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Archive for December 12th, 2012

It’s Their Life: EMI to Release One Old and One New Collection for Talk Talk

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Talk Talk Natural HistoryWith a unique blend of synthpop and post-rock aspirations, the short but powerful discography of Talk Talk is a most interesting one. Next month, two compilations – one classic one, and a new one personally overseen by the band’s elusive frontman Mark Hollis – will shine the spotlight on Talk Talk once more.

On their first two albums, The Party’s Over (1982) and It’s My Life (1984), Talk Talk cut themselves a powerful piece of moody, bubbling New Wave. But it was 1986’s The Colour of Spring and 1988’s Spirit of Eden that the band hit upon their most critically enduring work – minimalist, experimental art-pop for the at-times uncertain decade. Unfortunately, the albums did not enjoy the kind of success that EMI or Parlophone (who distributed Eden) had wanted; in turn, final album Laughing Stock was released by Verve/Polydor in 1991. By then, Hollis, essentially the only member of the group, wanted to spend more time with his family and disbanded the group. After one self-titled album in 1998, Hollis retired from music making.

Talk Talk Natural OrderThough the group openly protested the original release of Natural History (not being a fan of the compilation format itself, and later suing EMI over an unsolicited remix album), the set is a good starting point for the new fan, including all the band’s notable singles (including non-LP track “My Foolish Friend”) and a pair of new live cuts. Like a similar reissue in 2007, this disc is paired with a DVD modelled after the band’s video compilation, Natural History: A Video Selection, including 10 videos and two alternate versions. But it might be new counterpart Natural Order – Hollis’ first collaboration with EMI in years – that will make collectors happy. Billed as a “showcase [for] the ‘other’ side of Talk Talk,” this 10-track disc features album cuts as well as several non-LP B-sides. Best of all, this set includes two tracks from the Laughing Stock era, including a rare alternate version of single “After the Flood.”

Both sets are available in the U.K. on January 14. Hit the jump to check them out!

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Written by Mike Duquette

December 12, 2012 at 16:20

Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp, Nick Cave Join “Voices for Justice” on New Soundtrack

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West of MemphisWhen not telling the story of The Hobbit on Middle Earth, film producers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh are hoping this winter to bring a different, real-life story to light.  West of Memphis is their new documentary film directed by Amy Berg (Best Documentary Oscar nominee Deliver Us from Evil), so named for the Arkansas city of West Memphis in which three eight-year old boys were tragically killed in 1993.  The film chronicles the battle to prove the innocence of the three young men convicted for the heinous crime, each of whom spent over eighteen years in prison while supporters collected the evidence that eventually led to their freedom.   On January 15, Legacy Recordings will release West of Memphis: Voices for Justice, a tie-in album to the documentary featuring contributions from Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Marilyn Manson, Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp and others.

Damien Echols (a producer of the film), Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were all teenagers when they became the target of the police’s investigation.  Members of the music community including Henry Rollins, Natalie Maines, Dave Navarro, Manson and Vedder all became vocal in supporting Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley’s pleas for justice to be served.  In the press release for Legacy’s new release in support of the West Memphis Three, Echols stated, “Music has always played a huge role in my life. In my early years, it allowed me to escape the crushing poverty I was born into. Music took me out of myself and into a thousand other worlds. Then, when I was put on trial, it was music they used against me. My love of heavy metal was considered ‘proof’ that I was evil and a satanic murderer. And then, ultimately, it was music that helped to free me when friends and supporters came together to put on the Voices for Justice concert in Little Rock.”

After the jump: more including the complete track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 12, 2012 at 12:52

It’ll Soon Be Here: Rhino Marks “Rumours” Box As 2013’s First Big Catalogue Piece

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The first big catalogue release of 2013 has been officially announced: Rhino Records comes back in a big way with a box set edition of Rumours, the immortal album by Fleetwood Mac.

