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Archive for October 2013

Slowly It’s Coming Back: Universal U.K. Plans Del Amitri Reissues

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Del Amitri TwistedIf you’ve been wanting to dive deep into the discography of Scottish rock band Del Amitri, Universal Music is satisfying your needs with a trio of double-disc reissues of the band’s first three albums for A&M Records in 2014.

While the group, anchored by singer/bassist Justin Currie and singer/guitarist Ian Harvie (both principal songwriters as well), only achieved one hit of note in the U.S., the peppy Top 10 single “Roll to Me,” Del Amitri managed a solid streak of reliable album alt-rock in late ’80s and early ’90s England. Songs like “Nothing Ever Happens” and “Always the Last to Know” were moderate U.K. hits, and a steady touring schedule kept their fans satisfied. While things were rocky for the band after the sudden success of “Roll to Me” – their last album was 2002’s experimental Can You Do Me Good? – things seem to be smoothing themselves out for the band, who will go out on a tour next year in the U.K. (the lineup consisting of Currie, Harvie, longtime keyboardist Andy Alston and their most recent sidemen, guitarist Kris Dollimore and drummer Ashley Soan.

Mercury/UMC will reissue Waking Hours (1989), Change Everything (1992) and Twisted (1995) on January 20, each containing a bonus disc featuring every non-LP B-side from the period, more than 50 bonus tracks in all. Those who pre-order from Universal’s official store qualify to win a pair of tickets for the band’s Hammersmith Apollo show on February 7, along with pre-show soundcheck and meet and greet opportunities.

Amazon U.K. links and full track lists, meanwhile, are after the jump. Special thanks to longtime friend of The Second Disc Matt Wardlaw for the tip!

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 31, 2013 at 14:48

Posted in Del Amitri, News, Reissues

Review: Perry Como, “Just Out of Reach: Rarities from Nashville Produced by Chet Atkins”

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Perry Como - Just Out of Reach“Hey, let’s do it again and again,” invited Perry Como on the bouncy opening track of 1975’s Just Out of Reach.  The Tony Hatch/Jackie Trent song, previously recorded by singer-actor Jim Dale on This is Me, was perfectly suited to Como’s warm, soothing tones.  Who wouldn’t take him up on the offer to do it again and again?  As the musical landscape of the 1960s and 1970s drastically shifted, the one-time big band “boy singer” wasn’t quite as ubiquitous a presence as he once was. Still, the crooner continued to notch surprising hits: 1965’s Top 30 Pop/Top 5 AC “Dream On Little Dreamer,” 1970’s Top 10 Pop/No. 1 AC “It’s Impossible,” 1973’s Top 30 Pop/No. 1 AC “And I Love You So.”  Both “Dream On Little Dreamer” and “And I Love You So” teamed Como with Nashville legend Chet Atkins as producer.  The Atkins sessions breathed new life into Como’s career and repertoire, so further dates in Nashville were inevitable.  This period of Como’s long RCA Records career is anthologized on Real Gone Music’s new Just Out of Reach – Rarities from Nashville Produced by Chet Atkins (RGM-0191, 2013).  The core of this very welcome release is the never-before-on-CD album Just Out of Reach (1975), but it’s joined by other pop-meets-country productions helmed by Atkins for Como in 1973 and 1975.  Five of these are non-LP singles, two are Spanish language tracks making their American debuts, and six are previously unreleased anywhere.  It adds up to an absorbing and nostalgic trip with two of RCA’s premiere artists.

“Let’s Do It Again” came all the way from London.  But despite the album’s title, stylistic versatility was certainly not Just Out of Reach for the 63-year old vocalist.  None of the material was too radical for so-called MOR audiences of the day, but all of these tunes were treated with respect and supreme confidence by Como.  Though Atkins produced the Nashville sessions, he didn’t play on them.  Instead, Como was supported by “Nashville” David Briggs and Randy Goodrum on piano; Beegie Cruser on electric piano; Mike Leech and Henry Strzelecki on bass; Larrie London, Kenny Malone and Buddy Harman on drums; John Christopher, Paul Yandell and Bobby Thompson on rhythm guitar; and Reggie Young, Pete Wade and Grady Martin on electric guitar.

