The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for March 7th, 2012

In Case You Missed It: Five Times the Fun for Fats

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Ace Records has released its final volume of singles recorded by Fats Domino for the Imperial label.

The aptly-titled The Imperial Singles Volume 5: 1962-1964 features 26 tracks – including two rarer LP-only bonus tracks – taken from the end of Domino’s impressive run with Imperial label. While this era was nowhere near the commercial success of the late ’50s and early ’60s – only “Jambalaya (on the Bayou” and “You Win Again” were Top 40 hits – Fats’ work here clearly proves why he’s an elder statesman of New Orleans R&B.

This disc – described as “the least-reissued period” of his career by Ace, is presented entirely in mono but for two tracks: “Teenage Love” and “La La,” which made their debut on the 1963 stereo album Just Domino. It’s available now, and a full breakdown is ready to go after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

March 7, 2012 at 17:24

It’s Alive! FSM Inches Toward Finish Line with Their Final Herrmann Title

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Film Score Monthly’s 247th title (three more to go, folks!) is a keeper: the third-to-last score by Bernard Herrmann, for the 1974 horror flick It’s Alive!

The score to the Larry Cohen film about a murderous infant (effects of which were designed by a young Rick Baker!) was part of a Herrmann renaissance; the composer had moved to England after a falling-out with Alfred Hitchcock over the score to Torn Curtain, but was championed and utilized by a younger crop of directors, including Francois Truffaut, Brian De Palma and Martin Scorsese. Like De Palma’s Obsession after it, Herrmann pays some tribute to his works with Hitchcock, eschewing strings for a unique ensemble driven by brass and winds but maintaining the sort of short, semi-thematic motifs that were a hallmark of his work at the time.

This unlimited pressing of It’s Alive is near complete (save an unrecovered five-second cue) and presented from mono masters in the Warner vaults. It’s yours to order after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

March 7, 2012 at 15:06

A World of Laughter, A World of Tears: The Second Disc Remembers Robert B. Sherman

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Sher ·man ·ism (sher’maniz’em)


  1. The creation of music abundant in optimism and heart, written for kids of all ages.

sher man·ist (Noun), sher man·esque (Adjective)

Okay, so that’s not really in the dictionary.  But then again, neither is “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “fortuosity,” “fantasmagorical” or “gratifaction.”  But perhaps they should be.  Have any other songwriters broadened the English language as much as Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman?  The older of the Sherman Brothers, Robert, died yesterday morning at his home in London, aged 86, survived by younger brother Richard, 83.  It’s both comforting and ironic that Sherman, writer of some of the most uniquely American songs ever, died in his beloved England, a land which he so frequently immortalized in song.

Though inextricably linked with Walt Disney, the Sherman Brothers carved out a niche of their own in virtually every medium possible.  There were the Academy Award-winning triumphs in film, the Grammy-winning contributions to record, the teevee tunes entertaining generations of children, the showstoppers on the Broadway stage.  But Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman’s greatest contribution to popular culture just might and be the song generally considered the most-performed song on earth: “It’s a Small World,” written for a World’s Fair attraction in 1964 and now permanently ensconced in California, Florida, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong.  And simple though the song may be, its sentiment certainly isn’t.  Bob and Dick, known to their employer Walt Disney as “The Boys,” first imagined the song as a mournful prayer for peace in a rapidly changing world.  A change of tempo and an ingenious performance concept (imagine, the tune will be sung by children of various ethnicities in various languages!) allowed it to register on a level thought truly unimaginable to its writers.  Those famous words were largely written by Bob Sherman, the wordsmith, while the infectious melody was primarily composed by Dick Sherman, the music man.

“It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears/It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears/There’s so much that we share/That it’s time we’re aware/It’s a small world, after all.”  The Boys had the gift of communicating on a direct level with children and adults alike, but the lyric’s concision shouldn’t be confused for superficiality.  The language is easy to swallow but the message runs deeper.  Wherever we are, whoever we are, we have in common the gifts of hope and laughter.  And we all endure life’s more frightening realities.  So we should emphasize these similarities rather than dwell on our differences.  The “after all” is gently admonishing.  The theme of “It’s a Small World” extended to the brothers’ other work, as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 7, 2012 at 09:44