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Archive for the ‘Curt Smith’ Category

Curt Was Mayfield – and Now It’s Reissued

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Here’s an under-the-radar catalogue release for your consideration this week: a reissue of Mayfield, a nice little solo album by Curt Smith, one-half of synth-rock legends Tears for Fears.

Unless you’re a major ’80s pop geek, you’d probably be okay with having no idea who made up the membership of Tears for Fears. But most of our readers probably know that singer/guitarist Roland Orzabal and singer/bassist Curt Smith made the nucleus of the band that gave us “Mad World,” “Shout,” “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Sowing the Seeds of Love” during the ’80s before seemingly disappearing from the radar in the 1990s.

Of course, that’s simply not the case, either. Orzabal and Smith had an acrimonious falling out, likely brought upon by the stress of consistent recording and touring for a decade (essentially since the end of both mens’ teenage years). Orzabal pushed on with the TFF moniker, releasing two incredibly underrated albums in the mid-’90s, while Smith released one all-but-forgotten album in the U.K. in 1993, reportedly to fulfill the remainder of his contract with PolyGram.

But before TFF ultimately reunited in the mid-2000s (and continue to tour overseas), Smith did engage in some musical experiments on his own. One of them was Mayfield, a 1998 project that saw Smith fronting a modest live band. (This ensemble was the first of many collaborations between Smith and guitarist Charlton Pettus, who co-wrote all of Mayfield‘s songs and worked on Tears for Fears’ Everybody Loves a Happy Ending in 2004.) As Smith himself remarks in the liner notes of the reissue, “The premise was to not use my name…and just try to rediscover the joys of playing music live.”

The record, reissued on Smith’s own KOOK Media (partly, as he admits, to satiate both fan demand and to make some money off the album, the original distributor having long since shuttered), features new artwork and one bonus track, a re-recording of the original album’s “Trees” with vocal instrumentalist Janice Whaley (best known for her work as The Smiths Project, a fascinating, a cappella cover of The Smiths’ entire discography).

The album is available through all digital retailers now, and is physically available through Amazon U.S. as a disc-on-demand title. Smith will also announce a deluxe bundle edition later this month.

You know where to find the track list.

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Written by Mike Duquette

November 16, 2011 at 13:40

The Weekend Wround-Up: Twisted Sister, Mayfield Updates and More

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  • Curt Smith, vocalist/bassist for Tears for Fears, is set to reissue one of his earlier solo projects this summer. Mayfield (1998) was Smith’s second album, recorded under the same name as the record (Curt is Mayfield – get it?). It’ll feature a new track, a new recording of the song “Trees.” Smith talks about the album and other projects in this interview with social networking site Flavors.
  • Demon Music Group’s Harmless imprint is releasing another compilation of rare grooves mixed by one Tom Moulton. Some of the disco legend’s earliest works are covered here, some obscure (First Choice, The Quickest Way Out), others less so (the Loose Change and TJM albums were recently reissued by Big Break Records). The track list is after the jump of this post.
  • Looking for some more background on the deluxe edition of Twisted Sister’s Under the BladeAddicted to Vinyl has you covered.
  • Here’s one we totally overlooked from our friends at MusicTAP: this Tuesday, Virgin is reissuing Australian rockers Sick Puppies’ latest album, 2009’s Tri-Polar. The album will be expanded with a bonus disc featuring this year’s unplugged EP Polar Opposite, three non-LP B-sides and a new track. That’s quite a package!
  • And finally, some music geek-intensive notes you may have missed: check out the Library of Congress’ National Jukebox, which features rare masters owned by Sony Music from their entire catalogue (Columbia, OKeh, Victor and other labels) up to 1925. And Rhino’s famed RMAT (Rhino Musical Aptitude Test), issued to record stores across the country long ago, is back as an app! Better get those trivia muscles flexing; it looks like there’ll be a contest soon… Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

May 15, 2011 at 14:11