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Release Round-Up: Week of November 4

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Dylan and The Band - Basement Tapes Complete

Bob Dylan, The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete and Raw  (Columbia/Legacy)

At long last, here are the complete and unexpurgated Basement Tapes – 6 discs and over 140 songs recorded in the creatively fertile days of 1967 and 1968 by Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Levon Helm.  Quite simply, this treasure trove of Americana may well be the Catalogue Music Event of the Year.

CompleteAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Raw:

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

Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Venus and Mars Box Set

The Paul McCartney Archive Collection: Wings, Venus and Mars (Hear Music/MPL, 2014)

Paul McCartney continues his Archive Collection with deluxe, bonus-packed editions of two Wings classics: 1975’s Venus and Mars and 1976’s Wings at the Speed of Sound!  Full details including track listings and more can be found right here!

2-CD/1-DVD Deluxe Book Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / 2-CD Standard Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Gatefold Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Wings at the Speed of Sound

The Paul McCartney Archive Collection: Wings, At the Speed of Sound (Hear Music/MPL, 2014)

2-CD/1-DVD Deluxe Book Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / 2-CD Standard Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Gatefold Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Goulet

Robert Goulet: The Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.) /  Andy Williams and the Williams Brothers: The Williams Brothers Christmas Album (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.) / The Statler Brothers: The Complete Mercury Christmas Recordings Featuring the Albums “Christmas Card” & “Christmas Present” (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K. ) / The Brothers Four: Merry Christmas (Expanded Edition) (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K. ) / The Kingston Trio: The Last Month of the Year (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K. ) /  Rosemary Clooney: In Songs from the Paramount Pictures Production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Expanded Edition) (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.) / Frank DeVol and the Rainbow Strings: The Old Sweet Songs of Christmas (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.) / Dick Wagner: Dick Wagner (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.)

Williams Brothers

Christmas arrives early this year thanks to our friends at Real Gone Music!  The label has a whopping seven Christmas albums due this week from artists including rare holiday music from Rosemary Clooney, The Statler Brothers, The Kingston Trio, Frank DeVol and The Brothers Four!  And that’s not all.  We’re particularly excited about two of Real Gone’s releases.  Joe compiled and annotated Robert Goulet’s Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings featuring both of Goulet’s classic holiday LPs plus a host of bonus tracks, and he has also written the notes for the first CD reissue  from the original master tapes of Andy Williams and the Williams Brothers’ Christmas Album!  Get a head start on the Christmas season with these happy holiday reissues!

T Rex - Albums Collection

T Rex, The Albums Collection (Edsel) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Edsel has boxed up T Rex’s eight studio albums and added two CDs of selected bonus material for this one-stop-shopping set.

Stones - Hampton

Rolling Stones, From the Vault: Hampton Coliseum 1981 (Eagle Rock)

This 1981 live concert from The Rolling Stones’ digital archive goes physical on CD, LP, DVD and standard definition Blu-ray.  The program continues later this month with similar releases for L.A. Forum – Live in 1975!

CD: Amazon U.S.

Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

BD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

DVD [NTSC] + CD Set: Amazon U.K.

John Denver - All of My Memories

John Denver, All of My Memories: The John Denver Collection (RCA/Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This new box set traces the beloved, late troubadour’s career over four CDs and 90 songs recorded between 1964 and 1997.

Big Star - Live

Big Star, Live in Memphis (Omnivore)

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

DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. 

Vinyl with Download Card: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Roger Taylor - Best

Roger Taylor, Best (Omnivore)

The first-ever best-of for the Queen drummer features 18 tracks from his criminally-unknown solo catalogue!

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

Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

King Crimson - Starless

King Crimson, Starless (DGM) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This King Crimson treasure chest contains 27 discs – including CDs, DVD-As, and BDs – for an immersive, in-depth look at Crimson circa 1973-1974, live and in the studio.  Full details on this stunning collection can be found here!

