The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for October 24th, 2012

Running Through My Head: Universal Preps 2012’s Most Unusual Reissue

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Folks, we’ve seen a lot of strange things since starting The Second Disc almost three years ago. Plenty of surprising reissues and disappointing reissues and unexpected compilations and the like. But even in an age where catalogue product seems not to be surviving but thriving, I think I’ve seen it all: Universal is planning a deluxe 10th anniversary edition of 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane, the 2002 debut album by t.A.T.u.

Yes, that t.A.T.u.

Okay, perhaps you don’t remember the bizarre Russian pair of Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova, two teenagers from Moscow whose Trevor Horn-produced electro-pop nugget “All the Things She Said” topped singles charts in the U.K. and six other countries a decade ago. (In the U.S., it settled for No. 20.) Coupled with an internationally-controversial video that had the pair clad in schoolgirl outfits and kissing each other – on the lips, no less, recalling an age where mainstream depictions of homosexuality were perhaps even more highly taboo than they might be now – t.A.T.u. were one of the most jaw-dropping bands of this author’s MTV-injected middle and early high school years, at a time when such things could shock. (Imagine the further shock when word got out that Katina and Volkova’s canoodling was merely an act!)

Despite another international Top 5 with “Not Gonna Get Us” and a super-weird cover of The Smiths’ “How Soon is Now?,” American audiences were quick to forget t.A.T.u. (outside of the I Love the ’90s series on VH-1, probably), and the duo separated last year, having most recently released an English-language album, Waste Management, in  2009.

But! All hope is not lost for those anxious to hear new and reissued works from the band, with a 10th anniversary “Gold Edition” of 200 km/h planned for release this winter. The disc will include three remixes, including a vintage (Editor’s note: did I just call this vintage? What is wrong with me?) remix of “30 Minutes,” included on international pressings of the album and a new mix of “All the Things She Said” by Fernando Garibay (best known as co-producer on Lady Gaga’s Born This Way last year). There’s also a “new” track, “A Simple Motion,” in fact an unreleased tune making its English-language debut for the first time. (In 2002, the group’s Russian version of this track, “Prostye Dvizheniya,” was a non-LP single.)

Now that I’ve typed over 380 words about t.A.T.u., know that the disc streets on November 12 on Interscope/Cherrytree (the latter of which is presided over by songwriter/producer Martin Kierzenbaum, who co-wrote “All the Things She Said”) and can be ordered from Amazon U.S. (a U.K. link astoundingly has yet to materialize); know also that we’ll still think you’re cool even if (especially if?) you snag a copy for yourself. The track list is beyond the jump.

200 km/h in the Wrong Lane: 10th Anniversary Gold Edition (Interscope/Cherrytree, 2012)

  1. A Simple Motion
  2. Not Gonna Get Us
  3. All the Things She Said
  4. Show Me Love
  5. 30 Minutes
  6. How Soon is Now?
  7. Clowns (Can You See Me Now?)
  8. Malchik Gay
  9. Stars
  10. Ya Soshla S Uma
  11. Nas Ne Dogonyat
  12. Show Me Love (Extended Version)
  13. 30 Minutes (Remix)
  14. All the Things She Said (Fernando Garibay Remix)
  15. Show Me Love (Fabricated Remix)

Tracks 1 and 14-15 are previously unreleased.
Tracks 2-12 released as Interscope CD 440 064 107-2, 2002
Track 13 was a bonus track on Universal CD 067 456-2 (U.K.), 2003

Written by Mike Duquette

October 24, 2012 at 15:01

Posted in News, Reissues, t.A.T.u.

In Case You Missed It: “Frankie Said” is a Force from Above

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Two albums and seven singles might not seem like enough to base a whole compilation from – unless, of course, you’re Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The barrier-breaking Liverpudlian quartet haven’t been active in their original form for some 25 years, but their legacy on ZTT Records has been kept alive through various compilations, remixes and reissues – the most recent of which is Frankie Said, released this week in England.

Frankie Said is the first FTGH compilation released under ZTT’s distribution deal with Union Square Music/Salvo Records. (The last such set was Frankie Say Greatest, released by Universal in 2009.) Frankie Said includes just about everything you’d expect on such a compilation, including the Top 5 hits “Relax,” “Two Tribes,” “The Power of Love,” “Welcome to the Pleasuredome” and “Rage Hard,” as well as key cuts like “War,” “Ferry Cross the Mersey” and  “Warriors of the Wasteland.”

There are also a few tracks fans might not have enjoyed from other releases, including the original 12″ mixes of “Relax” and “Two Tribes,” as well as a “live” version of “Born to Run” taken from a performance on The Tube and released on the “Welcome to the Pleasuredome” single in 1985.

At six British pounds (and $13 on our shores), this might be the set to get if you’ve wanted to dive into the shallow but fun waters of Frankie’s discography. You can do that now by ordering from Amazon U.K. or Amazon U.S.; the track list is after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

October 24, 2012 at 13:35

Cherry Red Rebuilds The House of Love on Three-Disc Expansion

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One of London’s most preeminent indie bands of the 1980s, The House of Love, are partnering with Cherry Red for a triple-disc reissue of their first album in November.

