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Release Round-Up: Week of August 20

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Fleetwood Mac - Then Play OnFleetwood Mac, Then Play On: Deluxe Edition Fleetwood Mac: 1969-1972 (Warner Bros./Rhino)

The pre Buckingham-Nicks era of the Mac gets some love on CD and vinyl: their last Peter Green-led album from 1969 is expanded with bonus tracks, and it’s also included in a remastered vinyl box set with follow-ups Kiln House (1970), Future Games (1971) and Bare Trees (1972) (plus the 1969 single “Oh Well” on 45).

Then Play OnAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
1969-1972Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The_Jimi_Hendrix_Experience_(Box_set)_coverJimi Hendrix, The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Experience Hendrix/Legacy)

The famous “purple box” from 2000 – the first box set released in the official Experience Hendrix catalogue – is reissued with four extra tracks, including live material and rare non-LP B-side “The Stars That Play with Laughing Sam’s Dice.” (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Richard Pryor The Studio AlbumsRichard Pryor, The Studio Albums 1974-1983 (Warner Bros./Rhino)

A rather interesting discovery: Rhino has given the complete-albums-in-an-affordable-box treatment to Richard Pryor (whose Warner Bros. catalogue was rather generously sampled on Shout! Factory’s recent box set No Pryor Restraint). So this is essentially Rhino’s …And It’s Deep Too! box in a smaller package and without the bonus disc. Given the price of that long out-of-print box, the loss of the bonus disc is acceptable compared to the wealth of material herein. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Afro Blue ImpressionsJohn Coltrane, Afro Blue Impressions (Pablo/Concord)

Recorded in Europe in 1963 and released in 1977, this double-disc offering of live ‘Trane is newly remastered and expanded with new liner notes and three unreleased bonus tracks. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Staple Singers - This Time AroundThe Staple Singers, This Time Around (Stax/Ace)

Previously unreleased on CD, this 1981 compilation features outtakes from 1970-1972 sweetened with overdubs from Herb Jimmerson, one half of Fantasy recording duo Paradise Express. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

HeadquartersThe Monkees, Headquarters: Deluxe Edition (Friday Music)

Rhino’s 2007 double-disc deluxe edition, featuring the 1967 album in stereo and mono mixes and a host of bonus tracks, is licensed and reissued by Friday Music. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

LumineersThe Lumineers, The Lumineers: Deluxe Edition (Duatone)

The “Ho Hey” folk rockers expand their album with unreleased tracks and a DVD. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Essential Britney SpearsSarah McLachlan, Nas, Santana, Britney Spears, Bill WIthers, Tammy WynetteThe Essential (Legacy)

The latest entries in Legacy’s two-disc compilation series. (That feeling you’re experiencing is horror that Britney Spears has had enough time on the market to rack up enough material for The Essential series!)

“NOW” and Then: U.K. Compilation Series Celebrates Three Decades in Three Discs

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Now 30 YearsWhen I was heavily ensconced in a retail job, I had the task of stocking new music and movie releases and sharing the new releases with the rest of the store on Tuesday morning. Without fail, every time a NOW That’s What I Call Music! compilation came out, someone would marvel how many such compilations existed, prompting me to tell my co-workers that they should check out the NOW series as it originated in the U.K., back in 1983, where they were double albums and released with slightly more frequency to the point where the 84th volume hit stores in March (as opposed to the single-disc 47th volume that streeted in the U.S. last Tuesday).

Of course, here at The Second Disc, I’m surrounded by record collectors and pop enthusiasts, so this illumination is nothing new. (That’s one of many reasons why I’m a lot happier editing these pages, I’ll tell you that!) But anyway, the point is that NOW That’s What I Call Music is indeed celebrating 30 years – and its doing so with a new, triple-disc compilation of highlights from its lengthy run.

NOW That’s What I Call 30 Years features an interesting, semi-chronological hodgepodge of pop cuts from the ’80s, ’90s, ’00s and today, from Michael Jackson to Madonna, Take That to the Spice Girls, Adele to PSY. It’s disappointingly centered on the traditional pop scene on both sides of the Atlantic, thereby ignoring some of the R&B and rock-infused diversity that the NOW series was often known for (Radiohead appeared on at least one volume, for cryin’ out loud). As such, it’s a very, very patchy portrait of pop, passing a good chunk of the mid-1990s and mid-2000s. (Also, a considerably more minor quibble, but what’s up with the 20th Century-Fox meets Pink Floyd cover art?)

But NOW are one of the best – and one of the only – games in town as far as anthologizing pop music for the masses, so NOW That’s What I Call 30 Years might be a set for your collection when it’s released May 27 in England. Hit the jump to check out the full track list and order your copy off Amazon.

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Release Round-Up: Week of October 11

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Ben Folds, The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective (Epic/Legacy)

Ben Folds-mania – at least around Second Disc HQ – hits a fever pitch with the first compilation from everyone’s favorite piano-playing smartass. You have your single-disc version, the excellent three-disc version and the digital vault, featuring another 55 tracks at 320 kbps MP3s. (Five of those tracks are yours free when you buy the three-disc set.) (Official site)

James Brown, The Singles Vol. 11 (1979-1981) (Hip-o Select/Polydor)

The end of an era: the last Hip-o Select compilation of singles from The Godfather of Soul. (Hip-o Select)

Todd Rundgren, Runt + The Ballad of Todd Rundgren / Something/Anything?…Plus / A Wizard, A True Star + Todd / Initiation + Faithful / Utopia, RA / Oops! Wrong Planet (Edsel)

A host of Rundgren-oriented catalogue action:  a heap of Bearsville two-fers, many with bonus tracks. (Edsel)

Johnny Cash, Bootleg III: Live Around the World (Columbia/Legacy)

Rare and unreleased live tracks from the Man in Black. Aren’t there more full shows that could make an appearance on CD, too? (Official site)

Judas Priest, The Chosen Few (Columbia/Legacy)

The newest Priest compilation includes hits as chosen by famous fans of the band, with liner notes from everyone who picked. (Official site)

Britney Spears, B. in the Mix: The Remixes, Vol. 2 (RCA)

Remixes of tracks from Blackout to Femme Fatale, some of which are on a commercial CD for the first time. (Official site)

Written by Mike Duquette

October 11, 2011 at 09:04

It’s Remixes, B*tch: Britney Spears Gets Mixed Up on New Compilation

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A slight break from yesterday’s activities of more classic pop/rock-oriented catalogue action to shine the spotlight on some dance collectibles from one of pop’s more recognizable faces. Britney Spears is releasing a second volume of dance remixes for your bum-shaking pleasure in October.

B in the Mix: The Remixes Volume 2, a sequel to the starlet’s 2005 compilation (one of the top 10 best-selling remix albums, as it happens), collects remixes of tracks from her last three studio efforts, Blackout (2007), Circus (2008) and this year’s Femme Fatale. Most of them are making their debut on CD or commercial disc, while one track, “Criminal,” will be the single to tie in with the set. (Apparently, this release will close Spears’ longtime contract with Jive Records; she will join the RCA Music Group – also owned by Sony Music – under the guidance of newly appointed label head Antonio “L.A.” Reid.)

The set is out October 7 and can be ordered after the jump (same place the full track list is). Our thanks to super reader Hank for reminding us about this set.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 28, 2011 at 12:40