The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for April 18th, 2011

Arcade Fire Goes Back to “The Suburbs”

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Canadian indie-rockers Arcade Fire have had a pretty successful year. Their third studio album, The Suburbs (2010), was a critical and commercial smash, topping the Billboard charts and netting them a Grammy for Album of the Year. And while their victory may have turned some heads, it was well-deserved; The Suburbs is an appealing, sprawling rock epic the likes of which are all too rare these days.

In case you missed it the first time around, the band is set to re-release the record on June 27 with a bit of extra content. Besides two previously-unreleased tracks (as announced by BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe earlier today), the set will be expanded with a DVD featuring Scenes from the Suburbs, a short film based around the album directed by Spike Jonze, as well as a making-of documentary.

There’s no pre-order links gone live yet, but check out the track list after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

April 18, 2011 at 17:43

“1991” Documentary Featuring Nirvana, Sonic Youth Revisited

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Thanks to Slicing Up Eyeballs for this neat tip over the weekend: 1991: The Year Punk Broke is making its debut on DVD later this year.

This documentary of Sonic Youth and Nirvana’s European tour of 1991 – a precursor to the breakthrough Nirvana would experience with Nevermind some 20 years ago – was released on VHS and laserdisc many years ago, and featured performances by both bands as well as other luminaries of the age including Dinosaur Jr., The Ramones and more. The DVD will feature a host of new and unseen bonus material, including commentary by director Kim Markey and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, a 2003 panel discussion held at Hollywood’s Arclight with Markey, Moore and bandmates Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley as well as Dinosaur Jr. frontman J. Mascis and – perhaps most exciting of all – a 42-minute bonus film, (This is Known As) The Blues Scale, with unseen performances and footage cut from the original film.

There’s no release date set for the DVD, but this link features both previews of Blues Scale as well as Markey’s road journals from the year of shooting the documentary. It looks to be a neat commemoration of an influential era in rock history. Keep it here for news on this release as it develops!

Written by Mike Duquette

April 18, 2011 at 12:19

Queen Announce Second Round of “Deep Cuts”

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As is now custom with each batch of new Queen reissues in the U.K., another compilation comes with them highlighting the band’s lesser-known album tracks. Not necessary by any means, but a neat idea for those already familiar with the greatest hits or those anxious to test the quality of the new remasters without splurging on each expanded title.

Today, Queen’s website announced the track list for Deep Cuts 2, set to accompany the next batch of reissues (spanning from News of the World to Hot Space). Again, no singles to be found here, but a nice enough bridge between the band’s various hits compilations and these new remastered and expanded sets (which will hopefully get their own release in America as the first batch of reissues will). It has a street date of June 5 – the same day as that next batch of reissues – and the track list can be viewed after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

April 18, 2011 at 11:10

“What’s New?” Ronstadt and Riddle Classic Revisited on Gold CD

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While the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has inexplicably remained immune to her charms, few artists have had the career of Linda Ronstadt.  She’s racked up 38 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including ten that went Top Ten. On the album chart, she’s placed 36 entries, including ten that reached the Top Ten there too (her magic number!) and three that hit pole position.  And consider this: after playing a vital role in the country-rock scene with the Stone Poneys and their hit recording of Mike Nesmith’s “Different Drum” on which she sang lead, Ronstadt embarked on a solo career definitively interpreting some of the greatest songs of the California rock genre.  Laurel Canyon’s songwriters couldn’t wait to get a song recorded by Ronstadt, but even early in her career, she didn’t limit her scope.  First at Capitol and then at David Geffen’s Asylum, Ronstadt brought wide recognition to songs by Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, Neil Young, J.D. Souther, Randy Newman, Lowell George, James Taylor, Jimmy Webb and many other now-famous, diverse names.  Two more such songwriters championed by Ronstadt were Glenn Frey and Don Henley; along with Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon, they once backed the singer before forming Eagles and going on to write the next chapter in the California saga.

Ronstadt never could stay in one place for long, though, which may account for her great longevity as a vital artist and performer.  While she kept racking up hits from both her contemporaries and the voices of an early generation – think of “When Will I Be Loved,” “It’s So Easy,” “You’re No Good” or “That’ll Be The Day,” and chances are you might think of Ronstadt over those songs’ originators – she was looking for new directions and new challenges.

After a brief flirtation with new wave on her seventh platinum album, Mad Love, Ronstadt explored an area unknown to most rockers: operetta.  First in Central Park and then on Broadway and the big screen, the singer threw herself into the role of Mabel in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, first produced in 1879.  Alongside such theatre veterans as Kevin Kline and George Rose, Ronstadt more than acquitted herself in the role, garnering a Tony Award nomination and wide praise when the musical (produced by the legendary Joseph Papp) opened for a Broadway engagement in 1981.  What avenue to conquer next?  While 1982’s return to pop/rock, Get Closer, had a disappointing chart placement (perhaps reflecting the seismic shift in musical style that dawned in the 1980s), she had a new idea that remains much-emulated today.  How about the Great American Songbook?

In 1983, Linda Ronstadt teamed with Nelson Riddle, the man responsible for many of Frank Sinatra’s most famous orchestrations, for What’s New, the first in a series of three albums that celebrated the songs collectively known as The Great American Songbook.  LIM (Lasting Impression Music) is revisiting What’s New as a 24K Gold audiophile CD to be released tomorrow, April 19.  For the full story of What’s New plus the track listing and details on this new release, just hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 18, 2011 at 10:00