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Release Round-Up: Week of October 15

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Unplugged ExpandedEric Clapton, Unplugged: Expanded and Remastered Edition (Reprise/Rhino)

The guitar god’s ’90s comeback was done on an acoustic. The Grammy-winning, best-selling album and the acclaimed episode of MTV Unplugged from which it was taken are paired up and considerably expanded, more than two decades later. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

King Crimson, The Road to Red (Panegyric)

Holy crumbs, this 21CD/1DVD/2BD set is a massive tribute to King Crimson’s Red album, including new stereo and surround mixes of the album and 16 soundboard-quality live sets in a box that puts the deluxe edition concept in its place. (Amazon U.S.Amazon U.K.)

Paul Simon Complete packshotPaul Simon, The Complete Albums Collection / Over the Bridge of Time: A Retrospective (1964-2011) (Legacy)

American tunes shine on both this exhaustive box set of Simon’s solo career, featuring expanded editions of all of his studio albums (including the U.K.-only The Paul Simon Song Book from 1964 and both Rhino and Legacy-era bonus tracks on Graceland), as well as the double-live Paul Simon’s Concert in the Park and 2011’s acclaimed So Beautiful or So What. A single-disc compilation boils his career down to its basest elements, from Simon & Garfunkel to the present.

The Complete Albums CollectionAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Over the Bridge of TimeAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

James Booker - ClassifiedJames Booker, Classified: Remixed and Expanded (Rounder)

One of only two releases in the short but incredible lifetime of this New Orleans pianist, the man who mentored Dr. John and Harry Connick, Jr. is the focus of a new documentary – and this, his last proper studio album, is greatly expanded and remixed for a new generation to enjoy.

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Ring Ring DeluxeABBA, Ring Ring: Deluxe Edition (Polydor/Universal U.K.)

The legendary dance quartet’s first album gets expanded with a DVD of rare performances and a host of even rarer pre-ABBA songs. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

ZTT Organization of PopVarious Artists, The Organization of Pop: Music from the First Thirty Years of ZTT Records (ZTT/Razor & Tie)

A double-disc compilation – the first in ZTT’s new U.S. distribution deal with Razor & Tie – featuring hits from Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Buggles, The Art of Noise, Seal and more. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Al Hirt - Sound of ChristmasAl Hirt, The Sound of Christmas (Friday Music/Relayer)

The trumpet virtuoso’s 1965 holiday album, expanded and remastered by Friday Music, its first time on CD in over two decades. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Taylor Dayne PlaylistBasia / Deborah Cox / Taylor Dayne / Exposé / Lita Ford / The Jeff Healey Band / The Jimi Hendrix Experience / Incubus / MercyMe / Mobb Deep / The Alan Parsons Project / The Partridge FamilyPlaylist: The Very Best Of (Legacy)

Another wave of the ol’ reliable series from Legacy. Key points: rare original single mixes abound on Basia, Deborah Cox, Taylor Dayne and Exposé’s volumes; Hendrix’s is a converted version of the famed Smash Hits compilation, and Partridge fans will enjoy the first-ever release of “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” in stereo. All Amazon U.S. links are posted above!

Deep Purple Rhino boxDeep Purple, The Complete Albums 1970-1976 (Warner Bros./Rhino)

This ten-disc set compiles all of the band’s original Mk. II, Mk. III and Mk. IV-era studio and live albums. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Slaves to the Rhythm: ZTT Celebrates 30 Years with New Two-Disc Compilation (UPDATED 9/17)

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ZTT Organization of PopTo mark their three wild, wonderful decades on the bleeding edge of U.K. pop and rock, ZTT Records will release a new two-disc compilation in October.

The Organization of Pop: Music from the First Thirty Years of ZTT Records collects 28 tracks that run the gamut of ZTT’s influence, from Frankie Goes to Hollywood to Propaganda, 808 State to The Buggles, Grace Jones to Seal, The Art of Noise to The Frames. The huge hits – Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose,” Frankie’s “Relax,” The Art of Noise’s “Moments in Love” – come together on the first disc, while some of the lesser known cuts and buried treasures (The Buggles’ “We Can Fly from Here,” later covered by Yes in 2011, and The Frames’ “Say It to Me Now,” later re-recorded by band frontman Glen Hansard for the soundtrack to the acclaimed Once, in which he starred in 2007) appear on the second. That disc also includes three unreleased tracks by Nasty Rox, Inc., Das Psycho Rangers and The Art of Noise with guest raps by acclaimed MC Rakim.

The Organization of Pop, for now, is actually exclusive to the U.S., making it one of the first ZTT titles released in the States under their new licensing deal with Razor & Tie. A “London version,” entitled (what else?) The Organisation of Pop, has been promised by the label in 2014, along with another volume of The Art of the 12″ and a CD/DVD edition of the Frankie Goes to Hollywood compilation Frankie Said.

Expect The Organization of Pop in stores October 15. The Amazon U.S. link and track list (courtesy of Slicing Up Eyeballs) are after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 17, 2013 at 12:30

Razor & Tie Hires a Bunch of Stiffs (and ZTT, Too)

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ZTT Stiff logos“If It Ain’t On Stiff, It Ain’t Worth a F***!” declared a famous slogan for the venerable punk and New Wave label. This month, that worth-a-f*** spirit extends to catalogue label Razor & Tie, who today announced a brand-new licensing agreement in North America with both Stiff and equally iconic British label ZTT.

