The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for December 14th, 2011

The Second Day of Second Discmas

leave a comment »

It’s The Second Day of Second Discmas, our special form of holiday greetings to our loyal readers, and we’ve got another round of awesome giveaways for you today.

Today, we’ve got another gift for you from our friends at Legacy Recordings. Sony’s reissue arm has been diligent lately in releasing works from the esteemed Philles Records catalogue, from a series of greatest-hits albums to a fantastic, bonus-filled box of vintage albums from the label’s discography. On The Second Day of Second Discmas, we give to thee a trio of teenage symphonies: three copies of The Essential Phil Spector, a two-disc compilation of Spector-produced hits from The Ronettes, The Crystals, Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans, The Righteous Brothers, Ike & Tina Turner and more, are yours to win!

Now, as our prizes are only getting bigger and better from here, we want as many people as possible to get the chance to win. So we’re giving you a few extra chances to earn some prizes:  not only can you enter by sending an e-mail to theseconddisc (at) gmail (dot) com, but you can be eligible to win with each new day by visiting our Facebook page and “liking” this post as it’s cross-posted there, or following us on Twitter and retweeting this post as it’s delivered to our followers. (Now remember, when you enter once, you’re eligible to win any of our prizes over this week and the next, so make sure to spread the word – the earlier you play along, the earlier you’re eligible!)  You have until 3:00 pm EST on Thursday, December 15, to enter for The Essential Phil Spector.  If you’re emailing, indicate “Second Discmas/Phil Spector” in your subject line!

Good luck, everyone, and make sure to keep coming back to see what we’re giving away soon!

Written by Mike Duquette

December 14, 2011 at 15:00

Peter Gabriel Makes It “So” for 2012, With Your Help

with 3 comments

With the pretty-great release of orchestral reinterpretation record New Blood under his belt, Peter Gabriel is looking back again by planning a reissue of his excellent 1986 album So – scheduled for 2012, a year after its 25th anniversary – and he wants your help.

The in-development reissue is being worked on by Gabriel and his team; in the December installment of his Full Moon Updates, the singer revealed he’s working with footage that was shot for 1987’s POV, a Martin Scorsese-produced documentary featuring live concert footage from Athens, Greece, for potential inclusion in the reissue. While there’s been no concrete talk of audio extras, Gabriel is soliciting input from fans on his website.

“We want you to help us build the story of So with your own memories,” a statement on the site reads. “We would love to see your memorabilia from back in 1986. Do you have any original So merchandise, posters and tickets for the So tour? Your photos relating to the album release or the concerts? Even a diary entry from 25 years ago which tells a special story about the album release or So tour?”

Submissions are still in the early stages; as such, Gabriel’s team is only asking for small-scale scans to include on the site as opposed to higher-resolution images to use in liner notes. But he wants your input by January 9, so keep checking back for updates on what should be a most welcome reissue of this essential pop album.

Special thanks to super-reader Rudy Palma for the tip!

Written by Mike Duquette

December 14, 2011 at 14:05

Reissue Theory: R.E.M., “Holiday”

with 7 comments

Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we focus on notable albums and the reissues they may someday see. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as you likely know, and we’re celebrating with a recently-departed group of rock legends who made a few nights not-so-silent with a long running assortment of Christmas-oriented giveaways.

Not too long ago, I took part in a lively chat with my fellow Popblerd! writers/occasional co-podcasters Mike Heyliger and Zack Stiegler about various covers of Darlene Love’s classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” (Indeed, as the chat indicates, my favorite is the U2 version. Fire away in the comments!) It was a total surprise to discover that R.E.M. covered the song for what ultimately seems to be their last Christmas fan club single, with vocals from bassist Mike Mills instead of lead singer Michael Stipe.

Indeed, that led to a pretty predictable trip down the rabbit hole to remember just how much interesting stuff R.E.M. put out solely for their fan club. I think you can guess where this is going: a Reissue Theory in which Athens, Georgia’s favorite sons make with the holly and the jolly.

When R.E.M. made their transition to major-label act, signing with Warner Bros. from I.R.S. Records in 1988, they had the idea to release, as a gift to fans, a special, limited-edition single for the holidays. Typically, there would be a cover of a Christmas tune on one side (usually a classic carol, although there were some originals in the mix, along with covers of songs by Slade, The Beatles, Big Star and Vince Guaraldi). The other side would typically feature an unrelated cover or some other bonus.

While a vast majority of the singles were released on vinyl, some were released on other formats. 1997’s gift, for instance, was a VHS consisting of two performances from Washington, D.C.’s Tibetan Freedom Concert, featuring collaborations between R.E.M. and Radiohead, and most thereafter were either released on CD or DVD. (A notable exception: 2000’s blue-vinyl 45, featuring a take on The Beatles’ “Christmas Time is Here Again” and two original songs.) From 1995 to 1999, in 2001, from 2003 to 2006 and once more in 2008, none of the singles had any Christmas material at all, opting instead for otherwise-unavailable live material and the like.

There’s already been one R.E.M. compilation this year – and while even I’m tempted to believe it won’t be the last, even I can’t imagine it’d ever come to a holiday album made from years of rarities. But ’tis the season, after all, so hit the jump for a look at how that might look, with some links to hear some of the tunes as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

December 14, 2011 at 12:56

The Second Disc Buyers Guide: The 100 Greatest Reissues of All Time, Part 13 (#40-36)

with 2 comments

It’s the lucky thirteenth part of our look at the many reissues of the 100 greatest albums of all time, as selected by Rolling Stone in 2003! We’ll explore the various versions of these classic albums on disc, letting you know which audio treasures can be found on which releases. In today’s group, we get the blues, meet the Brits, head to Laurel Canyon and fall in Love! 

