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Archive for May 2011

Cherry Red Has Ace in Their Hand

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Some time ago, we reported on Cherry Red’s new reissue of an Ace compilation and subsequent intention to reissue all of the band’s back catalogue later in the year. Now, the U.K. reissue label has revealed their titles for June, and all three Ace LPs  are slated for release this summer, each greatly expanded with bonus material.

The Sheffield pub-rockers – best known, of course, for the U.S. Top 5 hit “How Long” and the kickstarting of vocalist Paul Carrack’s career (he’d later join Roxy Music, Squeeze and Mike + The Mechanics) – recorded three albums for Anchor Records between 1974 and 1977; Five-a-Side, Time for Another and No Strings will all be released by the label. The first album will be augmented with a bonus disc comprised of BBC sessions with John Peel and Bob Harris and one rare studio bonus track from a Japanese reissue in 2004. The last two will be packaged together with a third disc of additional live material licensed from the BBC, including another Peel session and two In Concert airings.

All in all, it looks like a pretty great way to sum up the band’s catalogue. All the titles will be out on June 20 in the U.K. and can be ordered at Cherry Red’s website now. Hit the jump to see how long the track lists are! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

May 25, 2011 at 14:29

Posted in Ace, News, Reissues

More Kinks to Kronikle in Second Wave of U.K. Deluxe Reissues

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This year’s deluxe reissues of The Kinks’ first three LPs were among the more surprising and better-received catalogue projects in 2011. And the second wave of deluxe editions is on its way from Universal U.K.!

Expansions of the band’s Face to Face (1966), Something Else by The Kinks (1967) and Arthur (or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) (1969) are due out June 20 with the usual features (mono and stereo mixes, non-LP singles, BBC sessions and other rare and unreleased goodies). Of course, the influential The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968) was given the triple-disc treatment by Sanctuary U.K. in 2004, but one wonders whether any others might be in the planning.

Initial reports mentioned an expansion of Muswell Hillbillies (1971), the band’s first LP for RCA after departing Pye, but did not mention the beloved Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneyground, Part One (1970). However, thanks to the great reporting of Mike Segretto at Psychobabble, we know that reissue producer Andrew Sandoval will likely be producing a reissue of Lola pending approval from Ray Davies.

In the meantime, pre-order links and track lists reside beyond the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

May 25, 2011 at 14:10

Posted in News, Reissues, The Kinks

Short Takes: Folds Dishes on Rarities, Elfman on the Box, Carly Simon and More

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  • Ben Folds has previously hinted at a vault-clearing project of some type, and he elaborated on the set in a recent interview on Australia’s Triple J Radio. According to Folds, the set will comprise three discs’ worth of rarities, live material and a hits compilation. The centerpiece of the material, Folds said, is newly-discovered tapes – originally feared lost when a flood damaged his Nashville studio – of rough mixes intended for a fourth Ben Folds Five album. He said the set would arrive in late November (no word on a label, though his onetime home of Epic and/or Legacy would be a natural fit as catalogue goes).
  • You’ve heard a lot of talk from us about the Tim Burton/Danny Elfman box set. Why not hear some from the composer himself? Our friend Mike Ragogna (a name reissue buffs might recognize for production and liner notes for several of the major labels) interviewed Elfman for his regular Huffington Post column, which you can read here.
  • Matt Rowe took to another platform other than MusicTAP for this one: in this article, he notes that Carly Simon signed a new deal earlier this year with BMG Chrysalis that includes a new agreement for back catalogue distribution. He further postulates that next year marks the 40th anniversary of Simon’s signature song, “You’re So Vain,” and the album it came from, No Secrets (1972). Could Matt be on to something?
  • Finally, if you’re in the New York City area, you might want to check this out: Pop Market, our favorite purveyor of Sony-distributed box sets, is setting up a pop-up store in Soho through the end of June! Located at the Morrison Hotel Gallery on Prince Street, the store will feature deals much like the website along some neat in-store events in June. Hours will be Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 8 pm, Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 7 pm and Sundays from noon to 6 pm through June 30.