Ronnie Milsap - RCA

Ronnie Milsap, The Complete RCA Albums Collection (RCA/Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This 21-CD set chronicles the Country Music Hall of Famer’s career at RCA Records, from 1973 to 1991, plus his return to the label in 2006!

Relayer

Yes, Relayer CD/DVD-A and CD/BD (Panegyric)

CD/DVD-A: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

CD/BD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Steven Wilson works his magic on Yes’ 1974 Relayer, the band’s seventh studio album!  Wilson provides new stereo and surround mixes available on CD + DVD-A or BD configurations.

XTC - Drums

XTC, Drums and Wires CD/DVD-A and CD/BD (Ape House)

CD/DVD-A: Amazon U.S. TBD / Amazon U.K.

CD/BD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Wilson takes the same approach for the newest volume in Ape House’s series of deluxe XTC reissues on CD/DVD-A and CD/BD: 1979’s Drums and Wires, the band’s third album.

Scorpions - Blackout

Scorpions, Blackout SACD (Audio Fidelity) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The eighth studio album from Germany’s favorite hard rockers arrives on hybrid stereo SACD, playable in all CD players, from Audio Fidelity.

Blue Note - Uncompromising

Various Artists, Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression (Blue Note) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Blue Note celebrates its 75th anniversary with 75 single sides collected on this new 5-CD box set.  Each disc represents a different era in the label’s history – which is, to say, the history of jazz!

Monk - 'Round Midnight

Thelonious Monk, ‘Round Midnight: The Complete Blue Note Singles 1947-1952 (Blue Note) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Thelonious Monk’s recordings for Blue Note signaled the label’s move from boogie woogie and vintage jazz to cutting-edge hard bop. These recordings, which include the first version of Monk’s classic composition “‘Round Midnight” (originally recorded as “‘Round About Midnight”), were released on a series of fifteen 78 RPM singles. Later, the singles were re-compiled on 10-inch and 12-inch LPs.  This collection, housed in a hardbound digipak, will present for the first time Monk’s Blue Note singles in their original 78 RPM sequence of release, adding as bonus tracks the alternate takes that appeared on later LP and CD releases.  All told, the 2-CD set includes nine tracks not available on any current reissues of the great pianist/composer’s albums.

GeorgeHarrison_FrontTipIn.indd

Frank Sinatra, Come Fly with Me / In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning / This is Sinatra! / A Jolly Christmas with Frank Sinatra / Sinatra and Swingin’ Brass / Moonlight Sinatra (Vinyl) (Capitol/UMe)

As part of the Signature Sinatra initiative, Capitol/UMe has been releasing a series of select original Sinatra LPs from both his Capitol and Reprise catalogues in limited edition, remastered heavyweight vinyl pressings.  Look for this series to continue with more releases in the very near future!  We’ve been able to obtain few details about these releases, but we can confirm that Come Fly with Me is mono, as is A Jolly Christmas with Frank Sinatra.  (No true stereo version of the latter has ever been issued.)  (Thanks to The Sinatra Family Forum for their valuable info on these releases!)

Come Fly with Me (Mono – Amazon shows incorrect stereo cover): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

In the Wee Small Hours: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

This is Sinatra! : Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

A Jolly Christmas with Frank Sinatra (Mono): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Sinatra and Swingin’ Brass: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Moonlight Sinatra: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Carly Playlist

Carly Simon, Playlist: The Very Best of Carly Simon (Arista/Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This 14-track Playlist volume combines Carly’s hit Arista recordings (“The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of,” “Coming Around Again,” “Better Not Tell Her”) with live cuts (“You’re So Vain,” “Anticipation”) and one new-to-CD track: the Live from Grand Central performance of “Touched by the Sun.”

 

Judy Collins - Very Best

Judy Collins, Both Sides Now: The Very Best of Judy Collins (Wildflower) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The catalogue of Collins’ own Wildflower Records is tapped for this 2-CD, 28-track set drawn primarily from recent and late-period recordings.

