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Archive for June 2013

Isn’t It Rich: Masterworks Broadway Reissues Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music” Soundtrack, Plus Rare Monk, Coward

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A Little Night Music OSTWhere are the clowns?

Following the release last month of Clownaround, one of the rarest cast recordings of all time, Masterworks Broadway is again sending in the clowns.  In August, the label will deliver the long-awaited reissue of the film soundtrack to Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music with Elizabeth Taylor following in the footsteps of Glynis Johns, Frank Sinatra and Judy Collins and singing “Send in the Clowns.”  A Little Night Music will be expanded with previously unreleased music, too – but it’s just one of three upcoming releases coming from the label on CD-R and digital download between July and September.  Night Music will be joined by cast recordings of Julius Monk’s impossibly rare 1961 Seven Come Eleven, and 1972’s Noel Coward salute Cowardy Custard.

August 13’s release of Seven Come Eleven marks the revue’s first reissue since its original LP pressing in 1961.  One in a series of revues created by Julius Monk, Seven Come Eleven featured an elegantly-attired and urbane cast including Mary Louise Wilson (Full Gallop, Grey Gardens), Rex Robbins (Herbie opposite Angela Lansbury’s Rose in Gypsy) and Philip Bruns (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Seinfeld).  Columbia Special Products released the cast recording of Seven Come Eleven for sale exclusively during its engagement at fabled New York nightspot Upstairs at the Downstairs, then located at 37 West 56th Street.  The album preserves both skits and songs from the act, which offered sophisticated cabaret entertainment in the style of Monk’s other revues including Demi-Dozen, Dime a Dozen, Four Below, Dressed to the Nines, Four Below Strikes Back, Just for Openers, Pieces of Eight, and Take Five.  It will be available exclusively for purchase via on July 16 in a limited quantity of Manufacture-On-Demand CDs (CD-Rs) as well as digital download. The CD-R will be available through Arkiv Music on August 13, plus downloads through digital service providers the same day.

After the jump: more on A Little Night Music, plus Cowardy Custard! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 28, 2013 at 09:55

Intrada Readies Silvestri’s “Fandango,” Rare Warner TV Efforts

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isc249booklet.inddThis week’s latest releases from Intrada showcase a forgotten TV show of the ’60s and an early highlight for a then-little-known 20th century composer.

Fandango was, in its own way, one of the more impressive films of 1985. Directed by a first-timer (Kevin Reynolds) from the basis of his thesis film at the University of Southern California (the original of which found a fan in Steven Spielberg, whose Amblin Entertainment produced the film), the film revolved around a group of college friends (including Kevin Costner, in his first major role) embarking on one last road trip. The score – at times equal in its blend of action and intimate character building – was composed by a relatively unknown Alan Silvestri, who’d scored Romancing the Stone a year earlier and would fully flesh out his talents as a brassy action/sensitive drama composer with Back to the Future in the summer of 1985. For the first time, fans can finally experience this score on any format, sourced from the original 24-track session masters.

isc244booklet.inddIntrada’s also got the score to Then Came Bronson, a short-lived television show about a former newspaperman (played by actor/singer Michael Parks) who casts off his old life to find himself across America. Along the way, he meets and helps people from all walks of life; every episode had him come in and leave on that same Harley-Davidson Sportster. This two-disc set features compositions by George Duning (From Here to EternityAll the King’s Men) on one disc, and another disc of various other bits from episodes composed by Stu Phillips, John Parker and others.

Both titles can be ordered from Intrada now; links and full track lists are after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 27, 2013 at 15:58

Fire In Her Heart: Madleen Kane’s Disco Classic Returns From Gold Legion

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Madleen Kane - CheriMadleen Kane’s 1978 debut albums played on words for its title, Rough Diamond.  But there was nothing too rough about the album’s sleek disco grooves or about the fashion model-turned-singer at its center.  In 2011, the Gold Legion label reissued Rough Diamond on CD with three bonus tracks.  Its follow-up, 1979’s Cheri, has just recently been given the Gold Legion treatment with one bonus cut of its own.

