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Archive for May 21st, 2014

Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright: Classic Bob Marley Set Remixed in Surround

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Legend 30The biggest reggae album of all time is getting bigger – 5.1 channels bigger.

Island/Tuff Gong/UMe will reissue Bob Marley & The Wailers’ Legend for its 30th anniversary. The posthumous compilation album (Marley had died of cancer three years earlier at only 36) has been a stalwart of catalogue music since its release in 1984, becoming the highest-selling reggae album of all time (15 million copies certified shipped by the RIAA alone, and some 27 million worldwide) and spending 992 non-consecutive weeks on Billboard‘s charts, second only to Pink Floyd‘s Dark Side of the Moon. Its most recent reissue was in 2002, featuring all 14 tracks (including two cassette bonus tracks, “Easy Skanking” and “Punky Reggae Party”) in their original album versions. (A double-disc deluxe edition added a baker’s dozen of 12″ remixes.)

The 30th anniversary edition of Legend features a new variant on the 14-track album, with the live version of  “No Woman, No Cry” being replaced by its album version from 1973’s Natty Dread. The cassette bonus tracks have also been replaced by previously unreleased alternate versions. That playlist will be available in one set on both CD and Blu-Ray Pure Audio, featuring a new 5.1 surround mix by legendary mixer Bob Clearmountain. The 28-page casebound book package promises new liner notes (including forewords from the likes of Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder) and unseen photos. For the vinyl enthusiast, a double LP will also be pressed on tri-colored red, yellow and green wax.

The Legend continues on July 1, and you can get your copies after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

May 21, 2014 at 13:20

It’s The Time Of The Season For The Zombies’ Lost Album “R.I.P.”

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Zombies - RIPIt’s the time for The Zombies – no, not the flesh-eating, reanimated monstrosities of The Walking Dead, but the British band famed for the hits “Time of the Season,” “Tell Her No” and “She’s Not There.” Varese Vintage has previously revisited the group’s catalogue including on this year’s Record Store Day vinyl reissue of the key 1968 album Odessey and Oracle. This week, the label has a real treat with the first-ever legitimate CD issue of The Zombies’ “lost” album, R.I.P., as it was intended to be released in the United States in 1969, sourced from the correct master mixes.

Though the band only recorded two proper studio albums (Begin Here in the U.K., refigured as The Zombies in the U.S., and Odessey and Oracle), enough material was left behind for Ace’s Big Beat label to curate a 4-CD complete box set, Zombie Heaven, in 1997. Yet even that monumental achievement left room for further titles to plug in the gaps. One such title was R.I.P., cheekily titled by the group members after they had broken up the band.

As reissue co-producer Andrew Sandoval explains in his typically excellent liner notes, most members of the band had moved into other arenas following the group’s dissolution in late 1967: lead singer Colin Blunstone in insurance, guitarist Paul Atkinson in computers; drummer Hugh Grundy in automobile sales. Rod Argent (lead vocals/piano/organ) and Chris White (bass) soldiered on, however. When Columbia Records’ U.S. subsidiary Date Records found itself with a hit on its hands thanks to the late-blooming “Time of the Season,” the label turned to Argent and White to craft a follow-up. Colin Blunstone, circa 1969, is quoted by Sandoval: “CBS wanted an album for America, so we used old tracks which had never been released. I sing on one side of the LP. We brought the tapes up-to-date by adding certain things and taking away others.” For the other side of the LP, Argent and White formed a band – including Jim Rodford, Russ Ballard and Bob Henrit – and recorded six new songs in late 1968 as The Zombies.

R.I.P. was turned in to Date in early 1969. The new Argent/White songs formed a sophisticated mini-suite of rich, melodic pop on the LP’s Side One, using the expansive, baroque sound of Odessey and Oracle as their starting point. An instrumental, “Conversation Off Floral Street,” expanded on the jazzy stylings that had elevated past songs including “Time of the Season.” The second side’s oldies, including the sublime, beat-ish “If It Don’t Work Out,” were fleshed out with added orchestral frills. But when the single releases of the evocative “Imagine the Swan” (from the Argent/White side) and “If It Don’t Work Out” failed to capitalize on the success of “Season,” Date shelved the album.

We pick up the story after the jump!  Plus: the complete track listing and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 21, 2014 at 09:27

Posted in News, Reissues, The Zombies