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Archive for October 13th, 2011

And Here’s To You, Mr. Simon: Paul Simon Mulls “Graceland” Box Set and Tour, Reflects On His Career With “Songwriter” (UPDATED)

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How terribly strange to be seventy.

Today, October 13, Paul Simon reaches that milestone, over forty-three years after he first mused what it would be like to be sitting on that park bench with his friend, like bookends.  Yet in that time, Simon’s music has remained resonant and timely, a point driven home when the singer paid tribute on September 11, 2011 to the fallen at New York City’s Ground Zero with a poignant performance of “The Sound of Silence.”  His music has been a soundtrack to countless lives, bringing particular solace to a wounded nation in the aftermath of those 2001 attacks with a performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” on America: A Tribute to Heroes, and “The Boxer” on the first live episode of Saturday Night Live to air after that pivotal day.  David Bowie even used Simon’s “America” to open The Concert for New York City on October 20, 2001.  Chances are those memories, along with so many others, will surface soon as Simon launches a number of retrospective projects.  First up is the release of Songwriter, a new 2-CD, 32-track compilation curated by Simon himself.  The first recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, Simon has drawn on the entirety of his career for Songwriter, beginning with three Simon and Garfunkel songs, and ending with selections from 2011’s So Beautiful or So What.

Simon’s old friend Art Garfunkel is conspicuous by his absence on Songwriter, although “The Sound of Silence,” “The Boxer” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” have been chosen to lead off the new anthology, covering Simon’s early years as one-half of the most famous folk-rock duo of all time.  “The Sound of Silence” is heard in a previously-unissued performance from Webster Hall, recorded this year, while “The Boxer” is drawn from Simon’s 1991 Central Park concert and “Bridge” is heard in Aretha Franklin’s rendition of the Simon song.  (Franklin’s incendiary take on the song won her a Grammy Award, one of the few times both the original and a cover version of a song took home the Grammy gold.)  “Bridge” is the only song included in a non-Simon recording.

That’s not all, though.  Simon recently told Phil Gallo of Billboard that the 25th anniversary of his landmark album Graceland won’t go unrecognized.  Although the actual anniversary was August 12 of this year, plans are currently underway for both a tour and a box set celebrating the occasion.  Simon told Billboard he intends to reunite a number of the musicians who toured with him in 1987, among them the South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.  This past July, Simon performed in South Africa with Ladysmith Black Mambazo as well as pioneering musician Hugh Masekela for a small audience of 300.  The concert was captured on film by director Joe Berlinger, with plans to release it as part of a documentary DVD to be included in the upcoming Graceland box set.  Simon commented, “The documentary took me back to the artistic aspects and the political aspects of making Graceland and the controversy that surrounded it and how it was resolved, plus what remains of it and what we learn from it.”  Although originally issued by Warner Bros. Records, the Graceland box will arrive courtesy our friends at Sony’s Legacy Recordings as part of the deal that has brought together Simon’s solo catalogue with that of his Simon and Garfunkel discography.  (The lone exception is Simon’s 2011 So Beautiful or So What, released by Concord and Hear Music.)  Both tour and box set could arrive next May.

Hit the jump for more information on these momentous projects, including the full track listing of Songwriter with discographical information! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 13, 2011 at 13:31

Intrada Scares Up Some Special Soundtracks

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It’s always a cause for celebration when a label gets some long-lost piece of music out to the public for consumption. And Intrada’s special mid-week batch of archival film scores is no different, offering two premiere horror scores, one of which was presumed lost for years.

First up is the score to Fright Night, the 1985 horror classic (recently remade this past summer) about a teen who has to stop his next-door neighbor, a bloodthirsty vampire, from feeding on the innocent. The score is the other major film score credit for composer Brad Fiedel, who used his synthesizer talents to great, thematic, suspenseful effect. The full score, long feared lost, is presented from original 1/4″ two-track masters provided by both Sony and the composer; while the complete score was largely sourced from slightly noisier 7.5 i.p.s. tapes, a 15-minute opening suite presents the score as heard from the cleaner 15 i.p.s. tapes, utilizing every possible quality source.

Intrada also unveils the score to Funeral Home, the final work by renowned composer Jerry Fielding (an Oscar nominee for The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs and The Outlaw Josey Wales). An intense, occasionally atonal score has been preserved in full from original 24-track session masters; however, as the score was recorded under the watch of the Canadian Musician’s Union (rather than the typical American Federation of Musicians that score fans well know in terms of licensing and reuse fees), necessary fees have led to a slightly higher price tag of $29.99. But as with many of Intrada’s releases, the worth far outweighs the cost.

Both titles will ship after October 18 and can be ordered now. Hit the jump for the full scoop!

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 13, 2011 at 11:36

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks