The Second Disc

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Archive for December 13th, 2010

“Icon” Series Gets More Iconic

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Universal is prepping another batch of Icon compilations for the first week of 2011. Now, we’ve been hard on this series before, but there’s actually a lot to like about these new sets.

While previous Icon sets have been bashed by The Second Disc for either shamelessly repackaging previous compilations or offering fewer CD-based rarities than, say, Legacy’s Playlist series (more on that tomorrow), this new batch of Icon sets collate artists who haven’t had much in the way of compilations yet (Vanessa Carlton), expand on previous sets (the hefty double-disc set for Sheryl Crow) and highlight lesser-known artists (country comedian Jerry Clower, a host of funk notables on Tabu Records, including Cherelle, Alexander O’Neal and The S.O.S. Band).

Those Tabu sets will offer some nice morsels for collectors, too: all of them offer up some hard-to-find remixes previously only found on vinyl singles. Now this is what we’re talking about! Hats off to the UMe staff and everyone who made sets like these possible (including Donald Cleveland, producer of titles for the Funkytown Grooves label, who worked on these three Tabu sets with producer Harry Weinger).

Each disc will be in stores on January 4, though it looks like Amazon will be offering up some of these for download before the year is out. (See their pages for details.) The track lists are, as always, below. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

December 13, 2010 at 15:06

A Spoonful of Reissues Across the Pond

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U.K. label Edsel is prepping a series of expanded two-fer reissues of most of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s catalogue.

The original group – singer/songwriter John Sebastian, guitarist Zal Yanovsky, bassist Steve Boone and drummer Joe Butler – emerged from New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood in the 1960s. In the middle of the decade, they rode a wave of success thanks to folk-pop tunes like “Do You Believe in Magic,” “Daydream,” “Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?” and the No. 1 hit “Summer in the City.” Their first seven singles were Top 10 hits, and they enjoyed a stint as one of the more notable, popular faces of the American folk scene. But by 1969, with both Sebastian and Yanovsky having left the group (the latter opened up a successful restaurant in Canada, the former eked out a moderately successful solo career that included the catchy theme song to the TV show Welcome Back, Kotter), The Spoonful broke up after one final album (which is not included in this batch of reissues).

Edsel’s campaign collects six of the band’s LPs – Do You Believe in Magic (1965), Daydream (1966), the soundtrack to the Woody Allen film What’s Up Tiger Lily? (1966), Hums of The Lovin’ Spoonful (1966), the soundtrack to Francis Ford Coppola’s You’re a Big Boy Now (1967) and Everything Playing (1967) – on four discs (the first two-fer is spread across two discs). All are expanded with bonus tracks, which have been previously released on standalone reissues. All of these titles will be released on February 7.

Hit the jump for track lists.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

December 13, 2010 at 12:10

The Queen Remasters Begin

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Amazon U.K. is posting order pages for what looks like the first batch of Queen remasters across the pond.

It’s been previously reported that the first four Queen albums would be reissued (and possibly expanded) in England on Queen’s new home, Universal, in celebration of the band’s 40th anniversary. Happily, though, Universal will give fans a taste of what to expect in terms of presentation and mastering with straight reissues of the band’s first two greatest hits packages. Greatest Hits (1981) and Greatest Hits II (1991) succinctly covers the band’s biggest singles and are among the best places to start for a new fan.

Hardcore fans will notice that each disc has slightly redesigned artwork: the cover for Greatest Hits flattens out the band photo (similar to the “We Will Rock You” edition of the album released Stateside a few years back) while the classic crest on Greatest Hits II is redesigned.

Each set will be available on January 3. Hit the jump for order info and to reacquaint yourself with the track lists. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

December 13, 2010 at 09:34