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Archive for May 18th, 2011

Joy Division, New Order United for the First Time on New Comp (UPDATED 5/18)

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UPDATE (5/18): Rhino has released the unreleased track “Hellbent” for your streaming pleasure! Listen to it here.

Original post: Can you believe, in this crazy world of music catalogue titles, that nobody’s ever thought to do this before? Rhino’s U.K. arm is releasing Total: From Joy Division to New Order next month, marking the first time a commercial compilation collates the best of both bands. (A 2001 New Order promo compilation tacked a few Joy Division songs on the end of its running time.)

Of course, the bands share an immense amount of musical DNA. The moody post-punk sound Joy Division – vocalist Ian Curtis, guitarist/keyboardist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook and drummer Stephen Morris – was intensely critically acclaimed in England, the darling of then-new indie label Factory Records. But Curtis, suffering from epilepsy and depression, took his life a day before the band was slated to embark on their first U.S. tour. Ultimately, later that year the band soldiered on as New Order – with Sumner taking on vocal responsibilities and keyboardist Gillian Gilbert added to the mix – and gained the kind of sustained commercial success Joy Division never earned on both sides of the Atlantic.

This new 18-track compilation also features a previously-unreleased New Order track, “Hellbent.” Featuring a cover by Peter Saville, the well-known former graphic designer for the Factory label, Total is out in the U.K. on June 6. (Thanks as always to Slicing Up Eyeballs for breaking this story.) Hit the jump for the track list!

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Written by Mike Duquette

May 18, 2011 at 19:02

Alicia’s “A Minor” Expansion Has a Track List

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The 10th anniversary reissues of Alicia Keys’ Songs in A Minor now have track lists with some tantalizing unreleased material – but how much you get, as is so often the case, depends on which version you buy.

As previously reported, the singer/songwriter/pianist’s Grammy-winning debut LP is being expanded across several formats for its 10th anniversary. A “deluxe edition” will feature a bonus EP of rare and unreleased songs, including two previously unheard demos. A long-boxed “collector’s edition” will include the album, a bonus disc of 12 songs (the six from the EP and six more unreleased cuts) and a DVD featuring music videos and a newly-filmed documentary on the album. (A newly-edited meld of the “Fallin'” and “A Woman’s Worth” videos – entitled A Harlem Love Story – will be featured as an enhanced feature on the second disc of the deluxe edition. And, for the first time, the original album will also get a commercial release as a double-disc 180-gram vinyl set.

All the sets are out on June 28. Hit the jump for the full track list breakdown!

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Written by Mike Duquette

May 18, 2011 at 18:54

Where Are All The “Magic Colors”: Lesley Gore’s Lost Album Arrives on CD

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Lesley Gore epitomized the sound of American pop in the early-to-mid 1960s with hits like “It’s My Party” and its answer/follow-up, “Judy’s Turn to Cry.”  For my money, there may never have been a greater one-two punch in pop than that pair, produced by Quincy Jones and arranged by Claus Ogerman.  But where was the teen pop queen by the Summer of Love?  The U.K.’s Ace label answers that question with the June release of Magic Colors: The Lost Album with Bonus Tracks 1967-1969, unearthing a lost LP and a full complement of bonus tracks.

“It’s My Party” and “Judy’s Turn to Cry” were just the start of a remarkable career for the 16-year old from Tenafly, New Jersey, and the Gore/Jones/Ogerman triumvirate continued turning out one smash after another.   “You Don’t Own Me” remains a striking anthem today while gems like the sunny “That’s the Way Boys Are” and Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry’s “Look of Love” and sophisticated “Maybe I Know” are as infectious today as they were in 1964.  Gore withstood the British Invasion and appeared in The TAMI Show alongside such leading lights as James Brown, The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones .  She made a guest appearance on screens big (Ski Party) and small (Batman).  Gore was still a chart presence in 1965, when she introduced a song by a young New York musician, arranger and rehearsal pianist named Marvin Hamlisch.  “Sunshine, Lollipops and Roses” was co-written by Hamlisch and Howard Liebling, and the upbeat, exultant track became another big hit for Gore and the first of many for Hamlisch, hitting No. 11 on the American charts.

But despite continuing to record impressive material by impressive talent (including Carole Bayer Sager and Toni Wine, Van McCoy, Jack Nitzsche and Russ Titelman), the hits slowed down.  Gore teamed with other producers – Shelby Singleton and Nitzsche – for the first time.  It took Bob Crewe, though, to restore Lesley’s fortunes with another Marvin Hamlisch song.  The evocative “California Nights,” with its widescreen soundscape, hit No. 16 in early 1967, proving Gore’s staying power.  But Crewe’s next single for Lesley, the stunningly gorgeous “Summer and Sandy,” stalled at No. 67.  Mercury sent producer Steve Douglas (famed for his work as part of the Los Angeles Wrecking Crew) to work with Lesley, and if “Brink of Disaster” thankfully didn’t live up to its name, it only made it as far as No. 82 late in 1967.

But “Brink” was scheduled to be part of one of Gore’s most tantalizing lost projects, an LP scheduled for release as Mercury SR-61148 entitled Magic Colors, after a psychedelic song penned by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield.  While all ten of the LP’s tracks have been released (four of them premiered on Bear Family’s exhaustive box set It’s My Party! compiling Lesley’s entire Mercury output), Ace brings them together on a single disc for the very first time, together with fifteen bonus tracks, all from 1967-1969Magic Colors: The Lost Album with Bonus Tracks 1967-1969 features a virtual “Who’s Who” of 1960s American pop music.  Consider this: songs by Sedaka and Greenfield, Hamlisch and Liebling, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Allan Gordon and Gary Bonner, Gary Geld and Peter Udell, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Laura Nyro and Thom Bell; productions by Steve Douglas as well as Herb Bernstein and Gamble and Huff.

Finally, Gore fans will be able to hear Magic Colors in its musical splendor as it was originally scheduled for release.  Hit the jump for the run-down on its contents plus full track listing with discographical annotation. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 18, 2011 at 13:23

Before Blondie and Talking Heads: Now Sounds Presents The Original “New Wave”

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Blame it on the bossa nova.   It was at a Westwood record store that Reid King first heard Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “One Note Samba,” performed by the great Brazilian guitarist Laurindo Almeida and the Modern Jazz Quartet.  In no time at all, King found inspiration in the tricky chords of the bossa nova.   He mastered them and went on to write his own songs, often in collaboration with one-time child actor Thom Andriola, who performed under the stage name of Tommy André.  By 1966, King and Andriola were recording demos, and one year later, they were signed to Canterbury Records.  At the cult favorite Sunset Boulevard label, home to the Yellow Balloon, they found themselves collaborating with rock royalty as The New Wave.  Van Dyke Parks, Gene Page, Mike Post, Hal Blaine and Carol Kaye all added their magic to the duo’s debut.   But the promise of the day soon gave way to disappointment, and the New Wave’s lone LP has been shrouded in mystery for over forty years, out-of-print since its 1967 release. 

Now Sounds, truly the home to the best in retro California pop/rock, rectifies this with the May 30 release of Little Dreams: The Canterbury Recordings.  This new disc compiles both the mono and stereo versions of this long-lost LP together with two bonus tracks.  For their debut, The New Wave brought together the sounds of King’s beloved bossa nova with jazz, pop and classical strains, while the harmonies recalled late-period Chad and Jeremy or even Peter and Gordon.  (One guesses that Reid and Tommy just didn’t have the same ring to it, especially in the psychedelic days of 1967.)

The New Wave took its name from the French filmmaking movement.  Nouvelle Vogue included directors Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard among its numbers, their work epitomizing the auteur theory of cinema as espoused by publications such as Cahiers du cinéma.  King and André hoped to bring that singular vision to their music.  As such, they wrote all but one of the songs on their first (and only released) long-player, and the one cover version was a rearranged version of Michel Legrand’s “Autrefois” from Jacques Demy’s 1964 musical film Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, or The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.  This was hardly Top 40 fare in 1967, adventurous though those times were.  King took Legrand’s romantic melody and rearranged it as a bossa nova, paying homage to two of his most pronounced influences in the process.  Perhaps in tribute to the Modern Jazz Quartet’s Milt Jackson, the evocative, sometimes eerie sound of the vibraphone played a major role in the sound of The New Wave.  Renowned bassist Ron Carter (one-time labelmate of Jackson at Creed Taylor’s CTI label) even contributed bass to the record.

Carter was just one member of an illustrious musical cast.  Hit the jump for more, plus track listing and discographical details! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 18, 2011 at 10:12

Posted in News, Reissues, The New Wave