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Archive for August 30th, 2012

Music Club Deluxe Go Back to the ’80s with 2CD Sets from Yazoo, Duran Duran

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Our coverage of Music Club Deluxe’s eclectic double-disc budget sets in England takes us to two such titles by favorite synth-oriented pop/rockers of the 1980s: Duran Duran and Yazoo.

Birmingham’s “Fab Five,” the MTV-conquering quintet-turned-trio of the decade, and the short-lived but much-loved duo of big-voiced Alison Moyet and synth whiz Vince Clarke, will each get their own entries on the Music Club Deluxe label, focusing on an unusual, non-chronological mix of hit singles, choice album cuts and semi-rare B-sides and remixes.

Duran’s The Biggest and the Best! covers all bases from 1981’s self-titled debut to 1988’s house-oriented Big Thing, getting every single in that time frame on the set (including the non-LP version of “My Own Way” released ahead of Rio (1982) and the non-LP mash-up “Burning the Ground,” commissioned to promote the band’s 1989 compilation Decade. While the label has not nailed down many of the sources, it’s a safe bet the tunes herein are the most familiar masters we all know and love, be they album versions like “Girls on Film” or “Planet Earth” or internationally-known mixes/edits as for “The Reflex,” “I Don’t Want Your Love” and others. While the non-chronological order might be headache-inducing for some, those who want to take a deeper look into Duran than current compilations (but not as deep as, say, singles boxes and expanded album reissues) might want to have a look at this one.

Then there’s Yazoo’s The Collection. It contains about everything that made them icons of the synthpop genre, including singles “Don’t Go,” “Only You” and “The Other Side of Love,” album cuts from the band’s two albums Upstairs at Eric’s and You and Me Both and, of course, those famed B-sides “State Farm” and “Situation,” the latter one of their most recognized tunes in the United States. Rarities include three vintage extended mixes, two tunes from a 1999 compilation (including a new mix of “Only You”) and four tracks from the 2008 Reconnected EP, commissioned to promote the great In Your Room box set and Moyet and Clarke’s subsequent reunion tour.

Both titles are out in the U.K. on September 10. Hit the jump for previews of each!

Duran Duran, The Biggest and the Best! (Music Club Deluxe MCDLX172 (U.K.), 2012)

Disc 1

  1. Planet Earth
  2. Girls on Film
  3. My Own Way (Single Version)
  4. Hungry Like the Wolf
  5. Careless Memories
  6. Hold Back the Rain
  7. Sound of Thunder
  8. Faith in This Colour
  9. New Religion
  10. New Moon on Monday
  11. Union of the Snake
  12. The Wild Boys
  13. Meet El Presidente
  14. Burning the Ground
  15. Night Boat
  16. Tel Aviv
  17. The Chauffeur

Disc 2

  1. Is There Something I Should Know?
  2. The Reflex
  3. A View to a Kill
  4. Rio
  5. Shadows on Your Side
  6. Of Crime and Passion
  7. Hold Me
  8. Notorious
  9. I Don’t Want Your Love
  10. All She Wants Is
  11. Big Thing
  12. Skin Trade
  13. Do You Believe in Shame?
  14. A Matter of Feeling
  15. Lake Shore Driving
  16. The Seventh Stranger
  17. Save a Prayer

Disc 1, Tracks 1-2, 5, 7 and 15-16 from Duran Duran (EMI EMC-3372, 1981)
Disc 1, Track 3 from non-LP single (EMI 5254), 1981
Disc 1, Tracks 4, 6, 9 and 17 and Disc 2, Tracks 4 and 17 from Rio (EMI EMC-3411, 1982)
Disc 1, Track 8 and Disc 2, Track 1 from non-LP single (EMI 5371), 1983
Disc 1, Tracks 10-11 and Disc 2, Tracks 2, 5-6 and 16 from Seven and the Ragged Tiger (EMI 1654541, 1983)
Disc 1, Track 12 from Arena (Parlophone DD 2), 1984
Disc 1, Track 13 and Disc 2, Tracks 7-8, 12 and 14 from Notorious (EMI DDN-331, 1986)
Disc 1, Track 14 from non-LP single (Parlophone DD 13), 1989
Disc 2, Track 3 from A View to a Kill: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Parlophone BOND 1, 1985)
Disc 2, Tracks 9-11, 13 and 15 from Big Thing (EMI DDB-33, 1988)

Yazoo, The Collection (Music Club Deluxe MCDLX173, 2012)

