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Archive for the ‘Bobby Womack’ Category

Ace Boldly Goes To “Outer Space” and The Bay Area On Two New Themed Collections

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Greatest Hits from Outer SpaceAce Records is Going Wild!…not just with a rip-roaring rock-and-roll compilation of that name, but with a journey to the farthest reaches of the galaxy!  Yes, the London-based label is travelling from the Bay Area to the Milky Way with two of its latest releases: Greatest Hits from Outer Space and Going Wild! Music City Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Based on the 24 tracks of Ace’s Greatest Hits from Outer Space, the final frontier engaged a wide variety of artists in every conceivable musical genre.  On this zany set compiled by Tony Rounce, you’ll hear classical tracks, jazz, soul, folk and rock from one of the most eclectic artist rosters on an Ace release yet.  And that’s saying something!

There are delightfully kitschy song titles a-plenty here: “Maid of the Moon,” from jazz piano great Dick Hyman and vocalist Mary Mayo; “Two Little Men in a Flying Saucer” by the legendarily swinging Ella Fitzgerald; “Destination Moon” from the pop vocal quartet The Ames Brothers (including future solo star Ed, then Eddie, Ames); exotica king Les Baxter’s “Lunar Rhapsody.”

No space-themed anthology would be complete without an appearance from producer Joe Meek’s “Telstar,” which charted simultaneously in the U.S. and U.K. in its recording by The Tornados.  The equally famous “Space Oddity” from David Bowie appears in an early alternate version recorded before Bowie’s departure from the Deram label.  Shelved until 1989, it’s a more desolate and eerie version than the hit single.  Considerably jauntier is The Byrds’ “Mr. Spaceman,” a Top 40 country-esque romp from the group’s psychedelic Fifth Dimension album.

A few famous television themes appear via The Ventures’ surf take on “The Twilight Zone,” Delia Derbyshire and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s “Doctor Who,” and Leonard Nimoy’s “Theme from Star Trek.”  The original Doctor Who theme is heard in its mono mix.  What Nimoy, a.k.a. Mr. Spock, had to do with the rendition of the Star Trek theme included on his Mr. Spock’s Music from Outer Space LP is up in the air (or in outer space…), but the rendition of the famed Alexander Courage/Gene Roddenberry tune is a faithful one.  Movie themes haven’t been left out, either, even “inherited” ones: the set kicks off with the Berliner Philharmoniker’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra” from 1958.  A decade later, Stanley Kubrick famously utilized the performance for the soundtrack to his 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, gaining it immortality.

Top-tier soul man Bobby Womack reinvents Jonathan King’s “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon,” a No. 3 U.K./No. 17 hit in 1965 for its writer.  Womack cut his version in Memphis with co-producer Chips Moman, bringing a new dimension to it in the process.  The similarly-titled “Everybody Gets to Go to the Moon” is a Jimmy Webb tune brought to life by Thelma Houston on the occasion of the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.  The moon figures in yet more tracks here, like Moon Mullican’s “Rocket to the Moon” (1953) and Johnny Harris’ dark instrumental “Footprints on the Moon,” also from 1969.  (Mr. Mullican’s name apparently derived from illegal booze, not from the actual moon.)  Neil Armstrong was among those astronauts celebrated by Webb with his song; John Stewart (“Daydream Believer”) took the tribute one step further with his “Armstrong.”  Lightnin’ Hopkins saluted another famous astronaut with “Happy Blues for John Glenn.”

Nick Robbins has remastered all tracks.  You might find yourself rockin’ in orbit with Greatest Hits from Outer Space.  Live long, and prosper!  After the jump, you’ll find the full track listing with discography and an order link.  Plus: ground control to Major Tom – we’re headed from outer space to the San Francisco Bay Area! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 15, 2013 at 09:54

Lookin’ for a Love: Bobby Womack’s Singles Compiled on New 2CD Set

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Everything's Gonna Be AlrightOften unfairly slighted in the pantheon of great soul musicians in the 1970s, a new U.K. compilation gives Bobby Womack his due, anthologizing every one of his single sides from the first nine years of his solo career.

Womack and his brothers, Friendly, Curtis, Harry and Cecil, started from the small clubs of Cleveland before being discovered by Sam Cooke, who signed them to his SAR label. The classic “Lookin’ for a Love,” which he produced, earned them a spot on James Brown’s tour; a follow-up, “It’s All Over Now,” co-written by Bobby, was the first chart-topper for The Rolling Stones in their native England and a Top 40 hit in America.

