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Archive for December 9th, 2013

Now Sounds Tip-Toes Thru The Tulips With “God Bless Tiny Tim”

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God Bless Tiny TimWelcome to my dream, and how are you?  Will you be here long, or just passing through?  Brush off that stardust, where have you been?  Don’t tell me my rainbow was late getting in…

When Herbert Buckingham “Tiny Tim” Khaury, 37, married Victoria May “Miss Vicki” Budinger, 17, on December 17, 1969 before Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, The Rev. William Glenesk and a studio audience filled with 268 of the happy couple’s closest friends, roughly 40 million people were watching.  It was a high point for Carson’s Tonight Show, and some 44 years later when TV Guide counted down television’s 60 Greatest Talk Show Moments, the wedding of Tiny Tim and Miss Vicki made the Top 15.  Indeed, Tiny Tim fascinated the nation from his first appearance on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In.  Introduced as “The Toast of Greenwich Village,” the 6’1” jacketed figure with the mane of long hair entered, pulled a ukulele out of a shopping bag, and proceeded to warble “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” and “On the Good Ship Lollipop” in perhaps the strangest falsetto ever.  The audience roared at both Tim’s performance and co-host Dick Martin’s comically dumbfounded glare at his new discovery.   A star – of a kind not seen before and not likely to be seen again – was born.

An early fan of this most peculiar man was Peter, Paul and Mary’s Peter Yarrow.  He introduced Reprise Records’ legendary honcho Mo Ostin to Tim, and Ostin signed the former “Larry Love, The Singing Canary” to The House That Frank Built.  Tiny Tim recorded three albums for Reprise, and now, his 1968 Top 10 debut LP God Bless Tiny Tim has just been reissued in a deluxe expanded mono edition from Now Sounds.  The late singer-comedian-enigma died in 1996, aged 64, but his outsized personality and outré, time-displaced style live on here.  Even those who own the 2006 Rhino Handmade stereo box set God Bless Tiny Tim: The Complete Reprise Studio Masters…and More will find much new to discover.

Dear friends, join us after the jump for more, won’t you?

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Written by Joe Marchese

December 9, 2013 at 14:45

Posted in News, Reissues, Reviews, Tiny TIm

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Holiday Gift Guide Review: Bobby Darin, “The 25th Day of December” and Various Artists, “Funky Christmas”

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Bobby Darin - 25th Day of DecemberReal Gone Music is ensuring that it’s going to be a merry Christmas, indeed, with a number of holiday-themed releases that practically beg to be enjoyed alongside a glass of egg nog and a warm fireplace.

Bobby Darin’s The 25th Day of December, the late singer’s only holiday LP, arrived on the Atco label in 1960.  However, the album wasn’t the work of Bobby Darin, the splish-splashin’ rock-and-roller, or Bobby Darin, the finger-snapping, tuxedoed crooner.  It’s not even the work of Bob Darin, the folk troubadour.  Instead, it displays another side of the versatile Darin: a reverent, spiritual artist determined to avoid the traditional trappings and Tin Pan Alley Christmas songs that would likely have dominated his contemporaries’ holiday records in 1960.

On Real Gone’s first-ever CD release of the original stereo album mix, The 25th Day of December still retains the power to surprise and enthrall.  It came in a busy year for the singer in which every project seemed different than the one that preceded it – an original studio album, a live set at the Copa, a duet project with Johnny Mercer (the latter recorded in 1960 and released the following year).  Darin turned to Bobby Scott, who had accompanied him in live performances and in the studio, to craft the album’s arrangements and lead the choir dubbed The Bobby Scott Chorale.  Though the album emphasized the sacred over the secular – there’s no “Silver Bells” or “Sleigh Ride” here – Scott and Darin clearly desired to take listeners not just to a staid, solemn congregation, but to a foot-stompin’, soul-savin’ revival.

Darin seemingly reached to the depths of his soul for the up-tempo gospel of “Child of God,” “Baby Born Today” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” growling and wailing his call-and-response vocals with Scott’s choir.  “Poor Little Jesus” is as deeply bluesy as “Jehovah Hallelujah” is utterly rousing.  The  straightforward hymn “Holy Holy Holy” shows off Scott’s choral arrangements for male and female voices, and “Ave Maria” (the Bach-Gounod setting, not the Schubert) features some of Darin’s most sensitive, impassioned and subtle singing.  It’s a far cry from the brash upstart persona Darin cultivated with songs like “Mack the Knife.”  So is the stately take on “Silent Night.”  Darin even sang in Latin on the album’s de facto finale, “Dona Nobis Pacem.”  (A brief a cappella “Amen” follows the track.)

After the jump: more on Bobby Darin, plus a look at Funky Christmas! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 9, 2013 at 11:27

Morrissey Reloads “Arsenal” for February Reissue

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Your ArsenalMaybe it’s his catalogue in the hands of a new owner, with Parlophone now being managed by Rhino/Warner Music Group. Maybe it’s the rushing wave of acidic nostalgia that came with publishing his hit Autobiography. Or maybe it’s just been too long since the last reissue. Whatever the reason, Morrissey’s 1992 album Your Arsenal is getting remastered and expanded for a February release.

Featuring a new band anchored by guitarists Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte – still Moz’s chief collaborators to this day – and a rockabilly-inspired production by the late Mick Ronson, Your Arsenal was the first of many Morrissey albums hailed as a return to form for the ex-Smiths frontman. While it was not without its share of controversy (the war on Morrissey waged by NME had perhaps hit a fever pitch at this time, thanks to their perception of some of the album’s lyrics as glorifying of hooliganism and far-right English politics), it nonetheless did well on both sides of the Atlantic, with audiences embracing songs like “Glamorous Glue,” “We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful” and “Tomorrow” on the U.S. modern rock charts.

It wouldn’t be a Morrissey reissue without a little bit of original album tweaking, and while this is perhaps his most subtlest reconfiguration yet, it is indeed a reconfiguration: “Tomorrow” is featured in its U.S. single mix version. But this “Definitive Master” edition will include perhaps more bonus material than ever before seen or heard on a Moz re-release: a DVD featuring a complete show from the previous year’s Kill Uncle tour, recorded at California’s Shoreline Amphitheater on Halloween 1991. This set not only featured the band that would record Your Arsenal, but includes two new tracks that would be recorded at that time: “We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful” and non-LP B-side “Pashernate Love.”

Your Arsenal: Definitive Master is out on February 24 and 25 as a CD/DVD or vinyl remaster (the latter featuring a new gatefold sleeve). Hit the jump for the full specs and pre-order links!

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Written by Mike Duquette

December 9, 2013 at 09:29

Posted in DVD, Morrissey, News, Reissues, Vinyl