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Release Round-Up: Week of July 23

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Otis Redding - Stax-Volt OpenOtis Redding, The Complete Stax/Volt Singles (Shout! Factory)

A triple-disc set featuring every one of Otis’ single sides in mono – a striking statement on a short but iconic soul career. (Amazon U.S.)

The Aeroplane Flies HighSmashing Pumpkins, The Aeroplane Flies High: Deluxe Edition (Virgin/UMe)

The Pumpkins’ 1996 box set of Mellon Collie-era singles is massively expanded, with bonus tracks on each of the five original discs and an unreleased live CD and DVD.

CD box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Dionne - Just Being MyselfDionne Warwick, second wave of expanded reissues (Rhino/WEA Japan)

This week, 11 Dionne Warwick titles come out on CD in Japan; three of these titles, released between 1969 and 1977, are making their CD debuts, and nearly all of the titles feature bonus tracks! (The order links are in the post linked above.)

Ella BBCElla Fitzgerald, The Best of the BBC Vaults (Universal)

This CD/DVD set, released as an import in 2010, features four complete shows from 1965 to 1977, newly unearthed and released to video, and a disc of audio highlights from the same sets. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Buckaroos Play Buck and MerleThe Buckaroos, The Buckaroos Play Buck and Merle / Don Rich and The Buckaroos, That Fiddlin’ Man (Omnivore)

It’s back to Bakersfield for Omnivore with two new sets featuring Buck Owens’ iconic band: Play Buck and Merle collects The Buck Owens Songbook (1965) and The Songs of Merle Haggard (1971) on one disc, while That Fiddlin’ Man (1971) appears on CD for the first time.

Play Buck and Merle: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
That Fiddlin’ Man: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The Idolmaker OSTThe Idolmaker: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Varese Sarabande)

The cult classic film, directed by Taylor Hackford and featuring original songs written by Jeff Barry, sees its soundtrack released on CD for the first time. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Darlene Love, Nino Tempo, The Sweet Inspirations Feature On Jeff Barry’s “The Idolmaker” Soundtrack

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The Idolmaker OSTPerhaps the time just wasn’t right for The Idolmaker.  Director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman, Ray) made his feature-length motion picture debut with the 1980 film based on the life of Philadelphia impresario Bob Marcucci, enlisting Ray Sharkey to play the fictionalized manager Vincent Vacari.  In reality, Marcucci had discovered Frankie Avalon and Fabian; in the film, the teen idols were Tommy Dee (Paul Land) and Caesare (Peter Gallagher).  The United Artists picture received some plaudits for its tale of a rock-and-roll Svengali, including from Roger Ebert.  The future At the Movies host called it “not a dazzlingly original idea, but [one that] understands its passions well enough to entertain us with them.”  It also was the recipient of a Golden Globe nomination for Best Musical or Comedy, but it underperformed at the box office.  The 1950s nostalgia wave brought on by American Graffiti was already a thing of the past.  In the years since, The Idolmaker has become a minor cult classic, and now, its original A&M Records soundtrack album written and produced by Jeff Barry is finally on CD from Varese Sarabande Records.

Hackford first approached Phil Spector to score The Idolmaker, but when the one-time First Tycoon of Teen was unable to complete the project, Hackford turned to Spector’s old friend and collaborator Jeff Barry.  Reportedly, little did the director know that Spector had already contacted Barry about working with him on the movie!  The co-writer, with Ellie Greenwich, of such hits as “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Leader of the Pack” in turn enlisted two talents associated with Spector – Darlene Love and Nino Tempo – as well as The Sweet Inspirations to craft a score that would also feature the film’s stars.  Peter Gallagher, future star of the Broadway musical Guys and Dolls, provided his own vocals for the role of Caesare, warbling “Baby” and “However Dark the Night.”  As Vacari, Ray Sharkey performed his character’s “I Believe It Can Be Done.”  Paul Land, portraying Tommy Dee, was deemed not to have a strong enough voice, and was dubbed by Jesse Frederick for the double-sided hit depicted in the film, “Here is My Love” and “Sweet Little Lover.”

