The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for October 10th, 2012

Review: Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb, “In Session”

with one comment

What drew together the son of a sharecropper from Delight, Arkansas and the minister’s boy from Eld City, Oklahoma?  They were separated by a decade; one conservative, one liberal; one singer, one songwriter; one an establishment country star, the other a long-haired pop wunderkind – the paths of Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb first crossed when Campbell chose to record Webb’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” in 1967.  The Oklahoma kid had written the song as a young staff songwriter at Motown’s Jobete arm, where it was recorded by a most atypical Motor City artist (Paul Petersen, of The Donna Reed Show) and promptly shelved.  Johnny Rivers, an early champion of Webb’s, recorded the song, and it came to Campbell’s attention.  The rising country star had recently scored with John Hartford’s “Gentle on My Mind” after a prosperous career as a session musician and briefly, as a Beach Boy.  “Phoenix” bested “Gentle” on the Hot 100 and Easy Listening charts, netting Campbell two Grammy Awards for his vocals; the album of the same name became the first-ever country album to win Album of the Year at the Grammys.  The Webb/Campbell team was off and running, kicking off a string of hit songs including “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” “Where’s the Playground Susie,” “Honey, Come Back” and more.  Fantasy Records’ new CD/DVD set Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb – In Session (Fantasy FAN-34070-00, 2012) offers rich insight into the relationship between these two talented gentlemen, both behind the scenes and in front of the microphone.

The singer and the songwriter met on December 9, 1988 at the studios of Canada’s CHCH-TV for two segments of the interview-and-song program In Session, from which this new release is derived.  The joint appearance occurred just months after the release of Light Years, Campbell’s 44th album, which contained eight Webb compositions out of ten songs.  The DVD preserves the entirety of both segments, while the CD offers all of the musical performances, save a couple of brief fragments.  The format of In Session is a simple one, with both artists offering commentary and then illustrating with a performance.  Webb often speaks directly to the camera, and then he and Campbell will banter and offer tidbits about a particular song’s origin before performing it.  For the musical portions, Webb takes the piano and leads a small band, while Campbell holds the stage on guitar and vocals.  The easy rapport of the two men is very much in evidence as they run through their greatest hits as well as some less expected choices.  Naturally, the entire set takes on added poignancy with the knowledge that Campbell is currently fighting Alzheimer’s disease, even as he continues to perform his pop and country hits to adoring audiences on his current Goodbye Tour.

Perhaps ironically, that initial collaboration “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” is absent, save for a brief snatch as Webb discusses it on the DVD.  Its follow-up, “Wichita Lineman,” is heard in a lovely, spare rendition, a reminder of just how serendipitous a commercial assignment can be: Campbell sought out Webb to craft a follow-up to “Phoenix” with a similar geographical bent. “Wichita Lineman” was inspiration borne from necessity, and overshadowed its predecessor; the album built around the song went to No. 1 on both the country and pop charts, while the single went all the way to No. 1 Country and AC, and No. 3 Pop.  (Not wanting to end a good thing, Webb soon provided Campbell with “Galveston.”  It, too, went to No. 1 Country and AC, No. 3 Pop!)

In the program, Webb recalls him and Campbell first meeting on the set of a Chevrolet commercial, existing “on the opposite end of the political spectrum,” but “as time went on, [they] became very, very close.”  Webb tapped into something in Campbell’s persona that allowed him to write such deeply personal songs, so frequently infused with strains of melancholy, yearning and reflection.  Even the songs not written for Campbell, like “Phoenix,” found a successful interpreter in him.  Webb and Campbell preface a performance of Light Years’ “If These Walls Could Speak” with the revelation that the song was written for Waylon Jennings.  When Jennings declined to record it, Campbell stepped in, cottoning to it from the demo recording.  He shares the experience with the television audience of translating Webb’s tricky chord progressions from piano to guitar.  Campbell’s playful side is also on display as he pokes fun at Waylon and Don Ho with spot-on impressions.

