The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for July 2012

Live Killer, No Filler on Hip-o Select’s Latest

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This week’s Release Round-Up gave some illumination on Hip-o Select’s latest, a triple-disc anthology of live material from the one and only Jerry Lee Lewis. But we wouldn’t be doing our jobs right if we didn’t elaborate on that one for you!

The Killer Live! 1964-1970 collates, for the first time on CD, four underrated live records from the irascible rocker’s lengthy career – beginning at a time when the world had passed The Killer by. Five years before signing to Smash Records after his Sun Records contract expired in 1963, Lewis career had halted when a British journalist reported that he had married his first cousin, only 13 years old. (Lewis was 22.)

But the release of “Live” at the Star-Club, Hamburg in Europe in 1964 saw the continent take him back some. It didn’t hurt that the LP was an absolute ripper, to this day a firm contender for one of the greatest live albums in rock history. Lewis’ honky-tonk style and spontaneous fire was best served on this disc, although the U.S. counterparts, 1964’s The Greatest Live Show on Earth and 1966’s By Request: More of the Greatest Live Show on Earth, can hardly be considered disappointments.

By the 1970 release of Live at the International, Las Vegas, Lewis had found a second wind by embracing more traditional country tunes, starting with 1968’s Top 5 Country comeback, “Another Place, Another Time.” This vein is deeply explored on the latter half of the set’s second disc, with renditions of country singles “She Still Comes Around (to Love What’s Left of Me)” and “She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye,” as well as two tracks with lead vocals from Lewis’ sister, Linda Gail Lewis.

But as the third disc shows, once a Killer, always a Killer. Five outtakes from the show that comprised By Request and 10 never-before-released cuts from the Las Vegas set prove that Lewis’ rockabilly spirit was never in full recession. Those 1970 renditions of “Stagger Lee” and Lewis’ own standards “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Great Balls of Fire” are as potent then as they are now.

Augmented with an expansive booklet featuring rare photos and liner notes by Mitchell Cohen and housed in a standard CD-sized digipak,  (based on the price point, it’s likely an oversize book in the vein of Select’s Temptations and Supremes singles sets)The Killer Live! looks to live up to its name and then some – and it’s yours to order after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

July 25, 2012 at 15:11

Get Pissed, Destroy: Contents of Sex Pistols’ “Bollocks” Box Unveiled

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You can argue whether or not punk is dead until you’re blue in the face – but you can’t deny catalogue music is on the ropes, as the recently-announced details of a super deluxe edition of Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols, arguably the primo example of the punk genre.

Not long ago, we noticed that Never Mind The Bollocks – that incendiary album that seemed to threaten to upend social order in England, with sneering single “God Save the Queen” released in step with the royal family’s silver jubilee – has actually not been reissued often, aside from a 1996 expansion that included one of the only official releases of the fabled bootleg/”demo” album Spunk, featuring rawer, alternate versions of the Pistols’ first tunes. It was easy to speculate why: reportedly, the master tapes were nowhere to be found at least through 2007, prompting the band to reunite in-studio to re-record “Anarchy in the U.K.” and “Pretty Vacant” for use in a Guitar Hero video game.

The news that the tapes have apparently been found and utilized for a brand-new remaster of the album (credited to engineer Tim Young “under the guidance of original producer Chris Thomas”) on this set is, it seems, only half the fun. Two bonus CDs are included in the box featuring not only the Spunk tracks newly remastered from the original tapes, but a pair of live shows from 1977 and a host of outtakes from the Bollocks sessions with Chris Thomas – including, for the first time, the original studio version of the incredibly controversial “Belsen Was a Gas,” featuring John Lydon’s original vocal track instead of the Ronnie Biggs vocal track heard on The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle.