Hit the jump for more, including the track listing and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 22, 2013 at 09:03

Release Round-Up: Week of June 18

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Patty Duke - ValleyPatty Duke, Don’t Just Stand There/Patty / Sings Songs from Valley of the Dolls/Sings Folk Songs (Time to Move On) (Real Gone Music)

All four of Patty’s United Artists albums released on a pair of two-fers, including 1968’s unreleased Sings Folk Songs.

Supremes - Cream of the Crop Paper SleeveThe Supremes, Cream of the Crop / Love Child / I Hear a Symphony / Join the Temptations / Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland / Supremes A Go-Go (Motown MS 649, 1966) (Culture Factory)

A bunch of Supremes classics – six albums from 1966’s The Supremes A Go-Go to 1969’s Cream of the Crop, their last with Diana Ross – all get the mini-LP treatment from Culture Factory.

Evening with Diana Ross

Diana Ross, The Boss /An Evening with Diana Ross (Culture Factory)

Culture Factory also brings Miss Ross’ long out-of-print concert disc back to CD, along with a new, mini-LP edition of the Ashford and Simpson-helmed favorite The Boss.

JULIA FORDHAM SweptJulia Fordham, Porcelain / Swept: Deluxe Editions (Cherry Pop)

The second and third LPs by U.K. singer Julia Fordham are expanded and remastered for the first time.

Porcelain: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
Swept: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.

20 Feet from StardomVarious Artists, 20 Feet from Stardom: Music from the Motion Picture (Columbia)

The soundtrack to the anticipated new documentary about the best backup singers you might not have known, from Darlene Love to Merry Clayton. (Legacy’s releasing Clayton’s first-ever best-of compilation next month.) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Paul Young RRPaul Young, Remixes and Rarities (Cherry Pop)

Two discs of rare or new-to-CD bonus material from the ’80s crooner. (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)

Woody 100 ConcertVarious Artists, Woody Guthrie at 100! Live at the Kennedy Center (Legacy)

Not sure if this concert kills fascists, but this CD/DVD tribute to a folk legend, featuring John Mellencamp, Lucinda Williams, Rosanne Cash and more is a fitting way to honor one of the century’s best songwriters. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Leaders of the Pack: Ace Celebrates Legendary Songwriters Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry

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The union of Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry was a brief one.  Married in 1962, the same year that they began a songwriting partnership, they were divorced in 1965.  Their professional partnership only continued for a short time thereafter.  Yet to this day, the team of Greenwich and Barry is spoken of in the same breath as two other successful Brill Building husband-and-wife teams, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (married 1961, still going strong!) and Gerry Goffin and Carole King (married 1959, divorced 1968).  Why?  Their songs remain some of the most perfect expressions of youth ever written, and most of them are just plain fun.  By the numbers, Greenwich and Barry saw 17 of their songs make the pop charts in 1964 alone, with a total of five chart-toppers in their career.  A total of 25 of their songs went gold or platinum.  Ace Records has just celebrated the Greenwich and Barry catalogue with a second volume of classic songs from the duo.  Following 2008’s Do-Wah-Diddy: Words and Music by Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry comes the new release Da Doo Ron Ron: More from the Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry Songbook.  This comprehensive 24-track anthology includes many of the team’s hit songs in their original renditions as well as a choice sampling of true rarities and underrated covers.

Both natives of Brooklyn, New York, Greenwich (1940-2009) and Barry (1938-) met at a family get-together.  Actually distant relatives by marriage, both youngsters played piano and wrote songs.  Unlike many of their Brill Building contemporaries, both Greenwich and Barry were equally adept at composing and lyric-writing, so they would frequently share those duties on their compositions.  They consummated their partnership personally and professionally in 1962 although both initially continued to work with other songwriting partners.  Greenwich wrote two of producer Phil Spector’s Top 40 hits with Tony Powers:  Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans’ “Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts?” and Darlene Love’s “(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry.”  For his part, Jeff Barry wrote “Tell Laura I Love Her” with Ben Raleigh, and saw the “death disc” climb all the way to No. 1 in 1960 on both sides of the Atlantic.  Ray Peterson scored the hit in the United States, and Ricky Valance in the United Kingdom!  Barry’s self-penned “Teenage Sonata” was also a No. 22 U.S. R&B success in the hands of Sam Cooke.  But when they joined forces, Greenwich and Barry soon proved unstoppable.

