The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for April 28th, 2011

Reissue Theory: Bell Biv DeVoe, “Poison”

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Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we reflect on notable albums and the reissues they may someday see. One of the biggest R&B hits of 1990 is still an earworm today – but is there more lurking underneath the surface? The debut of Bell Biv DeVoe is reassessed.

Girl. I. Must. Warn youuuu…that if you listen to “Poison” by Bell Biv DeVoe one too many times, those herky-jerky New Jack beats will affix themselves to your brain. And they won’t let go. Since its release more than two decades ago, BBD’s first album remains a pioneering LP in the New Jack Swing genre, itself one of the most insanely addictive musical genres of the 1990s. It spawned three Top 40 singles and moved some 4 million units in the U.S., and provided one of the better “second acts” in late ’80s/early ’90s R&B.

While you may not want to trust a big butt and a smile, we hope you find today’s Reissue Theory look at Bell Biv DeVoe a fun read, after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

April 28, 2011 at 16:24

Even More “ICON” Titles on the Way

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Mark your calendars, friends: a new batch of ICON budget compilations are due from Universal.

Between May 3 and 24, UMe is releasing a clutch of ICON sets that run the gamut from country (Willie Nelson, Hank Williams) to R&B (New Edition, Kelly Price), from classics (The Mamas & The Paps, Louis Armstrong) to modern day heroes (Gin Blossoms, Rob Zombie). As usual, there’s not much in the way of brand-new or rare material, although some titles have some one-off tunes to their credit. Others, namely Willie Nelson and Louis Armstrong, cover the lesser-known periods of each artist, so that’s certainly notable.

Really, the only set that might have something unreleased is the double-disc ICON from Rob Zombie. The All Music Guide listing states that the 2-CD version of “Mars Needs Women” is a “new version”; whether that’s true or not remains to be seen, but it would be a rare moment of welcome vault material for the series. Both single and double-disc versions of the Rob Zombie set are due out May 3, while the remainder are out on May 24. Read the track lists after the jump and order them at Amazon here. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

April 28, 2011 at 14:19

Keeping Score on a Soundtrack Label Controversy

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Anyone who thinks the world of soundtrack reissues is a simple one hasn’t been keeping up with the tempest brewing over Perseverance Records. The indie soundtrack label is coming under heavy fire for what many perceive as an improperly licensed release of Elmer Bernstein’s score to Slipstream.

Interestingly, the charge is being led not by fans but by another label head: Film Score Monthly’s Lukas Kendall, who posted on his label’s message board a pair of messages pulling the curtain back on charges that the long-desired soundtrack was not properly licensed.

Kendall first explained the permissions necessary to release a film soundtrack: clearances from the film company for album rights, permission to utilize the master recordings and publishing rights. Typically, these all usually lie within one film company; however, Bernstein owned his own publishing to Slipstream, while the production company owned album rights and the master tapes. Kendall’s accusation – which has apparently manifested into a cease and desist from Bernstein’s estate after he tipped them off to potential wrongdoing – is that Perseverance merely secured publishing rights and acquired the master tapes (which, along with much of the composer’s work, resides in the library at the University of Southern California) without securing the other necessary rights.

Perseverance head Robin Esterhammer soon took to the FSM boards to tell his side of the story: the assumed owners of Slipstream, U.K.-based Entertainment Films informed him they did not have the rights to the title, while Bernstein’s estate claimed both publishing and master rights. When Esterhammer contacted Bernstein’s estate after being made aware of Kendall’s declaration of a cease and desist, he was informed of “two contradicting paragraphs in the licensing agreement that we both should have been aware of.”

