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The Year in Reissues: The 2012 Gold Bonus Disc Awards

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Gold CDWow!  Was it just over a year ago when a rather dubious report began circulating (that, shockingly, was picked up by many otherwise-reputable publications) that proclaimed the death of the CD was secretly scheduled by the major labels for 2012?  Well, 2012 has come and (almost) gone, and it might have been the most super-sized year in recent memory for reissues, deluxe and otherwise, from labels new and old.  Here at the Second Disc, we consider our annual Gold Bonus Disc Awards a companion piece to Mike’s own round-up over at Popdose, and we endeavor to recognize as many of the year’s most amazing reissues as possible – over 80 worthy, unique titles.  We also hope to celebrate those labels, producers and artists who have raised the bar for great music throughout 2012. As we’re literally deluged with news around these parts, these ladies and gentlemen prove, week after week, the strength and health of the catalogue corner of the music world.  We dedicate The Gold Bonus Disc Awards to them, and to you, the readers.  After all, your interest is ultimately what keeps great music of the past alive and well.

With that in mind, don’t forget to share your own thoughts and comments below. What made your must-have list in 2012? Without further ado, let’s celebrate 2012′s best of the best. Welcome to the Gold Bonus Disc Awards!

Which releases take home the gold this year? Hit the jump below to find out! Read the rest of this entry »

Release Round-Up: Week of July 31

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Frank Zappa, Official Reissues #1-13 (Zappa/UMe)

The iconoclastic musician’s catalogue is back in print thanks to a new agreement with Universal, and his first 13 albums (most of them newly remastered from the original analog masters) are available today. Joe gave us a great breakdown of what’s what on these new masters, which also has convenient links to both these new titles and the forthcoming second wave of remasters next month.

Blur, Blur 21 (Virgin/EMI)

21 refers not only to the legendary British band’s lifespan to date, but the amount of discs in this collection: all seven studio albums expanded with bonus discs (which are available separately, if that’s your thing), plus another four discs of rarities and three mostly live DVDs.

Neil Diamond, Hot August Night: 40th Anniversary Edition (Geffen/UMe)

Hard to believe it’s been 40 years since Neil’s second, terrific live LP was issued! This two-disc edition adds four unreleased tracks, offering just about every minute of that fateful night at LA’s Greek Theatre.

Elvis Presley, I Am An Elvis Fan (RCA/Legacy)

The latest Elvis compilation was fan-sourced, leading to some slightly different track choices than your typical Elvis fare, including a nice handful of live cuts from the latter half of the King’s career.

Charles Mingus, The Complete Columbia & RCA Studio Albums Collection / The Thelonious Monk Quartet, The Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection / Weather Report, The Complete Columbia Albums 1971-1975 (Columbia/Legacy)

PopMarket’s latest complete boxes showcase some of the best jazz/fusion players to ever grace the Columbia label, and there are some great surprises in these boxes, including two rare tracks in the Mingus box and the first-ever domestic release of a Japanese live album in the Weather Report set.

20/20, 2o/20/Look Out! ; Clover, Clover/Fourty Niner ; Jimmy Griffin, Summer Holiday: Expanded Edition ; Sanford & Townsend, Smoke from a Distant Fire/Nail Me to the Wall ; Charles Bukowski, Charles Bukowski Reads His Poetry ; Jackie Gleason, Music for Lovers Only (Real Gone)

A diverse selection of releases from the eclectic reissue label: “The Great One,” the future Bread frontman, an American poet, a future Elvis Costello backing band and more!

Various Artists, Good Vibrations: The Beach Boys Songbook (Columbia/Sony Music Japan)

A quirky compilation from Japan (on Blu-Spec CD, no less) featuring some intriguing Beach Boys covers from the likes of Todd Rundgren, The Tokens, Andy Williams and others.

Woo-Hoo! Blur Mega Box Set Coming This Summer

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While Blur frontman Damon Albarn has been less than positive about the future of the band following this year’s reunion tour, EMI’s catalogue team would like you to think otherwise with an upcoming high profile reissue campaign collecting the band’s discography.

Blur 21, to be released July 30 in the U.K. in celebration of the anniversary of the group’s debut album Leisure (1991), collates all of the influential Britpop band’s albums, from Leisure to Think Tank (2003), pairs each with a bonus disc of non-LP B-sides and rare cuts, mixes in four discs of almost entirely unreleased demos and studio sessions from every era of the band’s existence (including their early, pre-Blur days under the name Seymour), adds three DVDs of live and hard-to-find promotional content and throws in a collectible 7″ single and hardbound book of liner notes. (Take note, audiophiles – LeisureModern Life is Rubbish (1993), Parklife (1994), The Great Escape (1995), and the band’s 1997 self-titled album are all newly remastered.)

Obviously, this is one of the more heavy-duty box sets to expect at this point in 2012, but more casual fans have got some goodies to look forward to as well: EMI is releasing the studio albums and their respective bonus discs as new double-disc sets around the same time. (The demos and video content will remain box-only, though.) A box set of audiophile vinyl reissues of the seven studio albums is also forthcoming.

Hit the jump for an exhaustive look at the contents of Blur 21.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

April 19, 2012 at 14:34

Posted in Blur, Box Sets, News, Reissues