The Second Disc

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Archive for February 16th, 2011

Brandeis, Twice as Nice? Dylan Bonus Disc Getting Standalone Release

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Those who ordered Bob Dylan’s The Bootleg Series Volume 9: The Witmark Demos 1962-1964 on Amazon got a special bonus alongside the two-disc set: a bonus disc of part of a show at Brandeis University in 1963. Culled from a reel-to-reel tape recorded and owned by Rolling Stone co-founder Ralph Gleeson, this seven-track disc is one of the earliest (if not the earliest) known live recording by the Bard.

And now, in case you missed out on it the first time around, Bob Dylan in Concert – Brandeis University, 1963 is coming out on its own April 12 from Columbia/Legacy. The set will feature the exact same audio contents as the initial disc, but with new track-by-track liner notes penned by Michael Gray, author of The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia and Song & Dance Man: The Art of Bob Dylan.

The set will also be available in digital and vinyl formats. Order it here and hit the jump for track details.

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 16, 2011 at 16:37

From a “SMiLE” to a Frown

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The rumblings over a potential unearthing of The Beach Boys’ SMiLE was a big deal. How big? So big that when this author shared the news with friends that don’t follow music catalogue affairs as closely, even those friends were excited. This legendary lost record is something that a lot of Beach Boys fans would be willing to check out, not just the bootleg hunters and classic rock enthusiasts who are likely reading this right now.

So it’s a bitter pill to swallow upon reading new comments by band member Al Jardine, whose interview got the whole speculation train rolling in the first place.

“I don’t know if we even have enough parts to put it together or not,” Jardine most recently said. “May have to record some more.”

Adding fuel to the flames, mastering engineer Steve Hoffman weighed in between two posts on his message board in a thread dedicated to the possibility of a SMiLE release:

As I said in this thread a million posts ago, this is not happening. You guys just like speculating, I understand that. But others really believed this was imminent and bombarded Capitol/EMI with calls, etc. The result? They clamped down on all rumors and made ol’ All give another statement.

I’m sure Capitol/EMI would love to actually release this. The “problem” doesn’t come from there, so they are not the bad dudes in this and don’t be calling them up & bitching.

Look, I know the scoop but I can’t tell ya, sorry. Let me say this:

For a project like this to actually be worked on, it doesn’t take much. For a project like this to actually be released, it takes a lot. You know from past history with things like this how funky it can be. The “project” is always being diddled with in the studio. It’s the signatures that count (to paraphrase “The Wild Bunch”).

This is rather sad news for Beach Boys fans – but let’s try to be optimistic for the time being (not a small feat for a reissue fan, this one included!) and hope that things might turn around before too long.

Written by Mike Duquette

February 16, 2011 at 15:59

Reissue Theory: Bobby Darin, Compiled: “The Motown Years”

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Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we reflect on great albums and the reissues they could someday see. At the time of his untimely death in 1973, Bobby Darin was signed to Motown Records, where he recorded one solo LP and enough material for a posthumous second LP. Despite their high quality, Darin’s Motown recordings have long been unavailable. Today’s Reissue Theory takes us back to 1970 and the final chapter in the life of the great Bobby Darin.

Bobby Darin was so much more than just “Mack the Knife.” Stricken with rheumatic fever as a child and left fighting a heart condition throughout his 37 years, Darin never stopped reinventing himself in a race against the clock. After struggling at Decca, the man born Walden Robert Cassotto made his first splash at Atco – “Splish, Splash” actually – as a young, brash rock-and-roller, while operating behind-the-scenes as a deft songwriter, shrewd producer and keen businessman. Sensing that this rock-and-roll thing might just be a flash in the pan, he dared to take on the territory of Frank Sinatra with a successful series of adult pop albums and of course, “Mack the Knife” just a year after “Splish Splash.” As longtime friend Dion DiMucci said, “[Even in his youth] Darin had more on his wish list than being a teen idol.” When Sinatra exited Capitol to form the Reprise label in 1962, Capitol even lured Darin from Atco, symbolically replacing the Voice himself.

While it’s unknown if Sinatra really said that Darin was fit to play his prom dates, he undoubtedly took notice of this young, talented upstart. As the 1960s rolled onward, Darin felt compelled to embrace his youth. While already Hollywood royalty (with a high-profile marriage to Sandra Dee and an Academy Award nomination for 1963’s Captain Newman, M.D.), he could no longer ignore the tumult around him. Devastated by the assassination of his friend Robert F. Kennedy, the singer traded his tuxedo for denim and became “Bob Darin,” content to gently strum folk and protest songs, including his own powerful “A Simple Song of Freedom.” Yet when 1970 arrived, this restless musical wanderer found the inner strength to embrace his many facets. Just weeks after taking out ads denouncing the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, and speaking publicly at anti-war demonstrations, Darin returned to his one-time stomping ground of Las Vegas, reinstated the brassy “Mack” to his set, and co-hosted The Mike Douglas Show. The final stage of what would be Darin’s last reinvention was signed, sealed and delivered with the singer’s contract to Motown Records.

Motown was in the midst of great changes itself, relocating to Los Angeles and establishing a broad roster of artists over many genres. (Another great all-around entertainer, Sammy Davis, Jr. , released his first Motown single roughly a month before Darin’s.) Darin remained with Motown between 1970 and his death in 1973, and yet his catalogue for the label is curiously absent from CD. Collector’s Choice comprehensively reissued much of Darin’s Atco career, a variety of labels have taken on his Capitol output, and Edsel mined both his post-Capitol return to Atlantic and the work on his own label, Direction. But Darin’s eponymous Motown studio debut remains unreleased on CD, a posthumous studio album is long-deleted and only Live at the Desert Inn (itself shelved for 17 years) remains in print. So let’s raise the curtain and hit the jump for today’s Reissue Theory, looking at Bobby Darin (1972) and Darin 1936-1973 (1974), or The Motown Years. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 16, 2011 at 14:36

Bo Goes to the Beach in Hip-o Select Reissue

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Hip-o Select, in addition to prepping what they’ve confirmed is the penultimate set of James Brown singles, has got a blues title coming up: a straight reissue of Bo Diddley’s Beach Party, the first live album by guitar legend Bo Diddley.

Recorded over two nights in June of 1963 at a club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Bo Diddley’s Beach Party features nine of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s original songs and an instrumental cover of fellow Chessman Chuck Berry’s “Memphis.” This set makes its first appearance on any format as its own individual set since the album’s initial release, so fans of the man and the genre have a nice rediscovery on their hands here.

Order it over at Select’s Web site and check out the track list below.

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 16, 2011 at 10:03

Posted in Bo Diddley, News, Reissues