The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for the ‘Patti Smith’ Category

He Picks The Songs That Make The Whole World Sing: Clive Davis Curates “The Soundtrack of My Life”

leave a comment »

Clive bookIn a year that counts Tommy Mottola, Cissy Houston, Burt Bacharach and Paul Anka among the music biz icons who have published, or will publish, their memoirs, one such figure’s autobiography has already made headlines: Clive Davis’ The Soundtrack of My Life.  The attorney-turned-music mogul took a no-holds-barred approach to chronicling his history, including his tenures at Columbia, Arista, J and the RCA Label Group.  This should come as no surprise to anybody who’s followed his illustrious and admittedly controversial career, but some readers might still be surprised at the sheer volume of remarkable musicians affected in one way or another by Davis’ “golden ears,” including Bob Dylan, Donovan, Lou Reed, The Kinks and Sean “Puffy” Combs.  Since his appointment by towering music industry leader Goddard Lieberson to lead Columbia Records in 1965, Davis has never stopped making waves with his bold, hands-on hitmaking style.

Now, as Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment (a position Davis has held since 2008 at the current parent company of all the aforementioned labels), Davis has teamed with Legacy Recordings to reflect on his career via a series of Spotify playlists with special commentary tracks.  Though it’s unusual here at this branch of Second Disc HQ to direct our readers to Spotify – after all, aren’t there plenty of amazing physical releases out there demanding your listening attention? – the opportunity to hear a venerable legend reflecting on his considerable C.V. isn’t one to pass up.  And Legacy’s “The Legacy Of” app, on which Davis’ playlists are featured, is a prime example of how the online streaming service’s offerings can complement a physical music collection.

Spotify users who navigate to “The Legacy Of” app will discover Davis as the Featured Artist.   The menu provides links to: Albums / Biography / Photos / Playlists / Discography. Head over to “Playlists” to listen or subscribe to six new playlists curated by Davis himself. Each is populated by artists with whom he has worked during his career at CBS Records (Columbia and Epic and their associated labels), Arista Records (including LaFace and Bad Boy), J Records and more.  You can directly visit the “Legacy Of” app at this link. Davis’ six playlists are entitled The Soundtrack of My Life, Best of 2000s, Best of 1990s, Best of 1980s, Best of 1970s, and Best of 1960s.  Naturally, the Soundtrack of My Life playlist is the one with commentary from Davis.  He has recorded reminiscences for fourteen of the playlist’s 20 tracks, and the playlist includes songs from many of the artists with whom he is most associated.

Which songs has Davis selected?  Hit the jump for details and more! Read the rest of this entry »

Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp, Nick Cave Join “Voices for Justice” on New Soundtrack

leave a comment »

West of MemphisWhen not telling the story of The Hobbit on Middle Earth, film producers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh are hoping this winter to bring a different, real-life story to light.  West of Memphis is their new documentary film directed by Amy Berg (Best Documentary Oscar nominee Deliver Us from Evil), so named for the Arkansas city of West Memphis in which three eight-year old boys were tragically killed in 1993.  The film chronicles the battle to prove the innocence of the three young men convicted for the heinous crime, each of whom spent over eighteen years in prison while supporters collected the evidence that eventually led to their freedom.   On January 15, Legacy Recordings will release West of Memphis: Voices for Justice, a tie-in album to the documentary featuring contributions from Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Marilyn Manson, Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp and others.

Damien Echols (a producer of the film), Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were all teenagers when they became the target of the police’s investigation.  Members of the music community including Henry Rollins, Natalie Maines, Dave Navarro, Manson and Vedder all became vocal in supporting Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley’s pleas for justice to be served.  In the press release for Legacy’s new release in support of the West Memphis Three, Echols stated, “Music has always played a huge role in my life. In my early years, it allowed me to escape the crushing poverty I was born into. Music took me out of myself and into a thousand other worlds. Then, when I was put on trial, it was music they used against me. My love of heavy metal was considered ‘proof’ that I was evil and a satanic murderer. And then, ultimately, it was music that helped to free me when friends and supporters came together to put on the Voices for Justice concert in Little Rock.”

