The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for December 10th, 2014

Tony Joe White, George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Ray Kennedy Highlight Real Gone’s February

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Tony Joe White - WBFrom The Apollo to the swamps of Louisiana, Real Gone Music has a whirlwind musical tour planned for its February 3, 2015 slate!

The centerpiece of the February batch just might be the first-ever complete collection of Louisiana man Tony Joe White’s Warner Bros. recordings!  Singer-songwriter White (“Willie and Laura Mae Jones,” “Polk Salad Annie”) has one of the most distinctive voices in southern soul, and Real Gone’s new collection celebrates a major period his career with a new 2-CD set collecting three albums and six non-LP singles!  The label then has a new collection of inspirational music from one of country’s most beloved – and shall we say, tumultuous! – couples: George Jones and Tammy Wynette!   This hitherto-unexplored side of George and Tammy is one you won’t want to miss.

Cult favorites aren’t being left out in the cold, either.  Real Gone has, for the first time, Bobby Lance’s (“The House That Jack Built”) two Atlantic/Cotillion releases on one CD, and the only solo album from Texas’ Jerry Williams.  On the rock side, the label is expanding “Power” from Orleans’ John Hall as well as the eponymous album from Ray Kennedy, one of the co-writers of The Beach Boys’ anthemic “Sail On Sailor.”  Two landmark June 1974 shows are featured on a new pressing of Grateful Dead’s twelfth volume of Dick’s Picks.  And last but not least, Real Gone and its SoulMusic Records imprint have combined Apollo Saturday Night and Saturday Night at the Uptown – two classic live albums from New York and Philly with headliners including Otis Redding, The Drifters and the “wicked” Wilson Pickett – on one CD!

Hit the jump for Real Gone’s complete press release with full details on every title, plus pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 10, 2014 at 13:18

Holiday Gift Guide Review: Frank Sinatra, “London”

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Sinatra - London Contents

It was ambitious, even for Sinatra.

His sixth studio album on his own Reprise label – and one of five full-length LPs released in 1962 alone – would be recorded in Great Britain with a British musical director, producer and personnel, and would feature only songs from British composers. For the quintessentially American singer, it must have been a formidable challenge. But Sinatra Sings Great Songs from Great Britain proved that The Voice was up to the task. Over time, it became a highly-regarded album in a considerable canon, and also a “lost” album as American release eluded it until the compact disc era. Now, a remastered and expanded Great Songs is at the heart of a new 3-CD/1-DVD box set from UMe and Frank Sinatra Enterprises under the new Signature Sinatra imprint. Sinatra: London follows 2006’s New York and 2009’s Vegas in celebrating a city near and dear to the late artist via his various performances there over the decades, in this case 1953-1984. The set premieres over 50 previously unreleased tracks on CD and DVD – both live and in the studio – and is a timely reminder on the eve of his 100th anniversary year of Sinatra’s enduring, universal power.

Arranger/conductor Robert Farnon, an accomplished composer of “light music” and a four-time Ivor Novello Award winner, wisely kept Sinatra’s voice front and center on this collection of rich ballads. His gentle a cappella tone opens the album with the title lyric of “The Very Thought of You,” kicking off an understated, dreamy collection. Recording at CTS Studios in Bayswater in June 1962, Farnon provided a lush setting for Sinatra on such classic British songs as Novello’s “We’ll Gather Lilacs,” “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” “We’ll Meet Again” (the wartime anthem so closely associated with Dame Vera Lynn) and Noel Coward’s “I’ll Follow My Secret Heart.” Two songs on the album, “London by Night” and “If I Had You,” marked the third time Sinatra had recorded them, in each case previously at both Columbia and Capitol Records, but Farnon’s orchestrations (as played by a 40-strong orchestra including Sinatra’s regular accompanist, Bill Miller) stand the test of time as the definitive ones.

