The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for October 25th, 2013

Review: Belinda Carlisle Deluxe Remasters From Edsel (1987-1993)

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Belinda Carlisle - Heaven on EarthAs lead singer of California rock group The Go-Go’s, Belinda Carlisle conclusively proved that she, indeed, had the beat.  In her solo career, she applied her powerfully soaring pipes – one minute honeyed, the next smoky – to some of the most iconic pop songs of the era.  Edsel has recently repackaged Carlisle’s second through fifth albums as truly deluxe, hardbound 2-CD/1-DVD editions, and they’re a nostalgic trip back to the days when power ballads ruled the radio and one singer stood at the front of the pack.

When The Go-Go’s disbanded in the spring of 1985 after three hit albums including the 1981 chart-topper Beauty and the Beat, Carlisle seized the opportunity to go solo.  The result was the 1986 IRS Records release Belinda.  Produced by Michael Lloyd, it yielded a No. 3 U.S. hit with “Mad About You.”  Some songs were written by Charlotte Caffey of the Go-Go’s.  Susanna Hoffs of another groundbreaking group of eighties girls, The Bangles, co-wrote “I Need a Disguise.” Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham was one of the writers behind “Since You’ve Gone,” and Carlisle herself shared writing credits on “Gotta Get to You.” Covers of Split Enz (“Stuff and Nonsense”) and Freda Payne (“Band of Gold”) rounded out the album which peaked at No. 13 in the United States.

After the jump, we’ll take an album-by-album look at Edsel’s newly remastered and expanded reissues! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 25, 2013 at 11:11

Posted in Belinda Carlisle, News, Reissues, Reviews

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Lose Yourself to Dance: Daft Punk’s New Album Reissued as Mega Box Set

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Get LuckyFrench dance duo Daft Punk is up all night to get lucky (and to reward deep-pocketed fans) with a lush deluxe box set version of their brilliant newest album, 2013’s Random Access Memories.

Though Random Access Memories doesn’t entirely fit the catalogue description that usually guides discussion here at The Second Disc, you might not know that when you hear it. Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, known for their quirky, catchy dance tracks and identity-clouding robot costumes, last released a studio album in 2005, the mixed Human After All. (The band was incredibly busy in the interim years, releasing a Grammy-winning live album in 2007, allowing Kanye West to sample “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” for his chart-topping “Stronger” that same year – dig their joint performance at that year’s Grammy Awards – and penned the soundtrack for Disney’s sci-fi sequel TRON Legacy in 2010.)

With dance music in a major state of transition – Skrillex and Deadmau5 and “EDM” and dubstep piling up all over the place – many expected Daft Punk, elder statesmen of the genre since the release of Homework in 1997, to step in and show them how to create a killer modern dance album. What few expected was how they did it: by firmly looking back to disco and R&B traditions of a generation before. With a package that recalled Michael Jackson’s Thriller (CD and LP labels featured the early ’80s design of their new distributor, Columbia Records) and an impressive cadre of collaborators, including CHIC guitarist/producer Nile Rodgers, Giorgio Moroder, Paul Williams, guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr., bassist Nathan East, drummers Omar Hakim and John “J.R.” Robinson (not to mention modern pals Pharrell Williams, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and Chilly Gonzales), Random Access Memories is a throwback to a time when beats were made, not sequenced, and records were committed to analog tape.

And the results were stunning: besides general worldwide acclaim, the album was a commercial smash all over (moving more than 600,000 units in the U.S. alone) and spawning the inescapable summer earworm “Get Lucky,” featuring distinctive guitar licks from Rodgers (the fond memory of which will hopefully carry CHIC into this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class) and smooth vocals from Williams. The track was a worldwide No. 1 hit (missing the pole position only in America, where it peaked at No. 2, their sole Top 40 hit) and broke U.K. records on Spotify, reaching the Top 5 in that country within 48 hours of release. (It ultimately stayed at No. 1 for four weeks.)

After the jump, check out what those robots put into this box set – not to mention the hefty price tag!

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 25, 2013 at 10:32