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Archive for February 4th, 2014

Cherry Red Turns Up the Heat with Any Trouble’s “Complete Stiff Recordings”

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Any Trouble - Complete Stiff

When the band Any Trouble made its debut on Stiff Records in 1979 with the single “Yesterday’s Love” b/w “Nice Girls,” the label had already survived the defection of co-founder Jake Riviera and, with him, artists including Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe.  Any Trouble was one of the headliners of the 1980 “Son of Stiff” tour, alongside Ten Pole Tudor, Dirty Looks, Joe “King” Carrasco and The Crowns, and The Equators, and made their LP debut that year with Where Are All the Nice Girls?  Produced by John Wood, the album earned the band a Melody Maker cover story.  In late 2013, courtesy of Cherry Red Records, that album was joined with the band’s complete Stiff discography (one more studio LP, one live LP, and various singles and non-LP tracks) as a 3-CD set, The Complete Stiff Recordings 1980-1981.

Manchester’s Clive Gregson (rhythm guitar/vocals) founded Any Trouble with mates Chris Parks (lead guitar) and Tom Jackson (lead vocals) as a folk-styled trio inspired by, in his words, “rootsy American music [like] Dylan, The Band, Little Feat, Springsteen, etc.”  But the band evolved into an electric four-piece when Jackson departed, and drummer Mel Harley and bassist Phil Barnes were brought in from Parks’ old band Torch.  Gregson’s songs caught the ear of tastemakers including DJ John Peel, and as the band built a following on the U.K. pub circuit, Any Trouble was signed to Stiff. As Nice Girls capitalized on the New Wave sound, many expected the LP to be greeted with instant success.  But despite the critical acclaim, record buyers didn’t immediately take to Any Trouble, and Gregson was plagued by comparisons to Elvis Costello.

Undeterred, Any Trouble persevered with 1981’s Wheels in Motion.  Martin Hughes replaced Mel Harley on drums, and Mike Howlett took over for John Wood in the producer’s chair.  But despite another strong set of contemporary songs from Gregson, the Wheels weren’t in motion for Any Trouble, commercially-speaking.  An ill-fated U.S. tour concluded with the band dropped and, well, Stiffed by their label, left in America without so much as a return ticket home.

Following a sabbatical, Gregson and Barnes regroup with an EMI America contract and parlayed that into another two albums including the double set Wrong End of the Race.  In 1984, Any Trouble finally called it quits, and Gregson embarked on a solo career that continues to this day.  But Cherry Red’s Complete Stiff Recordings captures the seminal records that conferred cult status on the band.  After the jump: exactly what will you find on this 3-CD mini-box set? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 4, 2014 at 12:58

Posted in Any Trouble, News, Reissues

All I Ever Wanted: Rhino to Reissue Depeche Mode Catalogue on Vinyl

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Songs of Faith and DevotionA dozen albums by electronic pioneers Depeche Mode will see reissue on 180-gram vinyl this winter and spring, Rhino Records announced.

In more than three decades since their debut album Speak and Spell (1981), the band – vocalist Dave Gahan, guitarist/songwriter Martin Gore, keyboarist Andrew Fletcher and former members Vince Clarke (keyboards, 1980-1981) and Alan Wilder (drums/production, 1982-1995) – established themselves as one of the most commercially successful and influential bands of their kind. Though the U.S. was slower to catch on, they’ve stayed consistently popular on our shores, particularly after the release of 1990’s Violator, which spun off the singles “Personal Jesus” and “Enjoy the Silence” (a Top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic). Since then, all of their studio albums have been international Top 10 hits, the most recent being 2013’s Delta Machine, their first for Columbia Records after decades signed to Mute Records.

The dozen releases will feature gatefold sleeves with inserts and liner notes and will be distributed in three batches:

February 4: Some Great Reward (1984 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.), Black Celebration (1986 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.), Music for the Masses (1987 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.), Songs of Faith and Devotion (1993 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
March 25: A Broken Frame (1982 – Amazon U.S.), Construction Time Again (1983 – Amazon U.S.), Violator (1990 – Amazon U.S.), Ultra (1997 – Amazon U.S.) (Amazon U.K. links TBD)
May 27: Speak and Spell (1981), Exciter (2001), Playing the Angel (2005), Sounds of the Universe (2009) (links TBD)

