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Release Round-Up: Week of September 4

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Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé, Barcelona: Deluxe Edition (Island U.K.)

The Queen frontman’s final solo effort – an ambitious collaboration with a Spanish opera legend – has been given new life on CD, with its original synth instrumentation fully fleshed out by an orchestra. A super deluxe box includes scores of audiovisual extras, and the newly-orchestrated album is also available on vinyl.

Judas Priest, Screaming for Vengeance: Special 30th Anniversary Edition (Columbia/Legacy)

A special CD/DVD edition of this classic metal album includes studio and live bonus tracks (including the original bonus tracks from the 2001 reissue) and the band’s 1983 performance at the US Festival for the first time on video.

Billy Paul, 360 Degrees of Billy Paul: Expanded Edition / Dionne Warwick, Dionne: Expanded Edition (Big Break)

The week’s BBR slate includes an underrated 1972 Philly soul classic (with the fantastic soul smash “Me and Mrs. Jones”) and a hit pop crossover for Dionne Warwick, produced by none other than Barry Manilow. Bonus tracks on each include single edits, and in the case of Billy Paul, one live cut.

Various Artists, Action! The Songs of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart The Ramones Heard Them Here First (Ace)

Two new compilations from the venerable U.K. label: one spotlighting the songwriters known for Monkees classics from the TV series theme to “Last Train to Clarksville” (but a disc featuring, naturally, some more esoteric recordings alongside notable tracks like Jay & The Americans’ “Come a Little Bit Closer” and recordings by Del Shannon and The Shangri-La’s); and another generous disc of 24 hits that were notably covered by one of the most influential punk bands ever.

Various Artists, Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Legacy)

Out on CD after a short time as a digital-only title, this soundtrack to a new documentary from rapper Ice-T features classic rap cuts from the 80s and ’90s and some newly recorded freestyles from legends of the genre.

Green Day, The Studio Albums 1990-2009 (Reprise)

Available in the U.S. through Best Buy, this simple box consists all of the band’s proper studio albums in one set.

Written by Mike Duquette

September 4, 2012 at 08:03

U2 x 2: New Fan-Club CD to Explore Duets

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Details for U2’s latest fan-club release have been announced, and the band is bringing some very special guests for this disc.

U2 Duals, continuing a tradition of fan-club releases that have included special CD singles, remix albums and vintage live shows, collates some of the group’s most notable duets. From “When Love Comes to Town,” the 1988 single featuring B.B. King, to a live show this past November with a guest appearance by Jay-Z, U2 have gotten around with multiple collaborators including Johnny Cash, Green Day, Luciano Pavarotti and Mary J. Blige.

All but three of the tracks have been previously released – the aforementioned “Sunday Bloody Sunday” featuring Jay-Z and two tracks cut with The Soweto Gospel Choir to commemorate the 2010 FIFA World Cup are new to CD – so collectors who’d rather not spend extra money on a membership for one CD aren’t missing much. For completists, though (you know who you are), this is a noteworthy release indeed.

More info is available at the band’s official Web site, and the track list is after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 8, 2011 at 12:15

Is Warner Seeing Double with Green Day Singles Box?

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A doubly odd little note appeared while news gathering yesterday: a post at the Broadway World Web site noted a few upcoming box sets from Warner Music Group – the aforementioned Tim Burton/Danny Elfman box set, deluxe editions of new albums by adult contemporary stars Josh Groban and Michael Buble – and there was a strange little note at the end, for a vinyl box set devoted to pop-punk leviathans Green Day.

If that news sounded odd (or oddly familiar) to you – the band hasn’t much to promote, outside of the ongoing Broadway adaptation of their American Idiot LP, which Armstrong just starred in for a week – there’s a reason for that. Further research showed that the box – a set of 21 7-inch discs featuring singles, album tracks and B-sides from the band’s entire discography (including the early works on indie label Lookout! and some offerings from side projects The Network and Foxboro Hot Tubs) – was in fact released last year, a few months before The Second Disc existed. Why a Web site or label would intentionally or mistakenly lump a year-old box set with others that haven’t even been released yet is confusing at best.

But since this is a site dedicated to such nifty catalogue titles, and that big, bad holiday season is looming upon us, it only seems right that we pass the news along to you as a means of expanding someone’s collection for the end of the year. You can order it here and have a look at what awaits (or awaited, whichever the case may be) after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 14, 2010 at 12:19

Reissue Theory: Green Day, “Dookie”

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On this day, seminal ’90s pop-punk band Green Day gets the kind of musical immortality only reserved for a select few. That’s right, today’s the day that the Green Day: Rock Band video game hits stores. Fans will finally be able to control Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool as they ascend from obscurity to supposed sellouts.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: I don’t get the concept of selling out at all. So many supposed fans get mad when their beloved local act hits the big time and has the nerve to be well-received by the population en masse. Why don’t these fans instead devote their energy to welcoming and shepherding new fans, thereby connecting to a new friend or two? I’m not sure, but I do know that Green Day has been pelted with that “sellout” brickbat for years. I don’t care if they deserve it or not (whether they do only gets tenuous when you bring that Broadway show into the equation), because they put out some damn good music in their tenure as a band thus far.

Perhaps ironically, given the vitriol delivered unto Green Day when they signed to major label Reprise Records, none of that material has ever been remastered or reissued. (The earlier stuff on indie label Lookout has been given its share of repackages – double irony.) Naturally, in honor of the band’s entrance into video game immortality, it makes sense to look at the album that put them into the national consciousness – 1994’s Dookie – and present a Reissue Theory track list for the disc.

Do you have the time to listen to me…uh, speculate? Do so after the jump.
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Written by Mike Duquette

June 8, 2010 at 12:15

Posted in Features, Green Day, Reissues

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