The Second Disc

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Archive for July 22nd, 2013

All of Us Under Its Spell: Disney Reissues “Muppet Movie” Soundtrack to Coincide with Blu-Ray Release

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Muppet MovieIt begins so simply, as all immortal songs do: a hopeful melody, plucked on a banjo by the versatile flippers of a frog. “Why are there so many songs about rainbows / And what’s on the other side?” sings Kermit the Frog, in one of the unmistakable voices of his creator Jim Henson.

If Henson and Sam Pottle’s theme to The Muppet Show is the national anthem of those long-running, lovable fur and felt characters, “The Rainbow Connection” is its “God Bless America.” Kermit’s ode to “the lovers, the dreamers…and me,” as penned by Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher, is one of the most indelible musical moments in a film already full of them.

This month, as Disney debuts The Muppet Movie on Blu-Ray in a “Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition, Walt Disney Records will reissue its original soundtrack album, its first bow on CD in two decades. After the jump, learn more about the movie (and the soundtrack) that lives up to the promise on the poster: “More Fun Than Humanly Possible!”

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Written by Mike Duquette

July 22, 2013 at 13:07

Yes! Prog Legends Honored with SACD Box Set in Japan

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yesboxDeep-pocketed Yes fans will want to steel their bank accounts for this one: a brand-new box set, to be released this fall in Japan, newly mastering the prog heroes’ Atlantic/ATCO albums on hybrid SACD.

High Vibration looks to be a typically lavish import, featuring 16 discs of Yes material from 1969 to 1987. The set will feature all of the band’s studio albums from that time period (plus 1973’s live Yessongs), all in replica paper-sleeve packaging, plus a bonus disc of non-LP cuts, nearly all of which appeared on Rhino’s Yes remaster campaign in the early and mid-2000s. (Exception includes a 1991 remix of megahit “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” commissioned to promote the Yesyears box set, and holiday single “Run with the Fox,” which appeared on that same box set.)

The mastering on these discs (both 96/24 SACD mixes and the standard CD masters) were newly created by Isao Kikuchi, who mastered the Yes catalogue on HDCD in Japan in the mid-2000s. Japanese producer Shin Katayama oversaw the package. It’s out September 4 in Japan and available a week later in the U.S.; full track specs, order links and mastering info are after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

July 22, 2013 at 10:14

Posted in Box Sets, News, Reissues

Darlene Love, Nino Tempo, The Sweet Inspirations Feature On Jeff Barry’s “The Idolmaker” Soundtrack

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The Idolmaker OSTPerhaps the time just wasn’t right for The Idolmaker.  Director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman, Ray) made his feature-length motion picture debut with the 1980 film based on the life of Philadelphia impresario Bob Marcucci, enlisting Ray Sharkey to play the fictionalized manager Vincent Vacari.  In reality, Marcucci had discovered Frankie Avalon and Fabian; in the film, the teen idols were Tommy Dee (Paul Land) and Caesare (Peter Gallagher).  The United Artists picture received some plaudits for its tale of a rock-and-roll Svengali, including from Roger Ebert.  The future At the Movies host called it “not a dazzlingly original idea, but [one that] understands its passions well enough to entertain us with them.”  It also was the recipient of a Golden Globe nomination for Best Musical or Comedy, but it underperformed at the box office.  The 1950s nostalgia wave brought on by American Graffiti was already a thing of the past.  In the years since, The Idolmaker has become a minor cult classic, and now, its original A&M Records soundtrack album written and produced by Jeff Barry is finally on CD from Varese Sarabande Records.

Hackford first approached Phil Spector to score The Idolmaker, but when the one-time First Tycoon of Teen was unable to complete the project, Hackford turned to Spector’s old friend and collaborator Jeff Barry.  Reportedly, little did the director know that Spector had already contacted Barry about working with him on the movie!  The co-writer, with Ellie Greenwich, of such hits as “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Leader of the Pack” in turn enlisted two talents associated with Spector – Darlene Love and Nino Tempo – as well as The Sweet Inspirations to craft a score that would also feature the film’s stars.  Peter Gallagher, future star of the Broadway musical Guys and Dolls, provided his own vocals for the role of Caesare, warbling “Baby” and “However Dark the Night.”  As Vacari, Ray Sharkey performed his character’s “I Believe It Can Be Done.”  Paul Land, portraying Tommy Dee, was deemed not to have a strong enough voice, and was dubbed by Jesse Frederick for the double-sided hit depicted in the film, “Here is My Love” and “Sweet Little Lover.”

Hit the jump for more, including the track listing and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 22, 2013 at 09:03