As illuminating as the spoken contributions from both men are, the songs naturally speak volumes themselves.  Just hit the jump for more! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 10, 2012 at 15:17

Posted in Glen Campbell, Jimmy Webb, Reviews

Tagged with

EMI’s Beatles Single is a Bust (UPDATED 10/10)

with 9 comments

Update (10/10/2012): The official Record Store Day Facebook page just confirmed a  new date for the corrected, repressed single is October 22. Check your local stores for more details!

Original post (10/5/2012): Bad news for anyone looking for EMI’s repressed Beatles 50th anniversary single: you’re not going to find it anytime soon.

The label announced in a statement earlier this week that the single would be pulled from the release schedule. Embarrassingly, EMI cites a “faulty” pressing as the issue – namely, that the Please Please Me LP version of A-side “Love Me Do” (which had session drummer Andy White playing drums, with Ringo Starr relegated to tambourine duties), rather than the famous single version with Mr. Starkey at the kit. Worse yet, the label added, “it is yet to be decided whether the single will be repressed.”

Here’s hoping that Beatles vinyl box set won’t have any issues.

Written by Mike Duquette

October 10, 2012 at 14:00

Bikini Kill to Reissue Debut EP, Archival Campaign Planned

with one comment

Here’s something to add to the growing pile of ’90s reissue nostalgia: riot-grrl rock act Bikini Kill, who announced earlier this year the acquisition of their own back catalogue, is prepping the first physical reissue from that discography: a 20th anniversary edition of their debut EP.

From 1990 to 1997, Bikini Kill were at the forefront of a punk movement that saw empowered women expressing their views through good old-fashioned rock and roll. Singer/songwriter Kathleen Hanna, guitarist Billy Karren, bassist Kathi Wilcox and drummer Tobi Vail were abrasive and in your face, and critics championed not only their unique voices, but others that rang out alongside them, from Sleater-Kinney and L7 to Bratmobile and Jack Off Jill.

Late last summer, well in advance of the group’s 25th anniversary, the band announced the creation of Bikini Kill Records, a label designed to sell the band’s catalogue, as well as side projects Casual Dots (spearheaded by Wilcox) and The Frumpies (the Bikini Kill lineup with Karren swapped out for Bratmobile guitarist Molly Neuman). While the band’s discography is available digitally through the Bikini Kill website, iTunes and eMusic, it looks like the forthcoming vinyl and CD reissue of the band’s 1992 self-titled EP – the first standalone release of the EP on the latter format – will be the first of a few physical reissues.

Produced by Minor Threat and Fugazi frontman Ian McKaye and released on the Olympia, Washington record label Kill Rock Stars (from where the band originated), the Bikini Kill EP will not feature any extra audio content, but it will feature an expanded package, including a poster and a fanzine consisting of archival photos, excerpts from original Bikini Kill fanzines, interview excerpts with McKaye and new liner notes by Layla Gibbon of fellow riot-grrl act Skinned Teen.

The reissue is due out November 20; keep it here for order links when they’re available on October 20, according to the band’s Twitter feed.

Written by Mike Duquette

October 10, 2012 at 13:53

Take the Power Back: 20 Years of Rage Against the Machine Celebrated on “XX”

leave a comment »

When current Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan earlier this year listed Rage Against the Machine among his favorite bands, more than a few eyebrows were raised, including those of the rap-rock-metal band’s guitarist, Tom Morello.  In a withering op-ed piece for Rolling Stone, Morello cited Ryan as “the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades,” affirming that “his guiding vision of shifting revenue more radically to the one percent is antithetical to the message of Rage.”  And after twenty years of music making, that message is more focused than ever, and some would say, more timely.  On November 27, you can decide for yourself when Legacy Recordings marks the twentieth anniversary of Rage Against the Machine’s debut album in multiple configurations: a 2-CD/2-DVD/1-LP deluxe box set; a 2-CD/1-DVD edition; and a 1-CD standard version. 12″ 180-gram vinyl editions (a picture disc and a facsimile reproduction) of the original LP, remastered but with no bonus tracks, will also be available.