40. Love, Forever Changes (Elektra, 1967)

Welcome to the Top 40!  Released just months after the so-called Summer of Love, Forever Changes was the third studio album by the group simply and boldly called Love.  But more than just that four-letter word was on the mind of bandleader/songwriter Arthur Lee, who saw more than sunshine and flowers that summer.  Love traded in the punchy electric guitar sound of the group’s first two albums (and successful singles like “7 and 7 Is” and a cover of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “My Little Red Book”) for a denser, more orchestrated style that incorporated strings and horns alongside acoustic guitars.  Despite the often beautiful sound, though, Forever Changes was a song suite that referenced war, violence, drug abuse, failed romance and racial tension in songs like “A House is Not a Motel” (playing off another Bacharach/David song, “A House is Not a Home”), “The Red Telephone” and “Live and Let Live.”  Bryan MacLean contributed the album’s single “Alone Again Or” which kicked off the album in a collision of AM-meets-FM styles.

Forever Changes has always been better-regarded in the United Kingdom than in its United States birthplace; it went Top 30 in Britain but only reached No. 154 in America.  That hasn’t stopped the album’s cachet from growing every year, however, and it’s been celebrated in a number of reissues.  The original 1987 CD of Forever Changes (Elektra 74013-2) retained the original track listing of the LP, and it was included in its entirety on Rhino’s 1995 double-disc anthology Love Story.  In 2000, Rhino reissued the album with a brace of seven bonus tracks as R2 76717.  These included demos, alternate mixes, outtakes, single sides and session highlights.  A bare-bones mini-LP replica was released on CD in 2007 (Elektra/Rhino R2 74802) and a standard edition was released again (this time, in a jewel case) in 2011 at a budget price point.   In 2008, though, the Rhino label issued the most comprehensive version of the album to date.  The 2008 Collectors’ Edition (Elektra/Rhino R2 428796) featured the original album only as Disc 1, while Disc 2 included a complete Alternate Mix as well as ten more bonus tracks.  This edition, partially remastered by Steve Hoffman, is the definitive version of this album.

39. The Beatles – Please Please Me (Parlophone, 1963)

The debut long-player from Liverpool’s favorite lads, Please Please Me was rush-released by Parlophone after The Beatles had taken the United Kingdom by storm with the singles “Please Please Me” and “Love Me Do.”  Of the album’s fourteen songs (a common number for U.K. albums of the time, whereas U.S. releases usually had twelve), eight were Lennon/McCartney originals.  Ten songs were recorded in a whirlwind day to supplement the four previously-released single sides.  Under such inauspicious circumstances was a classic born by John, Paul, George and Ringo, and producer George Martin.  Originals like “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Love Me Do,” “P.S. I Love You,” “Do You Want to Know a Secret” and the title song were joined by covers of Goffin and King’s “Chains,” Burt Bacharach, Mack David and Barney Williams (Luther Dixon)’s “Baby, It’s You,” Phil Medley and Bert Russell (Bert Berns)’s “Twist and Shout,” and Bobby Scott and Ric Marlow’s  ubiquitous “A Taste of Honey.”

The original 1987 CD (Capitol CDP 7 46435-2) was the first time Please Please Me saw an American release; its tracks were released in America on such U.S.-only LPs as Vee-Jay’s Introducing…the Beatles and Capitol’s The Early Beatles.  In 2009, the entire Beatles catalogue was remastered, and a new CD of Please Please Me (Capitol 09463 82416-2) replaced the 1987 issue.  It was, of course, included in the complete Beatles stereo box set (Capitol 50999 69944-9) .  The album was also released on CD in mono as part of the Beatles in Mono box set (Parlophone/EMI 50999 69945-1, 2009).

After the jump, we’ll traverse some Muddy Waters, head west and check into the Hotel California! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 14, 2011 at 12:01

Short Takes: Digital Vault Surprises from Metallica and Duran Duran

with 3 comments

Today, we have a pair of vault releases from two acts with rich catalogues coming your way over the Internet.

If you’re a hard rock fan, the news of Metallica’s recent 30th anniversary concerts, where they  played hours of hits and rarities over four star-studded shows at San Francisco’s Fillmore West, have probably got you really excited. (They have us excited at Second Disc HQ, too, thanks to a perfectly logical assumption that any celebration of a band this beloved is bound to lead to some reissue/compilation/box set activity of some sort.) For now, though, we do have some bonuses to report from Metallica’s vaults: Beyond Magnetic, a four-track digital EP consisting of rough mixes of tracks recorded during the sessions for the band’s most recent album, 2008’s Death Magnetic. The four tracks – “Hate Train,” “Just a Bullet Away,” “Hell and Back” and “Rebel of Babylon” – were all played at Metallica’s commemorative shows and subsequently gifted to members of the band’s fan club.

“They are ROUGH mixes, unfinished to their original degree of mixing from March ’08,” the band said in a statement. “These four songs were released as gift to our closest fans, the members of our Fan Club, to enjoy. Now they’re being made available to you.” The EP will be available exclusively to iTunes for one week, after which all digital retailers will carry it.

Elsewhere, Duran Duran – currently on tour in Europe – have a most interesting treat for their more dance-oriented fans: in November, Capitol/EMI released four sets of remixes of classic hit “Girls on Film,” all commissioned in 1998 to promote the Greatest compilation and commercially unavailable since. Club and trance producers Attica Blues, Tall Paul, Salt Tank and Tin Tin Out each contributed their talents to the mixes, making for a fresh spin on an old favorite. Each set is available through all digital retailers, but Amazon U.S. has each two-to-four-track set for 99 cents each, a considerable bargain.

After the jump, enjoy purchase links and track breakdowns for all of these digital sets!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

December 14, 2011 at 11:30