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Archive for October 3rd, 2012

“Mellon Collie” to Get More Infinite on Six-Disc Deluxe Set

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Iconoclastic Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan, never one for subtlety or restraint, is continuing the ongoing Smashing Pumpkins reissue campaign this holiday season with a humongous six-disc edition of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

The Pumpkins’ most ambitious project at the time, the double-album Mellon Collie was described by Corgan as “The Wall for Generation X.” Produced Corgan with Flood and Alan Moulder, Mellon Collie attempted to showcase the band closer to how they were heard live. Songs were more thoroughly rehearsed before recording, and guitarist James Iha and D’Arcy Wretzky had a greater role in the recording process. Despite the sprawling nature of the album, Corgan has resisted calling it a conceptual piece, and the diversity of styles and sounds on the record, from straightforward rock to baroque orchestral stylings, does a good job of letting the album elude characterization.

Critics and fans loved it, though; the album topped the Billboard charts and spawned four Top 40 hits, including the band’s highest-charting single, “1979.” The LP was also nominated for seven Grammys, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year.

For the deluxe Mellon Collie – following in the footsteps of expanded presentations of studio albums Gish and Siamese Dream and rarities compilation Pisces Iscariot – Corgan has raided the vaults to present three extra discs of almost entirely unreleased material, including the first-time release of Corgan’s oft-bootlegged demos recorded at his home (“Sadlands”) in Chicago. Additionally, two European shows from 1996 will be featured on an accompanying DVD. All tracks have been remastered by Bob Ludwig.

The package features a 12″ x 12″ lidded box featuring newly-redesigned cover art, a decoupage kit to create your own Mellon Collie album art scene and two booklets. For vinyl enthusiasts who missed the original triple-disc pressing of the album, a 180-gram quadruple vinyl remaster of the original album will be made available, as well. The whole thing is ready to go December 3.

Hit the jump for a look at the exhaustive track list!

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 3, 2012 at 12:59

New Box Set Spotlights 10cc and the Things They Did for Love

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10cc: smooth rock pioneers? Irreverent architects of “art for art’s sake”? The debate continues this year with the U.K.’s first-ever career-spanning 10cc box set, Tenology, to be released by Universal in November.

The group U.S. audiences know best for the immaculately-crafted “I’m Not in Love” and “The Things We Do for Love” are only seeing half the picture: singers/songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman, who were responsible for the poppier songs in the 10cc catalogue, were complemented by the more avant-garde stylings of Kevin Godley and Lol Creme. All four members had an impressive curriculum vitae: Gouldman wrote songs for The Yardbirds and The Hollies (including “Look Through Any Window” and “Bus Stop”), and would join vocalist and guitarist Stewart as a member of The Mindbenders (Stewart led the band after Wayne Fontana departed, and sang the group’s massive hit “A Groovy Kind of Love.”) Godley & Creme, who’d sung and wrote tunes in the same circles, further collaborated with Stewart and Goldman as session players at the famed Strawberry Studios in Stockport.

After Stewart, Godley and Creme scored a worldwide hit with the novelty tune “Neanderthal Man” (under the moniker Hotlegs), all four members of the future 10cc earned acclaim as session players on Neil Sedaka’s Solitaire and The Tra-La Days Are Over. Bolstered by their success with Sedaka (and undeterred by the rejection of their first intended single “Waterfall” by Apple Records), 10cc struck out on their own, signing to Jonathan Kings UK Records and almost immediately enjoying British chart success with smart, funny pop tunes like “Donna,” “Rubber Bullets,” “The Dean and I” and “The Wall Street Shuffle,” all Top 10 hits.

Though the band’s fortunes were shining brightly, particularly when the ethereal “I’m Not in Love” peaked at No. 2 in the U.S., Godley & Creme were dissatisfied with the band’s increasingly pop direction and split, releasing the conceptual triple-album Consequences in 1977 and spending much of the ’80s as in-demand directors of music videos (Duran Duran’s “Girls on Film,” The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” and more).

Stewart and Gouldman continued under the 10cc name, but changing music trends meant they did not enjoy the same success as the years went on. (Stewart was also badly hurt in a 1979 car accident, keeping him away from the changing music scene for awhile.) While singer/songwriter Andrew Gold was invited to join the band in the early ’80s, and did in fact contribute his talents to a few tracks, it did little to revive the brand. 10cc were essentially on hiatus by 1984, by which point Stewart began a longtime collaboration with Paul McCartney and Gouldman formed Wax with Andrew Gold.

All four members reunited for 1992’s …Meanwhile, but Godley & Creme would depart once more shortly thereafter. A 1995 album with Stewart and Gouldman, Mirror Mirror, was not a success, though Gouldman still tours under the 10cc name with touring members Rick Fenn on guitar and Paul Burgess on drums (both of whom have played in studio and live with the group during their heyday).