Born in Sweden to a Swedish mother and American father, Madleen Kane found her first successes in modeling.  The Elite model appeared in publications including Playboy, but soon it was clear that she had more on her mind than just conquering the fashion world.  Rough Diamond, first released in France by CBS and later in the U.S. by Warner Bros., established the 20-year old Kane as a chanteuse for the disco era.  Produced by the French team of Michaele, Lana and Paul Sebastian, the LP featured arrangements by Thor Baldursson, who counted among his many credits a stint arranging for The Salsoul Orchestra following original leader Vince Montana’s departure.    It included original songs by the Sebastians and Baldursson as well as reinventions of standards “C’est Si Bon” and “Fever.”

After the jump: hit the dancefloor with Cheri! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 27, 2013 at 13:59

Posted in Madleen Kane, News, Reissues

Echo & The Bunnymen’s Deluxe Debut Making Its Way to Vinyl

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Crocodiles 2LPFans of Echo & The Bunnymen might want to check out a new release from the independent Weatherbox label: a new, expanded double-vinyl pressing of the post-punk legends’ debut LP Crocodiles.

Met enthusiastically by critics on both sides of the Atlantic upon release, Crocodiles set the framework for what would be considered the classic sound of Echo & The Bunnymen: dark lyrics and brooding vocals from frontman Ian McCulloch, jagged string work from guitarist Will Sergeant and bassist Les Pattinson and urgent drumming from Pete de Freitas (who’d recently replaced a drum machine). The album sailed into the U.K. Top 20 on a wave of great reviews, setting the Bunnymen up for even greater success as the ’80s wore on.

This 2LP version of Crocodiles features a bonus vinyl LP with 10 bonus tracks, all of which have been released on a 2003 expanded reissued released by Rhino Records. Three non-LP tracks, three early takes and the contents of the 1981 live EP Shine So Hard are featured on this bonus disc; both platters are packaged in a hardback book package with a 16-page booklet featuring input from Sergeant and Pattinson (who left the band a few years after they reunited in 1996, after a brief stint in the late ’80s and early ’90s without McCulloch) and rare photos.

The set, available on July 8, can be pre-ordered from Amazon U.K. below.

Crocodiles: Expanded Edition (Weatherbox, 2013)

LP 1: Original album (released as Korova KODE 1 (U.K.)/Sire SRK 6096 (U.S.), 1980)

  1. Going Up
  2. Stars Are Stars
  3. Pride
  4. Monkeys
  5. Crocodiles
  6. Rescue
  7. Villiers Terrace
  8. Pictures on My Mind
  9. All That Jazz
  10. Happy Death Men

LP 2: Bonus material (originally included on Sire/Rhino CD 2564-61161-2, 2004)

  1. Do It Clean
  2. Read It in Books
  3. Simple Stuff
  4. Villiers Terrace (Early Version)
  5. Pride (Early Version)
  6. Simple Stuff (Early Version)
  7. Crocodiles (Live @ Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire – 1/17/1981)
  8. Zimbio (Live @ Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire – 1/17/1981)
  9. All That Jazz (Live @ Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire – 1/17/1981)
  10. Over the Wall (Live @ Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire – 1/17/1981)

Tracks 1-2 released as Korova single SAM 128, 1980. Also included on cassette pressing of original album – Korova CODE 1, 1980
Track 3 was the B-side to “Rescue” – Korova KOW 1, 1980
Tracks 4-6 from Sire/Rhino CD 2564-61161-2, 2003
Tracks 7-10 released as Shine So Hard EP – Korova ECHO 1, 1981

Written by Mike Duquette

June 27, 2013 at 11:10

Stax, Motown, Chess Go Country with Second Volume of “Where Country Meets Soul”

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Where Country Meets Soul 2Ace’s first volume of Where Country Meets Soul arrived late last year, proving that those two venerable genres intersect more often than one might think.  After all, many of the most enduring records in both styles revolve around the vagaries of heartbreak, so the fine folks at Ace’s Kent imprint brought together 23 tracks from artists well-versed in the torrid ways of love: Solomon Burke (“He’ll Have to Go”), Percy Sledge (“Take Time to Know Her”), Clarence Carter (“Set Me Free”), Esther Phillips (“I Saw Me”), Al Green (“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”) and Candi Staton (“He Called Me Baby”) among them.