Vocalist Zack de la Rocha, guitarist Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk founded Rage in California, 1991, earning a contract with Epic Records and releasing their eponymous debut the following year.  Rage Against the Machine did not hide its political bent.  Zack de la Rocha’s lyrics addressed topical issues in songs like “Killing in the Name,” “Bullet in the Head,” “Know Your Enemy” and “Take the Power Back,” while Morello’s blazing guitar provided a sound like none that had come before.  Rage was much more than just the “rap-metal” tag: meaningful, relevant, politically-charged, forceful and unafraid.  Morello’s subsequent excursions into the realm of folk music should have come as no surprise, as he carried on the tradition of the folk greats with the bravely topical songs of Rage.  The band’s directness, and transparency, both were evident in a message affixed to the liner notes: “no samples, keyboards or synthesizers used in the making of this record.”  Rage’s debut paid off with a No. 1 position on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart, and a none-too-shabby peak of No. 45 on the Billboard 200.  It fared even better on the U.K. albums survey, hitting No. 17.

What’s on all of the various editions?  Hit the jump!  Plus: pre-order links and the complete track listing with discography! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 10, 2012 at 11:55

GRRR! And The Stones Keep On Rolling with Career-Spanning Box Set, All-New Songs [NOW WITH TRACK LISTING]

with 24 comments

When the Rolling Stones kick a celebration into high gear, they’re not kidding.  Hot on the heels of various and sundry documentaries, DVDs, Blu-rays and luxury vinyl box sets, the world’s greatest rock and roll band has just announced its first-ever compilation-styled career-spanning box set.  GRRR! is a joint project of ABKCO and Universal Music Group, and it’s slated to arrive on November 13 in the U.S. and one day earlier in all other territories.

The new set is more comprehensive than the 2-CD career-spanning 40 Licks, tracing the band’s career from its first single release and earliest hits to the present day, via two all-new recordings recently completed in Paris, France: new songs “Gloom and Doom” and “One Last Shot.”  And you just might go, ahem, ape over the artwork created by longtime Stones associate Walton Ford!  GRRR! is being offered in four distinct formats as follows, although the track listings are not yet available:

  • Standard 3-CD Edition
    50 tracks housed in a digipak, with 24-page booklet
  • Deluxe 3-CD Edition
    50 tracks housed in a DVD-style package with 36-page hardcover book and five collectible postcards
  • Super Deluxe Box Set (5-CD and Vinyl)
    80 tracks on 4 CDs plus: one bonus CD, 7-inch vinyl, hardcover book, five collectible postcards and a poster
  • Vinyl Box Set (12-Inch Vinyl)
    50 tracks on five 12-inch vinyl LPs

After the jump, dive into the official press release, where you’ll also find pre-order links and track listings! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 10, 2012 at 09:55

Rancid Think Big and Small for 20th Anniversary Vinyl Box Set

leave a comment »

Raise your hand if you’re excited about a box set featuring nearly the complete discography of punk revivalists Rancid. Now, keep your hand raised if you’re excited that it’s on vinyl. Still with us? Now, how about a 46-disc vinyl set?

No, we didn’t add wrong. Rancid Essentials, to be released later this year, includes all seven of the band’s studio albums, their 1992 debut EP and the 2007 B Sides and C Sides compilation, newly remastered and pressed as 45 RPM 7″ vinyl discs.

That’s four discs for 1993’s Rancid, five discs apiece for Let’s Go (1994), …And Out Come the Wolves (1995), Rancid (2000); six discs each for Life Won’t Wait (1998), Indestructible (2003) and B Sides and C Sides (in which the Rancid EP is packed) and eight discs for 2009’s Let the Dominoes Fall, included in both its standard and acoustic forms.

These albums will be sold separately or together in a leather box limited to 2,000 units. Half of them are pressed on red vinyl, and the other half are split between white vinyl and red-and-white splatter. The individual albums all feature redesigned artwork and come with collectible printed leather OBI strips.

Additionally, a “mailorder exclusive” version of the white vinyl box set will come with a limited, numbered, Rancid-branded Louisville Slugger baseball bat; all of the limited variants will feature a flexidisc with two unnamed cover songs.

Rancid Essentials is still in production, but can be pre-ordered from the Pirates Press label now, with intent to be shipped for the holidays. Click here to order the box or any of the individual vinyl remasters.

Written by Mike Duquette

October 10, 2012 at 09:51