The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for November 1st, 2010

On False Icons

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From the very beginning, the compilation record was at once a blind cash grab and an attempt at convenience. After a handful of years buying vinyl singles, what would be the point of buying a selection of those hits? Ah yes, the extra tracks were sometimes dealmakers. And if you’d never bought said hits, it was hard to beat a tightly packed compilation disc.

Times have, of course, changed. Compilations should be rendered nearly obsolete by digital downloading; retailers like iTunes and Amazon make it easier than ever to pick and choose your own hits playlists rather than paying $13 for a professionally-pressed playlist. So, as should be the case in these troubled times, labels have to get craftier. Thus, we have sets like Legacy’s Playlist and UMe’s recent Icon series. (There’s a new batch of Icon sets tomorrow, including comps by No Doubt, Barry White, WAR and others.)

It’s hard to look at Icon, and not compare it to Playlist, a budget series well-liked at The Second Disc (and elsewhere). The trick is that Icon generally doesn’t have the catalogue/fan-oriented spin that Playlist enjoys, instead opting for what’s usually the most obvious routes, track-wise. Ultimately, in fact, there are a few big issues with the Icon line that I’d like to dissect after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

November 1, 2010 at 15:40

Reissue! Repackage! Repackage! Volume #4: It Ain’t Heavy, It’s Our “Brothers”

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Another neat recent reissue for your perusal: a deluxe box set version of Brothers, the latest release by garage-blues band The Black Keys.

The Akron, Ohio duo – comprised of vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney – have been on the rise since the early 2000s. Their simple, raw sound and simple sense of marketability (their tunes have featured in dozens of films and advertisements) have won them over a great amount of fans, from ZZ Top to Danger Mouse, who produced the band’s 2008 effort Attack & Release. Brothers, released this past spring, was the band’s biggest hit to date, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard charts.

This limited, numbered reissue of the album includes the original LP on both CD and split between two 7″ vinyl discs, as well as a bonus 10″ EP of live tracks and a poster. It will be released on Black Friday, November 26, a day being commemorated by Record Store Day participants with other special releases. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

November 1, 2010 at 13:21

Dinah’s Dynamic Early Singles Collected on New Box

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Another set promised by Harry Weinger in his chat with The Second Disc is ready for order. The Divine Miss D! The Keynote, Decca and Mercury Singles 1943-1953 is the latest project from Hip-o Select, that collates the early songs of Dinah Washington.

The Queen of the Blues began her recording career as a singer for Lionel Hampton’s big band in 1943, and would earn her crown by recording a long string of singles for Mercury through the next decade. Now, for the first time in the U.S., Hip-o Select and Verve present those first ten years’ worth of singles – including four single sides first released on the Keynote label and later reissued by Mercury some years later and a one-off single for Decca Records with Hampton’s band – on one set. (All the Mercury material had previously appeared on a set of long-out-of-print Japanese box sets – perhaps the rest of that material will see release on another box in the future?)

The Divine Miss D! is another entry in the burgeoning Verve Select series, which has included boxes for Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson and Nat “King” Cole, to name a few recent sets. Order it here and check out the track list after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

November 1, 2010 at 11:06

The Great Purple Freak-Out

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It’s no secret that The Second Disc HQ holds a lot of love for Prince – remember our weeklong blitz for The Artist back around his birthday this past June? – so this bit of news is, to put it mildly, rather massive.

After the jump, learn what an Australian podcast got His Royal Badness himself to say about the potential future remastering of the Prince catalogue.

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Written by Mike Duquette

November 1, 2010 at 09:00

Posted in News, Prince, Reissues

Rarities Editions, Round Three (UPDATED 11/1)

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Remember Universal’s Rarities Edition sets? The sets that issue the bonus material of a previously-released Deluxe Edition on its own? A trio of new Rarities Edition titles will street on Tuesday, November 2, and like the last two batches, The Second Disc wants to give a clear perspective to you, the reader, as to whether they’re worth getting if you never upgraded to the original Deluxe Edition in the first place.

Luckily, unlike the last two batches of Rarities Editions (which had some clunkers alongside some worthy purchases), most of these are worth your money if you don’t own the respective deluxe editions. Take a look at the rare tracks of Eric Clapton, Marvin Gaye and 3 Doors Down after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

November 1, 2010 at 00:00