The Second Disc

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Archive for December 8th, 2010

The Second Disc Artist Interview #1: Mr. Richard Page on “Pull”

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By any standards, Richard Page would have a lot to be thankful for as the frontman of Mr. Mister, the band behind chart-topping smash hits “Broken Wings” and “Kyrie.” This year, however, there’s another part of his career to celebrate: after two decades, Pull, the intended fourth album from the band, is coming out of hiding thanks to the fine folks at Legacy Recordings. Granted, Page wears more than just the face of Mr. Mister.  As a noted songwriter for Madonna (“I’ll Remember,” her 1994 hit from the film With Honors), and a recent member of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band, Page is a multifaceted artist who continues to record on his own label, Little Dume Recordings. (His latest album, this year’s Peculiar Life, is very much worth checking out.)

Today, The Second Disc has the immense pleasure of bringing you an interview with Page. He discusses the long and winding road that was Pull, from recording to release, offers his thoughts on the industry and considers the future of the Misters.

Read more after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

December 8, 2010 at 17:50

In Praise of Box Set Sales

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As any music collector can tell you, buying box sets and reissues is an expensive hobby. It’s not often that fans catch a break, either; outside of the occasional Cyber Monday deal before the holidays, prices on box sets rarely go down, unless you’ve found the right connections in the secondary market.

So it’s refreshing to see labels taking a nice step toward alleviating the financial crunch that comes with box set collecting. Fans of Sony and Legacy may have noted their recently-created Web store, Pop Market, which sells Legacy box sets and compilations at cut-rate prices for limited, 24-to-72-hour periods. (Full disclosure: it’s made some of the holiday shopping that much easier at TSD HQ!) Rhino’s done quite a nice ongoing sale for its “12 Days of Rhino,” too.

Sales are nice on anything, but they’re particularly nice on sets that could usually run upwards of $50 (or worse). Of course, such sets make one ask questions about box sets and sale ideas. Permit us to ask:

  • Where’s Universal’s sales? Legacy and Rhino have deep catalogues and notable presences as catalogue labels go. Of the other major labels (EMI and Universal), the latter one has a deep catalogue and its own reissue imprints (UMe and the direct-order Hip-o Select). I wouldn’t have minded seeing a discount on some of those Motown singles boxes, and I’m sure some of you would agree.
  • Conversely, where’s Sony’s direct-order imprint? I’m constantly perplexed that Legacy doesn’t have much of a limited-edition imprint (a la Hip-o Select or Rhino Handmade). While they have taken on such projects this year with great success (the Raw Power box, the Elvis box), why not make it a more permanent thing?
  • EMI? You there? I mean, there’s plenty of problems over there, but I’m not sure they’ve ever had a dedicated catalogue project – and certainly not an entire label. Let us know if anything changes, though.

What say you, dear reader? What sales have you enjoyed in your pursuit of catalogue gold? What questions would you ask a major label about their reissue and box set output?

Written by Mike Duquette

December 8, 2010 at 16:28

Review: Mr. Mister, “Pull”

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It’s a story that’s been done to death: band releases hit album, changes direction ambitiously for follow-up, is met with critical or commercial indifference – or worse, the disapproval of a label leads to said ambitious follow-up never happening. Sometimes, though, there’s a post-script, Eddie and The Cruisers-style, where the music is freed from captivity to the delight of adoring fans.

In some ways, this is the story of Pull, the mythical fourth album by Mr. Mister, one of the more notable rock hitmakers of the 1980s. Thanks to a little luck (and a hit song that name-checks the band), this long-lost album is finally available for the public to enjoy. While it’s not an album top-loaded with pop radio-ready hits, it’s a stand-out affair that employs some of the tactics of other ’80s bands with better results.

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Written by Mike Duquette

December 8, 2010 at 12:10

Posted in Mr. Mister, Reissues, Reviews

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Back Tracks: John Lennon

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Whether you thought he was the smartest of The Beatles, the best writer, the most politically astute, the one with the most interesting solo career – or if you disagree with any of those statements – I daresay I cannot allow you to disagree with this one: it is not fair that John Lennon is not still alive today.

Regardless of your take on his input into the Fab Four (or their eventual demise), Lennon was very much an intelligent, caring, smart musician, who spent much of his career using those talents for good, whether it was good music or good causes. Those with a more centrist take may disagree, and that’s fine. But the fact that, on this day three decades ago, he was taken from his family and his fans by a man whose motives are still not entirely clear is not a way for anyone to go, let alone one of the more influential musicians of a generation.

This year, EMI reissued a good chunk of the Lennon discography in honor of what would have been the singer/songwriter’s 70th birthday (see The Second Disc’s review here). It was a slightly different approach from previous reissues and repackages. To that end, today’s Back Tracks takes a look at the legend of Lennon through various remasters, compilations and box sets. Imagine a world of catalogue riches after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

December 8, 2010 at 10:09