The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for June 23rd, 2014

The Entertainer: Marvin Hamlisch’s “D.A.R.Y.L.” Premieres on CD, Features Teddy Pendergrass and Nile Rodgers

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DARYL OSTIt’s appropriate that Marvin Hamlisch’s only children’s book was titled Marvin Makes Music, for making music was indeed what the man did – music for Broadway, music for television, music for the concert hall, music for the silver screen. In any genre, Marvin made music overflowing with melody, wit and heart, and his populist approach earned him the nickname “the people’s composer.” Hamlisch’s film career began in 1968 with the score to the cult film The Swimmer and ended with his posthumously-released work on the HBO motion picture Behind the Candelabra; along the way, he picked up three Academy Awards (all in 1974, for The Sting and The Way We Were) and nine further nominations (between 1972 and 1997). La-La Land Records has recently unveiled the first-ever soundtrack to one of Hamlisch’s less-heralded projects, the 1985 sci-fi fantasy D.A.R.Y.L., on compact disc.

Director Simon Wincer’s film centered on a mysterious little boy named Daryl (Barret Oliver) who comes into the lives of foster parents Andy (Michael McKean) and Joyce (Mary Beth Hurt). Eventually it’s discovered that Daryl isn’t a boy at all, but rather an artificial intelligence named D.A.R.Y.L. (Data-Analyzing Robot Youth Lifeform) who wishes to be human. This contemporary spin on Pinocchio followed the eighties trend of “weird scene” movies aimed at youngsters, but something in the premise clearly inspired Marvin Hamlisch. The eighties wasn’t the best decade for the Pulitzer Prize and EGOT (Emmy/Grammy/Oscar/Tony)-winning maestro; his score to D.A.R.Y.L. proved to be his only Hollywood assignment between 1983 and 1987. D.A.R.Y.L. arrived between his scores to two unsuccessful musicals, London’s Jean Seberg and New York’s Smile.  Despite fine scores with some of Hamlisch’s most inventive and effective music, both shows failed to reach their potential. D.A.R.Y.L. is yet one more crucial piece of evidence that Hamlisch’s gifts were still in abundance during this period of his career.

La-La Land’s beautiful presentation offers the score in full, plus three bonus tracks. Two of these bonuses are source cues (of Beethoven and Rodgers and Hart!) but the third is the song that exists at the heart of D.A.R.Y.L., “Somewhere I Belong.” Philadelphia soul man Teddy Pendergrass performs the song with lyrics by Dean Pitchford (Footloose) in a glossy pop rendition with production and guitar by CHIC’s Nile Rodgers that makes its worldwide debut on CD here. (This version is the full 5+-minute version of the song, too, rather than the truncated edit.) Pitchford’s lyrics take Daryl’s point of view while also functioning as a universal love song: “Somewhere I belong/somewhere I can call my home/Open your heart to me/I’ve got the feeling/That your love is leading me home…”

Hamlisch threaded the yearning, reflective melody of “Somewhere I Belong” throughout his heartfelt, often poignant score, beginning with the latter portion of the Main Title (which begins with a languid, wistfully whistled melody that’s quintessentially Hamlisch). Echoing the family film’s various elements of comedy, drama and high adventure, Hamlisch’s score is among his most diverse. Most of it is traditionally orchestral, but befitting the modern science-fiction elements, he also incorporates more cutting-edge sounds. The score’s first major brush with electronics is the brief, synthesizer-led “Baseball Montage” but soon piano and orchestra take over in softer mode. (The bright and brash “Baseball” melody recurs in the buoyant “Turtle’s Homer.”) A far colder, more sterile use of electronics is heard in “TASCOM/I’m Scared” for the sequence in which D.A.R.Y.L. returns to the facility in which he was created.

There’s more after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 23, 2014 at 13:14

Smile! Three Expanded Reissues Coming From The Jayhawks

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Jayhawks SmileYears after their early major label discography was expanded on CD by Legacy Recordings, the remainder of the alt-country band’s output for the American Recordings label will be remastered and expanded by Universal this summer.

