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Archive for the ‘Freddie Mercury’ Category

Release Round-Up: Week of October 22

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TFF The Hurting boxTears for Fears, The Hurting: Deluxe Edition (Mercury/UMe)

The landmark debut album from the U.K. hitmakers celebrates its 30th anniversary with a new double-disc deluxe edition stocked with rare single-only material and a deluxe box set version with a bonus disc of John Peel sessions and the In My Mind’s Eye live concert film on DVD.

2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3CD/1DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Van Morrison - Moondance BoxVan Morrison, Moondance: Expanded Edition (Warner Bros./Rhino)

Though Van would rather you not buy this box, it features his classic 1970 album (newly remastered and in a new 5.1 surround sound mix on the Blu-Ray) plus three discs of session outtakes.

1CD remaster: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
4CD/1BD:  Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Fisherman's BoxThe Waterboys, Fisherman’s Box: The Complete Fisherman’s Blues Sessions 1986-1988 (Parlophone)

This six-disc set features every take from the making of this celebrated album from Mike Scott’s band. A deluxe version features the original album on vinyl and a further bonus disc of songs that influenced the album – all of which will be broken down in full in a post later today!

6CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
7CD/1LP: Amazon U.K.

Chrysalis FB bannerTen Years After, Recorded Live: Expanded Edition / Robin Trower, State to State: Live Across America 1974-1980 / UFO, “Hot ‘N’ Live”: The Chrysalis Live Anthology 1974-1983 (Chrysalis/Rhino)

These three hard-rockin’ releases from the Chrysalis vaults are ready to purchase this week – or you can win them from us!

Ten Years After: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Robin Trower: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
UFO: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

XTC - NonsuchXTC, Nonsuch: Expanded Edition (Panegyric)

The band’s 1992 album, featuring modern rock hit “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead,” features a new stereo and surround mix by Steven Wilson, plus a host of audiovisual extras.

CD/DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
CD/BD: Amazon U.K.

Sparks BoxSparks, New Music for Amnesiacs: The Ultimate Collection (Universal U.K.)

One of the pioneering acts in quirk rock have a swag-filled five-disc career-spanning box set tangible object in the market. (Amazon U.K.)

Woody Guthrie American Radical PatriotWoody Guthrie, American Radical Patriot (Rounder)

A stunning 6CD/1DVD/1LP box set includes, for the first time, all of Guthrie’s historic recordings for Alan Lomax, plus scores of rarities – including a rare early Bob Dylan recording, too. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Freddie Tribute BDQueen, The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert: Deluxe Edition (Eagle Rock)

The life of the late Queen frontman was celebrated in one of the greatest benefit concerts of all time – and this expanded version features, for the first time on DVD or Blu-Ray, tribute performances from the first half of the concert.

3DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
BD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Monro RaritiesMatt Monro, The Rarities Collection (Parlophone)

Three discs of rarities from the legendary crooner; most were originally released on The Rare Monro and/or Matt Uncovered: The Rarer Monro, but many have been sonically upgraded, with more rarities included herein! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Laura Nyro - SmileLaura Nyro, Smile: Expanded Edition (Iconoclassic)

Nyro’s 1976 release, issued after a four-year absence, is expanded with three rare demos. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Love to Love You DonnaDonna Summer, Love to Love You Donna (Verve)

Classic Donna Summer tracks, newly remixed by modern dance acts and producers, plus an unreleased collaboration between Summer and longtime producer Giorgio Moroder.

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

TLC 20TLC, 20 (Epic)

A new compilation from the acclaimed ’90s R&B girl group features a new track, “Meant to Be,” penned by R&B singer Ne-Yo. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The Show Must Go On: Queen Plan “Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert” Blu-Ray, Vault Tracks with Michael Jackson

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Freddie Tribute BDQueen and Eagle Rock Entertainment will release a newly-expanded edition of their unforgettable Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert this fall, on DVD and, for the first time, Blu-Ray Disc.

Five months after the tragic passing of one of rock’s greatest frontmen from complications due to AIDS, surviving Queen members Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor gathered dozens of famous collaborators and famous fans at London’s Wembley Arena on April 20, 1992. Some 72,000 people were in attendance, and worldwide broadcast audiences hovered around the billion mark. David Bowie, Annie Lennox, George Michael, Elton John, Tony Iommi and Robert Plant were among the set’s many highlights, with proceeds of course going to the Mercury Phoenix Trust in Freddie’s memory.

The newly remastered edition of The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, released over three DVDs or one Blu-Ray, features the program and extras featured on the 10th anniversary release of the concert in 2002, including rehearsal footage and a documentary on the concert. New features include, for the first time, performances from the first half of the concert, which featured acts paying solo tributes to Mercury before Queen took the stage. Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Def Leppard and Extreme were among the featured performers during this portion of the program.

But The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert isn’t the only archival Queen product in the pipeline for the near future, if recent reports are to be believed. After the jump, learn how the band’s performance with a certain King might finally see the light of day soon.