In addition, a DVD will be featured, packed with extras including videos, vintage interviews with all of the band’s principal members (vocalist Lydon, guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and bassists Glen Matlock and punk icon Sid Vicious) and live footage, including the band’s infamous trek down the River Thames on the day of the Jubilee festivities. Extra swag included in the box is a replica of the original A&M single version of “God Save the Queen” (a re-pressing earlier this year earned Lydon’s criticism), a 100-page hardback book featuring liner notes written by former MOJO editor Pat Gilbert, and replicas of an original promo poster, stickers and handwritten lyrics to “God Save the Queen.”

The set, to be released in the U.K. by Universal Music Group (who now has control of the album instead of Virgin/EMI), streets on September 24. A cut-down double-disc reissue will be available as well. Hit the jump for the full specs on the box!

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Written by Mike Duquette

July 25, 2012 at 12:19

Tomorrow Never Knows: The Beatles Offer Rock-Themed Digital LP

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Although albums like Rock ‘n’ Roll Music (1976), Love Songs (1977) and Reel Music (1982) have all yet to be released in any CD or digital format, Apple and EMI are reviving the spirit of those LP compilations with a new release available exclusively as an “iTunes LP.”  Tomorrow Never Knows, subtitled File Under “Rock,” collects fourteen of The Beatles’ heaviest tracks including the psychedelic title track from 1966’s Revolver.

Somewhat surprisingly, some harder-edged hits have been eschewed; while there’s no “Come Together” or “Get Back,” you’ll hear “Savoy Truffle” and “It’s All Too Much.”  The earliest track dates back to 1964 with “You Can’t Do That,” first released as the B-side to “Can’t Buy Me Love” and also included on the U.K. Hard Day’s Night album.  From 1965 comes the B-side to “Help!” (another rocking song itself, it must be said), the frenetic “I’m Down.”  But the majority of the songs on Tomorrow Never Knows hail from 1966 and beyond, with three songs apiece from Revolver and The Beatles (1968).  Revolver, of course, emphasized a more electric rock sound after the folk-influenced Rubber Soul, and it was also the last album that the American Capitol label would alter from its original U.K. form.  (The American edition of Rubber Soul had even more of a folk-rock flavor than its British counterpart thanks to Capitol’s inclusion of “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and “It’s Only Love” and the removal of four songs including “Nowhere Man” and “Drive My Car.”)

After the jump, we have more info including the complete track listing with discography! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 25, 2012 at 09:38

Who Knows What Evil Lurks In The Hearts of Men? Only “The Shadow” Knows! Soundtrack Features Goldsmith Score, Steinman Song

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Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?  Indeed, only The Shadow knows.  And who knows the way to the hearts of film buffs everywhere?  Certainly Intrada knows!  The soundtrack specialist label has just announced its two latest limited editions: a deluxe double-CD expansion of the 1994 film The Shadow including Jerry Goldsmith’s complete score as well as the original Arista LP with songs by Jim Steinman (Bat Out of Hell), plus Craig Safan’s discarded score to Wolfen, the 1981 horror flick from Woodstock director Michael Wadleigh.

1981’s Wolfen is notable for featuring one of the earliest scores from James Horner (Titanic, The Amazing Spider-Man).  But before Horner got the job, a score had been written by Craig Safan (The Last Starfighter, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins).  Although Safan composed an orchestral score described by Intrada as “incredibly intense [and] complex,” it wasn’t gelling with Wadleigh’s film starring Albert Finney, Edward James Olmos and Gregory Hines.  Intrada has already released the final Horner score on CD, and has now turned its attention to a first-time release of Safan’s original.  The new, hour-long soundtrack is presented in stereo from Warner Bros.’ original three-channel stereo masters.  This Intrada Special Collection release will be available as long as “quantities and interest remains,” per the label.

Only The Shadow knows what’s coming after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 25, 2012 at 09:25

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.

