The Second Disc

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Archive for February 18th, 2011

Friday Feature: “Catch Me If You Can”

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It’s hard not to be skeptical over the fact that Catch Me If You Can, the amazing “true story of a real fake,” is coming to Broadway. Modern musicals based on existing properties either hew too close to their original musical source material (if they were already rooted in song, like Footloose) or not close enough; consider Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, for instance. (Or don’t!)

The few songs this author’s heard from the Catch Me musical score, sent on a promotional disc, are jaunty and fun enough – score writers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the duo behind Hairspray, certainly know how to make you bob your head – but there’s a soft spot in my heart for the music of the original. Of course, the film wasn’t a musical, but the flick has a rich and underrated musical legacy, as you’ll read in today’s Friday Feature.

Fasten your seatbelts, bring your seat backs and tray tables to the locked and upright positions and read on after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 18, 2011 at 15:16

Queen Reissue Batch to Feature Another Compilation

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What’s a batch of Queen reissues without some compilations? The same day of the latest catalogue overhaul in the U.K., Island will release Deep Cuts 1973-1976.

True enough to its name, it will feature album sides from the first five albums, with no bonus material. While some of the tunes are known even to casual fans (“Stone Cold Crazy,” “Keep Yourself Alive”), it’s a fine enough disc for anyone who wants to dip more of their foot into the waters of Queen’s discography (or see how new remastering has treated the catalogue).

There’s some interesting celebrity input on this set: Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor put the track list together with Taylor Hawkins of The Foo Fighters, and liner notes were written by British comedian Rhys Thomas, a longtime fan who’s actually produced several of Queen’s DVDs over the past few years.

Another interesting fact in the press release for Deep Cuts is the dates for the next two batches of reissues: June 13 and September 5. Mark your calendars appropriately.

And while we’re at it, here’s some more Queen clean-up for you:

  • Maybe others were confused about this – I know I was – but these reissues look like they’ll have two forms in the U.K. – straight single-disc remasters and double-disc deluxe editions. The latter sets will be the ones with bonus tracks, which is good to know albeit kind of wasteful (seriously, five or six bonus tracks on CD?).
  • It’s also worth noting, fresh off MusicTAP’s Twitter feed, that Hollywood Records has Greatest Hits II slated for an April 19 release in the U.S. Maybe…?

The track list for this new disc is after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

February 18, 2011 at 11:57

Lauded Wainwright: Box Set to Honor Musical Patriarch (UPDATED)

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Loudon Wainwright III has had a charmed life. The singer/songwriter has captivated audiences for decades with his witty, self-deprecating style. He’s also done an impressive job of passing on his musical gift through genetics; children Rufus, Martha and Lucy Wainwright Roche are all accomplished singer/songwriters in their own right. But his latest project is all his to celebrate: a box set spanning his idiosyncratic career, coming out in May on Shout! Factory.

40 Odd Years is to be a four-CD/one-DVD box collecting 87 tracks and three hours of live performances on video. The 40-page book of liner notes will include an essay by David Wild of Rolling Stone. Film fans will recognize an interesting name as co-producer of the set: writer/producer/director Judd Apatow. The influential funnyman behind The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Freaks and Geeks has been a longtime fan of Wainwright, having cast him in his underrated television show Undeclared and tapped the songwriter to compose the score to Knocked Up.

Thus far, the biggest story revolving around 40 Odd Years is a short article from The Los Angeles Times. But rest assured, more information will be posted to The Second Disc as it comes!

UPDATE 2/18: Well there you have it. Shout! Factory’s got this one to order (first 200 copies have their booklets signed by Wainwright!), and MusicTAP has the press release and track list (the latter of which is after the jump).

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 18, 2011 at 10:09

Big Break Delivers Big Slate of Soul Classics in March

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Our friends at the U.K.-based Big Break label haven’t given much thought lately to a break! A recently-announced slate of March releases bring the label’s total catalogue to nearly 50 titles since its inception in 2009, and covers a wide and diverse swath of soulful artists. Some are returning to the label (The Pointer Sisters, Deniece Williams, Billy Ocean) and others are making their label debuts (Dennis Edwards, Ashford and Simpson, The Originals).

Deniece Williams is recipient of her third Big Break reissue. My Melody was her 1981 triumph co-produced by Thom Bell, who also contributed as a writer, arranger and conductor. Bell, an architect of the Philadelphia sound, brought out the best in Williams, and My Melody spawned the hit single “What Two Can Do” and the lush “Silly,” now one of the songs most associated with the singer. My Melody will feature two bonus tracks, the single versions of “Silly” and “It’s Your Conscience.” The Pointer Sisters also receive their third Big Break release. Contact was the group’s first record for the RCA label after their successful tenure on Richard Perry’s Planet label; Special Things and So Excited, both for Planet, were BBR’s first two releases from the Pointers. 1985’s Contact was also produced by Perry, and went platinum. “Dare Me” charted on the R&B and Pop charts in addition to placing atop the Dance chart, while “Freedom” and “Twist My Arm” also had impressive placings. Contact also features songwriting contributions from 1980s chart-toppers Mr. Mister. Contact boasts an incredible nine bonus tracks, including B-sides, dance mixes and single versions.

Billy Ocean returns to BBR with 1982’s Inner Feelings from the Epic label. Nigel Martinez brought his production skills to the table, and Inner Feelings paved the way for his hugely-successful hits like “Caribbean Queen” and “When the Going Gets Tough.” Inner Feelings will include two single versions and one 12″ dance remix. Also from 1982 is Ashford and Simpson’s Capitol Records debut, Street Opera. Written and produced by the famous hitmaking team, Street Opera scored with R&B hit “Street Corner.” That song is included among the bonus tracks in both single and dance versions, with the ballad “Love It Away” also included in its single version.

While Ashford and Simpson spent many of their early years at the Motor City’s biggest label, Big Break’s next two releases actually hail from the famed Motown library. Dennis Edwards’ Don’t Look Any Further (1984) was produced by Dennis Lambert, who ironically gave The Four Tops their biggest non-Motown hits with songs like “Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got).” The former Temptation and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” vocalist duetted with Siedah Garrett (duet partner on Michael Jackson’s “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”) and enjoyed the vocal support of Paulette Williams, formerly of Rufus, on this long-lost LP. Four bonus tracks have been added, including both the U.S. and U.K. 12″ mixes of the title track. The Originals’ California Sunset has an even more legendary pedigree, as the 1975 LP was produced by Lamont Dozier, who arranged its tracks with Jimmie Haskell and Paul Riser. This smooth soul classic has been expanded by one bonus cut, the single version of “Good Lovin’ is Just a Dime Away.”

All titles are due in the U.K. in March. Hit the jump for the full track listings, pre-order links and discographical information! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 18, 2011 at 08:36