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Archive for the ‘Marvin Gaye’ Category

Eight More ICON Sets for You to Briefly Consider

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What you will see after the jump are eight more of Universal’s generic ICON titles, released this past Tuesday. There are two country acts, two Motown acts, two Motown compilations, one from Dean Martin and one from pop/rock band Fall Out Boy. A stranger collection you’ll rarely find. I’d give a halfhearted recommendation to the Motown ones if you want to spend a little money on someone who has the distinct displeasure of never having heard any Motown song, ever. If you have more money to spend, though, get a box set or something. You won’t regret it. Trust me.

Follow the jump for order links (the single-disc Motown Classics did not appear on Amazon; we’ve used a Barnes & Noble link instead.)

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Legacy Plans Artist Collections, Themed Sets for New “Playlist” Batch

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Brace yourselves, compilation collectors: Legacy’s got another batch of Playlist titles out next week.

The latest batch of set, due out January 31, skew mainly toward modern country and rootsier rock (Gretchen Wilson, Montgomery Gentry, solo works by Gregg Allman) with some wild cards thrown in for good measure (R&B from Charlie Wilson of The Gap Band and Wyclef Jean, contemporary pop-rockers Augustana, a set from The Hooters that was delayed from the last batch). In a nice change of pace, a few multi-artist themed compilations are present, too – one for February’s Black History Month and one of modern reggae tunes.

All the scoop on these sets is after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

January 23, 2012 at 13:33

The Second Disc Buyers Guide: The 100 Greatest Reissues of All Time, Part 19 (#10-6)

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It’s the penultimate entry in our list of Rolling Stone‘s greatest albums of all time, as seen through the reissues that have filled our shelves for years. We’ve got some heavy hitters here: Beatles, Stones, Dylan – plus what may be the greatest punk and R&B albums ever.

10. The Beatles, The Beatles (Apple, 1968)

The double-LP the world knows mostly by three other words – “The White Album” – was difficult and unusual inside and out. Most of the songs were conceived during an ultimately aborted transcendental meditation course with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi; upon returning to Abbey Road, the usually on-point studio vibe had been replaced by a hazier, more dissenting attitude, with Yoko Ono making her first of many stays in the studio with John Lennon and Ringo Starr ultimately quitting the band for two weeks. (Even producer George Martin’s patience and faith in the group was being tested – he even left the band to go on holiday for part of the sessions.) As overblown and full of oddities as the album is, though (I’m looking at you, “Rocky Raccoon”), it’s honestly hard to imagine these 30 tracks presented any other way. Given the album’s presence in the Fab Four’s discography after the monumental Sgt. Pepper, The Beatles remains an incredibly fascinating helping of the band’s already-sterling discography.

Before The Beatles’ catalogue finally made its CD debut in 1987, there was one interesting reissue on vinyl: one from Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (2-072) in 1982. It was the third album by The Fab Four to receive such treatment. The Beatles was certainly part of the major push for the band on CD (Parlophone CDS 7 46443 8), the thick white butterfly case (with printed title, rather than embossed as on the original LP cover) a familiar sight in record stores for years. But this album is one of a few for The Beatles with an “extracurricular release” on CD, repackaged as a 500,000-unit limited, numbered edition in 1998 for its 30th anniversary (Apple 72434 96895 2 7) in a slipcase that better reflected the original packaging (down to the stamped serial number and iconic portrait inserts of John, Paul, George and Ringo). The most recent release, of course, was the 2009 remastered edition, available both in stereo (Apple 09463 82466 2 6) and, for the first time on CD, in mono (Apple 50999 684957 2 5). The mono mix was not released on vinyl much outside of the U.K., and is the last dedicated mono mix of a Beatles LP. It’s of course, only available in the excellent The Beatles in Mono box set (Apple 50999 699451 2 0).

9. Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde (Columbia, 1966)

In 1966, it seemed Bob Dylan wasn’t about to stop trying to surprise people. After being lauded as the greatest thing since sliced bread three years earlier, he kicked folk conventions in the ass for several years, starting with the famed “electric” set at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, continuing with the staggering rock records Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited that same year and perhaps culminating with Blonde on Blonde, a sprawling double album (arguably the first major one) that balances somber (“One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later),” “Just Like a Woman”) with the occasionally humorous (the opening salvo of carnival-music-from-hell “Rainy Day Women #12 & #35”). Frankly, the whole affair is appealingly contradictory, from quintessential New York hipster Dylan’s recording much of the album in Nashville with local session players. But the results are something to praise.

Like many Dylan albums, Blonde on Blonde has been remastered a few times, but never expanded. The premiere CD release was in 1987 (Columbia CGK 841), with a MasterSound gold CD following in 1994 (Columbia CK 64411). Greg Calbi and George Marino worked on, respectively, a standard and 5.1 surround remastering of the album that was released three ways: once on SACD (Columbia CS 841) in 1999, once in 2003 as a hybrid SACD (Columbia CH 90325) and once again in 2004 as a simple CD (Columbia CK 92400). The album has since been included in its original mono mix as part of The Original Mono Recordings box set released in 2010 (Columbia/Legacy 88697 76105-2).

“I never felt so much like…” hitting the jump and checking out our next three entries!

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Written by Mike Duquette

December 23, 2011 at 02:50

Motown Memories Captured on New DVDs

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Oh, for the days when there was a bounty of venues to hear the latest, greatest music on television. By far, one of the greatest vanguards of popular music in the halcyon days of the medium was Ed Sullivan, host of his eponymous show from 1948 to 1971. While Sullivan found himself somewhat bemused by the wide variety of talent he showcased – legendarily confining camera angles on Elvis Presley to tight shots that wouldn’t expose too much of his gyrating hips – he generally picked performers regardless of the approval of the masses, a quality that led, happily, to a large amount of black performers on the show.

And by the 1960s, no roster of soul artists was more popular than Motown Records. Sullivan welcomed the greatest performers on Berry Gordy’s label to his program, from the jazz-soul of young Stevie Wonder and the upbeat harmonies of The Temptations to the breakthrough performances of The Jackson 5 and The Supremes – the latter of whom made nearly 20 appearances on the show and became a personal favorite of the host. On September 13, Sofa Entertainment, the controllers of The Ed Sullivan Show‘s library, will release three DVD sets chronicling great Motown performances from Sullivan’s program.

The first set, Motown Gold from The Ed Sullivan Show, is a two-disc, three-volume set that showcases the label’s top acts. In addition to the hit performances by The Supremes, The Temptations and The Four Tops (all of whom enjoyed a massive amount of exposure on the show up to the end of The Ed Sullivan Show‘s run), clips by Martha & The Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles and others are featured. While the clips aren’t in chronological order, they will make for a fine mix of Motown memories.

The same day will see releases of best-of DVDs for The Temptations and The Supremes. While some of the performances are featured on the Motown Gold set, a total of 25 performances (12 from The Temptations and 13 from The Supremes) are featured, including some great rarities like highlights from The Temptations’ 1971 performance, the last live broadcast of the show, and The Supremes’ 1970 performance of “Up the Ladder to the Roof” – the only group performance on the show without Diana Ross. (Ross’ solo career was in fact announced on the program in their final television appearance together.)

Hit the jump for pre-order links and the full rundown of each DVD, and prepare yourself for one of Second Disc HQ’s favorite sounds: “The Sound of Young America”! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

September 1, 2011 at 14:44

Review: Marvin Gaye, “What’s Going On: 40th Anniversary Edition”

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Close your eyes and think of your favorite childhood vacation destination. That familiar locale, perhaps a constant lake house where you dreamt of the perfect summer and did your best to achieve it. The silly family rituals, the bonds you made with others, the warm feeling that comes with those kind of memories.

Now picture that same destination, revisited as a luxurious, all-expenses-paid package. There’s not a worry in sight, no shortage of requests to be fulfilled by servers and staff – the epitome of melt-into-your-beach-chair luxury.