Bette

Bette Midler, It’s the Girls (Warner Bros.) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

The Divine Miss M returns with her tribute to the greatest girl groups of all time – and Bette isn’t limiting herself to any one era, as she tackles songs by The Andrews Sisters, The Shirelles, The Supremes, TLC and more!  Marc Shaiman (Hairspray, Smash) produces this spirited set!

Storytone

Neil Young, Storytone (Reprise)

For his latest album, Neil Young fulfilled his ambitions to record an LP live with an orchestra in the same room.  The lush Storytone features a 92-piece orchestra and choir, and is available in a deluxe edition with a second disc of Neil’s solo renditions of its songs.  With material ranging from dramatic ballads to finger-snapping swingers, this is truly a departure from anything Young has done before – and is well worth checking out for that reason alone.

Deluxe 2-CD Version (Orchestrated and solo albums): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Standard Edition (Orchestrated album only): Amazon U.K.

180-gram Double Vinyl (Orchestrated and solo albums): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Doobie Brothers - Southbound

The Doobie Brothers, Southbound (Arista Nashville) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Listen to the music!  For this greatest-hits duets set, The Doobie Brothers (including Michael McDonald) have teamed up with current country stars including Blake Shelton, The Zac Brown Band, Hunter Hayes, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Toby Keith and Vince Gill.  Southbound marks the first Doobie Brothers album to feature Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons and Michael McDonald since 1976’s Takin’ It to the Streets!

In Memoriam: Phil Ramone (1934-2013)

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Phil Ramone 1Today, The Second Disc remembers Phil Ramone.

The multiple Grammy-winning producer, 79, died on Saturday, leaving behind a legacy of song from artists ranging from Barbra Streisand to Paul McCartney, Barry Manilow to The Band.  Yet unlike so many of his contemporaries, Phil Ramone didn’t have a signature style.  Instead of molding a band or singer to a preferred sonic specialty, he was a true architect of sound, tailoring each production to the individual artist.  Ramone was equally comfortable with pop, rock, jazz, R&B, and the worlds of Broadway and Hollywood, not to mention classical – the genre in which Ramone started his love affair with music, as a Juilliard-trained violin prodigy.

Phil Ramone modestly titled his 2007 memoir Making Records, because that’s precisely what he did, from the day he and partner Jack Arnold opened the doors of New York’s A&R Studios in 1959.  Prior to that, he had been mentored by Charles Leighton at JAC Recording.  At A&R, Ramone perfected the art of engineering.  He earned his first Grammy for Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto’s immortal Getz/Gilberto, and soon A&R was the preferred destination for producers Burt Bacharach and Hal David to craft their movies-in-miniature with Dionne Warwick.  Ramone’s eclectic C.V. as an engineer and later, producer, took in pop princesses (Lesley Gore), folkies (Peter, Paul and Mary), jazz legends (Tony Bennett), superstars (Barbra Streisand), Beatles (Paul McCartney), Geniuses (Ray Charles), and Chairmen (Frank Sinatra), as well as everyone in between.

Chicago, Phoebe Snow, Kenny Loggins, Carly Simon, B.J. Thomas, Liza Minnelli, Rod Stewart, and of course, Paul Simon and Billy Joel all logged studio time with Phil Ramone at the console.  With Simon, Ramone helmed such beloved albums as There Goes Rhymin’ Simon and Still Crazy After All These Years, still cornerstones of the singer-songwriter’s catalogue.  With Joel, Ramone embarked on a seven-album, nine-year partnership that remains one of the most successful in rock history.  The duo also hold a place in the history books, as Joel’s 52nd Street, produced by Ramone, became the first commercially released compact disc when it hit stores in Japan on October 1, 1982.