Como’s voice is tailor-made for familiar ballads like John D. Loudermilk’s “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye” and Lennon and McCartney’s “Here, There and Everywhere.”  But the latter surprises when it cuts through the Nashville Sound with a brief electric guitar solo. Ben Peters’ “Let It Be Love” is more squarely in that traditional vein.  Its loping melody is brought to life with tinkling piano and tasteful guitar licks plus cooing, prominent background vocals supported by gentle orchestration.  Peters’ “Love Put a Song in My Heart” is in a more AM pop bag.  Como is playful on Porter Jordan and Bob Duncan’s “Let Me Call You Baby Tonight” but at his interpretive best with Kris Kristofferson’s “Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again).”  The sensibilities of the older and younger generations found common ground on Como’s pretty but also deeply affecting reading of the sad, reflective lyric.

“The Grass Keeps Right On Growin’,” written by Gloria Shayne of “Do You Hear What I Hear” fame, is one of the more unusual tracks here, veering between dramatic, string-drenched verses and an up-tempo chorus.  James Stein’s “Make Love to Life” isn’t the strongest song on Just Out of Reach, but its sing-along quality fit the “Magic Moments” and “Hot Diggity Dog” singer like a glove.  And Como makes the title track, popularized by soul great Solomon Burke, his own.

After the jump, we’ll look at Como and Atkins’ outtakes and more! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 31, 2013 at 12:56

Posted in Chet Atkins, Perry Como, Reissues, Reviews

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Happy Halloween! “Wicked” Turns 10, Celebrates With Deluxe Reissue

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Wicked - Deluxe“No one mourns the wicked,” goes the opening song of Winnie Holzman and Stephen Schwartz’s musical Wicked.  But the musical, which last night celebrated its tenth anniversary on Broadway, won’t have any need for mourners any time soon.  “The Untold Tale of the Witches of Oz” is still going strong as it enters its tenth year and shows no signs of slowing down!  Its fresh new perspective on The Wizard of Oz and intricate backstory of both The Land of Oz and the titular Witch has led Wicked to play to sold-out houses eight times a week at New York’s Gershwin Theatre, not to mention in London, Auckland, Mexico City, Tokyo and Seoul, on two United States tours, and one in the United Kingdom.  To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the musical sensation created by librettist Holzman (My So-Called Life, thirtysomething) and composer-lyricist Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin) from the 2005 novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, UMe’s Verve label is reissuing its Original Broadway Cast Recording in a new 2-CD deluxe edition.  It was originally slated to arrive in stores on November 19 but retailers are now showing a November 25 date.

The stats surrounding Wicked are nothing short of unbelievable.  The musical directed by Joe Mantello (Assassins, Other Desert Cities) opened on October 30, 2003 in New York, and has since played 13 countries, grossed plenty of green (over $3.1 billion!), and been seen by over 38 million theatergoers.  Marc Platt, David Stone, Jon B. Platt and the Araca Group co-produced the musical with Universal Pictures, and Platt recently confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that “it’s the most profitable project in terms of profit margin in Universal Pictures’ history.”  So the witches originally portrayed by Idina Menzel (Elphaba) and Kristin Chenoweth (Glinda) have even overtaken the likes of E.T. and Jaws!  Menzel netted one of the musical’s three Tony Awards (out of ten nominations) for her incendiary performance; Wicked also picked up seven Drama Desk Awards including for Holzman’s book, Schwartz’s lyrics, and Outstanding Musical.

The Grammy Award-winning original cast recording, produced by Schwartz, was released just weeks after the musical’s opening, arriving in stores from UMe’s Decca Broadway label on December 16, 2003.  It, too, has been a success story.  The album peaked at No. 71 on the Billboard 200 in 2012 and 2013 per, and has also reached the Top 5 of the Top Pop Catalog Chart in 2009, 2012 and 2013.  Wicked was certified Double Platinum in 2010, no small feat for a cast album today.  Wicked and its music have also appeared on Glee, Jeopardy, The Simpsons, Ugly Betty and Saturday Night Live, just to name a few.  “Popular,” one of the musical’s songs to take on a life of its own, was sampled by Kanye West and Drake for their own “Popular” in 2010, while more recently, Mika has incorporated the catchy song introduced by Chenoweth into his “Popular Song,” with vocals on the album version by Priscilla Renea and the single by Ariana Grande.  Grande’s single version has cracked the Billboard Top 100 at No. 87.

After the jump: a look back at the 2008 reissue of the cast recording, plus details on the upcoming edition! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 31, 2013 at 10:04

Merry Christmas, Baby! “A Very Special Christmas” Reissued with New DVD at Target Stores

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A Very Special Christmas TargetIf you can get over the shock of a good amount of holiday CDs available on the shelves at Target, you’ll find a surprise new exclusive: a reissue of the classic 1987 compilation A Very Special Christmas with a brand new DVD about the long-running holiday benefit series.

