The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for January 21st, 2011

Friday Feature: “Men in Black”

leave a comment »

Once in a while, a great comedy comes around that makes an incredible impact on film, thanks to its quick wits, original ideas and great performances. In the 1980s, there were several great films that deftly blended comedy with science fiction and action film tropes – 1984’s Ghostbusters and 1985’s Back to the Future – that remain generational touchstones and modern-day classics of popular cinema. When children of the ’80s say, “They don’t make ’em like they used to,” it’s not hard to imagine them thinking of movies like these.

But there was one film, released more than a decade later, that belies its reputation as a simple blockbuster film and has yet to take its rightful place among the tight, smartly-written traditions of those earlier sci-fi/comedies. That film is Men in Black (1997), a highly-satisfying flick starring the unlikely duo of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. MIB spawned a successful (if not fruitful) franchise, and it also has some interesting musical qualities to it as well. Put on a black suit, ready your neuralizers and come with us on a Friday Feature journey through the world of the Men in Black, after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 21, 2011 at 14:02

Amazon to Start Pressing Universal’s Catalogue on Demand

with 12 comments

Here’s some interesting news from the too-rarely-reported business side of the catalogue world: Universal Music Group is going to start pressing out-of-print catalogue titles through Amazon’s CreateSpace self-publishing and on-demand services.

Similar to Warner and Collectors’ Choice’s Tartare program, the UMG/CreateSpace partnership will see the label licensing its out-of-print content to the online service’s Disc on Demand program. Each copy of an album under this program is made direct to order, allowing a quicker, lower-risk method for Universal and other labels to get their titles out there.

A press release indicated that some 3,000 titles will bow through the service in the coming months. The release promised artists “from Chuck Berry and B.B. King to Judy Garland and Patti LaBelle” and specifically mentioned Louis Armstrong’s Back Through the Years: Centennial Celebration (2000) B.B. King’s Take It Home (1979), and greatest hits titles for Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty.

Time will tell as to what this news means for catalogue fans, but The Second Disc remains hopeful that there will be some benefit for us from this new deal.

Written by Mike Duquette

January 21, 2011 at 11:05

Posted in Compilations, News, Reissues

More of Melba: Moore’s Epic Debut Due from BBR

leave a comment »

By 1978, Melba Moore had already established herself as a multifaceted musical force. After making her Broadway debut as Dionne (“White Boys”) in the original Broadway company of Hair, she picked up a Tony Award in 1970 for her performance in Purlie, where she introduced the showstopping “I Got Love.” In 1978, she was starring in New York opposite the legendary Eartha Kitt in Timbuktu! and ready to resume her solo recording career. With stints on the Mercury and Buddah labels behind her, she signed with Epic, and the label dispatched her to Philadelphia’s famed Sigma Sound Studios. There, the team of Gene McFadden and John Whitehead produced the aptly-titled Melba (not her first release to bear that title). With McFadden and Whitehead at the controls, Melba Moore embraced the disco generation head-on.

Back in November, Mike reported on Funky Town Grooves’ extensive reissue campaign devoted to Moore’s successful EMI/Capitol period of 1981-1986, and also on PTG’s reissue of Closer, her final effort for Epic in 1980. Now, that PTG release is bookended with Big Break Records’ expanded and remastered reissue of Melba, due in the U.K. on February 14.

The album leads off with a nearly eight-minute cover of the Bee Gees-penned “You Stepped Into My Life,” which rose to No. 5 on the U.S. dance chart and No. 12 on the R&B chart.  (A shorter version was released as a single, as well.) The second single, “Pick Me Up, I’ll Dance” became another uptempo club sensation, and Moore revisited Archie Bell and The Drells’ “It’s Hard Not to Like You,” not coincidentally co-written by McFadden and Whitehead. The album itself peaked at a respectable No. 35 on the R&B album chart.

Click on the jump for everything you need to know about BBR’s expanded reissue of Melba! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 21, 2011 at 10:02

Posted in Melba Moore, News, Reissues