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller united them professionally in 1962, providing cubicles in the Trio Music offices at the Brill Building.  Ellie and Jeff’s collaboration with Leiber and Stoller would lead them to the duo’s Red Bird Records, but first they scored more smash hits with Phil Spector.  Four 1963 classics from the Spector/Greenwich/Barry team all appear on Ace’s new anthology, and all are immortal examples of how the team defined the sound of then-current pop music: The Ronettes’ “Baby I Love You,” Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans’ “Not Too Young to Get Married,” Darlene Love’s “Wait ‘til My Bobby Gets Home” and The Crystals’ “Da Doo Ron Ron.”  That same year, Spector attempted a song called “Chapel of Love,” co-written with Greenwich and Barry, on both Darlene Love and the Ronettes.  He wasn’t happy with either version, though, and so both recordings sat on the shelf.  The song caught the ear of Leiber and Stoller.  The former hated it and the latter liked it, but the third principal of the new Red Bird label, George Goldner, smelled a hit.  And his nose didn’t lie!  When “Chapel of Love” was released in April 1964 by New Orleans girl group The Dixie Cups, it knocked the Beatles out of the top spot on the U.S. pop charts.  It was Red Bird’s first single and the company’s first hit, but it wouldn’t be its last penned by Greenwich and Barry.  The team was largely responsible for 15 hits out of Red Bird’s first 20 releases!

What will you find on this ace anthology from Ace?  Just hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 24, 2012 at 09:49

Review: Phil Spector, “The Philles Album Collection” and “The Essential Phil Spector”

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Whoa-oh, a-whoa-oh-oh-oh!

Think of The Ronettes’ wail, every bit as iconic a cry as a-whop-bop-a-loo-a-whop-bam-boom.  Doesn’t rock and roll have a way of elevating onomatopoeia to poetry?  And no label made sweeter poetry in the first half of the 1960s than Philles Records.  The voices of Ronnie Spector, Darlene Love, La La Brooks, Barbara Alston and the rest spoke directly to America’s teenagers.  These women, alternately vulnerable and defiant, were little more than girls when they began putting their voices to the “little symphonies” being crafted by producer Phil Spector and his house arrangers, most notably Jack Nitzsche.  Tom Wolfe once famously deemed Spector “America’s first teen-age tycoon.”  Why?  Spector recognized the paradigm shift in the late 1950s, when teenagers began accruing disposable income and exercising newfound spending power.  He tapped into uncharted territory.  Cole Porter and Irving Berlin weren’t writing songs about teenagers.  Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil were.  Like Spector, they were barely out of their teen years themselves.  The songs they created at Philles remain both of a distinct time, and timeless.  It’s those songs that are celebrated on Legacy Recordings’ 7-CD box set The Philles Album Collection (Phil Spector Records/Legacy 88697 92782-2).

So why an album collection, when the producer famously derided albums in favor of singles?  These albums do little to dissuade the notion that Spector was a great, perhaps the great, singles producer.  He reportedly paid little attention to the long-players bearing his imprint.  But if an album is viewed as a collection of great songs, it’s impossible to argue with the success of these platters.  There’s little doubt, too, that the producer’s ethos was on-the-money, viewed from the present music climate which has shifted back to an emphasis on singles.  The Philles Album Collection marks the very first time that any of its six albums have been released on CD in their original configurations, and for that alone, it would be noteworthy.  Each album is housed in an attractive, sturdy mini-LP jacket.  Its seventh disc is even more exotic, though: a bonus disc of offbeat, B-side instrumentals that accompanied some of these songs for single release.  Spector took the art of recycling tracks, album-to-album, to a new level; there’s frequent repetition among these discs that doesn’t make for ideal consecutive listening and may be frustrating for some.  But Spector and co. could have had little idea that, nearly fifty years later, listeners would be revisiting these long-players in one sitting.

Phil Spector was still producing outside artists when he launched Philles with Lester Sill; in 1962 he produced the hit “Second Hand Love” for Connie Francis at MGM after a string of hit recordings for Gene Pitney, Ray Peterson, Curtis Lee, the Paris Sisters and other notables.  The Philles Album Collection begins, appropriately enough, with the girl group that graced the label’s first album and single, The Crystals, led by Barbara Alston.

