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Archive for March 18th, 2014

Once She Had A Secret Love: Legacy, Real Gone Celebrate Doris Day’s 90th Birthday With Classics and Never-Before-Heard Music

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Doris Day - The EssentialUPDATE 3/18: Whether on record, the silver screen or television, the name of Doris Day has always been synonymous with grace, class, charm, tenacity and artistry.  The singer, actress and animal rights activist will celebrate her landmark 90th birthday on April 3 of this year, but two days earlier, Real Gone Music will mark the occasion with two brand-new releases filled with both classics and rarities.  Music, Movies & Memories celebrates the entirety of Day’s career as one of America’s preeminent song stylists, covering the period between the 1940s and the 1980s with hidden gems and previously unissued performances.  It’s joined by the first-ever stand-alone CD reissue of the 1966 compilation album Doris Day Sings Her Great Movie Hits, which has been expanded with bonus tracks and now features music from every one of the films in which Day sang between 1956 and 1967.

Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings don’t wish to be left out of the festivities for Doris’ landmark birthday!  On March 25, the label will commemorate the occasion with the release of The Essential Doris Day, a 2-CD, 36-track remastered anthology of many of Day’s greatest hits for Columbia.

Born Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff in Cincinnati, Ohio, Day rose to prominence as a big-band singer, captivating World War II audiences with the Les Brown Orchestra.  Even today her chart-topping 1945 recording with Brown of the bandleader’s “Sentimental Journey” is instantly transporting to that era.  Day was a natural to be snapped up by Hollywood, and so in 1948, after a grueling schedule of touring, recording and performing on radio, she made her feature film debut in Romance on the High Seas opposite Jack Carson.  The film’s “It’s Magic,” written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, gave Day another No. 1, this time as a solo artist.  Day’s versatility soon became evident, and she was cast in musicals, comedies, dramas and thrillers, investing each role with her down-to-earth appeal.  Doris worked with a “Who’s Who” of Hollywood, including Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Sinatra, James Cagney, James Stewart, Howard Keel, Gordon MacRae, Clark Gable, David Niven, Gene Kelly, James Garner, Jack Lemmon, future President Ronald Reagan, and of course, Rock Hudson.  Real Gone’s Music, Movies & Memories promises to excite listeners with its first-time presentation of tracks that have never appeared on an album or compact disc as well as several newly-unearthed songs.

Music, Movies & Memories features album debuts of pre-recorded soundtrack recordings from the movies Lullaby of Broadway, Starlift, The Glass Bottom Boat and Young at Heart, the latter of which debuts on Blu-ray on April 8.  Day’s immortal “Que Sera Sera” from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much is represented in a live performance.  Among the previously unreleased offerings here are a 1947 take of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s Show Boat standard “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man,” a vintage fifties ballad entitled “How Well I Know,” and five songs from Doris’ final recording session in 1985: renditions of “Best Friends,” “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon,” “Wildfire,” “Stewball” and even The Beatles’ “Octopus’ Garden.”  These tracks, newly remixed, were recorded for the 1985-1986 Doris Day’s Best Friends television show devoted to animals; a number of other songs from the program premiered on 2011’s My Heart (which in its U.S. issue gave Doris her first entry on the Billboard 200 in 47 years!).  This version of “Stewball” differs from the one heard on My Heart, as it’s a duet between Day and her late producer-writer-performer son Terry Melcher, well-known for his work with The Byrds and The Beach Boys, among others.  A promotional radio interview from the 1960s has also been sourced from Doris’ own archives for this collection and a montage of studio chatter with Doris from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s closes out the set.

After the jump: a look at Doris’ Great Movie Hits and The Essential Doris Day, plus pre-order links and complete track listings for all three titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 18, 2014 at 14:22

KISS Prep Smashes, Thrashes, Hits, Everything Else for Vinyl Mega-Box (UPDATED)

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KISSteriaThink of all the reissues, repackagings and other ephemera released over the decades by the unforgettable rock band (and impending Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees) KISS. Now quadruple them. That’s pretty much what to expect with KISSteria, the latest box set announced by the band.

This limited edition set, of which 1,000 units will be made, features 34 KISS albums on vinyl in an Anvil road case packed with more merchandise than you can wave a Love Gun (or anything else, really) at. This includes nearly all their studio albums (2009’s Sonic Boom is a no-show), the original members’ four solo albums from 1978, all five Alive! releases and even a few compilations. The included merch, according to USA Today, includes 11 archival 11″x17″ posters (including the band’s first promotional poster), four lithographs, vinyl cleaning supplies (including a cloth and turntable mat), dominos and a numbered certificate of authenticity.

The fearsome foursome (original lead singer Paul Stanley and bassist Gene Simmons plus current guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer), who will headline a tour with Def Leppard this summer, have more goodies from the vault expected, including KISS 40, a double-disc compilation featuring “one track from every major album, plus live cuts and an unreleased demo from 1977.” All of the vinyl reissues in KISSteria save for KISS Symphony: Alive IV and all of the compilations, will also be made available individually, with Amazon links prepping more than a dozen titles over the next two months.

