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Archive for September 24th, 2013

American Tunes: Legacy Announces Complete Paul Simon Box, New Single-CD Anthology [UPDATED 9/24]

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Paul Simon Complete coverUPDATED 9/24/13 [UPDATES IN BOLD TO ORIGINAL POST OF 8/19]: And here’s to you, Mr. Simon.

There isn’t much that Paul Simon hasn’t accomplished in his 50+ years as a professional musician, singer, and songwriter.  Born in Newark, New Jersey and raised in Queens, New York, Simon has racked up 12 Grammy Awards, an Emmy, a Kennedy Center Honor, the first-ever Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, and Academy Award, Golden Globe and Tony nominations.  That’s not to mention being one-half of the most famed pair in American popular song and recording twelve acclaimed solo studio albums.  He’s also had his songs recorded by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Emmylou Harris, Harper’s Bizarre and The Bangles.  Surely an artist with such a C.V. could rest on his laurels, but that’s not the scrappy Rhymin’ Simon.  Still, there’s something so right about taking a look back on a storied career even when future chapters are yet to be written.  Hence, on October 15, Legacy Recordings will issue The Complete Albums Collection on 15 CDs, bringing under one roof all twelve of Simon’s studio recordings plus two live albums and 37 bonus tracks.  That same day, the label drops Over the Bridge of Time: A Paul Simon Retrospective, a 20-track, 1-CD career overview tracing Simon’s oeuvre from his Simon and Garfunkel days through 2011’s So Beautiful or So What.

Nearly a decade ago, in 2004, Rhino and Warner Bros. Records released The Studio Recordings 1972-2000 encompassing nine studio albums and thirty bonus tracks.  This box covered the period between Paul Simon (1972) and You’re the One (2000).  As Simon has released two more studio albums since 2000 and overseen reissue of more of his back catalogue, Legacy’s box is both an update and an expansion of that original box set.  The new Complete Albums Collection rewinds to 1965, when the young folk troubadour recorded an acoustic LP on a sojourn to London.  The Paul Simon Songbook kicks off the new box, reprising the two bonus tracks (alternates of “I Am a Rock” and “A Church is Burning”) which debuted on Legacy’s original 2004 CD reissue of the once-rare album.

What exactly will you find in the new box and on the new anthology?  Just hit the jump, won’t you? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 24, 2013 at 12:31

TLC Celebrate 20 Years with New Compilation

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TLC 20More than two decades after their breakout success, and in advance of a new TV movie about the short-lived but incredibly popular group, Epic Records will release a new compilation of hits by R&B trio TLC.

Of course, 20 is kind of a misnomer on several counts: the group’s first album, Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip, was released in 1992. And the set only includes 14 tracks, including the group’s new single “Meant for Me.” But it’s as good a time as any to remember the successes enjoyed by Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes and Rozonda “Chili” Thomas. Under the auspices of some stellar names in ’90s R&B (producers Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds signed them to their LaFace label, where they worked with the likes of Dallas Austin, Jermaine Dupri, Sean “Puffy” Combs and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis), TLC crafted an impressive blend of female-positive hip-hop and sultry, hooky pop-soul. “Creep,” “Waterfalls,” “No Scrubs” and “Unpretty” all topped the Billboard Hot 100, and sophomore album CrazySexyCool (1994) shipped 11 million copies in the States and 23 million worldwide. (As a best-selling female ensemble, they are second only to The Spice Girls.)

TLC has, of course, been largely inactive since the sudden passing of Lopes in a car accident in 2002. Though the group retired after the successful, posthumous 3D, Watkins and Thomas recorded a one-off single with a guest rapper, Tiffany “O’so Krispie” Baker, whom they selected through a reality show. The duo have made sporadic live appearances since then, returning to the studio earlier this year to record a new album for a 2014 release and guesting on the single “Crooked Smile” by rapper J. Cole. The lone new track on 20, “Meant to Be,” will be featured in CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, a new biopic to air on VH-1 in October.

The new compilation will be available October 15. Hit the jump to pre-order your copy and check out the track list. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

September 24, 2013 at 12:20

Posted in Compilations, News, TLC

Varese Offers Up Fab Pair with George Martin’s “Beatles to Bond” and Campbeltown Pipe Band’s “Mull of Kintyre”

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George Martin - Beatles to BondWith the upcoming release of The Beatles’ On Air: Live at the BBC Volume Two, there’s Beatlemania in the air once again.  And the Varese Sarabande label’s Varese Vintage imprint is at the ready with two recent reissues bearing ties to the Fab Four: George Martin’s Beatles to Bond and Bach (1974) and The Campbeltown Pipe Band’s Mull of Kintyre (1978).  Both of these are rather unexpected titles and all the more welcome for it!

