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Real Gone Music Updates: Label Confirms Portsmouth Sinfonia Cancellation, Resolves Cat Mother Mastering Problem

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Portsmouth SinfoniaTomorrow, Real Gone Music releases what might be its most exciting batch of titles yet, with offerings from Dionne Warwick, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., Tonto’s Expanding Head Band, and George Clinton’s Parlet.   The line-up will be one title short, however, from that of the original announcement.  The scheduled reissue of Portsmouth Sinfonia’s Plays the Popular Classics has, according to the label’s Facebook page, been “canceled until further notice.”  On June 13, we described this release as follows:

“Last but not least comes what might be the oddest entry yet in Real Gone’s growing catalogue.  Portsmouth Sinfonia was the brainchild of composer Gavin Bryars, who wished to bring classical music to the masses – by involving the masses.  He seized upon the frankly unusual notion of forming an orchestra composed of non-musicians, or of musicians playing a totally unfamiliar instrument.  He then led that orchestra in renditions of well-known classical pieces despite the fact that most of the orchestra members couldn’t sight-read.  According to Real Gone, ‘the result was, ironically, hailed by some in the classical establishment as a profound exploration of the nature of music, as the trained musicians kept the orchestra more or less hewing close to the melody, while the untrained players’ earnest attempts to perform the compositions, and the resulting missed notes, formed atonal ‘clouds of sound’ with a bare suggestion of the piece.’  Others merely felt that Portsmouth Sinfonia was ‘the world’s worst orchestra.’ But something about Bryars’ vision caught on.  The group played a sold-out concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall, landed a recording contract, and caught the ear of one Brian Eno.  The ambient music innovator and soundscape creator extraordinaire produced Portsmouth Sinfonia’s 1974 debut Plays the Popular Classics, and even joined the aggregation to play clarinet!  Real Gone’s reissue is the first-ever rediscovery of this offbeat album, and includes new liner notes from Tom Pickles in addition to the original notes by Eno and conductor John Farley.  Fans of The Langley Schools Music Project or even The Shaggs might want to check this out…chances are you’ve never heard another album quite like this one!”

On Thursday, July 25, Real Gone shared about the cancellation, “Sorry for the disappointment…we’re disappointed, too!”  One day later, the label added, “One more note on the Portsmouth Sinfonia title — When we have any further news about the release we will let you know, In the interim, you can get in touch with the orchestra through their website.”  We urge you to do the same: if you would like to see Real Gone bring its reissue plans to fruition, let Portsmouth Sinfonia know!

After the jump: Real Gone addresses – and resolves – a recent audio problem with Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys’ Albion Doo Wah!  If you purchased this title, you’ll definitely want to read on! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 29, 2013 at 10:06

Release Round-Up: Week of June 4

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DylanGHVol2SACDBob Dylan, Greatest Hits Volume 2 (SACD) (Audio Fidelity)

A double hybrid SACD version of the classic Dylan compilation, mastered by Steve Hoffman. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Hello AngelSandie Shaw, The Sandie Shaw Supplement Reviewing the Situation Hello Angel: Expanded Editions (Salvo)

Sandie Shaw’s late ’60s and ’80s material gets newly remastered and expanded. Smiths alive! (Click on the post above for a full breakdown and order links.)

BF5 LiveBen Folds Five, Live (ImaVeePee/Sony Music)

The power piano-pop trio’s first live disc, culled from dates in 2012 and 2013. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

10 SoundtrackMason Williams, The Mason Williams Phonograph Record / Mason Williams, The Mason Williams Ear Show / Surf Punks, Locals Only / The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Stacked Deck/Too Stuffed to Jump / Dickey Lee, Original Greatest Hits / Cat Mother and the All-Night Newsboys, Albion Doo-Wah / Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 23 – Baltimore Civic Center Baltimore, MD 9/17/72 / Henry Mancini, “10″ Original Soundtrack  (Real Gone Music)

The latest from Real Gone, yours to read about here.

Roadhouse BluesAlbert King, Roadhouse Blues (Stax/Concord)

A reissue of King’s 1991 hits compilation. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

ClownAroundClownaround: The Original Show Album (Masterworks Broadway)

The studio cast recording of this 1972 Gene Kelly musical is now available exclusively at, as a made-to-order CD-R.

Have a Real Gone Summer with Surf Punks, Amazing Rhythm Aces, Grateful Dead and More

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Surf Punks - Locals OnlyWhen Real Gone Music kicks off summer with a slate of releases due on June 4, it’s only appropriate that one title comes from a surf band.  Well, sort of.  Locals Only, the sophomore album from Surf Punks, the snarling beach band formed by Dennis Dragon (yes, the brother of “Captain” Daryl Dragon of Captain & Tennille!) and Drew Steele, is one of the seven reissues coming your way.  Locals is joined by another second outing, Cat Mother and the All-Night Newsboys’ Albion Doo Wah.  (Real Gone reissued Cat Mother’s Jimi Hendrix-produced debut earlier this year.)  In a completely different vein, Real Gone has the first two Warner Bros. albums for musical renaissance man Mason (“Classical Gas”) Williams, as well as the first two long-players from The Amazing Rhythm Aces.  And that’s not all.  On the country side of town, the label is anthologizing Dickey Lee’s 1970s sides for RCA.  Real Gone rounds out its slate with the latest reissued installment of Grateful Dead’s Dick’s Picks.

After the jump, we have pre-order links for every title and the complete contents of Real Gone’s press release, with full details on all releases!  Plus: rescheduled dates for previously-announced reissues from Patty Duke and Henry Mancini! Read the rest of this entry »