The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for February 13th, 2014

ABBA Celebrate 40 Years of “Waterloo” with New Reissue

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Waterloo 40It may seem trite and ridiculous to Americans, but across the pond there is one competition that’s bigger than any Idol or X-Factor event in the music world: the Eurovision Song Contest. For nearly 60 years, dozens of countries in the European Broadcasting Union send a song and a performer to the live event, and a winner is selected by votes.

Despite the immense popularity of the contest, it’s interesting how few winners achieve true global superstardom. Sandie Shaw won with her signature “Puppet on a String” in 1967, and songs performed by Lulu, Celine Dion and even Katrina & The Waves have taken home the prize. But one stands tall above the rest – the 1974 Eurovision winner, written by Swedish songwriting duo Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (with manager/partner Stig Andersson) and performed by the duo with their wives, Agnetha Fälksog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The group was ABBA, the single was “Waterloo” and the rest is history.

Four decades after the quartet’s immense international success (which far outlives the group itself, which disbanded in 1982), the ABBA catalogue machine (which, since 1992’s smash compilation ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits, has never really turned off, with multiple reissues, compilations and box sets being released in the years since) is picking up with a new reissue of the band’s sophomore Waterloo album, among other treasures.

While none of Waterloo‘s tracks stood up to the success of the title cut – a chart-topper throughout most of Europe, a Top 5 hit in Australia and No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 – there were some fan favorites in singles like “Honey, Honey” (a U.S. Top 40 hit) and only-ABBA-could’ve-done-these tracks like “Hasta Mañana” and “King Kong Song.” The U.S. pressing also featured a new mix of “Ring, Ring,” the band’s 1973 breakout single.

As with previous ABBA deluxe editions, the new Waterloo is a CD/DVD set with no new audio bonuses (foreign language versions and alternate remixes are the order of the day) but a wealth of archival video content, including – what else? – the band’s winning performance of “Waterloo” at Eurovision. A 20-page booklet of liner notes will feature a new essay with highlights from new interviews from Andersson and Ulvaeus.

The new Waterloo is out April 7; one day before, a special 7″ picture disc featuring Swedish and English versions of “Waterloo” will be released, too. And it’s certainly safe to assume more commemorative product will be available throughout the year. For now, full track list and pre-order links for the new deluxe set are after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 13, 2014 at 11:50

Posted in ABBA, News, Reissues, Vinyl

Alice Cooper’s “Trash” Gets Another Look From Hear No Evil, Cherry Red

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Alice Cooper - TrashThere’s always something slightly disingenuous about the term “comeback album” – especially when an artist has never really left.  Such was the case with Alice Cooper’s 1989 Epic Records release Trash.  But one certainly sees why the expression would be used to describe Trash.  Alice Cooper’s eighteenth studio release, it became his first Top 20 album in the U.S. since 1975’s epochal Welcome to My Nightmare, his biggest-ever U.K. success with a No. 2 peak, and contained his first U.S. Top 10 hit single since 1977’s atypically pretty “You and Me.”  Now, Trash is back on an expanded and remastered CD from Cherry Red’s Hear No Evil label.

Since the Atlantic label release Welcome to My Nightmare – the former Vincent Furnier’s first album as Alice Cooper, solo artist, and the eighth Alice Cooper album (previous LPs referred to his band’s name) – Cooper had spent most of his career on Atlantic sister label Warner Bros.  After 1983’s DaDa, Cooper retreated to battle his own sobriety issues, and he returned clean with a new MCA deal for 1986’s Constrictor and 1987’s Raise Your Fist and Yell.  For his Epic debut with Trash, Cooper hit upon the notion of teaming with songwriter Desmond Child.  As Alice reveals in the new liner notes by Malcolm Dome, he was inspired by what Child had accomplished with other bands who were likely inspired by Alice Cooper: “Suddenly there were all these bands like Bon Jovi [who] were putting on big shows again.  The glam and the glitz was back in rock.  They had big sets and big songs which were anthems.  Sure, they had cool images but also lots of guitar, and I totally got what was going on.  Why?  Because it was effectively a return to what I had been doing in the seventies.”  Child, a veteran who had worked with KISS, Aerosmith and Bon Jovi, seemed the perfect choice.  But according to Alice, he had no idea who the older rock star was!

With explanations out of the way, Cooper and Child embarked on the writing of Trash, sharing credits on nine of the album’s ten songs.  Other familiar songwriters were brought in, too, from Bruce Roberts to Diane Warren.  But “Poison” – the album’s eventual smash hit single that revitalized Cooper’s career – was a Cooper/Child co-write with guitarist John McCurry, and the first song they completed together!  Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora also joined in on the songwriting sessions for “Hell Is Living without You,” while Child brought in “House of Fire,” which he had written with Joan Jett.  Cooper finished the song, and it’s since become a live staple.  One wonders if the title of the album’s “This Maniac’s in Love with You” was inspired by Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “This Guy’s in Love with You,” as the multi-faceted Cooper has long counted himself among the duo’s fans.

Much as Child was unaware of Alice Cooper, Alice claims to have been unaware that Child was also a producer.  He tested out his collaborator on a couple of tracks, commencing with “Poison.”  The results were to both men’s liking, and Child went on to produce the entire album.  As for “Poison,” it reached No. 7 in the U.S. and No. 2 in the U.K.!  After the jump: more on this expanded edition of Trash, including the full track listing, order links and more! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 13, 2014 at 10:40

Posted in Alice Cooper, News, Reissues