The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for September 24th, 2014

Magic in the Night: Springsteen’s First Seven Albums Finally Remastered on CD, LP Box Set

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Springsteen Box

Yesterday, Bruce Springsteen celebrated his 65th birthday. Here in New Jersey, the birth date of The Boss might as well be considered a state holiday; the occasion was marked by various events including a video presentation by Springsteen’s longtime collaborator Thom Zimny at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey.  (Springsteen was, of course, born in Long Branch and wrote “Born to Run” in a Long Branch cottage.)  But today, Springsteen’s fans are the ones receiving a gift for his birthday.  The official announcement has arrived confirming that, on November 17, the artist and icon’s first seven albums – most with new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees The E Street Band – will be collected in one 8-CD or vinyl LP box set as Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection Vol. 1 1973-1984.

The release of The Album Collection builds on February’s announcement that Springsteen’s first ten albums had been remastered by Bob Ludwig for digital-only release; speculation, of course, ran high that physical issues would follow. While Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town were both sonically upgraded for remastered box sets in recent years, this box set marks the first time that remasters have been made available for the remaining albums in Springsteen’s catalogue through 1984 since their initial releases on CD.  The box includes:

  • Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. (1973)
  • The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle (1973)
  • Born to Run (1975)
  • Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)
  • The River (1980, 2 CDs)
  • Nebraska (1982)
  • Born in the U.S.A. (1984)

We have more details after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 24, 2014 at 12:51

So Amazing: FTG Expands Dionne Warwick’s Arista Albums With Previously Unheard Songs

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Dionne - No Night So LongIn 1979, Dionne Warwick was at a crossroads.  Her unprecedented string of pop and R&B hits written and produced by Burt Bacharach and Hal David at Scepter Records were in the rearview mirror.  Bacharach and David had bitterly split after just one album with Warwick at Warner Bros. Records, leaving their muse feeling high and dry. One more dynamic success followed for Dionne in 1974 with the Thom Bell-produced Spinners duet “Then Came You,” unbelievably her first-ever No. 1 Pop single.  But other than that one smash, Warwick’s studio career was commercially floundering.  Her expressive voice was as strong as ever, maybe even stronger than before, but producers including Jerry Ragovoy, Michael Omartian and all Holland/Dozier/Holland had all been unable to rekindle the magic she had with her “triangle marriage.”  Enter Clive Davis.  The Arista honcho believed that Dionne’s best days weren’t all behind her.  Davis’ gamble paid off when 1979’s Dionne, produced by Barry Manilow, became Warwick’s first platinum LP and spawned two massive, Grammy-winning hit singles in “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” and “Déjà Vu.”  Warwick became the first-ever artist to take home Grammys in the same night for her pop and R&B vocals.  She remained at Arista through 1994, recording eleven studio albums and one live set.  Three of those LPs – No Night So Long (1980), How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye (1983) and Finder of Lost Loves (1985) – are set for expanded reissues from Funky Town Grooves this fall.

No Night So Long, Dionne’s second Arista LP, was built around the title track written by “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” tunesmiths Richard Kerr and Will Jennings. Isaac Hayes and Adrienne Anderson, the team responsible for “Déjà Vu,” also returned with “We Never Said Goodbye.”  Crucially, however, Manilow didn’t return for No Night So Long; instead, production duties were handled by Steve Buckingham (Dolly Parton, Alicia Bridges).  The album very much continued the classy, smooth pop style of its predecessor, however, with the sweeping title ballad scoring Warwick her third No. 1 AC single and a No. 23 Hot 100 success.  Other songs on the LP came from such talents as Peter Allen, Melissa Manchester. Peabo Bryson, Steve Dorff and the team of Carole Bayer Sager and David Foster (“It’s the Falling in Love,” also recorded by Michael Jackson).  A 2010 reissue from Expansion Records added three bonus tracks – “Dedicate This Heart” from Hot! Live and Otherwise (a cut that was omitted from that album’s CD release), the Michael Masser-produced Hot! Live B-side “This Time is Ours,” and “Only Heaven Can Wait” from the same sessions.  Funky Town drops those three songs, as none are actually related to No Night So Long, and instead adds four never-before-released outtakes from the album: “This Is What I’ve Wanted All My Life” in two distinct versions, “Now That the Feeling’s Gone” and “Starting Tomorrow.”

After the jump: full details on the Luther Vandross-produced How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye plus Finder of Lost Loves, with productions from Barry Manilow, Burt Bacharach and Stevie Wonder! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 24, 2014 at 10:26