After the jump: more including the complete track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 12, 2012 at 12:52

First Name Basis: Ozzy, Willie, Janis, Iggy Among Legacy’s Offerings For Record Store Day

with 3 comments

Here at Second Disc HQ, we’re eagerly anticipating April 21, or Record Store Day, the industry-wide celebration of all things vinyl (and a few CDs, too!).  Record Store Day, now in its fifth year, gives shoppers the chance to interact with big crowds of fellow music enthusiasts in the brick-and-mortar retail environment cherished by so many of us.  Legacy Recordings has announced its impressive line-up of limited edition releases that will line the shelves of your favorite independent music store on that Saturday, including titles from the 2012 Record Store Day Ambassador, Iggy Pop, and the 2011 Ambassador, Ozzy Osbourne!  Joining those two rock heroes on the Legacy slate are familiar faces such as Paul Simon, Willie Nelson and Lou Reed, and gone-but-not-forgotten legends like Miles Davis and Janis Joplin!

Hit the jump for the full list of Legacy’s diverse offerings, and don’t forget to visit our full (and ongoing) round-up of the reissue-related Record Store Day limited editions for 2012! Read the rest of this entry »

“Chimes of Freedom” Flashing for Bob Dylan and Amnesty International

with one comment

Let’s face it, Bob Dylan tributes aren’t exactly uncommon. That said, one of the most ambitious albums of its kind is coming down the pike, set for January 24 release. Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan is a specially-priced 4-CD set containing 73 Dylan songs in renditions from an incredibly broad array of artists. Most of the tracks were recorded specifically for this project, but since a handful are previously unreleased tracks of an older vintage (and Dylan’s own 1964 released take of “Chimes of Freedom,” appropriately enough, closes out the set), we felt that coverage of this set was warranted here.

Chimes of Freedom is produced by Jeff Ayeroff and Julie Yannatta, who were also responsible for 2007’s Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. That 2-CD set brought together artists like U2, R.E.M., Green Day, The Flaming Lips and Jackson Browne on a selection of John Lennon songs. This set features a similarly eclectic roster of musicians and a comparably broad scope. Many favorites here at Second Disc HQ have made a contribution to Chimes of Freedom: the late Johnny Cash, plus the very-much-alive Patti Smith, Pete Townshend, Sting, Elvis Costello and Carly Simon, to name a few. Miley Cyrus is the youngest performer on the collection at 19, and the Hannah Montana star offers “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.” The oldest act on the line-up is none other than Pete Seeger, who could be describing himself at the age of 92 with Dylan’s “Forever Young.” It’s difficult to single out notable artists on a compilartion featuring so many. Kris Kristofferson offers “The Mighty Quinn,” Diana Krall brings her sensual touch to “Simple Twist of Fate” and Eric Burdon of the Animals tackles “Gotta Serve Somebody.” The white-hot Adele is represented by a radio performance of “Make You Feel My Love.” Ke$ha gets into the act with “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and the frequent Philip Glass collaborators The Kronos Quartet performs the same song. Glee heartthrob Darren Criss does the honors for “New Morning.” Seal and Jeff Beck are an unlikely pair on “Like a Rolling Stone,” and bluesman Taj Mahal plays “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream.” Even Dylan’s old flame Joan Baez is here, with a live performance of “Seven Curses.”

Hit the jump for more, including the complete track listing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 16, 2011 at 10:16

The Second Disc Buyers Guide: The 100 Greatest Reissues of All Time, Part 12 (#45-41)

with 2 comments

You know the drill: Rolling Stone‘s 100 greatest albums of all time, as assessed by us in terms of their many reissues, to bring you the best-sounding and most thoroughly expanded editions for your buck. The Band literally plays on as we kick off this installment!

45. The Band, The Band (Capitol, 1969)

After the great debut Music from Big Pink the year before, The Band drew on concepts of Americana and rural history for their follow-up. There was no sophomore slump here; guitarist Robbie Robertson’s songwriting was becoming even more top-notch (he wrote or co-wrote every song on the album), and the band was sounding as flawlessly arranged as ever, particularly definitive folk tracks like “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

Capitol first released The Band on CD in 1987 (CDP 7 46493 2) and expanded it in 2000 with seven bonus tracks, including a non-LP B-side, “Get Up Jake,” and six alternate takes. (Andrew Sandoval and Dan Hersch mastered this release – Capitol 72435 25389 2 8.) In 2009, Audio Fidelity released a Gold CD mastered by Steve Hoffman (AFZ 032) which featured “Get Up Jake” as a bonus track.