Produced by acclaimed engineer-turned-label impresario Jimmy Iovine, A Very Special Christmas featured the brightest stars in pop music, from Springsteen to Madonna, recording new versions of classic carols (plus one modern classic, Run-D.M.C.’s “Christmas in Hollis”). Nearly all of its 15 tracks have become staples of holiday radio, and the original album has moved more than 4 million units in the United States. The best part? Proceeds from the sale of the album went to The Special Olympics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s worldwide organization allowing intellectually-disabled children and adults to compete in sporting events. (Over $100 million has been raised by the album series, now spanning across nine titles.)

With a new subtitle, The Story and The Music, appended to its iconic Keith Haring-designed album sleeve, this new version of A Very Special Christmas features a new 60-minute DVD of highlights from the series’ quarter century-plus history. It comes alongside the most common pressing of the original AVSC album – which substituted a live cover of “Back Door Santa” by Bon Jovi for the same band’s studio recording of a new ballad, “I Wish Every Day Could Be Like Christmas.” (You’ll hear more from us soon on the package, from mastering to bonus content, in a forthcoming review – albeit one closer to the holiday season!)

Head to your local Target to buy this new set now, or order it through the store’s website. Full product specs are after the jump!

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The Best That He Could Do: John Mellencamp Collects Albums for New Box

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Mellencamp big boxWhile the 1980s have become synonymous with pop/rock music that allegedly valued image, craft and style above the emotional rush of the music itself, one of the decade’s most popular entertainers had an image as rough-hewn and rugged as they could come: John Mellencamp. The Indiana-bred musician earned his keep making tuneful rock steeped in the traditions of the genre as well as the vision of the average, working-class middle American. And with a list of hits that includes “Jack and Diane,” “Small Town,” “Pink Houses” and “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” – just part of the list of 22 Top 40 hits he scored – it’s safe to say Mellencamp was a winner.

This year, Universal Music Enterprises will celebrate Mellencamp en large with John Mellencamp 1978-2012, a box set featuring virtually all of his solo material from start to finish. This 19-disc set features his early works for Riva Records as John Cougar (a nom de rock bestowed upon him early in his career when he’d signed to MCA for two poppy albums omitted from this set), including breakthrough albums American Fool (1982), which yielded chart-topper “Jack and Diane” and No. 2 hit “Hurts So Good,” and 1983’s Uh-Huh, the first credited to “John Cougar Mellencamp.” The singer continued to have major success with his brand of increasingly country-infused rock through the decade, signing to Mercury for 1985’s Scarecrow and remaining there through the 1990s. That same year, Mellencamp was one of the co-founders of the Farm Aid charity concert series, raising money for those who made American agriculture their life’s work.

After a period in the 1990s that saw him experiment with urban and rhythmic music, Mellencamp returned to the top of the charts in 1994 with a cover of Van Morrison’s “Wild Night,” which hit No. 3. In 1998, Mellencamp released his first of three albums for Columbia, including the folk covers project Trouble No More in 2003. 2010’s Life, Death, Love and Freedom saw Mellencamp, along with producer T-Bone Burnett, move into a very critically-acclaimed period of soulful roots rock, a vein he’s tapped ever since (most recently with this year’s release of the soundtrack to Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, a stage musical he co-created with author Stephen King.)

While bonus tracks are few and far between on John Mellencamp 1978-2012 – the box uses the 2005 remasters of his Mercury catalogue, all of which had a bonus track appended – UMe has reached across the aisle to include all of his studio material for other labels, including Columbia, Hear Music and Rounder Records. There’s also one long out-of-print disc from Mellencamp’s career in this set: the soundtrack to the 1992 film Falling from Grace, which Mellencamp starred in and directed. The disc features two new Mellencamp originals plus tracks from Janis Ian, Dwight Yoakam and others.

