The Second Disc

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Archive for March 12th, 2014

Real Gone Unearths 5th Dimension, Vanilla Fudge and More for Late April

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Earthbound Original

Real Gone Music isn’t letting up, with six heavy-hitting reissues announced for an April 29 release, including compilations for Vanilla Fudge and The 5th Dimension, long-lost recordings by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys and more!

We’ve already told you about RGM’s plans to release 10 tracks from the band’s famed radio-only “Tiffany Transcriptions” – four of which won’t be available on any other release – as a Record Store Day exclusive. A two-disc, 50-track set of those recordings from 1946-1947 will be available in the label’s latest release batch. So, too, will a single-disc set of Vanilla Fudge’s complete single sides for Atco Records, Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman’s soundtrack for the 1976 Olympics documentary White Rock, an expansion of punk titans X’s 1982 album Under the Big Black Sun and jazz saxophonist Cannonball Adderley’s long-out-of-print live double album Black Messiah from 1970.

If we can allow our biases to show for just a second, our most anticipated release of this batch is handily The 5th Dimension’s Earthbound: The Complete ABC Recordings. The psychedelic group was best known for their works on Soul City and Bell, of course, but this final album of the original band’s from 1975 is ripe for rediscovery. And what better way to help rediscover this period than with new liner notes from The Second Disc’s own Joe Marchese? These liners, a perfect sequel to Joe’s work for Real Gone’s reissued soundtracks to Together? and Toomorrow and Keith Allison’s forthcoming In Action: The Complete Columbia Sides Plus, include brand-new interviews he conducted with Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. – and I’ll say it again: in this writer’s humble opinion, there are fewer writers who’d approach this project with as much professionalism and unencumbered enthusiasm.  This title is now scheduled for June 3, 2014 release.

So make sure you keep your eyes peeled for these new sets, all of which – save Earthbound – are due on April 29. Hit the jump for the full press release and Amazon links!

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Ray Charles, Glen Campbell, Chet Baker, Peggy Lee Featured On Soundtrack Bumper Crop From Varese

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Any Which Way You CanVarese Vintage is going any which way they can with an exciting trio of soundtrack releases from the library of Snuff Garrett’s Viva Records label.  Garrett, of course, was the producer behind major hits from Gary Lewis and the Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”), Cher (“Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves”) and future “Mama” Vicki Lawrence (“The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”).  At Viva, he oversaw an eclectic array of releases from artists like the Midnight String Quartet, Alan O’Day, Ray Price and even crooner Rudy Vallee.  (If you ever wanted to hear Vallee warbling “Winchester Cathedral” and “Michelle,” look no further than 1967’s Hi-Ho Everybody on Viva!)  He also helmed a number of film soundtracks, three of which are arriving on CD from Varese: 1980’s Any Which Way You Can, 1981’s Sharky’s Machine, and 1982’s Honkytonk Man.  Collectively, these feature original music by an all-star roster including Ray Charles, Glen Campbell, Fats Domino, Marty Robbins, Ray Price, The Manhattan Transfer, Chet Baker, Peggy Lee and Sarah Vaughan – to name a few!

Music has played an important part in the career of Clint Eastwood since his earliest days.  Though the actor-director has limited his onscreen musicals to one (1969’s Lerner and Loewe adaptation Paint Your Wagon), Clint recorded an album of country-and-western songs (Rawhide’s Clint Eastwood Sings Cowboy Favorites) in 1963 and has appeared in, or directed, a number of films with prominent musical moments or scores.  Think The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Play Misty for Me, Bird, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and so on.  Eastwood has composed the scores for numerous films including J. Edgar, Changeling and Mystic River, and this June, he returns to musicals as the director of the big screen adaptation of Jersey Boys.  So it’s no surprise that music was front and center in Every Which Way But Loose and Honkytonk Man.

The comedy-action film Any Which Way You Can, a sequel to 1978’s Every Which Way But Loose, again paired Eastwood’s Philo Beddoe with his pet orangutan Clyde for a series of misadventures.    Audiences couldn’t get enough of Philo and Clyde, as the movie became the fifth highest grossing picture of the year.  The soundtrack, an Eastwood-Garrett production overseen by Snuff and arranger-conductor Steve Dorff, hit the Country Top 5 and spawned seven (!) charting C&W singles out of just twelve tracks.  The album, remastered by David Shirk, is a breezily enjoyable listen.  Eastwood reminisces with Ray Charles on “Beers to You” (No. 55), Fats Domino laconically dreams not of “My Blue Heaven” but of “Whiskey Heaven” (No. 51), and Johnny Duncan turns things tropical on “Acapulco” (No. 16).  Jim Stafford also scored with “Cow Patti” (No. 65) and Gene Watson with “Any Way You Want Me” (No. 33).  But the two biggest hits came from Glen Campbell and the duo of Lefty’s younger brother David Frizzell and Dottie’s daughter Shelly West.  Frizzell and West had recorded a few albums both jointly and separately for Viva, and took the soundtrack’s “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” all the way to No.1 Country.  Campbell’s rendition of the soaring MOR-country Dorff/Garrett/Milton Brown title ballad went to No. 10.  The soundtrack is rounded out by a couple of performances from Eastwood’s onscreen and offscreen co-star Sondra Locke, a bluegrass selection from The Texas Opera Company, and even an ode to the “Orangutan Hall of Fame” by Cliff Crofford.

After the jump, we’ll dive into Honkytonk Man and Sharky’s Machine – plus we have full track listings and order links for all three CDs! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 12, 2014 at 09:19