The band’s last three albums for American – Sound of Lies (1997), Smile (2000) and Rainy Day Music (2003) – caught the band in an interesting time of transition. Marc Olson, who with Gary Louris formed the band’s primary singer/songwriter/guitarist unit, unexpectedly left the band after the release of 1995’s Tomorrow the Green Grass, leaving Louris, bassist Marc Perlman and keyboardist Karen Grotberg to continue without him. The lineup was greatly expanded on the somewhat darker Sound of Lies, adding guitarist Kraig Johnson, drummer Tim O’Reagan and violinist Jessy Greene. The band, sans Greene, worked with producer Bob Ezrin (KISS, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd) toward a brighter, pop-oriented sound on Smile and, following the exit of Johnson and Grotberg (and subsequent addition of Stephen McCarthy on guitar), returned to their roots on Rainy Day Music, in fact their highest charting album.

The Jayhawks went on hiatus in 2005, after which Louris and Olson reunited as a duo; the band reunited in 2009, releasing the album Mockingbird Time with the Tomorrow the Green Grass-era lineup in 2011. To promote these new reissues, the band’s Sound of Lies-era lineup of Louris, Perlman, Grotberg, O’Reagan and Johnson will tour this summer.

Each CD is remastered and expanded with a handful of bonus tracks, many of them previously unreleased. (Rainy Day Music does not feature the six-track bonus EP More Rain included with certain original copies, though all six of its bonus tracks are being released for the first time. Additionally, American will release all three as deluxe double-vinyl titles on August 5 (this will be Smile‘s first release on the format in the U.S.).

The vinyl titles are not yet available for pre-order, but the CDs, which hit stores July 1, can be found on Amazon after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

June 23, 2014 at 11:35

Every Dog Must Have Its Day: Iconoclassic Remasters and Expands Three Dog Night’s Debut LP

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Three Dog Night - TDNOne may be the loneliest number, but it was also the luckiest number for Three Dog Night.  The band – led by vocalists Danny Hutton, Cory Wells and Chuck Negron – took Harry Nilsson’s song “One” to the U.S. Top 5, beginning an impressive run that encompassed 21 consecutive Top 40 hits, 18 Top 20s, 11 Top 10s, three No. 1s, seven million-selling 45s and 12 Gold LPs.   Yet today, Three Dog Night is often overlooked by the rock cognoscenti, largely because its members didn’t write their own material. Never mind that Three Dog Night helped popularize the music of Harry Nilsson, Laura Nyro, Randy Newman, Elton John, Paul Williams and many other top-tier names.  Iconoclassic Records, known for its fine reissues of titles by Nyro and The Guess Who, among others, is revisiting Three Dog Night’s eponymous debut tomorrow, June 24, in a newly remastered and expanded edition.

Irish-born Danny Hutton and New Yorkers Wells and Negron came together in the fertile mid-sixties L.A. rock scene, with each man already having a wealth of experience behind him.  Hutton had scored a minor U.S. hit in 1965 with his own composition “Roses and Rainbows” for Hanna-Barbera Records, the music arm of the animation studio.  The tune landed him a spot on a Sonny and Cher tour.  On the road with the “I Got You Babe” duo, Hutton’s path crossed with Cory Wells, leader of Cory Wells and The Enemys.  Back in LA from the road, Hutton hooked up with Wells, whose group was serving as the house band at the Sunset Strip’s Whisky A-Go Go.  When Hutton and Wells decided to try their hand at a group, Hutton remembered Negron.  Hutton had recently employed Negron as a background singer at Hanna-Barbera; Negron had recorded on his own for Columbia Records earlier in the decade.  The vocal chemistry between the three men was clear; Three Dog Night with its three equally-strong lead singers would soon be born.

Hutton’s pal Brian Wilson took a keen interest in the vocal trio which he christened Redwood.  But behind-the-scenes tensions in The Beach Boys scuttled the act as a potential signing for Brother Records.  Still, Wilson produced two songs for Redwood in 1967 – “Time to Get Alone” and “Darlin’,” both of which would be recorded by The Beach Boys.  Redwood’s “Darlin’” has never been officially released, but “Time to Get Alone” made its debut on the 2-CD anthology Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story in 1993 and is reprised on Iconoclassic’s reissue of Three Dog Night.

After the jump: the story of Three Dog Night, plus: what bonus material will you find on the upcoming reissue?

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Written by Joe Marchese

June 23, 2014 at 09:43

Posted in Brian Wilson, News, Reissues