The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for June 27th, 2011

BREAKING NEWS! Great, Big, Beautiful Tomorrow Brings First Disney-Intrada Releases

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71 years ago, a little cricket named Jiminy reassured children everywhere that “when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true” in Walt Disney’s film Pinocchio.  Well, the dreams of many film score collectors and Disney enthusiasts are indeed coming true thanks to tonight’s announcement by Intrada Records.  The California label, a 25-year veteran in the soundtrack business, put to rest weeks of rumors and tonight confirmed a new partnership with The Walt Disney Company.  The inaugural title in the Walt Disney Records/Intrada co-branded series is the commercial CD premiere of Michael Giacchino’s Academy Award-winning score to 2009’s Up.  It’s available for pre-order now and will begin shipping tomorrow.  Up is joined by a release from the vault of Disney-owned Touchstone Pictures, John Scott’s 1988 score to Shoot to Kill, under the Intrada Special Collection banner.

Intrada’s initial statement promises that the release is the “start of [a] new series of long-awaited soundtrack treasures from Disney vaults, presented from original session elements lovingly restored, all spotlighting premiere CD releases from animation and live action classics appearing throughout [the] esteemed studio’s history!”  Walt Disney Records’ Randy Thornton elaborated: “Walt Disney Records will be producing and manufacturing this new line exclusively for Intrada – hence the dual logos.”  Disney’s legacy is intertwined even more closely with music than most realize; the very first commercially-issued soundtrack album in history was Victor’s 1938 release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as a set of three 78s, two songs per disc! 

Despite a rich catalogue of titles from both Disneyland and Buena Vista Records, the modern Walt Disney Records family of labels has never been a major player on the reissue front.  We here at The Second Disc have been vocal in encouraging the Mouse to take advantage of its vast library.  That said, what has escaped from the Disney vault, however, has been choice: mainly archival projects like Walt Disney and the 1964 World’s Fair (2009), The Sherman Brothers Songbook (2009) and A Musical History of Disneyland (2005).  A line of soundtrack expansions in the 1990s and early 2000s spearheaded by Randy Thornton was devoted to many of the classic animated films, but the series stalled.  Kiosks at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts offered many classic LPs as burn-on-demand CDs, but the system wasn’t profitable, and many of the titles slated for theme park release were relegated to iTunes.  Perhaps most distressingly to longtime fans, the soundtracks to Disney and Pixar’s Up and Toy Story 3 didn’t receive CD releases despite the high profile names of Michael Giacchino and Randy Newman, respectively.  The teaming with Intrada seems a promising sign that the entertainment giant is serious about making available the assets it has so painstakingly preserved over the years.  I know I got a thrill seeing the classic, long-retired Disneyland Records logo in the top right corner of the Up cover!  Chances are many of you will, too.

Hit the jump for details on this exciting launch, including track listings and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 27, 2011 at 21:19

Sonic Youth Comp Goes from Starbucks to Stores Everywhere

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Anyone who missed Sonic Youth’s last compilation, 2008’s Hits Are for Squares (released exclusively through Starbucks stores), have another chance to get it beyond last year’s vinyl release on Record Store Day. It’s being released to general retail this summer, reports MusicTAP.

The collection collates hits and favorite tracks from the New York City band’s extensive catalogue, stretching back from 1984’s EVOL to 2004’s Sonic Nurse. All the tunes were selected by famous fans of the band, including Beck, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Radiohead, The Flaming Lips, Flea of The Red Hot Chili Peppers and many more. There’s also a new track exclusive to this set, “Slow Revolution.”

The set is out on August 23. Hit the jump for all the track details. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 27, 2011 at 15:43

Benson, Hubbard, Turrentine On June Slate From CTI Masterworks

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Earlier this year, Universal and Hip-o Select released a bold orange box set containing the first 6 LPs on the Impulse! label, all of which were produced by Creed Taylor.  The ambitious producer didn’t stay long at Impulse!, however, departing for the greener pastures of Verve, then A&M, where he founded his CTI label.  Following a highly successful series of CTI albums under the A&M imprimatur, Taylor’s mini-kingdom went the independent route and along the way practically defined the sound of seventies jazz.  Sony’s Masterworks Jazz label quietly dropped four more CTI titles in stores on June 14, part of the 40th Anniversary Series that began with the release of the Cool Revolution retrospective box.  (We’ve got details on April’s batch here.)  The titles were released between 1970 and 1974, and all four feature bona fide legends who were integral parts of the CTI family: George Benson (guitar), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet/flugelhorn), Hubert Laws (flute) and Stanley Turrentine (tenor saxophone).

