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Release Round-Up: Week of August 13

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Harry Nilsson - Flash HarryHarry Nilsson, Flash Harry (Varese Vintage)

Never released in the U.S. or on CD, the wave of Nilssonmania continues with this: Harry’s last album, released in 1980, now available on remastered vinyl or CD with several unheard bonus tracks.

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

The RiddleNik Kershaw, The Riddle: Remastered Expanded Edition (UMC)

Kershaw’s second LP, featuring one of the most criminally underrated singles ever in the title track, is reissued as a double-disc set with B-sides, remixes and rare vintage live cuts. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

South Side of Soul StreetVarious Artists, The South Side of Soul Street: The Minaret Soul Singles 1967-1976 (Omnivore)

Two discs of single sides from the forgotten Nashville label Minaret are collected for your listening pleasure. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)


Love Makes No SenseThe S.O.S. Band, Just the Way You Like It / Kathy Mathis, A Woman’s Touch / Alexander O’Neal, Love Makes No Sense: “Tabu Reborn” Expanded Editions (Tabu/Edsel)

The fifth wave of Tabu’s ongoing reissue campaign.

S.O.S. Band: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Kathy Mathis: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Alexander O’Neal: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Cash Life UnheardJohnny Cash, LIFE Unheard (Sony Music)

A companion piece to a new book of rare and unreleased photos from LIFE magazine, this disc features a handful of tracks from the Cash Bootleg Series along with two unreleased cuts. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

CSN Gold DiscHi-res reissues: Crosby, Stills & Nash, CSN / James Taylor, Gorilla (24K Gold CDs – Audio Fidelity) / Patsy Cline’s Greatest Hits (SACD – Analogue Productions)

Thank God It's FridayCulture Factory remasters: 38 Special, Special Delivery Thank God It’s Friday: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack / Kim Carnes, Barking At Airplanes Lighthouse

Written by Mike Duquette

August 13, 2013 at 07:41

A Beacon in the Pale of the Night: Nik Kershaw’s “The Riddle” to Be Expanded in August

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The RiddleFollowing a recent expansion of his beloved (in the U.K.) debut album, Universal Music Group will offer the double-disc treatment to Nik Kershaw’s sophomore effort The Riddle this summer, SuperDeluxeEdition reports.

The monumental success of 1983’s Human Racing, with its singles “Wouldn’t It Be Good” and “I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” reaching No. 4 and No. 2 on the U.K. charts, respectively, meant a need to produce a great follow-up. Kershaw delivered with The Riddle, thanks to its gorgeous title track (a No. 3 single) and the Top 10 follow-ups “Wide Boy” and “Don Quixote.” The album proper peaked at No. 8 in the U.K. (regrettably missing the Top 100 on Billboard‘s chart stateside) – the last major chart showing for Kershaw, who released a further two albums for MCA throughout the ’80s before shifting to writing and producing for others, before returning back to his own singing career in the late 1990s. (His most recent LP was last year’s Ei8ht.)

The expanded album will feature a bonus disc assembled by Kershaw, with five bonus B-sides and remixes and six tracks from a 1984 live gig at the Hammersmith Odeon. (We imagined all of those B-sides and mixes on one of our first Reissue Theory posts, almost exactly three years ago!) It’s out August 12; check out that track list below.

The Riddle: Remastered Expanded Edition (Universal Music (U.K.), 2013)

Disc 1: Original LP (released as MCA MCF 3245 (U.K.), 1984)

  1. Don Quixote
  2. Know How
  3. You Might
  4. Wild Horses
  5. Easy
  6. The Riddle
  7. City of Angels
  8. Roses
  9. Wide Boy
  10. Save the Whale

Disc 2: Bonus material (* denotes previously unreleased tracks)

  1. Roses (Live @ The Hammersmith Odeon – 12/31/1984) *
  2. The Riddle (Extended Riddle) (12” A-side – MCA NIKT 6, 1984)
  3. Know How (Live @ The Hammersmith Odeon – 12/31/1984) *
  4. Don Quixote (Extra Special Long Mix) (12” A-side – MCA NIKT 8, 1985)
  5. City of Angels (Live @ The Hammersmith Odeon – 12/31/1984) *
  6. So Quiet (single B-side – MCA NIK 7, 1984)
  7. Wild Horses (Live @ The Hammersmith Odeon – 12/31/1984) *
  8. Wide Boy (Extended Remix) – 5:07 (12” A-side – MCA NIKT 7, 1984)
  9. You Might (Live @ The Hammersmith Odeon – 12/31/1984) *
  10. Don’t Lie – 3:52 (single B-side – MCA NIK 8, 1985)
  11. Save the Whale (Live @ The Hammersmith Odeon – 12/31/1984) *

