The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for March 21st, 2013

Dance A Little Bit Closer: Gold Legion Uncovers “The Salsoul Records Story”

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Salsoul Records StoryJust in case you didn’t already know, there’s plenty of gold to be found from the Gold Legion label.  Since its inception, Gold Legion has reissued and remastered classic disco records from master tape sources, adding copious annotation and bonus tracks to flesh out the stories behind the music.  Some of Gold Legion’s previous releases have been dedicated to iconic singer-actress-model Grace Jones, “Turn the Beat Around” diva Vicki Sue Robinson, The Emotions as produced by Maurice White and Charles Stepney, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, and Oscar and Grammy-winning producers Paul Jabara and Giorgio Moroder.    Lesser known but no less worthy artists have also received the Gold Legion treatment including Philadelphia-created session group The Ritchie Family, singer-songwriter Teri DeSario (who counted Barry Gibb and KC and the Sunshine Band’s Richard Casey among her collaborators), Canadian chanteuse France Joli, and club favorite and Moroder associate Suzi Lane.  In 2011, Gold Legion’s Disco Discography Vol. 1 brought together eleven tracks to show the diversity and depth of the disco revolution.  In essence, all of Gold Legion’s releases have shared that aim.  Two new compilations, each dedicated to an individual label from the disco era, continue the celebration of the spirit and soul of the genre.  We’ll take a look at one of those two today!

The Salsoul Records Story (Gold Legion 670945 62452 6) features ten selections from the catalogue of the New York independent label that gave new life and a new identity to a famous instrumental aggregation.  Philadelphia’s MFSB Orchestra had been experiencing some growing pains.  The “house orchestra” of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records, MFSB had grown restless by mid-1975.  The group was world-renowned, having sent records from The O’Jays, Billy Paul, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, The Stylistics and The Spinners to the top of the pop and R&B charts.  But certain vocal members felt they weren’t receiving adequate appreciation – and compensation – from Gamble and Huff’s empire.  At PIR, highly individual musicians emerged who could coalesce into an unmistakably sweet, funky and rapturous whole: people like Jack Faith (flute), Earl Young (drums), Ronnie Baker (bass), Bobby “Electronic” Eli, Norman Harris and T.J. Tindall (guitars), Ron Kersey (keyboards), Larry Washington (percussion), Vince Montana, Jr. (vibes) and Don Renaldo (strings and horns).  When Montana struck a deal with New York’s enterprising Cayre Brothers to helm The Salsoul Orchestra for the newly-christened Salsoul Records, he brought along those key MFSB players with him.  Some continued to also work for PIR, such as Faith, Eli and Renaldo, and some eventually returned to the Gamble and Huff fold, like Harris.  But at Salsoul, “The Sound of Philadelphia” took on a new dimension.

After the jump, there’s much more on The Salsoul Records Story including the complete track listing and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 21, 2013 at 11:12

Smile Jamaica! Bob Marley’s “Kaya” to Be Expanded with Unreleased Live Show

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Kaya DeluxeBob Marley & The Wailers’ legendary repertoire for Island Records has been the focus of many reissues and celebratory packages, from the Legend compilation – the best-selling reggae album of all time, to new packages like dub compilations and the soundtrack to the recent documentary Marley. Next month, Island/UMe will celebrate another one of Marley’s memorable albums, expanding 1978’s Kaya.

While the material on Kaya is largely of a certain vintage – many of the tracks were Wailers standards in their early days on Trojan Records, and the album was recorded during the same sessions that yielded the previous year’s Exodus – that’s not to say it wasn’t fresh. It also wasn’t as politically charged as some of the band’s previous work, leading some critics to accuse him of softening his message in favor of easygoing songs about love and herb.

Few could doubt Marley’s commitment to his political beliefs that year, however. Having survived an assassination attempt in his native Jamaica in late 1976, Marley found himself returning to the island in the spring of 1978 for the One Love Peace Concert, which famously climaxed with him bringing Jamaican political rivals Michael Manley and Edward Seaga onstage to shake hands. (This portion of that concert was chronicled on the aforementioned Marley compilation.)

For the 35th anniversary of the record, Kaya will be expanded with not only one bonus track (the non-LP B-side “Smile Jamaica,” which has been appended to the album on previous reissues) but an unreleased concert from Rotterdam’s Ahoy in the summer of 1978. The album will also be reissued on vinyl with “Smile Jamaica” added, too. Featuring a 23-page booklet with lyrics, liner notes and unseen photos, you can find this new edition of Kaya in stores April 23.

Check out the full specs and order your copies after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

March 21, 2013 at 10:12

Posted in Bob Marley, News, Reissues, Vinyl