Hit the jump, and it’s 1962!   You’ve just put The Crystals Twist Uptown onto your new turntable! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 25, 2011 at 12:58

FINAL UPDATE 8/4: “Phil Spector Presents the Philles Album Collection” and “Essential Phil Spector” Due From Legacy

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Well, get a load of that!  This is the photo I’ve been waiting for – and if you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been waiting with bated breath, too!  As of August 4, we have official confirmation that Legacy’s Phil Spector Presents the Philles Album Collection is, indeed, coming on October 18, along with a two-disc retrospective as part of the label’s long-running Essential series.

Most purchasers of Legacy’s first wave of Philles Records reissues last February took immediate notice of a full-color insert which promised a most exciting June release sure to grab everyone’s attention: Phil Spector Presents the Philles Album Collection.  Though the June release date came and went, the box was far from the back burner.  The Philles Album Collection features six original albums, none of which have ever appeared on CD before.  All have been newly remastered, and they represent six of the first seven LPs released on the label. (Philles 4005, of course, is A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, which has already seen release in Legacy’s new Philles program.) A seventh bonus disc is entitled Phil’s Flipsides, and compiles seventeen in-demand, long-unheard instrumental B-sides by “The Phil Spector Wall of Sound Orchestra,” meaning the Los Angeles “Wrecking Crew” at their finest!  Many of Spector’s collaborators are even name-checked as the titles to these wild instrumentals: Sonny Bono, Larry Levine, Hal Blaine and Nino Tempo are just a few.

The six original titles are The Crystals’ Twist Uptown (Philles 4000) and He’s a Rebel (Philles 4001), Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans’ Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah (Philles 4002), The Crystals’ Sing the Greatest Hits Volume One (Philles 4003), the various artists compilation Today’s Hits (Philles 4004) and Presenting The Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica (Philles 4006). Many of the songs on these LPs have never appeared legitimately on CD, and songwriters include Brill Building legends like Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, Gene Pitney, Doc Pomus and Spector himself. The “Wrecking Crew” worked their magic instrumentally on the Gold Star-recorded tracks (some of the earliest Crystals tracks were actually cut in New York’s Mira Sound Studios), and among the vocalists featured are Darlene Love, Bobby Sheen, La La Brooks, Fanita James and Ronnie Spector. This is truly the crème de la crème. Hit the jump for more, including all track listings! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 4, 2011 at 14:20

Crossing the Pond: “London American Label 1963” Spotlights Spector and More

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It’s 1963. Imagine a label that counted Roy Orbison, Darlene Love, James Brown, The Drifters and Jerry Lee Lewis all among its artists. While such an array of talent never convened under one roof in America, it was a very different story in the United Kingdom. The U.K.’s  Decca Record Company indeed brought all of those artists, and more, under the umbrella of its London American label. London American delivered the best in American pop, R&B and rock and roll to British audiences. Ace is another British label bringing the best of American music to its listeners, so it seems fitting that the label is in the midst of an ambitious series celebrating the London American legacy. The London American Label Year by Year: 1963 is the fifth volume in the series, which isn’t being released chronologically. It’s available in the United Kingdom and expected to hit stores on our shores any day now.

The London label first appeared in America in 1934 representing British Decca’s operations in America. Back in Britain, the London logo made its debut in 1949 releasing material from its American counterpart, but also from early U.S. independent labels. It was in 1954 that a new prefix (HL) and numbering system (8001) was introduced, and it’s this series that is the focus of the Ace compilations. Some American hit records appeared on EMI’s Columbia, Parlophone and HMV labels, but the cream of the crop was usually on London.

Dedicated readers of The Second Disc know that 1963 may have been the year of Phil Spector. In England, however, it wasn’t the Philles label that boasted Darlene Love, The Crystals and The Ronettes, but rather, the London American label. While controlled by ABKCO, Philles recordings had long been unavailable for various artists compilations.  Since the acquisition of the license to the catalogue by Sony Music Entertainment, the vaults have been opened to labels like Ace. (One wonders if the label is considering an updated Darlene Love anthology; Ace’s So Much Love was a fantastic overview of Love’s career, but couldn’t include any of her most famous sides. Now, inclusion of the Spector-produced tracks would likely be possible.)

