The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for June 16th, 2011

Original Grand Funk Compilation Receives CD Debut in July

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To commemorate that American band, Grand Funk Railroad, Capitol/EMI Iconoclassic is putting the band’s first compilation on CD for the first time anywhere, 40 years after its original release.

Mark Don & Mel 1969-1971 captures Grand Funk Railroad’s early years over what was originally four sides of vinyl, featuring tracks taken from the band’s first five studio LPs and a live album. The band had yet to reach its commercial peak with 1973’s We’re An American Band and its chart-topping title track – in fact, they had yet to add keyboardist Craig Frost as a full-time member (over first choice Peter Frampton, who was bound by his new solo deal with A&M) – but the songs captured herein are still the kind of stadium-filling crowd pleasers one expects from the Grand Funk ensemble.

Amazon’s listing has the compilation due on July 26 – but does not specify how the tracks will be ordered. The original double-vinyl pressing had Sides 1 and 4 on one disc followed by Sides 2 and 3. The track list after the jump presents all four sides in order, but we’ll let you know if anything changes. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 16, 2011 at 15:12

Next Wave of Hendrix Reissues to Feature Archival DVDs

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Looks like the expansions of Hendrix in the West and the Winterland box that Joe filled you in on this week aren’t the only projects coming from Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings in the coming months!

Hendrix’s estate just announced two DVD reissues that will be joining the September 13 release lineup – a new presentation of Hendrix’s Isle of Wight show from 1971 on DVD, and another DVD of Hendrix’s appearances on The Dick Cavett Show.

The expanded DVD of Blue Wild Angel: Live at the Isle of Wight – originally released on DVD by Experience Hendrix/MCA in 2002 – has been expanded with new footage, chiefly footage of Hendrix performing “Hey Joe” toward the end of the set. There are also some special features in the way of raw footage from multiple cameras that were capturing footage at the show. Viewers will be able to select from various set-ups and angles to get a closer look at Hendrix’s performance. The package is directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Murray Lerner and features stereo and 5.1 surround soundtracks mixed by Eddie Kramer, Hendrix’s original recording engineer.

Also forthcoming is a 90-minute DVD, Jimi Hendrix: The Dick Cavett Show, also originally reissued in 2002 and featuring all of Hendrix’s appearances and interviews on the long-running talk show during its early years on ABC. In addition, then-new behind-the-scenes interviews with Cavett and Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox of The Jimi Hendrix Experience round out the set.

More information, including full track listings and discographical information, will be posted as they are made available.

Written by Mike Duquette

June 16, 2011 at 13:36

Posted in DVD, Jimi Hendrix, News, Reissues

Review: Paul Simon, “Live Rhymin'” and Expanded, Remastered Studio Works (1972-1975)

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Paul Simon may have titled his latest studio album So Beautiful or So What, but the same name could apply to his catalogue relaunch at Legacy Recordings.  So Beautiful has been hailed as a return to form for Simon, writing with a guitar for the first time in many years.  A timely reminder of that form and of the style Simon both recalls and updates on the new disc can be rediscovered on these four reissued titles.  Paul Simon, There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, Live Rhymin’ and Still Crazy After All These Years are all back on the original Columbia label, and all are “so beautiful.”  Why the “so what,” then?  All except the newly remastered and expanded Live Rhymin’ are duplicated from the 2004 Rhino editions, meaning that they’re a pass for longtime Simon fans.  But for those who might have missed these titles seven years ago, or might be experiencing Simon for the first time even as bands like Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear pay homage to his sound, each is a timely reminder of why the man’s singular music has endured.  Live Rhymin’, bolstered by the inclusion of “Kodachrome” and “Something So Right,” is a truly welcome addition to the catalogue.

1970’s Bridge Over Troubled Water struck many as the summation (and epitaph?) not only for the Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel partnership but for the 1960s itself and its hopes and ideals.  January 1972’s release of Paul Simon (Columbia 30750, reissued Legacy 88697 82023 2) formalized the break-up of the duo, coming over a year before Garfunkel’s post-Simon and Garfunkel debut.  If Bridge Over Troubled Water was sweeping and cinematic, Paul Simon was low-key and quirky.  Simon and Garfunkel had incorporated different textures into songs like “El Condor Pasa (If I Could)” but Simon’s fascination with world music was immediately evident on the Jamaica-recorded reggae of “Mother and Child Reunion,” surely one of the most upbeat songs ever recorded on a somber subject.  Jazz had also begun creeping into his compositions, and CTI regulars like Ron Carter and Airto Moreira contributed to the album.  So did violin great Stephane Grappelli, whose instantly recognizable tone is heard on “Hobo’s Blues,” co-written with Simon.  Hal Blaine, Joe Osborn and Larry Knechtel, all familiar hands from Bridge, made appearances, but most tracks were characterized by a tougher sound that left Garfunkel’s specter behind.  From the self-discovery of “Duncan” to the glib, jaunty “Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard,” it was clear that Simon was still finding fresh inspiration.  As in 2004, the bonus tracks include an unreleased alternate of “Paranoia Blues” and demos of “Duncan” and “Me and Julio.”  The latter features early, unused lyrics and musical variations, as well, making for fascinating listening.

The album sleeve for 1973’s There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (Columbia 32280, reissued Legacy 88697 82022 2) promised a more upbeat affair, decorated with a rainbow, a Mardi Gras mask and a portrait of the artist as a young(er) man.  Its bright pop music, with soul-deep overtones, delivered on that promise.  Simon had co-produced his last album with Simon and Garfunkel right-hand man Roy Halee.  For Rhymin’ Simon, Paul enlisted Phil Ramone to co-produce four tracks, and Halee and Paul Samwell-Smith (of Cat Stevens fame) each collaborated on one song.  The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, whose unique sound could be heard on many of the album’s cuts, earned a co-production credit on five songs.    Rhymin’ Simon yielded four now-standards:  the ebullient “Kodachrome” and “Loves Me Like A Rock,” and the ballads “American Tune” and “Something So Right.”  This may be the artist’s quintessential solo album, with every track truly outstanding.  “Tenderness,” with background vocals by the Dixie Hummingbirds and horns arranged by Allen Toussaint, might have been directed at Simon’s former partner.  It’s cutting but nowhere near as vitriolic as some of the other famous break-ups played out in song: “What can I do/Much of what you say is true/I know you see through me/But there’s no tenderness/Beneath your honesty…You and me were such good friends/What’s your hurry?/You and me could make amends/I’m not worried.”  Rhymin’ Simon goes Dixieland on “Take Me to the Mardi Gras” and Simon is at his wry best on “One Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor.”  The aching, poignant “American Tune” sounded tailor-made for Garfunkel, but Simon handled it with confidence.  The best of the bonus material is an early attempt as “Something So Right” entitled “Let Me Live in Your City,” and demos have been appended of “American Tune,” “Loves Me Like a Rock” and “Take Me to the Mardi Gras.”

Continue after the jump with Live Rhymin’ and Still Crazy After All These Years! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 16, 2011 at 11:29