Written by Mike Duquette

May 25, 2011 at 13:43

Review: Chicago, “Live in ’75”

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When they took the stage at Largo, Maryland’s Capital Centre in June, 1975, nostalgia was foremost on the minds of the members of Chicago.  Early in the set so immaculately preserved by Rhino on the new Live in ’75 (Rhino Handmade RHM2 526436, 2011), comments are made from the stage with a great deal of surprise: “[Here’s] another blast from the past!”  “Nostalgia is in nowadays.”  “We would like to be nostalgic.”  Would the Robert Lamm, Walter Parazaider, Lee Loughnane and James Pankow of 1975 been able to conceive that they’d be playing the very same songs in 2011 that formed the crux of their set in 1975?  “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is,” a Chicago fixture now as then, was prefaced with “This song goes back very many years” – six, in fact!  It’s clear that the members of Chicago didn’t expect their songs to have a shelf life of a whopping six years, yet those songs still are beloved today.  (Of the song, it was added that “Terry hates it!”)

Peter Cetera, Terry Kath, Danny Seraphine, Lamm, Parazaider, Loughnane and Pankow burst onto the charts in 1969 as Chicago Transit Authority with an album of the same title.  Cetera (bass), Kath (guitar), Lamm (keyboards) and Seraphine (drums) would have made one hell of a rock band, but when they were augmented by Loughnane (trumpet), Pankow (trombone) and Parazaider (woodwinds), they had a sound like none other.  CTA, the album, announced their musical intentions in a big way.  A 2-LP set, CTA was a fusion of rock, classical, jazz and pop, and introduced two of the band’s most enduring songs, both by Robert Lamm: “Beginnings” and “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is.”  By the time of the 1975 joint tour with The Beach Boys, unofficially dubbed “Beachago,” Chicago was already on the way to becoming the biggest-selling American rock band in music history, and their set already resembled a “greatest hits.”  In the excitingly paced marathon performance in Largo, Chicago packed in the hits but found room for their most recent release, Chicago VIII, too.  From the performance captured on disc, Chicago’s energy never flagged as they vibrantly attacked one song after the next as if their lives depended on it.

The sheer musicianship of the band members is striking, as they perfectly coalesced as one unit.  Their hunger to stay relevant despite playing “nostalgic” songs is palpable; their live performances were often polished enough to be studio recordings but with a raw energy and freedom that kept them from being mere replicas of those tracks.  Kath’s guitar scorches throughout the 24 tracks over 2 discs, while Seraphine’s drums anchor the songs.  He propels “Free” from its introduction, the horns keeping in perfect synch with him.

Those who have seen the band in concert in recent years will no doubt be surprised by the jazz-inspired approach.  In 1975 Chicago was still flush with improvisational spirit.  Loose jams broke out with great frequency, even on the soft rock staple “Just You ‘n’ Me,” a song which otherwise pointed to the band’s future adult contemporary direction.  There’s an extended version of Lamm’s “25 or 6 to 4” and a 12+ minute take on “I’m a Man,” kicked up a notch from the Spencer Davis Group’s original.  The entire set is performed at a high-octane level; the very first track, “Introduction,” features jazz, blues, funk and rock led by Terry Kath.  There’s such dynamic interplay on this track that it sounds inconceivable that the harmony would eventually cease offstage.  The forceful, driving “Now More Than Ever” lives up to its title.  It concluded James Pankow’s “Ballet For a Girl in Buchannon,” including hits “Make Me Smile” and “Colour My World.”  While the mini-song suite may be taken for granted now, it remains an ambitious calling card for a band determined to push musical boundaries.  Read on after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 25, 2011 at 12:16

Posted in Chicago, Reissues, Reviews

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Dave Brubeck Digitally “Digs Disney” On New Legacy Edition