Each disc is housed in a uniform, black-bordered mini-jacket, and it’s all packed in a neat little box that looks to fit nicely on a shelf. It’s out on December 10 and can be pre-ordered now. And, as always, a full track list is after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 30, 2013 at 11:27

Review: Humble Pie, “Performance – Rockin’ the Fillmore: The Complete Recordings”

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Humble Pie - PerformanceToday, 105 Second Avenue in New York City looks inconspicuous enough, housing a branch of a savings bank.  But for just over three years, between March 1968 and June 1971, that address was home to Bill Graham’s Fillmore East.  The grandiose 2,830-capacity venue built in 1925 as a Yiddish theatre was sadly demolished around 1996, having survived transformations into The New Fillmore East and the landmark gay disco The Saint.  Though the building no longer exists, with the bank occupying its former lobby and apartments built on the site of the auditorium, much of the music played during its days as The Fillmore East has endured on record.  One of the most celebrated albums recorded at the Fillmore was Humble Pie’s Performance: Rockin’ the Fillmore.  Recorded in May 1971, just weeks before the venue’s demise, Performance was a double-album of electric blues fury, with just seven lengthy tracks spread over four sides.  It remains a fiery, visceral live document of the quartet in concert, and it’s just gotten better – four times better.  The new 4-CD box set from Omnivore Recordings includes all four of the band’s complete performances at the Fillmore East from which the original LP sequence was derived: two shows on Friday, May 28 and two more on Saturday, May 29.

One of the first bands for whom “supergroup” was an accurate appellation, Humble Pie brought together three great vocalist-instrumentalists – Steve Marriott of The Small Faces (rhythm guitar), Peter Frampton of The Herd (lead guitar) and Greg Ridley of Spooky Tooth (bass) – with drummer Jerry Shirley of the lesser-known The Apostolic Intervention.  The resulting band was a four-piece combo with power to spare.  Performance followed four studio albums, none of which captured the total majesty of the band’s full-throttle stage act.  When manager Dee Anthony (whose diverse client list also included Peter Allen and Joe Cocker) suggested a live album, the band jumped at the chance.

It’s easy to see why in Omnivore’s deluxe presentation.  Not only were the band members some of the most exciting instrumentalists on the blues-rock scene, but the Fillmore East itself created a certain frisson that translated particularly well to live discs.  It’s no wonder that Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young all recorded famed albums there.  In fact, Hendrix’s frequent collaborator Eddie Kramer originally recorded the concerts.  Electricity surges through all four sold-out sets which originally occurred on the bill between opening act Fanny and headliner Lee Michaels.  These four muscular sets are a potent trip back to the days when a band could bravely and somewhat self-indulgently transform a 7-minute song like Dr. John’s “I Walk on Gilded Splinters” into a jam more than three times that long – and captivate an audience in doing so.  Each set is presented in complete form, including the enjoyably cheerful between-song banter.

After the jump, we’ll take a closer look! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 30, 2013 at 09:39

Pogues Box Up Complete Albums, Unreleased Live Show for “30 Years”

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Pogues 30 packshotCeltic rockers The Pogues are releasing a new box set that collects all of their studio albums – two newly-remixed just for this release – and an unreleased live album with a very special frontman.

Led by unforgettable frontman Shane Macgowan, The Pogues deftly combined the raucous traditions of traditional Celtic folk songs and sharp-edged punk rock, gaining a considerable live following when opening for The Clash on one of their last tours. A contract with Stiff Records followed, yielding Red Roses for Me and Rum Sodomy and the Lash, the latter produced by unabashed fan Elvis Costello (who would later marry the band’s then-bassist, Cait O’Riordan).

The Pogues achieved mainstream success with If I Should Fall from Grace with God in 1988, featuring the British holiday hit “Fairytale of New York,” a duet between Macgowan and Kirsty MacColl, but their days were also marked by trials when Macgowan’s drinking habits led to his dismissal from the band. Co-founder Spider Stacy took over vocal duties after a brief stint with Joe Strummer of The Clash, but the band split up in 1995. The full band, including Macgowan, reunited for annual tours in Europe and the United States starting in 2001; the band’s most recent highlight was a tragic one, however, with the passing of guitarist Philip Chevron earlier this month after a battle with cancer.

While new box The Pogues 30 doesn’t feature any of the bonus tracks on Rhino’s 2004 remaster series, there are some new treats for collectors:

  • Red Roses for Me has been newly remixed from the original tapes by longtime Pogues engineer Nick Robbins, while 1989’s Peace and Love has been remixed by original producer Steve Lillywhite.
  • A bonus disc includes a complete concert from the London Forum at the end of 1991, when Joe Strummer was the band’s frontman. The group tears through a 22-song set featuring a few choice tunes from The Clash’s discography. (Three of these tracks were released on 2008’s Just Look Them Straight in the Eye and Say…Pogue Mahone!! The Pogues Box Set, which was reissued in a smaller package earlier this year.)

