The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for July 24th, 2012

Peel Slowly: “Velvet Underground & Nico” Gets Six-Disc Treatment This Fall

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Are there somehow not enough super deluxe box sets in the pipeline for you? Universal added another to the pile today: a 45th anniversary deluxe edition of The Velvet Underground & Nico.

The iconic, Andy Warhol-produced LP, released to almost no fanfare in 1967 but today recognized as a classic example of art-rock, is no stranger to CD reissues. Two different remasters appeared in stores in 1986 and 1996, and the album (along with various bonus material) appeared in the career-spanning 1995 box set Peel Slowly and See and as part of a 2002 deluxe edition title.

Now, with the album’s 45th anniversary fast approaching, an exhaustive six-disc version is planned. The set will include a fine mix of what we’ve seen on previous deluxe versions as well as entirely unreleased works. Central to collectors is the first official release of the Scepter Studios acetate version of the album. This version of the LP features entirely alternate mixes, and in some case alternate versions, of the album’s most popular cuts, including “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” “Femme Fatale,” “Heroin” and “I’m Waiting for the Man.” The album’s original mono and stereo mixes will be included as well, along with alternate takes, Nico’s Chelsea Girl solo album, early rehearsal versions and a live show recorded in Columbus, Ohio.

The box will be available October 30; hit the jump for a full track list.

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Written by Mike Duquette

July 24, 2012 at 17:56

Reviews: Three From Real Gone – The Electric Prunes, Timi Yuro, The New Christy Minstrels

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It might be tough to find three artists as different as Timi Yuro, The Electric Prunes and The New Christy Minstrels, but all three have been treated with similar care on recent projects from Real Gone Music!

The Electric Prunes, The Complete Reprise Singles (Real Gone Music OPCD-8574, 2012)

In the annals of the One-Hit Wonder, one might stumble upon the name of The Electric Prunes. The group achieved notoriety (and a No. 11 pop hit!) with the original Nugget “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night),” a fuzz-drenched slab of prime ’67 psychedelia, but never repeated the impact of that garage-rocking explosion of sound.  In actuality, there was another minor hit, and a number of further singles, though not all were actually by The Electric Prunes, despite being credited to the band.  Confused?  Don’t be.  Real Gone Music chronicles the entire far-out singles output of the Los Angeles band, in full-bodied mono, on the Prunes’ new Complete Reprise Singles collection, but the story behind the scenes is as fascinating as the music itself.  Although Reprise viewed the Prunes as a commercial outfit, the group had a determined experimental streak that led to a number of innovative singles but may also have contributed to its downfall.

The quintet promisingly followed up “Too Much to Dream” with (the My Fair Lady-inspired?) “Get Me to the World on Time,” an even more outré track with a Bo Diddley shuffle married to spacey sound effects and freak-out lyrics.  Like “Too Much to Dream,” it was written by Annette Tucker.  The already accomplished songwriter (who also placed songs with Tom Jones, Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon and Sonny and Cher) wrote “Dream” with Nancie Mantz, and “World” with Jill Jones.  But the group’s heady brew of kooky garage experimentalism might have reached its nadir with just its fourth single, Tucker and Mantz’s cacophonic “Dr. Do-Good.”  The peculiar lyrics are sung in Looney Tunes voices with producer Dave Hassinger contributing a devilish laugh at the song’s end.  But Hassinger and the band weren’t laughing when the song only hit No. 128 on the charts, and Complete Singles chronicles The Prunes’ attempts to regain their footing, with more dark whimsy (“The Great Banana Hoax”) and even straightforward pop-rock (“Everybody Knows (You’re Not in Love)”).  Singer James Lowe and bassist Mark Tulin came into their own as songwriters with these strong tracks, but it was too late for The Electric Prunes.

There’s more on the Prunes, plus Timi Yuro and The New Christy Minstrels after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 24, 2012 at 12:24

“Sugar Man” Revealed: Legacy, Light in the Attic Team to Rediscover Lost Folk Hero Rodriguez

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The story of Rodriguez may not be a famous one (yet!), but it’s so big that it takes not one, but two, of our favorite labels to bring it to life!  Legacy Recordings and Light in the Attic have teamed up to release the soundtrack to Malik Bendjelloul’s film Searching for Sugar Man about a “lost” singer-songwriter who made a big, and unusual, impact.  The adjective “remarkable” may be overused, but it certainly applies to the life and career of Rodriguez.

The film, distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, following a NY premiere engagement earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival.  It follows the artist born Sixto Diaz Rodriguez in 1942.  The documentary was also hailed at both Sundance and SXSW, and was described by Q as “stunning. One of the greatest, and most moving documentaries ever made.”

Discovered in Detroit in the late 1960s by Dennis Coffey (the Funk Brothers guitarist and “Scorpio” artist) and his frequent partner Mike Theodore, Rodriguez made his record debut with 1970’s Cold Fact.  Issued on Sussex in the U.S. and A&M in the U.K., Cold Fact featured Coffey and Theodore as producers and arrangers, as well as famed Motown bassist Bob Babbitt.  It captured Rodriguez’ melding of folk with funk, along with a heaping helping of psychedelia.  Rodriguez followed Cold Fact up with 1971’s Coming from Reality, recorded in London by producer Steve Rowland with Chris Spedding on drums, on the same labels.  Despite a more pop-oriented sensibility, it too sunk without a trace.

Or so Rodriguez thought.  In a so-unbelievable-it-must-be-true story, Cold Fact was released in South Africa, at that time torn apart by the apartheid government.  It became a much-bootlegged, much-circulated LP.  Something in Rodriguez’ topical, passionate lyrics (“lysergic gutter poetry,” per Spin) spoke to the oppressed citizens, and Rodriguez became a familiar and inspiring figure among African youth and particularly those entrenched in military conflicts.  Sales of Cold Fact in the country would have earned it platinum status.  (In 1998, it was finally awarded a platinum disc in South Africa, and it found similar success in Australia.  There, it went to No. 23 on the album charts in 1976, and eventually reached 5x platinum status.)  The cold fact, though, is that Rodriguez had no idea of the album’s South African success or its power to inspire there. Just a decade ago, he was found, toiling as a day laborer working on a Detroit building site.  The one-time singer/songwriter was completely unaware that his long-ago album had provided the soundtrack to a revolution far, far away.

Hit the jump for more, including order links and track listing with discography! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 24, 2012 at 09:58

Release Round-Up: Week of July 24

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Booker T. & the MGs, Green Onions (Concord/Stax)

The 1962 album from the Stax legends is expanded with two previously issued, live bonus tracks from Los Angeles in 1965.  Read more here.

David Cassidy, Cherish / Rock Me Baby (7Ts/Cherry Red)

The Partridge Family star was on top of the world when he released his first two solo albums in 1972.  They arrive on American shores today as one two-fer!  Read more here.

The Guess Who, # 10 / Road Food (Iconoclassic)

Iconoclassic’s series of expanded and remastered reissues for the Canadian rockers continues with these 1973 and 1974 RCA albums.  Read more here.

Jerry Lee Lewis, The Killer Live! 1964-1970 (Hip-o Select/Mercury)

This limited edition 3-CD set compiles a bevy of live albums from the piano pounder: “Live” At The Star Club, Hamburg and The Greatest Live Show On Earth, both from 1964; 1966’s By Request: More Of The Greatest Live Show On Earth; and 1970’s Live At The International, Las Vegas.  A full 16 bonus tracks, including 10 previously unreleased tracks, round out the set.

Rodriguez, Searching for Sugar Man: Original Soundtrack (Legacy/Light in the Attic)

Never heard of Rodriguez?  Let Legacy and Light in the Attic spin this fascinating yarn about a musician who had no idea that his long-lost LP had acquired a new lease on life: as the soundtrack to a revolution taking place oceans away.  We’ll have more on the amazing story of Rodriguez later today!

Neil Sedaka, The Show Goes On: Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Eagle Rock)

A 2006 set of hit tunes from the “Calendar Girl” and “Laughter in the Rain” hitmaker arrives on CD for the first time.

Sugar, Copper Blue/Beaster (Deluxe Edition) / File Under Easy Listening (Deluxe Edition) (Merge)

American reissues arrive from Bob Mould’s Sugar in modified form from the recent Edsel deluxe editions.   All the DVD content from the Edsel sets has been dropped, along with the BBC session tracks that featured on Copper Blue. All the other copious bonus audio content will be retained, though, with Copper Blue and the Beaster EP brought together as one 3-CD package, and FU:EL as one 2-CD set.  Read more about these Merge Records releases here.

Various Artists, Country Funk 1969-1975 (Light in the Attic)

The anthology experts at Light in the Attic have put together this fun set exploring the crossroads of – yup! – country and funk.  Expect rarities from Bobby (then Bob) Darin, Mac Davis, Tony Joe White, Bobbie Gentry and more!

GZA, Liquid Swords: The Chess Box (Get On Down)

One of The Wu-Tang Clan’s great solo albums from the group’s initial wave, Liquid Swords is expanded with a bonus disc of instrumentals and a collectible chess set package. Read more here!

The Pharcyde, Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde: Expanded Edition (Delicious Vinyl)

The underrated alternative hip-hop group gets their debut album expanded 20 years later in a three-disc set featuring a deluxe box and two extra discs of B-sides, remixes and other bonus material.

Slipknot, Antennas to Hell (Roadrunner)

The nu-metal band’s first compilation, featuring either straight hits or a bonus live disc to match. Full story is here.

Jennifer Lopez, Dance Again: The Hits (Epic)

The former American Idol judge’s comeback comes full circle with this compilation of some of the hottest dance floor fillers of the past 15 years. Have a look here.