Ace producer Mick Patrick drops an interesting tidbit about this volume: “The inclusion of Darlene Love’s ‘A Fine Fine Boy’ here marks the first time the original 45 version has been legally available on CD. (All other digital issues contain a re-edit that is the result of irreparable damage to the original master.)” In addition to that track, Year by Year: 1963 also includes The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” The Crystals’ “Then He Kissed Me” and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans’ “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” Of those songs, all but “Zip” were co-written by Spector with Ellie Greenwich and her husband Jeff Barry. The famed Greenwich and Barry team appears elsewhere on Ace’s new volume, with Ray Peterson’s “death disc” “Give Us Your Blessing” and the Raindrops’ “What a Guy.” (Ellie and Jeff actually were The Raindrops!)

Who else appears on this volume? Hit the jump for more, plus the complete track listing with discography! Read the rest of this entry »

Review: The Crystals, The Ronettes and Darlene Love: “The Very Best Of”

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If Phil Spector didn’t exist, someone would have had to invent him. Spector scored his first chart-topper as writer, artist and arranger in 1958 with “To Know Him is to Love Him” performed his by group, the Teddy Bears. But a 1960 apprenticeship with famed songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller convinced the ambitious young man that his future was behind the scenes as a producer. (His 1960 stint with Leiber and Stoller also yielded “Spanish Harlem,” which Spector co-wrote with Leiber.) With Lester Sill, he founded Philles (Phil + Les) Records in 1961 and began a streak of hits that set the charts – and the music business – ablaze. Spector cannily called on the top-tier writing talent in New York’s Brill Building scene even while recording in Los Angeles; by 1964, Sill was out of the picture and Tom Wolfe was profiling Spector as “the first tycoon of teen.” The rich Philles Records catalogue conclusively proves that the period between the initial burst of rock-and-roll and the British Invasion wasn’t a moribund one for music; quite the contrary.  Legacy has launched the first major salvo in its Philles reissue campaign with four new Spector-produced collections. Mike has already filled you in on Wall of Sound: The Very Best of Phil Spector 1961-1966, but how do Da Doo Ron Ron: The Very Best of The Crystals, Sound of Love: The Very Best of Darlene Love and Be My Baby: The Very Best of The Ronettes stack up?

Da Doo Ron Ron (Phil Spector Records/Legacy 88697 61288-2) is the perfect starting point for those curious about just how individual blocks were built into a mighty Wall of Sound. (Among these blocks?  Echo, orchestration, many instruments playing in unison, a vocal in the foreground.)  Roughly half of the collection’s tracks were recorded at New York’s Mira Sound Studios, before Spector had perfected his style in the studios of California, primarily Gold Star. In this nascent state, the influence of Leiber and Stoller is much more evident, particularly their groundbreaking production of The Drifters’ “There Goes My Baby,” widely recognized as the first R&B song to apply classical textures via its string arrangement. The contribution of the unsung Arnold Goland should be recognized; while the Wall of Sound found its fullest expression with Jack Nitzsche’s widescreen orchestrations, Nitzsche owed a debt to Goland’s work heard here on “There’s No Other Like My Baby,” “Oh Yeah, Maybe Baby,” and the two most unnerving songs included here, “He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)” and “Please Hurt Me.”  It’s hard to discuss this set without mention of “He Hit Me,” a song that was controversial then and equally distressing now as a picture of an abuse victim. It came from the pen of Carole King and Gerry Goffin, as did the eyebrow-raising “Please Hurt Me.” A trilogy seems to have been formed also including “No One Ever Tells You,” written by Goffin, King and Spector. Barbara Alston’s understated leads and Spector’s dramatic productions have allowed these songs to powerfully endure even today.