He took on session work after leaving The Valentinos, playing on Aretha Franklin’s Atlantic albums and writing for Wilson Pickett. This string of successes led Minit Records to sign Womack, where he stayed until moving to Liberty and United Artists in the 1970s. While many of his sides were soulful covers of standards (“Fly Me to the Moon,” “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”) and contemporary pop-rock (“California Dreamin’,” “Everybody’s Talkin’,” “Sweet Caroline”), Womack would enjoy success with originals like “That’s the Way I Feel About ‘Cha,” “Harry Hippie,” “Across 110th Street” (from the iconic soul soundtrack album of the same name), “Nobody Wants You When You’re Down and Out” and even a remake of “Lookin’ for a Love.”

Womack’s career cooled in the years since, after the enormous success of “If You Think You’re Lonely Now” in 1981, but in true soul survivor fashion, the iconic singer-songwriter-guitarist came back in 2012 with The Bravest Man in the Universe, his first album of all-new material in nearly a decade, produced by Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz fame.

Everything’s Gonna Be Alright: The American Singles 1967-1976, released on the Charly label, looks to be a nice introduction to an underrated force in R&B. This set is available now; pre-order links and the full track list are after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

July 11, 2013 at 12:36

On The Second Day of Second Discmas…

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Discmas Purpose Fb banner

Here at The Second Disc, the holiday season is the perfect time to do what we love to do best: share the gift of music. For the second year in a row, we have we reached out to some of our favorite reissue labels and we’ve teamed with them to play Santa Claus to our awesome and faithful readers. It’s called – what else? – Second Discmas, and it’s going on now through Christmas!

Today, we have a neat little present from the good people at Purpose Music Vaults, one of the coolest new labels to hit the scene this year. Among their new releases this year: Bobby Womack’s Pieces (1978), the soul legend’s second and last album for Columbia Records. Purpose put it on CD, newly remastered by Vic Anesini and featuring four single-only bonus tracks. And today, we’ve got three copies for three lucky winners!

Winning has never been easier! Click on the graphic up top to head over to Contest Central for the complete rules! And there’s plenty more where that came from, so enter now and wait ’til you see what we’ve got for you!

Written by Mike Duquette

December 18, 2012 at 08:10

Soul with a Purpose: New Label Opens Up the Music Vaults with Womack, Dyson, Hartman

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The Purpose Music Vaults are open!

Purpose Music Group is introducing a new player in the reissue field, something that always brings us a great deal of excitement here at The Second Disc.  But how about we sweeten the pot by telling you that the first three releases from Purpose Music Vaults are all rare soul classics from the Sony Music Entertainment library, all feature new-to-CD material, and all are newly remastered by engineers including Vic Anesini and Sean Brennan?  On top of that, all three of Purpose’s first limited-edition releases feature deluxe packaging and booklets containing interviews with key participants.  The label launches on October 30 with a trio that’s likely to excite soul enthusiasts everywhere: Bobby Womack’s Pieces and Ronnie Dyson’s One Man Band, completing the rollout with Dan Hartman’s Relight My Fire on November 20.

Bobby Womack received a considerable amount of attention earlier this year when the 68-year old soul legend released a new studio album.  The Bravest Man in the Universe was his first in twelve years and his first of original material in nearly twenty years, and was greeted with acclaim for artfully bridging the gap between the past and present.  Purpose looks back to 1978 for Pieces, originally released on Columbia Records.  Don Davis produced the album, while Candi Staton and David Ruffin joined Womack on “Stop Before We Start,” and “Trust Your Heart,” respectively.  Bobby was joined on songwriting duties by his brother Cecil, as well as Leon Ware, Allee Willis and Ronnie McNeir for this mellow soul LP with a dance-ready beat.  Though Pieces has been on CD before, Purpose’s new edition has been remastered by Vic Anesini from the original two-track master tapes, and includes four bonus tracks never before available on CD: single edits of three album tracks (“Wind It Up,” “Trust Your Heart,” “Where Love Begins, Friendship Ends”) plus the promotional 12-inch mix of “Trust Your Heart.”  Darnell Meyers-Johnson’s new liner notes incorporate fresh quotes from Candi Staton and Bobby Womack himself!  Pieces is a 1,500-unit limited edition.

After the jump, you’ll find a track listing and pre-order link for Pieces, as well as all the info you need on the titles from Ronnie Dyson and Dan Hartman! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 28, 2012 at 13:02