The release of Tenology marks the first such career-spanning box to come from their native land (a 1991 box set released in Japan featured many of their singles and non-LP B-sides for the first time on CD). All four members participated in track selection and interviews with journalist Paul Lester for the set, which features four CDs of singles, album cuts and B-sides and a DVD of live footage and promo videos. Storm Thorgerson’s Storm Studios designed the box art; Thorgerson designed many of the band’s original album sleeves as a member of the design studio Hipgnosis.

If you’re into 10cc, or really smart, polished pop in general, this set looks hard to beat. It’ll be available in the U.K. on November 19. Hit the jump to order your copy and check out the full track list.

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 3, 2012 at 11:43

Certified Honey: Donny and Marie, Mungo Jerry Get “Singles Collection” Treatment from 7Ts, Osmonds Go “Around the World”

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If you’re looking for a little bit country, a little bit rock-and-roll, Cherry Red’s 7Ts Records has got three new releases just for you!  The seventies preservationists have unleashed two complete singles anthologies: Donny and Marie Osmond’s The Singles Collection, spanning the period 1974-1978, and Mungo Jerry’s The Dawn Singles Collection, drawing on the period spent at Pye Records subsidiary Dawn between 1970 and 1974.  In addition, the Osmonds’ Around the World: Live in Concert (1975) gets a long-awaited reissue!

Born into a showbiz family, Donny and Marie Osmond have made their mark on virtually every area of entertainment.  By the time the siblings were paired together as a headlining duet act on MGM and Polydor Records in 1974, they had already reached peak solo popularity.  Donny rode the crest of fame in 1972 and 1973 with hits like “Puppy Love,” “Too Young” and “Young Love” (notice the theme?) while also fronting such Osmonds records as the Jackson 5-esque “One Bad Apple” (1971) and “Crazy Horses” (1972).  Marie started her own solo career with 1973’s “Paper Roses,” carving out a pop-country niche for herself.  Donny and Marie had already performed together on record as early as 1970, as well as in live performances, so it was perhaps inevitable that they would be teamed as a brother-sister act when their solo careers appeared to be on the wane, chart-wise.  And so, between 1974 and 1978, Donny and Marie released six albums and eighteen single sides on nine 45 RPM records.  All of those 45s have now been collected on one disc by 7Ts.

Most of these tracks were extracted from Donny and Marie’s albums, but a couple tracks were exclusive to the single format.  1978’s “Baby I’m Sold on You” was produced by Brian Holland for Holland-Dozier-Holland Productions on the album Winning Combination, but the single version was an alternate mix/edit.  “Certified Honey” was the single-only B-side of Donny and Marie’s final 45 (the A-side: “On the Shelf”) and makes its first appearance on CD here.  (“On the Shelf” was also released in an extended 12-inch format, but only the original, shorter mix appears on the new compilation.)

The eighteen selections are a blend of originals and familiar “cover” versions.  The very first single release by Donny, 16, and Marie, 14, together was “I’m Leaving It (All) Up to You,” a 1963 hit for Dale and Grace.  The duo remained in a country vein with Hank Cochran’s “Make the World Go Away,” tackled traditional pop with “Morning Side of the Mountain” (a 1959 hit for Tommy “It’s All in the Game” Edwards) and “Deep Purple,” and ventured into sixties pop and soul with “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” and “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration,” hits for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, and The Righteous Brothers, respectively.

Though the 1980s saw Donny and Marie pursue different career paths, they never really split, hosting a talk show, performing live in Las Vegas and even headlining a show on Broadway.  Phil Hendriks supplies new liner notes for this retrospective, and Tim Turan has remastered the audio.  A complete singles discography is also included.  But that’s not all from the talented musical family.

The Osmonds’ Around the World: Live in Concert arrived in December 1975 on MGM, recorded in May of that year in London, and featuring Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, Jimmy, Donny and Marie.  Whew!  The Earl’s Court shows were preserved on a 2-LP set, which 7Ts has transferred en toto to two CDs.  The family was supported by its usual band The American Underground, and each member got a turn in the spotlight, even if 18-year old Donny was still riding the crest of the wave of his teen idol days.  He and Marie teamed up for a mega-medley of their hits including “Go Away Little Girl,” “Puppy Love” and “Paper Roses,” while other lengthy medleys included one from Jimmy and one from Merrill.  The Osmonds tackled a diverse repertoire, including 50s hits like “At the Hop” and “Rock Around the Clock,” Stevie Wonder songs such as “Higher Ground” and “Superstition,” the Broadway showtune “Hey, Look Me Over!” from Wildcat, and Elvis favorites “Jailhouse Rock” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight.”  Bill Belew, who had supplied flamboyant costumes for Presley, did the same for the Osmonds.

In 2012, the wholesome entertainment of The Osmonds might seem like the relic of another age, but Live in Concert proves what a heck of a show the family put on!  While Donny and Marie pursue their own ventures today, the brothers (Jay, Merrill, Jimmy and sometimes Wayne) still tour and make sweet, sweet music.

Hit the jump to travel back to the summertime with Mungo Jerry, plus order links and track listings with discography for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 3, 2012 at 09:22