The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for August 3rd, 2012

A Big Hunk o’ Elvis: Follow That Dream Announces Complete Sun Box [NOW WITH TRACK LISTING], “G.I. Blues” Soundtrack, More

with 4 comments

When it comes to Elvis Presley, plenty of musical dreams have been realized thanks to the Follow That Dream label.  The mail-order/online Presley specialist label has recently announced its latest batch of Elvis rarities, including one long-awaited box set, an expanded soundtrack recording, a live concert and a new book-and-CD combo.

The centerpiece of FTD’s upcoming releases is, no doubt, A Boy From Tupelo: The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings.  This deluxe box will include, for the first time in one collection, every known Elvis Presley Sun Records master and outtake.  In addition, The Boy From Tupelo also contains two privately-pressed sides, and vintage radio and concert performances from the period.  All told, the 3-CD package features 10 previously-unreleased cuts, and is due to ship directly from FTD on or around August 29, 2012.

The 3 discs are joined by a 512-page (!) book in 12” x 12” format, and the book includes more than 500 photos, approximately 200 of which have never before been published.  This hefty tome promises to detail these formative days of Elvis’ career via facts, anecdotes, memorabilia, photos, and a succinct narrative.  The book contains Steve Sholes’ original notes on the Sun tapes.  Both the book and CD holder are packaged in one slipcase.  The box covers the period between July 4, 1954 (less than one day before Elvis’ first professional recording session) and December 1955, when the future King left Sun Records for the greener pastures of RCA Victor.  This set can, in fact, be thought of as a “prequel” to Legacy Recordings’ comprehensive Young Man with a Big Beat box from 2011, which collected Presley’s complete 1956 masters.

FTD asserts that “all audio has been remastered and restored as best we could, but Disc 3 has pretty rough audio.”  Of course, Presley’s Sun material has been covered numerous times in the past, but this collection is the first time each and every known Sun master and outtake has been compiled in one set.  Hit the jump for more details now including the full track listing, plus the scoop on three more upcoming FTD titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 3, 2012 at 14:02

Light in the Attic Gets Funky in the Country with Bobby Darin, Mac Davis, Link Wray, Bobbie Gentry and More

leave a comment »

What the hell is “Country Funk,” you ask?

That’s the question being posed by Light in the Attic on its new compilation, titled (what else?) Country Funk: 1969-1975.  The label goes on to answer, in part, of the “inherently defiant genre”: “the style encompasses the elation of gospel with the sexual thrust of the blues, country hoedown harmony with inner city grit.  It is alternately playful and melancholic, slow jammin’ and booty shakin’.  It is both studio slick and barroom raw.”  Well, those definitions certainly work for us, but you can hear for yourself on the recently-released collection featuring 16 songs from a fantastically eclectic group including Dale Hawkins, Mac Davis, Link Wray, Bobby Charles, Tony Joe White, Bobbie Gentry, Bob(by) Darin and more!

The tracks on Country Funk are all drawn from the period between 1969 and 1975, a time of great soul-searching for many American artists.  With the Vietnam War raging on, the Summer of Love in the past and American politics in upheaval, many singers and songwriters looked inward to express the turmoil.  (Some even responded to the social climate by turning even further to pop escapism, though that’s a story for another anthology.)   It was inevitable that there would be much genre-melding.  One of the most chameleonic artists of all time was Bobby Darin, onetime teen idol and Academy Award nominated actor who threw himself into everything from rockabilly to teenybopper pop to brassy Broadway.  Darin immersed himself in the counterculture, increasingly uncomfortable with the trappings of showbiz.  From his 1969 album Commitment comes “Light Blue,” a dark, sad, folk-style composition from Darin’s own pen.

Though Darin was Bronx-born, many of the figures on Country Funk have deep Southern roots: Louisiana’s Tony Joe White, Dale Hawkins, Johnny Adams and Bobby Charles, Texas’ Mac Davis, Kentucky’s Jim Ford, Mississippi’s Bobbie Gentry.  White, Charles and Hawkins all brought the culture of the swamp to their recordings, touching on blues and boogie with songs like “Studspider,” “Street People” and “L.A. Memphis Tyler Texas,” respectively.  Another Louisiana native, Mac Rebennack a.k.a. Dr. John, supplied “I Walk on Gilded Splinters” for blues guitarist Johnny Jenkins.  Jim Ford reinvented Stevie Wonder’s “I Wanna Make Her Love Me” for his classic 1969 album Harlan County, bringing the country funk to the Motown sound.  Like White and Charles, Mac Davis had his greatest successes as a songwriter rather than as a performer; Elvis Presley made standards out of “In the Ghetto” and “Memories.”  (Tony Joe White also benefited from The King’s patronage when he adopted “Polk Salad Annie” as his own.)  Johnny Adams, whose recordings typically touched on blues, jazz and gospel absorbed in New Orleans, offers “Georgia Morning Dew” from 1970.  Davis is heard here as a singer with 1974’s “Lucas Was a Redneck” and a songwriter on John Randolph Marr’s “Hello, L.A., Bye Bye Birmingham” from 1970, co-written with Delaney Bramlett of Delaney and Bonnie.  Bobbie Gentry proves that she was much more than just “Ode to Billie Joe” with the earthy (and funky!) “He Made a Woman Out of Me.”   And those artists tell just some of the story on Country Funk!

You’ll find more after the jump, including the full track listing with discography and an order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 3, 2012 at 10:13