There’s not a lot of ring-a-ding-ding on Great Songs, just a lot of impeccable singing despite Sinatra’s own belief that his voice was strained. Despite experiencing vocal stress, he used any roughness in his voice in service of the songs. Though Farnon’s evocative string arrangements are most prevalent throughout, the arranger evoked a smoky milieu with brass for “If I Had You,” the sweetly devotional lyrics of which Sinatra embodied with seeming effortlessness and a light swing. On “Now Is the Hour,” Sinatra tempered the sadness of the lyric with just the right note of hope; indeed, some of the vocalist’s most pure singing can be heard as he caresses “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” or conjures up the vivid, romantic imagery of “London by Night.” The London box adds the previously-released outtake “Roses of Picardy” – a haunting performance that would have fit comfortably on the original album – as well as brief but illuminating spoken introductions to each of the original ten songs by Sinatra from an October 21, 1962 BBC radio broadcast of the album.

Hit the jump for more! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 10, 2014 at 13:07

The Eno Assembly: Four Brian Eno Albums Go Deluxe With Previously Unheard Music

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Eno - Nerve NetIn a career spanning five decades, Brian Eno has refused to be pigeonholed. The ambient music pioneer and electronic explorer has produced albums for David Bowie, U2 and Paul Simon, played in Roxy Music, collaborated with everyone from Belinda Carlisle to David Byrne, composed film and television soundtracks, and maintained a solo career since 1974. His varied body of work as writer, musician, producer and artist has embraced experimentalism and pushed the limits of conventional rock. Now, four of his most overlooked albums first released between 1992 and 1997, have been reissued by All Saints Records in lavish 2-CD editions each containing a full bonus disc of previously unheard material.

1992’s Nerve Net, originally released on Opal/Warner Bros., marked Eno’s return to solo recording for the first time since 1985’s Thursday Afternoon, which consisted of a single, 60-minute track. (Wrong Way Up, with John Cale, came in between the two releases in 1990.) In the original liner notes reprinted in the new reissue, Eno details that “this record draws on jazz, funk, rap, rock, pop, ambient and ‘world music’,” adding, “Did I leave anything out” He described the amalgamation of those styles as yielding a record that’s “none of those things but a weird and self-contradictory mess – and a mess that I love, like paella, everything’s in there somewhere!” Robert Fripp, John Paul Jones and Benmont Tench were among the notable names who joined Eno for this hypnotic, largely instrumental musical adventure. What fans at the time didn’t know that was Nerve Net should have been Eno’s second solo release of the 1990s, not the first. In 1991, he had recorded an album to be entitled My Squelchy Life, but it was, well, squelched. A couple of tracks were reworked for Nerve Net, but this reissue presents the original proposed album in full for the first time. “Fractal Zoom” and “Ali Click” were released in a variety of remixes, but none of those are included on this new set. Arun Chakraverty has remastered Nerve Net, and Kevin Metcalfe at Soundmasters has mastered My Squelchy Life.

Eno - ShutovEno’s follow-up, The Shutov Assembly, was dedicated to his friend, the Russian artist Sergei Shutov. The 1992 Opal/Warner release consisted of ten ambient tracks, all named for audiovisual art installations created by Eno. Shutov, who had found inspiration in Eno’s music, had difficulty obtaining it in Soviet Russia, so Eno put together a “mix tape” of unreleased pieces for his friend to hear. That tape became the basis of The Shutov Assembly. The various pieces were recorded between 1985 and 1990 and named after the sites in which the installations were originally seen (festivals, galleries, etc.). The expanded The Shutov Assembly features a second disc of seven more pieces, all of which date from the same 1985-1990 period as the core album, and the booklet contains excerpts from a discussion between Eno and critic John Rockwell reflecting on music, art, technology, their intersection, and other wide-ranging topics. Tony Cousins at Townhouse has remastered Disc One, while Kevin Metcalfe has handled Disc Two.

After the jump: the scoop on Neroli and The Drop, plus track listings and order links for all four titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 10, 2014 at 11:35

Posted in Brian Eno, News, Reissues