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Archive for the ‘Eric Clapton’ Category

Ease My Worried Mind: Clapton’s “Unplugged” Expanded with Rehearsal Takes

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Unplugged ExpandedOne of the unquestionable milestones of Eric Clapton’s career – his Unplugged live album – is set for an expanded CD/DVD reissue next month from the good folks at Rhino.

When Clapton took to an intimate stage at Windsor’s Bray Film Studios in January 1992 for MTV’s Unplugged, he was already an unabashed master of his craft. But he was a man in transition: the ’80s saw him embracing mainstream pop on albums like August and Journeyman, and some quietly wondered if he’d ever revisit the blues tunes he so successfully introduced to the masses.

Then in 1991, an unthinkable tragedy happened: Clapton’s four-year-old son, Conor, fell from the window of a New York apartment and died. The heartbroken father laid his emotions bare on a new song, “Tears in Heaven,” first released on the soundtrack to the film Rush, was out barely a week when Clapton played it for Unplugged – and the feeling was just as raw as the studio version.

“Tears in Heaven” was one of many highlights of Unplugged, a set which saw Clapton tackle his old blues favorites (“Before You Accuse Me,” “Alberta,” “Malted Milk”) as well as a dramatic reworking of Derek & The Dominos’ fiery “Layla.” Both “Layla” and “Tears in Heaven” were Top 20 hits, and the album was a massive success, topping the Billboard charts, certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America for over 10 million copies shipped, and winner of six Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year.

An album this big deserves some classy treatment, and the expanded, triple-disc Unplugged looks like it delivers. In addition to the original album, a six-track bonus disc of rehearsal takes is included, featuring “Big Maceo” Merriweather’s “Worried Life Blues,” and originals “Circus” and “My Father’s Eyes,” later released on 1998’s Pilgrim. A bonus DVD features both the original MTV Unplugged feature and 14 rehearsal tracks recorded in addition to the final set.

The expanded Unplugged hits stores October 15. Pre-order links are not yet live, but the full track list is after the jump!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

September 5, 2013 at 11:24

Posted in DVD, Eric Clapton, News, Reissues

Where There’s a Will: Derek and the Dominos’ Bobby Whitlock Joined by Clapton, Harrison, Delaney and Bonnie On Reissued Solo LPs

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Bobby Whitlock - Where There's a WillThe story of Bobby Whitlock is one that intersects with rock royalty like George Harrison and Eric Clapton – and now Light in the Attic’s Future Days Recordings imprint is getting ready to tell the story of the Derek and the Dominos pianist-organist. On June 25, Future Days will reissue Whitlock’s two solo albums for ABC-Dunhill, Bobby Whitlock and Raw Velvet (both from 1972), as one 2-CD set entitled Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way: The ABC-Dunhill Recordings.  For purists, the label will also issue the two albums as individual remastered vinyl LPs with the liner notes and the original artwork.  In any edition, though, Bobby Whitlock’s albums are a true southern soul stew, with guest appearances from the aforementioned Messrs. Harrison and Clapton plus Delaney and Bonnie, Klaus Voormann, and fellow Dominos Carl Radle and Jim Gordon.

A real-life son of a preacher man, Whitlock rose from the impoverished streets of Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri to follow his musical muse from Memphis all the way to the United Kingdom.  In Memphis, he befriended the house band at Stax Records, supplying handclaps for Sam and Dave’s “I Thank You” and recording for the label’s HIP pop imprint.  It was a Stax session with new signings Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett that led Whitlock first to Los Angeles and then across the ocean.  In sunny California, he joined Delaney and Bonnie’s Friends – a fluid group that also included Leon Russell, Jim Keltner, Rita Coolidge, Bobby Keys, Jerry Scheff, Joe Tex, Dave Mason, and future Dominos Radle and Gordon.  This hot new band was a favorite of George Harrison’s, and when he played Delaney and Bonnie’s tapes to Eric Clapton, the guitar god arranged for them to support Blind Faith on the band’s U.S. tour.  Before long, Clapton became disenchanted with his supergroup – including Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech – and looked to the American band for inspiration.  Before long, Blind Faith was through, and Eric Clapton was touring as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends with Eric Clapton.

