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Archive for the ‘Barry White’ Category

The Softer Side of UMe’s Budget Compilation Lines: “Ballads” Released

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Marvin Gaye BalladsHaving recently introduced some EMI-controlled artists to the ICON roster, Universal now incorporates some of those artists (and some of their most treasured R&B and country acts) into a new budget-oriented series, Ballads.

And while none of the artists covered here really, truly need more compilations on the market – and, one can assume, the assembly of these is as low-impact as the ICON series – there’s actually some promise to be had here. The overall selection of artists isn’t terrible, particularly on the EMI side; new sets from culled from the catalogues of Peabo Bryson and Freddie Jackson as well as The O’Jays three albums on EMI America in the late 1980s/early 1990s are all anthologized here, giving fans perhaps a lesser-seen side of these acts.

And that’s the case throughout: from country crooners (Trisha Yearwood, Vince Gill) to Motown acts (Marvin Gaye, New Edition) and other soul acts (Barry White, The Impressions, Kool & The Gang), there’s not a terrible amount of “same old, same old” tracks. Some barely have any singles on them, making for a good “second step” if you’ve got any of these group’s earlier compilations.

All titles can be found after the jump and can be ordered or bought in stores now.

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Release Round-Up: Week of February 14

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Barry White, Let the Music Play: Expanded Edition (Hip-o Select/Mercury)

What’s Valentine’s Day without a little satin soul? Numerous bonus tracks abound on a new pressing of this underrated gem of an album.

Captain Beefheart, Bat Chain Puller (Zappa)

The original, intended edition of the Captain’s lost album.

Cotton Mather, Kontiki: Deluxe Edition (The Star Apple Kingdom)

An underrated work of ’90s power-pop, expanded with a bonus disc of rarities and unreleased materials that was funded entirely through Kickstarter!

Pulp, ItFreaksSeparations: Deluxe Editions (Fire)

Before they signed to Island and caught a Britpop wave, Jarvis Cocker and company released these three albums, all newly expanded with rare and unreleased tracks.

Bryan Adams, Cuts Like a Knife / Dio, Holy Diver (Audio Fidelity)

Two classics of the ’80s newly mastered on 24KT gold CDs.

Phoebe Snow, Phoebe SnowJoe Walsh, But Seriously, Folks… (Friday Music)

The latest audiophile vinyl offerings from our friends at Friday Music.

The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds (Mobile Fidelity)

The first MoFi/SACD pressing of a most classic of albums.

Written by Mike Duquette

February 14, 2012 at 07:57

Movin’, Kickin’, Groovin’: A Barry White Classic Expanded by Hip-o Select

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Hip-o Select turns its focus away from Motown for some more satin soul from the inimitable Barry White, with a nicely-expanded release of his 1976 LP Let the Music Play.

By the time the title track from the album – an underrated plea for music to soothe the pain of a lost love over some of the lushest strings from The Love Unlimited Orchestra – was released as a single in late 1975, White was virtually his own brand. He’d recently come off a triplet of Top 10 singles in 1974 and 1975 with the dazzling “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” and “What Am I Gonna Do with You,” and would enjoy platinum sales of his first greatest hits record in ’75.

Although Let the Music Play lacked a distinct pop hit single – the title track hit No. 4 on the R&B charts, and follow-ups “You See the Trouble with Me” (co-written by guitarist Ray Parker, Jr.) and “Baby, We Better Try to Get It Together” were modest-to-very-good tunes on the same chart – it’s been unfairly overlooked as a whole until recently, with the retooling of “Let the Music Play” as a European dancehall cut in 2000 and the discovery of some great alternate material for the song on the great BW box set Unlimited in 2009.

In fact, Hip-o Select’s remastered and expanded edition of the album features five bonus versions of that very song, including the aforementioned Funkstar Deluxe Mix from 2000, the alternate version, both sides of the original single (an edit and an instrumental) and a new mix by longtime Select collaborator John Morales, reimagining the tune as a vintage 12″ single version.

Let the Music Play is available to order now and will start shipping around February 3. It hits stores, appropriately enough, this Valentine’s Day, February 14. Hit the jump to check out the full specs!

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Written by Mike Duquette

January 24, 2012 at 10:49

Posted in Barry White, News, Reissues

People All Over the World! A New “Soul Train” Comp Rolls Your Way

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For most of its 35-year run, there was no better outlet for soul music on television than Soul Train. Featuring a diverse palette of R&B artists and the commanding presence of creator/producer/host Don Cornelius, Soul Train has become an institution, the longest-running, nationally syndicated show in American history – albeit one that modern audiences would be slow to appreciate, were it not for the efforts of Time-Life Entertainment in releasing several official DVDs of content from the shows back in 2009.

