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Release Round-Up: Weeks of December 17 and 24

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With the last two weeks of the year so light on catalogue titles, we figured we’d combine it all into one post. Below you’ll find two new titles for this week, and two for the next!

Pogues 30 packshotThe Pogues, 30 Years (Rhino U.K.)

Here, in one box, is all of the Irish folk-rockers’ original albums, including new mixes of debut Red Roses for Me and Peace and Love, plus a bonus unreleased live show from 1991 with Joe Strummer of The Clash assuming lead vocal duties. (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)

Excitable Boy SACDBoz Scaggs, Boz Scaggs (Hybrid SACD – DSD) / Warren Zevon, Excitable Boy (Hybrid SACD – DSD) (Audio Fidelity)

Two new audiophile titles, mastered by Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman, respectively.

1YES_StudioAlbums_CoverYes, The Studio Albums (Rhino)

A collection of all of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-nominated prog group’s studio albums for Atlantic/ATCO, featuring the remastered and expanded presentations from 2003-2004 and the 2009 expanded remaster of 1987’s Big Generator, previously released only in Japan. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

American HustleVarious Artists, American Hustle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Legacy)

The soundtrack to this highly-anticipated, award-contender drama from David O. Russell (director of last year’s excellent Silver Linings Playbook) features, among other period pop/rock tracks, including a re-recorded version of Electric Light Orchestra’s “10538 Overture,” the Japan-only Zoom bonus track “Long Black Road” (left off the last remaster) and a new Jeff Lynne track, “Stream of Stars.”

Written by Mike Duquette

December 17, 2013 at 08:06

Release Round-Up: Week of April 23

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Kaya DeluxeBob Marley & The Wailers, Kaya: 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Island/Tuff Gong/UMe)

A newly-remastered deluxe version of Marley’s follow-up to Exodus, featuring the bonus track “Smile Jamaica” and an unreleased live show. A vinyl edition includes the regular album and the bonus track.

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

ELO - Zoom RevisedElectric Light Orchestra, Zoom / Live / Jeff Lynne, Armchair Theatre (Frontiers)

ELO’s 2001 album Zoom, and a subsequent set from a tour to promote the album, will be reissued on CD alongside band frontman Jeff Lynne’s solo album from 1990. All three will include unreleased bonus tracks.

ZoomAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LiveAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Armchair Theatre
Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Written by Mike Duquette

April 23, 2013 at 08:00

“Do Ya” Want More Reissues From Electric Light Orchestra and Jeff Lynne? Three Titles Set for April

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ELO Live 2013April might as well be known as The Month of Electric Light Orchestra, as the group’s pioneering frontman, producer, arranger and songwriter Jeff Lynne has announced three new catalogue projects due in the U.S. on April 23 and in the U.K. on April 22.  We’ve updated our original post of October 5, 2012 with new information including full track listings and details on each of the three upcoming, bonus-packed releases!

UPDATED ORIGINAL POST OF 10/5/12: The wait is over.  Though Electric Light Orchestra’s leader, co-founder and overall studio wizard Jeff Lynne has busied himself in recent years producing hits for artists including Regina Spektor, Joe Walsh and his fellow Traveling Wilburys Tom Petty and the late George Harrison, he hasn’t released any new solo music since 1990’s Armchair Theatre.  On Tuesday, that will change, however, as the sunglass-wearing musical guru releases not one, but two, new albums.  Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra features new recordings written, produced and performed by Lynne, of eleven ELO favorites, plus one new song, “Point of No Return.”  In these renditions (frequently so close to the originals that even a diehard fan might have a hard time spotting the difference!), Lynne impressively plays lead guitar, rhythm guitar, piano, bass, drums, keyboards, vocoder and even cowbell, in addition to supplying the lead and background vocals.  Mr. Blue Sky is being joined by Long Wave, an 11-track salute to the songs that inspired him, from writers like Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (“If I Loved You”), Rodgers and Lorenz Hart (“Bewitched”), Charles Aznavour (“She”) and Don Covay (“Mercy, Mercy”).

