The Second Disc

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Archive for July 1st, 2013

If Music Be The Food Of Love: Fleetwood Mac’s “Then Play On” Joins “1969-1972” Box Set In August

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Fleetwood Mac - Then Play OnFor many, the story of Fleetwood Mac begins with 1975’s self-titled album.  But that album, which introduced Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks to the group’s line-up, was in fact the band’s tenth.  Long before locking into the L.A. pop-rock sound epitomized by “Say You Love Me” or “Over My Head,” the Mac had already experienced a number of transformations, from its blues-based roots to folk, rock and even a retro rockabilly style.  On August 20, Reprise Records will revisit that early period of Fleetwood Mac’s history with two new releases: a deluxe, expanded CD remaster of the band’s 1969 Reprise debut Then Play On, and a four-LP vinyl box set Fleetwood Mac: 1969-1972 containing its first four Reprise LPs in one impressive package.

Then Play On, originally released in September 1969, was the group’s final album to feature founding member Peter Green.  Guitarist/vocalist Green joined Mick Fleetwood (drums), John McVie (bass), Jeremy Spencer (piano/guitar) and new recruit Danny Kirwan (vocals/guitar).  Kirwan, Green, Fleetwood and McVie all contributed songs to Then Play On, which has had quite a convoluted release history.  Two songs were dropped from the U.K. line-up when the album was released in the U.S., namely “One Sunny Day” and “Without You,” as both tracks had already appeared on the compilation album English Rose.  When the non-LP single “Oh Well – Pt. 1” b/w “Oh Well – Pt. 2” became a hit in November 1969, however, Reprise made the decision to add both sides to the LP as one rather sloppily-edited track, dropping “When You Say” and “My Dream.”  (Interestingly, all four dropped songs were written by Danny Kirwan.)   The LP sequence was also shuffled.  When Reprise reissued Then Play On as a compact disc, “My Dream” and “When You Say” were reinstated into the revised running order, but not “One Sunny Day” and “Without You.”

The upcoming reissue of Then Play On, for the first time on compact disc, includes not only “My Dream” and “When You Say,” but “One Sunny Day” and “Without You,” recreating the original U.K. 14-song line-up.  The merged “Oh Well” has been jettisoned in favor of the original two-part single, now included in the bonus section, and one more non-LP single has been added: “The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Prong Crown)” b/w “World in Harmony.”  To top off the fully-remastered package, David Fricke has contributed new liner notes.

The deluxe Then Play On arrives August 20.  Hit the jump for the scoop on Fleetwood Mac: 1969-1972 along with track listings and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 1, 2013 at 13:12

John Williams Welcomed to Kritzerland with Complete “Missouri Breaks” Soundtrack

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The Missouri Breaks OSTIn 1976, John Williams was between Oscars – for Jaws and Star Wars, to be exact.  The year was filled with great film scores from the future legend – among them, Family Plot, Black Sunday and Midway.   Another of his fine works during America’s bicentennial year was for Arthur Penn’s western The Missouri Breaks, headlined by Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson.  The actual score tracks heard in the United Artists picture have never been released, either on LP or CD; Williams re-recorded his compositions for an album, much as his old friend and mentor Henry Mancini frequently did.  And so the release of Williams’ original Missouri Breaks music would be cause enough for celebration, but its upcoming limited edition 2-CD presentation also marks another “first”: the first appearance from John Williams on the Kritzerland label.  The new Missouri Breaks is a deluxe edition befitting the ambitious film.  The label will present the original score recordings with bonus material on the first disc, and a completely-remastered edition of the familiar soundtrack LP on the second disc.

Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde, The Miracle Worker) assembled a top-notch cast to bring Thomas McGuane’s screenplay to life, also including Randy Quaid, Frederic Forrest and Harry Dean Stanton.  Nicholson portrayed Tom Logan, leader of a gang of horse thieves being pursued by Brando’s Robert E. Lee Clayton.  Penn was no stranger to the western genre, having directed such films as The Left-Handed Gun (1958) and Little Big Man (1970), and McGuane had recently written the contemporary comic western Rancho Deluxe (1975).  The production was in the shadow of Brando’s eccentric behavior as well as some unfortunate mishaps that resulted in the death of one horse and the injuries of others.  Though a hotly-anticipated film, The Missouri Breaks ultimately became a box office disappointment best remembered today for the bold performances of its stars.

For his score, John Williams didn’t write in the symphonic style with which he soon became closely associated.  Instead, he composed for a small ensemble including guitars, electric bass, harmonicas, and mandolin.  Kritzerland describes Williams’ evocative score as follows: “Williams had already done big, brash, outdoorsy Americana before with The Reivers and The Cowboys.  But The Missouri Breaks wasn’t big and brash, and so required a different kind of score – smaller in scale, but one that would capture the characters and the drama as well as the period and the feel of the film.  And, of course, Williams delivered a perfect score (albeit atypical for him during this period), mostly composed for guitars, harmonica, percussion, and a handful of other instruments.  Williams never wants for coming up with an instantly memorable and beautiful theme and The Missouri Breaks has a beauty in its love theme – never overused, always right.  His main title music sets the mood with tense bass notes, and off-kilter harmonica and guitar – it’s wonderfully evocative and haunting.  There are up-tempo infectious cues and cues for Brando that are really off-kilter.  It’s Williams doing what he did (and still does) better than anyone, and it’s a score that’s completely unique to him.”

After the jump: more specs on what you’ll find on Kritzerland’s new release, plus the full track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 1, 2013 at 10:37