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Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for February 22nd, 2012

Groovy Kind of Reissue: Bear Family Expands Early Mindbenders Album

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By the time Eric, Rick, Wayne, Bob was released by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders in 1965, the band was essentially a defunct unit.  Wayne Fontana (the former Glyn Geoffrey Ellis) had dreamed of solo stardom from the start, and he wasn’t shy about those aspirations.  Eric Stewart, later of Hotlegs and 10cc, recalled in 1994 that Fontana “just walked off stage [during an October 1965 show] one night.  I remember he said, ‘It’s all yours.’  And we actually carried on and did the regular show without him…He had been hinting that he wanted to go out on his own for some time.”  Stewart, Ric Rothwell and Bob Lang soldiered on without Fontana, both that night and as an ongoing recording concern.  They even eclipsed their early successes like “The Game of Love” with a Carole Bayer (pre-Sager)/Toni Wine composition by the name of “A Groovy Kind of Love.”  But Bear Family is now taking listeners back to those waning days of 1965 for an expanded reissue of the band’s second and final album with Fontana, Eric, Rick, Wayne, Bob.  Scheduled for release on March 12, the deluxe edition adds nine bonus tracks to the original album including rare single B-sides and the rare Walking on Air EP.

A product of the lively Manchester music scene, Fontana and the Mindbenders scored a minor British Top 50 hit with their very first single in 1963 (a cover of Fats Domino’s “My Girl Josephine,” retitled “Hello, Josephine”) but didn’t break stateside until 1965 with a cover of Clint Ballard’s “The Game of Love.”  The catchy ditty went all the way to the top in the U.S. and back home in England climbed to No. 2.  The band’s initial album had arrived in Britain in December 1964, with the U.S. edition on the Fontana label arriving just three months later with a typically altered line-up for American buyers. 

What’s on Bear Family’s expanded reissue?  Hit the jump for more on the story of Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 22, 2012 at 13:05

Double-O Vision: Burt Bacharach’s “Casino Royale” Expanded and Remastered…Again!

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Seven James Bonds at Casino Royale/They came to save the world and win the gal at Casino RoyaleSix of them went to a heavenly spot, the seventh one is going to a place where it’s terribly hot…

Hal David’s lyric captures just a small fraction of the insanity of Charles K. Feldman’s 1967 Casino Royale, the big-budget comic extravaganza that was “too much…for one James Bond!”  And so, David Niven as James Bond was joined by 007s of all shapes and sizes (and genders!), and even by his nephew, Jimmy Bond, portrayed by Woody Allen.  But the iconoclastic score by Burt Bacharach was too much for one soundtrack album, too.  We’ve told the entire (sordid?) tale of the film here, so if you’re not caught up with this Bacharach bacchanal, do click, and join us later.  Back?  Good.  Following two CD reissues on the Varese Sarabande label, a DVD-A from Classic Records and a 2010 edition from Kritzerland that many listeners (including this writer) considered the last word on Casino Royale, Spain’s Quartet Records has thrown its hat into the ring.  Quartet has just announced a 45th Anniversary edition of Bacharach’s seminal score, and it’s a doozy, a slipcased 2-CD set with two booklets, one of which is 64 pages in length.  Yes, Casino Royale is back yet again!  This follows Quartet’s remastered edition of Bacharach’s score to What’s New Pussycat?, the earlier Feldman-produced film also starring Peter Sellers and Woody Allen.

Quartet’s ambitious set not only commemorates the 45th anniversary of this monument to Hollywood excess but also the 50th anniversary of Ian Fleming’s James Bond franchise.  Though the film is hardly canon for the long-running series, its greatest asset is a score that can stand alongside the best of the official Bond scores composed by the legendary John Barry.  Dusty Springfield sang the Academy Award-nominated “The Look of Love” over a scene in which Peter Sellers and Ursula Andress are cavorting, as viewed through a giant fish tank; Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass contribute the instrumental title theme.

Kritzerland’s sold-out expanded edition of Casino Royale (Kritzerland KR 20017-6) offered the score in two presentations.  On the first half of the CD, Bacharach’s music was presented in film order, with material not on the original Colgems album including the climactic song performed by Mike Redway, “Have No Fear, Bond is Here.”  The original album master and the film’s DVD were both utilized for this presentation.   The second half of the disc was the original LP sequence, mastered from a mint vinyl copy, with no added EQ or processing; as good as that sounds (its best yet!), the new, complete presentation made this the definitive treatment of a classic score to date.  What is Quartet bringing to the table?  Hit the jump to find out! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 22, 2012 at 09:47