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Archive for April 17th, 2013

Primus Are “Sailing” Anew with Expanded, Remixed Reissue

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Primus Cheese deluxeFunky rock pranksters Primus are Sailing the Seas of Cheese once again with a forthcoming deluxe edition of their major-label debut with a brand new mix.

Anchored by vocalist/bassist Les Claypool, Primus’ irreverent style combines the proggy sounds of Rush with the experimental nature and offbeat humor of Frank Zappa. Claypool, guitarist Larry “Ler” LaLonde and drummer Jay Lane (who played with the band for a year in 1988 before rejoining in 2010, replacing longtime drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander) continue to earn points in studio (their most recent being 2010’s Green Naugahyde) and as a live act, having recently gone on tour in a “3-D” setting, with specially enhanced surround sound presentations at every show.

Sailing the Seas of Cheese, featuring the notable tune “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver,” was the first of several albums released by Interscope in the 1990s (full-length debut Frizzle Fry (1990) was distributed by Caroline Records). On May 21, it will be released as a deluxe edition featuring a new stereo remix and bonus tracks on CD and a DVD or Blu-Ray of the original album mixed in 5.1 surround. Both video discs will feature four special “visualizer streams” to play along to the music, to add a little pep to the presentation on your home theater.

“Musically, it holds up incredibly well,” Claypool said of the new mix in a statement. “Sonically, it holds up fairly well. There’s some old-style reverbs that are a little bit syrupy. With modern technology, we can fix some of that stuff. But we don’t want to mess with it too much, because it is what it is. We want to fatten it up a little bit.”

A 200-gram vinyl reissue of the stereo mix is also planned, with 1,000 unmarked “Mystery Vinyl” packages pressed on yellow vinyl instead of standard black. After the jump, the full track list and audio specs, as well as pre-order links to all formats, await you.

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Written by Mike Duquette

April 17, 2013 at 15:23

Posted in News, Primus, Reissues

Get Down and Dirty: Three Albums From Metal Heroes Saxon Arrive From Edsel

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Saxon - Solid Ball of RockAre you ready for a Solid Ball of Rock?

Edsel Records has recently reissued the first three albums with which British heavy metal pioneers Saxon greeted the 1990s.  Solid Ball of Rock (1991), Forever Free (1992) and Dogs of War (1995), all originally released on Germany’s Virgin label, have each been expanded with two bonus tracks for these new editions.

Considered part of the same New Wave of British Heavy Metal that also included Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, Saxon made its debut in 1979 with a self-titled album on the French Carrere label featuring the line-up of Biff Byford (vocals), Graham Oliver (guitar), Paul Quinn (guitar), Steve Dawson (bass) and Pete Gill (drums).  Byford, Quinn and Oliver would remain with the band through the period covered by these Edsel reissues; Gill left the band in 1981 while Dawson departed in 1986.  (Byford and Quinn still remain with Saxon today.)  The band’s sophomore effort, 1980’s Wheels of Steel, is generally considered Saxon’s breakthrough, with single “747 (Strangers in the Night)” helping to catapult the album to No. 5 status in the United Kingdom.  In 1980, Saxon made its first well-received appearance at the Monsters of Rock Festival, and also first appeared on Top of the Pops performing the album’s title track.  1983’s Power and the Glory would become the group’s biggest selling LP, and in 1984, Saxon signed with EMI.  1985’s Innocence is No Excuse was viewed by some fans as a blatant attempt to smooth out the band’s sound for commercial success, but it, too, placed in the U.K. Top 40 (and No. 136 on the U.S. chart).  As the 1980s ceded to the 1990s, Saxon was dropped by EMI, but Virgin Germany picked the group up in 1990 for Solid Ball of Rock.

By 1991, Saxon consisted of Byford, Oliver and Quinn plus Nibbs Carter (bass) and Nigel Glockler (drums).  Carter joined the band in 1988, and though he was the new kid on the block, he contributed five songs to Solid Ball of Rock in addition to co-writing three others.  The same line-up stayed put for follow-up Forever Free in 1992, which included a cover version of Willie Dixon’s “Just Wanna Make Love to You” among the band original compositions.  Whereas Rock was recorded in Hamburg, Saxon cut Free in both England and Austria.  1995’s Dogs of War, also recorded in England, turned out to be the band’s final album with guitarist Graham Oliver.  It was also Saxon’s final album for Virgin.  Following Oliver’s acrimonious departure, Doug Scarratt replaced him, and the new line-up was on its feet for 1997’s Unleash the Beast on the CMC International label.  Saxon has just released its brand-new album Sacrifice via EMI, and is currently on tour in the U.K. and Europe through June.  Sacrifice features this same roster of Byford, Quinn, Carter, Glockler and Scarratt.

After the jump: what’s on Edsel’s new reissues?  Plus: track listings and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 17, 2013 at 12:12

Posted in News, Reissues, Saxon

Soundtrack Watch: La-La Land Issues a “Challenge,” Intrada Premieres Goldsmith, Bernstein, Jarre Classics

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Here’s some recent soundtrack news from the last month to keep you up to date on two of our favorite score labels: La-La Land and Intrada.

  • La-La Land’s released several archival scores in the past few weeks. First there was The Challenge, a film written by John Sayles and directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Scott Glenn and Toshirō Mifune as two unlikely partners tasked to obtain a rare sword in Japan. Jerry Goldsmith provided a fine action score for the flick; first released on Prometheus Records in 2000, this release features one bonus track, the original film version of the end credits (Goldsmith requested an alternate take be used on the last release; that track closes out this CD program). The disc is available for sale, although fan requests about the initial pressing’s sound quality have prompted LLL to work on replacement discs, the details of which will be formally announced next month.
  • La-La Land also released a pair of Elmer Bernstein Western scores on one CD, including The Shootist (1976), the final film of John Wayne, and a CD release of the original soundtrack LP from The Sons of Katie Elder, featuring a song by Johnny Cash. In that same batch, they also expanded James Newton Howard’s score to Grand Canyon, a 1991 drama by Lawrence Kasdan (writer/director of The Big Chill).
  • And Intrada’s been busy as well: their second most-recent batch also featured Bernstein (The Carpetbaggers (1964), based on the Harold Robbins novel – featuring both original film score and re-recorded album debuting on CD) and Goldsmith (the brief but fascinating score to the political thriller Seven Days in May (1964)). Seven Days was paired with a Maurice Jarre score for Warner Bros., The Mackintosh Man (1973), a John Huston thriller starring Paul Newman.
  • Intrada’s most recent batch, announced Monday, features an expanded edition of Bill Conti’s score to Five Days from Home (1979), starring The A-Team‘s George Peppard (who also directed) as an escaped prisoner. The label also prepped more Goldsmith: the premiere of the complete score to the WWII action film Von Ryan’s Express starring Frank Sinatra, as well as a remaster of the jazzy score to The Detective, another Sinatra vehicle. (Fun fact: Sinatra’s character in this film was sourced from a novel by Roderick Thorp; a sequel to that novel, Nothing Lasts Forever, featured the same protagonist taking on terrorists in a skyscraper. It was later heavily adapted as Die Hard in 1988.)

Everything described above is available now, with full track lists and artwork, after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

April 17, 2013 at 11:49