The Second Disc

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Archive for March 22nd, 2012

The Wait is Over: My Bloody Valentine Reissue Classic Albums, Compile EPs

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A great news day at Second Disc HQ gets even greater with the announcement that Sony Music’s U.K. arm is prepping reissues of My Bloody Valentine’s classic Isn’t Anything and Loveless albums, bringing a three-year journey to an end in May.

As our friends at Slicing Up Eyeballs can tell you, retailers first reported remasters of the iconic shoegaze albums, released in 1988 and 1991, back in 2009. They’ve been rescheduled and delayed no less than nine times since then, leaving fans to wonder if they would ever see the light of day.

On May 7, the wondering is over. Not only will both albums be reissued, but there’s some bonus material to go around. Loveless – almost universally hailed as the greatest album of the shoegaze genre and named as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stone – features a bonus disc with an alternate mastering of the album overseen by MBV’s Kevin Shields but never released.

The same day, Sony’s also releasing EPs 1988-1991, a double-disc set that collates the Irish band’s four EPs released on Creation Records, a bonus instrumental 7″ included with limited edition copies of Isn’t Anything, two rare B-sides and three previously unreleased tracks.

So far, only the EP compilation has an Amazon U.K. link, but we’ll update more as it comes. For now, let us rejoice that these sets are finally being released with track lists, after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

March 22, 2012 at 13:44

Hang On To Yourself: 40th Anniversary Edition of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” Coming In June From EMI

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In 1972, you would have found David Bowie at the crossroads of music, fashion and theatre when he introduced Ziggy Stardust on his now-iconic breakthrough LP The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.  If the album hardly sounded like any other, “alien” might have been too much of an understatement for Ziggy himself.  The concept behind the album was light but the songs were heavy, and among the best Bowie had penned to date.  Hard rock riffs melded with evocative orchestrations on mini-rock operas like “Suffragette City,” “Moonage Daydream,” “Hang Onto Yourself” and “Five Years,” with The Spiders from Mars – Mick Ronson (guitar, pianos, string arrangements), Trevor Bolder (bass) and Mick Woodmansey (drums) – playing to perfection.  Fast-forward to 2012, and a 40th Anniversary Edition of the title seemed inevitable.  That release has just been announced by David Bowie’s Facebook team, and in this day and age of the Super Deluxe Edition, it seems positively modest, especially for the flamboyant Ziggy.

Despite gaining stature over the years as an iconic album of the glam era, Ziggy Stardust only reached No. 75 in the U.S. (it scored significantly better in the U.K., peaking at No. 5) upon its initial release.  Ziggy was eventually certified platinum and gold in the U.K. and U.S., respectively.  “Starman,” selected as the album’s single, reached No. 10 in the U.K., but echoing the album’s placement, it only managed to make it to No. 65 on the U.S. chart.  Still, Ziggy has been released numerous times in the compact disc age, making this new edition just one in a long line of Ziggy Stardust remasters.

Due on June 4 in the U.K. and June 5 in the U.S., the new Ziggy will be available in a variety of formats (CD, LP, and audio DVD with surround mixes).  Hit the jump for all of the details including track listings and discography! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 22, 2012 at 11:04

Posted in David Bowie, News, Reissues

Review: John Cale, “Conflict and Catalysis: Productions and Arrangements 1966-2006”

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Catalysis (ca-tal-y-sis): The action of a catalyst, especially an increase in the rate of a chemical reaction.

With his induction into Ace Records’ Producers series, John Cale joins an esteemed group including Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Sly Stone, Phil Spector and Burt Bacharach.  If Cale isn’t always thought of in the same breath as those giants, it’s simply because his career has been so diverse, encompassing writing, performing and arranging for artists ranging from The Stooges to Siouxsie and the Banshees.  Well, there’s simply no better place to appreciate the man’s art than on Conflict and Catalysis (Big Beat CDWIKD 299), the illuminating new anthology devoted to John Cale, producer and arranger.  Taking in the 20 songs on display here, it’s clear that Cale’s catalysis as a producer has led to some of the most distinct work in these artists’ career, making the conflicts along the way well worth the while.

These tracks could be the work of multiple producers, so impossible is it to pin Cale to one stylistic approach.  The musically rebellious Welshman trained at Goldsmith College at the University of London, nurturing his talent on the viola.  He was in the vanguard of the avant-garde Fluxus movement and was an associate of John Cage but perhaps ironically, also a devotee of Aaron Copland.  Cale’s participation in the 18-hour performance of Erik Satie’s “Variations” even landed him a spot on Garry Moore’s popular game show I’ve Got a Secret.  All of this experimentation and fearlessness towards dissonance and musical repetition made him the perfect foil for Lou Reed when they founded The Velvet Underground.  Cale and Reed frequently clashed, but when they found themselves in synch, the results were astonishing.  Reed’s dark, earthy lyrical poetry formed a distinct union with the multi-instrumentalist Cale’s electrically-amplified viola, piano and bass guitar, creating a sound that was only rock music in the sense that it challenged convention.

What will you find on Ace’s career-spanning compilation?  Hit the jump to explore! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 22, 2012 at 10:05