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Their Feet Keep Dancing: Rhino U.K. Updates CHIC Compilation, Plans Triple-Disc Disco Set

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Up All Night Disco EditionRhino U.K. is bringing disco back with a new triple-disc compilation of dance classics, and an updated reissue of a successful compilation released earlier this year.

First up, Rhino’s reissuing the new Nile Rodgers/CHIC compilation Up All Night. The double-disc set, originally compiled by Wayne A. Dickson of Big Break Records and mastered by Dickson and BBR engineer Nick Robbins, with liner notes from Christian John Wikane, was released in July to capitalize on Rodgers’ highly enjoyable wave of success this year. (The legendary guitarist/producer played and co-wrote several tracks on Daft Punk’s critically-acclaimed album Random Access Memories, including international chart-topper “Get Lucky,” and played several key dates in Europe. Since then, CHIC has been once again nominated for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.)

Up All Night: The Disco Edition features a slightly rearranged track list, with several lesser-known hits dropped in favor of five newly-added tracks: the CHIC-produced “Frankie” by Sister Sledge; two Rodgers-produced ’80s hits (Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” and Duran Duran’s “The Reflex”), a megamix of CHIC Organization tracks and a live cut from Rodgers’ performance at the Glastonbury Festival this summer.

12%22 Disco CollectionThe fine folks at Big Break (Dickson along with compiler Malcolm McKenzie) have also produced another forthcoming discofied Rhino set: 12″ Disco: The Collection compiles 34 tracks – mostly from the Warner Bros., Elektra, T.K. and Atlantic vaults, naturally – including four cuts that have never been released on CD before. In addition to CHIC and Sister Sledge, tracks from Chaka Khan, The Trammps, Ben E. King, The Spinners, Change, George McCrae and Narada Michael Walden are all featured herein.

12″ Disco: The Collection is available in U.K. shops today, while Up All Night: The Disco Edition is out next Monday, October 28. Pre-order links, full track lists and U.K. discographical info for both titles can be found after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 21, 2013 at 08:32

Release Round-Up: Week of August 27

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Beach Boys Made in California BoxThe Beach Boys, Made in California (Capitol/UMe)

Six discs of career-spanning tunes – hits and rarities aplenty – from the best band to come out of Hawthorne, California. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Dylan Bootleg 10Bob Dylan, Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 (Columbia)

Revisit one of the most polarizing periods of Dylan’s career with the latest Bootleg Series entry, featuring outtakes from Nashville SkylineSelf Portrait and New Morning. A deluxe version includes Dylan and The Band’s complete Isle of Wight performance and a remastered version of Self Portrait, and a vinyl version also exists.

2CD standard edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
4CD deluxe edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3LP vinyl edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Sly and the Family Stone - HigherSly & The Family Stone, Higher! (Epic/Legacy)

A four-disc box celebrating one of the pioneers of funk and R&B. Intriguing tracks from the vault and little-heard mono mixes are complemented by a really striking visual presentation, and a healthy book of liner notes. Amazon U.S. has got a six-track bonus disc with the box, and there’s also a highlights disc for the less curious.

4CD box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
4CD box + bonus disc: Amazon U.S.
8LP box: Amazon U.K.
8LP box + bonus disc: Amazon U.S.
1CD compilation: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Belinda Heaven on Earth DeluxeBelinda Carlisle, Heaven on Earth Runaway Horses Live Your Life Be Free Real: Deluxe Editions (Edsel)

When The Go-Go’s leader went full-on pop, the music world was all the better for it. Belinda’s Virgin discography has now been expanded as 2CD/1DVD sets, Edsel-style.

Heaven on Earth: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Runaway HorsesAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Live Your Life Be FreeAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
RealAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Robert Palmer Pride-RiptideRobert Palmer, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley/Pressure DropSome People Can Do What They Like/Double Fun / Secrets/Clues/Maybe It’s LivePride/Riptide (Edsel)

The Robert Palmer Island Records discography is finally remastered and expanded – not as we’d imagine (as two-fers and one three-fer), but at least this late great is getting the attention he so greatly deserves.

Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley/Pressure Drop: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Some People Can Do What They Like/Double Fun: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Secrets/Clues/Maybe It’s LiveAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Pride/RiptideAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Mario Lanza - Toast of HollywoodMario Lanza, The Toast of Hollywood (Sony Masterworks)

A new two-disc compilation celebrating MGM’s beloved actor-tenor features six previously unreleased recordings. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Dexter Gordon - Daddy Plays the HornOscar Pettiford, Modern Quintet / Chris Connor, Sings Lullabys For Lovers / Dexter Gordon, Daddy Plays The Horn / Charles Mingus, The Jazz Experiments of Charles Mingus / Nina Simone, Little Girl Blue / Booker Ervin, The Book Cooks (Naxos/Bethlehem)

The first of several batches of reissues from the classic Bethlehem label (additional batches are planned through next summer!) are hitting CD, LP and MP3, back in print after too long. (The above link is being updated with full links as they’re available.)

