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Release Round-Up: Week of February 11

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Camper - Our BelovedCamper Van Beethoven, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart/Key Lime Pie: Deluxe Editions (Omnivore)

Omnivore expands both Virgin Records releases from the winning alt-folk group, released in 1988 and 1989.

Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.; LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Key Lime Pie (CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.; LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Def Leppard SlangDef Leppard, Slang: Deluxe Edition (Bludgeon Riffola)

The band’s fan-favorite 1996 album gets a generous deluxe edition treatment with B-sides and unreleased demos.

Amazon U.S.: 2CD / 2LP
Amazon U.K.: 2CD / 2LP

The Organisation of PopVarious Artists, The Art of The 12″, Volume Three The Organisation of Pop: 30 Years of Zang Tuum Tuub / Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Frankie Said: Deluxe Edition (ZTT/Salvo)

New ZTT comps abound this week, including an updated double-disc retrospective for the U.K. (which differs from last year’s U.S. edition on Razor & Tie) and a CD/DVD edition of the latest Frankie best-of.

The Art of The 12″: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Organisation of PopAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Frankie SaidAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Visions of EightHenry Mancini, Visions of Eight: Music from the Original Soundtrack / Sid Ramin, Stiletto: Selections from the Soundtrack (Dutton Vocalion)

Some underrated soundtrack goodness is due from this U.K. label. Stiletto features the song “Sugar in the Rain” as written by Marilyn and Alan Bergman, while Visions of Eight also features Just You and Me Together Love, Mancini’s 1977 collaboration LP with poet Joe Laws.

Mancini: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Ramin: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

WizardVarious Artists, The Wizard of Oz: 75th Anniversary Anthology (Sepia)

Produced through the unintended convenience of U.K. copyright/public domain laws, Sepia provides a neat little “bonus disc” to accompany the immortal soundtrack to the 1939 film. (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.)

Ross Culture FactoryDiana Ross, Ross / The Temptations, All Directions / James Brown, Ain’t It Funky The Popcorn /Rod Stewart, The Rod Stewart Album / The Runaways , Live in Japan  (Culture Factory)

Culture Factory dips into the Motown and James Brown catalogues (among others) for vinyl replica CD reissues.

Diana: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Temptations: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
J.B. Ain’t It Funky: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
J.B. The PopcornAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Rod: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Runaways: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Dusty SACDDusty Springfield, Dusty in Memphis (Stereo Hybrid SACD) (Analogue Productions)

One of the greatest albums of its decade gets the SACD treatment. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Written by Mike Duquette

February 11, 2014 at 08:28

Def Leppard Work It Out with Expanded Edition of “Slang”

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Def Leppard SlangDef Leppard went in a bold new direction for the release of their sixth album Slang in 1996. Now, nearly 20 years later, they’re dusting it off as a long-promised deluxe edition.

Slang came at the end of a very successful period for the British rockers. Over the past decade, the band and producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange created a host of arena-shaking, MTV-ready pop/rock albums, including Pyromania (1983), Hysteria (1987) and Adrenalize (1992) (the latter produced by the band and Mike Shipley and executive produced by Lange). Thirteen Top 10 singles were taken from those albums in the U.S., and many were released on the band’s multiplatinum compilation Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits, in 1995.

After a period of personal trials, including divorce, death and illness, the members of the band – vocalist Joe Elliott, guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell (who’d joined the band after the death of Steve Clark, who succumbed to substance abuse early in the recording of Adrenalize), bassist Rick Savage and drummer Rick Allen – convened in Spain without Lange to record a much more organic, introspective album than its predecessors. (Part of the key to this new formula was a new, acoustic drum kit taken up by Rick Allen, whose iconic drum effects crystallized the band’s early sound.)

The result? An album that, unfortunately, was the beginning of the end of Def Leppard’s commercial hot streak. It was their first album not to go platinum in the U.S., missed the Billboard Top 10 and had few hit singles in any territory (the title track was the highest-charting from the album, managing only No. 17 in the U.K.; in America, none of the songs charted on the Hot 100, though “Work It Out” was a Top 10 Mainstream Rock single). But the band remains partial to the album, issuing outtakes from the Slang sessions as B-sides to the band’s next album, Euphoria, in 1999.