30 Years will be available December 2. A U.K. pre-order link and the full set list for the live disc are after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 29, 2013 at 16:53

Omnivore Unveils Colorful Black Friday Slate with Van Zandt, Clark, Kovacs

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Here at Second Disc HQ, we know that we can count on Omnivore Recordings for some of the most colorful and fun releases for Record Store Day’s Back to Black Friday shopping event!  On the day after Thanksgiving, you might find yourself at your local indie record store to pick up one of Omnivore’s three Black Friday collectibles.  As usual, it’s a diverse trio, with releases from two late troubadours – Townes Van Zandt and Gene Clark – and one legendary late comedian, Ernie Kovacs.

Omnivore Black Friday 2013This past March, Omnivore unveiled The White Light Demos from The Byrds’ Gene Clark, which traced the development of the music that was released on Clark’s August 1971 LP for A&M Records, White LightFor Back to Black Friday, The White Light Demos arrives as a limited edition orange vinyl pressing.  Clark’s second post-Byrds solo record, White Light was a rootsy collection of intensely personal, and frequently transcendent, music.  Of the twelve demos on Omnivore’s release, six (“White Light,” “For A Spanish Guitar,” “Where My Love Lies Asleep,” “The Virgin” “Because Of You,” and “With Tomorrow”) appeared in final form on White Light. Two (“Opening Day” and “Winter”) appeared in final form as bonus tracks on A&M’s 2002 CD reissue of the album. One track (”Here Tonight”) is an alternate version of a song that appeared on the Flying Burrito Brothers compilation Close Up The Honky Tonks.  The remaining trio of songs (“For No One,” “Please Mr. Freud” and “Jimmy Christ”) had never been issued previously in any form prior to Omnivore’s CD release.  This is the first appearance of The White Light Demos on vinyl.

After the jump: what’s coming from Townes Van Zandt and Ernie Kovacs? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 29, 2013 at 13:28

Cherry Red, RPM Are “Looking Good” On New Girl Group Box

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Looking Good boxWhat is “femme mod soul,” you might ask?  Cherry Red’s RPM imprint has the answer with a new 3-CD box set, Looking Good: 75 Femme Mod Soul Nuggets.  This set aims to chronicle the girl group sound “from and for the underground.”  As Lois Wilson points out in an introductory essay, the box doesn’t paint a full picture of the girl group era.  Not only have there been countless compilations on the theme, but Rhino’s four-CD box set One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost and Found remains the definitive, Grammy-nominated gold standard.  Indeed, Wilson doffs her hat to that delicious 2005 collection which was presented in a hat box!  Looking Good serves as a complement to that comprehensive set, placing “the girl group sound in a club soul setting.  It’s aimed at the hand-clappin’, finger-poppin’ mamas and foot-stompin’, finger-clicking daddies.”  The box, loaded with rare and hard-to-find treats in an uptempo Northern Soul vein, is designed in the style of RPM’s previous Looking Back: 80 Mod, Freakbeat and Swinging London Nuggets.

Despite the emphasis on hidden gems, the box still features numerous familiar names and even some hit records from labels including Columbia, Warner Bros., ABC-Paramount, United Artists, Cameo, Scepter and Wand.  The Three Degrees brought sweet soul to “T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia)” in the seventies; Looking Back opens with “Do What You’re Supposed to Do,” the B-side of their 1964 Swan debut single.  Before Sheila Ferguson joined the Three Degrees, she recorded with The Kittens as well as solo.  From her solo discography comes 1965’s “And in Return,” written by Norman “General” Johnson of the Chairmen of the Board.  Among the other well-known artists here are The Toys of “A Lover’s Concerto” fame, heard with the 1968 flipside “I’ve Got My Heart Set on You”; Candy and the Kisses with their infectious 1964 hit dance record “The 81”; Reparata and the Delrons with their immortal “I’m Nobody’s Baby Now” as well as “Panic”; Barbara “Hello, Stranger” Lewis with her No. 11 hit “Make Me Your Baby” from 1965; and Skeeter “The End of the World” Davis with 1964’s “Let Me Get Close to You.”  The Blossoms – Darlene Love, Fanita James, Gloria Jones, and sisters Annette and Nanette Williams – were recognized for their lengthy C.V. as background vocalists in the 2013 documentary 20 Feet from Stardom.  Two of their solo singles have been selected, both from the Challenge label: 1961’s “Write Me a Letter” and “I Gotta Tell It,” unreleased until 1995.