44. Patti Smith, Horses (Arista, 1975)

The New York singer/poet’s incendiary debut was an American forerunner of punk rock, an eclectic mix of jazz and rock that took forms short (straight-ahead rock songs “Redondo Beach” and “Free Money”) and long (the suites “Gloria,” “Birdland” and “Land”). If all you know is Smith’s still gorgeous Bruce Springsteen cover “Because the Night,” this is the one to pick up.

Horses‘ release history on CD is nice and neat. The first release on the format was in 1988 (Arista ARCD-8362), followed by a remaster by Vic Anesini in 1996 (Arista 07822 18827-2) which featured one bonus track, a live cover of The Who’s “My Generation.” In 2005, a Legacy Edition was released (Arista/Legacy 82876 71198-2); officially titled Horses/Horses, it features the same contents of the ’96 reissue (albeit remastered by Greg Calbi) and a bonus disc featuring a live performance of the whole album (and “My Generation”) from London’s Royal Festival Hall in 2005, with Television’s Tom Verlaine and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea serving as part of the backing band.

After the jump, a trip to the dark side, the debut of an iconic ’60s band and the punk rock statement of the millennium!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

December 13, 2011 at 23:19

Bruce Springsteen, Tony Bennett, Bob Dylan, Metallica Join Neil Young For “Bridge School Concerts” CD/DVD

leave a comment »

Who but Neil Young could have brought The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sonic Youth, Ben Harper, Eddie Vedder, Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, and Los Lonely Boys together on the same stage?  Though Young is an easy target for what can appear as a capricious attitude towards his back catalogue – announcing, then delaying or cancelling titles with alarming frequency – one aspect of the man’s great legacy cannot be in dispute, and that is his philanthropy.  Since 1986, Young and his wife Pegi have offered annual support for The Bridge School, an organization dedicated to the education of children with severe speech and physical impairments.  That was the year Mr. and Mrs. Young created The Bridge School Benefit Concert. 

The very first line-up included Young with his friends Crosby, Stills and Nash, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Tom Petty and Robin Williams; the 2004 concert offered the diverse group including Bennett and McCartney.  This year’s shows, on October 22 and 23, will continue the generally all-acoustic ethos, and will offer faces both old and new.  Bennett and Vedder are to join Diana Krall, Dave Matthews, Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters, Los Invisibles featuring Carlos Santana, Beck, Jenny Lewis, and Mumford and Sons.

Held yearly at Mountain View, California’s Shoreline Amphitheatre, The Bridge School Benefit Concerts have welcomed artists including David Bowie, Willie Nelson, Sarah McLachlan, Elton John, Leon Russell, Sheryl Crow, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Brian Wilson, The Who, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor and Bob Dylan.  All of those names (and many more!) appear on The Bridge School Concerts: 25th Anniversary Edition, due on October 24 from Reprise Records in 2-CD and 3-DVD formats.  There has been one prior Bridge School CD (1997’s The Bridge School Concerts Vol. 1) and a number of digital-only offerings, but these sets mark the most comprehensive package of music from the Bridge School’s archives.

Though there is some overlap among the CD and DVD releases (which will be sold separately), each features a unique selection of music.  Contributions from David Bowie, Patti Smith, Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Simon and Garfunkel, Tom Waits and Billy Idol only appear on the DVD set.  No Doubt, Jack Johnson, Sonic Youth, Willie Nelson, Tony Bennett, Nils Lofgren, Norah Jones and Jonathan Richman are among those artists only appearing on CD.  Both formats include tracks from Elton John and Leon Russell (“My Dream Come True”), Bruce Springsteen (“Born in the USA”), Brian Wilson (“Surfin’ USA”), Fleet Foxes (“Blue Ridge Mountains”), Metallica (“Disposable Heroes”), The Who (“Won’t Get Fooled Again”) and Paul McCartney (“Get Back”).  Neil Young himself is represented on CD with “Country Feedback” with R.E.M. and “Love and Only Love” with Crazy Horse.  “Country Feedback” reappears on the DVD, along with a Young solo performance of “Crime in the City.”

