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Archive for January 27th, 2011

Robert Flack Compilation is Killing Us Softly from the U.K.

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U.K. music fans, do you need some romance in your life? Rhino’s got you covered the forthcoming release of Love Songs, a new compilation by Roberta Flack.

Flack is, of course, one of the most legendary artists on the Atlantic roster, scoring an impressive run of Top 5 hits (including three chart-toppers) through the 1970s. Her iconic “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Killing Me Softly with His Song” were the first back-to-back Record of the Year Grammy winners by the same artist – and her voice, whether alone or paired with duet partners Donny Hathaway or Peabo Bryson, remains one of those warm, sensual touchstones for soul music as a whole.

Though nothing on the set is previously unreleased, a few of the tracks – notably Flack’s live work with Bryson and the theme to the 1981 film Bustin’ Loose – are largely unavailable on most other compilations. So it’s a nice, alternate look for the new or casual fan.

Pre-order the set from Amazon U.K. here. It’s out on February 15. And as always, the track list is after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 27, 2011 at 14:13

Reissue Theory: Cher, “A Woman’s Story: The Warner Bros. Years”

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Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we reflect on well-known albums of the past and the reissues they could someday see. Before Madonna, before Lady Gaga, there was Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPiere Bono, better-known as Cher. Today, we look at a largely forgotten period of the diva’s career, now entering its sixth(!) decade.

Cher’s latest hit song may be titled “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” but really, who thought we had? We listeners don’t need a modest little Diane Warren power ballad to remind us that Cher isn’t going anywhere. Even as she bade farewell to the concert stage for the umpteenth time, we knew we hadn’t seen the last of Cher. And so it wasn’t surprising that the superstar recently became the first artist in Billboard history to attain a chart-topping single in six consecutive decades when the Golden Globe-winning “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” (from the critically-lambasted film Burlesque) hit No. 1 on the Dance/Club Play chart. (Only Barbra Streisand holds a similarly impressive record, with No. 1 albums in five consecutive decades.) What is a surprise, however, is that the ever-chameleonic singer/actress/entertainer still hasn’t had her entire catalogue represented on CD.

In 1975, Cher signed with the decade-defining Warner Bros. Records label, after a long string of solo hits first overseen by Sonny Bono at Imperial and then Snuff Garrett at Kapp and MCA. (Sonny & Cher’s duet records were released on Atlantic’s Atco division, and a brief detour to Muscle Shoals in 1969 produced one of Cher’s most underrated solo albums, 3614 Jackson Highway, for that label. It was expanded by Rhino Handmade in 2003 and then reissued as a bare-bones edition by Collectors’ Choice in 2009.) Yet none of Cher’s albums or singles released between 1975 and 1979 has received CD release. How could Cher’s Warner Bros. output could be successfully reissued? Today’s Reissue Theory answers with A Woman’s Story: The Warner Bros. Years.

The Warner Bros. years found Cher experimenting with a variety of musical styles and producers for a handful of singles and four complete albums: Stars (1975), I’d Rather Believe in You (1976), Cherished (1977) and Two the Hard Way (1977). The lineup of talent who joined Cher at Warner Bros. is staggering: Phil Spector, Harry Nilsson, Jimmy Webb, Snuff Garrett, Steve Barri, then-husband Gregg Allman, and even Sonny Bono.

Hit the jump for the details on how we would collect this sadly-neglected period of Cher’s career as a two-CD set, and a full track listing with pertinent discographical information! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 27, 2011 at 11:59

Posted in Cher, Compilations, Features, Reissues

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A “Perfect Way” to Get Scritti Politti’s Hits Coming Soon

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Here’s an under-the-radar release for you on this ridiculously snowy day: a new compilation for ’80s dance-rock band Scritti Politti from EMI/Virgin.

Founded by singer/songwriter Green Gartsdale in Leeds in the late 1970s, Scritti Politti began as a left-leaning post-punk outfit championed by John Peel and signed to Rough Trade and spent the ’80s evolving into a funky, synth-based ensemble. “Wood Beez,” “Absolute,” “The Word Girl” and “Oh Patti” were some of the band’s Top 20 singles in their native U.K., but their biggest hit abroad was the gleaming “Perfect Way,” which climbed to No. 11 in America.

Absolute – the band’s first career-spanning compilation – includes a handful of single mixes, the rare debut single “Skank Bloc Bologna” (a favorite of Peel’s) and two brand-new tracks, “Day Late and a Dollar Short” and “A Place We Both Belong.” Amazon U.K. has a pre-order page here, but no release date; EMI’s schedule (as seen in the link above) puts its release date as February 28.

View the track list after the jump. (Thanks to our ’80s guru Vinny Vero for tipping us off.) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 27, 2011 at 10:25