The House of Love, originally released on Creation Records in 1988 after a clutch of critically-acclaimed singles, will now feature two discs of additional material culled from various singles and compilations, as well as 23 unreleased cuts, including live tracks, demos and alternate mixes.

During their tenure with Creation Records, The House of Love were widely touted to be the next great stadium rock act in England. Creative tensions, however, derailed the group during their major-label move to Fontana – shortly thereafter, the band’s core members, singer Guy Chadwick and guitarist Terry Bickers, had split, with Bickers leaving the band midway through a tour – and by 1993 the group was defunct. However, the reconciled Chadwick and Bickers reformed the band some time later, releasing Days Run Away to critical plaudits in 2005 and continuing to write and tour throughout.

This remastered package, featuring new sleeve notes and unreleased photography, is available in the U.K. November 26. Order it on Amazon U.K. or Amazon U.S., and hit the jump for a full track list.

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 24, 2012 at 11:58

Review: Every Mothers’ Son, “Come On Down: The Complete MGM Recordings”

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It may not have been the strangest story ever told in pop music, not by a long shot.  But it had to be right up there: a fella is smitten with the fisherman’s daughter, but her overprotective daddy apparently never lets her out of his sight.  It seems she’s tied to the dock, and can’t get free: “Fish all day and sleep all night/Father never lets her out of his sight/Soon I’m gonna have to get my knife and cut that rope!”  This offbeat little tale of love conquering all shot all the way up to a Top 10 berth on the Billboard singles chart, and launched the short-lived career of Every Mothers’ Son.  The clean-shaven, well-scrubbed harmony pop band from New York City recorded two albums for the MGM label in 1967, and for the first time commercially, those two albums have been collected together in full on one CD.  Now Sounds’ Come on Down: The Complete MGM Recordings (CRNOW 36, 2012) takes its name from “Come on Down to My Boat,” that catchy 1966 hit with the infectiously aggressive organ riff.  But the new two-for-one collection reveals that there was more to the band than just that one well-remembered tune and the albums’ photos of five smiling, fresh-faced, clean-scrubbed young men.

“Come on Down” was actually a hand-me-down from The New Breed, courtesy of producer Wes Farrell (Jay and the Americans’ “Come a Little Bit Closer,” the McCoys’ “Hang On, Sloopy”) and his co-writer Jerry Goldstein.  But the remaining ten songs on the band’s eponymous debut, produced by Farrell, were all penned by its members.  Most were collaborations between Dennis and Lary Sarokin, a.k.a. Dennis and Lary Larden.  If you put garage rock, harmony pop, light psychedelia and proto-bubblegum into a blender, the result might have been Every Mothers’ Son.  Their two albums as heard on Complete MGM Recordings reveal both EMS’ strengths and limitations as a band.

Pop was the order of the day for Every Mothers’ Son.  Every one of the album’s eleven tracks is under three minutes in length, and the one exception only goes over by a mere four seconds.  The songs of Denny and Lary were clearly influenced by the sounds emanating from the brothers’ jukeboxes.  In the indispensable track-by-track notes, the brothers even confirm the styles they were attempting to nail, whether subtly or overtly.  There are rockers and ballads, all graced with the band’s distinctive harmonies.  Denny, Lary, Bruce Milner, Schuyler Larsen and Christopher Augustine’s vocal blend wasn’t as ravishing as The Association’s, as ethereal as The Beach Boys’ or as bold as the Mamas and the Papas’, but their sound was supple and recognizable nonetheless.  They were also musicians of no small talent, with Denny and Lary on guitars, Bruce on keyboards, Schuyler on bass and Christopher on drums.   Most impressively, studio musicians were only utilized by Every Mothers’ Son for orchestral overdubs, some of which were arranged by Tony Romeo (“I Think I Love You,” “Indian Lake”).

Though not groundbreaking, the album is a pleasure to rediscover.  The ballads are the strongest songs on this debut set.  Denny’s pretty “What Became of Mary” nods heavily to the sound of Michael Brown and the Left Banke with its baroque flavor, although its lyrics are a bit florid: “Is her life still gay and bright? Does she sit alone at night and dream of days with me?”  Denny and Lary’s sweet slow-burner, “For Brandy,” is graced with strings, and compares favorably with The Association at their most gentle.  (Brandy, as always, was quite a popular woman to serenade.)  The group stretches a bit with the otherworldly electric violin on “Ain’t No Use,” co-written by Denny and Bruce, while rockabilly and country seem to have influenced “Didn’t She Lie” and “Ain’t It a Drag,” respectively.  The latter, with a prominent banjo part, also stylistically recalls Bob Dylan in the rapid-fire lyrics of the verses.  The laconic, jug band-styled “Sittin’ In” has more than a touch of the Lovin’ Spoonful about it, and the rocking “(I’m afraid of) Allison Dozer” would have fit snugly on Nuggets with its Kinks-esque guitar riff and groovy organ, too.

In a rapidly-changing and incredibly creative music scene, however, EMS’ songs may have been too ephemeral; despite the solid material on the debut album, not one song had a big enough hook to successfully follow “Come On Down to My Boat.”  We dive into the band’s second album and more after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 24, 2012 at 09:42