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Archive for September 29th, 2011

Slipknot Return to “Iowa” for 10th Anniversary

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Iowa is more than Johnny Carson and John Wayne’s home state. It’s also the name of one of the heaviest metal albums of the past decade, by the native sons of Slipknot. The landmark album is being reissued this fall by Roadrunner Records, adding a bonus CD of live rarities and a DVD of video treasures.

With their attention-grabbing wardrobe of numbered jumpsuits and off-the-wall masks, a frenetic musical style augmented by unique percussive elements and a rough-and-tumble live stage presence, Slipknot has long stood head and shoulders above the crowded alt-metal scene of the early 2000s. But sophomore album Iowa found the band at a bit of a crossroads: band tension was at an all-time high, and addiction, management conflicts and production delays only exacerbated the situation. “When we did Iowa,” drummer Shawn “Clown” Crahan told Revolver in 2008, “we hated each other. We hated the world; the world hated us.”

But that hate became significantly easier to work through upon Iowa‘s release. Fans were elated with hard-hitting tracks like “Left Behind,” “My Plauge” and “I Am Hated,” and the album was a strong commercial success, debuting in Billboard‘s Top 5, topping the U.K. album charts and ultimately earning two Grammy nominations. Slipknot would embark on a world tour and a three-year hiatus before coming back with the strong Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses in 2004.

Roadrunner’s 10th anniversary reissue is heavy with bonus material. In addition to brand-new artwork and a bonus track, a new mix of “My Plague,” a bonus CD includes all of the live performances as captured on the Disasterpieces concert video from 2002. A bonus DVD features Goat, a new hour-long documentary on the album and its aftermath directed by Crahan and four music videos. The new package drops November 1 and can be pre-ordered after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 29, 2011 at 15:22

Posted in News, Reissues, Slipknot

Don’t Mess with the Messer: Gold Legion Reissues Early Grace Jones Albums

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With her striking, even fearsome, physical appearance, distinctive voice and commitment to only the most danceable of music – a commitment that’s netted her scores of Top 10 hits on Billboard‘s dance charts – it’s safe to say there is no one quite like Grace Jones. Now, thanks to the efforts of the Gold Legion label, part of Jones’ oft-overlooked early history is coming back out on compact disc.

Jones’ discography is considered most bountiful during her time on Island Records, working with producers Chris Blackwell and Alex Sadkin on records like Warm Leatherette (1980), Nightclubbing (1981) and Slave to the Rhythm (1985). But before that, she recorded a trilogy of albums, also on Island, with disco legend Tom Moulton that set the groundwork for the rest of her career.

The albums – 1977’s Portfolio, 1978’s Fame and 1979’s Muse – all follow a very similar pattern. The first side of each album features a lengthy, continuous presentation of songs, sometimes around a similar theme (Portfolio features three showtunes – Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns,” “What I Did for Love” from A Chorus Line and “Tomorrow” from Annie – while Muse‘s song cycle centers on songs about sin and salvation). Each second side is a non-continuous, non-thematic side, sometimes featuring notable songs in French (“La Vie en Rose” on Portfolio, “Autumn Leaves (Les feuilles mortes)” on Fame, featuring English lyrics by Johnny Mercer). While all were respectable hits in nightclubs, particularly those lengthy side-long medleys, their releases dovetailed with the growing anti-disco backlash, forcing Jones to change her style and thereby leading to the gloriously off-the-wall music that would make her a star in the ’80s.

Gold Legion is now bringing the last two of Jones’ Moulton-produced albums to CD, one of which makes its debut on the format. (Fame was released on CD in Europe and Australia under PolyGram’s Karussell/Spectrum imprints in 1993 – a disc that commands very high prices on the secondary market.) While no bonus material is included – a few international bonus cuts would have been viable additions to Fame – it’s certainly a blast to have them on CD for a relatively more affordable price. Both discs are remastered from the original tapes and feature new liner notes by Christian John Wikane, a contributing editor for PopMatters.

