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Archive for July 8th, 2014

Top of the Pops: The Kinks (Finally) Announce Deluxe “Lola” Reissue

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Kinks - LolaThis summer, you’ll have good reason to be kinda krazy about the Kinks. U.K. magazine Uncut is reporting that the band is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a deluxe reissue series beginning on August 18. That’s the date when the long-awaited 2-CD edition of 1970’s Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One will arrive in stores from BMG Rights Management (current owner of Sanctuary Records).

The expanded edition of Lola is being shepherded by the noted producer, historian and Kinks archivist Andrew Sandoval. Sandoval has previously been responsible for a number of 2-CD reissues and box sets from the legendary British band – most recently the 2013 overhaul of 1971’s Muswell Hillbillies. Lola, The Kinks’ eighth studio album, has long been one of the most requested titles in this series. It spawned the Top 10 U.S. hit “Lola” and U.K. Top 5 “Apeman,” and although the LP didn’t fare well in the group’s native England, it earned Top 40 status in America.

Lola, primarily written by Ray Davies with a couple of key contributions from Dave Davies (“Strangers” and “Rats”), will be paired in the new edition with 1971’s Percy. The latter was composed entirely by Ray as the soundtrack to director Ralph Thomas’ comedy film starring Hywel Bennett, Denholm Elliott, and bombshells Britt Ekland and Elke Sommer. The Kinks’ soundtrack, featuring orchestral arrangements by Stanley Myers, has aged considerably better than the movie itself, which involves a transplant of a rather sensitive male organ. Both Lola and Percy will boast bonus content.

What bonus material will you find here?  Hit the jump!

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Written by Joe Marchese

July 8, 2014 at 13:40

Posted in News, Reissues, The Kinks

RPM Promises To “Keep Lookin'” On New Box Set Of British Mod, Soul and Freakbeat Nuggets

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Keep Lookin BoxLast fall, Cherry Red’s RPM Records label offered Looking Good, a 3-CD, 75-song box set dedicated to “femme mod-soul nuggets.”  That collection itself followed Looking Back: 80 Mod, Freakbeat and Swinging London Nuggets, and now, a third entry in the series has arrived.  Keep Lookin’ presents, as its subtitle states, 80 More Mod, Soul and Freakbeat Nuggets.  The format, style and emphasis are the same, but the collection offers a diverse array of sixties hidden gems – in its own words, “from blue-eyed soul stompers to British R&B nuggets, wigged-out freakbeat anthems and sought-after Swinging London rarities.”

This box, largely but not exclusively, explores the impact that American soul and R&B had on the British rockers of the mid- to late sixties.  Some of the names from both sides of the Atlantic are familiar – The Spencer Davis Group, John Lee Hooker, Eartha Kitt among them – but the majority of these bands’ names will be major discoveries to all but the most dedicated record collectors.  However, the personnel on Keep Lookin’ features quite a few A-listers such as Jimmy Page, Marc Bolan, Steve Howe, Bon Scott and the future “God of Hellfire” himself, Arthur Brown. Tracks have been derived from Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, from labels big and small including Decca, President, Spark, Columbia, Parlophone, Planet and Rainbow.

The three discs, each housed in an individual paper sleeve within the compact and sturdy box, are arranged thematically.  The box begins with the more “pure” beat/R&B songs before moving to soul and femme pop (in the style of the tracks on Looking Good) and concluding on the third disc with the “heaviest” sounds of the Swinging London scene.  Many of the songs are covers rendered in a new style.  Before he was AC/DC’s drummer, Bon Scott played with Aussie band The Spektors; they’re heard on a rare 1966 take of Van Morrison’s Them garage-rocker “Gloria.”  Keith West’s formative incarnation of The In Crowd, Four + One, offers a Rolling Stones-esque performance of Chuck Berry’s “Don’t Lie to Me.”  London’s The HI-Fi’s tackled Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ “Mickey’s Monkey,” and The Rockin’ Vickers – fronted by the young Lemmy in his pre-Motorhead days – is heard with Ray Davies’ “Dandy,” a hit for Herman’s Hermits.  Other cover highlights: Australian band Willpower’s overhaul of the Stax classic “Soul Finger,” Sands’ revival of Ike and Tina Turner’s Phil Spector-produced “River Deep, Mountain High” and heavy versions of The Rascals’ “Love is a Beautiful Thing” and Fontella Bass’ “Rescue Me” from The Alan Bown! and The Mike Stuart Span, respectively.  The box’s one previously unreleased track is a goodie from the vaults of Who producer Shel Talmy’s Planet label: The Tribe’s version of Jerry Riopelle’s “My Heart Won’t Believe It,” a song originally produced by Jack Nitzsche on Capitol for Los Angeles’ The Vulcanes.

We’ve got a lot more on this mod set after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 8, 2014 at 10:08

Posted in Box Sets, Compilations, News

Release Round-Up: Week of July 8

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Crosby Stills Nash and Young, CSNY 1974 (Rhino)

The legendary supergroup documents the so-called “Doom Tour” for its 40th anniversary in an absolutely stunning package containing 40 songs, over 3 hours of music (on CD or Blu-ray Audio), a nearly 200-page book and a bonus video DVD with eight additional performances.

3 CD/1 DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Blu-ray Audio/DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Highlights Disc: Amazon U.S.Amazon U.K.

Late for the SkyJackson Browne, Late for the Sky (Inside Recordings/Rhino)

The SoCal troubadour goes bare-bones to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his seminal Late for the Sky. The album has been freshly remastered by Doug Sax, Robert Hadley and Eric Boulanger, but there’s no additional content and the disc is housed in a simple fold-out digipak with full lyrics. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Neil Diamond - All Time Greatest HitsNeil Diamond, All-Time Greatest Hits (Capitol/UMe)

Diamond’s move to Capitol, taking all of his masters with him under one roof, necessitates a new single-disc compilation with most of the hits you desire, plus the rarer solo version of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.” (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Loleatta AnthologyLoleatta Holloway, Dreamin’ – The Loleatta Holloway Anthology (1976-1982) / Skyy, Skyyhigh – The Skyy Anthology (1979-1992) / Yarbrough & Peoples, The Two Of Us (Expanded) / Jesse Green, Nice & Slow (Expanded) (Big Break Records)

Big Break Records kicks off July with a quartet of amazing R&B titles including lavish and definitive anthologies from Salsoul queen Loleatta Holloway – featuring Dan Hartman and Loleatta’s smash “Relight My Fire” for the first time ever on a Loleatta album – and the band Skyy, with hits from Capitol, Atlantic and Salsoul! As always, Joe will have a full rundown on these titles soon!

Loleatta: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
Skyy: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
Yarbrough & Peoples: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
Jesse Green: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.

The Best of ClimaxClimax, The Best of Climax featuring Sonny Geraci: Precious and Few (Fuel 2000)

The one-hit wonders behind 1972’s romantic “Precious and Few” get the anthology treatment with 25 original tracks (including some rarities) and a new essay by Bill Dahl. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Steve Lawrence BroadwaySteve Lawrence, Steve Lawrence Conquers Broadway (Sepia)

The U.K.-based Sepia label has a slew of classic showtunes as sung by the incomparable Steve Lawrence on this new compilation drawing on his pre-1962 recordings! (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)