The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for November 9th, 2011

From “Space” to “The Bottom of the Sea” in La-La Land’s Penultimate Releases for 2011

leave a comment »

La-La Land Records inched closer to the end of their 2011 reissue slate yesterday with a pair of sci-fi-oriented releases – one a reissue, and one appearing for the first time anywhere.

Television fans are going to enjoy the label’s newly-released three-disc set of music from the cult classic series Space: Above and Beyond. Though it only ran for one season, the scope of the show – a planned, five-year saga about a war between Earth and an alien race in the mid-21st century – anticipated the popularity of sci-fi series in the late ’90s and early ’00s such as Stargate SG-1 and the reboot of Battlestar Galactica. The score, composed by the late Shirley Walker, evoked the urgent action of her earlier, widely-acclaimed scores to various DC Comics productions, including Batman: The Animated Series and The Flash (both of which have received loving reissues from the label).

La-La Land’s other reissue this week is a special 50th anniversary edition of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Irwin Allen’s beloved sci-fi fantasy, composed by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter and featuring a main title song by film co-star Frankie Avalon. While this set is identical in content to a disc released by Film Score Monthly in 2001, this reissue fixes a cue whose master was damaged.

Voyage is limited to 2,000 units while Space: Above and Beyond is capped at 3,000. It’s of course worth noting that four titles from La-La Land have yet to be released, all on Friday, November 25. (Speculation is running high as to what those titles will be!)

Order links and full discographical information are after the jump!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

November 9, 2011 at 17:06

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks

Dreams Stay With You: Big Country’s Debut to Be Expanded With Archival Demos

with 4 comments

It looks like we’ve got the first deluxe edition of 2012 locked down – at least across the pond. Scottish band Big Country today announced the details for a new expansion of their fantastic debut, The Crossing, to coincide with a 30th anniversary tour across the United Kingdom. (The band reunited first in 2007 and again in 2010, both times with new vocalist Mike Peters of The Alarm, replacing late lead singer/guitarist Stuart Adamson, who died in 2001.)

Released in 1983, The Crossing was a killer first album for the Scottish band, thanks to a clutch of fantastic, almost theatric folk-infused rockers from the collective pen of the group (Adamson, guitarist Bruce Watson, bassist Tony Butler and drummer Mark Brzezicki), Watson and Adamson’s rich landscape of guitar tones and the production of one Steve Lillywhite, who applied the same magic to The Crossing that he did on the first three albums by an ambitious, guitar-driven band from Ireland named U2.

The results were phenomenal: The Crossing peaked at No. 3 in the U.K. and was a solid Top 20 album in the U.S., where the album’s “In a Big Country” was a Top 20 single and still one of the high points of ’80s pop-rock. (Closer to home, “Fields of Fire” and “Chance” were Top 10 hits, as well.)

With a healthy following, both fans and sales-wise, it’s not hard to see why Universal is rolling out a double-disc edition of the album. (It’s actually the third CD reissue of the record, following a U.K. expansion in 1996 that added four B-sides and a U.S. re-release in 2002 which featured the alternate version of “Chance” released as a single and the entirety of the 1984 EP Wonderland.) This double-disc release features all seven of the non-LP B-sides from the singles released from The Crossing, as well as a bonus disc of demos, ten of which are being released for the first time. (Of particular interest to longtime fans is a trio of four-track demos from 1981 and four demos produced by Chris Thomas, noted producer for The Sex Pistols, The Pretenders and INXS, who helmed the band’s debut single, “Harvest Home.”)

The package will be out January 30, days before the band’s Crossing the Country tour kicks off in England. Hit the jump to pre-order your copy on Amazon and see the track list (as generously bestowed upon the world by Slicing Up Eyeballs).

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

November 9, 2011 at 11:36

Posted in Big Country, News, Reissues

Review: Pink Floyd, “Wish You Were Here: Immersion Box Set”

with 30 comments

Maybe it should have been called Wish You Were Here: Unwrapped.

There’s no dark shrinkwrap on the new Immersion Box Set of Pink Floyd’s 1975 Wish You Were Here, the album that followed the landmark Dark Side of the Moon.  The original LP pressing of the album, of course, was wrapped and adorned with a “four elements” sticker, obscuring the photograph that gives the album its cover.  The 3-CD/1-DVD/1-BD Immersion edition (EMI 50999 029435 2, 2011) is not only “naked,” but offers a different, equally striking cover photograph (with the faceless salesman of the original back cover), and even more surprisingly, proffers a sense of humor on first glance.  Above the album’s title is the simple banner “Ceci n’est pas une boite.”  For those not versed in French, the translation is “This is not a box.”  It’s a play on the works of painter Rene Magritte, who dabbled in impressionism and frequently blurred the lines between reality and illusion.  Magritte’s works pointed out that no matter how closely we may come to depicting an object accurately, we never do capture the item itself.   So it’s appropriate that Wish You Were Here is unwrapped in more detail than ever before across the riches in this box set, but still as opaque and mysterious as ever.

Like Dark Side of the Moon, the album which preceded Wish You Were Here both in Pink Floyd’s catalogue and this series of remasters, the weighty Immersion box set is certainly not a triumph of restraint, but perhaps is one of excess.  (You’ll find our Dark Side review here!)  The set of nine Pink Floyd coasters is back – is anyone actually going to unwrap these and set a beer down on one?  There’s another scarf for the fashion-inclined.  And there are those damn glass marbles and accompanying pouch!  More interesting are the three booklets (one the main attraction, plus one of photographs and one of credits), two envelopes filled with “collectors’ cards” and memorabilia replicas, and an art print.  Everything’s been designed by the band’s longtime associate Storm Thorgerson and his StormStudios, so it looks expectedly good.  There are small but crucial improvements on the design of the DSOTM box set (more on those later).  But ultimately all of these components take a back seat to the music, or the Wish You Were Here album.

Like DSOTM, Wish You Were Here has a strong thematic spine that might account for its longevity after all of these years.  It’s, perhaps by design, a less distant, more emotional album than that landmark song cycle.  Hovering over the entirety of Wish You Were Here is the specter of founding Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett, whose personal demons forced him to depart the band in 1968.  Though now sadly departed, Barrett was very much alive in 1975 and his return to the studio during the album’s making has become the unfortunate stuff of legend.  The sole credited lyricist of the album’s songs, Roger Waters, has been ambivalent about Barrett’s influence on the album.  Of the album’s nine-part epic “Shine On, You Crazy Diamond,” Waters once said, “It was very strange. The lyrics were written, and the lyrics are the bit of the song about Syd, the rest of it could be about anything, I don’t why I started writing those lyrics about Syd… but it was a long time before the ‘Wish You Were Here’ recording sessions when Syd’s state could be seen as being symbolic of the general state of the group: very fragmented.”  Yet, consciously or otherwise, Barrett’s spirit and story are palpable as Wish You Were Here addresses the theme of absence from various angles.

Wish you’d join us after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 9, 2011 at 10:42

Posted in Box Sets, Features, News, Pink Floyd, Reviews

Tagged with