The DJ That Rocked: “Singles Collection” Compiles Best of Tony Blackburn

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Richard Curtis’ 2009 film The Boat That Rocked paid affectionate homage to the pirate radio stations of the 1960s, but real-life pirate DJ Tony Blackburn said that “we didn’t have the fun that they obviously had in the film.”  Rose-colored glasses or not, Curtis’ film dramatized the period when offshore radio stations challenged the rigid formatting of the BBC.  Blackburn was just 21 in 1964 when he first set sail on Radio Caroline.  He jumped ship two years later for Radio London, and survived the demise of the pirates when, in 1967, he became the very first DJ on pop station BBC Radio 1, the official (and long-overdue) answer to pirate radio.  In no time flat, he earned audiences in excess of eighteen million listeners with his morning show.  But the beloved disc jockey, who still broadcasts today on shows including Radio 2’s Pick of the Pops, also had a less distninguished career as a vocalist.  But “less distinguished” doesn’t mean “less interesting,” as proven by The Singles Collection 1965-1980, the very first release on Cherry Red’s The Collector label.

Phil “The Collector” Swern, producer of some of Blackburn’s singles, is the compiler of this unique and enjoyable set, aided and abetted by the singer himself.  Both Swern and Blackburn take an understandably tongue-in-cheek approach to the notes in the copiously-annotated 16-page booklet, with Blackburn wryly noting that “I was persuaded…to release these long-lost gems, copies of which I have been led to believe have been changing hands for as much as twenty pence at a time.”  But, for my money, the whopping 29 tracks contained on The Singles Collection are worth at least a few quid…

Based on the songs here, Blackburn recorded with regularity through the early portion of the 1970s.  The first 24 tracks bring us through 1972, during which time singles were released on the Fontana, MGM, Polydor and RCA labels.  The final five tracks appeared between 1975 and 1980 on Decca, RCA, Casino Classics and DJS, and include a couple of pseudonymous cuts recorded under aliases like Big Daddy and the Sugarcanes, and the Brandy Snaps!

Hit the jump for a closer look at Tony Blackburn’s offbeat career as a pop vocalist, including an order link and the full track listing with discography! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 23, 2012 at 13:25

A&M Records Celebrates Half-Century Mark with Three-Disc Compilation

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Ask the most voracious of music trivia buffs what “A&M Records” stood for and they’ll tell you simply: Herb Alpert, noted jazz trumpeter and bandleader; and music promoter Jerry Moss, a duo who crafted the label from Alpert’s garage in 1962.

50 years later, with the upcoming release of the three-disc A&M 50: The Anniversary Collection, it’s clear that A&M stood for something else, too: one of the most intriguingly eclectic rosters in pop history, encompassing everything from jazz and modern R&B to New Wave and singer/songwriter pop. (There’s been a great amount of activity surrounding the label’s anniversary in Japan, like this compilation of Works by longtime A&M arranger Nick DeCaro.)

The three discs are rather cleverly themed: Disc 1, “From AM to FM,” chronicles some of the label’s earliest and most potent pop radio hits, from Alpert’s “The Lonely Bull” with The Tijuana Brass to the Carpenters’ beautiful “Close to You” all the way to Sheryl Crow’s inescapable “All I Wanna Do.” Things get great on Disc 2, “A Mission to Rock,” which features some of the best rock and New Wave acts of the ’70s and ’80s, including The Police, Squeeze, Joe Jackson, Split Enz, Styx, Free, Joe Cocker and many more. Disc 3 loops around to “Soul, Jazz and More,” showcasing the likes of Quincy Jones, Stan Getz, Gato Barbieri, Milton Nascimiento, The Brothers Johnson and Jeffrey Osborne. (All in all, the set covers roughly 30 years of works, with most of A&M’s output after the sale to PolyGram and break-up throughout Universal Music Group – overlooked.)

While there’s not a lot particularly rare on all three discs (save for some of the deep cuts on the ’70s side of things, including tracks from Alpert and Hugh Masekela as well as Alpert’s talented wife, Lani Hall), what does raise eyebrows are some song choices: “Roxanne,” not “Every Breath You Take,” is The Police’s entry, as “Caught Up in You” by 38 Special is included over “Hold On Loosely.” Minor quibbles aside, this looks to be a really fun keepsake of a deservedly-treasured label.

A&M 50 is out on August 28 and can be pre-ordered after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

July 23, 2012 at 11:48