Now, Time-Life follows up those discs with a special compilation, The Best of Soul Train Live, in stores tomorrow. While most of the performances on the program were lip-synched to the original tracks, a few here and there were not. And a dozen such performances will be captured on this DVD. Most of them stem from the show’s first four seasons, although there is a legendary 1979 duet between Aretha Franklin and Smokey Robinson on his “Ooo, Baby Baby” and a medley of hits from Stevie Wonder performed in 1991.

Hit the jump for full track details and an Amazon link, and remember – as always, we wish you love, peace…and soul! Read the rest of this entry »

Reissue Theory: Quincy Jones, “Back on the Block”

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Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we reflect on well-known albums of the past and the reissues they could someday see. This week, Quincy Jones’ latest mingling with a new generation of artists leads to a recollection of the first (and best) time he did it.

Last week saw the release of Q: Soul Bossa Nostra, the first full-fledged studio album by Quincy Jones since Basie and Beyond back in 2000. Now, Q is one of the greatest figures in pop and soul music alive today. He’s been nominated for more Grammys than anyone (79 nods, 27 wins), produced the highest-selling album of all time (Thriller, naturally) and maintains a healthy role as musical elder statesman and social activist, even at 77 years old.

Naturally, the album is exactly what you’d expect it to be: part victory lap, part reach across the aisle to a new generation of artists and almost entirely unnecessary on a Santana post-millenial level. “Ironside,” “The Streetbeater (Sanford & Son),” “Strawberry Letter 23” and “Pretty Young Thing” aren’t screaming out for guest appearances by Akon, Ludacris, John Legend, T-Pain, but they’re all bizarrely recast here. And that list doesn’t even mention the truly insane cover of “The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite),” a 1989 quiet-storm jam that originally featured Al B. Sure!, James Ingram, El DeBarge and Barry White but now features Usher, Tyrese, Robin Thicke, LL Cool J, Tevin Campbell and the vocal track of Maestro White echoing from beyond the grave.

It’s not that the all-star/new-generation formula is alien to Jones; hell, he practically pioneered it two decades ago with Back on the Block, the album from which “Secret Garden” came from. That disc also featured appearances by Ray Charles, Chaka Khan, Siedah Garrett, Tevin Campbell (one of his first appearances on record), Ice-T and, in their last recorded appearances, blues/soul legends Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.

Call it ridiculous if you want, but Back on the Block easily predicted the success of Santana’s Supernatural and the like by peaking within Billboard‘s Top 10 and winning seven Grammys including Album of the Year. Unlike Santana, though, this isn’t your contemporary cash grab; there’s a lot of stuff here for everyone, from traditional soul and blues to rap and even some jazz fusion. The formula may be played out (and the artists of today nowhere near as laudable as prior generations had been), but Back on the Block proves, in a roundabout way, Jones’ ability and desire to unite audiences of all walks of life with his music.

After the jump, take a look at our idea of what a slightly expanded Back on the Block could look like, featuring five of the many remixes commissioned in support of the album, including a head-turning cameo by British electronic act 808 State! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

November 18, 2010 at 15:28

Release Round-Up: Week of November 2

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Another week, another batch of reissues!

Wings, Band on the Run: Special Edition (Concord)

After reissues of John Lennon’s solo catalogue and the Apple Records discography, another Beatles-oriented campaign kicks off with a new reissue of Band on the Run, Paul McCartney and Wings’ classic LP. It’s the first of his classic discs to be re-released on Concord, and will be available in a wide variety of formats. (Best of all, it’s the first drop in the bucket – an insert inside the sets confirms upcoming reissues of more McCartney and Wings sets.) (Official Site)

Weezer, Pinkerton: Deluxe Edition / Death to False Metal (Geffen/UMe)

With Weezer no longer a part of the Geffen roster, UMe begins mining the pop-rock band’s considerable back catalogue (after a 10th anniversary reissue of the band’s 1994 debut). This week brings a similar deluxe edition of 1995’s Pinkerton, long thought to be the band’s crowning achievement, and a compilation of outtakes, Death to False Metal. (Official Site)

Various Artists, The Sound of Music: 45th Anniversary Edition (RCA/Legacy)

To time with the film’s debut on Blu-Ray, Sony reissues The Sound of Music yet again, with a rendition of “My Favorite Things” by Glee star Lea Michele as a bonus track. (Amazon)

Pet Shop Boys, Ultimate Pet Shop Boys (EMI)

A slim, single-disc distillation of the PSB discography, with a new track, “Together.” A deluxe edition adds a DVD full of goodies, including all the band’s live BBC performances and their acclaimed set at Glastonbury back in June. (Amazon U.K.) Read the rest of this entry »

The Second Disc Interview #1: A Soulful Chat with Harry Weinger

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It is with the greatest pride that The Second Disc presents its first-ever interview, bringing you closer to the catalogue music world we all love so much.

