on the artwork for each of the discs in this wave of releases. Taken as a whole, though, Lennon’s artistry is even more overwhelming. The albums here show every facet of one of pop culture’s most complicated individuals: Lennon was an idealist, a pessimist, a romantic, an agitator, a hellraiser, a dreamer, a spirited rock-and-roller, a father, a husband. Beginning with the still-unsettling Plastic Ono Band LP, Lennon was confessional in a manner far-removed from that of his contemporaries like James Taylor or Joni Mitchell; each album feels urgent and compelling, a snapshot of where the always-impassioned, intelligent artist was at that point in time. Of course, he got by with a little help from his friends: these albums include contributions from Ono, Phil Spector, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voormann, Elton John, Harry Nilsson and others.

But how does the box sound? Hit the jump and find out! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 7, 2010 at 10:15