The Second Disc

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Archive for November 26th, 2013

Intrada Crosses Moon River In Style With Mancini’s Original “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Soundtrack

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Breakfast at Tiffany'sIn 1962, Henry Mancini scored a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Music from the Motion Picture on the RCA Victor label.  But that 12-track LP only told part of the story of Mancini’s Academy Award-winning score for the film starring Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Buddy Ebsen, Patricia Neal and Mickey Rooney.  Like most of the scores from his classic period, Mancini re-recorded his Tiffany’s music in pop arrangements for its RCA “soundtrack” LP.  Consequently, the original music as heard in the film had never been officially released in any audio format – until now.  Following similar releases of the actual film music of Mancini’s Charade, Hatari!, and Days of Wine and Roses, the Intrada label has just released one of film music’s holy grails from the immortal composer-arranger-conductor with the first-time Original Soundtrack Recording of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Henry Mancini picked up one Oscar for his instrumental score to Blake Edwards’ 1961 film and a second with Johnny Mercer for their Best Song, the now-standard “Moon River.”  But beyond that gentle serenade, Mancini’s score to Tiffany’s was one of his most tuneful, equal parts cocktail jazz, big-band swing, Latin-tinged pop and pure drama.  In other words, its colorful sounds were perfectly suited to Edwards’ dreamy adaptation of Truman Capote’s fanciful if surprisingly edgy 1958 novella.  Though Mancini’s collaboration with Edwards lasted 35 years and roughly 30 projects, Tiffany’s stands as one of the pair’s crowning achievements.  The 30-minute re-recording was a popular LP and stands on its own merits as a remarkable (and remarkably successful) recording.  But, by design, it didn’t reflect the full breadth and scope of the versatile composer’s music as heard in the motion picture.

The RCA LP included just “Moon River” in the opening titles track and a cha-cha arrangement.  Not only does Intrada’s new 38-track release include Audrey Hepburn’s own fragile vocal performance of “Moon River,” but it premieres the complete original music of the movie’s heist sequence, the dramatic bus station farewell, the full opening and end titles, and much more.  Nine bonus tracks round out a truly immersive package, including “Moon River” as performed by just Hepburn and guitar, the “Meet the Doc” cue minus the film’s organ grinder, three “Practice Piano” cues and four more “Moon River” alternates.  All told, the new disc clocks in at just a bit less than eighty minutes’ length.

Hit the jump for more, including an order link and the complete track listing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 26, 2013 at 15:43

Feed Your Head: Morello Label Revisits Grace Slick’s “Dreams”

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Grace Slick - DreamsGrace Slick certainly made waves in 1998 when she proclaimed to VH1 that “all rock ‘n’ rollers over the age of 50 look stupid and should retire.”  Ten years later, she reiterated her feelings to ABC News, commenting, “It’s sad somehow when you watch people who are doing things that my daughter calls ‘age inappropriate.’”  So even as many of her contemporaries are still rockin’ into their seventies, the now-73 year old Slick has been painting and enjoying her retirement from music.  Luckily, Slick left plenty of music behind.  In the steady stream of reissues from her Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship and Starship periods, however, Slick’s four-title solo catalogue is often overlooked.  Cherry Red’s Morello label is rectifying that with a reissue of her 1980 RCA solo album Dreams.

Recorded in 1979 with producer Ron Frangipane, Dreams arrived during Slick’s hiatus from Jefferson Starship.  She had departed the band following 1978’s Earth and sat out for 1979’s Freedom at Point Zero before returning to the Jefferson fold for 1981’s Modern Times.  Dreams marked a return to solo recording for the striking singer; her only previous solo LP had come in 1974 with Manhole.  Whereas that album featured Jefferson Airplane/Starship bandmates and associates like Paul Kantner, Jack Casady, John Barbata, Craig Chaquico, Pete Sears David Freiberg and Peter Kaukonen, Dreams was recorded outside of their sphere of influence with Frangipane producing and arranging, and Scott ZIto as Slick’s “right hand man.”

Released in March 1980, the Grammy-nominated Dreams was the most successful of Slick’s four solo records.  It charted at No. 32 in the U.S. and No. 28 in Great Britain.  The single “Seasons” was released in the U.S. to promote Dreams; in the U.K. the choice was title song “Dreams.”  The U.S. A-side (which reached No. 95 on the Billboard chart) was composed by Slick, who wrote five of the album’s nine tracks.   “Dreams” was written by Sean Delaney, who also participated in solo recordings by KISS’ Gene Simmons and Peter Criss, and first appeared on Delaney’s 1979 album Highway.  Zito, who would go on to compose all of the music for Slick’s next solo effort in 1981, wrote two songs on Dreams: “Face to the Wind” and “Angel of Night.”  Rounding out the album’s line-up, Gary Gegan was tapped for the flamenco-styled “El Diablo.”  Stylistically the album was quite varied, with Slick also touching on psychedelia and rock, and experimenting with orchestration (provided by Frangipane) on some cuts.