The earliest title in the group, Hubbard’s Straight Life (1970), was his second album for CTI following Red Clay, already released in this series.  Straight Life could be considered a “sequel” to Red Clay, as many of the same personnel returned, including saxophonist Joe Henderson, keyboard player Herbie Hancock and CTI stalwart Ron Carter.  George Benson, naturally on guitar, joined in as well.  On percussion, Richard “Pablo” (Richie) Landrum contributed, while Jack DeJohnette replaced Red Clay’s Lenny White on drums.  Straight Life consists of three lengthy tracks: the 17 minute jam on the title song by Hubbard, “Mr. Clean” by Weldon Irvine (who plays tambourine on the album) and the Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen standard “Here’s That Rainy Day.”  With only Hubbard, Benson and Carter playing, “Rainy Day” is as beautiful as “Straight Life” is funky.

Benson’s own album, Body Talk, is also released in this wave.  His third for the independent CTI, it’s all-instrumental.  Rather than “house arranger” Don Sebesky, it’s Pee Wee Ellis who arranged and conducted Body Talk, a duty he also performed on CTI albums for Esther Phillips, Johnny Hammond and Hank Crawford.  The only cover in this set of blazing originals is “When Love Has Grown” from Donny Hathaway and Gene McDaniels’ pen.  Ron Carter, of course, played bass, as did Gary Kng, and Earl Klugh joined to contribute second guitar.  As on previous reissues, this remastered Body Talk contains one bonus, an alternate take of the title track.

Hit the jump to meet Mister T. and go back to the Beginning. We’ve also got track listings, order links and discographical info for all four titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 27, 2011 at 14:02

He Shall Be Levon: Helm Two-Fer Brings Together Rare Solo LPs

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Though The Band remains a likely candidate for Group Least Likely to Reunite, Levon Helm hasn’t been resting on his laurels.  After a 25-year year hiatus from his career as a solo artist (during which time he participated in the recording of three Band albums sans Robbie Robertson and successfully underwent treatment for throat cancer) Helm returned to recording with 2007’s acclaimed Dirt Farmer.  Since then, he’s maintained a busy live schedule, and last month’s Ramble at the Ryman preserved a gig at the legendary Ryman Auditorium with special guests Sheryl Crow, Buddy Miller, John Hiatt and Billy Bob Thornton. 

Australia’s Raven Records, however, is now turning back the clock and compiling two original albums from Helm in one package entitled Take Me to the River, due July 12.  Though the singer/multi-instrumentalist didn’t evince much creativity in titling Levon Helm (1978) and Levon Helm (1982), the albums demonstrate his mastery of all forms of American music.

A previous Raven two-fer brought together Helm’s first and third solo albums, 1977’s Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars (ABC) and 1980’s American Son (MCA), and this companion set features his second and fourth outings.   Hit the jump for the scoop on both albums including track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 27, 2011 at 11:06

People All Over the World! A New “Soul Train” Comp Rolls Your Way

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For most of its 35-year run, there was no better outlet for soul music on television than Soul Train. Featuring a diverse palette of R&B artists and the commanding presence of creator/producer/host Don Cornelius, Soul Train has become an institution, the longest-running, nationally syndicated show in American history – albeit one that modern audiences would be slow to appreciate, were it not for the efforts of Time-Life Entertainment in releasing several official DVDs of content from the shows back in 2009.

Now, Time-Life follows up those discs with a special compilation, The Best of Soul Train Live, in stores tomorrow. While most of the performances on the program were lip-synched to the original tracks, a few here and there were not. And a dozen such performances will be captured on this DVD. Most of them stem from the show’s first four seasons, although there is a legendary 1979 duet between Aretha Franklin and Smokey Robinson on his “Ooo, Baby Baby” and a medley of hits from Stevie Wonder performed in 1991.

Hit the jump for full track details and an Amazon link, and remember – as always, we wish you love, peace…and soul! Read the rest of this entry »