The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for July 30th, 2013

Review: Nilsson, “The RCA Albums Collection”

with 14 comments

Nilsson - RCA Albums Cover

A largess universal like the sun
His liberal eye doth give to every one,
Thawing cold fear, that mean and gentle all,
Behold, as may unworthiness define,
A little touch of Harry in the night.

– William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act IV

He’s a pretty nifty guy
Always looks you in the eye
Everybody passing by will sigh
For Harry…

– Eric Idle, “Harry”

Harry Nilsson had the voice of an angel, and raised hell like the devil.  A consummate songwriter, he had his biggest hits with two songs written by others: Tom Evans and Pete Ham’s “Without You” and Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talkin’.”   He turned The Beatles’ “You Can’t Do That” into a dazzlingly sophisticated mélange of words and music and just as easily spun one single chord into musical gold with “Coconut.”  He celebrated the songcraft of Irving Berlin and Harold Arlen with no irony, shortly after making his own bid for a radio hit with “You’re Breaking My Heart” (“So f—k you!” goes the chorus).  The high and the low routinely co-existed in Nilsson’s life and music.

Harry Edward Nilsson III (1941-1994) was a man of many contradictions who began his career at RCA Records with tremendous promise and ended it with considerably less fanfare, alienated from both the record label brass and his dwindling fan base.  In recent years, many projects have sought to understand this complicated artist, including John Scheinfeld’s documentary Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?) and Alyn Shipton’s biography Nilsson: The Life of a Singer/Songwriter.  The book’s very title seemingly reflected the author’s desire to place the emphasis not on Nilsson’s hard-partying ways, but on his art…just where it belongs.  If the real Harry Nilsson might have been a man of many faces – he certainly was a man of many voices – his heart and soul doubtless resided in his life’s work.  And that life’s work forms the basis of an absolutely stunning new box set from RCA Records and Legacy Recordings entitled Nilsson: The RCA Albums Collection.  With 17 discs, 14 expanded albums and over 50 previously unreleased tracks, it is an illuminating window into the spirited world of an artist who stubbornly stayed true to himself and left behind a body of work ripe for rediscovery.  A little touch of Harry in the night – or the morning, or the afternoon – is one both fascinating and revelatory.

After the jump, we’re exploring the new box with an album-by-album look at the man and his art.  Join us, won’t you? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 30, 2013 at 12:46

Posted in Box Sets, Harry Nilsson, News, Reviews

Tagged with

I Just Freeze: Repertoire Plans Remix Compilation for Icehouse

with 7 comments

Icehouse 12 InchesUPDATE (7/30/2013): There are now two Icehouse remix sets scheduled from Repertoire. The second, out August 26, features more remixes from the singles covered on the first volume and selections from 1994’s Full Circle remix project. Both sets are now after the jump.

ORIGINAL POST (5/28/2013): Having done remix compilations for the likes of Sparks and Giorgio Moroder in recent months, German label Repertoire turns their attention down under, to the dance mixes of Australian group Icehouse.

Led by Iva Davies, the synth-pop/rock band (first known as Flowers, but renaming themselves after their first album due to legal restrictions) became local chart mainstays with early singles like “Great Southern Land,” “Hey Little Girl” and “Love in Motion,” then later on in the decade with Top 5 hits “My Obsession,” “Crazy” and “Electric Blue.” (The latter, co-written by noted Icehouse fan John Oates, was the band’s biggest hit worldwide, peaking at No. 7 on the Billboard charts.)

“Electric Blue” is one of many, many Icehouse classics represented on this two-disc set, which includes mixes from all over their catalogue, on various international pressings. “Hey Little Girl,” “Mr. Big,” “No Promises,” “Big Wheel” and “Great Southern Land” (featured in its original 12″ version and a special aboriginal version on 1993’s Spin One EP) are all here, too. Record Collector writer Michael Heatley pens the liner notes for the set.

Available on June 10, The 12 Inches can be pre-ordered now after the jump, which is of course where you’ll also find the track list. (Thanks to super-reader Mark Goring for the tip!)

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

July 30, 2013 at 12:27

Posted in Compilations, Icehouse, News

“Preminger At Fox” Salutes Director’s Hollywood Film Noir Music

leave a comment »

Preminger at FoxDuring Otto Preminger’s long and distinguished career, the director tackled virtually every genre of film: drama, thriller, musical, even absurdist comedy.  For the musicals, Preminger had scores by George and Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward (Porgy and Bess) and Oscar Hammerstein II and 19th century composer Georges Bizet (Carmen Jones).  His non-musical films also featured scores by illustrious talents, including David Raksin, Elmer Bernstein, Duke Ellington, and even Harry Nilsson!  A number of Preminger’s films for 20th Century Fox have been issued on DVD under the Fox Film Noir umbrella, including the all-time classic Laura (1944).  The score to Laura has already been released by the Kritzerland label on CD, and now Kritzerland is revisiting that classic along with four more titles in the Fox Film Noir series for a special 2-CDs-for-the-price-of-1 release containing music from five motion pictures.