CHIC Vinyl SinglesCHIC, The 12″ Singles Collection (Atlantic/Rhino U.K.)

Ten tracks of disco goodness spanning the entire, immortal partnership of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, on five pieces of vinyl. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Fuel for the FireNaked Eyes, Fuel for the Fire: Expanded Edition (Cherry Pop)

The second and final Naked Eyes LP debuts on CD with rare bonus tracks and unreleased demos for your enjoyment. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Don’t Be a Drag, Participate: Rhino U.K. Represses CHIC Hits on Vinyl

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CHIC Vinyl SinglesIf the summer didn’t have enough Nile Rodgers for you, what with a hand in the summer’s biggest jam and a new double-disc compilation, there’s more good news on the way. Rhino’s U.K. division will release a selection of CHIC sides on vinyl in a new box set at the end of the month.

The 12″ Singles Collection is somewhat of a misnomer, as only one of these five records was really a 12″ single (and it was a reissue at that, pairing the band’s first singles “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)” and “Everybody Dance” onto one piece of wax). But all of these songs were indeed released as singles, including immortal hits “Le Freak,” “I Want Your Love,” “Good Times,” “My Forbidden Lover” and “My Feet Keep Dancing.”

This box even includes two relatively lesser known tracks, in “Hangin’,” from the group’s 1982 album Tongue in CHIC and “CHIC Mystique” from Rodgers and Bernard Edwards’ reunion album CHIC-ism (1992). So it’s sort of its own outsize vinyl greatest hits. Packed in retro-style packaging, with labels and dust jackets that recall the disco era (if not the original Atlantic labels note for note), The 12″ Singles Collection is poised to be a high-end collectible for fans of CHIC and disco music in general.

It’s available in the U.K. August 26 and a week later in America. Hit the jump to check out the specs!

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Written by Mike Duquette

July 30, 2013 at 09:35

Release Round-Up: Week of July 2

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CHIC Up All Night Greatest HitsCHIC and Various Artists, Nile Rodgers Presents The CHIC Organization: Up All Night – The Greatest Hits (Rhino U.K.)

This new double-disc compilation, featuring hits from CHIC, Sister Sledge, Debbie Harry and more, might be the best Nile Rodgers-centric compilation in its price range. (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)

Blood Sweat & Tears - Rare Rarer & RarestBlood Sweat & Tears, Rare, Rarer & Rarest / Joe Farrell Quartet, Joe Farrell Quartet / Herbie Hancock, Treasure Chest / Sha Na Na, The Night is Still Young (Wounded Bird)

A new batch from Wounded Bird includes a compilation of rarities from Blood, Sweat & Tears (featuring, among other things, their soundtrack to The Owl and The Pussycat) and a disc featuring all three of Herbie Hancock’s albums for Warner Bros., before joining Columbia in the ’70s.

Blood, Sweat & Tears: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Joe Farrell Quartet: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Herbie Hancock: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Sha Na Na: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The AssociationThe Association, The Association: Deluxe Expanded Edition (Now Sounds)

The Association’s 1969 album is newly expanded with 10 bonus cuts, including mono mixes and non-LP singles! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Eat a Peach MoFiThe Allman Brothers Band, Eat a Peach / Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde / Foreigner, 4 /Billy Joel, An Innocent Man (SACDs) (Mobile Fidelity)

The latest hybrid SACDs from MoFi.

The Allman Brothers Band: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Bob Dylan: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Foreigner: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Billy Joel: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Hackamore BrickHackamore Brick, One Kiss Leads to Another (CD/LP) / Russ Giguere, Hexagram 16 / The Browns, Complete Pop & Country Hits / Ahmed Abdul Malik, Spellbound / George Braith, Musart / Stan Hunter & Sonny Fortune, Trip on the Strip / Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 22 – Kings Beach Bowl, Kings Beach Lake Tahoe, CA 2/23-2/24/68 / Fire on the Mountain: Reggae Celebrates the Grateful Dead Vols. 1 & 2 (Real Gone Music)

Among the highlights of Real Gone’s release slate this week is the expanded reissue of the long-lost One Kiss Leads to Another by cult Brooklyn band Hackamore Brick.

Los NuggetzVarious Artists, Los Nuggetz: 1960s Punk, Pop, Psychedelic from Latin America (RockBeat)

America and Europe weren’t the only happening scenes in the ’60s, as this new box showcases.

Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah! Rhino U.K. Keeps CHIC Fans “Up All Night” with New Two-Disc Compilation

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CHIC Up All Night Greatest HitsWith CHIC co-founder/co-producer/guitarist Nile Rodgers back in the musical spotlight where he belongs – his distinctive funk guitar anchors Daft Punk’s chart-topping single “Get Lucky,” the arguable song of the summer – Rhino’s U.K. arm has done well to introduce another CHIC-oriented compilation to stores.

Up All Night: The Greatest Hits (cheekily named after a lyric in “Get Lucky”) is more than just a set of tracks by the immortal disco band. Sixteen of the album’s 25 tracks are classics produced by Rodgers and late bassist Bernard Edwards on behalf of The CHIC Organization. These include mega hits by Sister Sledge (“We Are Family,” “He’s the Greatest Dancer”) and Diana Ross (“Upside Down,” “I’m Coming Out”) and awesome deep cuts by Norma Jean (“Saturday”), Debbie Harry (“Backfired”) and Carly Simon (“Why”). The title track to the legendary I Love My Lady, a shelved 1981 album produced by CHIC for Johnny Mathis, also makes an appearance. (Though I Love My Lady has yet to be released in full, several tracks from the sessions turned up on 2010’s Rodgers-assembled CHIC box set, which only came out in France, because the rest of mainland Europe or the U.S. apparently have gone insane.)

In fact, one can easily view this as a double-disc distillation of that box – although we have a few familiar names to thank for this compilation: the set’s been compiled by Wayne A. Dickson of Big Break Records and mastered by Dickson and BBR engineer Nick Robbins, with Christian John Wikane providing liner notes. “You will note that these are all the versions released on 12″ or LP,” Dickson posted on BBR’s Facebook page, “and that the the pitch/speed of the tracks is that of the original vinyl releases and not the slower versions on most CD releases up ’til now.” (On this point, we have retained the supplied timings in the track list.)

Up All Night: The Greatest Hits gets the party started on July 1. After the jump, pre-order your copy and check out the full track list!

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Written by Mike Duquette

June 13, 2013 at 11:44

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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Gold Legion Goes “Koo Koo,” Expands Debbie Harry’s Solo Debut

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Well before she was French kissin’ in the U.S.A., Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry made a big splash with her 1981 solo debut Koo Koo, produced by the ever-busy CHIC Organization team of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. Thirty years later, the Gold Legion label, the same team behind those upcoming Grace Jones reissues, is releasing a newly expanded edition of the set with a new-to-CD bonus track.

In 1981, in the midst of a yearlong hiatus for Blondie (their latest, 1980’s Autoamerican, spawned chart-topping hits in “Rapture” and “The Tide is High”), Harry and boyfriend Chris Stein, Blondie’s guitarist, began a solo project for Harry. To produce, they enlisted Rodgers and Edwards, all of whom made friends recording at New York City’s Power Station. The CHIC Organization was riding high on the production front, having helmed Diana Ross’ massive diana the year before. (They would also record the sessions for Johnny Mathis‘ legendary unreleased album I Love My Lady in 1981.) They assembled the usual gang to back Harry: Rodgers and Edwards on guitar and bass, drummer Tony Thompson, keyboardists Robert Sabino and Raymond Jones and backing vocals from Fonzi Thornton. (Additional background vocals were credited to “Spud and Pud Devo,” who were, in fact, Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale of the band Devo.)

With a striking album sleeve (featuring a brunette Harry) designed by H.R. Giger, the Swiss surrealist whose designs became the fearsome title character of Ridley Scott’s iconic sci-fi/horror film Alien (1979), Koo Koo was a considerable success, ultimately certified as a gold record in the U.S. for over 500,000 units sold. (The album charted at No. 6 in the U.K., considerably higher than the U.S. placement of No. 25.) Rodgers/Edwards-penned singles “Backfired” and “The Jam Was Moving” were moderate chart hits on both sides of the Atlantic.

The album was reissued by Chrysalis/EMI U.K. in 1994, adding the 12″ mixes of the two singles to the track lineup. (A 1999 U.S. reissue on Razor & Tie only kept the remixed “Backfired.”) Gold Legion includes not only both of those tracks, but, for the first time ever on CD, the extended version of album cut “Inner City Spillover,” which backed the U.K. 12″ of “The Jam Was Moving.” A liner notes essay by Christian John Wikane completes the package.

The set will be available October 28, and you can order your copy here. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

October 4, 2011 at 10:33

These Are the Good Times: U.K. Gets New CHIC Compilation, Too

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As if the revelation of a new U.K. compilation for today’s birthday boy Johnny Mathis (with an unreleased track from the CHIC-produced I Love My Lady, no less) wasn’t exciting enough, Edsel’s Music Club Deluxe imprint has also announced a similar set for CHIC themselves – and rarity-seekers are going to be excited.

