The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for October 16th, 2012

In The Shadow of The Shadows: Songwriter Jerry Lordan Remembered on “All My Own Work”

leave a comment »

Just who the heck was Jerry Lordan anyway?

The English singer, songwriter, actor and comedian (1934-1995) provided hit records for Dale Hawkins, Anthony Newley, The Shadows and Jet Harris, but Lordan has never gotten his due in the CD era.  Because most of his work came in the pre-Beatles era of British pop, too many of Jerry Lordan’s songs are all but forgotten.  RPM Records, an imprint of Cherry Red, has come to right that wrong with the comprehensive All My Own Work, combining Lordan’s 1961 album of the same name with fourteen more tracks.  The new, expanded All My Own Work paints a definitive portrait of Lordan, the singer/songwriter.

Jerry Lordan recorded All My Own Work in 1961 for the Parlophone label, with orchestral accompaniment by Matt Monro’s frequent collaborator, Johnnie Spence.  By the time of the album’s recording, he was already a proven hitmaker.  One of his very first songs, “A House, A Car and a Wedding Ring,” didn’t chart in a Decca U.K. version recorded by Mike Preston, but across the pond, rockabilly hero Dale Hawkins did well with it.  Soon, Anthony Newley took “I’ve Waited So Long” to No. 3 in the U.K., and Lordan was working with future superstar film composer John Barry on “Starfire,” which appeared on Barry’s Stringbeat album.  Lordan was signed as an artist to Parlophone in 1959, working not only with Spence but with Ron Goodwin and George Martin.  A little song called “Apache,” however, would eclipse Lordan’s solo output.

While touring with Cliff Richard and the Shadows, Lordan played the Shadows his guitar instrumental “Apache,” previously recorded (but not released) by Bert Weedon.   The Shadows recorded and quickly released their version, which shot to No. 1 on the British charts.  It remained there for five weeks, selling over a million records and displacing Cliff Richard’s own “Please, Don’t Tease” from the top slot.  “Apache” received a hit cover version in the U.S. from Jorgen Ingmann (No. 2!) and Weedon even scored a minor hit with his version.  Lordan chose to concentrate on songwriting rather than performing, and the Shadows’ later, Lordan-penned “Wonderful Land” even eclipsed “Apache,” remaining at No. 1 in the U.K. for eight weeks.  It remains the biggest-selling rock instrumental of all time in Great Britain.  He went on to write for The Shadows (1965’s vocal hit “Mary Anne”), Cliff (“A Girl Like You”), other Shadows alumni Jet Harris and Tony Meehan (“Diamonds”) and Hank B. Marvin, as well as for Shane Fenton and Louise Cordet.  He collaborated with the hitmaking team of Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway, and even recorded an album arranged and supervised by George Martin, 1970’s The Old Man and the Sea.  The album was not a hit, and much of the 1970s was a dark period.  Lordan returned to songwriting the following decade, and lived long enough to hear The Shadows still performing his songs nightly when the group returned to regular touring.  Lordan died in 1995.

What will you find on this packed new reissue?  Hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 16, 2012 at 15:28

GNP Crescendo Boldly Goes Again with New “Trek” Reissue

leave a comment »

If you thought the Star Trek reissue renaissance couldn’t get any better this year, there’s at least one more release to bring your ears into maximum warp: GNP Crescendo, longtime Trek soundtrack label, announced yesterday an expanded edition of the score to 1994’s Star Trek: Generations.

Generations came to theaters months after the end of Star Trek: The Next Generation, an excellent program which rekindled interest in Gene Roddenberry’s space franchise. It was no surprise that Patrick Stewart’s Captain Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC 1701-D) make the jump to the big screen; in this adventure, the Federation battles a volatile energy ribbon known as “The Nexus,” as well as a treacherous doctor (Malcolm McDowell) bent on harnessing its power. What was a surprise, though, was the ally that aids Picard on the mission: none other than Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner, returning to his most iconic role after a three-year absence), believed killed by The Nexus a century earlier.

Generations earned high praise from audiences eager to see both Trek series cross over on celluloid, although critics were divided. What was hard to argue, however, was the sturdiness of Dennis McCarthy’s score. McCarthy was, of course, no stranger to the franchise, having scored a great deal of TNG; he continued several of the musical ideas developed on the small screen, beefing it up for the cinema and adding statements of Alexander Courage’s original theme.

For this new edition, limited to 10,000 copies, GNP follows what is by now a traditional industry practice, including the complete score on one disc and the original soundtrack album and other highlights – in this case, a great deal of sound effects and three bonus tracks (including Brent Spiner’s humorous original song “Lifeforms” from the film) – on another.

If you’re keeping score at home, the first eight Trek films (and 2009’s Star Trek reboot) have received expanded score presentations by soundtrack reissue labels. Order it here and hit the jump for the full track list.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

October 16, 2012 at 14:38

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks

Compilation Watch: Best-Ofs Planned for Whitney Houston, Kelly Clarkson

with 5 comments

Next month – the all-important Christmas shopping season – sees two compilations from two immensely popular singers from the RCA roster with unmistakable voices.

The label will release new compilations in the same week for departed R&B legend Whitney Houston and American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson – the latter of whom definitely owes more than a little of her style to the former.

I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston marks a few firsts in Whitney’s catalogue: it’s her first single-disc, career-spanning compilation in the United States, and it’s the first catalogue title to be released after her sudden passing earlier this year.

While 2000’s Whitney: The Greatest Hits mixed familiar versions of hits with new dance remixes and the odd rarity or two, I Will Always Love You is heavy on the hits fans know and love, newly remastered and appended by two bonus tracks. One, a new version of the title track to 2009’s I Look to You, features duet vocals from R&B icon R. Kelly, who penned the tune for Houston and sang it at her memorial. The other track, “Never Give Up,” is a previously-unreleased tune – no doubt one of many audiences will likely have the chance to hear in the future. That disc is out November 13.

