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Archive for October 25th, 2010

Stooges Live Show, Out-of-Print Box Set Unearthed (UPDATED 10/25)

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For a band that nobody seemed to care about when they were together, The Stooges have really done alright for themselves. All three of their major studio albums have been reissued multiple times to varying degrees of acclaim. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year for their contributions to the early punk rock scene before anyone knew exactly what punk was. And Rhino is planning a few Stooges-oriented holiday gift ideas to close out a banner year that saw another reissue of the band’s 1969 debut album from Rhino and a deluxe edition of 1973’s Raw Power from Legacy Recordings.

Rhino has e-mailed fans to fill them in on the last two payloads in The Stooges’ arsenal for 2010. First up, and most surprising: a new live album, taken from a famed performance at the New York City club Ungano’s in 1970. The disc, retailing for $19.98, will feature almost all the songs from Fun House (1970) performed live, along with two live songs that never appeared on any album. Pre-orders for the album are now being taken, with orders shipping November 16.

On the same date, Rhino Handmade will also reissue 1970: The Complete Fun House Sessions. This seven-disc box set, originally released in 1997, was one of the first major Handmade titles to make a significant impact in the reissue community. After topping a poll from Rhino earlier this year of titles fans wanted to see put back into print the most, all 142 tracks containing the many takes and bits of session dialogue that would make up the Fun House record. (UPDATED NOTE: there has been some considerable confusion surrounding the initial announcement that makes up this post. Thus far, the Ungano’s set is available to order, but the box set is not.)

Pre-order links will be added when they’re live. In the meantime, we’ve got the Ungano’s track list and a chance to reacquaint yourself with the Fun House box after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

October 25, 2010 at 17:20

Tell Us About It: Analyzing the Potential Billy Joel Slate for 2011

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It’s no surprise that Legacy’s intention to reissue the Billy Joel catalogue in 2011 has been met with a lot of enthusiasm and expectation. For better or worse, Joel has been one of the most intriguing artists in the American rock canon: he found success writing deceptively traditional pop songs in an AOR era, he performed them from behind a piano, he used that talent to springboard a relationship with one of the hottest supermodels in recorded history and – unlike nearly all of his contemporaries – knew when to quit while he was ahead.

Indeed, with only a few “new” projects to satiate fans over the years (a classical album in 2001, the jukebox musical Movin’ Out in 2002, a stunning run of concerts in 2006 and a bunch of compilations in between), making the new year all about Billy is an unexpected treat, even to this longtime fan and not-terribly-distant neighbor to the places he grew up. Of course, that begs a lot of questions about what Legacy Recordings – which has done a pretty respectable job of maintaining the Piano Man’s catalogue over the years – is going to do in this new batch of product.

We already know The Hits, a no-frills, single-disc compilation, is due out next month. We’ve already heard about Joel’s music coming to the new Rock Band 3 video game as well as the upcoming live package taken from those Shea Stadium shows in 2008. And, of course, the initial press release hinted at a lot of product without explicitly revealing much. So that begs the question: what’s next?

Join us after the jump for a bit of rumination on the ins and outs of the Billy Joel catalogue, and sound off in the comments below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

October 25, 2010 at 16:54

Let There Be No Doubt About It

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Another bit of excitement first reported by Slicing Up Eyeballs: in his latest update to fans, Peter Gabriel has revealed some plans to give his extensive back catalogue the deluxe treatment.

The singer, who recently reissued several of his latter-day albums on his own Real World label, mentioned in his latest Full Moon Club update that his catalogue would be revisited, notably his biggest pop smash, 1986’s So. With 25 years since its initial release, Gabriel has had his team searching through tape vaults for demos and alternate mixes, and has begun talks with a visual artist to redesign the original artwork.

To the fine folks at Real World: if you’d like a framework from which to base your work, you can always start here.

Written by Mike Duquette

October 25, 2010 at 14:49

Coming Tomorrow: Now That’s What We Call Now Sounds!

