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Archive for August 19th, 2014

Ziggy Played Guitar: David Bowie’s “Sound + Vision” to Be Reissued

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Bowie - Sound and Vision CoverGround control to Major Tom: Sound and Vision is back for a third go-round.

As part of the breakup of EMI that left most – but not all – of the former monolith controlled by Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group acquired the venerable Parlophone label, founded in 1896 and onetime home to The Beatles. Though Universal kept the Fab Four, Warner obtained current artists like Coldplay and the back catalogues of classic ones like The Hollies and Matt Monro…and a certain David Bowie. Parlophone hasn’t announced any major plans for Bowie’s albums as of yet; in-print titles such as The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars were simply repressed with the new label logo (replacing that of EMI label Virgin Records, now controlled by Universal). Parlophone has also offered a number of Record Store Day vinyl exclusives bearing the Bowie imprimatur. On September 23, the label has a repackaged version of the artist’s out-of-print, 4-CD Sound + Vision anthology returning to stores.

Named for the track on Bowie’s album Low, Sound + Vision was first issued in 1989 by Rykodisc. That independent label, now also controlled by Warner, had just gained the rights to the Bowie-controlled masters of his pre-1983 albums formerly available on RCA. Housed in an LP-sized box, the original Sound + Vision boasted three CDs (or six LPs or three cassettes) spanning the period between Bowie’s second, self-titled album in 1969 and 1980’s Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). It blended familiar songs and rare or previously unissued alternate versions of familiar songs with rarities, and also included a CD-Video disc with three previously unreleased recordings and the video of “Ashes to Ashes.” This impressive set won a Grammy Award for Best Album Package and racked up staggering sales for an expensive box set, eventually being certified Gold in the U.S. (and entering the Top 100 of the Billboard 200), Platinum in the U.K., and 4x Platinum (!) in Canada.

Rykodisc reissued Sound + Vision in 1995, streamlining the packaging and replacing the disc in the defunct CD-V format with a standard CD-ROM. The next iteration of the set came in 2003, by which time Bowie had moved his catalogue from Rykodisc to EMI’s Virgin Records label. This version of Sound + Vision dropped the “Vision” (the CD-V/CD-ROM!), added a fourth CD to cover the period of 1982-1997, and moreover, tweaked the original track listing. Though the original’s 50 tracks (including the bonus video disc) had grown to 67, a few of the original tracks were replaced with alternate versions of the same songs (“The Wild-Eyed Boy from Freecloud,” “London Bye Ta-Ta,” “Round and Round,” “Fascination”) and all four performances from the CD-V were dispensed with entirely.

What can you expect on the new version?  Hit the jump for details including the complete track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 19, 2014 at 09:44

Release Round-Up: Week of August 19

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Posies

The Posies, Failure (Omnivore)

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Omnivore expands the 1988 debut album from power-pop heroes The Posies.  The new Failure restores the album’s original 12-track running order (preserved on cassette but cut down by one song on vinyl) and adds eight bonus tracks. Many of these are sourced from a long out-of-print 2000 box set and a 2004 reissue of the album proper, but one, a demo of “At Least for Now,” is being heard for the first time on this disc.  The deluxe configuration is available on CD, and the original 12-track album on vinyl plus the bonus tracks on a download card.  Even better, the first pressing of the LP will be green vinyl!

Professor

Professor Longhair, Let’s Go to New Orleans: The Sansu Sessions (Fuel) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Fuel continues to raid the catalogues of Allen Toussaint’s Sansu and Dessu labels with a compilation of Toussaint-helmed sides for New Orleans’ great piano man Professor Longhair.

On the Town - London

Original London Cast Recording, On the Town (Masterworks Broadway)

In conjunction with the upcoming Broadway revival of the classic Leonard Bernstein/Betty Comden/Adolph Green musical, Masterworks Broadway brings the 1963 Original London Cast Recording to CD-R and DD for the first time.  Elliott Gould, Don McKay, Franklin Kiser and Carol Arthur star in this recording of the production directed and choreographed by Joe Layton.  Available exclusively at MasterworksBroadway.com for a limited time.

Smokey

Smokey Robinson, Smokey and Friends (Verve) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Okay, this isn’t a catalogue title, but we couldn’t resist putting the spotlight on Smokey Robinson’s new studio collection!  Smokey puts his own spin on the now-de rigeur duets album, featuring many of his famous Motown hits in new versions alongside Elton John, Sheryl Crow, John Legend, James Taylor, Steven Tyler and more!

Bitter Tears Revisited

Various Artists, Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited (Sony Masterworks) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This isn’t a reissue, either, but rather a tribute to The Man in Black’s 1964 concept album which daringly shed light on the plight of Native Americans.  This 50th anniversary set presents Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Bill Miller, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings and veteran of the original LP Norman Blake as they reinvent Cash’s original songs with producer Joe Henry.  Look Again to the Wind is also a companion piece to the new documentary film We’re Still Here: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited, chronicling the story of Bitter Tears and this new recording.

Spider - Kritzerland

Soren Hyldgaard, The Spider: Original Soundtrack Recording (Kritzerland)

Pre-orders are now being accepted for Kritzerland’s latest offering: Soren Hyldgaard’s spellbinding score to the 2000 Danish miniseries The Spider, a noir set in Copenhagen in the wake of World War II.  This 1,000-unit limited edition release improves on an earlier CD release in Denmark, upping the running time from around 44 minutes to nearly 79, mastered from the composer’s complete score tapes. The disc will ship by the last week of September, but pre-orders directly from Kritzerland usually arrive three to five weeks ahead of schedule.

Blow Out OST

Pino Donaggio, Blow Out: Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack (Intrada)

Intrada has pre-orders open for this reissue of the soundtrack by Pino Donaggio (Carrie) for Brian DePalma’s 1981 thriller starring John Travolta, Nancy Allen, Dennis Franz and John Lithgow.  Though the haunting score was previously released on CD in 2002, Intrada corrects errors in track titles and sequencing, and otherwise upgrades its presentation for a new group of listeners who might have missed out on the first, now out-of-print release.