To every project, Ramone brought an understated, subtle touch of class that squarely put the emphasis on music and sound: making each musician and singer’s contribution heard, cleanly and resonantly.  Even a partial list of songs with Ramone’s involvement is staggering: “Times of Your Life,” “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” “It Never Rains in Southern California,” “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” “Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star is Born),” “Loves Me Like a Rock,” “Just the Way You Are,” “Afternoon Delight,” “Poetry Man,” “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” “Maniac.”

Phil Ramone could have ushered in 2013 basking in the glow of acclaimed recent albums from Dionne Warwick and Tony Bennett, but he remained active.  At the time of his death, he was working on a variety of characteristically diverse projects with artists such as George Michael and Glee star Matthew Morrison.  Bette Midler eulogized him as “kind beyond words,” echoing the sentiments of so many others.  Ben Folds called him “brilliant, generous, talented,” while Tony Bennett noted his “wonderful sense of humor and deep love of music.”  To celebrate the career of the legendary Phil Ramone, Mike and I have each contributed a playlist of ten favorite projects on which he worked.  These aren’t necessarily his most significant, or his most famous, though some might indeed be.  Taken together, they simply represent twenty slices of the versatility, dynamism and sheer hallmark of quality that made Phil Ramone an in-demand talent, and sympathetic collaborator of so many, for over fifty years.

If there’s a rock-and-roll heaven, you know they’ve got one helluva band, true.  But now there’s one helluva producer sitting at the desk.

Hit the jump for two interactive Phil Ramone Top 10s! Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Nobody Does It Better: James Bond Turns 50, Capitol Celebrates with New CD Anthology

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When Sean Connery first uttered the immortal words “Bond…James Bond” fifty years ago in the film Dr. No, the template for the long-running movie series was already set.  That soon-to-be-signature phrase was joined in the film by a piece of music that would quickly rival those three words for familiarity.  John Barry’s arrangement of “The James Bond Theme” not only helped cement the silver screen icon of 007 but virtually became a genre unto itself, that of spy music.  The spy film craze may have hit its peak in the swinging sixties, but Ian Fleming’s immortal character of the debonair Bond has endured over some 23 “official” films (including this year’s upcoming Skyfall), plus a couple of unofficial ones.  He has been portrayed by six actors in those 23 films, from Connery to Daniel Craig.  Since Dr. No, James Bond and music have been closely intertwined, and the film franchise continues to attract the very best: it’s been all but confirmed that record-breaking artist Adele will mark her return to music with the recently-leaked Skyfall theme.  Now, 50 years of Bond music is being compiled by Capitol Records as Best of Bond…James Bond, set for an October 9 release in both standard and deluxe editions.  It joins the recent DVD/BD box set, Bond 50, which contains each and every official Bond film to date!

While similar (and similarly-titled!) compilations have arrived on a periodic basis in the CD era, the new set in its deluxe two-disc form is the most comprehensive collection of Bond-related music yet with 50 tracks.  Both versions stand as a tribute to John Barry, the late composer who will forever be associated with the film series.  The disc opens with his original arrangement of “The James Bond Theme.”  Though credited to Monty Norman, Barry long maintained in and out of the courtroom that the composition was, in fact, his own.  (The confusion stems from the fact that Barry was presented with Norman’s theme, and rearranged it in the style of his previous instrumental “Bea’s Knees,” almost wholly transforming the music along the way.  He was reportedly paid under $1,000.00 for his troubles!)  Barry went on to score eleven of the films between 1963’s From Russia with Love through 1987’s The Living Daylights, ceding movies along the way to George Martin, Marvin Hamlisch and Bill Conti.  Since Barry’s retirement from the Bond franchise, the longest-standing composer has been David Arnold, with five films under his belt between 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies and 2008’s Quantum of Solace.  (The score to Skyfall has been crafted by director Sam Mendes’ frequent collaborator Thomas Newman.)  Either consciously or subconsciously, however, every composer has been influenced by the template set by John Barry.  Indeed, his famous arrangement of the Norman theme has been quoted in each film’s score.  Best of Bond also is a reminder of the gargantuan talents of two other contributors, both of whom passed away in 2012: Marvin Hamlisch (The Spy Who Loved Me) and Hal David (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.)