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If you’ve been enjoying Joe Marchese’s very stellar contributions to The Second Disc (and who hasn’t, really?) you’re going to want to pull up a chair tomorrow. Joe’s got what promises to be a great interview with Steve Stanley of the Now Sounds label.

The Cherry Red-owned label has got a jam-packed reissue of Paul Williams’ Someday Man (1970) due out this week, and they’ve had a lot of killer product this year, including the great compilation Book a Trip: The Psych Pop Sounds of Capitol Records.

Expect a great interview with a great producer in time for tomorrow’s lunch, only on The Second Disc!

Written by Mike Duquette

October 25, 2010 at 13:12

Review: Bob Dylan, “The Bootleg Series Volume 9: The Witmark Demos”

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Artie Mogull of Music Publishers’ Holding Company believed he may have been among the first people in the music business to hear Bob Dylan sing “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Before his death in 2004, he recounted that he “flipped” upon hearing “How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry?” It’s not hard to see why. To a melody adapted from the spiritual “No More Auction Block for Me,” Dylan succinctly, eloquently and powerfully gave lyrical voice to a generation of youth struggling with an ever-changing America. The social and cultural ramifications of Dylan’s emergence have been explored in detail elsewhere; the latest volume of his long-running Bootleg Series, ironically, concerns itself with Dylan’s commercial breakthrough as a songwriter. The Bootleg Series Volume 9: The Witmark Demos (Columbia/Legacy 88697 76179-2) looks at the brief period before Dylan up-ended the entire music biz by metaphorically blowing up Tin Pan Alley, a time when he attempted to fit into the established system and found himself recording demos first for Leeds Music, then M. Witmark and Sons. The demos on this two-disc set led to recordings by Judy Collins, the Staples Singers, Ian and Sylvia, Elvis Presley and perhaps most crucially, Peter, Paul and Mary. The Witmark Demos chronicles the heady time when the diminutive Robert Zimmerman from Hibbing, Minnesota truly became Bob Dylan, and as such, is a must-own for anyone with a passing interest in the sound of American popular music at the crossroads.

The 47 songs on The Witmark Demos represent, in one sense, Dylan demystified. Here’s the artist who made it possible for any kid with a guitar to become a star, hawking his wares as a jobbing songwriter. Despite the title of the set, the first eight recordings were actually made in January 1962 for Leeds Music when Dylan was 21; when he signed with Witmark, both he and his management were apparently unaware that music publishing was exclusive! The Leeds contract was bought out, and the rest is history.

Over the course of these songs, Dylan goes from pure folk to hints of the sneering rock-and-roller that awaited ‘round the corner. His compositions include talking blues, so-called protest songs (Dylan never felt comfortable with that appellation), humorous riffs, morality plays and true-life tales. Despite the embryonic state of these recordings, much of Dylan’s unique delivery and sly humor is already in place. Even if the tracks here scratch the surface of where Dylan would eventually wind up, the songs are a varied lot, musically. This may have been startling in 1962-1964, when his songs began to attract a wide variety of cover artists. One particularly amusing artifact reprinted in the extensive booklet is a newspaper article entitled “Bob Dylan (23) Write Songs Stars Like”, and this article name-checks Bobby Darin, Marlene Dietrich and Peter, Paul and Mary among them. Today, this diversity is less surprising, given that the once-reclusive Dylan has opened up somewhat more. We now know that he was indeed a student of many genres of music, whether Woody Guthrie’s folk, Harold Arlen’s smoky Broadway ballads, or Bobby Vee’s rockabilly. All of these disparate influences informed the young songwriter.

Read more about The Witmark Demos after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 25, 2010 at 12:45

Posted in Bob Dylan, Reissues, Reviews

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Nine Inch Nails Get “Pretty” Again

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Trent Reznor may be considered a music industry maverick among most fans and critics, but even he can’t resist a good old-fashioned reissue.

The musician best known as the sole brain trust behind Nine Inch Nails, is reissuing his first, frequently out-of-print album under the NIN banner, 1989’s Pretty Hate Machine, as a joint venture between The Bicycle Music Company and his former label group at Universal.

