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Culture Factory Reveals “Supreme” Slate with Motown, James Taylor, Robert Palmer and More [UPDATED]

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Supremes - Cream of the Crop Paper SleeveUPDATE: In the days since this article has been posted, Culture Factory has revised the street dates for all of the titles mentioned here.  See below for corrected information as of March 28, 2013.

ORIGINAL POST OF 3/25: Since its inaugural wave of releases in 2011, the Culture Factory label has carved out a niche in the catalogue field. Artists such as Robert Palmer, Hot Tuna, Paul Williams, Bob Welch, The Flamin’ Groovies, Sylvie Vartan, Rare Earth and The Motels are all among the recipients of the Culture Factory treatment. The label’s modus operandi finds the original album with no bonus tracks or additional liner notes packaged in a Japanese-style paper sleeves with an OBI strip. The CD label itself resembles black vinyl with period label art. All discs are remastered with 96 kHz/24-bit technology (although playback in that high resolution is not possible as these are standard “redbook”44/16 compact discs playable in all units). The next waves of releases from Culture Factory widen the label’s scope further, with campaigns dedicated to a classic singer-songwriter, some diverse and well-chosen rockers, and perhaps most tantalizingly, choice offerings from the “Sound of Young America.”

On April 30, Culture Factory will reissue two albums from West, Bruce and Laing, another two from Walter Egan, and a trio of titles from James Taylor.  Amped-up blues-rock was the order of the day when Jack Bruce of Cream joined forces with Leslie West and Corky Laing of Mountain to form a new power trio.  The union was short-lived but burned brightly; Clive Davis recalled fierce competition in signing the band to CBS/Columbia.  West, Bruce and Laing ultimately recorded just three albums (two in the studio, and one live) before disbanding, though Jack Bruce’s son Malcolm replaced his dad in a revised band line-up years later, in 2009.  WB&L’s second studio album, 1973’s Whatever Turns You On, and the 1974 live album/swansong Live ‘n’ Kickin’ have both been selected for the Culture Factory treatment.

1977’s Fundamental Roll and 1978’s Not Shy kicked off the career of singer-songwriter Walter EganNot Shy was co-produced by Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham and Richard Dashut and yielded the gold-selling single “Magnet and Steel,” for which Egan is still best known today.  “Magnet and Steel” was, of course, inspired by Stevie Nicks.  She sang background vocals on the song, and had worked with Buckingham and Egan on Fundamental Roll.

James Taylor - JT Paper SleeveJames Taylor’s first three albums for Columbia round out Culture Factory’s April 30 slate.  1977’s JT was nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy, and Taylor picked up the trophy for his sublime revival of Otis Blackwell and Jimmy Jones’ “Handy Man.”  Other highlights include the upbeat “Your Smiling Face” and reflective “Secret o’ Life.”  JT followed JT with 1979’s Flag, which included his two songs for the Broadway musical Working (“Millworker” and “Brother Trucker”) as well as covers of The Beatles’ “Day Tripper” and Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Up on the Roof.”  The latter became a Top 30 U.S. hit and is still a signature song for Taylor.  1981’s Dad Loves His Work introduced the No. 1 Pop single duet with co-writer J.D. Souther, “Her Town, Too.”

After the jump: the lowdown on titles from Robert Palmer, the New York Dolls, Edgar Winter, .38 Special, and a certain Miss Ross!  Plus: pre-order links for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 28, 2013 at 13:04