The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for September 26th, 2011

At Their Most Beautiful: New R.E.M. Compilation Announced

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The music world was kind of shocked when R.E.M. announced their breakup. (We even devoted a whole Reissue Theory to their 1987 B-sides compilation Dead Letter Office.) It’s certainly interesting timing, then, that the band has one last act of catalogue material before they split: a double-disc compilation coming in November.

Named after a quippy assessment of the band by its own guitarist, Peter Buck, Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011 is the first set from the band to span their career in full – both their heady, pioneering college-rock days on I.R.S. Records as well as their move to further international acclaim on Warner Bros. Naturally, it also includes three new tracks: a new single, the aptly-titled “We All Go Back to Where We Belong” (available to download October 18) and two additional tracks from the sessions to the band’s latest album, this year’s Collapse Into Now.

It’s easy to be cynical about the timing of this release, coming less than a week after the band’s split. But the ability to collect the band’s full greatest hits in one spot is actually rather neat. The only other Warner compilation on the market is 2003’s In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003, while the I.R.S. era has been anthologized to death, most recently with 2006’s And I Feel Fine…The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987. (Both sets, in fact, had their own deluxe editions with various rarities here and there.) The song selection is certainly arguable (as it was when we did our own Reissue Theory on a full R.E.M. hits set earlier this year), but the 40 songs herein aren’t a terrible place to start.

The package is available November 15 and can be ordered (along with the track list) after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 26, 2011 at 16:45

Posted in Compilations, News, REM

Howlin’ Wolf Boxed Up from Hip-o Select

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The name Chester Arthur Burnett might not mean anything to the average music fan, but mention his famous nickname – Howlin’ Wolf – and the game changes. Howlin’ Wolf was one of the pioneers of the blues, a legend on the Chicago scene and a powerful force to be reckoned with on the electric guitar.

Hip-o Select celebrates his lengthy legacy through a new four-disc box set of recordings for his longtime home base, Chess Records. Wolf was signed to Leonard Chess’ label in 1951, and began to craft some of the most rip-roaring tunes and performances of the genre, from “Moanin’ at Midnight” to “Smokestack Lightnin’.” His popularity among British blues musicians was typically sterling; The Rolling Stones got him on a 1965 appearance on the Brit variety show Shindig!, and Stones Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts joined Wolf, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood and Ian Stewart on the 1970 LP The London Howlin’ Wolf Sessions.

Wolf passed away in 1976, leaving behind a comfortable legacy and a loving family (he did not suffer the iniquities commonly associated with blues musicianship), and this legacy remains strong today; he was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and “Smokestack Lightnin'” entered the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Now, Select’s exhaustive collection – featuring all of his early singles for Chess as well as numerous alternates and outtakes (including 17 tracks never before released on disc in the U.S.), all in a nicely-designed box with a 45-page book of liner notes – provides the definitive Wolf pack, if ever there was one.

Order your copy and check out the track list after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

September 26, 2011 at 14:18

UPDATED: What Is The “Pink Floyd Sampler” Coming From Best Buy?

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Browsers of Sunday morning’s Best Buy circular might have been surprised to find Pink Floyd Sampler pictured among the long-awaited titles arriving Tuesday as the first salvo in EMI’s Why Pink Floyd? reissue series.  Though the electronics retailer is also offering both the Discovery (single-disc) and Immersion (4 CD/1 DVD/1 BD) box set editions of Dark Side of the Moon (1973) as well as the Discovery box set collecting fourteen remastered albums from the classic rockers, the Best Buy-exclusive Sampler, priced on sale at $9.99, receives the most prominent position in the advertisement.  (For those wondering, the 2-CD Experience edition of Dark Side is absent from the ad.)

Priced at $9.99, the Sampler promises “early access to re-mastered [sic] and unreleased Pink Floyd songs,” according to the sticker on the CD’s packaging.

So what does that mean, exactly?

Unsurprisingly, Best Buy’s own website offers little to no additional information on the release at the time of this writing, though the site is accepting orders for it!  But The Second Disc is on the case.  You’ll find an update below.  But first, it’s important to understand the three-tiered program launching on Tuesday. 