Whereas the first two DVDs in the set are exclusively devoted to performance footage, the third disc contains bonus material: two documentaries, Backstage at the Bridge School Benefit and The Bridge School Story, along with artist and student interviews.

Hit the jump to watch the video trailer, as well as for the complete track listing and pre-order links!  The Bridge School Concerts: 25th Anniversary Edition hits stores on October 24 from Reprise, and it’s important to note that “all profits from this release go directly to The Bridge School.”  The label has set up an official site for the project here! Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Patti Smith, “Outside Society”

leave a comment »

The calling came early for Patti Smith.  At twelve years of age, a family excursion to the Museum of Art in Philadelphia brought the young Smith in contact with Modigliani, Sargent and Picasso, the latter affecting her with his “brutal confidence.”  It was with a similar confidence that Smith, not even in her teenage years, concluded that “to be an artist was to see what others could not.”  Smith was steadfast in her determination to make her mark in the turbulent art world of New York in the 1970s, a story chronicled with both romance and realism in her 2010 memoir Just Kids (soon to be a major motion picture co-written by Smith and John Logan of the play Red and films Gladiator and Sweeney Todd).  She pressed then-companion, collage artist Robert Mapplethorpe, to take his own photographs as he pressed her to read her poetry aloud.  Soon, the two denizens of the “eccentric and damned” Chelsea Hotel (Smith’s own, apt description) were artistically in the ascendant.

Yet Smith’s eventual success as a progenitor of punk and art rock was hardly pre-ordained.  Though she repeatedly played “Strawberry Fields Forever” alongside records by Nina Simone and John Coltrane, Smith didn’t initially seek a career as a performer or envision herself as a rock star of any sort.  She was a poet, influenced by Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891), and a music journalist who sought to follow in the lofty footsteps of Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) who made major contributions to art criticism.  In her song “Pissing in a River,” Smith wonders in a primal howl:  Should I pursue a path so twisted?/Should I crawl defeated and gifted ?/Should I go the length of a river/The royal, the throne, the ‘cry me a river’?”  We know, though, the path Patti Smith indeed chose to pursue despite the bumps in the road, and her now-legendary career is being celebrated with its first-ever single disc retrospective, Outside Society (Arista/Columbia/Legacy  88697 94315 2).

Over 18 tracks, Outside Society presents a full view of an uncompromising artist who learned to follow her own muse even as she functioned as one for Mapplethorpe: “He saw more in me than I could see in myself.  Whenever he peeled the image from the Polaroid negative, he would say, ‘With you, I can’t miss,’” Smith writes in Just Kids.  Smith literally retraced Rimbaud’s footsteps one autumn in France, using the experience as a further channel into music when she gave a “Rock and Rimbaud” performance incorporating poetry, Kurt Weill and Hank Ballard into a unique program.  Do great minds think alike?  Smith – a visual artist as well as a performing artist and a musician – formed a rock trio with guitarist/bassist (and original Nuggets curator!) Lenny Kaye and keyboardist Richard Sohl (“three chords merged with the power of the word”) and added drummer Jay Dee Daugherty and guitarist/bassist Ivan Kral for her 1975 debut Horses.  That album opened with an adaptation of Van Morrison’s rock anthem “Gloria.”  A later Morrison anthem paid homage to the same man who so inspired Smith, the libertine poet who was outside the conventions of both poetry and society.  Morrison’s song was entitled “Tore Down a la Rimbaud.”

What does Outside Society have to offer?  Hit the jump to find out! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 24, 2011 at 12:17

Posted in Features, News, Patti Smith, Reissues, Reviews

Tagged with

Weekend Wround-Up: Ramones Vinyl (Plus), Warhol’s Legacy, A Voyage to Honnalee on DVD

leave a comment »