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It was prescient that the cover of the November 8, 1954 edition of Time was devoted to jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck.  Just five years later he and his Quartet would release Time Out, the watershed in his series of “Time”-themed albums, the first jazz album to sell one million copies and one of the genre’s biggest-selling albums of all time. Propelled by the success of saxophonist Paul Desmond’s sinuous, sophisticated “Take Five,” Time Out was a No. 2 pop album and was certified platinum. But Time Out was hardly the first important work by Brubeck, a pioneer in exploring unusual time signatures in a largely accessible fashion. Two years before Time Out, The Dave Brubeck Quartet released a concept album that still holds up today and is being celebrated with a new Legacy Edition from Columbia Records and Legacy. Dave Digs Disney was simply and accurately titled, featuring Brubeck, Desmond, Norman Bates (bass) and Joe Morello (drums) playing songs from beloved Disney films. The six songs selected for the LP were already part of the Quartet’s repertoire when Brubeck and producer George Avakian hit on the notion of recording them in one place. A classic album was then born. The new Legacy Edition, alas, is currently only available in digital form, an odd choice for such an acclaimed album targeting an older audience of jazz collectors. (That said, this album is still the perfect introduction for children to jazz as its Disney film subjects are still beloved!) A CD-R on-demand is available now from, and luckily, it appears that a full physical edition may appear overseas.

Dave Digs Disney marked the first time that a musician or group had devoted an entire LP to interpretations of Disney fare, though such albums now proliferate. Most notably, Brubeck was among the first artists to latch onto Frank Churchill and Larry Morey’s “Someday My Prince Will Come,” from the film once thought of as “Disney’s Folly,” Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The 1937 song became a jazz standard, with heavyweights like Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Herbie Hancock all following in Brubeck’s footsteps with their own recordings. Miles even titled a 1961 album, recorded with John Coltrane, after the song!  Brubeck returned to “Someday”  in 2011 with a new rendition on Walt Disney Records’ Everybody Wants to Be a Cat: Disney Jazz, Volume 1.

Originally released in mono only, Dave Digs Disney: Legacy Edition features the album in both mono and stereo mixes, with the broad stereo version appearing for the very first time. Both of its discs feature rare bonus tracks such as alternate and unedited takes. Both bonus tracks from Legacy’s 1994 reissue of the album (“Very Good Advice” from Alice in Wonderland and “So This is Love” from Cinderella) have been retained.

Dave Digs Disney: Legacy Edition includes a new foreword by the 90-year old Brubeck, as well as the original liner notes from original album producer George Avakian. Producer Didier C. Deutsch and engineer Mark Wilder have fully remastered all tracks. It’s available now from all digital service providers and an import version is also available in pressed CD form. Hit the jump for the full track listing and discographical information! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 25, 2011 at 10:30

Posted in Dave Brubeck, News, Reissues

Greater Hits, Volume II: Three Times the Bob

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Our first installment of Greater Hits was a rousing success, and the big musical celebration of the day prompts our next installment of the series. Bob Dylan, 70 years old today, has been rhapsodized about all over the Internet. Rolling Stone made him the focus of their newest issue, while other publications have counted down the Bard’s best work (I’m of course partial to Popdose‘s write-up). And PopMarket, Sony’s beloved clearinghouse for box set deals, is offering the three-disc Dylan set from 2007 as the featured sale item through noon tomorrow.

Now, interestingly enough, PopMarket is also offering another three-disc Dylan set – the 1985 box set Biograph – as a standard deal for this week, at the same price tag. With that in mind, what better way to do our second installment of Greater Hits than set the two head-to-head?