The Very Best of the Crystals kicks into high gear with the Gene Pitney-penned “He’s a Rebel,” not coincidentally the first Jack Nitzsche arrangement heard here and the first Gold Star-recorded track of the collection. Most ironically, though, the song wasn’t actually by The Crystals! Group members including Alston and La La Brooks were shocked to find Darlene Love singing lead on a track credited to the group. Love makes her presence felt on “Rebel” and on Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil’s “He’s Sure the Boy I Love.” Spector correctly reasoned that her sass and insouciance were right for these songs and their ever-bigger productions. Good as they are, even more exciting is the sophisticated “Then He Kissed Me,” written by Spector with Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. Just listen to those strings, the castanets and Latin-accented percussion, and those bleating horns, all adding up to one stirring, dense whole.

There are plenty of other lesser-known tracks that make this an essential purchase, too. The U.K.-only release “I Wonder” was another grandiose track, making it all the more unbelievable that the song was initially held back. Surf-inspired guitar highlights the rocking, up-tempo “All Grown Up,” with a theme similar to the one explored by Spector disciple Brian Wilson in The Beach Boys’ “When I Grow Up (To Be a Man).” The collection’s sole unreleased track, “Woman in Love (with You),” is a Spector/Mann/Weil song with a stunning lead from La La Brooks, the same singer who made the nonsense lyrics of “Da Doo Ron Ron” sound so sensible as an expression of youthful love. This song is quintessential Spector, and I’m left hungry for more unreleased Philles cuts.  Hit the jump to continue with new anthologies from The Ronettes and Darlene Love! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 22, 2011 at 15:58

Review: Various Artists, “Wall of Sound: The Very Best of Phil Spector 1961-1966”

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In another time, in another place, I would not be writing this review of Legacy’s new Phil Spector compilation with a slight pang of melancholy. And you wouldn’t be reading it with the possible tug at the heartsrings you might face now. Phil Spector was one of the most significant pop producers of the 20th century – a creator of pop music as a blissful, romantic, universal commodity – but recent events have ensured that anyone who speaks his name today does so with hesitation, with knowledge of something too awful to comprehend, a bastardization of the all-reaching control he had on the records he produced.

The first time a label lovingly presented Spector’s work on CD, with the immortal box set Back to Mono (ABKCO 7118-2, 1991), Spector was a darkly obsessive genius, and only that. We’d all known the stories of his less savory encounters while producing late-period works for Leonard Cohen or The Ramones, but the four-disc set was a revelation, introducing the Wall of Sound – that simple-yet-complex conglomerate of musicians towering and bouncing off the listener from one glorious channel of sound – to a new generation of listeners. Now, some 20 years later, with increasing amounts of teens and young adults too enamored of instant-gratification culture, we have the chance to revisit these perfect pop offerings. The times have changed, and certainly our perception of Spector has changed, too. But do these tunes stack up as sweetly as they once did? We’ll discuss more after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

February 22, 2011 at 15:46

Release Round-Up: Week of February 22

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Johnny Cash, Bootleg 2: From Memphis to Hollywood (Columbia/Legacy)

Rarities from the Man in Black, including rare radio performances, demos and single sides. (Official site)

Various Artists, Wall of Sound: The Very Best of Phil Spector / The Ronettes, Be My Baby: The Very Best of the Ronettes / The Crystals, Da Doo Ron Ron: The Very Best of The Crystals / Darlene Love, The Sound of Love: The Very Best of Darlene Love (Phil Spector Records/Legacy)

Legacy finally gets things going with their license of the Philles Records catalogue with four compilations that will take you back to mono. (Reviews will be up later today!) (Amazon: Spector, Ronettes, Crystals, Darlene Love)

Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Live at Nassau Coliseum ’76 (Shout! Factory)

The first-ever release of this widely-bootlegged ELP show. (Shout! Factory)

The Flying Burrito Brothers, Authorized Bootleg: Filmore East, New York, N.Y. – Late Show, November 7, 1970 (A&M/Hip-o Select)

Another live release from a beloved band of the ’70s. There’s no Gram Parsons, but there’s still a pretty good live set herein. (Hip-o Select)

The Monkees, The Monkees / More of The Monkees / Headquarters / Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd. (Rhino) and The Bee Gees, Bee Gees 1st / Horizontal / Idea (Rhino)

Straight reissues of these records from the latest digital remasters. Nothing to see here unless you need a quick fix. (Amazon: Monkees, Bee Gees)