The newly-arrived Sweet Dreams: Where Country Meets Soul 2 offers another 23 examples of R&B artists bringing country-and-western staples to life.  Though some artists make a return appearance (Esther Phillips, Clarence Carter, Joe Simon), the overall line-up is even more diverse this time out.  Like the first volume, there are well-chosen songs from the catalogue of Atlantic Records: The Sweet Inspirations’ Tom Dowd-produced “But You Know I Love You,” introduced by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, and Clarence Carter’s Fame-recorded version of John D. Loudermilk’s “Bad News.”  From Atlantic-distributed Stax comes Otis Redding’s dark reinvention of the 1947 standard “Tennessee Waltz” (introduced by Cowboy Copas and a pop hit for Patti Page) and Johnnie Taylor’s 1967 rendition of Merle Travis’ “Sixteen Tons,” produced by Isaac Hayes and David Porter.  Hayes himself makes an appearance from Stax’s post-Atlantic years via a 1971 Enterprise single of Hank Williams’ “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You).”

Down at Muscle Shoals, Millie Jackson cut Kenny Rogers’ “Sweet Music Man” in 1977, just one of the many smoldering southern soul performances here.  James Carr, one of R&B’s premier voices, tipped the hat to country music legend George Jones at Malaco Studios for his Goldwax recording of Jones’ “Tell Me My Lying Eyes are Wrong.”  Southern soul queen Bettye Swann is heard on her Capitol 45 of Hank Cochran’s “Don’t You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurting Me).”

There’s more after the jump, including the full track listing with discography and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 27, 2013 at 10:15

Review: The Three O’Clock, “The Hidden World Revealed”

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The Hidden World RevealedCould it be time, once again, for The Three O’Clock?

The California group took its place alongside the likes of The Bangles and Dream Syndicate as part of the “Paisley Underground” movement of eighties rockers who looked to the sixties’ psychedelic pop and folk-rock scenes for inspiration.  In fact, the band’s bassist/lead vocalist Michael Quercio is said to have even coined that evocative name.  Between 1982 and 1988, The Three O’Clock recorded one LP for Frontier Records, two for I.R.S., and one for Prince’s Paisley Park label.  The group broke up following the release of 1988’s Vermillion, and 25 years later, all but one of those albums is currently out-of-print.  But something remarkable happened when Quercio, drummer Danny Benair, and guitarist/vocalist Louis Gutierrez – three-fourths of the band’s “classic” line-up – reformed earlier this year to play their first dates in decades.  Longtime fans, of course, rejoiced…but where could potential fans discover their music?  Omnivore Recordings has come to the rescue with The Hidden World Revealed (OVCD-64), a new 20-track anthology that’s one part introductory “best-of,” one part a rarities collection, and altogether a celebratory set.

The Hidden World reveals 20 bright, guitar-driven power pop nuggets, ten of which are previously unreleased.  Mostly written by Quercio and Gutierrez, these tracks aren’t pastiches of late-sixties styles.  Rather, the band used their influences – a diverse group, from The Bee Gees to Pink Floyd – as a jumping-off point.  Shiny, “modern” keyboards coexist with blasts of chiming, jangly guitar reminiscent here of The Beatles, there of The Byrds, with propulsive drums and well-blended bass as anchor.  Quercio, Benair and Gutierrez are joined on most tracks by Mike (Mickey) Mariano on keyboards.  One track (“Regina Caeli”) features Mike Altenberg, who joined The Three O’Clock in 1986, on guitar, while “Jennifer Only” from pre-Three O’Clock band The Salvation Army features Quercio with Troy Howell on drums and John Blazing on guitar.  This compilation could have been subtitled The Frontier Years, as all tracks hail from the period of the band’s earliest label association.  Most tracks are circa 1982-1983; the most recent dates from 1986.