Hit the jump for more on Bobby Whitlock’s musical odyssey – including the track listing and pre-order links for Where There’s s Will! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 14, 2013 at 10:01

The Year in Reissues: The 2012 Gold Bonus Disc Awards

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Gold CDWow!  Was it just over a year ago when a rather dubious report began circulating (that, shockingly, was picked up by many otherwise-reputable publications) that proclaimed the death of the CD was secretly scheduled by the major labels for 2012?  Well, 2012 has come and (almost) gone, and it might have been the most super-sized year in recent memory for reissues, deluxe and otherwise, from labels new and old.  Here at the Second Disc, we consider our annual Gold Bonus Disc Awards a companion piece to Mike’s own round-up over at Popdose, and we endeavor to recognize as many of the year’s most amazing reissues as possible – over 80 worthy, unique titles.  We also hope to celebrate those labels, producers and artists who have raised the bar for great music throughout 2012. As we’re literally deluged with news around these parts, these ladies and gentlemen prove, week after week, the strength and health of the catalogue corner of the music world.  We dedicate The Gold Bonus Disc Awards to them, and to you, the readers.  After all, your interest is ultimately what keeps great music of the past alive and well.

With that in mind, don’t forget to share your own thoughts and comments below. What made your must-have list in 2012? Without further ado, let’s celebrate 2012′s best of the best. Welcome to the Gold Bonus Disc Awards!

Which releases take home the gold this year? Hit the jump below to find out! Read the rest of this entry »

Release Round-Up: Week of December 18

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Zappa - Finer MomentsFrank Zappa, Remasters Wave 6 (Zappa/UMe)

Joe dutifully broke this one down yesterday at the link above: five final titles in the FZ 2012 remaster campaign, consisting of Ahead of Their Time and The Yellow Shark (1993),  The Lost Episodes and Läther (1996), plus a new compilation, Finer Moments.

2112 Super DeluxeRush, 2112: Deluxe Edition (Mercury/UMe)

The prog classic is reissued (in time for 21/12, ha!) in three formats: a CD/DVD featuring three unreleased live bonus tracks, expanded liner notes and a 5.1 surround mix (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.), a CD/Blu-Ray with the same (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) and a super deluxe version in a hardbound case with additional new artwork (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Slowhand Super Deluxe BoxEric Clapton, Slowhand: 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Polydor/UMe)

Looking for something wonderful tonight? This may be it: Clapton’s 1977 classic comes back in a variety of formats, including a deluxe box (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) featuring the album, four outtakes and a two-disc, mostly unreleased live show, plus the album in both 5.1 surround and on vinyl. A two-disc deluxe set (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) includes the album, the outtakes and highlights from the show on the other disc.

Rolling Stones - Brussels Affair BoxThe Rolling Stones, The Brussels Affair (Stones Archive)

A morbidly oversized CD/vinyl/swag-filled Amazon-exclusive box version of an appropriately epic concert from 1973. Careful about that price tag, y’all. (Amazon U.S.)

Muddy You Shook Me ChessMuddy Waters, You Shook Me: The Chess Masters Volume 3 1958-1963 (Hip-O Select/Geffen)

A two-disc set of vintage Muddy, including the albums Muddy Waters Sings “Big Bill” and Muddy Waters at Newport 1960 in full. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Written by Mike Duquette

December 18, 2012 at 07:57

Wonderful Tonight: Clapton’s “Slowhand” Goes Super Deluxe This Winter

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Eric Clapton gained the nickname “Slowhand” from Giorgio Gomelsky in the 1960s, once recalling that the impresario and Yardbirds manager coined it “as a good pun. He kept saying I was a fast player, so he put together the ‘slow handclap’ phrase [when a restless audience claps slowly hoping the performer will arrive onstage] into ‘Slowhand’ as a play on words.”  Clapton fully embraced the name in 1977 as the title of his fifth studio album as a solo artist, following stints in the Yardbirds, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, and Derek and the Dominos.  Recorded for Robert Stigwood’s RSO Records, Slowhand yielded three hit singles and a No. 2 berth on the Billboard 200.  One of Clapton’s most beloved albums, Slowhand will receive the super deluxe box set treatment from Polydor on November 26 internationally, and in the U.S. on December 4.

