The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for May 6th, 2014

Can You Feel The Love Tonight: 2-CD Expanded Edition of “The Lion King” Kicks Off Disney Legacy Collection

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Walt Disney Records Lion King cover art

With Walt Disney Records’ juggernaut soundtrack to Frozen preparing to enjoy its thirteenth week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 – becoming one of only 39 albums in the history of the chart to have spent at least 13 weeks at pole position – the time has never been better for the record label to revisit the studio’s classic animated film library. Today, Walt Disney Records announced what’s arguably its most ambitious reissue program ever. The Legacy Collection will mark the anniversaries of Disney’s beloved animated films with expanded editions of its original soundtracks, and 12 such releases are already on the schedule kicking off this June and running through 2015.  This landmark line follows such Disney’s other recent initiatives as The Lost Chords and the ongoing series with film score specialist label Intrada.

The first release of the Legacy Collection, set for release on June 24, is a 2-CD expansion of the Academy Award-winning score to 1994’s The Lion King, featuring songs by Elton John and Tim Rice and score by Hans Zimmer. The album, certified 10x platinum in 1995, will grow from 12 tracks in its original release to 33 tracks here – including 30 minutes of previously unreleased music. In addition, the new release will include liner notes from Zimmer and producer Don Hahn. Lorelay Bove, a visual development artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios, provides new artwork for the release. Bove will create the look of the Legacy Collection by creating the covers for all releases. The Legacy Collection is being released by Walt Disney Records in conjunction with D23, The Official Disney Fan Club. D23 members will get a chance to preview tracks from the Legacy releases during the D23 Disney Fanniversary Celebration roadshow, which will tour the U.S. later this year, and D23 members will also have the opportunity to purchase the complete set paired with club-exclusive lithographs for each title.

Following the release of The Lion King, the Legacy Collection will celebrate 12 anniversaries including Pinocchio (75th), Fantasia (75th), Cinderella (65th), Lady and the Tramp (60th), Sleeping Beauty (55th), Mary Poppins (50th), The Little Mermaid (25th), and Toy Story (20th), among others. Even Disneyland itself will receive a special title in the series in advance of its 60th birthday next year. After the jump, we have the complete list of the first 12 reissues plus the track listing for the new edition of The Lion King! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 6, 2014 at 16:16

Still Here: Elaine Paige Celebrates Career On New “Ultimate Collection” With Previously Unreleased Songs and Rare Singles

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Elaine Paige - Ultimate CollectionThough her appearances on the Broadway stage have been rare, Elaine Paige remains one of the reigning first ladies of musical theatre around the world. Paige has been a fixture in London’s West End since her debut there in the 1968 production of Hair, rising to fame as the first actress to portray Eva Peron onstage in Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Evita in 1978. Paige went on to introduce the role of Grizabella and the song “Memory” in Cats, and subsequently starred in such musicals as Chess, Anything Goes, Sunset Boulevard, The King and I, The Drowsy Chaperone, and most recently in New York, Follies. What might be less well-known (in the U.S., at least!) is that Paige has also recorded a number of U.K. hit albums and singles.   The May 12 release from Rhino U.K. of The Ultimate Collection draws on Paige’s remarkable body of recordings between 1978 and 2011, and the standard edition premieres a couple of unreleased songs as well as a new club remixThe 2-CD Special Edition adds 20 more tracks, all culled from Paige’s singles discography and featuring 4 new-to-CD tracks.

The Ultimate Collection recognizes Paige’s acclaimed 50 years in show business, beginning with her professional debut onstage in 1964. The chronologically-sequenced set begins, of course, with “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” which was already familiar to listeners thanks to Julie Covington’s performance on the Evita concept album. Paige made the song her own, however, and began her collaboration with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber who is also represented here with “Memory” from Cats, the two key songs from Paige’s star turn in Sunset Boulevard, and a studio rendition of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from Jesus Christ Superstar. Paige didn’t portray Mary Magdalene onstage in the show, but recorded the song for her 1983 studio album and third solo LP, Stages. Produced by David Bowie’s famed collaborator Tony Visconti, Stages was a phenomenon in Paige’s native United Kingdom. It remained on the British album chart for 48 weeks, garnering a 2x Platinum certification by the BPI (The British Recorded Music Industry) for U.K. sales. From that collection of theatre music, The Ultimate Collection also reprises its songs from A Chorus Line, Dreamgirls and Nine. “Be on Your Own,” from Nine, is heard not in its original version, but in the radio edit of its new Almighty Remix.