We’ll take a deeper look after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 26, 2013 at 08:19

“Windy: A Ruthann Friedman Songbook” Explores The Solo Side of The Songwriter

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Ruthann Friedman - WindyA look at the intense visage of Ruthann Friedman on the cover photograph of Now Sounds’ Windy: A Ruthann Friedman Songbook reveals those “stormy eyes that flash at the sound of lies,” but a listen to the sounds within shows the artist spreading her “wings to fly above the clouds.”  For here is an entire disc’s worth of never-before-heard pop nuggets, crafted with a delicacy and beauty to match that photo.  Windy, of course, is so named, of course, for The Association’s 1967 No. 1 hit penned by Friedman, which was recognized as one of BMI’s Top 100 Songs of the 20th Century.  Its eighteen tracks were recorded between 1966 and 1973, truly a period during which anything was possible.  They find Friedman supported by such luminaries as Van Dyke Parks, Randy Newman, Curt Boettcher, Ron Elliott and members of the Los Angeles Wrecking Crew, and reveal a gifted songwriter who was very much more than a “one-hit wonder.”

Chances are, if you know the music of Ruthann Friedman beyond “Windy,” it’s due to her 1969 Reprise album Constant Companion, a fragile psych-folk gem that many have compared to the best of Vashti Bunyan or Judee Sill.  Or perhaps you know Water Records’ 2006 volume of “lost” songs, Hurried Life.  But Now Sounds’ new excavation unearths a wealth of inventive popThough Friedman’s own, stripped-down recording of the seminal “Windy” is reprised (in alternate form) from A Hurried Life, it’s surrounded with seventeen other melodic gems ranging from the sunny to the sad.  These have been drawn from demos and publishing recordings, as well as songs intended for her first, unfinished A&M solo album.

Compilation producer/designer Steve Stanley’s vivid essay explains that a potpourri of influences affected young Ruthann, including the Broadway musicals of Irving Berlin, Frank Loesser and Richard Rodgers, the folk songs of Woody Guthrie and the rock-and-roll of Bill Haley and His Comets.  Indeed, the music on Songbook is stylistically varied.  Friedman possessed a husky, expressive and piercing voice that, at times, recalls Grace Slick; it’s no surprise, then, that she was briefly considered to front Jefferson Airplane following Signe Anderson’s departure.  She modestly reminisces in the liner notes, “They didn’t take me, which was smart.  I mean, Grace Slick, how can you turn that down?”

Keep reading about Ruthann after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 25, 2013 at 13:12

Posted in Compilations, News, Reviews, Ruthann Friedman

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Numero Group Uncovers The Pioneering Electronic Soundscapes of Iasos’ “Celestial Soul Portrait”

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NUM049CoverThe expert crate-diggers at Numero Group have recently offered up one of its most adventurous releases – the Celestial Soul of the single-named musician Iasos (pronounced ya’ sos).  Before the genres of ambient and New Age were classified as such, the Greek-born musician was experimenting with electronic instruments to create the “Paradise Music” now being reissued by Numero in the anthology Celestial Soul Portrait.

Born in Greece in 1947 but a U.S. resident since 1951, Iasos moved to California in 1968 upon his graduation from Cornell University where he had concentrated on anthropology.  Trained on piano since childhood, Iasos brought his singular, spiritual musical visions to life in 1975 with the release of Inter-Dimensional Music Through Iasos.  His musical journeys were inspired, according to Numero, by “the infinitely numbered harmonies transmitted by Vista, a benevolent being from a distant dimension.”  Working from his houseboat, Iasos utilized some of the first commercially-available synthesizers and created an aural equivalent to the colorfully kaleidoscopic lightshows that accompanied many psychedelic-era concerts.  His cosmic sounds also featured guitar, amplified flute, and various tape and studio effects.

After the jump: more on the transcendent sounds of Iasos, including a full track listing and order link for the new compilation! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 25, 2013 at 10:34

Posted in Compilations, Iasos, News

Release Round-Up: Week of June 25

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Help BDThe Beatles, Help! (Blu-Ray Disc) (Capitol/Apple)

The Fab Four’s second film gets the hi-def disc treatment. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The Hidden World RevealedThe Three O’Clock, The Hidden World Revealed (Omnivore)

Early works by power-pop legends The Three O’Clock shine on this new compilation, featuring cuts from their early works on Frontier Records and 10 unreleased tracks. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Big Star - Nothing Can Hurt MeBig Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Omnivore)

Released on limited colored vinyl for Record Store Day this year, the soundtrack to this new Big Star documentary features 21 unreleased outtakes and new mixes of favorites from the legendary cult heroes.

