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Archive for January 2nd, 2013

Simply Irresistible: Edsel Plans Expanded Robert Palmer Two-Fers

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The point is irrefutable! Edsel is releasing two double-disc sets containing all of the late, great Robert Palmer’s albums for EMI, with a few audio extras.

One of the best blue-eyed soul singers from across the pond, Palmer had been well-known among pop gurus for his eclectic discography on Island Records in the 1970s and 1980s, including hits like “Every Kinda People” and “Bad Case of Loving You.” His big break in the U.S., however, came when Andy and John Taylor, the guitarist and bassist for Duran Duran, hired Palmer to sing as part of supergroup The Power Station with CHIC drummer Tony Thompson (and bassist Bernard Edwards in the producer’s chair). The Power Station’s “Some Like It Hot” and a hard-driving cover of T. Rex’s “Get It On (Bang a Gong)” were U.S. Top 10 hits, which inspired Palmer to bow out of a Power Station tour and get back into the studio.

The result, Riptide (1986), was his last record for Island and a continuation of The Power Station sound (with all but John Taylor, who’d continued on with Duran Duran, joining in the sessions). Armed with another clutch of hits and an unforgettable, model-filled promo video for chart-topper “Addicted to Love,” Palmer left for EMI on a high note. His first album there, Heavy Nova, released two years later, was more of the same eclectic rock sound with another peppy single and video, the U.S. No. 2 hit “Simply Irresistible.” Heavy Nova also included U.K. Top 10 hit “She Makes My Day” and a cover of the Michael Omartian co-composition “Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming,” made famous by Jermaine and Michael Jackson on Jermaine’s Dynamite album in 1984.

As the 1990s dawned, Palmer drew less from the bag of tricks he’d dug into on the last two albums and opted for back-to-basics soul (and even some eclectic standards!) on 1990’s Don’t Explain, an ambitious double-length album bolstered by U.K. hits “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” with UB40 and a medley of Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” and “I Want You.” 1992’s Ridin’ High leaned even harder on standards (including three tracks that appeared on Don’t Explain), covering the likes of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and “Witchcraft.” 1994’s Honey saw him return to a more soul-oriented rock sound, with originals “You Blow Me Away” and “Know by Now” as well as a cover of Devo’s “Girl U Want” making minor U.K. chart impact. Palmer briefly regrouped with The Power Station for 1996’s ill-conceived Living in Fear (marred by the failing sobriety of John Taylor, in turn replaced by Bernard Edwards, who tragically passed away during a CHIC tour in Japan that year) and released several more records independently before a heart attack silenced his great voice at the too-young age of 54.

Edsel’s double-disc reissues feature all four EMI albums and bonus tracks between three of the four albums, including remixes and non-LP tracks, and new packaging including new essays and single artwork. Look for these in the U.K. on January 14 and a week later as U.S. imports. Order links and full track details are after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

January 2, 2013 at 15:07

Baseball, But Better: Say Anything Compile Early Works on Three Discs

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Say Anything All My Friends Are EnemiesWho says January is a dull month for catalogue music? Say Anything are starting the year off with a triple-disc limited edition box set chronicling much of their early career.

All My Friends Are Enemies: Early Rarities chronicles lead singer/songwriter Max Bemis’ L.A. band in the two years before their signing to Doghouse Records in 2003 and releasing breakthrough album Say Anything…is a Real Boy the following year. (From 2005 to 2009, the group was signed to J/RCA Records, re-releasing …is a Real Boy in 2006 as well as double album In Defense of the Genre (2007) and a self-titled LP in 2009; indie label Equal Vision handled last year’s Anarchy, My Dear.)

The set, limited to 5,000 copies, will feature the band’s first self-released EP, 2000’s Junior Varsity (self-reissued and expanded as In Your Dreams (2002)); their proper debut, Baseball: An Album by Sayanything (2001) and 2002’s Menorah/Majora EP. Also featured in the box are some 18 further odds and ends, including much of the “Dormroom Demos,” recorded the same time as Menorah/Majora in Bemis’ Sarah Lawrence College dorm.