Produced by Glyn Johns, Slowhand was recorded at London’s Olympic Studios in May 1977.  Released that November, it became Clapton’s most successful studio album of the decade, and eventually spent 74 weeks on the U.S. albums chart after five weeks at No. 2.  “Lay Down Sally,” “Cocaine” and “Wonderful Tonight,” the latter written for Clapton’s then-partner (and ex-Mrs. George Harrison) Pattie Boyd, all became hit singles.  Slowhand contained a number of songs written or co-written by Clapton (“Wonderful Tonight,” “Lay Down Sally” with Marcy Levy and George Terry, “Peaches and Diesel” with Albhy Galuten) alongside compositions by J.J. Cale (“Cocaine”), John Martyn (“May You Never”), Don Williams (“We’re All the Way”), and Arthur Crudup (“Mean Old Frisco”).  The blend of blues, rock, country and pop was arguably Clapton’s strongest assembly of songs by that point.

Slowhand will be available in five different formats.  Both the Super Deluxe Edition (3 CDs, 1 DVD and 1 LP) and Deluxe Edition (2 CDs) feature four session outtakes, three of which are previously unreleased: “Looking at the Rain,” “Alberta”, “Greyhound Bus” and “Stars, Strays and Ashtrays.”  Both editions feature selections from Clapton’s Hammersmith Odeon concert, recorded just one week before sessions began for the new album.  The complete, 14-track performance of April 27, 1977 is included on the Super Deluxe Edition on two CDs, while 9 highlights appear on one disc of the Deluxe Edition.  The Super Deluxe Edition adds the album on audio DVD in high-resolution stereo and surround, and on vinyl.  (It remains to be seen whether the surround mix will be a new one or has been derived from the existing SACD.)  Slowhand will also be available as a single-disc album-only remaster, a vinyl LP and digital download.

After the jump: exactly what will you find on each edition?  We have all of the specs, plus a complete track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 11, 2012 at 13:12

Warner Waxes Nostalgic for Record Store Day

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Believe it or not, Record Store Day is almost upon us. (It’s April 21 – just over a month away!) We’ve been anxiously awaiting word from the labels on what’s coming out this year, and it looks like Warner Music Group is one of the first to the scene.

While there’s not much in the way of unreleased goodies on the catalogue side of things – there are certainly plenty new or unearthed songs from current acts, which you can read about here – there are a couple of vintage and contemporary classics bowing or reappearing on LP, and as catalogue enthusiasts it would be the right thing to pass the news along to you.

Interestingly, there seem to be a repeat in the mix: Eric Clapton’s Blues box set, which we covered last year, is down to under 1,000 copies, having sold at RSD’s Black Friday event in November.

But everything else old is looking pretty new otherwise. What will Warner offer?

  • There’s going to be a neat 3 CD/1 DVD box set from Wilco and Billy Bragg commemorating the 1998 album Mermaid Avenue. The acclaimed disc featured new musical compositions from Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and British alt-rocker Bragg, featuring unpublished lyrics by folk legend Woody Guthrie. The box will feature a remaster of the original album, 2000’s Mermaid Avenue Vol. II, a previously-unreleased third disc of material and the 1999 documentary Man in the Sand, chronicling these sessions.
  • Commemorating a decade of metal group Disturbed, Warner will release The Collection, a box set of all of their albums – The Sickness (2000) and the No. 1 albums Believe (2002), Ten Thousand Fists (2005), Indestructible (2008) and Asylum (2010) – on 140-gram vinyl with specially-designed artwork. This box is limited to 2,500 copies.
  • Fleetwood Mac’s classic, self-titled 1975 album will be pressed as a special limited edition vinyl, following a similar reissue for Rumours last year. The album that introduced Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham to the group featured hits in “Rihannon,” “Say You Love Me” and more. The discs, cut at Bernie Grundman Mastering from the original analog tapes, will be mastered at 33 1/3 RPM and 45 RPM.
  • Metallica’s Beyond Magnetic EP – consisting of four outtakes from 2008’s Death Magnetic – was released digitally last year and now gets its first release on silver vinyl.
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ hit Stadium Arcadium (2009) is being remastered for vinyl by Steve Hoffman, in honor of the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Finally, arguably the best gem of Warner’s “Side by Side” 7″ single series (pairing an original hit with a new or rare cover) would be a gold-colored 45 featuring, for the first time together, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin’s versions of “Respect.”

Again, keep it tuned in here as more RSD reports come in, and save your pennies, because April 21 is here before you know it!

