The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for November 8th, 2010

Want to Hear Some Stuff from “The Promise”?

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BRUCE_DARKNESSOf course you do. Rolling Stone and NPR have some tracks from the forthcoming Darkness on the Edge of Town box for your streaming perusal. Think of it as a burst of energy for the last few hours at work!

Written by Mike Duquette

November 8, 2010 at 15:55

FSM Readies “Dr. T,” Warner Bros. Two-Fer

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Film Score Monthly, one of the best sources for soundtrack reissues and info in the pre-Internet age, has had a lot of weird press lately. FSM founder Lukas Kendall had an oddly overstated reaction when discovering that this year’s Star Trek: The Next Generation box set had been uploaded onto a torrent site. (It was easily the Internet at its worst on both sides – FSM posters might have overreacted at what was already a callous, disgusting act on the part of the pirates, leading to little solved.) Then there was his somewhat mercurial post on the main site concerning the volume of output from the labels and subsequent confession of limited edition CDs overpressed by his label. It’s not end-times stuff, but it does prove that a change needs to be made in the successful-but-still-needing-to-adapt film score market.

In the meantime, though, we do have some positive news coming from FSM: two new releases – one a bundling of two LPs long out of print, and one an exhaustive archival edition of a most unusual film score. Details on each title after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

November 8, 2010 at 14:54

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks

Breaking Snooze

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By now you’ve probably heard “Breaking News,” the lead track off of Sony’s upcoming posthumous Michael Jackson compilation Michael. If not, listen to it at MJ’s official site. Once you’ve listened to it, you may feel free to join the chorus of “wait, what?”s that have surrounded this song.

The big question on everyone’s mind is, of course, whether Michael’s vocals are on that track or not. (Sony, naturally, says it is.) I’ve seen plenty of polls asking for reader input, and you’ll see ours below. But there’s an option on ours that I haven’t seen elsewhere, because I think Michael Jackson does sing on “Breaking News” – but not all of it.

Those stuttering vocal tics and yelps that you hear between verses are most likely his. I’d hazard a guess that part of the song’s chorus has him singing. But those verses just don’t sound like him, and that’s considering how his vocal delivery changed while he was alive. (Nobody who heard Thriller in the early ’80s would be able to predict the brittle, edgy cadences he’d deliver on Dangerous or HIStory.) And the choruses likely aren’t entirely him, either – they lack the distinctive vocal blend fans have been in love with from the days of “Rock with You.”

It’s no surprise that there would be a need for additional background vocals – these songs are probably overdubbed to heck from whatever their original versions might be – but the notion that Sony could be theoretically duped by an MJ impersonator is bizarre. The label has gotten their facts twisted from time to time – there’s no way the Thriller 25 bonus track “For All Time” originates from the Thriller era – but this is just crazy. And yet, what other deceased legend could be mired in this kind of musical controversy? That’s not to say that Michael is better than Elvis, Lennon, Hendrix and the like – but their posthumous material was never as dissected, and certainly never as seemingly fake.

Perhaps the full Michael disc will have some less disputable tracks therein. But if the first thing fans are going to hear is a track that doesn’t sound like the King of Pop, it’s not hard to imagine such a backlash lasting for the rest of the month.

Written by Mike Duquette

November 8, 2010 at 13:32

Here’s When You’ll Have “Faith”

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Legacy has confirmed the previously-delayed deluxe reissue of George Michael’s Faith for January 31, 2011. Good news, for sure.

Written by Mike Duquette

November 8, 2010 at 11:56

Four Decades Later, She’s Still Got Us on Our Knees

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As reported by a whole bunch of sources, it looks like Universal will be reissuing Derek and The Dominos’ immortal album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs for its 40th anniversary.

Derek and The Dominos was Eric Clapton’s way of getting out of the limelight following his tenure in Cream and Blind Faith. The guitarist just wanted to play, rather than face the adulation he was getting from critics and fans (“CLAPTON IS GOD,” said the famous graffiti tag), and he joined up with organist Bobby Whitlock, drummer Jim Gordon and bassist Carl Radle – all members of Delaney & Bonnie and Friends – to record a new album with producer Tom Dowd.

But it was a chance meeting with Duane Allman (Dowd was mixing The Allman Brothers’ Idlewild South) that kicked the sessions into high gear. Clapton promptly invited Allman to play, and he appears on nearly every track, including the searing “Layla,” inspired by Clapton’s unrequited affection for Patti Boyd, who was married to George Harrison at the time. (Clapton and Boyd would later marry and divorce.)

Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs was never a chart success but has gained fans in the ensuing decades. (The early 1990s were a notable period of revival, when Clapton tackled an acoustic version for his MTV Unplugged set and the original was featured in the film Goodfellas.) The album was remixed and reissued for its 20th anniversary in 1991, with an additional two discs of session material. It is estimated that some or of that material will make up the new 40th anniversary set, said to be released as its own single-disc remaster, a two-disc deluxe edition and (surprise!) a super-deluxe box containing four CDs, a DVD and the original album on a double-vinyl set.

After the jump, we’ve provided the track list of the original set and the 20th anniversary reissue for your perusal.

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Written by Mike Duquette

November 8, 2010 at 11:55

Queen Reissues Coming in 2011

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It’s already been reported that Queen are moving their back catalogue rights from longtime home EMI to Universal Music Group – but a confirmation of those plans revealed some more info about what the move entails.

A Reuters report today confirmed that the move (which only applies outside America – Disney’s Hollywood Records still controls the rights to the Queen catalogue in the U.S.) has taken place, and also mentioned that Universal, through the Island label, will remaster and reissue the Queen discography for the band’s 40th anniversary.

The first five albums – Queen (1973), Queen II (1974), Sheer Heart Attack (1974), A Night at the Opera (1975) and A Day at the Races (1976) – will comprise the first wave of reissues in March. According to the report, “additional content” will be included on each set. (The catalogue was reissued in the States by Hollywood in 1991 with B-sides and new remixes as bonus tracks. A 30th anniversary CD/DVD edition of A Night at the Opera was released in 2005.)

How does the news of Queen reissues meet you? What would you like to see on these new reissues? Sound off below.

Written by Mike Duquette

November 8, 2010 at 11:31

Posted in News, Queen, Reissues

Review: Ravi Shankar and George Harrison, “Collaborations”

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George Harrison…the Radical Beatle? While you’re unlikely to find that description in many Beatles reference books, it’s not all that far-fetched a description. Exhibit “A” might be the new box set released by Dark Horse and Rhino just in time for the gift-giving season. While it’s arrived somewhat under the radar compared to higher-profile sets from the McCartney and Lennon camps, the music found on George Harrison’s collection of Collaborations with Ravi Shankar will sound far more radical to the average western ear than anything on Plastic Ono Band or Liverpool Sound Collage. Given Harrison’s modesty and the spiritual nature of the music contained, though, perhaps the “quiet” release is fitting. For the open-minded, however, Collaborations (Dark Horse/Rhino R2 525469) is a handsome (and heavy – in both senses of the word!) set restoring to catalogue some of Shankar’s more accessible works, as produced by Harrison. There’s nothing here to satisfy those listeners looking for the blistering rock of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” or even the spiritual pop of “My Sweet Lord.” But for adventurous listeners, Collaborations draws a direct line from the Beatles’ much-recounted Indian adventures in 1968 to the themes explored in Harrison’s All Things Must Pass (itself being reissued this fall in a vinyl edition and high resolution download) and beyond. Hit the jump to explore these landmark CollaborationsRead the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 8, 2010 at 09:30