  • On Tuesday, July 19, Rhino is reissuing the first four Ramones albums on 180-gram vinyl with the original artwork and track lists (meaning Leave Home will have “Carbona Not Glue” on Side One). Those who order the first 500 copies of each LP directly from the label will receive a bonus 7″ with their respective albums.
  • Legacy Recordings will release a strictly limited box set in August to commemorate the life and work of Andy Warhol. 15 Minutes: Homage to Andy Warhol will feature three CDs consisting of 17 audio components (poetry, spoken word, music, or reminiscences) by 18 different artists, mostly friends and colleagues from the art world but also including musical luminaries like Bob Dylan and Patti Smith. Those components will also be replicated on four vinyl LPs; the box will additionally feature 16 12″x12″ silkscreened art pieces by the same artists. This box will be limited to 1,964 copies at $600 each; for the serious collector, a deluxe edition will feature the silkscreened prints as “numbered, signed or stamped” by their creator(s), and silkscreened by Warhol’s master silkscreener, Alexander Heinrici.” That set, of which only 85 copies will be made, will go for $20,000.
  • Shout! Factory will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Peter, Paul and Mary with the release of a special that commemorated the folk group’s 25th anniversary. Peter, Paul and Mary: The 25th Anniversary Concert, was taped at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville and broadcast on PBS in 1986, and makes its debut on disc on July 23 (as an Amazon exclusive).

Check out track lists and order links for the Ramones and Peter, Paul and Mary sets after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

July 8, 2011 at 12:51

Patti Smith Still “Outside Society” On New Legacy Comp

with one comment

October 30, 2009.  Electricity was in the air at the second evening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Concerts at New York’s Madison Square Garden.  In a crowning irony, quintessential downtown icon Patti Smith had taken the uptown stage in this most mainstream of venues.  She was on hand to sing her 1978 hit “Because the Night” with its co-writer and the unofficial ringleader for the two marathon shows, Bruce Springsteen, and pianist Roy Bittan.  The song required a couple of takes to get it right for the broadcast, but take it from one who was there: the first try was raw, unvarnished, imperfect rock and roll.  And who better to embody that spirit than Patti Smith, often recognized as the godmother of punk?

Her story is the stuff of legend.  An intense affair with controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. A residence at the Chelsea Hotel (where else?). Performance art on the streets of Paris.  A play co-written with notorious “bad boy” Sam Shepard.  Gigs at CBGB’s.  A singer, musician, poet, artist, writer and activist, Patti Smith can’t be boxed into one category.  But a great place to start exploring the many sides of Smith just might be the upcoming release of Outside Society from Legacy Recordings.   This 18-track anthology (available in 1-CD or 2-LP configurations) is the first single-disc compilation to explore the entirety of Smith’s recording career on both Arista and Columbia Records, from 1975’s debut Horses through 2007’s Twelve.  (A previous collection, Land, was a two-disc affair current as of 2002.)

Chronologically, Smith’s career begins and ends with pure rock.  The first track on Outside Society (and first on 1975’s Horses) is her cover of Van Morrison’s “Gloria,” maybe the quintessential garage anthem.  2007’s Twelve revisited more songs influential to Smith, and Outside Society picks its reinvention of Kurt Cobain’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” underlining the lasting power of primal primitivism in music.  Along the way, Outside Society collects highlights from all ten of Smith’s studio albums which feature her singular mix of rock, jazz, poetry and improvisation.  (The singer has always defied easy classification despite those hanging “art rock” or “punk” tags on her albums.)  She hasn’t been particularly prolific as a recording artist, but her influence has been immense.  One song included is Smith’s take (from 1979’s Todd Rundgren-produced Wave) on Roger McGuinn’s withering “So You Want To Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star?”  Whether or not she intended to become one, Patti Smith certainly did.

The compilation features the contributions of her bandmates, with original Nuggets creator Lenny Kaye (guitar) and Jay Dee Daugherty (drums) the longest-serving members.  Kaye, Daugherty, Richard Sohl (keyboard/piano) and Ivan Kral (bass) formed the Patti Smith Group, which hit its commercial peak in 1978 with Easter and “Because the Night.”  Smith contributes track-by-track liner notes for the new release, and says this of her enduring hit: “Bruce Springsteen gave me a great gift in allowing me to lend verses to his beautifully constructed anthem.  My contribution was written for my future husband, Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith. Though we have performed it hundreds of times, the strong response it draws always makes it fresh and exciting to sing.”  Springsteen finally released his original take on “Because the Night” on 2010’s The Promise, and Natalie Merchant’s 10,000 Maniacs, of course, took it back up the charts in 1993.  But for many, it remains Patti Smith’s song.

Hit the jump for more, including the complete track listing with discographical annotation and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 1, 2011 at 10:49