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Archive for April 30th, 2012

Wash Away the Rain: Soundgarden Box Up Albums for Europe

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Rock fans have a nice surprise coming to them if they check out the soundtrack to the highly-anticipated Marvel Comics blockbuster The Avengers, opening this week: “Live to Rise,” the first all-new single from grunge pioneers Soundgarden since their 2010 reunion. It’s a promising sign of life from the group, who are slated to release their latest full-length LP later this year.

To commemorate that flurry of activity, Universal Music Group is releasing in Europe a special box set of the group’s A&M catalogue. Classic Album Selection will feature, in one set, the band’s four studio albums for A&M recorded between 1989 and 1996 (Louder Than LoveBadmotorfingerSuperunknown and Down on the Upside) as well as Live on I-5, a 2011 collection of live performances from the group’s last tour in 1996.

There doesn’t seem to be any differences in mastering, and there are no bonus tracks included, but all albums are being housed in mini-LP sleeve replicas. So if you’re a collector or are curious to deepen your knowledge past 2010’s Telephantasm compilation, now might be your best chance. The box is out on May 21 in the U.K. and a week later in the States.

Soundgarden, Classic Album Selection (A&M/UMC (EU), 2012)

Disc 1: Louder Than Love (originally released as A&M Records SP 5252, 1989)

Disc 2: Badmotorfinger (originally released as A&M Records 750 215 374-1, 1991)

Disc 3: Superunknown (originally released as A&M Records 314 540 198-1, 1994)

Disc 4: Down on the Upside (originally released as A&M Records 314 540 526-1, 1996)

Disc 5: Live on I-5 (originally released as A&M/UMe B0015418-72, 2011)

Written by Mike Duquette

April 30, 2012 at 15:39

Posted in Box Sets, News, Reissues

Sister Act: Heart Gets Box Set Treatment This Summer

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The wait is over for the first-ever career-spanning box set from Heart. Legacy Recordings will release Strange Euphoria, a 3 CD/1 DVD package, in stores on June 5.

The set spans from the early phases of Ann and Nancy Wilson’s musical career as members of “The Daybreaks” in 1967 all the way to their latest album, the Top 10 hit Red Velvet Car (2010). Along the way, there are plenty of hits and unreleased material, including demos of killer cuts like “Magic Man” and “Crazy on You,” a live version of Barracuda, radio staples from the band’s mid-’80s comeback including “Alone,” “These Dreams” and “Never” (the latter presented as a live version with a guest appearance by Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones) and studio and live tracks by ’90s side project The Lovemongers. The set also features a 1976 live concert captured on DVD for the first time.

Those who purchase the set through Amazon are in for additional treats in the form of a bonus five-song EP of Led Zeppelin covers. “Heart Zeppish” features run-throughs of “Immigrant Song,” “The Battle of Evermore,” “Misty Mountain Hop” and more.

Hit the jump to order your copy and preview the track list of Strange Euphoria.

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Written by Mike Duquette

April 30, 2012 at 11:40

Posted in Box Sets, DVD, Heart, News

Funk Soul Brothers: Ace Collects “Royal Grooves” From King, “Southern Soul” From Stax

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If you prefer your soul with a twist of funk, the Ace family of labels has two offerings that should get your fingers clicking and your feet dancing.  Both Royal Grooves: Funk and Groovy Soul from the King Records Vaults (BGP CD BGPD250) and Nobody Wins: Stax Southern Soul 1968-1975 (Kent CDKEND 370) cover roughly the same turbulent period of music history, with the former compilation drawing on tracks recorded between 1967 and 1973, and the latter taking in the “Second Golden Age” of Stax Records between 1968 and 1975.  This is the period when King, the Cincinnati-based label that was home to James Brown, was following in the Godfather’s funky footsteps, and Stax was reinventing itself with a new roster of artists that could follow the legendary likes of Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, and Booker T and the MGs.

Though King Records was founded in 1943 by consummate record man Syd Nathan and made its name emphasizing country-and-western, it was successful in the decision to move into the R&B field.  But Nathan was unprepared for the revolution that one of those R&B artists, James Brown, would create.  Nathan and Brown’s relationship had become strained when Brown, his star in the ascendant, signed with Mercury’s Smash label while still under contract to King.  But he returned to King in 1965 with “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and by 1967, when this anthology picks up the story, the label’s roster was largely dedicated to Brown, his associates or sound-alike records, some of which were released under the “James Brown Productions” banner.  Nathan died in 1968, but the company continued to thrive until Brown’s departure in 1971, at which time he took his back catalogue to Polydor with him.  New owners (including Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller) attempted to revive King’s fortunes, but the label eventually reconciled itself with its fate as a strictly back-catalogue operation.

Royal Grooves covers this tumultuous period for the label in detail.  James Brown’s presence is heavily felt, and he’s represented with productions from Wendy Lynn (“I Can Remember”), Kay Robinson (“The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow”), Leon Austin (“Steal Away”) and Carlton “King” Coleman (“The Boo Boo Song”).  He’s also a co-writer of The Brownettes’ “Baby, Don’t You Know” and Clay Tyson’s “Clay Tyson (Man on the Moon).”  The Brownettes, formerly the Jewels, performed with the James Brown Revue and frequently sang background vocals on his recordings.  Tyson was another performer in the Revue, a comedian who rapped over the backing track to Brown’s “I Got the Feeling” for “Man on the Moon,” one of this set’s truest curiosities.  Hank Ballard, the writer of “The Twist” who was signed to King in 1953, joined Brown’s revue in 1967.  “Unwind Yourself” from that year’s You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down LP is heard here.

From the post-Brown period, Royal Grooves includes a Leiber/Stoller-produced revival of “Cool Jerk” by The Coasters, and Gloria Edwards’ “(Need Nobody to Help Me) Keep Up with My Man” produced by Huey Meaux’s Crazy Cajun Productions.  Collectors might thrill most to a track from Barbara Burton and the Messengers.  As The Messengers Unlimited with Sonny Morrison as lead singer, they released the rare Soulful Proclamation album. For their lone single on DeLuxe, Barbara took the lead for “Love’s Sweet Water.”  This lost funk workout is so rare, it’s possibly that the single was never actually released, but Ace has liberated the 1972 cut for inclusion here.

Hit the jump for a trip to Memphis! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 30, 2012 at 10:05