Written by Mike Duquette

June 20, 2013 at 15:47

Posted in News, Nik Kershaw, Reissues

Wouldn’t It Be Good? Universal U.K. Expands Nik Kershaw’s Debut LP

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A pleasant surprise is coming from Universal’s catalogue arm across the pond: an expanded edition of Nik Kershaw’s excellent debut album Human Racing.

Released in 1984, Human Racing gave the young Bristol-born, Suffolk-raised guitarist a big break after years of jobbing in local bands. Aided by a set of teen magazine-ready good looks and an ear for intricately arranged, vaguely theatrical pop tunes, the second single from Human Racing, the excellent “Wouldn’t It Be Good,” became a Top 5 smash in Europe. Upon a second issue, debut single “I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” became his biggest hit, peaking at No. 2 in England. His arty videography – who could forget the chroma-key suit he wore in the “Wouldn’t It Be Good” clip? – helped his repertoire make a moderate dent in the American charts, though amazingly, none of his works broke the Top 40 in the States. (His success would continue in the U.K. through the ’80s and ’90s, though, with another smash hit with sophomore album The Riddle, a performance at London’s Wembley Stadium during Live Aid in 1985 and successful collaborations with The Hollies, Chesney Hawkes and Elton John.)

As was customary for a British pop act with many singles, there were plenty of B-sides and dance mixes from the start of Kershaw’s career. (Many of these were outlined in a somewhat prescient Reissue Theory post from July of 2010!) This expanded edition of the album features a bonus disc with 12 bonus tracks, including an unreleased remix of album cut “Bogart,” and will feature new liner notes from Kershaw himself. (The artist took to Twitter recently to praise the quality of the new remastering as well, calling it “FAB-U-LOUS!”)

This new set is out in the U.K. on February 20. Hit the jump to see the track list (courtesy of and place your order on Amazon U.K.!

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Written by Mike Duquette

January 11, 2012 at 10:43

Posted in News, Nik Kershaw, Reissues

Reissue Theory: Live Aid on CD

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Twenty-six years ago today, on two different continents, the music world came together for a worthy cause: to raise awareness of famine in Ethiopia. Live Aid, a pair of concerts organized by Bob Geldof in London and Philadelphia on July 13, 1985 and broadcasted live on the BBC, ABC and MTV, was seen in person by some 172,000 people and on television by nearly 2 billion across the globe.

And, if you can believe it, none of it has ever been released on LP or CD.

Granted, it’s not entirely unsurprising. Geldof promised artists that the performances were very much a one-off, never to be seen past the initial broadcast. (That of course turned out to be untrue, with the release of a four-disc DVD set in 2004.) But you have to wonder, given not only the fiercely charitable nature of the organization as well as the capitalistic nature of the music industry, why a commemorative album was never put out to raise even more money for charities.

But if they did, this is how it might go down.

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Reissue Theory: Nik Kershaw

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It’s not hard to see why Nik Kershaw was considered a teen idol in the 1980s, but it is hard to understand why this was the case after listening to his music. The British guitarist released several great albums of atmospheric yet accessible guitar pop-rock, but it seemed a bit heavier than the usual teen idol fare of generations past or future.

Kershaw’s best-known output don’t deal with typical teen fare. His biggest singles, “Wouldn’t It Be Good,” “I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” and “The Riddle” wouldn’t ever be mistaken for Frankie Avalon or Take That. “The Riddle,” in particular, could pass for the score to a medieval short film. Whatever the label, though, Kershaw knew how to make ear-catching pop for the 1980s. And those first two records – Human Racing (1983) and The Riddle (1984) – are perfect indicators of this fact.

As underrated as they are in the U.S. – neither charted higher than No. 70 on the Billboard charts – there’s easily enough bonus material (and enough of a fan base, one imagines) to warrant a reissue of those first two records. Get the Reissue Theory perspective on things after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

July 15, 2010 at 12:36

Posted in Features, Nik Kershaw, Reissues

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