Full pre-order info on KISSteria, including release date and pricing, will be made available at a later date, with fans being able to sign up for notification on the band’s official site. The full list of included albumsis posted below, with Amazon listings and street dates for some of the individual vinyl titles. (An Amazon U.S. listing for KISS 40, with a May 27 street date, is also live.)

  • KISS (1974) (vinyl available 4/1 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
  • Hotter Than Hell (1974) (vinyl available 4/1 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
  • Dressed to Kill (1975) (vinyl available 4/1 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
  • Alive! (1975) (vinyl available 4/1 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
  • Destroyer (1976) (vinyl available 4/1 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
  • Rock and Roll Over (1976) (vinyl available 5/27)
  • Love Gun (1977) (vinyl available 5/6 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
  • Alive II (1977) (vinyl available 6/24)
  • Double Platinum (compilation, 1978) **
  • Gene Simmons (1978) (vinyl available 6/24)
  • Ace Frehley (1978) (vinyl available 6/24)
  • Paul Stanley (1978) (vinyl available 6/24)
  • Peter Criss (1978) (vinyl available 6/24)
  • Dynasty (1979) (vinyl available 4/1 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
  • Unmasked (1980) (vinyl available 4/1 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
  • Music from “The Elder” (1981) (vinyl available 5/27) +
  • Killers (compilation, 1982) **
  • Creatures of the Night (1982) (vinyl available 5/6 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
  • Lick It Up (1983) (vinyl available 4/1 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
  • Animalize (1984) (vinyl available 4/1 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
  • Asylum (1985) (vinyl available 5/6 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
  • Crazy Nights (1987) (vinyl available 5/27)
  • Smashes, Thrashes & Hits (compilation, 1988) **
  • Hot in the Shade (1989) (vinyl available 5/27)
  • Revenge (1992) (vinyl available 4/1 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
  • Alive III (1993) (vinyl available 5/27)
  • KISS Unplugged (1996) (vinyl available 5/6 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
  • You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best!! (1996) **
  • Greatest KISS (compilation, 1997) **
  • Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions (1997) (vinyl available 5/27) *
  • Psycho Circus (1998) (vinyl available 4/22 – Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
  • KISS Symphony: Alive IV (2003) **
  • Alive! The Millennium Concert (2006) (vinyl available 5/27 – Amazon U.S.) *
  • Monster (2012)

* vinyl debut
** vinyl exclusive to KISSteria box
+ available for the first time on vinyl in “concept album sequence”

Written by Mike Duquette

March 18, 2014 at 13:13

Posted in Box Sets, KISS, News, Reissues, Vinyl

Perpetual Change: Steven Wilson Takes “The Yes Album” To 5.1 Surround and Beyond with Unheard Music

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Yes - The Yes AlbumSay Yes!

Prog-rock hero and surround-sound guru Steven Wilson has just confirmed the near-imminent release of the second title in his series of expanded and remixed Yes classics.  On April 14, the Panegyric label will reissue 1971’s landmark The Yes Album in CD/DVD-Audio and CD/Blu-ray packages loaded with bonus material and new stereo and surround mixes.

Yes’ third studio LP, The Yes Album welcomed guitarist Steve Howe to the band following the departure of Peter Banks.  Howe immediately made his presence felt, writing one original song himself (“Clap”) and contributing to the epics “Yours in No Disgrace” and “Starship Trooper.”   Lengthy compositions dominated both sides of the original vinyl, with only two songs under the near-seven-minute mark: “Clap” and Jon Anderson’s “A Venture.”  The Yes Album would also be the last album for keyboardist Tony Kaye, who would be replaced by Rick Wakeman for the band’s next release, Fragile.

Despite the comings and goings in the band, the Anderson/Howe/Kaye/Chris Squire/Bill Bruford line-up sounded in perfect harmony on The Yes Album.  They blended key elements of folk and rock into a dramatic whole, showcasing the individual members’ impeccable musicianship with adventuresome science-fiction concepts and a broad stylistic palette.  Anderson, Howe and Squire’s three-part suite “Starship Trooper”- containing “Life Seeker,” “Disillusion” and “Würm” closed Side One, while Anderson and Squire’s two-part “I’ve Seen All Good People” opened Side Two.  The first part of “Good People,” the chess-inspired “Your Move” (with its apparent allusions to Lewis Carroll and John Lennon) was released as a single, backed with “Clap,” and has been covered numerous times over the years.

The Yes Album turned out to be the band’s commercial breakthrough, cracking the Top 40 in America and getting all the way to No. 4 in the United Kingdom.  It was eventually certified platinum, and has seen numerous reissues in the compact disc era including an expanded edition from Rhino in 2003.  That reissue included a studio recording of “Clap” (which was featured in a live version on the original album) as well as the unique single versions of “Your Move” and “Life Seeker.”

