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Archive for November 30th, 2010

Review: “Michael Jackson’s Vision”

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When Michael Jackson was declared dead on that fateful Thursday in June of 2009, most of us healed our pain through the songs. Compact discs flew off store shelves and MP3s funneled through Internet connections in an attempt to recall those days when MJ was the King of Pop. It was these kinds of public celebration – I recall at least one set of speakers blaring “The Way You Make Me Feel” that week in midtown Manhattan – that took center stage for most of us. As a result, it seemed that the music videos got short shrift. It’s easy to understand why – it’s not as easy to publicly watch and bond over a bunch of short films – but the moving image was as much a part of Jackson’s iconography as any studio session ever was.

So how do you properly commemorate this monolithic portion of Michael’s oeuvre? The answer lies in Michael Jackson’s Vision, a new triple-DVD box set that collates just about every piece of video footage you could ever want. Like so many Jackson catalogue projects from Sony/Legacy in the past decade, it doesn’t attain absolute perfection…but it gets closer than any other set the label has released in a long, long time.

There’s more to discuss after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

November 30, 2010 at 22:23

A Wave of Melba Moore Reissues Coming in 2011

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Fans of R&B singer and Tony winning actress Melba Moore have got some good news coming their way: nearly all of her LPs from the ’80s are coming out on CD between now and March.

Moore, the daughter of jazz bandleader Teddy Hill, rose to prominence on Broadway as a cast member in Hair and won a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in Purlie in 1970. Five years later, she began a recording career on Buddah and Epic – but it wasn’t until the early ’80s and a switch to Capitol that her career started to smoke. Most of these records and singles, including the U.S. dance hit “Love’s Comin’ at Ya,” were produced by Kashif, one of the writers/producers behind Whitney Houston’s debut album.

One record has already been released; PTG Records has done a straight reissue of Moore’s swan song for Epic, Closer (1980). Between January and March of 2011, however, Funky Town Grooves will release the first five of Moore’s LPs for Capitol, each with bonus B-sides and remixes. Closer can be ordered on Amazon now and the others are already up for pre-order on FTG’s site.

The track lists are after the jump, as always. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

November 30, 2010 at 14:50

Posted in Melba Moore, News, Reissues

Details on the Graham Parker Box

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To clarify from a post from earlier today, we present some info on Offical Bootleg: The Bootleg Box, the new box set from Graham Parker.

It’s six discs of bootleg shows from the British singer’s career, all previously released for download by Parker himself. Most of the shows are solo, save for the first disc, an ill-quality but widely traded show with The Rumour in 1975. It looks to be a nice treat for fans of Parker and his music, and the set is actually quite a steal, particularly for an import (Amazon lists it for $37.85).

The track list is after the jump. (Thanks to Parker’s official forum for the tip.) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

November 30, 2010 at 14:01

Review: Paul Williams, “Someday Man: Deluxe Expanded Edition”

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There are certain albums a person returns to, over and over again. These albums often transcend time and genre, and chances are you can name a few of them that reside in your own music collection. I’m talking about that special album you might play when you’re down, or when you just need a visit from an old friend to remind you of another time. At The Second Disc, we frequently strive to remind you of those albums.

Through the years, one such record for me has been Paul Williams’ Someday Man. No matter how many times I listen, it still strikes me as a perfect pop album. Yet upon its release in May 1970 as Reprise 6401, Someday Man appeared and disappeared, and that was that, for roughly 30 years. One of its songs is entitled “Mornin’ I’ll Be Movin’ On,” and both Paul Williams (lyrics/vocals) and Roger Nichols (music/production) did indeed move on. Before dissolving their songwriting partnership in 1972, Williams and Nichols composed hits for a number of artists but perhaps most memorably the Carpenters: “Rainy Days and Mondays.”  “We’ve Only Just Begun.”  “I Won’t Last a Day Without You.” “Let Me Be the One.” While those songs practically created the soundtrack of the seventies, they in fact owe a great debt to the sounds developed on Someday Man.

Following up its recent deluxe reissue of The Holy Mackerel’s only LP (Now Sounds CRNOW 21), Williams’ early band, Now Sounds has delivered an expanded edition of Someday Man (CRNOW 22) and it won’t disappoint both longtime fans of the album and those who have only just begun (pun intended) to discover the charms of this great lost sunshine pop classic.

Now Sounds’ new Someday Man offers twelve additional tracks (two more than are actually on the album itself!) including four mono single mixes, two demos, four revealing instrumental backing tracks (check out the optimistic horn punctuation after the title song’s chorus), and most fascinatingly, the sessions for “Someday Man” and a song that didn’t make the album, “The Drifter.” The latter song did appear as a single by Nichols’ group Roger Nichols and the Small Circle of Friends in a version apparently utilizing the same backing track as heard here. The infectiously jaunty “Drifter” also received a number of cover versions from artists as disparate as Kenny Lynch and Steve Lawrence. Of course, Rev-Ola’s expanded reissue of Small Circle of Friends (Rev-Ola CRREV 86) is another must-have for any fan of vocal harmony, sunshine pop or just great songs played with superb musicianship. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 30, 2010 at 10:30

Posted in Reissues, Reviews

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Release Round-Up: Week of November 30

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Dinah Washington, The Fabulous Miss D! The Keynote, Decca and Mercury Singles 1943-1953 (Verve/Hip-o Select)

The early, pre-LP singles of Dinah’s pre-Mercury career, on four discs in Verve Select style. (Hip-o Select)

The White Stripes, The White Stripes / De Stijl / White Blood Cells (Third Man/Warner Bros.)

Everyone’s favorite garage-blues band puts their first three albums back in print on 180-gram vinyl. (Amazon)

Tim McGraw, Number One Hits (Curb)

A straightforward package of McGraw’s thirty-something country chart-toppers, including a new remix of early hit “Indian Outlaw” and new single “Felt Good on My Lips.” (Amazon) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

November 30, 2010 at 09:31