The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for January 14th, 2011

Fit for a Queen: Legacy Planning Massive Aretha Box

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As if news of Aretha Franklin’s improved health wasn’t good news enough, Columbia and Legacy have told the Associated Press that there’s going to be a massive box set of her works for the label coming this spring.

Take a Look: Aretha Franklin Complete on Columbia is going to be a 12-disc set – 11 CDs and a DVD – chronicling this oft-overlooked early phase of the Queen of Soul’s career. Franklin signed to the label in 1960 at the young age of 18, and spent several years releasing albums and singles that usually hit the lower reaches of the Billboard charts. When she left Columbia for Atlantic with the immortal I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), it was as if her career had just started. (Columbia released several albums by Franklin after the fact, none of which caught on, and Franklin later left Atlantic for Arista in the 1980s, where she experienced something of a resurgence. The Arista material, also owned by Sony, does not look to be included.)

Though much of the material has been released before – compilation producer Leo Sacks jokingly told the AP the material “[has] been picked over more times than a Barney’s warehouse sale” – some rare or unheard material is promised, including mono mixes and rehearsal takes.

The set will be released on March 22. You can order it here; discographical info will be up later tonight.

Written by Mike Duquette

January 14, 2011 at 18:22

“Elvis is Back” is Back

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Elvis Presley’s Elvis is Back!, it was previously reported, will be released as a Legacy Edition on March 1. We now have a track list to go with that title.

The two-disc set will combine Elvis is Back!, Presley’s 1960 LP and the first the King recorded after returning from the Army, with Something for Everyone, an album from the following year. Each will be expanded with relevant non-LP single sides, some of which rank highly in Elvis’ discography (“Are You Lonesome Tonight?,” “It’s Now or Never” and “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame.”

Read the track list after the jump and order your copy here. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 14, 2011 at 17:47

In Case You Missed It: Slayer on Vinyl

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Oddly, Slayer’s The Vinyl Conflict box, which came out in November, sort of flew under The Second Disc’s radar. But today, we have a very special reason to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

This 11-LP box features all of the iconic metal band’s albums for Def Jam (yes, this was toward the end of Rick Rubin’s tenure with his label) and American Recordings (the label Rubin subsequently created), from 1983’s Reign in Blood to 2009’s World Painted Blood. All are remastered and pressed on heavyweight vinyl with all original art work reproduced.

Why is this being mentioned now? Because Sony’s PopMarket store – which sells box sets for ridiculously cheap in limited time offers – is taking the whole weekend to sell The Vinyl Conflict at half off its original price tag of $199.99. At $99 for 10 vinyl albums (plus free shipping), this is a deal hard to miss. If there are any Slayer fans out there, your ship has officially come in. The offer’s good through Monday at noon, so make sure you make it happen before then if you’re interested.

The track list for the box is after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 14, 2011 at 14:56

Jack Johnson’s “Brushfire Fairytales” to Be Remastered

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Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson’s first album is slated for remastering and reissue this spring.

Brushfire Fairytales was the Hawaiian musician/surfer/environmentalist’s first release, on the label Enjoy Records in 2001. Enjoy – now known as Everloving – licensed the album to Universal, Johnson’s home since then, with the stipulation that the master tape return to their possession after 10 years. With that time now passed, Everloving has enlisted Bernie Grundman to remaster the record for release on CD and vinyl. The vinyl version will be released February 8, while the remastered CD comes out April 12.

The track list (the same as the original, with no bonus material added) is after the jump. Pre-order the CD here and the vinyl here. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 14, 2011 at 13:31

Posted in News, Reissues, Vinyl

Friday Feature: “Casino Royale” (1967, 2006)

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“The dry riffle of the cards and the soft whirr of the roulette wheel, the sharp call of the croupiers and the feverish mutter of a crowded casino hide the thick voice at Bond’s ear which says, ‘I will count up to ten.'” So read the blurb on the jacket of the original printing of Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel Casino Royale, which introduced Agent 007 to the world. Fleming’s novel set the tone for those that followed, introducing the “Bond girl” (Vesper Lynd), the larger-than-life villain (Le Chiffre, agent of SMERSH) and the exotic locations (the French seaside resort of Royale les Eaux, plus Lisbon, Portugal).