Which one do you like more? Your answer will help you decide whether or not you should make the new 40th anniversary edition of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On (Motown/UMe B0015552-02) a part of your record collection. This luxurious set is the kind of set you’re going to all but need if you’re hungry for this album or any album by Gaye. But it’s hardly a replacement to the just-as-fantastic, near-perfect deluxe edition that arrived in stores 10 years earlier.

What’s Going On, in its original album form, is an unassailable classic. It’s as full of darkness, confusion, faith and introspection in 2011 as it was upon its original release in 1971. What’s more, though, is it never lets the title statement serve as anything less than an open-ended statement on a time – easily the impoverished, war-weary America that Marvin wandered in his lifetime, as well as the broke, hungry, confused landscape of today. And even with the weighty subject material, it never stops being a killer soul offering. The conceptual nature of the record allows tracks and tempos to wrap around through each other like coils, never compromising the lyrical themes or the beats laid down by Motown’s very best session musicians (credited here on What’s Going On for the first time anywhere).

The 30th anniversary Deluxe Edition of the album (Motown 440 013 404-2, 2001) had several revelatory layers to peel back for fans: first, there was a stunning alternate mix of the entire record, a muted, even jazzier affair mixed in Detroit instead of Motown’s new, burgeoning Los Angeles headquarters. Then there was a powerful live performance at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center in 1972 – Gaye’s first venue since the death of longtime duet partner Tammi Terrell – that featured the tracks from the record in their entirety, out of order but in no way robbed of their power. As if that weren’t enough, some of the album’s best single mixes, long unheard on homogenized classic radio stations, were given CD debuts. Top it off with a respectable package – one of the first of Universal’s standard Deluxe Editions with digipak, thick liner notes booklet and silver slipcase (even more appreciated in these dark times for packaging) – and you can’t be blamed for being totally content.

So what’s on the new set that may tickle your fancy? We don’t want to escalate, but you may want to, after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

June 29, 2011 at 18:22

Posted in Box Sets, Marvin Gaye, News, Reissues, Vinyl

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Release Round-Up: Week of June 7

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Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On: 40th Anniversary Edition (Motown/UMe)

Two CDs feature the original album and a host of rarities, single mixes, and all the best outtakes leading up to the making of this R&B classic (almost a dozen of which are unreleased). The deluxe package is rounded out by the great Detroit mix of the album on vinyl. (Check out our two-part interview with Harry Weinger on the set!) (Amazon)

Paul Simon, Paul Simon / There Goes Rhymin’ Simon / In Concert: Live Rhymin’ / Still Crazy After All These Years (Columbia/Legacy)

The Rhino reissues (plus Simon’s first live album with two unreleased tracks, which was never released when Warner reissued his catalogue) are back in print, only on Legacy instead. Plenty of worthwhile stuff if you missed it the first time around, and not a total loss thanks to Live Rhymin’. (Official site)

Frank Sinatra, Ring-a-Ding-Ding! Expanded Edition (Concord)

The Chairman’s first release for his own label, Reprise, comes out on Concord with two bonus tracks (including the unreleased “Have You Met Miss Jones?”). (Joe has a review coming up later today.) (Official site)

INXS, INXS Remastered (Universal U.K.)

A 10-disc boxset featuring straight remasters of all the band’s albums, from INXS (1980) toElegantly Wasted (1997). Don’t forget, though, that expanded reissues of some of these albums exist – and another reissue of Kick is allegedly in the works. (Official site)

Suede, Suede: Expanded Edition (Demon Music Group)

The Britpop band’s first album was reissued in the U.K. last week as a 2 CD/1 DVD package, and it’s now available on U.S. shores. The remainder of the band’s catalogue shall be expanded over the next month. (Official site)

Dean Martin, Classic Dino: The Best of Dean Martin / Dino: The Essential Dean Martin (Capitol/EMI) / Cool Then, Cool Now (Hip-O/UMe)

On the very day of Dino’s birth, three(!) compilations are released: a single-disc set, a double-disc reissue of Martin’s 2004 compilation (with an unreleased track), and another two-disc CD with book from Hip-O featuring some rarer tracks. (Official site)

Depeche Mode, Remixes 2: 81-11 (Mute)

A hefty collection of remixes old and new, including some mixes by Vince Clarke and Alan Wilder – essentially reuniting the band’s original lineup. (Official site)

Joy Division/New Order, Total: The Best of Joy Division and New Order (Rhino U.K.)

