The Second Disc

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Archive for April 4th, 2011

Review: Aretha Franklin, “Take a Look: Aretha Franklin Complete on Columbia”

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Some legends are repeated so often that they’ve come to be accepted as the truth. One such legend has it that the suits at Columbia Records, circa 1960-1965, were a chain of fools who kept Aretha Franklin from reaching her potential. After all, the record states that one year and one record after being released from Columbia, a superstar was born. But what if that notion was completely incorrect, and Aretha Franklin’s talent was already fully formed and on display at Columbia? Listen to the extensive, new 12-disc box set Take a Look: Complete at Columbia (Legacy 88697 79279-2) and you just might reconsider your thoughts on Franklin’s formative period. If these tracks sound nothing like “Think” or “The House That Jack Built,” they do sound like the work of a fiercely talented young woman standing at the intersection of jazz, pop, soul, blues and gospel, ready to explore each and every avenue without hesitation. Had she never recorded the Columbia sides, it’s doubtful that Franklin would have had the life and musical experience that she so viscerally harnessed into I Never Loved a Man the Way I Loved You. Anyone with more than a passing interest in the career of this volcanic vocalist owes it to himself to Take a Look at Aretha Franklin Complete on Columbia.

Take a Look is a compact yet heady 11-CD/one-DVD package, containing seven original albums plus one disc of sessions with Bobby Scott, another with Clyde Otis, the complete unreleased LP A Bit of Soul, an Odds and Sods-type disc (including the tracks overdubbed after Franklin’s departure from Columbia) and a DVD of rare television performances on The Steve Allen Show. Most of the original LPs have been supplemented by never-before-on-CD mono mixes as well as a handful of alternates, outtakes and rehearsal takes.

Much of this material has been aired before. In his introductory essay which makes a solid case for the significance of the Columbia period, compilation producer Leo Sacks acknowledges that “Aretha’s Columbia inventory has been picked over more frequently than a Barney’s warehouse sale.” He’s only slightly exaggerating, as Columbia has been packaging and re-packaging Franklin’s work since 1967. That said, there’s a valuable experience in listening to these records chronologically. It’s not only a tour of the varying strands of American music, but of one artist’s journey to forming a style that is so recognizable today. Hit the jump for a trip to New York City, 1960, where a young girl, direct from Detroit, begins to make music history! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 4, 2011 at 17:50

Jay Reatard Celebrated on New Reissue

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Memphis-born musician Jimmy Lee Lindsey, Jr., better known as Jay Reatard, gained a considerable cult following with his brand of all-over-the-place garage-rock. Though Reatard died last January at the too-young age of 29, he left a pretty long musical legacy, not only as a solo act but through his early bands, The Reatards and The Lost Souls.

Reatard’s original label, Goner Records, announced in January plans to reissue some of those early recordings, and now news has broke that one of Reatard’s earliest recordings – released under the band name of The Reatards, but primarily self-recorded – will be reissued on May 17. The Teenage Hate album will be paired with a rare, self-released album first released on cassette called F*** Elvis Here’s The Reatards, a 39-track affair when all is said and done.

Order your copy on Amazon and find the usual track list after the jump.
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Written by Mike Duquette

April 4, 2011 at 17:45

Posted in Jay Reatard, News, Reissues

David Bowie to Unleash “Golden Years” Remixes Across Multiple Formats

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Well, there hasn’t been any news of David Bowie releasing his lost album Toy, even after it was unceremoniously leaked two weeks ago. But some old Bowie material will indeed be coming to light in a new way on June 6, when the musician and iconoclast releases Golden Years as both an EP and iPhone application.

Golden Years, the EP, will feature Bowie’s original 1975 track and four remixes by Anthony Valadez, Eric J. Lawrence, Chris Douridas and Jeremy Sole of KCRW. It will be released in an array of formats: CD, 12″ vinyl and digital download.

But the bigger news is arguably the launch of the iPhone application of the same name. Golden Years, the app, has been created by Harry Maslin, the Bowie collaborator and co-producer of both the original 1976 Station to Station and its lavish 2010 box set. The app will allow fans access to the original multi-tracks and allow them to share their own remixes with other members of the app community online. The app will draw on eight stems derived from the original 16 tracks: the lead vocal, 12-string guitar, bass, drums, guitar, harmonium, percussion (including blocks, congas and claps) and backing vocals.