The answers, my friend, are blowin’ in the wind…after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

May 24, 2011 at 15:13

Byrds, Cooke, Corea, Getz “Complete Album Collections” Coming from Legacy

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This morning, Sony’s Legacy division kicked off a new catalogue initiative that’s sure to raise a few eyebrows!  The Complete Album Collection box sets bring together an artist’s entire tenure at a label (in these cases, Columbia and RCA Victor) in one tidy box set, with albums in individual mini-LP sleeves.  The first four artists to receive this treatment are The Byrds, Sam Cooke, Stan Getz and Return to Forever, and the boxes are available for pre-order now exclusively through PopMarket.  While many of the titles included have been released on CD in the past, other albums will be making their U.S. CD debuts.  (The Cooke is the most exciting set in this respect, with six of the eight albums new to American CD.  The Getz set has a special surprise, too, in the form of a bonus disc with stray Getz selections.)

We’ll fill in the details later, but in the interest of passing this information to you as quickly as possible, hit the jump for the titles included in each box set and the label-supplied information for each title!  All titles can be pre-ordered now at PopMarket. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 24, 2011 at 12:41

Reissue Theory: Bob Dylan, “New Morning: Legacy Edition” Including “Dylan (1973)”

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Happy Birthday, Bob!  Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we focus on notable albums and the reissues they could someday see.  To celebrate Mr. Dylan’s 70th birthday, we’re taking a look at one acclaimed LP and the controversial collection drawn from its outtakes.  Can these albums be reissued and expanded in the proper context?   One answer follows!

Greil Marcus famously asked, “What is this shit?” in his review of Bob Dylan’s 1970 Self-Portrait. Dylan’s tenth album for Columbia Records remains as controversial today as it was then, and Marcus’ question has never been definitively answered. A mix of frankly strange cover versions, instrumentals and originals spread over 2 LPs, Dylan told Cameron Crowe that the intention was to put out “his own bootleg record” consisting of studio warm-ups “just to get things right, and then we’d go on and do what we were going to do.” Prior to the Crowe interview, the singer had asserted that the album was a pointed slap in the face to his own overzealous fans: “I said, ‘well, fuck it. I wish these people would just forget about me. I wanna do something they can’t possibly like, can’t possibly relate to. They’ll see it, and they’ll listen, and they’ll say, ‘Well, let’s get on to the next person. He ain’t sayin’ it no more.'” Whatever the explanation, Self-Portrait mystified its audience but still managed to go gold as listeners wanted to hear what the hell it was all about. Like many of Dylan’s albums, a number of outtakes were generated in the sessions held between April 1969 and March 1970; some might wonder about the quality of the songs left off such a maligned album!

But the reaction to Self-Portrait was nothing compared to that which greeted Dylan (1973). Dylan had made a shocking (and short-lived) exit from Columbia Records for David Geffen’s Asylum label, where he would reunite with The Band for Planet Waves. As was record company fashion in those days, Columbia prepared to compete with Asylum.  The label hastily cobbled together an album of vault material that hardly showed off Dylan at his best. Likely due to the fact that he was not consulted in the making of the LP, Dylan has subsequently all but disowned the album. It has never been released on CD in North America on compact disc, though it has surfaced on cassette and on iTunes. Even when a complete Dylan on Columbia box set has been discussed, there’s been precious little talk of Dylan being included. So, then, what’s the point of this Reissue Theory?

1973’s Dylan consisted of two outtakes from Self-Portrait together with seven outtakes from 1970’s New Morning, its near-immediate follow-up. A standalone reissue is unlikely, but what if Bob Dylan would consent to seeing the material on Dylan released where most of it belongs? These admitted outtakes would find a natural home not as a proper album, but rather as the second disc of an expanded edition of 1970’s acclaimed “comeback,” New Morning.

Intrigued by the story of these two intertwined albums? Help us celebrate the 70th birthday of a true American bard, Bob Dylan, with this special Reissue Theory installment.  We’ll explore a hypothetical Legacy Edition restoring Dylan’s tracks to print on an expanded edition of New Morning. Hit the jump to read more! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 24, 2011 at 11:40

Posted in Bob Dylan, Features, Reissues

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

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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

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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