The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for March 11th, 2014

A Paramount Collection: Kritzerland Unearths Three Vintage Scores From Victor Young

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Victor Young at ParamountVictor Young was very nearly the Randy Newman of his day.  When Newman finally took home the Academy Award in 2002, it followed 15 unsuccessful nominations – a record which tied him with another film score legend, Alex North.  (North received a Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1986, five years before his death.)  When Young’s name was finally called as the winner of an Academy Award in 1957, it was a posthumous victory for the 22-time (!) nominee.  Victor Young died in November 1956 at just 56 years old (some sources say 57), but not before leaving behind a vast, rich body of work including 1943’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, cited as the first score to be issued on records.  Young also wrote a number of now-standard songs such as “When I Fall in Love” and “Stella by Starlight.”  Kritzerland is celebrating the Young oeuvre with the release of Victor Young at Paramount containing three scores from the great composer.  This 1,000-unit limited edition release is due by the last week of April but pre-orders directly from the label usually arrive an average of four weeks early.

This Victor Young triple bill comprises the scores to three films released between 1949 and 1951: The Accused (1949), September Affair (1950) and Appointment with Danger (1951).  None of these three scores have ever been released in audio format before, and all have been transferred directly from the elements in the Paramount vaults by the restoration experts at Kritzerland.  Ironically, Young wasn’t nominated for Oscars for any of these scores, but they’re no less melodic and memorable.  After the jump, we have all of the details on this Young treasure trove via the complete Kritzerland press release as well as the full track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 11, 2014 at 13:27

Hi-Rez Round-Up: Audio Fidelity Plans Clapton, Butterfield Reissues; Mobile Fidelity Does Sinatra, Chicago, Hall and Oates

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Clapton - Behind the SunAll that glitters is not (necessarily) gold.  Two of the U.S.’ preeminent audiophile labels, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab and Audio Fidelity – the latter a successor to DCC Compact Classics – made their name on Gold CDs, and have in recent years made the gradual change to hybrid stereo SACDs.  These discs, playable on all CD players in standard CD quality, are remastered to the same high standard as the gold releases but also give consumers with SACD playback capabilities the opportunity to listen in high-resolution, superior-to-CD sound.   Both Mobile Fidelity and Audio Fidelity have been busy in 2014.  The former label has released, or will release, hybrid SACDs from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Chicago, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Los Lobos and Daryl Hall and John Oates; the latter label has just offered titles from Heart, Jon Anderson, Alice Cooper and Peter, Paul and Mary, and has announced forthcoming releases from The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Eric Clapton.

Though Mobile Fidelity has made the gradual switch to the SACD format, Audio Fidelity has recently issued a statement confirming that the label will no longer manufacture 24K Gold CDs.  Label founder Marshall Blonstein has written in an email to subscribers of AF’s limited edition series that “as many of you know, over the past months we have had many delays with our 24K release schedule. Primarily it’s been due to the inability of our manufacturer to secure the gold target necessary to make 24K discs.  Since 2013, we’ve responded to the encouragement of many of our fans and friends by converting to the Hybrid SACD format.”

Blonstein continues, “Though it’s possible in the future we could release 24K titles, it’s not likely.  We’ve made this decision after a lot of thought and realistic evaluation of market conditions – our 24K manufacturer is unable to assure us that in the future they would be able to deliver the product you expect and we demand.  Meanwhile, we’re having a great run with our Hybrid SACD titles, our brand remains intact and our unique and appealing slipcase packaging remains consistent with our tradition.

So, it is with great sadness we are informing you that we will leave an old friend, our 24K Gold disc behind, but with also with great joy, knowing that we are moving forward with a much more consistent and broadly appealing format.”

After the jump, we’ll take a look at the recent release slate from both Audio Fidelity and Mobile Fidelity! Read the rest of this entry »

Release Round-Up: Week of March 11

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Sid Selvidge - Cold of the MorningSid Selvidge, The Cold of the Morning (Omnivore)

A long out-of-print classic, produced by Big Star producer Jim Dickinson and featuring a killer set of tunes written or arranged by the late Memphis folk master (and father of Steve Selvidge, current guitarist of The Hold Steady, who produced this new reissue) and featuring six unreleased bonus tracks.

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

Todd Cochran - Worlds Around the SunBayeté, Worlds Around the Sun (Omnivore Recordings)

The debut album by jazz keyboardist Todd Cochran, known for his work with names as diverse as Carl Palmer, Peter Gabriel and Joey Scarbury, is released on CD for the first time with two bonus tracks from the vaults. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Songs Our Daddy Taught UsEverly Brothers, Songs Our Daddy Taught Us (Varese Vintage)

Varese expands the classic Everlys collection – recently covered song for song as Foreverly by Norah Jones and Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong – with six previously unissued alternate takes of tracks including “Barbara Allen,” “Roving Gambler,” “Down in the Willow Garden” and “Put My Little Shoes Away.”  Expect a review from Joe soon! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Chicago Live in JapanChicago, Live in Japan (Rhino)

A Japan-exclusive live set released in 1972 makes its first appearance on CD in almost 10 years. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Time for Judy CanovaJudy Canova, Time for Judy Canova: The Rare Recordings 1928-1962 (Sepia)

Sepia collects 27 rare sides from singing comedienne and Republic Pictures star Judy Canova beginning with tracks recorded in 1928 and ending with her final recordings made in 1962. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Lena on the Blue SideLena Horne, Lena on the Blue Side Plus Bonus Tracks (Sepia)

This 1962 album by Lena Horne makes its CD debut outside of Japan with eight bonus tracks!   All bonus tracks are rare singles also making their CD debut, including four songs from her Broadway musical Jamaica that were recorded with Neal Hefti in pop arrangements! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Hank Snow Souvenirs Country HitsHank Snow, Souvenirs/Big Country Hits (Sepia)

This two-fer presents two complete LPs from Canadian country singer Hank Snow and adds four bonus tracks Snow recorded with Anita Carter of the Carter Family! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

LoleattaThe Salsoul Orchestra, Street Sense: Expanded Edition / Loleatta Holloway, Loleatta Holloway: Expanded Edition (Big Break)

Salsoul Orchestra: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Loleatta Holloway: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

ICON Blue NoteVarious Artists, ICON: The Best of Blue Note (Blue Note/UMe)

With an ambitious Blue Note vinyl campaign underway, UMe also honors the jazz label with a new two-disc compilation as part of the ICON series. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)