Preminger at Fox features Raksin’s music for Fallen Angel (1945), Daisy Kenyon (1947), Whirlpool (1949) and a suite from Laura, plus Cyril J. Mockridge’s score for Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950) which includes thematic material from the great Alfred Newman.  This limited edition of 1,000 units is one-stop shopping for some of the most dramatic music associated with Preminger’s impressive, 35-film career.  It’s due in the second week of September, but pre-orders placed at Kritzerland usually arrive an average of four weeks early.  Hit the jump for all of the details on Preminger at Fox, plus pre-order link and complete track listing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 30, 2013 at 10:08

Don’t Be a Drag, Participate: Rhino U.K. Represses CHIC Hits on Vinyl

with one comment

CHIC Vinyl SinglesIf the summer didn’t have enough Nile Rodgers for you, what with a hand in the summer’s biggest jam and a new double-disc compilation, there’s more good news on the way. Rhino’s U.K. division will release a selection of CHIC sides on vinyl in a new box set at the end of the month.

The 12″ Singles Collection is somewhat of a misnomer, as only one of these five records was really a 12″ single (and it was a reissue at that, pairing the band’s first singles “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)” and “Everybody Dance” onto one piece of wax). But all of these songs were indeed released as singles, including immortal hits “Le Freak,” “I Want Your Love,” “Good Times,” “My Forbidden Lover” and “My Feet Keep Dancing.”

This box even includes two relatively lesser known tracks, in “Hangin’,” from the group’s 1982 album Tongue in CHIC and “CHIC Mystique” from Rodgers and Bernard Edwards’ reunion album CHIC-ism (1992). So it’s sort of its own outsize vinyl greatest hits. Packed in retro-style packaging, with labels and dust jackets that recall the disco era (if not the original Atlantic labels note for note), The 12″ Singles Collection is poised to be a high-end collectible for fans of CHIC and disco music in general.

It’s available in the U.K. August 26 and a week later in America. Hit the jump to check out the specs!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

July 30, 2013 at 09:35

Release Round-Up: Week of July 30

leave a comment »

Nilsson - RCA Albums BoxNilsson, The RCA Albums Collection (RCA/Legacy)

Easily one of the box set purchases of the year. Every one of the legendary singer/songwriter’s 14 solo albums for the RCA label, newly remastered and expanded with bonus tracks, mono mixes and other treasures, plus another three discs of rarities and outtakes. The packaging is beautiful and the music more than matches. You will not be disappointed. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Dionne - We Need to Go BackDionne Warwick, The Complete Warner Bros. Singles / We Need to Go Back — The Unissued Warner Bros. Masters / Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr., The Two of Us (Expanded Edition) / Marilyn & Billy (Expanded Edition) / Parlet, Pleasure Principle / Invasion of the Booty Snatchers / Tonto’s Expanding Head Band, Zero Time (Real Gone Music)

Real Gone’s Portsmouth Sinfonia title may have been unfortunately cancelled, but there are some amazing titles coming from the label this week.

The Complete Warner Bros. SinglesAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
We Need to Go BackAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Two of UsAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Marilyn & BillyAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Pleasure PrincipleAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Invasion of the Booty SnatchersAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Zero TimeAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Big Country At The BBCBig Country, At The BBC (Mercury/Universal)

A 3CD/1DVD box chronicling just about everything the Scottish rockers had recorded by the BBC in the 1980s. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Electric PeaceThe Cult, Electric Peace (Beggar’s Archive)

The post-punk band’s acclaimed 1987 album, produced by Rick Rubin, is paired up with the original version of the album helmed by producer Steve Brown for the first time in one package.

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

Sly and the Family Stone - There's a Riot Gold

Sly and the Family Stone, There’s a Riot Goin’ On: Gold Edition (Get On Down)

Sly and the Family Stone’s incendiary 1971 album There’s a Riot Goin’ On – which spawned the hit single “Family Affair” – gets the gold CD treatment from Get On Down.  Along with some detailed liner notes, the label is promising actual embroidered fabric for the flag on the CD’s cover!  (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)