Reznor was a janitor at Right Track Studios who used unassigned time at the studio to work on his own tunes. He recorded it all himself, from vocals to guitars to keyboards to samplers. Ultimately, after being rejected by the TVT label, he reproduced his work in studios in New York, Boston and London with topline producers including Flood (riding high as the engineer for U2’s The Joshua Tree), John Fryer (producer of Depeche Mode’s Speak and Spell, Yazoo’s Upstairs at Eric’s and others) and Adrian Sherwood (who’d recently worked with Ministry and Lee “Scratch” Perry). The finished Pretty Hate Machine was accepted by TVT, and it would go on to sell three million copies. (Interestingly, the always-intriguing 33 1/3 book series by Continuum has a volume based on the record slated for March.)

The record went out of print in the 1990s following a well-publicized feud between Reznor and the label and the label’s subsequent bankruptcy in the last decade. Rykodisc did reissue the album, but this set is the first reissue overseen and approved by Reznor himself. (The Bicycle Music Company acquired the rights to the album earlier this year with the intention of putting the album back, to quote Reznor, in “friendly territory.”)

Besides a new digital remaster by longtime NIN engineer Tom Baker and redesigned artwork by NIN art director Rob Sheridan, this reissue adds one bonus track, a B-side recording of Queen’s “Get Down, Make Love.”

Read the press release here (credit to Slicing Up Eyeballs for first reporting the story) and view the track info after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

October 25, 2010 at 11:06

Short Takes: Apple Indie Sampler, Collins Goes Gold and Stills in Surround

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Even with most of the major holiday product announced (and much, though far from all, of it in stores!), a few new catalogue releases have slipped through the cracks with little fanfare.

This Tuesday, Beatles completists (you know who you are!) can check their local indie retailer for a swell little compilation entitled 10 Green Apples; it’s a sampler disc for the full EMI/Apple Records reissue campaign (all individual releases hit stores Tuesday, as does an import box set with those 15 discs plus two bonus discs) and as the title indicates, includes 10 tracks from across the entire line of releases from artists including James Taylor, Badfinger and Ronnie Spector. Happily, it includes a few tracks otherwise only available as digital downloads or on the box set’s bonus discs. This CD is only available as part of a package also containing a spiffy black “Apple 2010” T-shirt.  If you want it, here it is, come and get it. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

Surely many will be interested in the latest 24K gold CD coming from Audio Fidelity, just announced by mastering engineer Steve Hoffman: a reissue of Phil Collins’ seminal Face Value. The 1981 LP marked the solo debut for the Genesis drummer, and kicks off with the hit “In the Air Tonight,” still one of Collins’ most beloved songs. Face Value hit No. 7 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and of special interest this year is its cover of The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows,” released as a tribute to John Lennon, who died as the album was being completed. More info from Audio Fidelity can be found here.

Finally, Rhino U.K. has an even more surprising release in the pipeline. November 8 is the scheduled date for a remastered CD/DVD-Audio edition of Stephen Stills’ eponymous solo debut. This follows similar sets for David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name and Graham Nash’s Songs for Beginners. Expect the remastered original album on the CD (it’s not yet known whether the album has been remixed as well), and stereo and 5.1 surround mixes on the advanced resolution DVD-A. In this format (the last hurrah for onetime Rhino/Warner staple DVD-A?) every musical detail should be audible not only from Stills, but from his illustrious guest list including Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and even Jimi Hendrix. (“Mama” Cass Elliot, Crosby and Nash all contributed in the vocal department.) Stephen Stills was released in 1970, and is still a benchmark for Stills’ career. It remains an engaging, musically diverse snapshot of that heady time. While the infectious “Love the One You’re With” was the big radio hit, the album is one high point after another drawing on the whole of Stills’ disparate influences as a guitarist and songwriter. If those previous Rhino CSN-related releases are any indication, Stephen Stills should be high on any high-rez/surround music fan’s holiday wish list.  It can be pre-ordered here from Amazon U.K.

Hit the jump for track listings for all three releases! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 25, 2010 at 09:15