Our first interviewee is one of the most notable names from the world of reissues. Harry Weinger, vice-president of A&R for Universal Music Enterprises, has been part of the music business for more than 30 years, writing for publications like Rolling Stone, Vibe, Billboard and Cashbox before becoming a staff writer for PolyGram’s publicity team. After some time penning press releases and liner notes, Weinger became part of the creative force for Star Time, a sprawling four-disc overview of James Brown’s influential discography. It won him a Grammy, and it’s been strength to strength since then. The early 2000s saw Weinger, by then a full member of the Universal Music Group family, not only continue to maintain the catalogue of Mr. Brown, but a wide range of artists on the Motown and Verve labels. He’s since picked up another Grammy (for the Standing in the Shadows of Motown soundtrack) and a NAACP Image Award and continues to compile fantastic product for casual and hardcore fans (notably the Complete Motown Singles box sets).

After the jump, Weinger shares some great stories and news about Michael Jackson, Barry White, some great upcoming projects and the future of the catalogue industry.

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Written by Mike Duquette

July 26, 2010 at 15:45

So Much to Give

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Another late breaking release announcement: Hip-O Select has announced the reissue of I’ve Got So Much to Give, the first record by Barry White. Out of print for years, this remastered disc comes with new liner notes by BW collaborator Jack Perry (who also worked on last year’s killer Unlimited box set) and two bonus cuts making their CD debut. And collector’s rejoice: it’s unlimited!

Check out the tracks after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

February 22, 2010 at 23:40

Posted in Barry White, News, Reissues

Barry’s B’s

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It may be winter outside (especially in my neck of the woods – I live in one of those places labeled as a “snowpocalypse” or “snowmageddon” in the news), but in my heart it’s always spring. And why not? It’s always a good time of year for catalogue music, whether you’re listening to it, buying it or (oh you lucky ones) working on it. And Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, making it a great time here at The Second Disc to pen a few features on some great romantic hitmakers.

One of my favorites of late has got to be Barry White. Now, to make it plain, I have a bit of a bias: at my old internship at Universal Music Enterprises – the catalogue label group that holds the distribution rights to White’s material – a good part of the spring and summer was scored by the Maestro, work which culminated in Unlimited, last year’s five-disc box set of rarities and outtakes. And I did a bit of work on the set – mostly some discographical verification (not enough to get credit).

As a catalogue fan, though, the set is captivating, through and through. Those out there who dug White’s production work for other artists like Tom Brock, Gene Page, Danny Pearson, Gloria Scott and his own Love Unlimited Orchestra and singing group have rich rewards to mine from the set. Those works really distinguish the real Barry White – a deeply romantic, focused and talented singer, songwriter and arranger – from the cartoonish “walrus of love” caricature that his music is sometimes too quick to fall into.

That said, though, there are still a few stones that would be fun to turn over in White’s vast catalogue of hits. After the jump, take a look at some vault treasures that would make a great addition to any lover’s collection. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to break out the classics for this fine Valentine’s weekend. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

February 10, 2010 at 13:02

Posted in Barry White, Features

In With the Old: 2009 in Reissues

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Good evening and welcome to The Second Disc! Assuming you’ve taken a look at the page where I’ve explained this blog, I’d like to present a list of some of the best catalogue titles released to the public during the past year. This year was just as full of complaints about the demise of the music industry as ever (I guess part of this can be blamed on the general economic malaise gripping us all), but this really seemed to be a great year for reissues and box sets of all sorts.

Two notes before I begin. First, anyone who has befriended me on Facebook has possibly already read this list. I apologize for making you sit through it again. Second, and more importantly, a mini-disclaimer: my enthusiasm for reissues is well known to have manifested into an internship at Universal Music Enterprises, the catalog arm of Universal Music Group, as well as encounters with some great people who have done some killer work on catalog titles. Several of these titles were worked upon by people I have met. I will mark them with an asterisk, lest they be seen as mash notes from a fellow friend/fan/person eager to break into the catalog business. But trust me, I’d give high marks to these even if I didn’t know anyone associated with them.

Now, after the jump, my list – in no particular order but alphabetical: Read the rest of this entry »