The Second Disc

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Archive for March 31st, 2011

Reissue Theory: Aretha Franklin at Arista

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The music industry is littered with careers that crashed after a second chance at the spotlight. This could have easily befallen even a legend like Aretha Franklin; the Queen of Soul had in fact risen on a second chance at Atlantic after a largely unsuccessful career with Columbia, but by the late 1970s, Aretha’s attempts to fall in with the trends of rhythm and blues were frequently derided, and ultimately she would sever her ties with the label.

Against all odds – not counting the fact that she’s Aretha Franklin – the Queen secured a deal with Arista, and within a few years was back on top of the pop/R&B game, enticing both adults and the kids of the MTV era with her slickly-produced sound. That wave of success carried over into her 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – the first woman to receive this honor – and, even more stunningly, her status as living legend was bolstered several times throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

Aretha just celebrated her 69th birthday – a welcome milestone after a bout with an unspecified illness – and Columbia/Legacy honored the Queen’s early days with the massive Take a Look: Complete on Columbia box set (Joe’s review is coming tomorrow). Joe also took us through Aretha’s “lost” Atlantic years in a Reissue Theory post, which leads us to today: a theoretical box set devoted to Franklin’s Arista years (the catalogue of which is also owned by Sony/Legacy).

Hit the jump to revisit this second chance unlike few others.

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Written by Mike Duquette

March 31, 2011 at 15:03

We Will Box You: Queen Remasters Box Coming to U.S.

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Just a quick note for those of you thinking about how you’re going to tackle these Queen remasters when they come to the United States on May 17 (they’re of course already available in the U.K.): just as England got a special box of all five deluxe editions, so will we. But it’s not going to be found in any store.

Queen’s Facebook page (the band is actually really good at using social media to update fans appropriately) just linked to an Amazon-exclusive Queen 40 box that will contain the deluxe editions of Queen, Queen II, Sheer Heart Attack, A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races in one convenient package. So if you were going to import these sets just to get the box and you’re okay with waiting a bit longer, the box will be available day-and-date with the other reissues on May 17.

As always, keep it here for the latest updates on Queen and all other catalogue greats!

Written by Mike Duquette

March 31, 2011 at 13:10

Posted in Box Sets, News, Queen, Reissues

Bing Crosby Goes “Through the Years” and Crosby Archive Continues Digitally

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With the Collector’s Choice Music label in a state of flux and no new releases on the horizon, disappointment is in the air. One of the most acclaimed series created at Collector’s Choice in recent years is The Bing Crosby Archive. With the cooperation of Crosby’s family and access to his personal collection, executive producer Gordon Anderson spearheaded a deluxe series of expanded reissues restoring the legendary artist’s album catalogue to print. While no formal announcement has been made by Joe Van Horn, Anderson’s successor at Collector’s Choice, the label (and series) remains dormant.

Fans of Crosby aren’t totally out in the cold, however. The singer’s fans know that he has an extensive library of over 2,000 commercially released songs, not to mention innumerable radio and television performances. British label Sepia has announced the latest volume of its comprehensive Through the Years series, Volume 7, produced in cooperation with the International Club Crosby. Through the Years is a continuation of Jonzo Records’ series The Chronological Bing Crosby, which totalled a whopping 51 volumes! Those 51 discs anthologized every commercial master released by Crosby between 1926 and the fall of 1950, and Sepia picked up the line in 2008, spanning the end of 1950 and part of 1951. Volume 7, due for release on May 10, covers 1954, primarily the album A Musical Autobiography recorded for Decca.

That isn’t all. It’s unknown whether The Bing Crosby Archive will continue on Collector’s Choice, but the series is currently offering two digital-only collections exclusively available on iTunes, With All My Heart and Shall We Dance? Hit the jump for information on these releases, as well as the new Sepia volume, including complete track listings with discographical annotation! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 31, 2011 at 11:37

Don’t Know Why It Is At All: Universal Releases New Aerosmith Compilation

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Aerosmith hasn’t released an album of new material since 2004 (and that was a covers record, so the last album of original material was in 2001). Recent affairs between Steven Tyler and Joe Perry have veered toward acrimony, after Tyler injured himself on tour and began insisting his desire to work on “Brand Tyler” (i.e.: a solo album); this ultimately manifested itself into a gig replacing Simon Cowell as a judge on American Idol, a gig that has been bizarre but not disastrous.

It would not be a surprise to see Aerosmith appear toward the season finale of Idol, given the sheer amount of viewers it’d give them. But Geffen, the band’s home from 1984 to 1995 (and a label owned by Universal Music Group, which starting this season will provide the contract for Idol winners), is jumping on Tyler’s newfound wave of popularity by issuing Tough Love: Best of the Ballads, a new compilation of entirely old material.

This set has already been roundly criticized by others for not even bothering to live up to its title; hit singles “Love in an Elevator,” “Rag Doll,” “Janie’s Got a Gun” and “Livin’ on the Edge” are not particularly well-defined as “ballads,” but they are included anyway. Of course, the band’s most notable ballad, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” from the soundtrack to Armageddon (1998), was released during their second run with Columbia and is not included (something tells me Geffen wanted to spend as little on licensing as possible). However, early hit “Dream On” closes the set. It wouldn’t be surprising to find this is a live version, which is how Geffen padded out Young Lust: The Aerosmith Anthology.

If you’ve got to have it, Tough Love is out May 10 and can be pre-ordered here. The track list is after the jump. (Thanks to VVN Music for the tip.)

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Written by Mike Duquette

March 31, 2011 at 10:08