Disc 1

  1. Only You
  2. Situation
  3. Don’t Go
  4. Nobody’s Diary
  5. The Other Side of Love
  6. Bring Your Love Down (Didn’t I)
  7. Happy People
  8. Bad Connection
  9. Good Times
  10. Mr. Blue
  11. Ode to Boy
  12. Tuesday
  13. Too Pieces
  14. Goodbye ’70’s
  15. Situation (U.S. 12″ Mix)
  16. Only You (1999 Mix)

Disc 2

  1. Situation (Hercules and Love Affair Remix)
  2. The Other Side of Love (Remixed Extended Version)
  3. Sweet Thing
  4. Softly Over
  5. Winter Kills
  6. Anyone
  7. Midnight
  8. Nobody’s Diary (Extended)
  9. State Farm
  10. Unmarked
  11. Walk Away from Love
  12. Ode to Boy (Das Shadow Re-Work)
  13. Don’t Go (Tee’s Freeze Mix)
  14. Goodbye ’70’s (Black Light Odyssey Remix)
  15. Winter Kills (Electronic Periodic’s Sub/Piano Mix)
  16. Situation (U.S. 12″ Dub)

Disc 1, Tracks 1, 3, 6, 8 and 12-14 and Disc 2, Tracks 5 and 7 from Upstairs At Eric’s (Mute STUMM 7, 1982)
Disc 1, Track 2 was the B-side to “Only You” (Mute 7 MUTE 020, 1982)
Disc 1, Tracks 4, 7 and 9-11 and Disc 2, Tracks 3-4, 6 and 10-11 from You and Me Both (Mute STUMM 12, 1983)
Disc 1, Track 5 from non-LP single (Mute 7 YAZ 002, 1982)
Disc 1, Track 15 from non-LP single (Sire 7-29953 (U.S.), 1982)
Disc 1, Track 16 and Disc 2, Track 13 from Only Yazoo (Mute CDMUTEL6, 1999)
Disc 2, Tracks 1, 12 and 14-15 from Reconnected EP (Mute 12 YAZ 8, 2008)
Disc 2, Track 2 from 12″ single (Mute 12 YAZ 002, 1982)
Disc 2, Track 8 from 12″ single (Mute 12 YAZ 003, 1983)
Disc 2, Track 9 was the B-side to “Nobody’s Diary” (Mute 7 YAZ 003, 1983)
Disc 2, Track 17 from 12″ single (Sire 0-29950 (U.S.), 1982)

Written by Mike Duquette

August 30, 2012 at 14:00

Go Where You Wanna Go: The Mamas & The Papas’ Farewell, “People Like Us,” Expanded by Now Sounds

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“I guess no matter what else we do, we’ll always be part of this thing called The Mamas & the Papas, with all its intense love-hate relationships.”  So once admitted “Papa” John Phillips, and by all accounts, those familiar relationships flared up in 1971 when John, ex-wife Michelle Phillips, Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot reunited for what would turn out to be their final album together, People Like Us.  Yet despite being a contractual obligation for the group, the LP turned out to be a work of great beauty – if a commercially unsuccessful one.  More than forty years on, Cherry Red’s Now Sounds label is revisiting the formerly out-of-print People Like Us in an expanded edition, part of the (ongoing) Papa John Phillips Presents reissue series.  The sepia-toned cover photograph of the group takes on even more of a wistful hue.  “Mama” Michelle is the last living member, with Cass having died in 1974, John in 2001 and Denny in 2007.

Upon its release in 1971, People Like Us was likely jarring to listeners who still had “I Saw Her Again (Last Night)” (1966) and “California Dreamin’” (1965) in their recent memories.  The urgency of those hits was replaced by liquid, languid grooves.  The polish of the Wrecking Crew session pros was absent, replaced with Motown stalwarts and jazz players.  Even the vocal blend of the group sounded different, with “Mama” Cass no longer so out front in the mix.  The boisterousness of “Words of Love” or “Monday, Monday” was all but absent.  Yet today, People Like Us, produced and written almost entirely by John Phillips, can be viewed an extension of Phillips’ own, early solo work, and an honest, natural updating of the Mamas & Papas’ sound for a new decade.  It’s somewhere between funk and cosmic country, and the perfect soundtrack to a lazy, hazy day of summer deep in Laurel Canyon.