Bowie has released multi-tracks in the past; a digital EP from 2009 on the occasion of Space Oddity‘s 40th anniversary contained 12 cuts: three single edits, a 1979 re-recording and eight tracks employed for the song’s recording (bass and drums, strings, acoustic guitar, mellotron, backing vocal with flute and cello, stylophone and guitar, lead vocal and main backing vocal).

All four remixes can be streamed here, and Golden Years hits stores (physical and digital) on June 6.

David Bowie, Golden Years (EMI, 2011)

CD & Digital Download

1. Golden Years (Single Version) (2002 Digital Remaster)
2. Golden Years (Anthony Valadez KCRW Remix)
3. Golden Years (Eric J. Lawrence KCRW Remix)
4. Golden Years (Chris Douridas KCRW Remix)
5. Golden Years (Jeremy Sole KCRW Remix)


Side 1
1. Golden Years (Single Version) (2002 Digital Remaster)
2. Golden Years (Anthony Valadez KCRW Remix)
3. Golden Years (Eric J. Lawrence KCRW Remix)

Side 2
4. Golden Years (Chris Douridas KCRW Remix)
5. Golden Years (Jeremy Sole KCRW Remix)

Written by Joe Marchese

April 4, 2011 at 16:59

Ozzy’s “Blizzard” and “Madman” LPs to Be Expanded in May (UPDATE 4/4)

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UPDATE 4/4: This isn’t particularly new, but in case anyone stumbled upon this post, there was some initial confusion as to the existence of bonus tracks on the Diary of a Madman set. Everything has now been properly edited.

Original post: Last year, Legacy promised to turn October into “Rocktober” with the reissues of Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, the first two solo albums by Ozzy Osbourne. Those reissues were unsurprisingly well-received by fans, particularly following the revelation that both albums would be remastered with the original drum and bass tracks by Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake. (Both were replaced by new tracks performed by Robert Trujilo of Metallica and Mike Bordin of Faith No More on CD reissues released in 2002.)

Unfortunately, those sets were put on the back burner before an official date was ever sent, and it was confirmed that they were instead slated for release at an undetermined date in 2011. Now, it finally looks like those packages might be coming out on May 31 – and there’s a bit more to look forward to than just the original mixes.

Blizzard of Ozz looks to be released as a single-disc expanded edition for its 30th anniversary (which, technically, was last year). In addition to the original mix of the album, three bonus tracks will be added: new remix of “Goodbye to Romance,” the non-LP B-side “You Looking at Me Looking at You” (released on U.K. pressings of the “Crazy Train” single and making its stateside debut) and an unreleased guitar solo by Ozzy’s late, great guitarist Randy Rhoads.

Meanwhile, Diary of a Madman will get the Legacy Edition treatment, adding an unreleased concert of Ozzy at New York’s Palladium in May 1981 (ironically, Madman seems to be the one celebrating 30 years!). And that’s not all! Vinyl reissues of each album are planned (keeping in line with Ozzy’s appointment as ambassador for Record Store Day), and they will also figure into a special box set that combines all the reissues on CD and vinyl alongside a new hardbound book and DVD documentary, Thirty Years After the Blizzard, featuring rare vintage footage of Osbourne and Rhoads along with new interviews with Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Lemmy Kilmister, Steve Vai, Nikki Sixx, Rob Halford and Zakk Wylde.

Pre-order pages exist for the CD and vinyl editions; all are expected for May 31. Read the track lists for each set after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

April 4, 2011 at 12:45

No Need to Ask: Sade Compilation Track List Unveiled

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Lovers rejoice! The track list for Sade’s The Ultimate Collection has been revealed by our friends at Vintage Vinyl News.

The two-disc set, set for release May 3 – in advance of the British soul band’s forthcoming tour – is the band’s second compilation and the first to span all of their albums to date, from Diamond Life in 1984 to last year’s Soldier of Love. It features 14 of the 16 tracks that made up 1996’s single-disc The Best of Sade – omitting “Like a Tattoo” from Love Deluxe (1992) and one of the band’s few non-LP tracks, a cover of Percy Mayfield’s “Please Send Me Someone to Love” from the Philadelphia soundtrack – and features four unreleased tracks, including a remix of “The Moon and the Sky” (from Solider of Love) featuring Jay-Z. There’s also one relatively rare track that closes out the set: a remix of “By Your Side” by The Neptunes that appeared on a CD single in 2000.

Do note that Amazon has a deluxe edition of the set listed for a May 10 release, albeit as an import. There’s no word on what that set would feature. In the meantime, if you’re so inclined, order your copy from Amazon here and hit the jump to check out the track list. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

April 4, 2011 at 10:15

Posted in Compilations, News, Sade