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Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for August 1st, 2013

Final Thin Lizzy LPs Getting Expanded by Universal U.K.

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Thunder and Lightning DeluxeAfter a healthy run of classic Thin Lizzy LPs getting expanded by Universal’s U.K. arm, not to mention a box set of BBC sessions and rumors of an expansive, separate box of outtakes, there’s still more product to release; this time, it’s the conclusion of the aforementioned expanded album program with the re-release of the Irish band’s final two studio albums, Renegade (1981) and Thunder and Lightning (1983).

Renegade is not one of the band’s most notable efforts – the increasing incongruity between guitarist Snowy White (who’d only joined the band the year before, on 1980’s Chinatown) and the rest of the band led him to mutually part ways with the band after Renegade, a record marred by bloated production that obscures even the best tunes, like single “Hollywood” and the title track. In fact, Renegade doesn’t even get a full disc of bonus material, with only three edits and remixes of those aforementioned tracks appended to the disc.

Thunder and Lightning fared somewhat better, with a heavier sound, a new guitarist (John Sykes) and increasing songwriting prowess from young keyboardist Darren Wharton, who co-wrote four of the album’s nine tracks. This album is greatly expanded, with a clutch of 1981 live tracks released as non-LP material and nine unreleased demos. Thin Lizzy would embark on a farewell tour, captured on the 1983 double album Life/Live; any hopes of a proper reunion would be dashed with the passing of lead singer/bassist Phil Lynott in 1986.

Both titles will be out in the U.K. on September 23. The full track list and pre-order links are after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

August 1, 2013 at 17:34

Posted in News, Reissues, Thin Lizzy

Edsel Reissues Robert Palmer’s Island Discography for Every Kinda People

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Robert PalmerOne of the most truly odd omissions in catalogue history, the lack of expanded reissues for Robert Palmer’s iconic Island Records catalogue will finally be rectified by Edsel in August.

Palmer’s nine albums for the Island label will be collected onto four two-disc sets, all remastered and featuring a large swath of bonus material. (The albums are grouped in twos, with the exception of a set collating Secrets (1979), Clues (1980) and Maybe It’s Live (1982).)

Taken together, they represent one of the most original British rock and soul voices of the ’70s and ’80s, from the confident blue-eyed soul of his early albums, featuring backing performances by Little Feat and The Meters, to the synthpop-influenced tracks of Clues (aided in part by Gary Numan) and, finally, the MTV-shined Riptide, featuring most of his bandmates in The Power Station (Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor and CHIC’s rhythm section, bassist/producer Bernard Edwards and drummer Tony Thompson).

It’s also a discography that’s practically begged for some sort of expanded editions in the modern CD age. (Island remastered the catalogue in the early 2000s, before Palmer’s passing, and Culture Factory recently took to giving several of his discs the vinyl replica treatment on CD.) Still, one has to wonder if Universal knows just what they have on their hands; though Edsel’s work can be at times brilliant, it seems strange that an artist of this caliber would be licensed to a third-party and rather casually lumped together as two-fers. (Very little of these albums, as grouped together, make much thematic sense; a similar situation was at play when Edsel reissued Palmer’s latter-day works for EMI in the same manner.)

All the same, it is nice to see Palmer’s material from this time period get the expanded treatment it deserves, and with a considerable handful of bonus material – some 25 bonus tracks in all, seven of them previously unreleased and the rest largely new to CD.

After the jump, you’ll find pre-order links and track lists for these four sets, which will be available in the U.K. on August 26.

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Written by Mike Duquette

August 1, 2013 at 12:37

Wake Up, Maggie: Mercury Compiles Rod Stewart’s Early “Rarities” On 2 CDs

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Rod Stewart - RaritiesEarlier this year, Rod Stewart released Time, marking the return of Stewart the songwriter. Time found the one-time Mod in reflective mode. Rolling Stone praised its “lighthearted warmth” while The Guardian noted its “wistful, nostalgic love songs [and] thoughtful divorce laments.” Clearly, Stewart had found some inspiration following a decade-long sojourn into the Great American Songbook, classic rock and soul tracks, and even holiday music. These “covers” collections left many critics cold but were unquestionably successful, and among the most commercially rewarding music of Stewart’s long career. Still, it was a breath of fresh air in 2009 when Warner Bros. and Rhino celebrated his early sound with The Rod Stewart Sessions. The 4-CD box set produced by Cheryl Pawelski and Andy Zax premiered 63 unreleased recordings spanning a 25-year period of creativity. Mercury is revisiting that set with the September 3 release of Rarities, a new 2-CD, 24-track anthology. Rarities reprises 12 tracks from Sessions and adds other singles and one-offs, plus two previously unreleased live radio recordings.

The 12 tracks originally issued on Sessions represent alternates and early versions of songs from Stewart’s third, fourth and fifth solo LPs Every Picture Tells a Story (1971), Never a Dull Moment (1972) and Smiler (1974). An early version of Stewart’s signature hit “Maggie May” and an alternate of the Brewer and Shipley-penned “Seems Like a Long Time” represent Every Picture, produced by the singer and featuring the Faces save Ronnie Lane and Kenney Jones. Ron Wood, Andy Pyle and Danny Thompson took over bass from Lane, and Mick Waller stepped in for Jones on drums. Guitarist Martin Quittenton was another major player, co-writing “Maggie May” and helping to shape Stewart’s sound with his acoustic tone.

Never a Dull Moment (an accurate title if there ever was one) picked up where its predecessor left off, and featured much of the same crew plus Jones and Lane. From this album, Rarities includes embryonic versions of its biggest hit “You Wear It Well” (like “Maggie,” written by Stewart and Quittenton) and “Italian Girls,” plus a stripped-down alternate of “Los Paraguayos” and unique takes of two covers: the Etta James scorcher “I’d Rather Go Blind” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Angel.”

1974’s Smiler didn’t repeat the acclaim of Stewart’s past work, but the songs from its sessions heard on Rarities make a strong case for the LP. Stewart and Quittenton’s strong “Farewell” is a bit longer than the final album version. A Rod Stewart/Ron Wood composition, “Think I’ll Pack My Bags,” was never completed for Smiler, but turned up with new lyrics as “Mystifies Me” on Wood’s 1974 solo album I’ve Got My Own Album to Do… with Rod on backing vocals. “So Tired,” written by the solo Stewart, was originally recorded for Smiler but remained unreleased until 1995’s Handbags and Gladrags compilation. It’s heard twice on Rarities: once in the rough Sessions version and once in the Handbags version. The song’s evolution can also be charted with the alternate lyric of “Missed You.” That track, too, premiered in 1995 and is included here. Also from Handbags: outtakes “You Put Something Better Inside Me” and “Crying Loving Laughing Lying,” and a summer 1973 take of Cole Porter’s 1944 standard “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” that anticipates Stewart’s Great American Songbook recordings by nearly 30 years. Rounding out the Smiler tracks are alternates of Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Man” and Bob Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country.”

What else will you find on Rarities? Hit the jump for more, plus the full track listing and pre-order links!

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Written by Joe Marchese

August 1, 2013 at 10:15