The first commercially-available compilation of both bands on one package. Outside of the one New Order track on the set, though, there isn’t much for anyone but brand new fans. (Rhino U.K.)

David Bowie, Golden Years (Digital EP) (Virgin/EMI)

Some new digital-only remixes of the Station to Station classic. (iTunes)

AC/DC, Let There Be Rock (Warner Bros.)

The DVD/Blu-Ray debut of the Aussie rockers’ 1980 concert film, shot in Paris at the end of 1979, mere months before original lead singer Bon Scott died. (Official site)

Iron Maiden, From Fear to Eternity: The Best of 1990-2010 (EMI)

Two discs of Iron Maiden from 1990 to now, including one rare live B-side. (Official site)

Black Sabbath, Born Again: Deluxe Edition (Sanctuary/UMC U.K.)

The only Sabbath album with Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan on lead vocals, this import reissue – already available in the U.K. – comes with an unreleased live show and a few outtakes. (Amazon U.K.)

Roger Waters, Roger Waters Collection (Sony Music U.K.)

Remasters of all of Roger Waters’ solo studio LPs plus the live CD/DVD set In the Flesh from 2000. Worth picking up if you’d like to catch up with all of the ex-Pink Floyd member’s solo work at once. (Official site)

Justin Bieber, My Worlds Acoustic (Island)

Nope, not making this one up! This cash-grab EP is making its debut to general retail, having been a Wal-Mart exclusive since last Christmas. (Official site)

Make Me Wanna Holler: A Chat with Harry Weinger on “What’s Going On” (Part 2)

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The wait is over. We continue our discussion of Marvin Gaye’s classic What’s Going On, to be released as a super-deluxe edition on June 7, with reissue producer Harry Weinger. In this portion of the discussion, Weinger touches on the always-hot topic of remastering the source material, a thought on super-deluxe box sets, and future projects to honor both Gaye’s legacy and other Motown greats.

Read on after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

May 23, 2011 at 21:15

“I Just Wanna Ask a Question”: Harry Weinger on the “What’s Going On” Box Set

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For most music producers, there’s a kind of strangeness to working on multiple reissues of the same classic album over time. Not so for Harry Weinger, vice-president of A&R at Universal Music Enterprises and, as one of UMe’s resident Motown gurus, the producer of several deluxe editions of Marvin Gaye’s classic LPs, including What’s Going On. “You learn between anniversaries,” Weinger said. “And luckily, I was there for both of them.”

When What’s Going On became one of Universal’s first in a then-new series of Deluxe Editions – now iconic for their double-sized digipacks with silver slipcases, boasting an extra disc or more of bonus musical material – it set a precedent for how all deluxe reissues should work. That set, released in 2001, contained roughly three versions of the album – the original, beloved mix as finalized under Gaye’s watch in West Hollywood’s Sound Factory; an unreleased alternate mix commissioned in Detroit without Gaye and a triumphant 1972 live show at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center, Gaye’s first live performance since the death of duet partner Tammi Terrell – not to mention three rare single versions and a demo of a track that would end up on Gaye’s next album, Let’s Get It On.

With that kind of bonus content, many fans’ eyebrows were raised when a 40th anniversary package was announced for release in May (now scheduled for June 7), boasting 11 unreleased bonus tracks among a raft of other session material that’s seen release on other packages. But Weinger had indeed learned a lot about Gaye’s sublime, densely-packed musical statement since overseeing its reissue a decade ago. And this time, he sought to capture a fuller picture of Gaye’s frame of mind in which the album came to be.