Esterhammer’s argument is weakened somewhat by his admission that Kendall “was right in one point, however: It is not enough to put a © and “Released Under License From Elmer Bernstein Enterprises Inc”. I guess I should have put a (P), as well.” (A similar omission occurred in a recent reissue of Red Sonja.) But something tells me the dust hasn’t settled on this one just yet. Granted, it is unusual that a smaller label like Perseverance achieved what Intrada or FSM were repeatedly denied – the rights to release the score to Slipstream – but I have my doubts that the issue is just as clear-cut; it is certainly colored by some sort of bad blood between Kendall and Esterhammer (cease and desist talks began after Kendall chose not to help Esterhammer secure some releases from Warner Bros., citing bad conscience in the wake of what he believed was essentially a bootleg of Slipstream), and, since this is the music industry, there are usually more facets to the story behind closed doors or quieted by legal contracts.

So what’s the takeaway here? At the very least, two things, both of which we already knew: first, that the hoops through which one has to jump to make reissues of any kind happen are pretty impressive; second, that the sanctity of the business rests largely on doing everything properly on the legal side. However, what this means for Peseverance in particular – and indie soundtrack labels in general – is still something for the future.

Written by Mike Duquette

April 28, 2011 at 12:53

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks

We’re Into Something Good: ABKCO Reissues Two From Herman’s Hermits In May

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“Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.”  “There’s a Kind of Hush (All Over the World).”  “A Must to Avoid.”  These chart hits from Herman’s Hermits have stood the test of time, but how many reading this remember the films in which those songs were featured?  Upon signing to MGM Records in the U.S., Herman’s Hermits were groomed for a Hollywood film career, and why not?  At the height of the group’s fame, they rivaled the Beatles for popularity, even topping them as the biggest-selling pop act in the U.S. in 1965.  1966’s Hold On! and 1968’s Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter, two of the band’s three big-screen musical comedies, have just received made-on-demand DVD release in remastered editions from Warner Archive.  Alongside these releases, ABKCO will reissue on one CD the soundtracks to both films on May 17.

Herman’s Hermits burst onto the scene with their 1964 revival of “I’m Into Something Good,” a Carole King and Gerry Goffin composition originally recorded by Earl-Jean of the Cookies earlier that year.  “Something Good” topped the U.K. charts and placed a respectable No. 13 in the U.S.  It launched a successful series of singles on both sides of the Atlantic revealing the British Invasion in full swing: “Silhouettes,” “I’m Henry the VIII , I Am,” “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat,” “Listen, People,” “Dandy” and of course, “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.”   Led by Peter Noone (or Herman), the band boasted the considerable talents of Keith Hopwood, Derek Leckenby, Karl Green and Barry Whitwam.  While session players including John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page contributed to the Hermits’ records, producer Mickie Most has confirmed that the band played on many of their own most successful recordings.  All told, they scored eleven Top 10 hits between 1964 and 1967.

Hit the jump to go back to 1966 when The British Invasion infiltrated Hollywood, U.S.A.! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 28, 2011 at 10:34

UPDATE: Macca Mania: Paul’s “McCartney” and “McCartney II” Expanded Editions Coming in June [NOW WITH COMPLETE CD/DVD TRACK LISTS]

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“Do you foresee a time when Lennon/McCartney becomes an active songwriting partnership again?” That question was one of many posed on a press release enclosed with advanced copies of Paul McCartney’s 1970 solo debut, McCartney. With the Cute Beatle’s one word response, the world knew that The Beatles were irreparably broken. McCartney’s simple “no” spoke volumes. His other answers didn’t help matters. And so while the world’s most beloved band was fracturing, a solo career that flourishes to this day was beginning. On June 14 (updated), Concord’s Hear Music label continues The Paul McCartney Archive Collection with reissues of 1970’s McCartney and its ten-years-later sequel, 1980’s McCartney II. (Thanks to our good friends at MusicTAP for the heads-up!) Both releases will be made available in 2-CD Deluxe Editions and 2-LP packages. In addition, McCartney will be released as a 2-CD/1-DVD set and McCartney II as a 3-CD/1-DVD set.  These will resemble the hardbound book-style box set Band on the Run and feature 128 pages of text, memorabilia and photographs. Maybe you’re amazed by this news? If so, hit the jump for more! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 28, 2011 at 00:50