Order links and track lists are after the jump. (Thanks to super reader Dean Harris for the tip!) Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

September 29, 2011 at 14:59

Posted in Grace Jones, News, Reissues

Perversion! “The First Nudie Musical” Arrives On CD and Blu-Ray

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Few disputed the title of 1976’s The First Nudie Musical.  And if there’s been a second nudie musical, nobody’s told me about it.  But even if a second one does exist, chances are it doesn’t have a fraction of the satirical charm of the film described by the New York Post’s Judith Crist as “the Star Wars of nudie musicals!”  In fact, the Paramount Picture sat just beneath the science-fiction behemoth and the James Bond thriller The Spy Who Loved Me during its first week of wide release in 1977.  Though The First Nudie Musical received a “26th Anniversary Edition” DVD release in 2002 (with the first run of the DVDs also including a soundtrack CD), it’s taken another nine years for the film to receive the deluxe treatment.  That red carpet is being rolled out by Kritzerland, the stage and screen specialist label founded by Bruce Kimmel, writer, co-director and star of the only movie musical to feature the showstopping “Dancing Dildos” and “Lesbian, Butch, Dyke.”  (Mark Haggard co-directed with Kimmel.)  As Mike reported back on September 20, Kritzerland is bringing Nudie Musical into the 21st century with its Blu-Ray debut.  But there’s more!  An expanded edition of the Original Soundtrack Recording is also coming on CD.

The cult classic satire was declared by Joseph Gelmis of Newsday to be “one of the most memorable movies of the year,” while the New York Times’ Janet Maslin opined, “at the conclusion of The First Nudie Musical, Stephen Nathan and Cindy Williams, a clean-scrubbed couple with matching pug noses, decide to get married, he proposing shyly and she all aglow. This show of naiveté, however touching, comes as something of a surprise, since the pair have just shuffled their way through a musical number about oral sex.”  The film, indeed, offers a mix of the sweet and the risqué.  There’s something for everybody in its zany story of a ragtag group’s efforts to make a movie musical entitled Come…Come Now!  It starred Stephen Nathan of Godspell as the producer, Cindy Williams just prior to her Laverne and Shirley breakthrough as his sassy tap-dancing secretary, Alexandra Morgan as the leading lady, Diana Canova of Soap as fiery Cuban Juanita, and Bruce Kimmel as the director putting it all together.  Canova appears on the film’s soundtrack, along with Annette O’Toole and the Tony Award-winning actress and singer Debbie Gravitte (formerly Shapiro).  Even future superstar director Ron Howard has a cameo in the film!  (And for those wondering, the answer is no!  America’s sweetheart Williams doesn’t go nude in the movie.)

As Adam Jahnke of The Digital Bits put it, “This is probably the most innocent, inoffensive movie ever set against the backdrop of pornographic filmmaking.”  That good-hearted spirit is in evidence throughout the film and its soundtrack.  The 35th Anniversary CD contains the original soundtrack recording as well as the newly arranged soundtrack to Nick Redman’s documentary, From Dollars To Donuts: An Undressing Of The First Nudie Musical, which has the Nudie songs arranged by Grant Geissman, the noted composer of Two-And-A-Half Men and Mike and Molly. The booklet contains liner notes by Nick Redman and Bruce Kimmel.

For full specs on both releases, plus track listing and pre-order links, just hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 29, 2011 at 14:10

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks

Doors Manager: “L.A. Woman” Box Delayed to 2012, Black Friday Vinyl Box Due

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The fall is upon us, and we all know what that means: the holiday shopping season is right around the corner.  Like so many years in recent memory, 2011 is marked by a crowded field of super deluxe catalogue boxes, from venerable artists like Pink Floyd, Elvis Presley, Sting, The Who, Nirvana and Jethro Tull.  One more hotly-anticipated box set is Rhino’s lavish celebration of The Doors’ L.A. Woman, which celebrated its 40th anniversary back in April.  We duly passed Rhino’s initial press release on to you, which promised the deluxe edition this fall.  Later reports indicated a November release.  Now, an unexpected announcement has come straight from the source – Jeff Jampol, The Doors’ manager – that L.A. Woman has been delayed to the start of 2012, at the earliest.

In a statement made to The Doors’ official forum, Jampol indicated that Elektra founder Jac Holzman has signed on to help supervise a “Year of the Doors” program, beginning this November with the Black Friday release of a seven-inch vinyl box set for participating Record Store Day retailers.  Jampol confirms that the Super Deluxe 5-CD L.A. Woman is still in the works, along with an array of other projects including two digital apps and two CD box sets dedicated to the band’s London Fog and Matrix performances.  Doors producer/engineer Bruce Botnick is also involved in the upcoming “Year of the Doors” campaign, and has suggested “remastering and recutting of certain lacquers…regarding final mixes (he came up with some brilliant finds/opinions/solutions/suggestions on some vinyl material).”

For the complete text of Jeff Jampol’s statement, just hit the jump!  Watch this space for more details on L.A. Woman and “The Year of the Doors” as it arrives. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 29, 2011 at 10:11