The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for November 13th, 2013

Legacy Expands Orbison’s “Last Concert” with Rare Video, Reissues “A Black and White Night”

with 5 comments

Roy Black and White NightRoy Orbison’s catalogue has been the subject of some interesting reissues of late from Legacy Recordings: the label recently reissued In Dreams: The Greatest Hits, a 1987 compilation of newly recorded versions of his old classics, and will reissue all three of his Monument Records albums (with a bonus “fourth,” posthumously assembled by his family) in a vinyl box set for Record Store Day. Legacy now adds two more latter-day archival projects to the schedule: a DVD reissue of the 1988 special A Black & White Night and a newly-expanded CD/DVD edition of the last concert Orbison put on from the same year.

Both sets help capture the magic of Orbison’s stunning late-career comeback in the late ’80s: the pop singer with the Ray-Bans and the chill-inducing tenor who propelled “Oh, Pretty Woman,” “Only the Lonely” and “Crying” to the uppermost reaches of the charts in the 1960s had been beset by personal tragedies for some time, including the death of his wife Claudette and two sons between 1966 and 1968. As the 1980s began, the rock world slowly but surely came back around to his talents, with Van Halen covering “Oh, Pretty Woman” to great success and director David Lynch using “In Dreams” for a pivotal scene in his 1986 classic Blue Velvet.

The stage was set for a massive, multi-pronged Orbison comeback, beginning with In Dreams: The Greatest Hits and continuing with inductions into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Then, on September 30, 1987 at Los Angeles’ Cocoanut Grove, Orbison and producer T-Bone Burnett assembled a galaxy of stars to accompany Orbison at a special concert event. Named for the colors in which it was filmed, A Black and White Night featured Orbison trading licks and vocals (and a whole lot of admiration) with Bruce Springsteen, k.d. lang, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits, Jackson Browne and others, all backed by Elvis Presley’s TCB Band. The special was broadcast on Cinemax in early 1988 and a resultant live album was a Grammy Award winner in 1991.

After the jump, learn how Legacy’s expanded Roy’s Last Concert with some rarely-seen performance and video!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

November 13, 2013 at 12:59

Posted in DVD, News, Reissues, Roy Orbison

Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye): Final “The Complete Motown Singles” Volume Bows

with 5 comments

The Complete Motown Singles Volume 12BThey did it.

Nearly nine years after the first volume in Hip-O Select’s The Complete Motown Singles box set series was released, the 14th and final entry in the series, Volume 12B: 1972, will be released on December 10, just in time for the holidays.

The year 1972 marks, for many, the end of the “classic Motown” period. Label founder Berry Gordy moved label operations from Detroit to Los Angeles, and many of his most treasured acts were in periods of transition. Diana Ross was long a solo artist away from The Supremes, while Smokey Robinson would part ways with The Miracles in 1972 – the same year both The Four Tops and Gladys Knight & The Pips would break off from the label. At the same time, though, several of the label’s acts were coming in to their own, from The Temptations’ psychedelic soul styles, the increasing independence and experimentation of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye and even the shine of the spotlight on solo members of The Jackson 5, namely frontmen Michael and Jermaine.

Included in the 100 tracks across five discs are some choice rarities, including Marvin Gaye’s beautiful (but long-lost) holiday single, “I Want to Come Home for Christmas” b/w “Christmas in the City,” an unissued solo single from longtime label songwriter Valerie Simpson, a duet by G.C. Cameron and Willie Hutch that never made it to an album with Hutch’s vocal, and even rare sides by several pop acts who made their name away from the Motown roster, including Lesley Gore, Bobby Darin and Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.

Packed, as always, with a bonus replica 7″ single (The Temptations’ classic “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”), The Complete Motown Singles Vol. 12B is loaded with notes and essays from Abdul “Duke” Fakir of The Four Tops, Susan Whitall of The Detroit News, journalist Bill Dahl and compilation producers Keith Hughes and Harry Weinger, who “contribute series postscripts that offer back stories of the Motown tape vault, session logs and tape cards.”

The Second Disc has, of course, spent most of its existence lightly prodding Harry, UMe’s vice-president of A&R, for information on the TCMS series; when we set up shop in 2010, the series had seemingly stalled at Vol. 11 the year before. Vols. 12A and 12B would not materialize until this year, though I certainly speak for both Joe and myself (not to mention countless readers and fans around the world) that the work has been well worth the wait.

On December 10, that wait is finally over. After the jump, you can pre-order your own copy of the set.

Read the rest of this entry »

With You I’m Born Again: SoulMusic Label Revives Motown Duets with Syreeta and Billy Preston, Thelma Houston and Jerry Butler

with 4 comments

Billy Preston and SyreetaWith two of its latest releases, Cherry Red’s SoulMusic Records imprint has revisited three classic Motown duets albums on two CDs.

Longtime collectors of SoulMusic Records’ releases know that the label frequently jumps back and forth with an artist’s catalogue rather than releasing titles in chronological order.  Such is the case with its latest reissue from Syreeta, born Syreeta Wright.  In recent months, SoulMusic has revisited Motown queen Syreeta’s third and fourth solo albums, 1977’s One to One and 1980’s Syreeta.  In between those LPs, however, Syreeta busied herself with duet projects.  Following Rich Love, Poor Love with The Spinners’ G.C. Cameron, Motown paired Syreeta with keyboard great Billy Preston for the soundtrack of the otherwise-undistinguished film Fast Break.  The decision to team Syreeta and Preston paid off when their duet version of David Shire and Carol Connors’ “With You I’m Born Again” went all the way to No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979.  Though Preston appeared on a couple of tracks on Syreeta and a duet single was released of Preston’s “It Will Come in Time,” a full duets album was inevitable.  That LP, 1981’s functionally-titled Billy Preston and Syreeta, has just arrived from SoulMusic, expanded with seven additional cuts.

Billy Preston and Syreeta, like Syreeta, was the work of multiple producers.  Ollie E. Brown, Michael Masser, and the “Born Again” team of Shire and Connors all contributed to the album’s production.  Masser co-wrote all four of his tracks, two with Randy Goodrum and two with Gerry Goffin.  (The album’s closing song “What We Did for Love” is not a duet cover of the Marvin Hamlisch/Ed Kleban composition from A Chorus Line but rather a Masser/Goodrum original.)  Brown penned the album’s opening cuts “Someone Special” and “Searchin’,” and Connors and Shire reunited for the jazzy and playful “It’s So Easy.”  Despite the strong pedigree, Billy Preston and Syreeta was lost in the shuffle of Motown’s distribution shake-up, and the album might have been released too late to capitalize on the success of “Born Again.”  SoulMusic makes a case for the album’s artistic merits, however, and adds seven bonus tracks including four singles from Fast Break (the vocal and instrumental versions of “Born Again,” and 7- and 12-inch singles of Shire and Connors’ disco theme “Go for It”), the interim single release “It Will Come in Time,” and the single versions of Preston’s two duets on Syreeta, “One More Time for Love” and “Please Stay.”  The former was written by Jerry Peters, who produced some of Syreeta, and the latter was another Connors/Shire creation.  SoulMusic’s reissue has been remastered by Alan Wilson, and includes liner notes from Sharon Davis drawing on a new interview with Carol Connors.

After the jump: we’ll take a peek at a two-for-one set from Thelma Houston and Jerry Butler, plus we have full track listings and order links for both releases! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 13, 2013 at 09:51