What does this all have to do with the catalogue music world of The Second Disc, you might ask?  Inside the sturdy, hardback book-style packaging of Mr. Blue Sky, you’ll find an insert announcing three more projects coming soon from Lynne and Frontiers Records, and all are reissues of classic titles from Lynne and ELO.  Just hit the jump and we’ll fill you in on what to expect, plus a little background, too! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 19, 2013 at 15:29

Release Round-Up: Week of March 12

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Earl Van Dyke, The Motown Sound: The Complete Albums & More (Hip-o Select/Motown)

Two discs of classic instrumentals and rare single sides from Motown’s legendary Funk Brothers – their first and some of their only recordings to be credited just to them.

Big Brother and The Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin, Live at the Carousel Ballroom 1968 (Columbia/Legacy)

From the archives of late engineer Owsley “Bear” Stanley, an unreleased show featuring Joplin and band at the legendary San Francisco venue.

The Doors, L.A. Woman: The Workshop Sessions (Elektra/Rhino)

A three-sided double album (the last side being a laser etching) featuring all the bonus material from the bonus disc in this year’s deluxe edition of L.A. Woman.

Electric Light Orchestra, Electric Light Orchestra: 40th Anniversary Edition (EMI)

A features-packed expansion of ELO’s debut LP, including the original quadrophonic album mix on a bonus DVD, is available in England!

Dio, Holy Diver Last in Line / Sacred Heart: Deluxe Editions (UMC)

Two-disc expansions of the first three Dio albums out now in the U.K., featuring live cuts galore.

Gilbert O’Sullivan, A Singer and His Songs: The Very Best of Gilbert O’Sullivan (Union Square Music/Salvo)

With the new catalogue agreement, a new U.K. compilation.

10538 Overture: Electric Light Orchestra Debut Turns 40, Expanded with Quad DVD and Bonus Tracks

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The musical partnership of Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood was a short-lived one, but EMI will soon give listeners a chance to revisit their acclaimed collaboration.  A 40th Anniversary Edition of the debut album from Electric Light Orchestra is set to arrive on March 12.  Self-titled for its original U.K. release and re-titled No Answer for the U.S., the album announced a bold new sound, reportedly created when Wood urged Lynne to add cellos to his song “10538 Overture.”  That track leads off this CD/DVD edition, containing both the original LP in expanded form and a bonus DVD.  On the latter you’ll find the quadraphonic mix of Electric Light Orchestra in DTS 96/24 and Dolby Digital, plus the album’s two-channel mix in PCM Stereo.

Electric Light Orchestra may be a shock to the system for those fans who only know the band from its later hits like “Evil Woman” and “Mr. Blue Sky.”  On those songs, musical polymath Jeff Lynne allowed his Beatle-influenced style to flourish, modernizing Lennon and McCartney-style pop songcraft for an arena rock experience.  On the debut album, though, Lynne was sharing the driver’s seat with another prodigiously talented music man, Roy Wood.  A founder of The Move who enlisted Lynne into the Birmingham band upon the departure of lead singer Carl Wayne, Wood brought his classical leanings to the newly-formed ELO, complementing Lynne’s rock sensibilities.  The divergences of opinion between Wood and Lynne only lasted through this one album, with Wood relinquishing ELO to Lynne and going on to form Wizzard.  But some forty years later, Electric Light Orchestra still shows off the best of both gentlemen.

The contrasts between Wood and Lynne are apparent, with the former’s baroque-flavored “Look at Me Now” quite a shift from the latter’s classically-colored hard rock of “10538 Overture.”  There are progressive rock touches to the album, with lengthy pieces like Wood’s “The Battle of Marston Moor (July 2nd, 1644).”  Lynne even touches on jazz with the piano-driven “Manhattan Rumble (49th St. Massacre).”

What bonus tracks have been included?  Hit the jump to find out! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 23, 2012 at 14:26

Of Wizzards and Electric Light Orchestras: Roy Wood Opens His “Music Book” and ELO Goes “Essential”

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Electric Light Orchestra may not have been the first band to merge a classical sensibility with the power of rock, but the group was undoubtedly the most successful.  Yet the group of “Mr. Blue Sky” and “Evil Woman” began as a decidedly different aggregation, born out of the ashes of Birmingham, England’s The Move.  When lead singer Carl Wayne departed The Move, his bandmate Roy Wood invited one Jeff Lynne, of The Idle Race, to join him.  This revitalized line-up of The Move produced two albums.  Legend has it that Wood made the first suggestion to add cellos to Lynne’s song “10538 Overture,” originally intended as a Move B-side.  But whatever the genesis, the two men created an altogether new sound together.  It wasn’t long before tensions between management, Wood and Lynne came to a head, and Wood departed the newly-christened Electric Light Orchestra.  Lynne, of course, took ELO to new heights while Roy Wood’s Wizzard racked up six U.K. Top 10 singles and a considerable legacy of its own.  This fall, the legacies of both Electric Light Orchestra and Roy Wood are being celebrated with two new anthologies.

