The Second Disc

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Archive for April 4th, 2013

First Reissue: Light in the Attic Expands Debut LP by Public Image Ltd.

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PiL First IssueLight in the Attic, the Seattle label that reintroduced us to Rodriguez, has quite a title on hand for their 100th reissue: the first-ever U.S. release of the debut album by Public Image Ltd. as an expanded CD or LP set.

Public Image Ltd. was the brainchild of John Lydon, the iconoclastic British punk who’d set the world ablaze as Johnny Rotten with his previous band, The Sex Pistols, in 1977. The band had imploded not long after releasing the iconic Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols, but Lydon soldiered on with a new band, comprised of guitarist Keith Levene, bassist Jah Wobble and drummer Jim Walker. Together, the music of PiL was far more diverse, integrating elements of punk, folk and dub in a rhythmic stew. But it was no less agitated.

First Issue, the band’s first album, included the savage single “Public Image,” a modest hit, but critics weren’t sure what to make of the album’s sonic critique of the state of rock and roll until years later. PiL would endure a lot of stylistic and personnel changes until Lydon broke up the band in 1992; they reformed years later and released their most recent LP last year.

As is appropriate for this Light in the Attic landmark, First Issue – which was never released in the U.S. (the band’s label Warner Bros. paid for the band to re-record parts of the record to attract a wider audience, but those recordings remain lost to the sands of time) – gets a lavish deluxe edition on both CD and vinyl. The former set will be two discs, pairing the original album with a bonus disc featuring non-LP B-side “The Cowboy Song” and a complete, hourlong interview with Lydon conducted for the BBC in October 1978. The package will also feature two stickers, all housed in a mini-LP replica tip-on gatefold jacket. The LP will feature the audio extras on a download card, and will feature “an archive replica fold-out poster, two stickers, and archive replica newsprint adverts and lyrics insert” inside the gatefold jacket. Additionally, web-exclusive bundles will include both packages along with a set of buttons and replica of an original PiL patch.

The whole affair has the approval of Lydon and his team, so you can get this without worrying about an angry letter arriving at your door. Both sets will be in stores June 18. Amazon links have yet to go live, but you can order direct from the label now.

Public Image Ltd., First Issue: Deluxe Edition (Light in the Attic, 2013)

Disc 1: Original LP (released as Virgin V-2114, 1978)

  1. Theme
  2. Religion I
  3. Religion II
  4. Annalisa
  5. Public Image
  6. Low Life
  7. Attack
  8. Fodderstompf

Disc 2: Bonus material

  1. The Cowboy Song (B-side to “Public Image” – Virgin VS-228 (U.K.), 1978)
  2. Interview with John Lydon, BBC Radio, October 1978 (previously unreleased)

Written by Mike Duquette

April 4, 2013 at 11:37

Nancy Wilson Goes Pop and Philly Soul With New Two-For-One CD Reissue

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Nancy Wilson - Now I'm a Woman Two-FerBy 1970, Nancy Wilson had already been a marquee recording artist for Capitol Records for a decade. The supreme song stylist never allowed herself to be pigeonholed into one musical style, having made her successful debut single with a Broadway showtune (“Guess Who I Saw Today”), dabbled in R&B (“Save Your Love for Me”) and collaborated with jazz greats such as Cannonball Adderley and George Shearing. All in all, Wilson was a leading light of adult pop, selling out nightclubs and even playing a Vegas club singer on television’s I Spy. But the times they were a-changin’, and so was pop music. As the sixties gave way to the seventies, “adult” artists like Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett and Peggy Lee were being encouraged to record hit pop-rock songs in “adult-friendly” versions. In this strange new world, songs like “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” and “Spinning Wheel” became virtual standards overnight. Some modern songbooks, deservedly, ascended into the pantheon (those by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Jimmy Webb, Laura Nyro, Paul Simon, to name a few). Other oft-covered songs from this period (“Little Green Apples,” anyone?) didn’t share quite the same fate as “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” or “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” It was in this climate that Capitol ushered Nancy Wilson into the 1970s with two very different, contemporary albums – one of which is very nearly a lost masterwork.

Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (1970) and Now I’m a Woman (1971) have both been reissued on CD for the very first time by SoulMusic Records on one CD (SMCR 25087). The former wasn’t Wilson’s first foray into the modern repertoire; in fact, its title track had been recycled from a 1969 hit single (No. 27 R&B, No. 52 Pop) and the Hurt So Bad album, also scheduled to be reissued by the SoulMusic label. The Bob Gaudio/Bob Crewe song, a No. 2 hit for Frankie Valli in 1967, had also been recorded by the likes of The Lettermen, Andy Williams, Engelbert Humperdinck, and Diana Ross and the Supremes with the Temptations, among so many others. But Nancy’s swinging and soulful treatment signified that she had more affinity for current pop material than many artists. Producer David Cavanaugh assembled Can’t Take My Eyes Off You with both the kind of material common to these MOR-pop albums (“You Made Me So Very Happy,” “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” the title track) and some unexpected choices.

We’ll explore both albums after the jump! Plus: the full track listing and order link!

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Written by Joe Marchese

April 4, 2013 at 10:07

Posted in Nancy Wilson, News, Reissues, Reviews

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