Springsteen, U2, Queen, Joel, McCartney, Taylor Featured On “Rock Hall of Fame” Live Box Set

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Since its formation on April 20, 1983, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has inducted a slate of accomplished musicians into its ranks on a yearly basis, causing excitement, consternation and everything in between.  Though the worthiness of nominees and inductees is hotly debated with each “class” and a number of distinguished artists continue to be ignored year after year, one thing can be agreed upon: a lot of great music has been played for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  It continues to host performances at its Cleveland home, which opened its doors in 1995.  Each year, inducted musicians take the stage in Cleveland and at a New York induction ceremony, often with old colleagues or young musicians whom they have influenced.  Hence, Eddie Vedder joined the remaining Doors for “Break On Through,” Bruce Springsteen teamed with Mick Jagger on “Satisfaction,” Dhani Harrison accompanied two Wilburys, Steve Winwood and Prince for his late father George’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and the Allman Brothers partnered with Sheryl Crow for “Midnight Rider.”

In past years, only one major album came from The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s vast archives, a 1996 release collecting performances from the 1995 concert that inaugurated the actual museum.  In 2009 and 2010, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame teamed with Time-Life for a series of DVDs (available as a box set and individually) bringing together highlights from those often-controversial induction ceremonies, as well as CD and DVD releases of 2010’s 25th Anniversary concerts, held at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The Time-Life association will continue this fall with the release of Best of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum Live, a 3-disc box set bringing many of these blazing performances to CD for the very first time.  Longtime Hall supporter Bruce Springsteen appears no fewer than six times on the box, joined by performers like Chuck Berry, Wilson Pickett, Mick Jagger and U2.  It’s a guitar-lover’s dream when a team of axemen including Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ron Wood, Joe Perry, Flea and Metallica take on “The Train Kept A-Rollin’,” and when Cream reunites on “Sunshine of Your Love” for the first time in over two decades.  Other highlights include James Taylor’s solo performance of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock,” the Dave Clark Five’s “Glad All Over” as interpreted by the supergroup of Billy Joel, Joan Jett, John Fogerty and John Mellencamp, and Green Day paying homage to the Ramones with “Blitzkrieg Bop.”  The Righteous Brothers and The Ronettes celebrate the heyday of Philles Records, and the definitive line-up of rock legends also includes Paul McCartney (“Let It Be”) and The Who (“Won’t Get Fooled Again”).

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

Clapton Sings the Blues: Vinyl Box Set to Anthologize Late Period Albums

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Vinyl enthusiasts are going to have Slowhand for the holidays. A report from fanzine Where’s Eric? announces the November release of Clapton Blues, a five-vinyl box set that encompasses three of Clapton’s great late-period blues albums.

First up is From the Cradle, Clapton’s first LP since the triumphant success of his MTV Unplugged appearance in 1992. It’s a raw, straight pass of a set (the liner notes detail only two overdubs and no editing) comprised of 16 classic covers of blues legends from Elmore James to Muddy Waters. Strange as it sounds, this was Clapton’s first true all-blues album as a solo performer, but it was just what folks wanted to hear, topping the Billboard 200 and earning a triple platinum certification.

Clapton’s next foray into the blues was 2000’s Riding with the King, a collaboration with – who else? – the one and only B.B. King. While the then-74-year-old guitarist had worked with Clapton before (they first met Clapton when he was Cream’s guitarist and worked together on King’s Deuces Wild in 1997), this was their first full-blown joint effort. The response was exactly what you’d expect from two giants of the genre getting together: strong sales, critical respect and a Grammy for each of their shelves for Best Blues Album.

Finally, while not a collaboration in the strict sense of the word, Clapton in 2004 tackled the work of late blues pioneer Robert Johnson for Me and Mr. Johnson. Of course, the guitarist was no stranger to his work – his interest in Johnson in the ’60s paved the way for the critical reassessment and resurgence that Johnson’s output would enjoy in the decades to follow – but the record was kind of an accident, the output of a studio session with no new written material. The loose sessions were turned into an album, and Clapton’s blues legend was further underlined.

The box will feature Cradle and King on double vinyl and Johnson on single vinyl. According to the report, an exclusibe online preorder will feature the discs on blue vinyl as well.