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Written by Mike Duquette

July 29, 2013 at 11:16

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

Back to “Barcelona”: Queen Frontman’s Final Solo Disc Gets Super Deluxe Treatment

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“I’m moving into opera now. Forget rock and roll.” With those words, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury moved in on what may be the most grandiose phase in a long career full of theatrics. In 1987, with Queen not yet knowing they would have played their final live show one year before, the band’s whimsical frontman ventured into uncharted waters with Barcelona, an operatic rock album featuring a talented soprano whose voice he idolized, and put one of the final great flourishes on a career (and a life) carried out with brilliant extravagance.

Now, 25 years after the release of the “Barcelona” single, 20 years after its charting and for what would have been the singer’s 66th birthday, Barcelona comes back in a big way,  reissued and reimagined with a brand new orchestration and three discs of extra content in September.

“I have now heard the best voice in the world,” Mercury told friends in 1981 after attending a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera at the Royal Opera House in London. But the Queen singer was not speaking of star Luciano Pavarotti, but mezzo-soprano female lead Caballé. After some years, the duo arranged to meet; Mercury bought with him a demo co-written with arranger Mike Moran that the diva fell in love with immediately.

When approached to create a song for the 1992 Olympic Games held in the Spanish city Barcelona – Monsterrat’s birthplace – it was obvious with whom Mercury would collaborate. The pair worked separately on songs for a full album (all of which were primarily written by Mercury and Moran, with some input from Caballé and lyricist Tim Rice), with Freddie laying down falsetto guide vocals for Montserrat to sing.

The album was a respectable success upon release in 1988, with the title track climbing to No. 8. Mercury returned to Queen for The Miracle (1989) and Innuendo (1991), hiding the terrible news of his declining health due to AIDS until the day before his death at the end of 1991. While many remember the reascension of “Bohemian Rhapsody” to the U.K. pop charts that holiday, “Barcelona” made a stunning return when reissued to commemorate that stirring Olympic ceremony, in which Montserrat took the stage herself to duet with Freddie’s ethereal voice during the opening exercises.

Now, Barcelona‘s coming back in a big way, and you can find out how after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

July 18, 2012 at 10:40

Within My World: Dave Clark’s “Time” Reissued, Features Freddie Mercury, Dionne Warwick, Julian Lennon, Cliff Richard, More

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Today, London’s Dominion Theatre is home to We Will Rock You, a tongue-in-cheek “jukebox musical” featuring the music of Queen.  That show is currently celebrating its 10th year at the Dominion, but even before the “Bohemian Rhapsody” chaps came to town, the Dominion was no stranger to mega-musicals from rock stars.  In 1986, Dave Clark of the Dave Clark Five put his name above the title of a lavish spectacle called Time.  Clark collaborated on the musical’s book and lyrics with David Soames; the music was provided by Jeff Daniels (not the actor of the same name).  Clark was also credited with “creating and devising” the elaborate stage production.  The April 1986 debut of the musical starred Cliff Richard as The Rock Star, and Sir Laurence Olivier, the latter appearing as a pre-filmed holographic giant head (!) named Akash.  Arlene Phillips (Starlight Express) contributed choreography along with director Larry Fuller (Evita, Merrily We Roll Along), and John Napier (Sunset Boulevard, Les Miserables) designed the massive production.

Time never received an original London Cast Recording, however, with Clark opting instead to release the show’s score as a star-filled, two-LP concept album prior to the London opening.  Cliff Richard, of course, was enlisted to perform on the album, along with a “Who’s Who” of pop, rock and soul including Freddie Mercury, Stevie Wonder, Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, Leo Sayer, Julian Lennon and the recently-reunited team of Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach.  Olivier appeared on the Time album, as well.  Close your eyes and picture the great actor intoning dialogue such as this:

Stand before me on the Sign of Infinity, all you of the Earth. With the granting of “The Law of Probenation” comes the application of change. I will give you the key. And with this knowledge, please realize, comes the responsibility of sharing it. I will show you the way: (It’s very simple). Throughout the Universe there is order: in the movement of the plane, in nature, and in the functioning of the human mind. A mind at is in its natural state of order is in harmony with the Universe, and such a mind is timeless. Your life is an expression of your mind. You are a creator of your own Universe, for as a human being you are “free to will” whatever state of being you desire through the use of your thoughts and words.  There is great Power there.  It can be a blessing or a curse…

Dave Clark has apparently never been comfortable with the compact disc, having refused nearly every offer to bring his storied DC5 catalogue to the format over the years.  A mere handful of official releases have materialized including Hollywood Records’ 1993 double-CD anthology The History of the Dave Clark Five, EMI U.K.’s shorter counterpart Glad All Over Again, and Universal’s 2010 The Hits.  He’s been more forthcoming with releases on iTunes, and now, the starry studio cast recording of Time is once more available.  For its belated 25th anniversary, Time has joined the DC5 catalogue as available from that digital music provider.

There’s more in Time after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »