The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for May 23rd, 2011

Make Me Wanna Holler: A Chat with Harry Weinger on “What’s Going On” (Part 2)

with 3 comments

The wait is over. We continue our discussion of Marvin Gaye’s classic What’s Going On, to be released as a super-deluxe edition on June 7, with reissue producer Harry Weinger. In this portion of the discussion, Weinger touches on the always-hot topic of remastering the source material, a thought on super-deluxe box sets, and future projects to honor both Gaye’s legacy and other Motown greats.

Read on after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

May 23, 2011 at 21:15

Welcome (Back) to the Club! Varese Announces New Archival Releases

with one comment

After a lengthy hiatus, Varese Sarabande’s CD Club has returned with a new batch of film score reissues, expansions and projects from the vault.

Fans were starting to worry for the sanctity of the limited club releases throughout the year; there hadn’t been a batch in six months, an unusual amount of wait time even after a year in which the label did great premieres and expansions of soundtracks from The GooniesFamily Plot, Star Trek (2009), Spartacus and others. But with a new batch featuring an expanded modern favorite, a requested reissue, a live concert on CD and DVD and an exciting collaboration between an esteemed composer and director, it’s safe to say the new batch is worth the wait.

Join us after the jump for a look at Varese’s new club titles!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

May 23, 2011 at 18:04

Posted in DVD, News, Reissues, Soundtracks

Wouldn’t It Be Nice? “Pet Sounds” Coming to SACD

with 7 comments

“I figure no one is educated musically ‘til they’ve heard [Pet Sounds],” Paul McCartney once said of The Beach Boys’ classic, released 45 years and one week ago on May 16, 1966.  George Martin concurred: “Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper wouldn’t have happened.”  Brian Wilson poured his musical heart into the album’s thirteen tracks; in less than thirty-five minutes, he delivered an entire spectrum of emotions in a song cycle of striking beauty and sensitivity.  Pet Sounds may initially have been conceived by Wilson as an answer to The Beatles’ Rubber Soul, but it functions as an elegy to lost innocence (“Caroline, No”), a hope for the promise of brighter days ahead (“Wouldn’t It Be Nice”) and an expression of one young man’s innermost soul laid bare (“I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times,” “That’s Not Me,” “You Still Believe in Me”) in such a way that it was universal.  Oh yeah, and it just might have the greatest pop love song ever written (“God Only Knows”) which begins with a shocking lyrical conceit: “I may not always love you…”  Wilson and lyricist Tony Asher captured the zeitgeist on Pet Sounds, and every few years have brought another reissue of the album which initially was ahead of its time.  (It wasn’t certified platinum until early 2000, and only rose as far as No. 10 on the Billboard album chart at the time of its original release.)  Now, in the summer of SMiLE, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab has announced a new Pet Sounds, this time on limited edition hybrid stereo SACD, just in time for that 45th anniversary.

Pet Sounds made its first appearance on CD in 1990 in mono with three bonus tracks making their debuts.   This was followed in 1997 by the lavish The Pet Sounds Sessions, including the mono album, the first-ever true stereo mix and three discs of session material.  The stereo mix reappeared on CD in 1999 and again in 2001 with the mono mix and a bonus track.  It was also in 2001 that a DVD-Audio disc arrived with the album playable in advanced resolution surround, mono and stereo.  2006 brought the 2-CD 40th Anniversary edition and now in 2011, MFSL releases the true stereo mix in the SACD format.

As producer, Brian Wilson intended Pet Sounds for mono release in 1966.  In engineer Mark Linett’s words, “Brian felt that making records in mono allowed the producer to present the record exactly as he wanted it heard, without any interference from the listener’s stereo which could be set up in many different ways that might affect the sound…producers deliberately mixed for their main market [mono car radios].”  Capitol did issue the LP in “Duophonic” in 1966, an electronic process that simulated stereo.  In 1997, Wilson and Linett unveiled the first true stereo mix of Pet Sounds for the Sessions box set.  This mix has been utilized and fully remastered by MFSL for the new SACD.  Expect the textured harmonies of Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine and Bruce Johnston to sparkle.

Mobile Fidelity’s SACD is a hybrid disc and therefore is playable on all CD players.  It restores the original track listing, containing no bonus material.  A release date hasn’t yet been set in stone but the title is available now for pre-order at Music Direct for $29.99.  (The MFSL treatment was promised last year for The Beach Boys’ Today!, from 1965, but that release never materialized.  Perhaps it will arrive in the wake of Pet Sounds.)  Hit the jump for the pre-order link, track listing and Music Direct’s press release! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 23, 2011 at 12:33

FSM Readies Rare Astaire Musical and Two by Rosenthal

leave a comment »

Film score collectors, don’t put those wallets away just yet.  Kritzerland announced a rare treat from Pino Donaggio, The Berlin Affair, on Friday.  Varese Sarabande’s CD Club makes its release announcement today, and Film Score Monthly has just confirmed another two titles including one unique surprise.  First up is a two-for-one CD from the pen of Laurence Rosenthal, 1966’s Hotel Paradiso and 1967’s The Comedians.  Second is a rare musical to be released on the Film Score Monthly label.  Until now, FSM’s releases have largely been dedicated to orchestral scores, including songs, of course, where applicable.  These titles have, of course, included some full-fledged musicals.  But The Belle of New York, a 1952 musical from MGM’s hallowed Arthur Freed unit, is primarily about the songs, with only a few instrumental themes courtesy musical director Adolph Deutsch and orchestrator Conrad Salinger.  But when that song score is by Harry Warren (42nd Street) and the legendary Johnny Mercer, nobody’s complaining.

Laurence Rosenthal may be best-known to score fans for his Emmy Award-winning television work.  He boasts an impressive seven Emmys out of twelve nominations with credits like 1994’s The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.  Aficionados of Broadway musicals know him as the composer of the unsuccessful 1967 musical Sherry!, based on The Man Who Came To Dinner and featuring lyrics by James Lipton, long before Inside the Actor’s Studio.  Despite its short 72-performance run, its tuneful score has lived on.  Kritzerland’s Bruce Kimmel produced a Christine Baranski/Jonathan Freeman duet of its title song, and a starry studio cast recording featured Nathan Lane, Carol Burnett and Bernadette Peters.  Rosenthal’s cinematic C.V. is an accomplished one.  Rosenthal’s film collaborations with director Peter Glenville began with 1964’s Becket and continued with the two films that are the subjects of FSM’s new CD.  1966’s Hotel Paradiso, based on a French farce, starred Alec Guinness and Gina Lollobrigida as Parisian neighbors attempting to conduct an affair.  Rosenthal turned out a score for a 15-piece chamber orchestra that supported the film’s light-hearted tone.  The Comedians was a much different project, presenting Graham Greene’s story of foreigners caught in Haiti under the rule of Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier.  Guinness again appeared in the cast headlined by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor and also starring Peter Ustinov and James Earl Jones.  Rosenthal’s dark score is the match of the hard-hitting film.  FSM’s 2-disc set includes the MGM Records stereo album presentations of both films on Disc One and expands The Comedians on Disc Two.

The Belle of New York arrives courtesy of FSM’s relationship with Turner Classic Movies/Rhino Movie Music.  Musical collectors lamented the end of the stellar line of classic film reconstructions released under that banner, but this release gives reason to be hopeful that the series may continue.  The 1951 MGM musical was produced by Arthur Freed, the legendary producer of Meet Me in St. Louis, An American in Paris, Singin’ in the Rain and so many others.  The score was by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer, and production began on the very same day as Singin’ in the Rain.  Fred Astaire portrayed playboy Charles Hill, who vows to cast aside his womanizing ways when he meets Vera-Ellen’s Angela leading a Salvation Army band.  It’s love at first sight for Charles, but he still has a ways to go in convincing her!  Songs include “I Wanna Be a Dancin’ Man,” its lyrics penned by Mercer as a tribute to star Astaire.  The TCM/Rhino Belle of New York soundtrack was originally issued digitally, but the new CD edition includes a 24-page booklet by esteemed producer George Feltenstein and track-by-track notes by Frank K. DeWald.  While Belle was overshadowed by Singin’ at the time, its score is a delightful one.  All of the musical’s songs are included and a heaping helping of underscore, as well!

Hit the jump for pre-order links and track listings with discographical information! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 23, 2011 at 11:37

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks

Richard Thompson Box Highlights Rare Live Recordings

leave a comment »

Universal’s U.K. arm recently announced a four-disc box set highlighting Richard Thompson’s many musical appearances on the BBC.

The Live at the BBC box set features 61 tracks over three CDs and 19 video performances on a DVD. The first disc is devoted entirely to performances by Richard and Linda Thompson, including their three Peel sessions (portions of which were released on a 2004 reissue of their Hokey Pokey album in the U.K.) and a portion of a show from their beloved final tour (also masterfully chronicled on Rhino Handmade’s deluxe reissue of Shoot Out the Lights last year).

Best of all, there are a few goodies for hardcore fans and collectors, including a few songs making their official debut on this set and a handful of standards and covers not previously recorded by Thompson, as well. The set is out on June 20 in the U.K., and you can find the full track list after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

May 23, 2011 at 10:07

Release Round-Up: Week of May 23

leave a comment »

Thanks to everyone’s favorite all-consuming pop star Lady Gaga, this week’s releases actually start a day earlier. Think of it as like being in England!

 

New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys, NKOTBSB (Columbia/Jive/Legacy)

Imagine a greatest hits EP for each band, augmented with three bonus tracks featuring all nine boy band members working together like some sort of insane, teenybopper Voltron. (Official site)

The Monkees, The Monkees Present: Expanded Edition / Changes: Expanded Edition (Friday Music) / Monkeemania: The Very Best of The Monkees (Rhino U.K.)

Between The Monkees’ 45th anniversary and a reunion tour featuring three-quarters of the band, it’s safe to say signs of Monkeemania may be found in music collectors. Enter this two-disc hits-and-rarities import compilation, and the band’s final Colgems LPs, presented with the same bonus tracks as Rhino’s original reissues in the 1990s but with new remasters. (Friday Music, Amazon U.K.)

Aerosmith, Tough Love: Best of the Ballads (Geffen/UMe)

Initially a Target exclusive (what great luck!), this collection of hard-hitting ballads like…um…”Love in an Elevator” is now available at all fine retailers. A new Aerosmith album has yet to surface. (Official site)

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, Working My Way Back to You (Rhino U.K.)

As Jersey Boys continues its long run on both sides of the Atlantic, Rhino’s U.K. arm issues this double-disc compilation full of hits and some rarer stuff too. (Amazon U.K.)

Roseanne Cash, The Essential Roseanne Cash (Columbia/Legacy)

A double-disc, career spanning compilation from Johnny’s firstborn – and one which licenses tracks from all across her career too! That’s the best kind of compilation. (Official site)

Franke & The Knockouts, The Best of Franke & The Knockouts: Sweetheart Anniversary Edition (Friday Music)

A generous compilation from Friday Music for a band with one hit you may know (“Sweetheart”) and a lead singer who co-wrote two singles you more than likely do know (Dirty Dancing‘s “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” and “Hungry Eyes,” the latter of which is included in demo form on this set). (Friday Music)

Various Artists, ICON (UMe)

Louis Armstrong, The Gin Blossoms, The Mamas and The Papas, Willie Nelson, New Edition, Kelly Price, Conway Twitty, Muddy Waters and Hank Williams get an entry in The Compilation Series That Wouldn’t Die. (Amazon)