The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for August 14th, 2012

Don’t Fear the Complete Columbia Albums Box for Blue Öyster Cult

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All our times have come/Here but now they’re gone/Seasons don’t fear the reaper/Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain/We can be like they are/Come on, baby…don’t fear the reaper…

It might be considered ironic that a song about death, and its inevitability, would help lend Blue Öyster Cult continuous life.  The band from Long Island, New York, recorded its first album for Columbia Records in 1972, beginning an association which lasted for more than fifteen years.  BÖC fused aggressive instrumental muscle with provocative lyrics to create one of the most iconic sounds of the seventies and beyond.  The group’s time at Columbia yielded eleven studio albums, plus live recordings and compilations, and all told, Blue Öyster Cult charted nine singles (including FM rock staple “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper”) and received four gold and two platinum records.  It wasn’t a bad run for the band that began life as Soft White Underbelly, and now, that band/label association is being immortalized on Blue Öyster Cult – The Columbia Albums Collection.  Due in stores on October 30, the career-spanning box is comprised of 16 CDs (the full official Columbia discography and two discs of odds and ends) plus one DVD, Some OTHER Enchanted Evening, documenting a 1978 live performance.

Blue Öyster Cult – The Columbia Albums Collection brings together the group’s 14 official Columbia Records albums for the first time.  BÖC’s first four studio albums (1972’s eponymous debut, 1973’s Tyranny and Mutation, 1974’s Secret Treaties and 1976’s Agents of Fortune) were all previously reissued by Legacy in 2001 with bonus tracks, and those expanded editions have been replicated for this box.  Other titles have been newly remastered:  live albums On Your Feet or on Your Knees (1975) and Extraterrestrial Live (1982), and studio LPs Mirrors (1979), Cultösaurus Erectus (1980), Fire of Unknown Origin (1981), The Revölution by Night (1983), Club Ninja (1985) and Columbia swansong Imaginos (1988).  1978’s live Some Enchanted Evening has been included in its 2007 edition with bonus tracks.  The box is rounded out by two newly-curated bonus discs: Rarities and Radios Appear: The Best of the Broadcasts, the latter compiling a group of rare live performances.

What else can you expect from this new set?  Hit the jump for details including the full album list and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 14, 2012 at 14:19

Tuesday Tidbits: Incubus Teams with Best Buy on Exclusive “HQ,” Bert Jansch’s “Heartbreak” Is Expanded, and Musicians Fight Epilepsy with “Joey’s Song”

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Today is the day for a 2-CD/1-DVD set of previously unissued live performances from the band Incubus. Celebrating their twentieth year together, Incubus is launching a 4-week, 18-city tour co-headlining with Linkin Park. The tour kicks off tonight in Boston, Massachusetts, but the performances on Incubus HQ Live date from one year ago, recorded in West Hollywood, California.  That was when the band set up shop at a storefront on La Brea Avenue for seven special nights of performances.   HQ Live preserves performances from the six nights that were broadcast live online between June 30 and July 6, 2011, all featuring the line-up of Brandon Boyd (lead vocals/guitar), Mike Einziger (lead guitar/keys), Jose Pasillas II (drums), Ben Kenney (bass) and DJ Kilmore (DJ/keys).  The shows led up to the release of the band’s album If Not Now, When?, released on July 12, 2011.

The release is truly a celebration of a career that’s encompassed, in Brandon Boyd’s words, “twenty years, seven albums, multiple live albums, EPs, DVDs, somewhere in the ballpark of 1,500 live shows and an etcetera stint that would go on for a paragraph.”  All have been rendered in a style that’s often hard to describe, blending alternative rock, metal, funk, rap, hip-hop, techno and even jazz (and everything in between).  Four of Incubus’ songs have topped the top spot on the U.S. Alternative Songs chart, and all four are heard in live versions on HQ Live: “Drive,” “Megalomaniac,” “Anna Molly” and “Love Hurts.”  (The latter two songs first appeared on the band’s No. 1 album Light Grenades, from 2006.)

