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Archive for May 12th, 2014

Get It Up For Ned Doheny: Numero Sheds Light On Southern California Troubadour, Premieres Demos with Henley and Frey

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Ned Doheny - Separate OceansDespite the history behind it, singer/songwriter Ned Doheny’s last name might be the least interesting thing about him. Yes, Los Angeles native Doheny is descended from the family for whom Doheny Drive is named, a family marked by triumph (patriarch Edward L. Doheny was at one time the second richest oil tycoon in America, second only to John D. Rockefeller) and tragedy (Edward’s son, the first Ned Doheny, died in a headline-making murder-suicide). But Ned Doheny, the musician, has blazed a trail all his own. His career might not have brought him superstardom, but it’s been filled with genre-defying songs that have attracted the ears of David Geffen, Jackson Browne, “Mama” Cass Elliot and so many others. Tomorrow, Numero Group celebrates the music of cult favorite Ned Doheny with Separate Oceans, the first major retrospective of the troubadour’s diverse, all too under-the-radar work. The 19-track anthology, available on CD, DD and LP, draws on the first ten years of Doheny’s career during which time he recorded three well-received albums flirting with folk, pop, blue-eyed soul, soft rock and even disco.

Though Doheny once observed “I never thought I was part of the ‘California sound,’” he’s often spoken of in the same breath as Browne, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, J.D. Souther, and their Laurel Canyon brethren. While still a teenager, he joined Browne and Jack Wilce at the behest of Elektra Records’ Barry Friedman, a.k.a. Frazier Mohawk, at northern California’s Paxton Lodge in the label’s attempt to create a productive musical community. Though that grand experiment didn’t pan out as planned, Doheny was on his way. He toured with jazz hero Charles Lloyd, was asked to join a group with Dave Mason and Cass Elliot, and back in LA, he joined his old friend Jackson Browne on the roster of David Geffen’s Asylum Records.

His own tastes weren’t as country-rock-leaning as many of his California contemporaries; in 2011, he commented, “I had my father’s love of jazz combined with a fascination for rhythm and blues. I also loved the songs of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and Bacharach and David.” At 22 years old and signed to Asylum, he released his 1972 debut album Ned Doheny on which he was joined by Graham Nash. The album has a melodic yet highly individualistic quality that might remind some of Philadelphia’s Todd Rundgren; sure enough, Doheny admitted “I always liked Todd Rundgren – a talented fellow,” even if Rundgren wasn’t an influence as Doheny was creating his music at the same time Rundgren was carving his own path.

Columbia/CBS snapped up Doheny, and with producer (and Stax legend) Steve Cropper, he released Hard Candy (1976) and the Japan-only Prone (1979). Two songs from the former, “A Love of Your Own” and “Get It Up for Love,” were covered by the Average White Band and Tata Vega, respectively. Hard Candy featured David Foster, Linda Ronstadt, Don Henley, Glenn Frey and the Tower of Power horn section, but never took off commercially. Still, Chaka Khan, George Benson, Melissa Manchester, David Cassidy and Johnny Rivers were among those who recorded Doheny’s smart, incisive and, yes, catchy songs. The Cropper-produced Prone was only released in Japan, and since then, he has had great success catering to an appreciative and large audience in Japan.

There’s more on Separate Oceans after the jump including the complete track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 12, 2014 at 12:57

Box Set Watch: Edsel Collects The Sound, Suede, The (English) Beat

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Suede BoxDemon Music Group’s Edsel Records has a packed release slate this week from a number of artists returning to the label’s roster.

From Britpop heroes Suede (a.k.a. The London Suede), the label has Royal Albert Hall, 24 March 2010, a 2-CD/1-DVD set preserving the band’s reunion concert (with Brett Anderson, Neil Codling, Simon Gilbert, Richard Oakes and Mat Osman) benefiting Teenage Cancer Trust; and Sci-Fi Lullabies, a reissue of the original 2-CD anthology of the group’s B-sides released between 1992 and 1997. Edsel’s reissue adds a new booklet with full lyrics. Both of these titles anticipate the May 26 arrival of the 8-CD box set The Albums Collection with seven albums (including Lullabies) in mini-LP replica sleeves and an 80-page book featuring band comments on every song.

Beat - Complete BoxIn 2011, Edsel overhauled Suede’s catalogue in deluxe editions; in 2012, the label gave its most lavish treatment to the albums from Birmingham ska-pop legends The (English) Beat.   This week, the 4-CD set The Complete Studio Recordings arrives from The Beat, a.k.a. Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger Charlery on lead vocals, Andy Cox on guitar, bassist David Steele, drummer Roger Morton and Lionel “Saxa” Martin on saxophone. The box, the latest in a string of Beat catalogue projects from labels on both sides of the Atlantic, presents the original configurations of the band’s three original albums on three CDs and adds a bonus disc of singles and seven dub versions plus a new booklet.

We’ll soon be detailing Edsel’s future expansions of titles from more returning artists – Todd Rundgren, Belinda Carlisle and Jim Croce – but this week also sees the U.S. arrival of a new 3-CD/1-DVD box set from British post-punk rockers The Sound.  The group, formed in South London in 1979 by Adrian Borland (vocals/guitar), Graham Bailey (bass), Mike Dudley (drums) and Benita “Bi” Marshall (keyboard/saxophone/clarinet), disbanded in 1988, leaving behind just a handful of album. Their first three, from 1980-1982, are collected here: Jeopardy, From the Lion’s Mouth and All Fall Down. These three seminal recordings on the Korova and WEA labels are joined by the DVD BBC Live in Concert featuring performances at the Beeb from 1981 and 1985.

The Sound - Jeopardy Plus BoxEdsel intends this box set as “the perfect opportunity to reappraise the career of The Sound,” noting that the band “should have had an impact on the post-punk era on the level achieved by the likes of Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, or The Cure.” Each disc features copious bonus material. Jeopardy adds four live recordings from October 1980 at the BBC as well as the Live Instinct EP, “Physical World” from the Physical World EP, and “Brute Force,” the non-LP B-side of “Heyday.” From the Lion’s Mouth adds another four live tracks from a November 1981 BBC performance plus four non-LP flips. All Fall Down adds four session outtakes and the 1983 EP This Cover Keeps Reality Unreal from singer-songwriter Kevin Hewick and The Sound.

All of the discs are housed in mini-LP replica sleeves and have been remastered by Phil Kinrade at Alchemy Mastering. A 36-page booklet is also included, with eight pages of detailed liner notes from Record Collector contributor Tim Peacock and full lyrics for all three albums. It’s all housed in a sturdy clamshell case.

Take a closer look at these titles after the jump! You’ll find order links and track listings for all of Edsel’s titles mentioned above! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 12, 2014 at 09:52