The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for the ‘Cream’ Category

Special Review: Jack Bruce, “Silver Rails”

with 5 comments

Jack Bruce - Silver RailsAs bassist, songwriter and singer for the power trio Cream, Jack Bruce ensured his place in the classic rock pantheon. Yet in a career spanning over 50 years, Bruce’s time in Cream was incredibly brief: 1966-1968, with two very brief reunions thereafter. That Cream existed for such a short time seems almost unbelievable in light of how influential the band’s music became. But both B.C. and A.C. – Before Cream and After Cream – Jack Bruce has been a working musician. His first studio album since 2003 and fourteenth overall, Silver Rails, has just arrived via the Esoteric Antenna label. As on More Jack Than God, that 2003 release, Bruce is in top form, still searching out fresh, new musical avenues.

Bruce and producer Rob Cass have enlisted a top-notch crew of musicians for Silver Rails – including Cindy Blackman Santana, Robin Trower, John Medeski, and Phil Manzanera – and have left plenty of room in the arrangements for them to breathe. In this context, Bruce’s bass work isn’t flashy but is always, naturally, an integral part of the instrumentation. But even an A-list group of musicians couldn’t shine without the right material. Thankfully, Silver Rails is a mature, consistent collection of well-crafted songs that don’t wear out their welcome.

Lyrically, “looking back” is one of the themes addressed over the album’s ten tracks. But that Silver Rails isn’t an attempt to recapture the glory days of Cream is evident from the very first track. “Candlelight” lopes at a laconic calypso beat, adorned with stabs of brass and John Medeski’s cascading Hammond organ. Bruce is vocally in fine fettle as he pleads “O help us sunshine,” his urgency matched by an unexpected electric guitar solo from Phil Manzanera.

The album’s diverse stylistic palette also takes in progressive rock with the droning verses of “Hidden Cities,” on which Bruce is backed by vocalists Aruba Red, Chantelle Nandi, Julie Iwahete, Uli John Roth and daughter Kyla Bruce.   “Reach for the Night” (a lyric from which – “Now my train can still sing along those silver rails” – inspired the album’s title) is one of seven songs here co-written with longtime collaborator Pete Brown. Jazz has always informed Bruce’s sensibilities, and “Night” is a moody piece of reflection, with the artist speak-singing the vivid if impressionistic lyrics as Derek Nash’s tenor sax lends the appropriate nocturnal ambiance.

Hit the jump for more! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 28, 2014 at 15:08

Posted in Cream, Jack Bruce, News, Reviews

Tagged with

Release Round-Up: Week of July 19

with 2 comments

Ramones, Ramones / Leave Home / Rocket to Russia Road to Ruin (Rhino)

180-gram vinyl reissues of the first four Ramones records! The first 500 to buy them from Rhino directly (as seen in this post) get replica 45s with each album, too. (Official site)

Andrew Wood, Malfunkshun: The Andrew Wood Story (Hip-o Select/A&M)

A late, underrated icon in the early days of grunge gets his due with this triple-disc set, featuring the acclaimed DVD documentary of his life and career (which gives the set its name) plus a remastered and expanded version of Malfunkshun’s first and only full LP with loads of extra bonus songs. (Hip-o Select)

REO Speedwagon, Hi Infidelity: 30th Anniversary Edition (Epic/Legacy)

A full chronicle of the band’s first brush with a softer pop/rock sound (“Keep On Loving You,” “Take It on the Run”), now expanded with a bonus disc of demos. (Official site)

The Beastie Boys, Video Anthology (Criterion)

A reissue of the feature-laded two-disc DVD set first released in 2000. (Official site)

Peter, Paul and Mary, 25th Anniversary Concert (Shout! Factory)

In honor of the band’s 50th anniversary, a blast from the past concert special making its DVD debut. (Amazon – currently an exclusive)

Various Artists, Star Trek: The Next Generation – Volume 1 (La-La Land Records)

Don’t forget, if you’re at San-Diego Comic Con this week (July 21-24), you can purchase this three-disc set of TNG music before it’s available to the general public in August! (La-La Land)

Cream, Rush, The Moody Blues, The Velvet Underground, et al., ICON (UMe)

Yup. (Original post with Amazon links)

Invasion of the Return of the ICON Series

with 8 comments

You know, it took some time, but Universal’s ICON series is really coming into its own. What began as a limply-packaged, uber-budget-oriented series of single-artist compilations – not a patch on the label’s previous 20th Century Masters and Gold series – is really emerging into something unique. It’s just a shame it took this many tries to work out the kinks.

Ha ha ha! Who am I kidding? The newest batch of ICON titles, due for release next Tuesday, July 19, is boring. You have a compilation by John Lee Hooker that leaves off a major song (“Boom Boom”), two reissues of past ICON titles with bonus live discs (Cream and Rush), and inessential compilations from Limp Bizkit, The Velvet Underground and The Moody Blues (the latter of which is available as one or two discs).

But if you’re curious, have at them after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

July 11, 2011 at 11:23

Release Round-Up: Week of June 21

leave a comment »

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)

ICON and On and On

with 7 comments

UPDATE 6/20: With a day before these sets are to hit stores, here’s the post with the track list for the one compilation that hadn’t been confirmed at the time – an incredibly slight collection for Steve Winwood. Just Steve Winwood. Not Traffic or anything else. Make of that what you will.

Original post: The latest batch of ICON titles hasn’t even hit stores yet, but yet another assortment of them has been announced for release next month.

While, as always, there’s not much in the way of rarities on these sets, there are a few artists compiled whose respective works haven’t seen much activity on CD. The Thin Lizzy compilation is interesting in the light of another forthcoming batch of deluxe editions from Universal’s U.K. arm, and the Bill Cosby and Righteous Brothers compilations are particularly welcoming for new fans. On the other side of the spectrum, though, you have a compilation from horrorcore rap group Insane Clown Posse, which only features tracks from the band’s four albums with Island from 1997 to 2000 (some Juggalo haters would argue that’s not all that’s wrong with this set), as well as an as-yet-trackless entry for Steve Winwood, whose Revolutions compilation came out just under a year ago.

If you’re interested, they’re all out on June 21 and can be ordered at Amazon (note that the page of “coming soon” titles still has listings for the last batch we reported on, due out next Tuesday). Hit the jump for the track lists (except the Winwood set, of course – we’ll update this post once that list comes over the line). Read the rest of this entry »