Clapton Blues is available November 22. Reacquaint yourself with the track lists after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

August 26, 2011 at 13:26

Harrison and Shankar’s “Concert For Bangladesh” Goes Digital

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“It was such a unique thing.  Everybody was so moved and touched.  It had a special feeling apart from just a performance.  Overnight everybody knew the name of Bangladesh all over the world.”  So said Ravi Shankar about The Concert For Bangladesh, the 1971 performances he organized with George Harrison at New York’s Madison Square Garden that set the standard for all-star benefits to come.  Monday, August 1, marks the 40th anniversary of The Concert, and in commemoration, Apple and EMI have introduced the originally Grammy-winning concert album to the digital realm today as an iTunes exclusive.

Produced by Phil Spector, the recording features Harrison, Shankar, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Jim Keltner, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voormann, Carl Radle and Tom Evans, Joey Molland and Pete Ham of Badfinger, among others.  The 2005 expanded edition added Dylan’s “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” to the track listing, and the digital edition – available as an iTunes LP – retains this track.  It adds one more bonus track, Harrison’s studio single of “Bangla Desh.” 

In addition, the 1972 documentary film chronicling the concert will stream for 72 hours Saturday through Monday, at iTunes, and  Another special treat available at iTunes is a 50-minute radio special, hosted by Paul Gambaccini, which is also streaming at iTunes’ Concert for Bangladesh page.  Shankar told USA Today, “it was the first of its kind, in raising money for people under such conditions.  Now people do this kind of thing quite often, which is wonderful.”  The original concert raised over $243,000.00 for the people of Bangladesh, ravaged by war, famine and flood.  Sales of the album and subsequent DVDs and CDs have gone to UNICEF and this digital release is no different.  All proceeds, after taxes, benefit The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF. 

Hit the jump for the track listing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 26, 2011 at 12:31

Mayall’s Bluesbreakers Coming Back to CD, LP from Sundazed

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Speaking of vinyl reissues, Sundazed has got three coming from John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers at the end of August.

Mayall certainly had an ear for talent, as these three albums certainly prove. Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, released 45 years ago this month, remains a pivotal moment for both Mayall and the 21-year-old ex-Yardbird, whose work on the first Bluesbreakers album earned him that immortal “Clapton is God” graffiti tag. But Slowhand’s not the only genius afoot: the standard Bluesbreakers lineup included bassist John McVie in its ranks, and Mayall recruited guitarists Peter Green for A Hard Road and Mick Taylor for Crusade. (Green, McVie and onetime Mayall drummer Mick Fleetwood would go on to form Fleetwood Mac.)

All of these albums have seen compact disc releases before with various configurations of bonus tracks, but the draw here is that A Hard Road and Crusade are being mastered for CD, in addition to the LP reissues, from the original U.K. mono mix for the first time anywhere. So if you’re a fan of great U.K. blues, these are ones to pick up. You can do that here and expect them in stock on August 30.

Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (originally released as Decca LK-4804 (U.K.)/London LL-3492 (U.S.), 1966 – reissued Sundazed SC-6273/LP-5371, 2011)

  1. All Your Love
  2. Hideaway
  3. Little Girl
  4. Another Man
  5. Double Crossing Time
  6. What’d I Say
  7. Key to Love
  8. Parchman Farm
  9. Have You Heard
  10. Ramblin’ on My Mind
  11. Steppin’ Out
  12. It Ain’t Right

A Hard Road (originally released as Decca LK-4853 (U.K.)/London LL-3502 (U.S.), 1967 – reissued Sundazed SC-6274/LP-5372, 2011)

  1. A Hard Road
  2. It’s Over
  3. You Don’t Love Me
  4. The Stumble
  5. Another Kind of Love
  6. Hit the Highway
  7. Leaping Christine
  8. Dust My Blues
  9. There’s Always Work
  10. The Same Way
  11. The Supernatural
  12. Top of the Hill
  13. Someday After a While (You’ll Be Sorry)
  14. Living Alone

Crusade (originally released as Decca LK-4890 (U.K.)/London PS-529 (U.S.), 1967 – reissued Sundazed SC-6275/LP-5373, 2011)

  1. Oh Pretty Woman
  2. Stand Back Baby
  3. My Time After a While
  4. Snowy Wood
  5. Man of Stone
  6. Tears in My Eyes
  7. Driving Sideways
  8. The Death of J.B. Lenoir
  9. I Can’t Quit You Baby
  10. Streamline
  11. Me and My Woman
  12. Checkin’ Up on My Baby

Written by Mike Duquette

July 14, 2011 at 13:23