Visconti and Paige reunited for the follow-up to Stages. Instead of Broadway showstoppers, Cinema took aim at the songs of Hollywood. The result was another Top 20 Platinum-seller, from which the standard “Unchained Melody” and the song “Sometimes,” from the films Unchained and Champions, respectively, have been culled. 1985’s Love Hurts showed off Paige’s pop side, which she previously visited on albums including 1981’s Warner Music debut Elaine Paige. That album featured new songs from Paul McCartney (“Hot as Sun”), Barry Gibb (“Secrets”) and Vangelis (“The Second Time”); though none are featured here, The Ultimate Collection offers three Love Hurts tracks: Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word,” Judie Tzuke’s “For You” and a little song from the musical Chess which became one of Britain’s biggest-selling singles of 1985. “I Know Him So Well” was penned by Tim Rice and ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus. Paige’s duet with Barbara Dickson sold over 900,000 copies, and the Love Hurts album went Top 10.

Hit the jump for more on The Ultimate Collection, including the complete track listing with discography! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 6, 2014 at 13:17

Folk Heroes: Omnivore Celebrates Hank Williams and Dave Van Ronk

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Hank Williams - Garden SpotThis month, Omnivore Recordings turns its attention to two singer-songwriters who could be said to embody the spirit of American music, Hank Williams and Dave Van Ronk.

Though he died just aged 29 in 1953, Hank Williams remains a towering figure in country-and-western music.  The likes of “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” and “Hey Good Lookin’” have been recorded countless times in country, pop, R&B and rock renditions by artists young and old.  Naturally the appetite for unheard Williams music has hardly diminished over the passing years, resulting in numerous archival excavations of rare material.   Omnivore’s The Garden Spot Programs 1950 is 2014’s major Williams find.

The label previewed the title, which arrives in stores on May 20, with a Record Store Day exclusive vinyl release containing eight songs.  On February 24, we wrote, “Culled from rare radio show recordings Williams cut for Naughton Farms, a plant nursery in Waxahachie, Texas (with a session band, not his familiar Drifting Cowboys ensemble), these recordings found Williams tackle hits, standards and material he rarely, if ever, recorded anywhere else. Sourced from newly-discovered transcription discs, these tunes haven’t been heard for nearly six decades.”

The 24 tracks on The Garden Spot Programs collects material from the four such programs that still exist, and preserve Williams’ between-song patter, as well. Among the full release’s 24 tracks are songs such as “Oh Susanna,” “A Mansion on the Hill,” “I Can’t Get You Off of My Mind,” “Lovesick Blues” and “I’ll Be a Bachelor ‘Til I Die,” with some songs presented in multiple versions.  The CD packaging contains rare photos from the collection of historian and co-producer Colin Escott, as well as his new liner notes.  The release will be available on both CD and LP, with the first vinyl pressing on limited-edition, translucent red vinyl (with black vinyl to follow).  The LP package also contains Escott’s notes as well as a download card.  Williams’ daughter Jett Williams commented of The Garden Spot Programs, “It’s incredible to me that we’re still finding new recordings by my dad. Great ones, at that! No one even suspected that these recordings existed. We partnered with Omnivore Recordings for this release, and I especially love it that they’re taking my dad back to vinyl.”

After the jump:  we travel from Hank’s native Alabama to the heart of Greenwich Village with “The Mayor of MacDougal Street,” Dave Van Ronk! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 6, 2014 at 10:44

Release Round-Up: Week of May 6

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Steeltown DeluxeBig Country, Steeltown: Deluxe Edition (Mercury/UMC)

The second, criminally underrated album by the Scottish rockers behind “In a Big Country” is remastered and expanded with a bonus disc of single sides and outtakes. (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.UPDATE: This one’s been pushed back to September, folks!

Philadelphia International BoxPhiladelphia International: The Collection – 2o Original Albums / The Very Best of Teddy PendergrassLou RawlsThe Three DegreesThe IntrudersThe O’JaysBilly Paul and Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (Sony Music U.K.)

Sony Music recently announced their acquisition of all post-1975 Philadelphia International Records masters (previously they were only licensed by Sony), so we can expect some more celebrating of all things Gamble, Huff and so on – starting with a 20-disc box set of some the best albums on the label and some new U.K.-exclusive compilations for PIR’s biggest artists.

Philadelphia International: The Collection (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)
Amazon U.K.: The IntrudersHarold Melvin & The Blue Notes, The O’Jays, Billy PaulTeddy PendergrassLou RawlsThe Three Degrees

Gloria GaynorGene Chandler, Get Down / Gloria Gaynor, Gloria Gaynor (Big Break Records)

BBR’s remastered/expanded release slate this week includes some interesting finds: “Duke of Earl” Gene Chandler’s first disco-oriented album for Chi Sound Records in 1978 and Gloria Gaynor’s tenth album (and only one for Atlantic), released in 1982 and featuring a cover of The Supremes’ “Stop in the Name of Love.”

Gene Chandler: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
Gloria Gaynor: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.

Message from the MagicBlue Magic, Message from the Magic (Funkytowngrooves)

The Philadelphia R&B group’s fifth and final album for ATCO Records is remastered and released on CD for the first time ever! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)