The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for August 4th, 2011

FINAL UPDATE 8/4: “Phil Spector Presents the Philles Album Collection” and “Essential Phil Spector” Due From Legacy

with 37 comments

Well, get a load of that!  This is the photo I’ve been waiting for – and if you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been waiting with bated breath, too!  As of August 4, we have official confirmation that Legacy’s Phil Spector Presents the Philles Album Collection is, indeed, coming on October 18, along with a two-disc retrospective as part of the label’s long-running Essential series.

Most purchasers of Legacy’s first wave of Philles Records reissues last February took immediate notice of a full-color insert which promised a most exciting June release sure to grab everyone’s attention: Phil Spector Presents the Philles Album Collection.  Though the June release date came and went, the box was far from the back burner.  The Philles Album Collection features six original albums, none of which have ever appeared on CD before.  All have been newly remastered, and they represent six of the first seven LPs released on the label. (Philles 4005, of course, is A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, which has already seen release in Legacy’s new Philles program.) A seventh bonus disc is entitled Phil’s Flipsides, and compiles seventeen in-demand, long-unheard instrumental B-sides by “The Phil Spector Wall of Sound Orchestra,” meaning the Los Angeles “Wrecking Crew” at their finest!  Many of Spector’s collaborators are even name-checked as the titles to these wild instrumentals: Sonny Bono, Larry Levine, Hal Blaine and Nino Tempo are just a few.

The six original titles are The Crystals’ Twist Uptown (Philles 4000) and He’s a Rebel (Philles 4001), Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans’ Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah (Philles 4002), The Crystals’ Sing the Greatest Hits Volume One (Philles 4003), the various artists compilation Today’s Hits (Philles 4004) and Presenting The Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica (Philles 4006). Many of the songs on these LPs have never appeared legitimately on CD, and songwriters include Brill Building legends like Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, Gene Pitney, Doc Pomus and Spector himself. The “Wrecking Crew” worked their magic instrumentally on the Gold Star-recorded tracks (some of the earliest Crystals tracks were actually cut in New York’s Mira Sound Studios), and among the vocalists featured are Darlene Love, Bobby Sheen, La La Brooks, Fanita James and Ronnie Spector. This is truly the crème de la crème. Hit the jump for more, including all track listings! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 4, 2011 at 14:20

Superstar: Leon Russell’s “Live in Japan” Arrives In Newly-Expanded Edition

with 4 comments

Can anyone dispute that the Master of Space and Time has returned?

Leon Russell is currently touring the country with none other than Bob Dylan, riding the wave of adulation he’s received for 2010’s high-profile Elton John collaboration The Union, as well as an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On August 9, the Omnivore label will remind listeners of just why Russell is so revered today. On that date, Omnivore will release Live in Japan, restoring to a print a 1974 Japan-only LP documenting Russell’s November 8, 1973 stand at Tokyo’s Budokan Hall. But wait, there’s more! Reissue producer, Omnivore co-founder and Rhino alumnus Cheryl Pawelski has added seven more tracks, all taken from a Houston, Texas show at the Sam Houston Coliseum recorded November 22, 1971. The Houston performance was the first show of his 1971 U.S. tour, after he and the newly formed Shelter People band had taken to the road in late 1970, occasionally teaming with then-newcomer Elton John. The nine Live in Japan tracks are all new to CD, while the 1971 gig has never appeared on LP or CD.

A native of Oklahoma, the former Claude Russell Bridges honed his craft first as a pianist on the local club circuit and then as one of the top-flight session men of Los Angeles’ so-called “Wrecking Crew.” You can hear Russell tickling the ivories on recordings by Phil Spector, The Beach Boys and even Frank Sinatra. It wasn’t long before he allied himself with producer Snuff Garrett, for whom he not only arranged Gary Lewis and the Playboys’ “This Diamond Ring” but co-wrote the group’s hits “Everybody Loves a Clown” and “She’s Just My Style.” These pop classics gave little indication, though, of where Russell would take his career next. After recording as the leader of the “Midnight String Quartet” and the Asylum Choir (with Marc Benno), Russell began his proper solo career with 1970’s Leon Russell, released on Shelter Records, a joint venture of Russell and Englishman Denny Cordell. That album was just the first to demonstrate his mastery of rock, soul, gospel, country, blues and even psychedelia during his long, distinguished career.

What can you expect from this heaping helping of Leon Russell? Hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 4, 2011 at 09:29

Posted in Leon Russell, News, Reissues