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Timeless Flight full boxThe Moody Blues, Timeless Flight (UMe)

Released in the U.K. earlier this month, this new anthology from the Moodies comes in two-disc, four-disc or 17-disc CD/DVD editions. Nothing like freedom of choice, right?

2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
4CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
11CD/6DVD box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Scared to Get HappyVarious Artists, Scared to Get Happy: A Story of Indie Pop 1980-1989 (Cherry Red)

A new five-disc anthology that’s basically the Nuggets of its genre, from Creation to Rough Trade, The Jesus & Mary Chain to The Stone Roses. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Brothers and Sisters - Super DeluxeAllman Brothers Band, Brothers and Sisters: 40th Anniversary Edition (Mercury)

Four decades after “Ramblin’ Man” was an immense pop hit, the Allmans’ 1973 album comes back as a super-deluxe box featuring a disc of unreleased outtakes and a complete show from the Winterland Ballroom.

4CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2CD: Amazon U.S. Amazon U.K.
1CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
1LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

JB Apollo 50James Brown, Best of ‘Live at the Apollo’ 50th Anniversary (Polydor/UMe)

A single-disc compilation of the best of JB’s three King/Polydor live albums from the famed New York venue, along with two unreleased tracks from an unreleased fourth volume of material. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Hardcore DEVODevo, Hardcore Vols. 1 & 2 (Superior Viaduct)

Long out-of-print, these compilations of early Devo works make their debut on vinyl; a reissued CD edition with extra tracks will be released in two weeks.

Volume 1: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Volume 2 (2LP):  Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Earle WBSteve Earle, The Warner Bros. Years (Shout! Factory)

This new box features Steve Earle’s three Warner albums from 1995 to 1997, plus two unreleased concerts on CD and DVD. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Going for the One SACDElvis Presley, King Creole / Yes, Going for the One (SACDs) (Audio Fidelity)

Yes’ 1977 album, the first with Rick Wakeman since 1973, and Elvis’ 1958 soundtrack album (featuring “Hard Headed Woman”), are the latest to get the Audio Fidelity SACD treatment, mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray respectively.

King Creole: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Going for the One: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Mighty RealSylvester, Mighty Real: Greatest Dance Hits (Fantasy)

The legendary disco performer is celebrated with a new compilation featuring his most classic hits and a new remix of “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real).”

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S.

Magica DeluxeDio, Magica: Deluxe Edition (Niji Entertainment)

A new two-disc edition of the 2000 Dio album. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Legend RemixedBob Marley and The Wailers, Legend Remixed (Tuff Gong/Island/UMe)

New remixes of classic reggae favorites.

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Don’t Just Stand There! Real Gone Reissues Patty Duke, Johnny Lytle

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TPatty Duke - Don't Just Stand Therehey laugh alike, they walk alike, at times they even talk alike!  You can lose your mind, when cousins are two of a kind!

So went the theme song to television’s The Patty Duke Show, starring the former Anna Marie Duke as “identical cousins” Patty and Cathy Lane.  We’re told in Sid Ramin and Robert Wells’ theme song that the worldly Cathy “adores a minuet, The Ballets Russes and crepe suzette,” but the normal New York teen Patty “loves to rock and roll!”  So, apparently, did Patty Duke, based on the charming albums and singles she recorded for United Artists Records between 1965 and 1968.  Four original LPs, including one that has never been issued in any format, have been lovingly compiled on two new collections from Real Gone Music, marking the first official release of the Duke discography on compact disc.  Unsurprisingly, both CDs are a warmly nostalgic treat.

Don’t Just Stand There/Patty (RGM-0122) combines Duke’s first two UA albums.  The starlet signed with the label in the television series’ second season, and although she was just 18 years of age, she was already an Academy Award-winning show business veteran.  Duke got to use her well-honed dramatic chops on “Don’t Just Stand There,” which became the title track of her debut.  “Don’t Just Stand There” is as musically close to Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” as is legally possible, but it became a full-fledged hit.  Lor Crane and Bernice Ross’ song reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and provided an auspicious start for young Patty’s recording career.

We have plenty more on Patty, plus a review of two albums from vibraphonist Johnny Lytle, after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 24, 2013 at 13:49

Posted in Johnny Lytle, News, Patty Duke, Reissues, Reviews

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