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Archive for March 15th, 2013

Reach Out! Singles Sets for Four Tops, Martha & The Vandellas Due from Hip-O Select

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Four Tops Singles CollectionWe kick off the weekend with not one but two new Motown collections from Hip-O Select. This time, it’s a pair of singles collections from two cornerstones of the classic Motown sound – and one is packed with rarities.

The boutique label (which, if its Twitter feed is any indication, is due for a rebranding of sorts) is releasing two Singles Collection multi-disc sets from The Four Tops and Martha & The Vandellas. The classic lineup of Levi Stubbs, Obie Benson, Duke Fakir and Lawrence Payton, combined with the immaculate writing and production of the Holland-Dozier-Holland team, make their The Singles Collection 1964-1972, covering their first stretch on Motown Records in A- and B-sides, a killer addition to your collection. Not only does it feature each side released out of Detroit (including Top 10 hits “I Can’t Help Myself,” “It’s the Same Old Song,” “Reach Out I’ll Be There” and “Standing in the Shadows of Love”), but it also features a handful of tracks released on singles in the U.K. as well as the group’s astounding Italian-language versions of three of their hits.

Martha and The Vandellas Singles CollectionThings get even more exciting for the triple-disc The Singles Collection 1962-1972 from Martha Reeves & The Vandellas. “Heat Wave,” the immortal “Dancing in the Street” and “Jimmy Mack” were all major hits, but the group remains one of the most important and underrated of the Motown roster. This set will definitely entice fans: not only does it feature all of their single sides, but a third disc as well featuring a “Lost & Found” 27-track set of rare and unreleased gems from the Motown vaults. Collaborations with Stevie Wonder, Ashford & Simpson and Deke Richards – who mixed six of the rarities on this disc – abound, as do unfamiliar alternate versions of major hits. (The remainder of the work was mixed by engineer Obie O’Brien, working on vintage mixing gear in Sanctuary Studio (owned and operated by one of his most famous collaborators: Bon Jovi).

Featuring the same kind of deluxe packaging as Select’s singles sets for The Supremes and The Tempatations, both sets will be available in stores on April 2. Hit the jump to check out both sets and pre-order your copies!

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Written by Mike Duquette

March 15, 2013 at 15:45

Born in the AUS: New Springsteen Comp Bows for Down Under Tour

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Springsteen AustraliaIf you’re a new fan of Bruce Springsteen in Australia, or a hardcore collector who wants everything ever released on behalf of The Boss, have we got a title for you.

In honor of Springsteen’s Australian leg of the Wrecking Ball Tour, which kicked off last night in Brisbane and continues through the end of the month, Sony Music’s Australian arm is releasing a new single-disc compilation that collects all his biggest hits in advance of the next few live dates – which, if they’re anything like the other dozens of shows on this tour, will be electrifying and lengthy. (In August, a show in Helsinki, Finland was the longest Bruce and The E Street Band have ever put on, lasting just over four hours!)

While there’s of course nothing new or rare to find here (think of it as an update on that European hits set from a few years ago that was also controversially released as a Walmart exclusive), it’s the first comp to include two tracks from his most recent LP, last year’s Wrecking Ball (the title track and lead single “We Take Care of Our Own”). And with the exception of 1992’s Lucky Town and Springsteen’s folk LPs of the 2000s (Devils & Dust (2005) and We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006)), every album since 1973’s The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle is represented herein.

Collection: 1973-2012 is yours to peruse and order from Amazon after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

March 15, 2013 at 13:00

Real Gone Captures David Allan Coe, Eddy Arnold, Blue Öyster Cult, Henry Mancini and More!

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Blue Oyster Cult - ImaginosIt’s that time of the month again!  Real Gone Music has just announced its April 30 slate of releases, a typically full complement of nine reissues crossing all genre lines.

For rock enthusiasts, Real Gone reinvents Blue Öyster Cult’s 1988 album Imaginos in a 2012 remix, enhancing the band’s controversial Columbia Records swansong with Scott Schinder’s new liner notes.  Schinder also annotates a two-fer from Allman Brothers offshoot band Sea Level, containing Cats on the Coast and On the Edge.  Wilderness Road’s offbeat 1973 Reprise album Sold for the Prevention of Disease Only brings the band’s blend of country, psychedelic rock and political satire to CD for the very first time with new notes from Richie Unterberger.  On the country side of town, Real Gone has two titles that couldn’t be more different: a 28-track collection of original chart-toppers from the legendary cowboy Eddy Arnold plus outlaw David Allan Coe’s 1977 album Texas Moon.  For jazz aficionados, the thriving partnership between Real Gone and Chicago institution Dusty Groove Records continues with three titles blurring the lines of jazz, soul and funk: Allspice’s Wayne Henderson-produced Allspice, Larry Williams’ That Larry Williams, and vibraphonist Johnny Lytle’s The Soulful Rebel and People and Love.  Lastly, renowned composer (and Second Disc favorite) Henry Mancini’s beautiful score to Blake Edwards’ 10 – featuring vocals from none other than Julie Andrews and a piano solo from Dudley Moore – makes its long-overdue U.S. CD debut.

Whew!  After the jump, we have full details and pre-order links for all titles via Real Gone’s detailed press release! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 15, 2013 at 11:48

Kritzerland Goes “Green” with Broadway’s “A Time For Singing” and Vintage Newman Score

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A Time for Singing - OBC

Kritzerland is going Green just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.  Richard Llewellyn’s 1939 novel How Green Was My Valley was an immediate sensation, winning the 1940 National Book Award and attracting Hollywood’s attention.  Set in South Wales, the story of the Morgan family’s struggles during the reign of Queen Victoria struck a chord with readers and spawned three sequels and numerous adaptations.  The 1941 Twentieth Century Fox film version, directed by John Ford, is certainly the most notable.  But theatre music fans have long held a soft spot for the 1966 Broadway musical adaptation, retitled A Time for Singing.  Kritzerland has pulled off a coup with today’s reissue of both Alfred Newman’s soundtrack for the 1941 film and John Morris and Gerald Freedman’s score for A Time for Singing.

The Academy Award-winning film How Green Was My Valley starred Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O’Hara, Donald Crisp and Roddy McDowall in the pivotal role of Huw Morgan.  It’s a mark of the movie’s success that it beat out Citizen Kane for Best Picture that year, winning four other Oscars (including one for director John Ford) and receiving five additional nominations, including one for Alfred Newman’s majestic score.  As reissue producer Bruce Kimmel describes, the score “is simply one brilliant cue after another, each capturing the humanity and warmth of the characters, setting the mood, underscoring the drama and pathos and humor as only Alfred Newman could.”

The out-of-print 1993 CD from Fox and Arista Records contained much of the score, but was incomplete.  Kritzerland’s reissue is a significant upgrade, derived from the studio’s archival ¼” rolls made in the 1980s off the first generation optical film and was newly restored, mixed and assembled.  This allowed for the “opening up” of many of the cues that had previously been combined together.  Most of the cues were recorded with separate close-up and long-shot perspectives, creating a stereo image.  Kritzerland’s reissue presents the score in chronological order, with mono and stereo tracks indexed separately, and the label promises improved sound on all but the main and end titles which were available only in pre-existing quality.  The end title has been included in stereo without its original vocal as a bonus track.  The restored edition of Alfred Newman’s lush score to How Green Was My Valley is limited to 1,000 copies, and CDs are slated to ship the last week of April though pre-orders frequently arrive four weeks early.

After the jump: it’s A Time for Singing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 15, 2013 at 09:26