The Second Disc

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Archive for November 5th, 2013

Don’t Deceive Your Free Will At All: New Yes Box Compiles Studio Album Remasters

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1YES_StudioAlbums_CoverIf that recently-released Japanese SACD box is out of your price range, but you really want to get to know the catalogue of prog rockers Yes intensely well, Rhino has a new “studio albums” box you’ll want to order.

The Studio Albums 1969-1987 includes every remastered and expanded album originally released for the Atlantic and ATCO labels over a two-decade period. What started as a dense progressive band featuring the likes of vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, drummers Bill Bruford and Alan White, guitarists Steve Howe and Trevor Rabin, keyboardists Tony Kaye, Rick Wakeman and Patrick Moraz (and even singer/producer Trevor Horn and keyboardist Geoff Downes, fresh from their time in The Buggles) ultimately gave way to a rock-edged, almost dancefloor-ready sound, starting with classics like the recently-remixed Close to the Edge and Tales from Topographic Oceans and culminating in the worldwide chart and MTV hit “Owner of a Lonely Heart” from 90125 in 1983.

While all of these expanded CD masters have been available since 2003 and 2004, this collection marks the first domestic reissue of the band’s final album for ATCO, 1987’s Big Generator. The record marked a further step in the pop-oriented direction of 90125 – ultimately leading frontman Anderson to pursue a purer prog style, leading to the creation of Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe with his former bandmates. (Nonetheless, that quartet joined forces with the rest of Yes – at the time, Rabin, Kaye, Squire and White – for 1991’s Union, their only album as an octet.) The expanded remaster of Big Generator, first released in Japan in 2009, features five bonus single mixes.

Featuring the typical packaging of a Rhino studio albums box set – mini-LP replica wallets in a clamshell box (with new art from longtime Yes designer Roger Dean) – The Studio Albums 1969-1987 is available on December 24, at which point we’ll have likely found out if Yes got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The full specs, as well as track lists, are after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

November 5, 2013 at 17:51

Posted in Box Sets, News, Reissues, Yes

Review: Jefferson Starship, “Live in Central Park NYC May 12, 1975”

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Jefferson Starship - Live“The police say you guys in the trees are causing problems…you can either jump out or they’ll…do something!”  So went one of the colorful and increasingly adamant stage announcements about tree-dwelling audience members made throughout the near-entirety of Jefferson Starship’s free concert at New York City’s Central Park on May 12, 1975.  The eight-strong band line-up of Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Marty Balin, Craig Chaquico, Papa John Creach, John Barbata, David Freiberg and Pete Sears was in a period of transition, on the cusp of what would become the group’s most successful record: Red Octopus.  Now, this spirited performance can be revisited on Real Gone Music’s 2-CD set Live in Central Park NYC May 12, 1975 (RGM-0183).

Red Octopus arrived in stores almost one month to the day after the Central Park concert, on June 13, 1975, and three songs would be previewed from that set: the AM-ready “Play on Love,” the rocking “Sweeter Than Honey,” and the forceful opening cut, “Fast Buck Freddie.”  Ironically, the song which propelled Jefferson Starship to the stratosphere, Marty Balin’s “Miracles,” was not in the set list at Central Park.  Though generally accepted as Jefferson Starship’s second album, Red Octopus was actually the first credited solely to the band.  The group’s 1974 debut, Dragon Fly, was billed to “Paul Kantner/Grace Slick/Jefferson Starship.”  The difference was the presence of Balin, who contributed his AOR epic “Caroline” to Dragon Fly but didn’t official rejoin his old Jefferson Airplane compatriots Slick and Kantner till early in 1975.

After the jump, we’ll jump back in time to 1975! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 5, 2013 at 14:24

Posted in Jefferson Starship, News, Reviews

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The Ballad of Big Star: Legacy Collects Live, Studio Recordings On New “Playlist”

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Big Star - PlaylistOn November 26, the Memphis boys of Big Star will be back “In the Street” – and on store shelves.  On that date, Magnolia Home Entertainment releases the acclaimed documentary Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me on DVD and Blu-ray, and Sony’s Legacy Recordings unleashes Playlist: The Very Best of Big Star.  Reviewing Omnivore Recordings’ soundtrack to the film, we wrote, “Rare is the cult band that actually lives up to its legend.  Yet, with each listen – time after time, year after year – Big Star not only meets the hype, but surpasses it.  Chances are, if you know the music of Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Andy Hummel and Jody Stephens, you remember the first time you heard it.  You likely also remember the friend who first introduced you to the band, or how he or she told you about this great discovery with the hush-hush nature of a secret told in the deepest confidence.  Though the group is today spoken of with reverence in certain circles, no commercial breakthrough ever allowed the band to make its name a reality.  (In fact, the name Big Star derived from a supermarket!)  Frontman Alex Chilton’s closest turn as a ‘big star’ came in his youth, as he led The Box Tops through a series of hits including ‘The Letter’ and ‘Cry Like a Baby.’  So, beyond the ‘cult’ tag and the mystique, why are we still talking about Big Star, a band whose reputation is entirely based on three albums from 1972-1978 that almost nobody heard?”

