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Archive for June 2nd, 2011

Universal Recites Oldfield’s “Incantations” on Three Discs

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We have another Mike Oldfield record getting the deluxe treatment from Universal in the U.K. this summer.

Following expansive CD/DVD editions of Oldfield’s prog-instrumental masterpiece Tubular Bells and follow-ups Hergest Ridge and Ommadawn in 2009 and 2010, Oldfield’s Incantations, originally released on Virgin in 1979, will get the expanded treatment.

The four-movement piece, each of which took up a side of vinyl in its original release, will feature a bonus CD of single material and newly remixed selections from the album. A surround mix of those selections on Disc 2, along with vintage concert and video footage on DVD, will be included.

A single-disc remaster with one bonus track (the 1979 single “Guilty”) and double-vinyl edition (500 of which will be signed by Oldfield and available on his official site) will also be available. All packages will be released July 25.

Have a look at the track list after the jump. Thanks to MusicTAP for bringing this to light! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 2, 2011 at 17:40

MoWest Legacy Celebrated on New Compilation

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Indie label Light in the Attic Records has prepped an interesting catalogue compilation for release: an overview of one of Motown’s oft-overlooked divisions: MoWest Records.

By the 1970s, Berry Gordy had a grander vision for Motown than ever before – one that extended from music into the film industry. To do that, of course, he needed a base of operations in Los Angeles, and the label’s L.A. offices went from becoming a branch to the central nervous system of the company in 1972. (It’s this year that usually caps Motown compilations; should the final Complete Motown Singles box sets become ready for release, they too end at 1972, when the label finished moving west.)

But before everyone packed their bags for good (or left the label, in some cases), Gordy started a West Coast-centered imprint of Motown. MoWest, with its beautiful label design (the sun setting over a Pacific beach) and laid-back R&B soul roster that included underrated acts like Odyssey, The Sisters Love and G.C. Cameron, future stars including Thelma Houston, Syreeta Wright and The Commodores and one displaced legend in Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons began in earnest in 1971.

Unfortunately, the imprint and its roster never got the attention they deserved: Motown’s legends were still putting out gold – Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, Diana Ross’ burgeoning solo career and The Temptations’ experiments with psychedelic soul were some of the high points – and the label’s newest upstarts, The Jackson 5, were taking America by storm. MoWest folded in 1973, and although some of the acts would find success on Motown proper, too many of them did not.

That’s where Light in the Attic comes in. On June 14, the label is releasing a newly-remastered (from the original tapes, no less) 16-track compilation of tunes from the MoWest roster. Some of them have appeared on CD before – Hip-o Select did a set for Valli’s Motown years – but a lot of these tracks hew toward the obscure, so it’s nice to see them given the red carpet treatment. And, as if a CD release wasn’t cool enough, the set’s also coming out as a double-vinyl set, too.

Again, Our Lives Are Shaped by What We Love: Motown’s MoWest Story is out on June 14, and you can order it here. As always, the track list is after the jump. (Thanks to Ken Shane for passing this one along!) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 2, 2011 at 13:41

Review: “The Belle of New York: Original Soundtrack Recording”

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Film Score Monthly has established a top-notch reputation for restoration, but the label can carve a notch on its belt for resuscitation, too.  With the release of the Original Soundtrack Recording of The Belle of New York, FSM has resuscitated the line of expanded MGM musical soundtracks, once the province of Turner Classic Movies Music and Rhino, later Rhino Handmade.  Under the aegis of George Feltenstein, the Rhino/Turner affiliation produced definitive editions of classic musical soundtracks ranging from An American in Paris to The Wizard Of Oz, plus scores like Ben-Hur and North By Northwest and even rock soundtracks like Zabriskie Point.  But the regular retail program stalled, with Rhino’s Handmade division bringing titles like Mame and Finian’s Rainbow to online consumers.  Then that, too,  came to a conclusion.  Although Turner’s film library (including the Golden Age of MGM) and Warner Music Group are no longer under the same corporate umbrella, Film Score Monthly has continued releasing score titles under the TCM Music banner, and the recent 1,200-copy limited edition release of The Belle of New York marks, in FSM’s own words, the label’s first “all-singing, all-dancing” musical with a greater emphasis on songs than score.  Well, what a gift the label has given us with this release, and it isn’t even Christmas!

Although The Belle of New York isn’t in a class with the most renowned works of producer Arthur Freed’s Metro unit (including Meet Me In St. Louis and Easter Parade), and the film itself only sporadically comes to life, the soundtrack album is a complete delight from start to finish.  Freed’s stamp is all over the picture; it’s no wonder that his name came after that of the director’s in the ads reproduced in the CD booklet.  Belle began shooting on June 18, 1951, the very same day Freed began production on Singin’ in the Rain; what film wouldn’t have languished in the shadow of that masterwork?  This is the sound of the vintage Hollywood musical as perfected by Freed and his musical cohorts, orchestrators like Conrad Salinger, Robert Franklyn and Alexander Courage, and arrangers like Roger Edens.  For The Belle of New York, the team had an original score at its disposal, something even Singin’ – drawn from Freed’s own songbook penned with Nacio Herb Brown – couldn’t boast.  It came from two bona fide legends of the musical, Harry Warren (“Lullaby of Broadway,” “I Only Have Eyes For You”) and Johnny Mercer (“One For My Baby,” “Jeepers Creepers”), who had already teamed for Freed’s The Harvey Girls. Adolph Deutsch conducted the orchestra and also composed and arranged some pieces.  Like the Rhino titles that preceded it, Film Score Monthly’s new edition (FSM Vol. 14, No. 10) is a very model of the ideal soundtrack presentation, produced by Feltenstein with executive producers Lukas Kendall of FSM and Craig Spaulding of Screen Archives.  Hit the jump to read on about these gentlemen’s mighty accomplishment! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 2, 2011 at 12:44

Posted in Reissues, Reviews, Soundtracks

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