The first CD (also available as a stand-alone disc) features 23 tracks: the theme to every one of the films from 1962’s Dr. No through 2008’s Quantum of Solace, plus the “secondary” theme to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), Louis Armstrong’s “We Have All the Time in the World.”  This CD includes Chris Cornell’s “You Know My Name” from Casino Royale (2006), the first main Bond theme to not appear on the movie’s soundtrack album.  Other highlights include the very first vocal Bond theme, Lionel Bart’s “From Russia with Love” as performed by Matt Monro; Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley and John Barry’s “Goldfinger” from the iconic Dame Shirley Bassey; Barry and Don Black’s booming “Thunderball” from Tom Jones; Paul and Linda McCartney’s Wings-performed “Live and Let Die;” Carole Bayer Sager and Marvin Hamlisch’s “Nobody Does It Better” (from The Spy Who Loved Me); Barry and Duran Duran’s “A View to a Kill;” and Barry and Pål Waaktaar’s “The Living Daylights,” performed by Waaktaar’s band a-ha.

What’s on Disc 2?  Hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 27, 2012 at 09:49

Release Round-Up: Week of July 10

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Bananarama, 30 Years of Bananarama (Rhino U.K.)

The U.K. division of Rhino compiles the best of the “Venus” hitmakers in this CD/DVD package out today in the U.K. and next week stateside!  Read more here.

The Beat, I Just Can’t Stop It/Wha’ppen?/Special Beat Service (Demon/Edsel)

The complete studio output of The Beat (or The English Beat, if you prefer) gets the deluxe reissue treatment in the U.K. from Edsel as 2-CD/1-DVD sets chock-filled with extra material!  Don’t miss our review of all three sets!

The Beat, The Complete Beat/Keep the Beat: The Very Best of the English Beat (Shout! Factory)

For the U.S. market, Shout! Factory boxes the English Beat’s three studio albums, plus two discs of rarities!   In addition, the label is offering a single-disc distillation of the group’s greatest!  Read more here.

The Fat Boys, Fat Boys: Deluxe Edition (Tin Pan Apple Records)

The eponymous debut of Brooklyn’s Fat Boys gets boxed…pizza-boxed, that is.  Read more here.

Woody Guthrie, Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection (Smithsonian Folkways)

The legendary folk troubadour gets the box set treatment from Folkways with this career-spanning 3-CD anthology!  The box also includes a lavish hardcover tribute; read all about it here!

Jimi Hendrix, Jimi Plays Berkeley/Live at Berkeley/West Coast Seattle Boy: Voodoo Child (Legacy Recordings)

Legacy and Experience Hendrix are celebrating the icon’s 70th birthday year with an extended DVD and Blu-ray release of Jimi Plays Berkeley plus the Blu-ray debut of the documentary Voodoo Child and a return to the catalogue for the CD edition of Live at Berkeley: The Second Show!  Read more here, and watch this space for Joe’s review of Jimi Plays Berkeley coming soon!

Carly Simon, Spoiled Girl: Expanded Edition (Hot Shot Records)

The songstress’ 1985 Epic Records album has been reissued and re-evaluated by the team at Hot Shot Records, and this expanded edition reveals a lost classic!  Read the review here.

Written by Joe Marchese

July 10, 2012 at 08:05

Review: Carly Simon, “Spoiled Girl: Expanded Edition”

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The title of Spoiled Girl had a knowingly ironic resonance for Carly Simon.  A scion of the Simon and Schuster publishing firm (her father was founder Richard L. Simon), Carly was considered by some to be a “spoiled girl.” In fact, that couldn’t have been further from the truth, despite a somewhat privileged upbringing.  Yet here she was, mockingly singing of a woman who “thinks of nothing but herself,” the kind of gal who sends her chauffeur to supply more bubbles for her bath!  1985’s Spoiled Girl announced that Simon could poke fun and definitively refute this image.  Moreover, it made clear her hallmarks of incisive observations and lyrical intelligence wouldn’t be absent from this headfirst plunge into the world of eighties dance-pop.