Stiff, of course, was best known for putting out early works by The Damned (their “New Rose” is considered by some scholars to be the first punk rock single), Kirsty MacColl (some of her early singles appeared on the recent compilation A New England), Ian Dury and, of course, Elvis Costello. (Costello famously controls his own masters, having distributed them in the United States on the Columbia, Rykodisc, Rhino and UMe labels between 1978 and the present, in varying configurations of “deluxe.”)

Just as exciting, of course, is Razor & Tie’s partnership with Zang Tuum Tumb Records, the quirky U.K. dance-pop label celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Early singles “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood and “Moments in Love” by The Art of Noise redefined pop music for the 1980s (the former was famously banned by the BBC for its saucy lyrical content), and latter-day bands like 808 State and Propaganda remain favorites by discerning rock lovers to this day.

ZTT has seen a great deal of U.K. catalogue work since The Second Disc started in 2010, with expanded reissues of works by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Art of Noise and others earning general acclaim among catalogue connoisseurs.

While exact details for either label’s physical reissue plan have yet to be ironed out, Razor & Tie’s strategy, according to a statement, includes “newly expanded editions this year,” “licensing opportunities for the catalog” and “new, direct to consumer ZTT Records and Stiff Records online merch stores which will feature an array of newly created, limited-edition items including classic logo shirts and much more to be announced soon.”

Written by Mike Duquette

March 5, 2013 at 15:59

ZTT Ascends to New “Heights”

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ZTT Records has had a bit of success this year releasing archival projects by 808 State, expanding and reissuing four of their albums in 2010 and issuing a career-spanning anthology, Blueprint, earlier this year. Now, Japanese audiences have another 808-related title to enjoy: an expanded edition of The North At Its Heights, the debut album by Madchester artist MC Tunes.

Tunes, born Nicholas Hodgson, was only 18 when he became the first rapper signed to the ZTT label. He was signed right as 808 State joined the label, and the group was soon hired to produce Tunes’ album. It was 808’s first brush with chart success, as the album hit No. 26 in the U.K. and spawned a Top 10 single, “The Only Rhyme That Bites.” Hodgson never found the same amount of success as an artist, but he did enjoy brief success with a new project, Dust Junkys, in the late ’90s, and also contributed to an 808 State track, “Pump,” released on the Japanese compilation Thermo Kings in 1996.

This new edition of Heights comes expanded with seven unreleased remixes of “The Only Rhyme That Bites,” follow-up Top 20 hit “Tunes Splits the Atom,” “Pump” and “Dance Yourself to Death,” produced by 808 State, The Dust Brothers and others, including one brand-new remix just for this release by Tunes’ new outfit, The Ugly Project.

The set is out on November 19 in Japan; hit the jump for an order link and track list.

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Written by Mike Duquette

November 14, 2011 at 15:41

More ZTT and All That

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Not only is a deluxe edition of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Liverpool prepped for February 2011, but another vault-clearing compilation is on the way from the ZTT label.

Zang Tuum Tumb and The Art of the 12″ is two discs’ worth of rare or unreleased dance cuts from the best acts to ever grace the roster from 1983 to 1989 or so: Frankie, Propaganda, Art of Noise, 808 State and plenty more. It’s also got a handful of those distinctively ZTT short tracks that ended up on the odd single from time to time.

The set is available February 7 (the same day as the Liverpool reissue), and the track list is after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

December 24, 2010 at 13:11

News Round-Up: QotSA Reissue Track List, Dismemberment Plan and ZTT Compilation

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  • The previously-reported reissue of Queens of the Stone Age’s self-titled 1998 debut LP – the band’s second catalogue project after the 10th anniversary reissue of major-label breakthrough Rated R – has a full track list, featuring three tracks cut from the album and unreleased until now. Rekords Rekords, the label owned by QotSA leader Josh Homme, will release the on November 26 as a vinyl and CD set (followed by a CD-only release December 7).
  • Indie-rock stalwarts The Dismemberment Plan are reuniting for a tour in 2011, which will be commemorated with a reissue of the band’s breakthrough LP, 1999’s Emergency & I on January 11. (How much of a breakthrough was it? The notoriously picky critics at Pitchfork gave it a 9.6 out of 10 and wrote a review that was 21 words long, saying little more than to get up and go buy the album.) The double-vinyl set will include four bonus tracks from other singles and EPs and liner notes written by Josh Modell of The Onion.
  • ZTT is promising a new compilation of incredibly rare mixes and tracks on the horizon. The label compared the set to the classic compilations Sampled (1985) and Zance (1994), only “bigger than both combined.” The twelfth entry in ZTT’s ongoing Element Series of reissues has no release date or title yet, but we’ll of course let you know when it does.

Hit the jump to see the track lists for the Queens of the Stone Age and Dismemberment Plan reissues.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 15, 2010 at 12:07

News Roundup: ZTT and All That

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Awhile back there’d been talk of classic label ZTT – the label that gave us Art of Noise, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Propaganda – reissuing some of its classics with unreleased material from the vaults. Now it seems the first pieces of that plan are coming to fruition! ZTT have recently announced The Element Series, currently comprised of six releases by ZTT artists and associated acts.

After the jump, have a go at the titles, track lists and all that.  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 29, 2010 at 13:06