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Archive for September 10th, 2012

Isn’t It Time! Beach Boys Reissues Confirmed For U.S., Two “Greatest Hits” Sets Also Arriving! [UPDATED 9/10]

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UPDATE 9/10: It appears that the mono/stereo catalogue remasters for The Beach Boys will now arrive from Capitol/EMI on October 9 in North America, alongside the two greatest hits sets, not the previously announced September 25.  As of today’s date, we have not confirmed any change of date for the international releases.  Watch this space for any further updates!

BREAKING NEWS 8/8: The Beach Boys have announced plans for the CD and digital release of two new commemorative hits collections by Capitol/EMI on September 24th outside of North America and on October 9th in North America.  12 remastered Beach Boys studio albums will also be released by Capitol/EMI on September 24th outside of North America and on September 25th in North America.  

For many years, The Beach Boys have happily embraced the title of “America’s band.”  And why not?  The group proved the stateside answer to the Beatles, both commercially and artistically, in the band’s heyday of the 1960s, and has rarely stopped since then in spreading the California gospel of “fun, fun, fun” to audiences worldwide.  Sure, like any family, The Beach Boys have had more than their share of growing pains and rough patches.  But the American spirit is embodied in The Beach Boys’ resilience, tenacity and optimism, so beautifully expressed in the band’s current, headline-making 50th Anniversary reunion tour featuring Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks, and on the band’s new album, That’s Why God Made the Radio.  Late last year, Capitol Records promised “commemorative catalog releases” among the Beach Boys’ plans for 2012.  Now, it has been confirmed that those releases are on the schedule!

The website of EMI Japan first revealed that exciting plans were underway.  A group of twelve remastered titles were released in Japan on July 25, and these are the same reissues due in the U.S. on September 25.  Ten of these albums contain both mono and stereo versions, which is particularly exciting news because many of The Beach Boys’ most enduring early classics have never before been available in true stereo.  The rundown is as follows, now with pre-order links!

  1. Surfin’ USA (Capitol ST-1890, 1963)
  2. Surfer Girl (Capitol ST-1981, 1963)
  3. Little Deuce Coupe (Capitol ST-1998, 1963)
  4. Shut Down Vol.2 (Capitol ST-2027, 1964)
  5. All Summer Long (Capitol ST-2110, 1964)
  6. The Beach Boys Today! (Capitol T-2269, 1965)
  7. Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!) (Capitol T-235, 1965)
  8. Beach Boys’ Party! (Capitol DMAS-2398, 1965)
  9. Pet Sounds (Capitol T-2458, 1966)
  10. Smiley Smile (Brother 9001, 1967)
  11. Sunflower (Brother/Reprise RS 6382, 1970)
  12. Surf’s Up (Brother/Reprise RS 6453, 1971)

In addition, two newly-curated compilations will also arrive from America’s Band, both of which are due on October 9 in America.  Greatest Hits features 20 of the band’s most popular songs, including “California Girls,” “Good Vibrations,” “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “God Only Knows,” “Kokomo,” their latest single “That’s Why God Made The Radio,” and many more.  (This collection offers ten fewer tracks than 2003’s smash Sounds of Summer.)  More enticing is Greatest Hits: 50 Big Ones.  Taking its title cue from 1976’s 15 Big Ones, this 2-CD deluxe set offers two tracks from 2012 hit album That’s Why God Made the Radio including the title song and the new single version of “Isn’t It Time?”  This 2-CD box seems to have been compiled based on the band’s recent concert setlists, including favorites such as “All This is That,” “Add Some Music to Your Day,” “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times,” “Cotton Fields,” and “California Saga” that haven’t frequently appeared on Greatest Hits sets.  The inclusion of these tracks makes for a fine souvenir of the record-breaking reunion tour.  The lift-top package also includes an expanded booklet with liner notes by Rolling Stone contributing editor David Wild and seven postcards.  (Oddly, “Be True to Your School” is on the single-disc edition, but not the 2-CD version.)

Hit the jump for more details on these upcoming reissues including full track listings for both compilations!  Plus: a new Blu-Ray/DVD documentary is also on the way!  And please join us for a special survey! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 10, 2012 at 17:12

Lullaby of Broadway: Classic Columbia, RCA Victor Cast Albums Collected in “Broadway in a Box”

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Curtain up!  Tomorrow, Sony’s Masterworks Broadway division will release Broadway in a Box: The Essential Broadway Musicals Collection, a 25-disc collection formatted similarly to the “Complete Albums” box sets arriving from sister label Legacy Recordings.  This impressive collection brings together the original cast recordings for 25 musicals recorded for Columbia Records, Arista Records and RCA Victor between 1949 (South Pacific) and 1987 (Into the Woods and a revival of Anything Goes).

