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Reissue Theory: Cher, “A Woman’s Story: The Warner Bros. Years”

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Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we reflect on well-known albums of the past and the reissues they could someday see. Before Madonna, before Lady Gaga, there was Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPiere Bono, better-known as Cher. Today, we look at a largely forgotten period of the diva’s career, now entering its sixth(!) decade.

Cher’s latest hit song may be titled “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” but really, who thought we had? We listeners don’t need a modest little Diane Warren power ballad to remind us that Cher isn’t going anywhere. Even as she bade farewell to the concert stage for the umpteenth time, we knew we hadn’t seen the last of Cher. And so it wasn’t surprising that the superstar recently became the first artist in Billboard history to attain a chart-topping single in six consecutive decades when the Golden Globe-winning “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” (from the critically-lambasted film Burlesque) hit No. 1 on the Dance/Club Play chart. (Only Barbra Streisand holds a similarly impressive record, with No. 1 albums in five consecutive decades.) What is a surprise, however, is that the ever-chameleonic singer/actress/entertainer still hasn’t had her entire catalogue represented on CD.

In 1975, Cher signed with the decade-defining Warner Bros. Records label, after a long string of solo hits first overseen by Sonny Bono at Imperial and then Snuff Garrett at Kapp and MCA. (Sonny & Cher’s duet records were released on Atlantic’s Atco division, and a brief detour to Muscle Shoals in 1969 produced one of Cher’s most underrated solo albums, 3614 Jackson Highway, for that label. It was expanded by Rhino Handmade in 2003 and then reissued as a bare-bones edition by Collectors’ Choice in 2009.) Yet none of Cher’s albums or singles released between 1975 and 1979 has received CD release. How could Cher’s Warner Bros. output could be successfully reissued? Today’s Reissue Theory answers with A Woman’s Story: The Warner Bros. Years.

The Warner Bros. years found Cher experimenting with a variety of musical styles and producers for a handful of singles and four complete albums: Stars (1975), I’d Rather Believe in You (1976), Cherished (1977) and Two the Hard Way (1977). The lineup of talent who joined Cher at Warner Bros. is staggering: Phil Spector, Harry Nilsson, Jimmy Webb, Snuff Garrett, Steve Barri, then-husband Gregg Allman, and even Sonny Bono.

Hit the jump for the details on how we would collect this sadly-neglected period of Cher’s career as a two-CD set, and a full track listing with pertinent discographical information! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 27, 2011 at 11:59

Posted in Cher, Compilations, Features, Reissues

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“Icon” Series Gets More Iconic

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Universal is prepping another batch of Icon compilations for the first week of 2011. Now, we’ve been hard on this series before, but there’s actually a lot to like about these new sets.

While previous Icon sets have been bashed by The Second Disc for either shamelessly repackaging previous compilations or offering fewer CD-based rarities than, say, Legacy’s Playlist series (more on that tomorrow), this new batch of Icon sets collate artists who haven’t had much in the way of compilations yet (Vanessa Carlton), expand on previous sets (the hefty double-disc set for Sheryl Crow) and highlight lesser-known artists (country comedian Jerry Clower, a host of funk notables on Tabu Records, including Cherelle, Alexander O’Neal and The S.O.S. Band).

Those Tabu sets will offer some nice morsels for collectors, too: all of them offer up some hard-to-find remixes previously only found on vinyl singles. Now this is what we’re talking about! Hats off to the UMe staff and everyone who made sets like these possible (including Donald Cleveland, producer of titles for the Funkytown Grooves label, who worked on these three Tabu sets with producer Harry Weinger).

Each disc will be in stores on January 4, though it looks like Amazon will be offering up some of these for download before the year is out. (See their pages for details.) The track lists are, as always, below. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

December 13, 2010 at 15:06