The television industry quickly set its sights on Fleming’s novel; on October 21, 1954, CBS-TV aired a one-hour adaptation of Casino Royale as part of the Climax! anthology series. Director/producer Gregory Ratoff’s production starred Barry Nelson as James “Jimmy” Bond and legendary screen villain Peter Lorre as Le Chiffre. It was inevitable that the big screen would beckon, and the next year, Fleming sold film rights to Ratoff and Michael Garrison. Following Ratoff’s death in 1960, rights were later acquired by producer Charles K. Feldman. By then, the enormously-successful James Bond film series produced by Albert R. Broccoli had already begun with 1962’s Dr. No, and Broccoli turned down the offer to co-produce an adaptation of Fleming’s original novel with Feldman. Undeterred, the tenacious Feldman went ahead and created one of the most infamous films in Hollywood history, 1967’s lavish, big-budget spy spoof Casino Royale. Due to complicated rights entanglements, the “official” Bond canon didn’t get around to a remake of Casino Royale until nearly forty years later, in 2006. With its leading man Daniel Craig just announced to star in the next Bond film for director Sam Mendes, today’s Friday Feature looks at the musical legacy of two very different Casino Royales.

Charles K. Feldman spared no expense on his star-studded psychedelic production, to the tune of a then-staggering $12 million, and made a number of hires, including five directors, ten screenwriters and seven James Bonds. (Bond’s nephew Jimmy, as portrayed by Woody Allen, also joins in.) The plot, such as it is, goes something like this: Retired spy Sir James Bond (the always-dapper David Niven) is visited by M (John Huston), the head of the MI6, and his associates, who inform Bond that the evil SMERSH organization has been eliminating agents around the globe. Bond resists M’s urging to return to active duty, but M’s plan backfires when he is killed in an explosion of his own design at Bond’s estate. Promoted to the head of MI6, Bond determines to outwit SMERSH and its sinister agent Le Chiffre (Orson Welles) by assigning a number of agents the “007” designation, including baccarat player Evelyn Tremble (Peter Sellers), Vesper Lynd (Urusla Andress) and Miss Moneypenny (Barbara Bouchet). Tremble eventually takes on Le Chiffre at the titular casino in a baccarat game; Sellers and Welles disliked each other so intensely that screen time shared by the two actors was kept to an absolute minimum. By the film’s wild conclusion, the Bonds have encountered cowboys, Indians, flying saucers, Scotsmen, a French Legionnaire, and the fiendish Dr. Noah (get it?), among others.

It was Feldman’s inspired choice to employ Burt Bacharach to write the score, however, that helped guarantee the film’s immortality. (Feldman and Bacharach had previously worked together on 1965’s What’s New, Pussycat?, also starring Sellers and Allen. The popular composer then scored After the Fox in 1966 with Sellers as The Fox!) For his efforts, Bacharach was rewarded with a Grammy nomination for the soundtrack album and an Oscar nomination for “The Look of Love,” breathily sung by Dusty Springfield over an unforgettably ironic sequence with Peter Sellers and Ursula Andress viewed through a giant fish tank. “The Look of Love,” with lyrics by Hal David, would go on to receive countless cover versions, the most famous among them by Bacharach and David’s muse Dionne Warwick and A&M bossa nova titans Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. The soundtrack also spawned the infectious instrumental theme song, performed by Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass. Bacharach not only brought consistency to the film, but his highly melodic style was ideal for Casino Royale, the sly humor in the music often bringing laughs on its own.

Hit the jump for the unusual catalogue history of Burt Bacharach’s Casino Royale, including a look at Kritzerland’s smashing new incarnation, and also a fast-forward to David Arnold’s 2006 interpretation! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 14, 2011 at 10:50