Carly Simon certainly had paid her dues as a singer/songwriter over the years, and played out many aspects of her life in sometimes dark, starkly confessional terms on a series of rightfully acclaimed, often heartbreaking albums.  Rare was a pop hit as melancholy as “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be.” Yet Simon showed many sides: she could also be fiercely assertive in “You’re So Vain,” wistful in “The Right Thing to Do,” jubilant in “Mockingbird” and sensual in “Anticipation.”  Yet despite being one of the most unique songwriting voices of her generation, Carly was commercially adrift by the beginning of the 1980s.  Despite fine, fascinating work, a switch from Elektra to Warner Bros. Records failed to yield much chart gold other than 1980’s Come Upstairs and its single “Jesse.”  So Simon started fresh with an Epic Records contract for Spoiled Girl.    Hot Shot Records’ impressive, expanded reissue (HSR-105, 2012) accomplishes what few such releases do: it gives a new lease on life to a maligned almost-classic that many fans – and perhaps even the artist herself – had long since written off.

Hit the jump to dive in! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 9, 2012 at 10:20

Posted in Carly Simon, Reissues, Reviews

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Cherry Red Round-Up: Kenny, KC, Carly and More Get New Expansions

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Our friends at Cherry Red Group have had a stellar amount of new reissues in the past month, and we figured now was as good a time as any to highlight some of our favorites across the board.

The Lemon label has issued an expanded edition of Keep the Fire, the 1979 soft-rock classic by Kenny Loggins. While the singer-songwriter had put out two albums since the disbandment of Loggins & Messina, it was only recently that he started his ascendancy as one of the go-to pop writers and performers of the age; previous album Nightwatch featured Top 5 hit “Whenever I Call You Friend” with Stevie Nicks, and earlier in 1979 saw “What a Fool Believes,” written with Michael McDonald for McDonald’s Doobie Brothers, reach the top of the Billboard charts. Loggins and McDonald teamed up again for Keep the Fire‘s lead single, “This is It,” which reached No. 11 and won Loggins a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Strong guests bolster the album, with Michael Brecker contributing saxophone work and underrated album cut “Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong” featuring sweet vocal harmonies from Michael Jackson. Lemon’s expanded disc features two live tracks of undetermined origin and a “clean version” of “This is It.”

One of Big Break Records’ newest titles harkens back to the days of disco and the unstoppable dance rhythms of KC and The Sunshine Band. Harry Wayne Casey, Richard Finch and their irrepressibly-produced band had a triple platinum hit with their self-titled sophomore album for T.K. Records in 1975, buoyed by No. 1 hits “Get Down Tonight” and “That’s the Way (I Like It).” (The effervescent “Boogie Shoes” was a Top 40 hit when included on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack LP two years later.) Bonus cuts include the original single mixes of “Get Down Tonight” and “That’s the Way (I Like It)” as well as a 1994 mix of the former by veteran disco man Tom Moulton.

It’s on to the ’80s and ’90s with some big hits and intriguing obscurities after the jump!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 5, 2012 at 13:26

“Chimes of Freedom” Flashing for Bob Dylan and Amnesty International

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Let’s face it, Bob Dylan tributes aren’t exactly uncommon. That said, one of the most ambitious albums of its kind is coming down the pike, set for January 24 release. Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan is a specially-priced 4-CD set containing 73 Dylan songs in renditions from an incredibly broad array of artists. Most of the tracks were recorded specifically for this project, but since a handful are previously unreleased tracks of an older vintage (and Dylan’s own 1964 released take of “Chimes of Freedom,” appropriately enough, closes out the set), we felt that coverage of this set was warranted here.