Incubus HQ Live is available in a variety of formats, as we reported back on June 28: a standard edition (16-track CD + DVD), a Special Edition (28-track double-CD + DVD); and a Limited Edition Box Set (4 LPs + 6 CDs + 2 DVD/Blu-ray, plus autographed swag). The Limited Edition box is exclusive to Incubus’ website, and was scheduled to ship on July 6. The other two configurations arrive today at retail. The DVD content is the same for all three versions, but the DVD contains a significantly different song sequence than the CDs. Lead singer Brandon Boyd supplies new, detailed liner notes for all three releases. Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering has mastered the CDs, and the DVD – running at a whopping 130 minutes – is presented in 5.1 surround sound, mixed and mastered by Darren LaGroe at Sonic Frequencies.  The DVD concert was directed by Marc Scarpa.

The standard 1-CD/1-DVD edition can be ordered here, and the 2-CD/DVD edition here.   But that’s not all.  Retail giant Best Buy is also offering five exclusive CD bonus tracks on both versions sold at their stores: “Rebel Girls,” “Hold Me Down,” “Surface to Air,” “Defiance (Live)” and “The Original (Live).”  These tracks appear to be available with both the 1-CD/1-DVD and 2-CD/1-DVD configurations and can be ordered here or reserved in store!

After the jump: some of your favorite artists have teamed with Omnivore Recordings for a very special CD to benefit a terrific cause, and a folk classic is revisited.  Hit the jump, won’t you? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 14, 2012 at 09:15

Release Round-Up: Week of August 14

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Bob Dylan, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (Mobile Fidelity)

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab is issuing newly-remastered stereo hybrid SACDs of classic Bob Dylan albums, and today’s release is the 1963 Freewheelin’, Dylan’s second long-player.  Read more here.

Incubus, HQ Live (Legacy)

Incubus’ Summer 2011 live concert performances are preserved on this deluxe set, available in single-CD + DVD, double-CD + DVD and exclusive Best Buy editions.  Read more here.

Kinks, At the BBC (Universal U.K.)

This komprehensive, kink-size box set offers 5 CDs and 1 DVD of live, klassik Kinks dating between 1964 and 1994.  Read more here!

Gilbert O’Sullivan, Off Centre / Life & Rhymes (Salvo)

The beloved Irish troubadour’s 1980 and 1982 albums are reissued and expanded by Salvo Music as part of the label’s ongoing deluxe series!

Mike Oldfield, Platinum / QE 2 / Two Sides (Universal U.K.)

The Tubular Bells artist is celebrated by Universal U.K. with expanded editions of Platinum and QE2, respectively Oldfield’s last album of the 1970s and first of the 1980s, plus a new double-disc overview, Two Sides: The Very Best of Mike Oldfield.  Read more here.

Original Cast Recording, Call Me Madam (RCA Victor/Masterworks Broadway)

Irving Berlin’s 1950 Broadway musical starred Ethel Merman, but Decca Records wouldn’t release the Merm from her recording contract to appear on RCA’s original cast album.  So Merman recorded her own Madam set opposite Dick Haymes, and the rest of the cast joined Dinah Shore for RCA’s album.  This digital/CD-R release is the first authorized reissue of the Shore album in the CD era.  Read more here.

Original Cast Recordings, Candide (1956) / Children of Eden / Cinderella (1957) / Forever Plaid / Grease (1994) / The Most Happy Fella / On the Twentieth Century / Parade / Side Show

Sony’s Masterworks Broadway repackages an array of cast albums already on CD from the Columbia and RCA Victor catalogues.  Some may feature new artwork and/or photographs, but contents of the CDs are identical to past editions.  Still, if you’ve missed out on any of these titles, here’s your chance to pick them up again in new, specially-priced digipaks.

Various Artists, Joey’s Song, Volume 2 / Joey’s Song for Kids, Volume 2 (Omnivore)

Rosanne Cash, Mark Olson and Gary Louris are among the musicians fighting epilepsy with these new benefit compilations from Omnivore.  We’ll have the full rundown later today!

Various Artists, The Music City Sessions Volume One: Richmond Experience (Omnivore)

Lost funk from the Bay Area gets found on a new series of LPs beginning with today’s release of Richmond Experience!  We’ll have more on this entire series tomorrow!

Jaws (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy)

Okay, this one doesn’t usually fall in our purview, but we’ve already covered the Blu-ray debut of everybody’s favorite shark here, and why not?  John Williams’ dark, suspenseful and altogether memorable score will surely sound better than ever on this edition celebrating Universal Pictures’ 100th Anniversary!

Written by Joe Marchese

August 14, 2012 at 07:39