The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for February 6th, 2013

Good Things: Edsel Expands Fine Young Cannibals Catalogue

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Fine Young CannibalsOur friends at Slicing Up Eyeballs and Super Deluxe Edition have confirmed track lists for Edsel’s upcoming reissues of both studio album by U.K. group Fine Young Cannibals.

Along with General Public, Fine Young Cannibals were formed from the ashes of The (English) Beat, with guitarist Andy Cox and bassist David Steele joining forces with singer Roland Gift, whose soulful voice was one of several hundred the bandmates auditioned. A video of lead single “Johnny Come Home” on The Tube, which premiered before the band was even signed, earned FYC a deal with London Records; their self-titled debut in 1985 yielded two U.K. Top 10 hits, “Johnny” and a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds” with guest vocals by Jimmy Somerville.

The Raw & The CookedBut it was second, and ultimately final, album, 1988’s The Raw & The Cooked, which bought FYC a wider audience across the globe. Featuring polished production by David Z at Prince’s Paisley Park Studios (David’s brother, Bobby Z, was the drummer in Prince and The Revolution, and David himself was crucial in the production and engineering of Prince’s smash hit “Kiss”), The Raw & The Cooked spun off two major MTV-ready hits in “She Drives Me Crazy” and “Good Thing,” both of which topped the Billboard charts in America.

FYC’s success after The Raw & The Cooked was short-lived; they broke up in 1992, and only reunited briefly in 1996 for a greatest hits compilation and new single, “The Flame.” These double-disc expansions help keep the FYC flame burning, though, with a handful of non-LP tracks and dozens of remixes bolstering these packages. While hardcore fans will certainly point out omissions – notably, several mixes featured on the 1990 compilation The Raw & The Remix and a non-LP house track released under the name Two Men, a Drum Machine and a Trumpet – there’s certainly more to enjoy here than on any previous CD issue.

Edsel’s website has not divulged any details on packaging or liner notes, but fans will be able to find out soon: both titles hit U.K. stores on February 18. After the jump, check out the full track details and pre-order links for both titles!

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 6, 2013 at 15:09

Alive and Kicking: New Simple Minds Compilation Announced

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Simple Minds CelebrateScottish rock/New Wave band Simple Minds have been together in some form or another since 1977, and that near-35-year run of singles is about to be commemorated this spring with a new greatest hits set.

Celebrate: The Greatest Hits+ will be available as a double or triple-disc set in March, and will feature, depending on which version you buy, up to 50 tracks from the group. The set spans the band’s entire run, from their early years on Zoom/Arista at the tail end of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s, to their hitmaker years with Virgin throughout the ’80s and ’90s to their current independent period. From debut U.K. single “Life in a Day” to the multinational hits “Alive and Kicking,” “Sanctify Yourself” and “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” the immortal end theme to John Hughes’ teen drama The Breakfast Club, it’s all here.

In addition, Celebrate will feature two brand-new tracks just for this release, “Blood Diamonds” and “Broken Glass Park.” (The triple-disc version includes another newer song, “Stagefright,” released as a free download in 2011.) The band, still featuring founding members Jim Kerr on vocals and Charlie Burchill on guitars (along with drummer Mel Gaynor, who’s played with the band since 1982), will commemorate the release with a 28-date tour of the U.K. in March, April and May.

After the jump, find Amazon U.K. pre-order links (a domestic release is expected in May) and the track list for the sets.

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 6, 2013 at 11:53

In The Groove: Patti Austin, George Duke, Ronnie Laws Reissues Coming From SoulMusic Label

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Patti Austin - CTISoulMusic Records, a division of the Cherry Red Group, is taking a soulful walk on the jazz side of town this month – or is that a jazzy walk on the soulful side of town?  You can decide for yourself with the new reissue of titles from Patti Austin, George Duke and Ronnie Laws.  All three albums are available now in U.K. and U.S. stores.

With Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington as her godparents, it’s no surprise that Patti Austin found her calling in music.  Yet despite having first recorded in 1955, Austin didn’t release a solo album until 1976 when she signed with Creed Taylor’s CTI label.  CTI was known for its sleek, modern jazz offerings, but Taylor was looking to expand his label’s horizons and the already accomplished singer /songwriter fit the bill.  SoulMusic has reissued Austin’s 1976 CTI debut, End of a Rainbow, in a deluxe edition also containing nine bonus tracks drawn from two later CTI platters.  Taylor himself oversaw Rainbow, which featured arrangements from David Matthews and guest appearances from CTI labelmate Joe Farrell, Randy Brecker and Gwen Guthrie.  On End of a Rainbow, Austin tackled lush, string-drenched ballads as well as uptempo grooves that straddled the line between jazz and R&B.  Austin wrote every song herself with the exception of one tune co-written with Dave Grusin (“That’s Enough for Me”) and one from Pat Upton (Spiral Starecase hit “More Today Than Yesterday”).  Grusin would play a significant role in Austin’s future, eventually signing her to his GRP label.

But more immediately speaking, Grusin and his GRP partner Larry Rosen took the reins as producers for Austin’s 1978 follow-up, Havana Candy.  This album was even more eclectic than the first, with songs ranging from the “rumba-type thing” (in Austin’s words) that is the saucy, delicious title track, to a heartfelt rendition of Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson’s “Lost in the Stars.”  Five tracks have been culled from Havana for the new release, and three from 1980’s CTI farewell Body Language.  (A concert LP, Live At the Bottom Line, came in between.)  Recorded in Muscle Shoals with Taylor back in the producer’s chair, Body Language found Austin singing Squeeze (“Another Nail For My Heart”) and Isaac Hayes (the title song).  The album was actually the singer’s most successful, going Top 30 Jazz and earning a spot on the R&B charts, too, at No. 62.  But CTI was in a state of flux by 1980, and Austin decamped for her godfather’s Qwest label.  Though Havana Candy and Body Language should warrant reissues on their own, SoulMusic’s expanded End of the Rainbow is a vibrant retrospective of an artist who’s still blurring genre lines and pushing boundaries as both a singer/songwriter and an interpretive vocal talent.  SoulMusic founder David Nathan has written new liner notes, and Alan Wilson has remastered.

What’s coming from George Duke and Ronnie Laws?  Just hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 6, 2013 at 09:32