Chimes of Freedom is produced by Jeff Ayeroff and Julie Yannatta, who were also responsible for 2007’s Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. That 2-CD set brought together artists like U2, R.E.M., Green Day, The Flaming Lips and Jackson Browne on a selection of John Lennon songs. This set features a similarly eclectic roster of musicians and a comparably broad scope. Many favorites here at Second Disc HQ have made a contribution to Chimes of Freedom: the late Johnny Cash, plus the very-much-alive Patti Smith, Pete Townshend, Sting, Elvis Costello and Carly Simon, to name a few. Miley Cyrus is the youngest performer on the collection at 19, and the Hannah Montana star offers “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.” The oldest act on the line-up is none other than Pete Seeger, who could be describing himself at the age of 92 with Dylan’s “Forever Young.” It’s difficult to single out notable artists on a compilartion featuring so many. Kris Kristofferson offers “The Mighty Quinn,” Diana Krall brings her sensual touch to “Simple Twist of Fate” and Eric Burdon of the Animals tackles “Gotta Serve Somebody.” The white-hot Adele is represented by a radio performance of “Make You Feel My Love.” Ke$ha gets into the act with “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and the frequent Philip Glass collaborators The Kronos Quartet performs the same song. Glee heartthrob Darren Criss does the honors for “New Morning.” Seal and Jeff Beck are an unlikely pair on “Like a Rolling Stone,” and bluesman Taj Mahal plays “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream.” Even Dylan’s old flame Joan Baez is here, with a live performance of “Seven Curses.”

Hit the jump for more, including the complete track listing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 16, 2011 at 10:16

Rhino Unleashes “Original Album Series” in Europe

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Ever feel like all the fancy bonus content and packaging on some reissues totally overshadows the music? Rhino’s European division must’ve felt so, too: they released a handful of Original Album Series boxes a few weeks ago, featuring a lot of music with a minimum of frills and a relatively low price.

The titles – five albums by one artist, housed in mini-LP cardboard sleeves and put into a box – are the ideal quick, easy discography builder for new fans or collectors with a few notable gaps on their shelves. A myriad of artists, from the obvious (CHIC, Carly Simon, The Doobie Brothers) to the overlooked (Sérgio Mendes, The Young Rascals, Tim Buckley), are represented here. While some of these titles are available in expanded form, a few of these are hard to find on their own on CD. With a price tag that hovers around the £10 mark, it’s certainly something to consider.

All of the titles, with the albums they contain, are after the jump, along with links from Amazon’s U.K. pages.

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Release Round-Up: Week of June 21

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Peter Tosh, Legalize It: Legacy Edition / Equal Rights: Legacy Edition (Columbia/Legacy)

The first two albums by the onetime Wailer are greatly expanded with rare alternate mixes and other goodies. (Official site)

Ace, Five-a-Side: Expanded Edition / Time for Another/No Strings: Expanded Edition (Cherry Red)

How long can you wait for expanded editions of the whole Ace catalogue? Each set (Five-a-Side as one set and the other two albums in another package) is remastered and expanded with a host of BBC session tracks. (Cherry Red)

Suede, Head Music: Deluxe Edition (Edsel)

We’ve been totally remiss lately about the Suede remasters, which by all accounts are damn good. So let us remind you that an expanded edition of Head Music came out today, with similar expansions of SuedeDog Man Star and Coming Up already available. And A New Morning will be expanded next week! (Official site)

Carly Simon, No Secrets / Bad Company, Straight Shooter (Audio Fidelity)

The latest Audio Fidelity Gold CDs are Carly Simon’s breakthrough LP (the one with “You’re So Vain,” which I hope Matt Rowe correctly predicts will be expanded in the near future) and Bad Company’s great sophomore album (with “Feel Like Makin’ Love” and “Shooting Star”). (Audio Fidelity)

Various Artists, ICON (UMe)

They just. Won’t. Quit. (Original post with links to all the titles in this batch)