After the jump, Kelly Clarkson’s first-ever compilation is heavy on the hits, plus a little bit extra!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

October 16, 2012 at 12:30

Review: The Beach Boys Remasters, Part Two: The Album-by-Album Guide

with 34 comments

It’s about time now!  Don’t you know now?  It’s about time we get together to be out front and love one another…

– Dennis Wilson, Carl Wilson, Bob Burchman and Al Jardine (1970)

Isn’t it time we danced the night away?  How about doing it just like yesterday?

– Brian Wilson, Joe Thomas, Jim Peterik, Larry Millas and Mike Love (2012)

No, Mike Love didn’t fire Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys.  But that didn’t stop the Beach Boys’ leader, producer and chief songwriter from telling The Los Angeles Times last week, “It sort of feels like we’re [he, David Marks and Al Jardine] are being fired.”  Wilson was replying to Love’s announcement that he would pursue small-venue dates with longtime member Bruce Johnston and a band including son Christian Love, John Cowsill and Scott Totten rather than continue the group’s well-received 50th anniversary tour.  With Wilson, Jardine and Love playing out their business disagreements in the pages of the Times (Wilson: “I welcome Mike to call me”), surf’s up once again on the offstage turmoil that has marked the 50-year career of The Beach Boys, a group whose joyous sounds of harmony onstage have long been juxtaposed with unease and turmoil behind the curtain.  Both Wilson and Love took pains to stress family ties; Love’s daughter Ambha even joined the fray online in defense of her dad.  Is blood thicker than the water that inspired “Surfin’ USA” and the rest?  What remains, ultimately, is the music.  In conjunction with a 1-CD Greatest Hits and 2-CD 50 Big Ones: Greatest Hits, both reviewed in Part One, Capitol Records has just reissued twelve of The Beach Boys’ classic albums in new, remastered editions.  All have been encoded in HDCD (for those with HDCD capabilities).

Covering the period between 1963’s sophomore LP Surfin’ USA and 1971’s Surf’s Up, the new program doesn’t (yet) encompass every one of The Beach Boys’ seminal original LPs. From their first decade, the series omits the band’s very first album Surfin’ Safari (1962) plus The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album (1964, currently available in a reshuffled edition entitled Christmas Harmonies), The Beach Boys’ Concert (1964) and a trio of late-1960s, post-SMiLE underrated classics: Wild Honey (1967), Friends (1968) and 20/20 (1969). Of course, any of these titles could be addressed in a second wave of releases, along with some beloved post-Surf’s Up albums that found the band stretching out artistically (1972’s Carl and the Passions: So Tough, 1973’s Holland and In Concert), returning to their rock-and-roll roots (1976’s 15 Big Ones) and pioneering lo-fi pop (1977’s The Beach Boys Love You). Ideally, each one of the band’s catalogue titles might be remastered to the highest, most advanced standard.  What sets this reissue campaign apart from past efforts, however, is the presence of both mono and stereo versions on ten of the twelve albums.

True stereo versions are premiering of Today, Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!), Party! and Smiley SmileAnd for the first time, both mono and stereo programs are being included for every title except the stereo-only Sunflower and Surf’s Up.  It’s eye-opening to hear the original, punchy mono mixes of every beloved song as you might have remembered them from an AM radio alongside sparkling stereo versions, some newly created for this wave of titles.  All have been remastered by Brian Wilson associate Mark Linett, and there’s plenty to rediscover on these twelve albums – particularly for those who only know the Beach Boys’ rich catalogue of radio staples.

After the jump: come rediscover these albums with us, via our Back Tracks-style album-by-album guide including information as to what’s new with each mixRead the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 16, 2012 at 10:07

Posted in News, Reissues, Reviews, The Beach Boys

Tagged with

Release Round-Up: Week of October 16

leave a comment »

Steve Winwood, Arc of a Diver: Deluxe Edition (U.S./U.K.) (Island/UMC)

While you see a chance, take one on this new edition of Winwood’s 1980 album, expanded with a handful of bonus tracks and a lengthy audio documentary.

Louis Armstrong & The All-Stars, Satchmo at Symphony Hall 65th Anniversary: The Complete Performances(U.S.) (Hip-O Select/Verve)

A classic 1947 performance first released in 1951 is fully expanded to include both complete performances from that lauded night, with new packaging and lavish liner notes.

Rebbie Jackson, Centipede: Expanded Edition (U.S./U.K.) / Jermaine Jackson, Precious Moments: Expanded Edition (U.S./U.K.)/ Surface, 2nd Wave: Expanded Edition (U.S./U.K.) / Kashif, Send Me Your Love: Expanded Edition (U.S./U.K.) / Charles Earland, Earland’s Jam: Expanded Edition (U.S./U.K.) (Funkytowngrooves)

The newest FTG slate includes two from two of Michael Jackson’s siblings (the title track to Rebbie’s Centipede was written and produced by MJ) and an album by Kashif, best known as one of Whitney Houston’s best producers.

Dio, The Last in Line (24K Gold Disc) (U.S./U.K.) (Audio Fidelity)

Dio’s sophomore LP, in the high quality that a gold disc affords.

Donald Fagen, Cheap Xmas: Donald Fagen Complete (U.S.) (Reprise)

This digital-only compilation includes all three albums in Fagen’s Nightfly trilogy (as well as the bonus material included on a 2007 box set) as well as his new solo album, Sunken Condos, also out today.

The Moving Sidewalks, The Complete Collection (U.S./U.K.) (RockBeat)

Before the beards and the fluffy guitars, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons played guitar for this Texas psych-blues band. A new disc from RockBeat features their entire commercial output.