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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 »

Another Bite of the Apple: Lon and Derrek Van Eaton’s “Brother” with George Harrison and Ringo Starr, Reissued and Reviewed

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RPM Records is taking a bite out of the Apple.  Apple Records, that is.  All has been quiet on the Apple front since EMI’s 2010 reissue campaign offered remastered and expanded albums from Badfinger, Mary Hopkin, James Taylor and others.  But the Come and Get It compilation, released in conjunction with the album reissue program, brought to CD a number of tantalizing tracks from lesser-known lights on the Apple roster.  Among those artists were Lon and Derrek Van Eaton, New Jersey natives whose demo tape came to the attention of George Harrison and Ringo Starr in 1971.  Their “Sweet Music,” produced by Harrison, was a highlight of that anthology, but they also recorded an entire album produced by close Beatle pal Klaus Voormann.  Now, the Van Eaton brothers are getting a full return from Cherry Red’s RPM label.  That 1973 Apple LP, Brother, has just been reissued and expanded in a comprehensive new edition (including previously unreleased songs with Starr and Voormann) from Apple and RPM, produced by RPM’s Mark Stratford and Apple historian Stefan Granados.

Brother wasn’t technically the debut of Lon and Derrek Van Eaton; the brothers had previously teamed as members of Jacob’s Creek and recorded a 1969 album for Columbia Records with that band.  But any affiliation with The Beatles can reasonably be called a rebirth.  The brothers were both multi-talented, with Derrek handling lead vocals, bass, flute and drums, and Lon taking piano, vocal, guitar, saxophone and drum duties.  They collaborated as writers on all of the songs on Brother, with Lon also handling string and horn arrangements.  George Harrison produced “Sweet Music,” from the Van Eatons’ original demo tape, at Abbey Road, and brought along Ringo and Jim Gordon on drums, Mike Hugg on harmonium, and one Peter Frampton on guitar!  Then, with a brace of songs written and ready to go, the brothers became the first artists to record at Apple Studio in Savile Row.  They recorded almost all of the instrumental parts themselves, although Voormann (on bass) and Starr (on what else, drums) joined in occasionally.   The final album also included four songs recorded back in New York at Bell Sound, as well as one of the original demos, but the album’s heart is the London-recorded material.  RPM’s new issue even premieres outtakes from the Apple Studio sessions among its plentiful bonus tracks.

Naturally, there’s a lot more waiting for you after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 1, 2012 at 09:38