Beatles to Bond and Bach, originally issued on the Polydor label, offered exactly what the title promised.  Legendary producer-arranger Martin and his orchestra tackled the songs of Lennon and McCartney alongside a James Bond suite inspired by Martin’s then-recent work on the film Live and Let Die, and two compositions from one of his earliest influences: Johann Sebastian Bach.  The LP, produced by his AIR Studios co-founder John Burgess, was the culmination of a decade-spanning series of instrumental releases from The George Martin Orchestra designed for the light classical/so-called “easy listening” market.  Many of these naturally drew on his work with The Beatles, either in whole or in part: 1964’s Off the Beatle Path and By Popular Demand: A Hard Day’s Night, 1965’s Help!, 1966’s And I Love Her and George Martin Instrumentally Salutes the Beatle Girls, 1968’s London By George, and so on.  Martin’s Guildhall-trained musicianship and impeccable ear kept these albums from becoming mere retreads of familiar songs.

For Beatles to Bond and Bach, Martin – recording at London’s AIR with none other than Beatle vet Geoff Emerick engineering – built the album around three extended suites.  “The Bond Suite” kicks off the album with Monty Norman’s original theme, before segueing into two of Martin’s cues from 1973’s Live and Let Die and of course, Paul and Linda McCartney’s thrilling title song.  Later on the album, Martin arranges “The Beatle Suite” of later Beatle tunes (“Sgt. Pepper’s,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “A Day in the Life”) and a “Yellow Submarine Suite” containing four of his distinctive themes and the Lennon/McCartney title song from the 1968 animated feature.  In between, shorter pieces came from Bach’s pen (“Air on the G String” and “Prelude for Strings”) and Martin’s own.  Trivia: “Air” was the very first of Bach’s compositions to be recorded, back in 1902 – not bad for a piece written between 1717 and 1723!  Martin’s “Theme One,” written for BBC Radio 1 in 1967 ,and 1961’s “Elizabeth and Essex” (previously recorded by Ron Goodwin and His Orchestra) rounded out the diverse collection.  Fans of Paul McCartney’s Thrillington will likely find much to enjoy here, as will aficionados of Martin’s film score assignments.

After the jump, we’ll check out an even more surprising treat from Varese!  Plus: track listings and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 24, 2013 at 10:13

Release Round-Up: Week of September 24

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In Utero DeluxeNirvana, In Utero: 20th Anniversary Edition (DGC/UMe)

The grunge icon’s final album is greatly expanded in numerous formats for its two-decade mark, with B-sides, a new mix of the album and the band’s Live and Loud concert feature from MTV on CD and DVD. Check the post above to figure out which one suits you best!

1CD Standard remaster: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
1CD Expanded remaster: Target (U.S.)
2CD Deluxe Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3CD/1DVD Super Deluxe Box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Live and Loud DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

WaitressesThe Waitresses, Just Desserts: The Complete Waitresses (Omnivore)

We know what boys (and girls) like: two discs of the Akron, Ohio-based rock band, including both their LPs for Polydor and nine non-LP bonus tracks. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Lenny Kravitz Are You Gonna Go My Way 20Lenny Kravitz, Are You Gonna Go My Way: 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Virgin/UMe)

The singer/songwriter/guitarist’s third hit album is expanded as a double-disc set with B-sides and unreleased demos. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Mamas and the PapasCaptain Beefheart and His Magic Band, Safe as Milk: Mono Edition / The Mamas and the Papas, The Mamas and the Papas: Mono Edition / Deliver: Stereo Edition (Sundazed)

Sundazed releases these new masters of The Mamas and The Papas’ second and third albums, along with Captain Beefheart’s debut, on CD and vinyl for the first time in years.

Safe As Milk: Amazon U.S. – LP / CD; Amazon U.K. – LP / CD
The Mamas and The Papas
: Amazon U.S. – LP / CD; Amazon U.K. – LP / CD
Deliver: Amazon U.S. – LP / CD; Amazon U.K. – LP / CD

Woodstock 40The Band, The Last Waltz (Warner Bros./Rhino) / Various Artists, Woodstock: 40 Years On (Atlantic/Rhino)

These two Rhino box sets, originally released in 2002 and 2009, respectively, get reissued as budget-packaged editions in smaller boxes.

The Last Waltz: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
WoodstockAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Written by Mike Duquette

September 24, 2013 at 08:13