Magnifique! The Very Best of CHIC captures the greatest hits and album cuts from the inimitable disco band, spanning not only through their biggest period of success from 1977 to 1983 but also including the band’s 1992 comeback album CHIC-ism. (Most of the big hits, including “Le Freak,” “Everybody Dance,” “I Want Your Love” and “My Feet Keep Dancing,” are presented in their original single edits, while others, like “Good Times” and “My Forbidden Lover,” are presented in full.) A few of the edits are relatively rare to CD, including single versions of “CHIC Mystique” and “Your Love” from CHIC-ism and an edit of “You Can Get By,” from the band’s first album, which first appeared on the back of the “Everybody Dance” 7″ single.

The two most exciting tracks for collectors, though, might be the couple of U.K.-only single sides that are rare, if not entirely new, to CD. Disc 1 closes out with an edit of the “MegaCHIC” medley released to promote the U.K compilation of the same name in 1990. Disc 2, meanwhile, features one of the rarest CHIC jewels of all: the instrumental of Carly Simon’s “Why,” a U.K. Top 10 hit from the band’s Soup for One soundtrack, previously only available on the British 12″ single. (A 12″ single released in the U.S. featured a live instrumental version, instead.)

Magnifique!, out in the U.K. next Monday, October 3, might be the perfect soundtrack for your upcoming reading of Nile Rodgers’ new book. Read the track list and find a link to order after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 30, 2011 at 14:08

Posted in CHIC, Compilations, News

Johnny Mathis “Ultimate Collection” Coming to the U.K. with Unheard CHIC Production

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How to encapsulate the career of Johnny Mathis into one compilation?  John Royce Mathis of Gilmer, Texas began his recording career at Columbia Records in 1956, nearly 21 years of age, and with the exception of a 1963-1966 stint at Mercury, he’s remained at the label ever since.  Mathis has embraced jazz, traditional pop, so-called MOR, soul, R&B, disco, dance, gospel, and most recently, country.  In each genre, however, Mathis has brought his romantic vocals and gut instincts as to what makes a classic song.  And he’s introduced plenty of those, some of which are included in the latest “greatest hits” compilation coming from Columbia’s U.K. division.  The Ultimate Collection arrives in the U.K. on October 10, featuring 23 tracks spanning the period of 1957 to 2010, and highlighted by two tracks from CHIC’s legendary “lost” production for Mathis, 1981’s I Love My Lady.  One of these, “Something to Sing About,” surfaced on last year’s The CHIC Organization box set from Warner Music France, while the other, the title song “I Love My Lady,” makes its first appearance anywhere on The Ultimate Collection.  (Four of the album’s eight tracks will now be available with the release of this set.  Might a full edition of the album finally be in the offing?)

Mathis’ long recording career, which to date has produced some 73 charting albums and sales of 350 million records, began in 1956 under the wing of Columbia jazz producer George Avakian.  A switch to the legendary, if controversial, Mitch Miller’s office gave Mathis his first pop hits.  Miller paired him with some of the best ballad arrangers in the business, including Ray Conniff, Ray Ellis, Glenn Osser and Robert Mersey.  Mathis didn’t turn his back on his muse, though, recording 1957’s religious-themed Good Night, Dear Lord, 1959’s guitars-and-voice-only Open Fire, Two Guitars, and 1961’s I’ll Buy You A Star with Nelson Riddle during his run of pop hits.  Like his Columbia contemporary Andy Williams, Mathis’ music has become particularly beloved during the holiday season, when it frequently appears on radio.  Most remarkably, Mathis has continued recording at a solid pace, cutting an album roughly every two years for the past two decades, and continuing to make concert appearances around the world.  He’s also an avid golfer, a supporter of a great many charitable causes, and the recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and three records in the Grammy Hall of Fame (“It’s Not For Me to Say,” “Misty” and “Chances Are”).

What will you find on The Ultimate Collection?  Hit the jump!  We’ve also got a full track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 30, 2011 at 10:17

I Can’t Wait for Saturday! Classic CHIC Production to Receive CD Expansion

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Anyone who knows the story of CHIC (told quite well in last year’s box set and to be told on the printed page in guitarist/producer Nile Rodgers’ memoir in October) knows that their success was not limited to their roles as lead performers but writing and production as well – not just for themselves, but for a host of luminaries from Sister Sledge to Diana Ross.

The first step in that direction, though, was a solo album for CHIC singer Norma Jean Wright, the first extracurricular project produced by Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards. Next month, U.K. label Edsel Records is remastering and expanding the set with a host of bonus cuts, giving fans a chance to discover that early stop on CHIC’s road to massive success. Read all about it below! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

August 30, 2011 at 11:36

Posted in CHIC, News, Norma Jean, Reissues