After the jump: what’s on this new anthology?  Hit the jump for full details including the complete track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 5, 2013 at 11:23

WE HAVE OUR WINNERS! Humble Pie’s “Performance: Rockin’ the Fillmore – The Complete Recordings” is Served!

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STEVE HARRISWARD WHIPPLE and RICH KAMERMAN – you’ve won a copy of this great box set! Message us on Facebook and tell us where to send them!

Written by Joe Marchese

November 5, 2013 at 11:14

Hey, Lady (and Gentlemen)! Kritzerland Releases Two Scores for Jerry Lewis Comedies

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KL_Visit_PlanetCOV72In the golden age of Hollywood, comedy rarely was better than when Jerry Lewis took his act to the silver screen. With a knack for moving kinetically through zany situations, Lewis earned high regard as a movie star, first with his inimitable partner, singer Dean Martin, on stage, radio, television and film, and ultimately on his own in the 1950s, 1960s and beyond. The newest archival soundtrack release from Kritzerland brings two soundtracks from some of Lewis’ first solo projects to CD for the first time anywhere.

The Delicate Delinquent was Lewis’ first movie after the then-contentious split between himself and Martin. Released in 1957, it starred Lewis as Sidney L. Pythias, a janitor mistaken for a juvenile delinquent and taken in by a cop (Darren McGavin) who vows to put him on the road to social responsibility. (The officer doesn’t immediately know that this is Sidney’s plan all along, no matter what his truly delinquent friends have to say about it!) The tale of “the teen-age ‘terror’ who scares nobody but himself” was a massive success upon release. A jazz/blues-influenced straight score by Buddy Bregman – hot off his successful run as arranger/conductor for three phenomenal LPs for Verve Records (Ella Fitzgerald’s Sings The Cole Porter Songbook and Sings The Rodgers & Hart Songbook and Bing Crosby’s Bing Sings While Bregman Swings) – does a fantastic job of punctuating the comedic elements of the film while still being a great listening experience on its own.

Three years later, Lewis filmed Visit to a Small Planet, his final film for producer Hal B. Wallis, after which he began pursuing his own projects, including CinderfellaThe Bellboy and The Nutty Professor. Loosely based on a Gore Vidal play, Lewis causes hijinks as Kreton, a visitor from space who attempts to assimilate with a human family. The tuneful score for this picture was penned by Leigh Harline, whom Disney fans will doubtlessly know as the songwriter behind the tunes for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the immortal “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio. Harline’s score, punctuated by a seven-note main theme and the use of theremin, adds a nice flavor to this sci-fi/comedy romp.

Both scores are presented on this disc in stereo from the Paramount vaults; limited to 1,000 copies, it’s going for $19.98 at Kritzerland’s website. It’s expected to ship the second week of December, though label preorders are, on average, about four weeks ahead of time. Hit the jump for the full track list!

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Written by Mike Duquette

November 5, 2013 at 10:03

Release Round-Up: Week of November 5

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Bowie The Next Day ExtraDavid Bowie, The Next Day: Extra (ISO/Columbia)

The year’s biggest comeback album is now available as a 2CD/1DVD set featuring B-sides, remixes, unreleased songs and four music videos. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Dylan Complete 2Bob Dylan, The Complete Album Collection Vol. One (Columbia/Legacy)

Dylan’s “official” albums discography from 1962 to 2012 is collected on this 47-disc set, featuring studio and live titles, 14 newly remastered albums and a two-disc compilation of non-LP material.

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Collector’s USB (features full discography in 320 kbps MP3/FLAC): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Jimi Hendrix - Miami PopJimi Hendrix Experience, Miami Pop Festival / Hear My Train A Comin’ (Experience Hendrix/Legacy)

A pristine 1968 unreleased performance by the Experience is newly released on CD and LP; video footage from that same performance is on display in a new American Masters documentary, as well.

Miami Pop CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Miami Pop LP:  Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Hear My Train DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Hear My Train BD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Buck Owens - Buck EmBuck Owens, Buck ‘Em! The Music of Buck Owens 1955-1967 (Omnivore)

Arriving in stores the same day as his posthumous autobiography, this double-disc anthology collects 50 of the Bakersfield giant’s greatest hits and rarities, from several years of solid catalogue projects at the Omnivore label. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Yes - Close to the EdgeYes, Close to the Edge: Deluxe Edition (Panegyric)

The legendary prog album (from a potential Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee) is remixed in stereo and surround by Steven Wilson and expanded with all sorts of audio rarities.

CD/DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
CD/BD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Written by Mike Duquette

November 5, 2013 at 07:43