“I know there’s nothing to say Someone has taken my place…” The first couplet of “Second Hand News,” the album’s lead track, indicated something rather different from anything one could expect from the long-running British/American blues/rock band. That poppy sound belied one of the most prominent musical pressure cookers since The Beatles struggled their way through the Get Back sessions. Like The Fab Four’s eventual Let It BeRumours was at once true to the band’s form and something a little different from the norm at the same time. Unlike that album, though, it opened the floodgates for the band, catapulting them to a new plateau of success that they’re arguably still reaping the benefits of, 35 years later.

After the success of the band’s 1975 self-titled album, personal turmoil rocked the quintet: the personal couplings of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks and married bassist and singer/keyboardists John and Christine McVie came to an end; drummer Mick Fleetwood’s marriage was also rocked by an affair at the same time. The band pressed on, pairing their own mixed personal feelings with airtight, immaculately-arranged pop songs primarily cut at the famed Record Plant in Sausalito, California under the watch of producer/engineers Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut.

That mix of rawness and radio-ready perfection caught the ears of both old fans and new: Rumours topped the charts in seven countries, including the U.S. and the U.K., and spun off four Top 10 singles in America, including “Go Your Own Way,” “Don’t Stop,” the chart-topping “Dreams” and “You Make Loving Fun.” The album has been certified 19 times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, still one of the top 10 best-selling albums in the country. (A one-two punch of a new Stevie Nicks album and a Rumours-themed episode of the FOX series Glee sent the album back to No. 12 on the Billboard charts in 2011.)

Now, as the Mac embarks on their first tour in three years, Rhino readies a Rumours box that builds upon the band’s two-disc reissue of the album in 2004. And what’s included this time around? Don’t stop here! Hit the jump to find out!

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Written by Mike Duquette

December 12, 2012 at 11:06

Shout! Factory to Kick Off 2013 with New Pogues Compilation

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The Very Best of The PoguesThis season has been as good a time as any to look someone in the eye and say “POGUE MAHONE!” Legendary Irish-British rockers The Pogues have celebrated the 25th anniversary of their most endearing single, the unorthodox Christmas tune “Fairytale of New York” (featuring a notable guest vocal from Kirsty MacColl) with a special physical and digital reissue earlier this month (undoubtedly gunning for the coveted Christmas No. 1 single slot, having peaked at No. 2 in its original release year and placing strongly within the U.K. Top 20 since 2005). And on January 22, Shout! Factory will release a brand-new career-spanning compilation for the group.

Formed not in Ireland but King’s Cross, London, and comprised of English and Irish musicians (lead singer Shane McGowan chief among the latter camp), The Pogues’ intriguing blend of punk rhythms with traditional Celtic arrangements earned them a wide following in Europe. An opening slot for The Clash during their last major live performances led to a deal with Stiff Records; onetime Stiff artist Elvis Costello produced their breakthrough sophomore album, 1985’s Rum Sodomy and the Lash and would later marry the band’s departing bassist, Cait O’Reardon.

Following Stiff’s bankruptcy, the band signed to Island and enjoyed their greatest commercial success with singles “Fairytale of New York” and “Irish Rover” and 1988’s If I Should Fall from Grace with God. But a seeming inconsistency to capitalize on their own successes, combined with the increasing unreliability of MacGowan – battling alcoholism, he was fired from the group in 1991 and replaced first by The Clash’s Joe Strummer and then band member Spider Stacy – sank The Pogues’ fortunes almost as soon as they began. The band broke up in 1996, but reunited with MacGowan in 2001 for a tour of England; today, the band continues to perform live (with no intentions to record new music), splitting their time between the U.S. around St. Patrick’s Day and the U.K. around Christmas. (A 30th anniversary show will commence at London’s O2 on December 20.)

The 18-track compilation features tracks from every Pogues LP, as well as an eight-page booklet featuring new liner notes by Spider Stacy. Order The Very Best of The Pogues at Amazon U.S. and Amazon U.K., and check out the full track list after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

December 12, 2012 at 10:10