It’s shaping up to be a busy year for Bemis: in a recent two-part chat (here and here) with The Alternative Press, he discussed at length the recent departure of longtime Say Anything drummer Coby Linder, new projects with his wife including his first child and a new band, Perma, and the promise of new Say Anything music (with a possible detour to celebrate the 10-year mark for …is a Real Boy) in 2014. In the meantime, All My Friends Are Enemies is out January 22. Order it at Amazon U.S. here and Amazon U.K. here and hit the jump for the full track breakdown.

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Written by Mike Duquette

January 2, 2013 at 13:06

In Case You Missed It: Stand Up and Cheer! Intrada Releases “Hoosiers” Soundtrack and More

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LastHardMenWe begin our first day of catalogue coverage for 2013 by…keeping up with some titles that came out last year that slipped through our wires. (I know, I know. Really, it just sat in drafts for a week or two while I kept wrapping presents instead of finalizing it. -Ed.) Rest assured, though, that these – the final three catalogue soundtrack releases from Intrada Records – are worth your time in any year.

First up is one of Intrada’s most intriguing releases in awhile, in that it’s two scores for the same movie, neither of which were really used! Based on the novel of the same name, The Last Hard Men (1976) featured Charlton Heston and James Coburn as bitter, aging rivals on either side of the law in early 20th century Arizona. The film’s original score by Leonard Rosenman was deemed too bleakly reflective of the picture by 20th Century-Fox, and Fox musical scion Lionel Newman was hired for an unusual task: he would re-record various pieces written for Fox Westerns by Jerry Goldsmith, including selections from 100 RiflesRio Conchos and Stagecoach for use in the final film. In one final, bizarre twist, those re-recordings were also scrapped in favor of Goldsmith’s original recordings, which were considered favorable enough when temped into the final mix. So, for the first time ever, Rosenman’s unused original music and Newman’s unused re-recordings are presented in their entirety.

Keep reading after the jump for a look at two Golden Age scores on one release and another long-awaited expansion from one of the 20th century’s most famous film composers!

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Written by Mike Duquette

January 2, 2013 at 10:31

No-Guilt Trip: Barbra Streisand Releases More From The Vaults on “Classical Barbra”

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Classical BarbraNobody’s gonna rain on Barbra Streisand’s parade.  Earlier this year, the Columbia Records artist earned her seventh consecutive Top 10 entry and 32nd overall Top 10 disc with Release Me, a collection of previously-vaulted material spanning her entire career.  Streisand embarked on a series of sold-out concert dates in support of the album, and has just seen the big screen release of The Guilt Trip, a comedy in which she stars opposite Seth Rogen.   Though a second volume of Release Me was promised, it appears that another album containing previously-unissued music will precede it.  It’s being reported that, on February 5, Sony Masterworks will reissue 1976’s Classical Barbra in a remastered edition containing two previously unissued bonus tracks.

Though recorded in 1973, Classical Barbra was first issued in 1976 between the Rupert Holmes-produced Lazy Afternoon LP and the soundtrack album to A Star is Born.  It couldn’t have been more different from those projects, however, as its twelve tracks were drawn from the European classical repertoire of composers including Claude Debussy, Carl Orff, George Frideric Handel, and Robert Schumann.  The entire album was crafted under the direction of Claus Ogerman, the German-born producer, arranger and composer who had previously worked on the concert stage with Streisand as well as on the Stoney End LP.  (In addition, his arrangement of Jimmy Webb’s “Didn’t We” can be heard on Release Me.)  Ogerman brought to the table his wide-ranging experience with artists ranging from Bill Evans and Lesley Gore to Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim, and also composed the album’s closing track and sole original composition, “I Loved You.”  (Its lyrics were adapted from Alexander Pushkin’s poetry.)  Streisand was at her most virtuosic on this collection, singing not only in English, but in French, Occitan, German, Italian and Latin.  Ogerman’s symphonic backdrop lushly supported Streisand’s vocals.

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Written by Joe Marchese

January 2, 2013 at 08:48