The Discovery discs offer Guthrie’s 2011 remasters of the original studio albums with no additional audio content, although each adds a new booklet with complete lyrics. Designer Storm Thorgerson, of course, is responsible for new artwork. These albums are available separately or in a box set collecting them all.

Experience editions expand classic Floyd albums in digipak format with second discs of unreleased archival material, plus the customary expanded booklets. Three albums will be presented in this format: The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975) and The Wall (1979). And those same three albums will be available in Immersion editions: 29 cm square boxes containing extra remastered, previously unreleased and audio-visual material, plus reproduced memorabilia, brand new graphics, art prints, collectors’ items, lavish booklets and more. More titles in these two deluxe formats may be confirmed in the future by EMI and the band.

So, what is the Best Buy-exclusive Sampler?  Hit the jump for more! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 26, 2011 at 12:03

Motown Commemorates Supremes’, Temptations’ Golden Anniversary with Two New Releases

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Motown’s 50th anniversary was celebrated in style in 2009 – a year before The Second Disc even existed – with some excellent box sets and reissues. But this year marks another important set of golden anniversaries for the label: the debut of Motown’s world famous groups, The Supremes and The Temptations. And no commemoration would be complete without a little bit of product to attract fans and collectors.

With that in mind, Hip-o Select announced over the weekend a pair of triple-disc sets commemorating the singles (both A- and B-sides) of each group for their 50th anniversaries. The Supremes’ 50th Anniversary: The Singles Collection 1961-1969 focuses exclusively on the years Diana Ross led the legendary girl group. But that focus means you get the lesser-told parts of the narrative, too: the group’s early flop singles leading up to that glorious run of five No. 1 singles in 1964 and 1965; a rare Phil Spector-produced radio single; the excellent foreign sides collected on Motown Around the World: The Classic Singles and more.

The same red-carpet treatment is afforded for The Temptations on their set, going through “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “Psychedelic Shack” and “Just My Imagination (Running Away from Me),” in addition to the typical bonus fare – international singles, early rarities and – in a bit of overlap between The Supremes’ set – all of the original A- and B-sides that brought both groups together. While the set only covers the band’s first decade, thereby leaving out a major hit in “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” the song selection is a thorough overview for fans with money to spare.

Of course, collectors have one burning question about this set…and we’re going to do our best to answer it after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 26, 2011 at 11:23

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet: B.T.O. and Collins Releases Coming From Audio Fidelity

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Audio Fidelity has reached overdrive.  Bachman-Turner Overdrive, that is.  On October 18, the audiophile specialist label will release on 24K Gold CD the third album by BTO, 1974’s Not Fragile.  It will be joined by Audio Fidelity’s third reissue from the Phil Collins catalogue, 1982’s Hello, I Must Be Going!, the singer’s second solo album.

Bachman-Turner Overdrive arose from the ashes of the band Brave Belt, formed by Randy Bachman and Chad Allan, bandmates in The Guess Who.  When Allan departed after Brave Belt’s 1971 debut album, C.F. “Fred” Turner stepped in for lead vocal duty on Brave Belt II the following year.  Brave Belt III was in the works when it was decided to release the LP under a new name reportedly inspired by a trucking magazine, Overdrive.  But the new moniker better reflected the heavier direction the music created by Turner and the Bachman brothers (Randy, Robbie and Tim) was taking: Bachman-Turner Overdrive.  Not Fragile furthered the heavy sound of BTO’s first two platters, with beefy dual guitar solos by Randy Bachman and Blair Thornton (who had replaced Tim in the band) prominent on a number of tracks.  It became the first and only BTO album to hit the No. 1 spot in the U.S., powered by the strength of the single “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,” penned and sung by Randy, which also hit No. 1.  “Roll On Down the Highway,” written by Turner and Bachman with the former on lead vocal, was another successful song to receive heavy FM airplay at the time of the album’s release.  Not Fragile remains a cornerstone in the BTO catalogue as well as of the heavy and arena rock genres.  Kevin Gray has remastered Not Fragile for the new edition.

Phil Collins is waiting for you after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 26, 2011 at 09:14