The two-disc Essential Electric Light Orchestra is in stores now from Legacy Recordings, and if the name sounds familiar, that’s because a single-disc version was issued under the same title in 2006.  That edition’s 15 tracks have more than doubled to 37, with selections from every ELO album between 1971 and 1986 represented.  (No selections are included from 2001’s Zoom, a Jeff Lynne solo effort in all but name.) With Wood’s departure after the band’s very first album in 1971, Lynne continued to guide the classically-inspired rock band to pick up “where the Beatles left off.”  The heavier, more progressive sound of the early albums soon gave way to a more accessible, effortlessly melodic but still intricately orchestrated style.  The band’s fourth album, 1974’s Eldorado, became its first gold album, containing the hit “Can’t Get It Out of My Head.”  1975 follow-up Face the Music offered two more giant hit singles, “Evil Woman” and “Strange Magic,” and the classic line-up was in place: Lynne (writer/producer as well as vocals/guitar), Bev Bevan (drums, percussion, vocals), Richard Tandy (piano, organ, keyboards, guitar), Kelly Groucutt (bass/vocals), Mik Kaminski (violin), Hugh McDowell (cello), and Melvyn Gale (cello).  Electric Light Orchestra was, indeed, on its way to becoming one of the most singular acts in rock history, even arriving for concert appearances in a giant spaceship!

All of the original versions of ELO classics can be found on The Essential with the exception of Olivia Newton John’s “Xanadu,” written and produced by Lynne for the soundtrack to the 1980 film.  Lynne’s own rendition has been included from the 2000 box set Flashback.  (“I’m Alive,” “All Over the World” and “Don’t Walk Away” all appear from the soundtrack recording.)  1977’s Out of the Blue and 1979’s Discovery are the two best-represented albums with five tracks apiece.  As this collection is designed to emphasize the singles side of the band, there is only one track from 1971’s The Electric Light Orchestra (or No Answer in its American edition) and 1972’s ELO 2.  Only one cut has been excerpted from 1975’s concept album Eldorado, but it’s a doozy, the dreamlike hit “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” which was ELO’s first American Top 10 single.

Hit the jump for the details on Roy Wood’s Music Book, plus the track listing and discography for both releases! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 28, 2011 at 10:43

Come to the Pop Market: Complete Collections Due From ELO, EWF, Cohen, Simone, Desmond and More

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And the (complete) hits just keep on comin’.  Sony’s PopMarket site has become a must-visit destination for many music fans, not only due to daily deals on existing box sets and back catalogue titles but also due to a line of new boxes under the Complete Albums Collection umbrella.  Initial recipients of this treatment were Sam Cooke, The Byrds. Stan Getz and Return to Forever.  A second wave offered collections from John Denver, Grover Washington Jr., Kansas and Wayne Shorter.  Another eight titles have recently been announced, and like their predecessors, these offer an artist’s complete albums from a particular period or label affiliation in mini-LP sleeves with an accompanying booklet, all housed in one tidy package.  The latest group encompasses some all-time greats of rock, soul and jazz.  PopMarket is  now offering:

  • Earth Wind & Fire: The Complete Columbia Masters Collection;
  • Electric Light Orchestra: The Classic Albums Collection;
  • Leonard Cohen: The Complete Albums Collection and The Complete Studio Albums Collection;
  • Paul Desmond: The Complete RCA Albums Collection;
  • Dexter Gordon: The Complete Columbia Albums Collection;
  • Wynton Marsalis: Swingin’ into the 21st;
  • Woody Shaw: The Complete Columbia Albums Collection; and
  • Nina Simone: The Complete RCA Albums Collection.

Hit the jump for the scoop on these sets, including the list of all included albums! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 22, 2011 at 14:29