Written by Mike Duquette

February 4, 2014 at 10:44

Release Round-Up: Week of February 4

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Together OST CDBurt Bacharach, Together? — Original Soundtrack Recording / Toomorrow: From the Harry Saltzman-Don Kirshner Film “Toomorrow” — Original Soundtrack Recording / The Mamas and the Papas, A Gathering of Flowers / Brotherhood, The Complete Recordings / Smith, A Group Called Smith/Minus-Plus / Troyka, Troyka / Jim Reeves, A Beautiful Life — Songs of Inspiration / The Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 20 — Capital Centre, Landover, MD 9/25/76 — Onondaga County War Memorial, Syracuse, NY 9/28/76 (Real Gone Music)

What could be better than this Real Gone bounty, featuring a classic compilation by The Mamas and The Papas, an exciting compilation by Brotherhood, a post Paul Revere & The Raiders combo, and two exceptional, long-out-of-print soundtracks? How about those latter two soundtracks making their way to domestic CD with liner notes from The Second Disc’s very own Joe Marchese? I’d call that a big yes!

Together?Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
ToomorrowAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Mamas and The Papas: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Brotherhood: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Smith: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Troyka: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Jim Reeves: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Grateful Dead: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Otis Redding - King of SoulAretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul / Otis Redding, The King of Soul (Atlantic/Rhino)

Two of the most legendary performers in the Atlantic soul catalogue are newly anthologized with simple four-disc overviews.

Aretha: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Otis: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

mike-bloomfield-boxMichael Bloomfield, From His Head to His Heart to His Hands (Legacy)

One of the best (and most unfairly obscure) guitarists of the 1960s gets his due in a new career-spanning box set featuring three CDs of favorites and rarities and a new film about the late performer, who played with Bob Dylan, Al Kooper, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and others. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Tina Turner Love SongsTina Turner, Love Songs (Parlophone)

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a new romantically-inclined compilation from another all-time soul queen. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Small Faces - Here Come the NiceThe Small Faces, Here Come The Nice: The Immediate Years 1967-1969 (Charly/Snapper Classics)

An exhaustive new box set (exclusive to Amazon) featuring all of the mod legends’ single sides for the Immediate label, rare and unreleased studio outtakes, four repressed vinyl EPs/acetates and a load of extra content, including replica press kits, posters, art prints, a hardbound book and more. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)


The Day Before of Wine and Roses

The Dream Syndicate, The Day Before of Wine and Roses (Omnivore)

A killer live set recorded at KPFK-FM in Los Angeles, weeks prior to the recording of The Dream Syndicate’s seminal debut. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

rainbow_singles_box_setRainbow, Singles Box (Polydor/UMC)

A 19-disc box replicating various 45s from Ritchie Blackmore’s iconic rock combo. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Gene, Olympian To See the Lights Drawn to the Deep End Revelations Libertine: Deluxe Editions (Edsel)

All five of the alt-rock/Britpop band’s standard albums (including the B-sides compilation To See the Lights) have been newly expanded as double-disc sets in casebound packages, all featuring rare B-sides and some unreleased live material and demos throughout.

Olympian: Amazon U.K.
To See the Lights: Amazon U.K.
Drawn to the Deep End: Amazon U.K.
Revelations: Amazon U.K.
Libertine: Amazon U.K.

Cast, All Change / Mother Nature Calls / Magic Hour Beetroot: Deluxe Editions (Edsel)

In the same vein as Gene, John Power’s band after the dissolution of The La’s was notable in the Britpop era, particularly for debut All Change, the highest-selling debut in Polydor Records’ history. All four of their albums have been expanded as triple-disc (double in the case of Beetroot) sets, including rare B-sides and other material as well as DVDs packed with music videos, live appearances and new interviews with Power about each album.

All Change: Amazon U.K.
Mother Nature Calls: Amazon U.K.
Magic Hour: Amazon U.K.
Beetroot: Amazon U.K.

Jon Anderson, Olias of Sunhillow / Alice Cooper, Billion Dollar Babies (Audio Fidelity) / The Doobie Brothers, Stampede / Dean Martin, This Time I’m Swingin’ / Frank Sinatra, Point of No Return (Mobile Fidelity)

The latest hi-def offerings. Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman respectively master the Audio Fidelity gold disc titles, while MFSL offers two crooners and a ’70s rock band on hybrid SACD.

Jon Anderson: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Alice Cooper: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Doobie Brothers: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Dean Martin: Amazon U.S.
Frank Sinatra: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.