What extras will you find on the upcoming DVD and BD reissues?  Hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 18, 2014 at 10:04

Posted in Blu-Ray, DVD, Reissues, Yes

And We Love Them: “A Hard Day’s Night” Added to Criterion Collection for 50th Anniversary

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A Hard Day's Night CriterionDespite the insistence of punk rock saint Joe Strummer, Beatlemania seems no closer to biting the dust in 2014. Apple Corps have made quite the big deal out of this year’s 50th anniversary mark of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr making their first trip to America in 1964, branding a generation with their blend of highly original, mania-inducing pop/rock. November saw the release of a second volume of recordings for the BBC and a copyright-busting, officially-sanctioned digital box set of bootlegs, while this winter has seen surviving Beatles Paul and Ringo reuniting for a Grammy Awards-produced television tribute as well as the release of a box set approximately containing the band’s catalogue as it first appeared in the United States.

The most exciting release commemorating The Beatles in 2014, however, may have just been revealed: on June 24, the band’s first film, A Hard Day’s Night, is added to The Criterion Collection’s line of high-quality Blu-Ray and DVD releases, newly remastered and packed with some enticing special features.

Widely considered to be one of the most influential films in pop music history, with a style and tone that influenced countless imitators (and later, clips on MTV), the black-and-white film finds The Fab Four heading from their native Liverpool to London for a show, dodging fans and getting into bizarre comedic situations along the way. An Oscar-nominated script by Alun Owen and keen direction by Richard Lester (whose loose style would be utilized in 1965’s follow-up, Help!) kept the film from being a quick cash-in, and the soundtrack, bolstered by the chart-toppers of the title track and “Can’t Buy Me Love,” further immortalized the picture as a key piece of that first wave of Beatlemania.

The package comes loaded with special features to please both cinephiles and audio enthusiasts. The film has been completely restored in 4K (a transfer approved by director Lester), and can be heard in both its original mono soundtrack and a brand-new 5.1 surround mix commissioned by Apple Corps. Additional features on this single Blu-Ray/double-disc DVD set include:

  • Audio commentary featuring various members of the film’s cast and crew
  • In Their Own Voices, a new piece combining interviews with the Beatles from 1964 with behind-the-scenes footage and photos
  • You Can’t Do That: The Making of “A Hard Day’s Night,” a 1994 documentary program by producer Walter Shenson
  • Things They Said Today, a 2002 documentary about the film featuring Lester, music producer George Martin, writer Alun Owen, cinematographer Gilbert Taylor and others
  • New piece about Lester’s early work, featuring a new audio interview with the director
  • The Running Jumping and Standing Still Film (1959), Lester’s Oscar-nominated short featuring Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan
  • Anatomy of a Style, a new piece on Lester’s approach to editing
  • New interview with Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn
  • Deleted scene
  • Trailers
  • Booklet featuring an essay by critic Howard Hampton

A single-disc DVD will also be available. Amazon links are not yet live, but Criterion’s page has pre-order links there; stay tuned to The Second Disc for pre-order links as they’re available.

Written by Mike Duquette

March 18, 2014 at 09:11

Release Round-Up: Week of March 18

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Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis Legacy EditionElvis Presley, Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis: Legacy Edition 

The King’s 1974 live gig in his home turf is remastered and paired with a show in Richmond, Virginia from two days before and a handful of RCA studio rehearsals in Hollywood. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Belinda Anthology fullBelinda Carlisle, The Anthology / The Collection (Edsel/Demon)

Edsel did a great job of expanding Belinda’s solo catalogue last year; now, they’ve prepped a CD/DVD hits set and 3CD/2DVD box for the fans, with singles, rarities, promo videos and live material.

The Anthology (3CD/2DVD): Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
The Collection (CD/DVD): Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.

Odyssey I've Got the MelodyOdyssey, I Got the Melody Happy Together (Big Break Records)

The last two albums by the “Native New Yorker” dance group. Features the singles “Going Back to My Roots” (penned by Lamont Dozier), “Together” (written by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards) and “Inside Out”; both albums feature new liner notes and bonus tracks.

I Got the Melody: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
Happy Together: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.

Barbara MasonBarbara Mason, Transition (Soul Brother/Passion Music)

A remastered edition of the “Yes I’m Ready” soul queen’s funky 1974 Buddah Records release, with arrangements from Philly soul greats Norman Harris, Bobby Eli and Richard Rome. (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)

Sandra RhodesSandra Rhodes, Where’s Your Love Been (Omnivore)

Known for her background vocals and songwriting for everyone from Al Green to Conway Twitty, this forgotten 1972 album for Fantasy Records is rediscovered with seven bonus tracks and a whole lot of country-soul in the mix. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Goulet Brigadoon-Kiss Me KateRobert Goulet, Brigadoon / Kiss Me Kate: Original Television Soundtracks (Masterworks Broadway)

Robert Goulet stars in this pair of classic musicals-for-television!  This release marks the first time on CD(-R) for these rare Columbia Special Products albums originally released through, of all places, Armstrong flooring stores. They’re available exclusively at masterworksbroadway.com.

Written by Mike Duquette

March 18, 2014 at 08:39