And, as this new reissue on the band’s own Bludgeon Riffola label indicates, there was much experimentation during the album sessions. This two-disc set includes the original album, five previously-released bonus tracks and a disc of 14 unreleased demos, alternate mixes and outtakes.

Slang: Deluxe Edition will be available on three different formats: a double-disc CD edition, a 180-gram double-vinyl set featuring the original album and seven of the 19 bonus tracks included on the CD and a digital edition which will feature “its own set of exclusive songs” (as yet undetermined). A digital Slang Video Collection will feature the original promo videos for “Slang,” “Work It Out” and “All I Ever Wanted.” Everything is available February 11; full bonus track specs and Amazon links are after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

January 23, 2014 at 12:50

Posted in Def Leppard, News, Reissues

Reissue Theory: Queen, “The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert”

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Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we reflect on notable albums and the reissues they could someday see. On an iconic rock star’s birthday, we hope for a concert celebrating his life and work to make it onto CD someday.

On this day, 66 years ago, Farrokh Bulsara was born in Zanzibar. The world would, of course, know him by another name: Freddie Mercury, the iconoclastic frontman for the British hard rock band Queen. Between 1973 and 1991, the band’s idiosyncratic sense of vocal and guitar harmonies, affinity for baroque pop melodies and penchant for studio trickery had earned them a devoted following worldwide. Even as the band moved into the ’80s and adapted both New Wave stylings and MTV-ready visuals to suit their needs, the crowds still went wild; one needs only to watch Mercury’s command performances with Queen at Live Aid in 1985 and London’s Wembley Stadium the following year to understand why.

Of course, we all know the story of Mercury’s has a tragic ending. In 1991, literally hours after announcing his long-hidden battle with AIDS, Mercury would succumb to complications from the disease. Freddie’s life was one of many at the time rightly memorialized to raise awareness and money for AIDS research. Twenty years ago, Freddie bandmates, guitarist Brian May, bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor, united to fight AIDS the best way they could: through rock music. A concert held at Wembley on April 20, 1992 attracted some 72,000 attendees and, thanks to simultaneous live television and radio broadcasts, a worldwide audience of some 1 billion. Mercury’s showman spirit was celebrated by fellow rock gods and contemporaries who guested with Queen during the show, including members of Guns N’ Roses, Extreme, Metallica, Black Sabbath and appearances by David Bowie, Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant and George Michael. All profits from the concert founded The Mercury Phoenix Trust, an AIDS charity still active to this day.

Mercury’s life has been well-celebrated in recent years. This year alone – after a 2011 that saw a flurry of catalogue activity – Island reissued a greatly-expanded edition of Mercury and Montserrat Caballe’s Barcelona this week, with a new Mercury documentary, The Great Pretender, due out on DVD this month and a live Queen show from Hungary being screened theatrically as well. (Mercury even made the transformation to Angry Bird as part of this week’s “Freddie for a Day” event.)

But through all the catalogue celebration, it’s surprising that the landmark concert itself has never been released on CD. We explore further after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 5, 2012 at 16:23

Rumor Mill: More Def Leppard Reissues Coming?

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Tonight I was given an interesting tip from a friend, Kevin Alba of Metal Asylum, concerning a potential next wave of reissues from Def Leppard. According to the story (scroll down a bit more than halfway to read), Japan is getting SHM-CD remasters of the band’s first two albums, On Through the Night (1980) and High and Dry (1981). Now of course this kind of stuff happens all the time, but what makes it interesting is that both sets are supposed to feature bonus discs with as-yet-unannounced material.

In 2006, the band’s 1987 LP Hysteria was given the classic Universal Deluxe Edition treatment, adding a bonus disc filled with B-sides and other bonus tracks. Last June, similar sets were issued for Pyromania (1984) and Adrenalize (1992). Could these SHM-CDs indicate a pair of deluxe editions of the first two Def Leppard records are coming from UMe?

It would benefit hard rock fans nicely; after all, there is a bit of material relevant to these records that could help flesh out the bonus discs (particularly a handful of single-only tracks and remixes as well as an independent EP), and who knows what else could be lurking in the vaults?

As always, keep reading The Second Disc for more info as it comes.

Written by Mike Duquette

February 25, 2010 at 00:48

Posted in Def Leppard, News, Reissues