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Compilation Deluge Due from Legacy: Joplin, Presley, Dylan, Cash Included

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Playlist (Eco-Friendly Packaging)

The Second Disc kicks off the week with a bit of synergy. Our very own Mike Duquette contributed a wonderful piece over at Popdose looking at the hidden musical treasures you can find at your local grocery store – of all places! – including Sony/Legacy’s Playlist: The Very Best of Daryl Hall & John Oates. If you haven’t checked out Mike’s incisive, entertaining feature, please do so now, and then rejoin me here. Okay? Good. Welcome back! With summer turning to fall, and fall traditionally being the season when record labels release the most product in anticipation of the holidays, Sony has turned its attention to releasing a staggering amount of compilations in both their Essential and Playlist lines.

The Second Disc last reported on Barry Manilow, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Henry Mancini and Lena Horne joining the ranks of those anthologized in The Essential series, with Horne’s entry boasting some rare, new-to-CD tracks. Now a varied group joins that already eclectic lineup. August 31 will bring Essential 3.0 releases for Patti LaBelle, Simon and Garfunkel, Hezekiah Walker, Fred Hammond and Gloria Estefan, while October 12 will see The Essential Ronnie Milsap 3.0. Perhaps surprisingly given Legacy’s recent acquisition of his solo catalog, no new Paul Simon catalogue compilation has yet been announced.

The Playlist series takes its turn with two waves of releases, as well. Unfortunately no releases from the dormant catalogues of Philadelphia International Records or Philles Records have been announced, and Legacy’s plans for both labels are still unknown. That said, the artists getting the Playlist treatment are definitely diverse. From the jazz world, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and Weather Report all have titles arriving in stores on September 14.  (Armstrong’s offering appears to be cross-licensed, containing tracks from the Universal catalogue.) October 12 brings volumes from Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, the Isley Brothers, Elvis Presley and Barry Manilow, among others. (Can I vote for “Tight Connection to My Heart”  from 1985’s Empire Burlesque for the Dylan volume, dedicated to his 1980s work?) These titles often feature a rarity or two in the mix, so keep an eye out for track listings when they’re announced. Perhaps Manilow’s “Oh, Julie!” will finally appear here, having been passed over for The Essential 3.0

Finally, thanks to our friends at the indispensable Musictap for a heads-up on more interesting compilation news from Legacy’s associated labels. Apparently a new series of 3-CD sets is scheduled for October 5 under the nondescript banner The Music Of.  The first artists in this series will be Dan Fogelberg, Jefferson Airplane, George Jones, Merle Haggard and Gladys Knight. As more details are revealed, we’ll report back.

Hit the jump for the full list of upcoming Playlist volumes, and pre-order links for all of the Playlist and Essential titles mentioned! Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Feature: “Licence to Kill”

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Recent coverage of soundtracks on The Second Disc has been warmly received. To this end, we have added a the Friday Feature. Every Friday, you’ll find some sort of article devoted to a soundtrack or film composer of merit. We hope you enjoy these trips through Hollywood’s musical landscape!

Our first Friday Feature deals with one of the oddest of the James Bond films. No, not Never Say Never Again (that’s not really a Bond film, anyway). Licence to Kill was the second and final feature with Timothy Dalton as 007 and the last to be filmed during the existence of Bond’s mortal enemy, the Soviet Union. That alone should make it an intriguing journey, but Licence to Kill is more than a little strange.

In the film, 007 turns rogue to avenge an ally, DEA agent Felix Leiter (protrayed by David Hedison, who also played Leiter in 1973’s Live and Let Die). His adventures take him to the fictional “Republic of Ithsmus” and pit him against drug lord Franz Sanchez (Robert Davi).

Though it received a fair amount of acclaim upon release (less so today – many mistakenly believe its commercial failure in the U.S. delayed the franchise until 1995’s GoldenEye picked up the pace), Licence to Kill is a bit of an odd duck in the 007 franchise for a few reasons. Dalton’s portrayal of Bond was far less cheeky than Roger Moore’s tenure as the agent, but Licence to Kill is almost devoid of humor entirely. The fantastical elements were kept to a minimum, too; the villains were unconcerned with world domination and more driven by the drug trade (a real-world concern at the time). It was also considerably gorier than its predecessors, becoming the first Bond film to receive a PG-13 rating. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

April 23, 2010 at 11:22