Columbia Records’ commitment to the American musical began in 1946 when the label recorded the Broadway revival cast of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s Show Boat; Columbia’s first cast recording of an original musical followed just one year later with Burton Lane and E.Y. “Yip” Harburg’s score to Finian’s Rainbow.  Although it was rival Decca Records that is generally credited with inventing the modern cast recording format with 1943’s Oklahoma!, Columbia established supremacy in the area thanks to the unwavering support of label head Goddard Lieberson.  Lieberson personally produced records of many of the most influential musicals of all time, from Finian’s through A Chorus Line in 1975.  One of Columbia’s closest competitors was RCA Victor, with that label beginning its stellar run of cast albums also in 1947, with Brigadoon, High Button Shoes, and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Allegro.  When Columbia’s parent Sony merged with BMG in 2004, the deal unified arguably the two most important labels for Broadway theatre music.  Sony BMG ceased to be an ongoing concern in 2008 when Sony bought BMG’s 50-percent stake in the company, forming today’s Sony Music Entertainment and retaining all of the music acquired from BMG.

As all of the cast recordings contained in Broadway in a Box are currently in print from Masterworks Broadway, the box may be best as an introductory sampler for young fans and collectors, or for those who might not have purchased these recordings on CD before.  Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein are the most represented composers/lyricists on the box, with five recordings: RCA Victor’s 1965 Carousel revival starring original Billy Bigelow John Raitt; RCA’s 1964 The King and I revival starring Darren McGavin and Risë Stevens; RCA’s 1979 Oklahoma! with Laurence Guittard and Christine Andreas;  Columbia’s 1959 The Sound of Music starring Mary Martin; and Columbia’s 1949 South Pacific with Martin and Ezio Pinza.  The words of lyricist Hammerstein appear a sixth time via RCA’s 1966 Show Boat revival, with Barbara Cook.

Stephen Sondheim isn’t far behind his mentor Hammerstein with five shows included, too.  The reigning musical theatre master makes appearances via Columbia’s 1957 West Side Story (co-written with Leonard Bernstein, featuring Larry Kert, Carol Lawrence and Chita Rivera), 1959 Gypsy (co-written with Jule Styne, starring Ethel Merman and Jack Klugman), and 1970 Company (Dean Jones, Elaine Stritch), as well as RCA Victor’s 1979 Sweeney Todd (alas, the single-disc highlights version only, starring Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou) and 1987 Into the Woods (Bernadette Peters, Joanna Gleason).

After the jump: what else is in the set?  Which stars will you hear?  We have a full album listing and order link for you! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 10, 2012 at 14:45

Unleash the Beast with New Dio Compilation, Singles Box, Audio Fidelity Reissue

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Metal will never die – and neither will the memory of Ronnie James Dio. The late singer will be celebrated with no less than three catalogue projects between now and October.

First up, from Universal U.K. comes the Dio Singles Box Set, released last week in the U.K. and available as an import starting this week. The 15-disc set features replicas of all of Dio’s Vertigo-era 12″ singles, including the Dutch-only “The Last in Line” and French-exclusive Dio Live single, as well as classics like “Holy Diver,” “Rainbow in the Dark,” “Rock ‘N’ Roll Children” and others. While several of the discs veer more toward collectible – several non-LP live cuts are replicated several times throughout the set – there is some neat swag in the form of replica paper inserts and posters, as well as two bonus discs: the 1986 live mini-album Intermission and a DVD of Dio’s 11 promo videos. A 32-page booklet outlining Dio’s entire discography on the Vertigo label is the cherry on top of this box set sundae.

After the jump, learn about more Dio projects from Dio’s own label and Audio Fidelity!

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 10, 2012 at 13:03

Monday at the Movies: Mancini, Williams, Newman and Jones Revisited, Plus Disney Expands “Cinderella” in “Lost Chords” Series

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It’s not quite time yet for the long goodbye to new announcements for 2012, but for Quartet Records, it is time for The Long Goodbye.  John Williams’ score to Robert Altman’s 1973 film leads off another group of essential new buys for soundtrack fans and collectors.  Quartet is pairing The Long Goodbye with a late-period Henry Mancini classic, the score to Blake Edwards’ 1988 comedy-western Sunset.  But that’s not all.  Kritzerland has a true “wow” release with a gloriously restored stereo premiere soundtrack to Alfred Newman’s score for the 1951 epic David and Bathsheba.  Varese Sarabande has just unearthed a rather unusual album involving both Quincy Jones and Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Walt Disney Records is preparing an expanded edition of the score to Walt Disney’s animated classic, Cinderella.  Whew!  Welcome to Monday at the Movies!

David and Bathsheba wasn’t only epic on screen; the Darryl F. Zanuck production for 20th Century Fox also did epic business upon its initial release.  The recipient of five Academy Award nominations and $7 million in domestic box-office rentals, it became not only the biggest-grossing film in Fox history to that date, but also the top box-office draw for any studio the entire year of 1951.  Henry King directed from a script by Phillip Dunne, and Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward starred as the titular lovers.  The passionate story required stirring, sweeping themes, and they were provided by Fox’s in-house legend, Alfred Newman.  In just 11 years at Fox (out of an eventual 20), Newman had already racked up eleven years into his four Academy Awards and another twenty-four nominations for his scores, and his contributions to David and Bathsheba did not go unnoticed by the critics.

Newman’s David and Bathsheba was previously released on CD by Intrada in a 55-minute presentation from the best sources available at the time: optical mono tracks and transcription discs, plus one stereo bonus track.  That was 2005.  Fast-forward to the present day.  The complete stereo tracks have been discovered and prepared for an unforgettable, 78-minute sonic experience from Kritzerland.  According to the label, “those [stereo] tracks, in superb condition, were lovingly transferred and aligned resulting in a breathtaking stereo presentation, perhaps one of the best-sounding recordings of any score of this vintage.  It is, in a word, spectacular.  For fans of biblical film music, music of the Golden Age of film scoring, and one of the greatest film composers of all time, the CD is a must.”  ‘Nuff said, friends.  David and Bathsheba is a 1,500-copy limited edition and can be pre-ordered now, directly from Kritzerland.  It’s due by the third week of October, but pre-orders from the label usually arrive one to five weeks earlier than the announced date.

The Long Goodbye (a 1,000-copy edition from Quartet) marks the first complete release of John Williams’ score to the Raymond Chandler-inspired film starring Elliot Gould as Philip Marlowe.  It’s one of Williams’ most unusual efforts, as Altman requested that one adaptable single theme be crafted for use in numerous different versions.   Hence, “The Long Goodbye” is presented as a vocal pop tune, a tango, a blues, a love theme, a “hippie” version on sitar and even a mariachi-flecked Mexican interpretation!

Despite its adventurous nature (or perhaps because of it!), no album of The Long Goodbye was released at the time of the film, and a 45 RPM single slated for release was shelved.  Finally, in 2004, Varese Sarabande premiered 23 minutes of highlights accompanying “Johnny” Williams’ music for Fitzwilly.  For Quartet’s new edition, a number of sources were employed.  A search of the MGM vaults revealed two tapes containing new versions of the theme: an alternate by Dave Grusin, a jazz piano version by Williams himself, and some takes from the underscore. To present the completed score, Quartet then turned to two different 35 mm magnetic music stems in mono for the remaining cues. Finally, a trio of bonus tracks rounds out the album: an ad-lib vocal from singer Clydie King, a rehearsal of the beach house party chorus with Jack Riley and King singing with the crowd, and a rehearsal of the solo violin for “Tango Version.”   Quartet’s complete edition of The Long Goodbye features a new, 24-page booklet with liner notes penned by Randall D. Larson.

Henry Mancini’s score to Sunset marked one of the composer’s final collaborations with Blake Edwards, the writer and director with whom he began one of the longest associations in Hollywood history with 1958’s theme to Peter Gunn.  Bruce Willis, James Garner, Malcolm McDowell and Mariel Hemingway starred in Edwards’ fantastic fable about a 1920s movie star meeting up with cowboy hero Wyatt Earp.  Mancini supplied a lush, symphonic score, one of his rare forays into the western genre.  The diverse cues touch on action, suspense, adventure and romance, and Mancini even provided the period-appropriate source music.  Like The Long Goodbye, no soundtrack album was issued for Sunset, so Quartet’s 2,000-copy limited edition marks its first appearance in any audio format.  Packed with additional music and bonus tracks, Sunset is a deluxe edition befitting a triumphant, if criminally unknown, score.  Daniel Schweiger provides liner notes in the 16-page booklet.

After the jump: from Q to Uncle Walt! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 10, 2012 at 11:32

In Case You Missed It: Rhino U.K. Goes the Distance for Vangelis

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At this summer’s Olympic Games in London, if there was going to be any film score coming through the speakers, it would be the theme to Chariots of Fire. Vangelis’ synthesizer-based piece has resounded in the popular consciousness for more than 30 years. Running along a beach or looking for energy to complete a task? That piano riff – which helped the film win one of four Academy Awards and topped the Billboard charts for a week in 1982 – will likely play in your head until you finish the task.

Inspired by the Olympic fervor of the past season, Rhino U.K. recently released a double-disc set, simply titled The Collection, in honor of the Greek composer. The man born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou has been at the forefront of electronic, New Age and European popular music for decades, as well as in high demand for film scoring, including Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) and 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), chronicling Christopher Columbus’ journey to the New World.

The set includes a healthy amount of soundtrack material, as well as some of Vangelis’ more pop-oriented work. This includes four tracks in collaboration with former Yes vocalist Jon Anderson. (The pair had met when Vangelis was considered to replace Rick Wakeman in Yes in 1974; Anderson sang on several Vangelis LPs afterward, and four official collaboration albums were released between 1980 and 1991.) The 31-track set also includes one new track, “Remembering.”

The Collection is available as an import title and can be ordered after the jump. (Thanks to super reader Ludo for the tip!)

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 10, 2012 at 10:34


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Congratulations to our winner, JAYSEN KRALOVETZ!

Written by Joe Marchese

September 10, 2012 at 10:21