The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for January 13th, 2011

FSM Fetches Classic Canine Scores

with one comment

Film Score Monthly’s first release of 2011 is a whopper: five discs’ worth of dog-related film scores, anchored mostly around the lovable star Lassie.

Created by writer Eric Knight in a short story that was expanded into a 1940 novel, Lassie was a loyal collie who treks across Depression-era Yorkshire, England to reunite with his young owner. The film spawned several sequels and spin-offs, most notably a long-running American television show that ran from 1954 to 1973. The dog is one of only three (and one of a handful of fictional characters) to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the character continues to be portrayed today, often by descendants of Pal, the original dog actor who played her.

FSM’s new set, Lassie Come Home: The Canine Cinema Collection, includes material from these scores: Daniele Amfitheatrof’s score to Lassie Come Home (1943); Herbert Stothart’s Son of Lassie (1945); Bronislau Kaper and Scott Bradley’s Courage of Lassie (1946); Stothart’s Hills of Home (1948); two of the first-ever scores by André Previn, The Sun Comes Up (1949) and Challenge to Lassie (1949); Amfitheatrof’s The Painted Hills (1951) and, as an added bonus, the score to the 1955 dog comedy It’s a Dog’s Life by Elmer Bernstein. Unfortunately, many of the original masters to these films have been lost, so many of them are presented from the music-and-effects tracks (barks a-plenty), or, in rarer cases, sourced directly from the film itself, dialogue and all. This archival presentation is unorthodox, but is the best possible approach to the surviving material.

The set is limited to 1,000 copies and can be viewed here (the FSM page also has a link to online liner notes). The track lists for all discs are after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 13, 2011 at 14:17

Back Tracks: Queen, Part I

with 2 comments

This week’s remaster and reissue of Queen’s first two greatest hits LPs in the U.K. (on new home Island Records) is the start of what promises to be a massive reissue campaign for the band’s 40th anniversary. The band’s first five LPs are slated to be expanded and released in March, with additional batches to follow through 2011.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the Queen catalogue has been rolled out on CD. While British audiences got straight CD transfers throughout the late ’80s, Americans got slight expanded versions when the catalogue rights transfered to Disney’s Hollywood Records in the U.S. in 1991. Those versions often featured a bonus remix or two, often newly commissioned for the program. There was also a confusing wave of compilations in the years after lead singer Freddie Mercury died in 1991.

In honor of Queen’s 40th anniversary and with these new reissues fast approaching, these next two installments of Back Tracks will take you through each major Queen LP and compilation released on each side of the Atlantic since 1973. This includes reissues, reconfigurations and even some audiophile editions.

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Find out after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 13, 2011 at 12:20

Lowe’s “Labour” Not Lost: Reissue Due in March

with 4 comments

Nick Lowe never was lacking in confidence. The former Brinsley Schwarz bassist/vocalist had already defined pub-rock as a member of that band, and did much the same for the burgeoning punk movement as producer of Elvis Costello’s first albums. Now he was in the forefront of the so-called “new wave” vanguard, and Lowe realized there was little he couldn’t do. Armed with hubris but with tongue firmly planted in cheek, he named his 1978 Radar Records (U.K.) debut Jesus of Cool. Its artwork depicted him in various musical get-ups: hippie, folkie, greaser. (When Lowe’s American record label, Columbia, got cold feet about its title, the album was renamed Pure Pop for Now People, still making a grand if totally appropriate claim.) With Brinsley Schwarz,  side project Rockpile and on his own, Lowe evinced his mastery of the three-minute song, deciding which pop/rock style would best suit each LP; he touched most stylistic bases on Jesus.

For its 1979 follow-up, Labour of Lust, Lowe embraced the rootsy pub-rock sound he perfected with Brinsley Schwarz, but still largely contained himself to the snappy, melodic song form again. The result provided Lowe with his only American hit, the sparkling and taut “Cruel to Be Kind.” The able instrumental support of his Rockpile mates saw that every song had a crisp sheen and the album had more of a band flavor than its predecessor. News has arrived that Labour of Lust is due for reissue on March 14 in the U.K. from Proper Records, with an American release likely to follow on the Yep Roc label. Labour follows the expanded Jesus of Cool, released in 2008 with ten additional songs augmenting the original eleven-track lineup, and Quiet, Please: The New Best of Nick Lowe, a comprehensive CD/DVD anthology from 2009. The wait has been a long one, especially as most of Lowe’s solo catalogue is out-of-print and in great need of upgrade. But if these past projects are any indication, the wait will have been worth it. Hit the jump for more on Nick’s Labour! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 13, 2011 at 10:38