After the jump, we have more details plus the full track listing and order links!

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Written by Joe Marchese

November 26, 2013 at 11:43

Beggars Archive Preps New Remasters, Expanded Reissues for “5 Albums” Series

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Gene Loves JezebelThis week, 4AD/Beggars Archive is giving goth-rock fans a trio of Christmas presents, in the form of box sets in their 5 Albums series devoted to Bauhaus, Gene Loves Jezebel and Lords of the Nephilim.

Beggars Archive, like so many other labels this year, has found the best way to get certain products on stores (or, at the very least, in some sort of physical configuration) has been to combine multiple products into one neat box. But far from a corner-cutting affair, these boxes look to be a pretty sweet offering for fans.

Bauhaus’ box combines the first four albums, released between 1980 and 1983, by the British goth legends, along with a bonus disc of 20 single-only tracks and mixes. The first two albums, In the Flat Field and Mask (as well as their associated tracks on Disc 5), feature the same masters created for a set of expanded “Omnibus Editions” released in 2009, while the remainder of the repertoire is newly remastered by Tony Cousins at Metropolis Studios from the original analog tapes.

The Gene Loves Jezebel set features expanded editions of the band’s first five albums, from 1983’s Promise to 1990’s Kiss of LifePromise, along with Immigrant (1985) and Discover (1986), utilize the same remasters from a trio of expanded editions from 2005 (those sets, all spanning two discs each, have been condensed to one for this box). While the other two albums (The House of Dolls (1988) and Kiss of Life) were recorded digitally, the relevant bonus tracks have been mastered from analog tape where available – and both of those records have been expanded for the first time, with eight bonus tracks each.

Finally, the Fields of the Nephilim box features three expanded albums – Dawnrazor (1987), The Nephilim (1988) and Elizium (1990) – alongside the 1991 live album Earth Inferno and a bonus disc of 13 single tracks. Only Elizium has received the full remastering-from-analog-tape treatment; owing to a limited budget, the rest have been mastered from digital sources.

All three should be available in U.K. stores now, and are shipping as imports to the U.S. with an expected arrival date around next Tuesday. After the jump, you’ll find order links for all three, as well as the full track lists for each.

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Written by Mike Duquette

November 26, 2013 at 11:09

Release Round-Up: Week of November 26

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Animals - Mickie Most YearsThe Animals, The Mickie Most Years and More / Tower of Power, Hipper Than Hip: Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow – Live on the Air & in the Studio 1974 / Lisa Fischer, So Intense / The Alabama State Troupers, Road Show / The Obsessed, The Church Within (Real Gone Music)

An Animals box set and a compilation of unreleased Tower of Power greatness head off Real Gone’s slate for the end of the year!

The Animals: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Tower of Power: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Lisa Fischer: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Alabama State Troupers: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Obsessed: CD (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) LP (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Badfinger - TimelessBadfinger, Timeless: The Musical Legacy (Apple)

A new single-disc compilation devoted to the would-be Beatle heirs, the first to be derived from Apple’s 2010 remasters. (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)

Big Star - PlaylistBig Star, Playlist: The Very Best of Big Star (Legacy) / Nothing Can Hurt Me (Magnolia)

A double dose of Big Star today: a new compilation in Legacy’s Playlist line that marries some of the band’s classic early recordings with latter-day live tracks from their mid-’90s reunion, and a new feature-length documentary on the band.

PlaylistAmazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.
Nothing Can Hurt Me: DVD (Amazon U.S.) BD (Amazon U.S.)

Thelonious Monk Paris 1969Thelonious Monk, Paris 1969 (Blue Note)

An unreleased live set from later in Monk’s career, available in multiple formats (including an equally unseen video!).

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
CD/DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Screaming Life-FoppSoundgarden, Screaming Life/Fopp (Sub Pop)

An expanded remaster of the Seattle grunge icons’ debut EPs.

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Barbra - Back to BrooklynBarbra Streisand, Back to Brooklyn (Columbia)

Barbra takes Brooklyn – specifically, the new Barclays Center – by storm in these shows, recorded in October 2012.

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

It's a Scream How LevineVarious Artists, It’s a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba (Idelsohn Society)

Subtitled “The Latin-Jewish Musical Story 1940s-1980s,” this double-disc set (featuring performances by Carole King, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente and more) is a fun, occasionally wacky musical archaeology session that’ll keep you amused and informed. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Wicked - DeluxeWicked: Original Broadway Cast Recording 10th Anniversary Special Edition (Verve/UMe)

Defy gravity with this deluxe two-disc version of the Tony-winning musical about the witches of Oz. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)