The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for August 10th, 2011

You Gotta Have Heart: Audio Fidelity Preps Gold Heart, “Sweet Baby James”

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Audiophile specialty label Audio Fidelity continues to revisit familiar titles in 24k Gold CD editions with its two latest releases, both due August 23: James Taylor’s 1970 breakthrough Sweet Baby James, and Heart’s 1998 retrospective Greatest Hits.

In the documentary film Troubadours, Carole King comments that due to the “generational and cultural turbulence…there was a hunger for the intimacy of what we did.” And as 1970 began, listeners certainly did hunger for James Taylor. After the commercial failure of his 1968 Apple Records debut (review here), Taylor and his producer Peter Asher decamped for the singer’s native America, where Sweet Baby James (so named for the singer’s namesake nephew) was recorded. Taylor assembled loyal friends, including a pre-Tapestry King and future Eagle Randy Meisner, to support his often-gentle vocals and distinct guitar style. That combination of an innately sweet voice with an almost painfully honest lyric led “Fire and Rain” straight to a No. 3 placement on the Billboard Hot 100, but that single is far from all Sweet Baby James has to offer. “Steamroller” is Taylor and Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar’s satire on the blues jam, and the upbeat “Country Road’ followed “Fire and Rain” into the Top 40. “Lo and Behold” offers a hint of gospel style while Taylor even makes Stephen Foster’s “Oh, Susannah” his own. Sweet Baby James also introduced “Blossom,” frequently the opening song on Taylor and King’s 2010 joint tour.  The album earned a 1971 Grammy nomination for Album of the Year, and launched a career that still goes strong today. This release marks the third excursion by Audio Fidelity into Taylor’s Warner Bros. catalogue after One Man Dog (1972) and Walking Man (1974). Audio Fidelity’s Marshall Blonstein promised in an interview with Mike Ragogna that “an album like James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James had different artwork when it was originally released than it did when it was released years later on CD, so we go back and recreate everything to restore it to its original state.”

Hit the jump to continue with Heart’s Greatest Hits and check out track listings and pre-order links for both titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 10, 2011 at 14:22

Cold Chisel Expanded Reissues Arrive in Australia

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Raise your hand if you’re familiar with Cold Chisel!  If you’re not, don’t worry – you can still pass “Go” and collect your 200 bucks.  The band known as Cold Chisel comes from the home of Men at Work (of course), AC/DC, Olivia Newton-John, Peter Allen and Helen Reddy: Australia.  Although the band never gained the international fame those other artists did, they remain one of the biggest acts ever in the land down under.  Almost forty years after the band’s founding, Cold Chisel kicked off their reissue campaign on July 22, calling the two-years-in-the-making, catalogue-encompassing program “the biggest archival release in Australian music history.”

The group’s six studio albums, recorded between 1978 and 1998, are all being expanded in CD+DVD editions, housed in digipaks containing the original studio album on CD and a “Live Bootleg” DVD with never-before-seen video footage.  Each digipak also contains a 16-page booklet with new liner notes by writers including Jim Moginie (Midnight Oil), Ita Buttrose, novelist John Birmingham and David Fricke (Rolling Stone) and rare photographs.  Next up, the band’s four live albums are remastered, with Swingshift (1981) adding bonus tracks.  The 1994 rarities compilation Teenage Love and 1978 EP You’re Thirteen, You’re Beautiful and You’re Mine (cribbing the title from the Richard M. Sherman/Robert B. Sherman hit for Johnny Burnette and Ringo Starr!) are also returning to CD.  All titles arrive from WEA International.

Catch up with Cold Chisel after the jump, and then peruse the track listings for each reissue! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 10, 2011 at 10:21