The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for February 23rd, 2012

Talk Talk to Be Reissued on CD and Vinyl

leave a comment »

If you’ve found yourself wanting to hip yourself to British rockers Talk Talk, EMI is giving you a chance to do so this spring, when they will release straight reissues of most of the band’s output.

Known primarily as a trio consisting of singer Mark Hollis, bassist Paul Webb and drummer Lee Harris (though featuring keyboardist Simon Brenner from 1981 to 1983 and unofficial fourth member/keyboardist/producer/songwriter Tim Friese-Greene afterward), Talk Talk started as a band in the New Romantic vein, opening for Duran Duran and working with their first producer, Colin Thurston. During the mid-’80s, with an increasingly experimental batch of songs, the group actually had a solid brush with success in Europe and even the U.S., thanks primarily to the catchy single “It’s My Life,” the band’s only Top 40 hit in America and highest-charting single in England. (Younger fans might know it through a cover version recorded by No Doubt in 2003, which peaked within Billboard‘s Top 10.)

The group’s last two albums for Parlophone/EMI, 1986’s The Colour of Spring and 1988’s Spirit of Eden, were successful steps away from synthpop and toward more artier, straightforward rock and beyond. But a protracted legal battle to get out of their contract and a shift in personnel ultimately exhausted the group. Hollis and Friese-Greene recorded Laughing Stock for Polydor in 1991 under the Talk Talk name, and the group disbanded afterward. (Hollis would release a solo album in 1998 before retiring from the business altogether.)

On April 10, the band’s four EMI-controlled albums – 1982’s The Party’s Over, 1984’s It’s My Life and The Colour of Spring and The Spirit of Eden – are being reissued. There are no bonus tracks, and the discs will be struck from the same digital mastering of the catalogue as released in 1997. For vinyl lovers, there is a bit of excitement, though: Spring and Eden are getting reissued on double-vinyl as well (only the latter looks to be available on Amazon U.K. as of this writing). And, for what it’s worth, EMI is giving away a bundle of these as well.

Written by Mike Duquette

February 23, 2012 at 11:55

Posted in News, Reissues, Vinyl

From Motown to the Bay Area! The Apollas’ “Absolutely Right!” and Eddie Holland’s “It Moves Me: The Complete Recordings 1958-1964” Available Now

leave a comment »

Are you thinking you should take a chance on Ace Records’ supremely soulful duo of releases from The Apollas and Eddie Holland?  If so…you’re absolutely right!  For The Apollas’ Absolutely Right: The Complete Tiger, Loma and Warner Bros. Recordings (Kent CDKEND 365, 2012) and Holland’s It Moves Me: The Complete Recordings 1958-1964 (Ace CDTOP2 1331, 2012) both belong on the shelf of any serious fan of classic soul and R&B.

If you haven’t heard of The Apollas, you’re forgiven.  This Bay Area girl trio didn’t see much chart action, but the 25 mid-sixties tracks compiled here by Alec Palao (including five unreleased titles) prove that their output was first class.  Top tier talents like Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, Artie Butler, Barry White, Jimmy Wisner, Billy Vera, Dick Glasser and H.B. Barnum were behind these recordings.  With a pedigree like that, it’s hard to believe that these sides have languished for so long.  The music on Absolutely Right! sounds better than ever, and should raise more than a few eyebrows.

Like so many African-American artists of the era, and indeed, still today, the members of The Apollas began their vocal careers in church.  The Apollas then honed their sound working nightclub engagements and teen nights at Disneyland, and even added a soulful touch to the recordings of their early patron, Frankie “Jezebel” Laine!  The gospel background of lead singer Leola Jiles always shines through, adding an extra layer of passion to unlikely material like Don Everly’s “Who Would Want Me Now.”  Just as delicious is the Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry composition “He Ain’t No Angel” and the smoldering “You’ll Always Have Me” from the pen of Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson.  Nearly one-third of the collection’s cuts were written by that famed duo, sometimes with their frequent collaborator Josephine Armstead.  The songs of the trio were previously celebrated by Ace with The Real Thing: The Songs of Ashford, Simpson and Armstead (CDKEND 318) on which The Apollas’ “Mr. Creator” (“Won’t you hear my prayer?”) appears.  Every color of the Ashford and Simpson palette is employed, from the storming “You’re Absolutely Right” to the eminently danceable “I Just Can’t Get Enough of You.”  Hit the jump for more on The Apollas, plus Eddie Holland, too! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 23, 2012 at 09:39


with one comment

As the above image shows, it’s finally true: La-La Land Records is releasing an expanded edition of John Williams’ stirring score to Steven Spielberg’s 1991 adventure film Hook, a modern updating of the Peter Pan mythology, on March 27. In my excitement last night, I sent an e-mail to the LLL staff thanking them for putting this release together; Joe rather brilliantly suggested that the letter would find a good audience among our dear readers, who no doubt know the feeling of excitement when beloved music is released from the vaults. We’ll be posting full details of the set as they arrive, but today we share the simple joy of knowing that soon enough, Hook will be heard like never before.

To MV and the LLL staff,

Without question, I imagine you’re getting a lot of e-mails and messages in praise for releasing the expanded edition of John Williams’ beloved score to Hook. Let me add my words to that growing pile.
Hook was the second film I saw in a movie theater. (I realize how old that may make some of you feel, and genuinely apologize.) I was taken by the visuals to a degree, but what really amped my four-year-old brain was the beautiful music that accompanied Peter Banning’s adventures. When I was old enough to read, and realized that the Hook score was penned by the man that also wrote the music to my favorite film, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, I was enthralled.
Thus began a journey into film score enthusiasm that influenced a genuine love for catalogue titles in the music business. The work that La-La Land and other labels do in rescuing and presenting beloved soundtracks to a devoted audience deserves to be shouted from the highest mountain. It was in that mindset that I started The Second Disc, a website covering reissues, box sets and other catalogue music ephemera in 2010. Last year, amid a year of great gains for the site and its staff of co-writer Joe Marchese and myself, MV was kind enough to take time out of a whirlwind schedule to answer some interview questions we’d prepared. What has always been a personal thrill – the immersion into soundtracks that play our emotions perfectly – got a little more thrilling, thanks to your kindness in showing our readers what it is you do.
With a new year, a never-ending slate of reissue news to report and a continuously-increasing readership, I speak for Joe and myself in saying it is a blessing to take a small piece of the dream by informing our readers what you and dozens of other great labels are doing to preserve and honor some of the most exalted music in pop cultural history. I will be one of thousands strong buying Hook next month and I cannot wait to excite my readers with this news.
It’s cliched, but you guys have proven it with your loving treatment of great music: to live – and to listen to this work – will be an awfully big adventure.

Written by Mike Duquette

February 23, 2012 at 09:22