As the release of the new set approaches, Weinger took the time to provide a lengthy and enlightening commentary on his journey through the What’s Going On era and some of the special facets that set this package apart from previous ones. What follows is the first of two segments of Harry’s discussion with me. It was anything but a traditional Q&A session; one question posed to the producer can easily split off into several discussions covering more questions you might not have realized you had. It is presented in chronological order, with minimal editing for clarity.

Join us after the jump to hear Harry Weinger’s thoughts on the album, its production and the challenges of another reissue of What’s Going On – as only he can answer them.

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Written by Mike Duquette

May 19, 2011 at 18:53

Right On: Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” Receives 40th Anniversary Box Set (UPDATED WITH TRACK LIST)

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Smokey Robinson has called it “the greatest album of all time.” Rolling Stone ranked it in the Top Ten in its survey of the Greatest Albums of All Time, at No. 6. Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On broke the Motown mold as Gaye delivered one of the most personal albums of all time: impassioned, outraged, haunting, beautiful and altogether unexpected. That seminal LP was released on May 21, 1971 and has remained in print since. Ten years ago, for its thirtieth anniversary, Motown reissued What’s Going On as a two-disc Deluxe Edition, bolstering Disc 1 with a rhythm-and-strings mix of the title song and the album’s original, darker “Detroit Mix” as created by Steve Smith in April 1971. (The eventual mix was the work of Lawrence Miles in Los Angeles early in May.) The second disc featured a May 1, 1972 performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., reprising much of the album along with a lengthy ’60s medley, as well as three rare single versions and an early version of “Distant Lover,” developed more fully on Let’s Get It On.

Today, Motown/UMe has confirmed details for a major box set due on May 17 celebrating this classic album’s 40 years. What’s Going On – Super Deluxe Edition includes two CDs and one vinyl LP, 14 unreleased tracks and copious rarities, plus an oversized booklet with two essays and rare photos from the original cover shoot. The original album graphics have also been reproduced, as they were a landmark, too, showcasing lyrics and identifying musicians for the very first time at Motown. Disc 1 adds to the album several outtakes and demos from sessions leading up to the recording of What’s Going On as well as the A- and B-sides of the album’s three mono single releases. Disc 2 documents Gaye’s jams in the period immediately post-What’s Going On where he developed mostly instrumental ideas with young guitarists Ray Parker Jr. and Wah Wah Watson, and 20-year-old bassist Michael Henderson. Disc 2 is rounded out by Gaye’s final sessions in Detroit including the politically-oriented non-LP single “You’re the Man,” which went R&B Top 10 in Spring 1972. Also included are two alternate takes of the song. The LP will premiere the “Detroit Mix” on vinyl.

What’s Going On: Super-Deluxe Edition will arrive in stores on May 17.  Hit the jump for Motown’s complete press release as well as the track listing with discographical information!

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Written by Joe Marchese

April 13, 2011 at 11:29

“Icon” Series Gets More Iconic

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Universal is prepping another batch of Icon compilations for the first week of 2011. Now, we’ve been hard on this series before, but there’s actually a lot to like about these new sets.

While previous Icon sets have been bashed by The Second Disc for either shamelessly repackaging previous compilations or offering fewer CD-based rarities than, say, Legacy’s Playlist series (more on that tomorrow), this new batch of Icon sets collate artists who haven’t had much in the way of compilations yet (Vanessa Carlton), expand on previous sets (the hefty double-disc set for Sheryl Crow) and highlight lesser-known artists (country comedian Jerry Clower, a host of funk notables on Tabu Records, including Cherelle, Alexander O’Neal and The S.O.S. Band).

Those Tabu sets will offer some nice morsels for collectors, too: all of them offer up some hard-to-find remixes previously only found on vinyl singles. Now this is what we’re talking about! Hats off to the UMe staff and everyone who made sets like these possible (including Donald Cleveland, producer of titles for the Funkytown Grooves label, who worked on these three Tabu sets with producer Harry Weinger).

Each disc will be in stores on January 4, though it looks like Amazon will be offering up some of these for download before the year is out. (See their pages for details.) The track lists are, as always, below. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

December 13, 2010 at 15:06