The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for March 22nd, 2011

Back Tracks: The Police

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On this day in 1978, A&M Records signed a bunch of blonde guys masquerading as punk rockers to their label. That doesn’t sound like a blueprint for success, but those guys – vocalist-bassist Gordon Sumner (better known as Sting), guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland – were well on their way to becoming one of the biggest bands in the world, then one of the most lamented and celebrated after their messy breakup (and inevitable reunion).

The Police were like few others, blending pop, rock, New Wave and worldbeat genres together before U2 ever thought to, and turning out some of the most radio-friendly earworms of all time. They achieved all their success in a ridiculously short time – from 1977 to 1986, give or take a reunion tour a few years ago – and remain a staple of pop/rock music the world over. In honor of that historic signing, today’s Back Tracks takes us through the release history of the band, including every compilation and video release you can stand. The catalogue’s been remastered twice – once in 1995 and once in 2003, just as the group celebrated its 25th anniversary and an induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – but there are still a few goodies to be found here and there beyond the studio albums.

We’ll be watching you after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

March 22, 2011 at 16:13

Motown, Disco and Funk: Tata Vega and Harvey Mason Reissues Due in April

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Fans of classic soul and R&B have already had a very good 2011. And there’s no sign of letting up!  Cherry Red’s Big Break and labels have particularly led the charge. After an exciting slate for March, Records has announced three releases for April. Tata Vega’s first two albums on the Motown label both will receive expanded editions, while famed drummer Harvey Mason’s Arista debut also will be reissued.

Vega is perhaps one of the most underrated exponents of the ’70s Motown sound. A native New Yorker who first rose to fame with the group Earthquire, she was signed to Berry Gordy’s empire for the 1976 LP Full Speed Ahead. The singer was joined by musicians including Jay Graydon and Ray Parker, Jr., and had access to songs by some of Motown’s top names: Stevie Wonder (“Never Had a Dream Come True”), Ashford and Simpson (“Keep it Coming,” also recorded by Rufus) and the teenaged Teena Marie (“Just as Long as There is You”). Vega herself contributed “Try God.”’s new edition adds three bonus tracks: the never-before-released extended disco mix of the title track, as well as two Earthquire performances.

Totally Tata was Vega’s follow-up LP, released one year later. As usual with Motown, much was kept “in the family.” Vega took on Stevie Wonder’s “Blame It on the Sun,” and made one of her most cherished recordings with “Come In Heaven (Earth is Calling),” written by Marvin Gaye’s ex-wife Anna Gordy with Elgie Stover, Terrence Harrison and Vega herself. Brenda Russell co-wrote “You’ll Never Rock Alone,” and Kim Carnes was among the writers of “Love Comes from the Most Unexpected Places.” The album’s musicians included Andre Lewis of the Motown-signed group Mandre as well as Paulinho da Costa. Totally Tata also features three bonus tracks, the A and B sides of a planned single release of “Come In Heaven” and a duet with Jermaine Jackson on “You’ll Never Rock Alone.” The A-side of “Come In Heaven” and the Jackson duet have both been previously released on CD, but the B-side “Come In Heaven” makes its debut here.

Harvey Mason remains well-known as a superstar drummer who has supported everybody from Carole King to Beyonce. But his jazz chops were well-honed with such legends as George Shearing, Erroll Garner and Herbie Hancock. So when Mason was signed to Arista in 1976, it couldn’t have been a surprise that many jazz greats joined him on Marching in the Street. These included Hancock, Dave Grusin, Ernie Watts, Lee Ritenour and CTI stalwart Hubert Laws. Ritenour, Hancock and Grusin each contributed a track to this funk classic while Mason supplied the remaining four cuts including “Marching in the Street” which hit the U.S. R&B charts.

What’s on these three discs? Where can they be ordered? For answers to those burning questions, hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 22, 2011 at 13:29

The Impulse! Box Has a Track List (UPDATED 3/22)

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UPDATE 3/22: You can now order this box set through Hip-o Select here.

We have some more info on the aforementioned Impulse! Records box set coming from Universal in April, thanks to our friends at Record Racks.

As previously mentioned, First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection 50th Anniversary box is going to compile the label’s first six LPs by the likes of Kai Winding, Gil Evans, Ray Charles and John Coltrane, all of which were produced by label founder Taylor, along with rare and unreleased material across four discs. We now have the track list for your perusal.

The set is in mostly chronological order across the first three discs; the Kai Winding LPs, the first and third for the label, are combined onto one disc, with the rest following chronologically. The fourth disc collects the mono single version of Ray Charles’ “One Mint Julep,” a Gil Evans bonus track, all of the alternate takes from Coltrane’s Africa/Brass sessions (previously released as a 1974 LP and a 1995 deluxe set) and three previously unreleased rehearsal takes of Coltrane’s. All in all, not a bad set for jazz fans.

The box is set for release April 19. Hit the jump for the full rundown! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

March 22, 2011 at 12:10

Release Round-Up: Week of March 22

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Aretha Franklin, Take a Look: Complete on Columbia (Columbia/Legacy)

Before she was the Queen of Soul on Atlantic, she cut her teeth in the genre on Columbia. Eleven CDs and a DVD tell the tale. (Official site)

Soundgarden, Live on I-5 (A&M/UMe)

The recently-reunited grunge band commemorates their 1996 tour on this disc. (Official site)

Sam the Sham and The Pharoahs, The MGM Singles (Sundazed)

Every A and B-side by the “Wooly Bully” band in remastered monaural sound. (Sundazed)

A Flock of Seagulls, A Flock of Seagulls Dream Come True: Expanded Editions (Cherry Pop)

The first and last albums by the original lineup of the band are expanded with B-sides and remixes by Cherry Pop in the United Kingdom. The first one has the songs everybody loves, including “I Ran” and “Space Age Love Song.” (Cherry Pop)

Sir Douglas Quintet, The Mono Singles ’68-’72 (Sundazed)

Another Sundazed mono singles compilation for the week, compiling the Sir Douglas Quartet’s single sides on the Smash, Philips and Mercury labels, including hits “She’s About a Woman” and “Mendocino.” (Sundazed)

Suzi Quatro, Suzi Quatro / Quatro: Expanded Editions (7Ts)

The one-time Leather Tuscadero’s first two albums, produced by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, are expanded by U.K. label 7Ts to include non-LP single sides and more. (7Ts)

Josh Turner/Billy Currington, ICON (MCA Nashville/Mercury/UMe)

Two modern country stars get their own entries in Universal’s budget compilation. (Amazon: Turner, Currington)

James Taylor, Walking Man: 24 KT Gold CD (Audio Fidelity)

One of Taylor’s lesser-known albums is remastered by Steve Hoffman. (Audio Fidelity)

Chicago, Chicago VI (Vinyl) (Friday Music)

A 180-gram audiophile reissue of the band’s 1973 album, featuring “Feeling Stronger Every Day” and “Just You N’ Me.” (Friday Music)

“Trail of the Pink Panther” Leads to World Premiere Release by Intrada

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Blake Edwards’ Trail of the Pink Panther, from 1982, is best remembered as the final film in the long-running series to feature Peter Sellers. The extraordinarily talented, mercurial actor had died in 1980, but Edwards paid tribute to his colleague by stitching together outtakes and old material to continue the story of the bumbling Inspector Clouseau. (1983’s Curse of the Pink Panther was shot concurrently by Edwards, introducing Ted Wass as Clifton Sleigh, an inept New York policeman on the trail of the “missing” Clouseau.) Edwards’ most trusted collaborator, composer Henry Mancini, was of course on hand to score both films, as he had for every one of Edwards’ prior Pink Panther films. Yet neither score received much chance to live on. Capitol’s Manhattan Records label released an album for Trail of the Pink Panther, but it consisted mainly of recycled music befitting the recycled scenes in the motion picture.  The Trail version of the title theme and a cue entitled “The Easy Life in Paris” were the only pieces of new material to appear on the LP that would have been more accurately titled The Best of the Pink Panther! Mancini’s Curse didn’t even receive an album. Now, on the heels of Quartet’s 2010 debut of Curse, Intrada has announced the premiere release of Henry Mancini’s complete original score to The Trail of the Pink Panther. And we couldn’t be more excited!

The main title, of course, still kicks off the album, and “The Easy Life in Paris” appears in three different versions on this expanded edition. Those are joined by cues with cheeky Mancini titles like “Salute to Balls” and “Swine Rabbit,” for a total of 23 tracks. Intrada has made up for the lack of a soundtrack over the past almost-30 years by mastering the album from the original 2″ 24-track scoring session masters direct from the MGM vault. Brand-new stereo mixes have been created for every cue, and three bonus tracks are included. Dan Schweiger contributes new liner notes.

Intrada’s Trail of the Pink Panther is available now, and is a limited edition of 1,200 copies. Hit the jump for a pre-order link and complete track listing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 22, 2011 at 08:49

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks