The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for July 26th, 2012

House That Used To Be: Old 97’s “Too Far To Care” Remastered and Expanded by Omnivore

leave a comment »

Though 1997’s Too Far to Care was actually the third album from Texan band Old 97’s, it was an album of firsts.  The major label debut of Rhett Miller and his musical cohorts, Too Far to Care placed the band at the vanguard of alt-country.  It combined the muscularity of rock and the songcraft of pop with the traditional country sound on which the band had earned an Elektra Records contract, and led to performances in front of Lollapalooza crowds.  In celebration of the album’s 15th anniversary, Omnivore Recordings will reissue Too Far to Care as a 2-CD deluxe edition, and for the first time on vinyl as a double LP on October 9. (The first 1500 copies of the LPs will be pressed on limited-edition translucent aqua blue vinyl.  Subsequent pressings will be standard black.)

The first disc of the 2-CD edition will feature the original Too Far to Care 13-track album in its entirety, plus a rare promo track and three previously unissued outtakes. The second disc of the deluxe set is a specially-curated collection that could stand on its own.  They Made A Monster: The Too Far to Care Demos features 11 previously unissued demo recordings from the original album sessions.  In keeping with Omnivore’s commitment to both the CD and vinyl formats, They Made A Monster: The Too Far To Care Demos will also be released as a stand-alone LP (with a download card included) and also as a stand-alone digital version at all major digital retailers. (The first 1500 LPs will be pressed on limited-edition translucent yellow vinyl; as usual, subsequent pressings will be black.)

This 15th anniversary project comes on the heels of the announcement that Old 97’s will launch the Too Far to Care tour in Texas (where else?) on August 23.  The entirety of the original album will be performed during the live performances, plus a second set of additional hits and favorites, and even a solo set from frontman Rhett Miller in support of his solo album The Dreamer.

Hit the jump for more on Old 97’s and Too Far to Care, including the complete track listing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 26, 2012 at 14:10

Posted in News, Old 97's, Reissues

MC Squared = A Lost Sixties Treasure Unearthed By Now Sounds

leave a comment »

Though Albert Einstein popularized a rather different equation, Now Sounds has revealed to us that Michael Crowley + Michael Clough + Linda Carey + Randy Sterling + Jim Keltner = MC Squared.  The group released four singles on Reprise Records in the heady days of 1967 and 1968, the first of which was sandwiched between releases by Dino’s daughter Deana Martin and South African vocalist Miriam Makeba!  Throughout MC Squared’s tenure at Reprise, the band was in good company; 1968’s “Smilin’” b/w “That’s the Word” arrived between 45s from Jimi Hendrix and Lee Hazlewood!  But the group also recorded an entire album for Reprise that was shelved in 1968 and has remained unheard ever since.  The groovy musical archaeologists at Now Sounds, however, have come to the rescue.  Tantalizing Colours: The Reprise Recordings unveils a spellbinding lost classic.

MC Squared had its roots in the New Christy Minstrels’ sister group, Epic recording artists The Back Porch Majority.  As with the Christies, Randy Sparks kept tight reins over the Majority, and those reins became stifling for two of its members, Michael Crowley and Michael Clough.  The friends had developed a songwriting partnership, but there was no place for their original compositions with the Majority.  Taking another member, the winsome Linda Carey, with them, the two Michaels impressed Reprise Records A&R man Lenny Waronker enough to receive a contract on Frank Sinatra’s label.  (Waronker soon broke through himself with his productions for Harpers Bizarre.)  Before long, the group had expanded to five members.  First came Randy Sterling, who had already proven his considerable ability as an arranger on We Five’s “You Were on My Mind” (No. 3 Billboard, No. 1 Cashbox!) and would soon assume the producer’s role for the band.  Jim Keltner rounded out the group.  Then, Keltner was a talented drummer who had played for Gary Lewis and the Playboys; in time, he would become a legendary session man.  Ultimately, MC Squared featured Crowley on lead guitar and vocals, Clough on guitar and vocals, Sterling on bass, Keltner on drums and percussion (what else?) and Carey, on vocals.

We’ll pick up after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 26, 2012 at 09:54

Posted in MC Squared, News, Reissues