“Let Me Get Close to You” came from the pen of Gerry Goffin and Carole King; the work of numerous other top-tier songwriters are heard here.  The Brill Building scene also yielded Jeff Barry’s song “I’m Nobody’s Baby Now” for Reparata and the Delrons and Barry and Ellie Greenwich’s “That Boy  is Messing Up My Mind,” recorded by The Orchids.  Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector’s “Baby Baby You,” originally known as “You Baby” for The Ronettes, is heard here in a version by The Lovenotes.  Gary Geld and Peter Udell, known both for pop hits like “Hurting Each Other” and the Broadway musicals Purlie and Shenandoah, wrote “Here’s to Our Love,” recorded by Cathy Carroll.  And Al Kooper teamed with onetime writing partner Irwin Levine (“This Diamond Ring”) for “Bobby’s Come a Long, Long Way” by the oddly-named Eight Feet.  Even singer-songwriter Bob Lind of “Elusive Butterfly” fame got into the girl group act with Ronnie and Robyn’s “Blow Out the Candle.”

After the jump: more details on what you’ll find in Looking Good, plus the full track listing with discographical annotation and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 29, 2013 at 10:26

Release Round-Up: Week of October 29

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Bananarama EdselBananarama, Deep Sea Skiving Bananarama True Confessions Wow! Pop Life Please Yourself: Deluxe Editions (Edsel)

The pop trio’s London discography gets the royal treatment with these 2CD/1DVD expanded editions featuring loads of rare and unreleased bonus tracks.

Deep Sea Skiving: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
BananaramaAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
True ConfessionsAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Wow!Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Pop LifeAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Please YourselfAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Humble Pie - PerformanceHumble Pie, Performance: Rockin’ The Fillmore – The Complete Recordings (Omnivore)

The landmark 1971 album is expanded into box set form, featuring all four sets at the legendary Fillmore East recorded for the original release. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

JethroTullBenefitcoverart_500Jethro Tull, Benefit: A Collector’s Edition (Chrysalis/Rhino)

Tull’s third album gets newly remixed in stereo and surround by Steven Wilson and newly expanded with rare single and remix material. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

BelfegoreAndy Williams, The Complete Christmas Recordings / Bobby Darin, The 25th Day of December with Bobby Darin / Patti Page, Christmas with Patti Page (Deluxe Edition) / The New Christy Minstrels, The Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings / Various Artists, Funky Christmas / Tompall and the Glaser Brothers, Lovin’ Her Was Easier/After All These Years / Belfegore, Belfegore (Deluxe Edition) (Real Gone Music)

Spread some holiday cheer with the latest batch of Real Gone titles, which also includes the incredibly rare sophomore album by German goth/New Wave outfit Belfegore – now expanded with bonus tracks.

Andy Williams: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Bobby Darin: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Patti Page: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The New Christy Minstrels: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Funky ChristmasAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Tompall Glaser: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Belfegore: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Essential James TaylorBoz Scaggs / James Taylor / Wu-Tang Clan, The Essential (Legacy)

The latest in the double-disc hits series includes career-spanning treasuries from Scaggs and Taylor (including the Warner and Columbia years in equal measure) and a new collection from hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan.

Boz: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
JT: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Wu-Tang: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

12%22 Disco CollectionVarious Artists, 12″ Disco: The Collection (Rhino U.K.)

Compiled by the fine folks at Big Break Records, this triple disc set features disco hits and rarities in equal measure, including a few tracks bowing onto CD for the first time. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Sayer boxLeo Sayer, Just a Box: The Complete Studio Recordings 1971-2006 (Edsel)

All of the U.K. hitmaker’s (“You Make Me Feel Like Dancing,” “When I Need You”) studio albums, plus two discs of rarities in this exhaustive set curated by Sayer himself on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his first U.K. hit, “The Show Must Go On.” (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Oh Yes We Can LoveVarious Artists, Oh Yes We Can Love: The History of Glam Rock (Universal U.K.)

A quintuple-disc set exhaustively looks at a half-century of the glam rock genre, digging far beyond the usual hits and influential tracks. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Ramones Sire YearsRamones, The Sire Years 1976-1981 (Rhino)

The first six Ramones LPs, albeit without any of the bonus tracks included on previous reissues. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

EAGLES_Vinyl_BoxEagles, The Studio Albums 1972-1979 (LP) (Rhino)

A vinyl box featuring the band’s complete Elektra studio albums. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)