The California feeling was different than in the past, but still evident on songs like “Pacific Coast Highway,” with its chugging beat, funky guitar and wailing saxophone weaving through.  The newly-assembled band (including famed keyboardist Joe Sample of The Jazz Crusaders, percussionist Gary Coleman, drummer Ed Greene, saxophonist/flutist Jim Horn plus Motown vets Tony Newton on bass, Clarence McDonald on keyboards, Bobbye Hall on percussion and David T. Walker and Louie Shelton on guitar) adapted well to the group’s vocal sound. The title track “People Like Us” is every bit as lovely as any of their past hits, espousing sentiments that may or may not have been true (“People like us/So much in love/People who just trust/One another…”) in closely-blended harmony.  The tone of the spellbinding song is hushed and intimate, with Phillips reflecting on the Mamas & the Papas’ early days in New York in a poetic, even sweet and rose-colored way that’s far removed from the acerbic “Creeque Alley”: “Ooh, what a dump/Now it’s a palace/Where a Dixie cup becomes a chalice.”

The mid-tempo “Step Out” was chosen as the album’s single; it only reached No. 81 on the Billboard chart.  “Shooting Star,” the single B-side, is one of the more rocking tracks on a largely mellow set of songs, and boasts a typically intricate vocal arrangement by Phillips, as well as subtle orchestration from Gene Page which adds tension to the mix.  Steel drums add a unique character to the impressionistic, evocative “European Blueboy.”  Cass Elliot sounds content on these tracks to be part of the group, rather than out front with her commanding voice and vaudevillian, coquettish and charismatic persona.

Despite any conflicts between the members, the sounds on the surface of People Like Us are filled with good vibrations and great spirits.  The harmonies on “No Dough” are fittingly shimmering, with vivid imagery from Phillips imagining dialogue between a young couple in bed as the Mamas and Papas trade off each line: “Pass the chips, you’ve got salt on your lips/Not the news, it gives you the blues/Help you off with your shoes/Then I’ll scratch your back/Then I’ll do the same to you.”  That’s not the only element of whimsy on the album; “Blueberries for Breakfast” (“Love in the afternoon/Butterflies in my trousers/Under the August moon”) begins humorously enough before veering into eccentric territory: “I’m gonna have to call the cops, if you don’t leave me alone/Stop waiting at the bus stop, trying to walk me home/The FBI, the CIA, you know they’ll never leave you alone/And I will cut you to the bone!”

Phillips drew on personal experiences and relationships for many of the album’s songs, turning some into story songs and others into character studies.  “Pacific Coast Highway” drew inspiration from a hitchhiker he met at a club, and “I Wanna Be a Star” depicts a young actress anxious for her big break (“I don’t want to keep house for a spouse/I’d much rather be the girl, I need much more to be the pearl of the movies”) as well as the comments of those around her!  The wistful “Pearl” was a tribute to Janis Joplin (who else?), built around “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” and wishing for the departed singer that she “finds someplace out of this world where she feels at home.”  The lovely “Lady Genevieve” was written for Phillips’ future wife Genevieve Waite, “Snowqueen of Texas” was based on model Deborah Dixon, and “Grasshopper” even recounted Michelle’s marriage to Dennis Hopper!

What will you find on this expanded edition?  Hit the jump for that, plus the track listing and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 30, 2012 at 12:55

(Still) Screaming For Vengeance: Judas Priest Has a 30th Anniversary Edition Comin’

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It might get loud.

Next Tuesday, September 4, is the date for Legacy Recordings’ 30th anniversary CD/DVD edition of Judas Priest’s 1982 metal classic Screaming for Vengeance.  Though the 1982 album wasn’t the first platinum-selling album from the British rock legends, it remains one of the most beloved, spawning radio hits “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” and “(Take These) Chains.”

Though the band formed in Birmingham in 1969 and recorded its first album in 1974, its line-up fluctuated throughout the next decade.  By the time of Screaming for Vengeance, the band had settled (for the time being) with the powerhouse line-up of Rob Halford (vocals), Glenn Tipton (guitar), K.K. Downing (guitar), Ian Hill (bass) and Dave Holland (drums).  Vengeance proved that the band could retain the commercial edge it had only recently acquired on albums like 1978’s Killing Machine/Hell Bent for Leather and 1980’s British Steel without turning its back on its serious, and seriously dark, metal roots.  All of its songs were written by the triumvirate of Halford, Tipton and Downing, with Robert Halligan Jr. contributing “Chains.”

Recorded in Ibiza, Spain at Ibiza Sound Studios, Screaming for Vengeance remains the most commercially successful album in the Judas Priest catalogue.  It reached No. 11 in the U.K. and No. 17 in the U.S., and led to a successful tour by the band.  The twin guitar approach of Tipton and Downing has been often imitated but never equaled, and the LP has spawned many cover versions of its songs over the years.  It also continues to inspire a new generation of metal fans; Vengeance was the first full album to be released for the Rock Band and Rock Band 2 interactive video games.

What bonus material has been included this time around?  Hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 30, 2012 at 09:51

Posted in Judas Priest, News, Reissues