The Second Disc

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Archive for the ‘Phil Collins’ Category

Gold Reissues Coming Soon for Collins, Taylor, Wonder

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Audiophile specialist label Audio Fidelity has announced its initial trio of 24K Gold CD reissues for 2011, and it is comprised of three familiar names, all of whom have previously had titles reissued on the label: Phil Collins, James Taylor and Stevie Wonder.

Already having tackled the gold CD of Collins’ 1981 solo debut Face Value, Steve Hoffman returns to remaster the artist’s 1985 breakthrough, No Jacket Required. Spawning four U.S. Top 10 singles, No Jacket Required was the former Genesis drummer’s third solo LP (Audio Fidelity has revealed no plans yet to reissue 1982’s Hello, I Must Be Going) and first to go No. 1 in the U.S. Quite simply, this record is a juggernaut, with “One More Night,” “Take Me Home” and leadoff track “Sussudio” all ubiquitous. Sting even makes a guest appearance on “Long Long Way to Go.”

1974’s Walking Man was James Taylor’s fifth studio LP, and followed 1972’s One Man Dog, itself recently reissued by Audio Fidelity. Like One Man Dog, Walking Man has been remastered by Steve Hoffman. Produced by guitarist David Spinozza, this underrated and overlooked LP found Taylor moving away from the introspective, acoustic sound of his commercial peak and experimenting with horn and string arrangements as well as excursions into jazz, folk and edgier rock. The latter is represented by “Rock ‘n’ Roll is Music Now” (on-the-nose title, no?) where Taylor is joined by his old friend Paul McCartney as well as McCartney’s wife Linda and Taylor’s wife Carly Simon. The same group adds background vocals to “Let It All Fall Down,” while Simon appears on a number of tracks. In addition to his own material, Taylor covers Chuck Berry’s “The Promised Land” as well as Joey Levine and Spinozza’s “Ain’t No Song.” While Walking Man didn’t yield any hit singles, Taylor would find his commercial groove again with the following year’s Gorilla, on which he introduced “Mexico” and famously gave new life to “How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You).”

The same year as Walking Man, Stevie Wonder released Fulfillingness’ First Finale. Like Taylor’s LP, Wonder’s remains an overlooked title in his catalogue, largely because the singles weren’t overtly radio-friendly. While Fulfillingness isn’t Wonder’s most accessible LP, it’s as rewarding than any of his other, more familiar titles. It boasts the electrifying “Boogie On Reggae Woman” and an angry message to President Nixon, “You Haven’t Done Nothin’.” Wonder is joined by an illustrious “who’s who” of background vocalists, including Paul Anka, The Jackson 5, Minnie Riperton, the Persuasions, Syreeta Wright and Deniece Williams, and Funk Brother James Jamerson lays down some killer bass on “Too Shy to Say.” Kevin Gray handles the remastering honors as he has done for the label’s reissues of two other prime Wonder classics, Music of My Mind and Talking BookFulfillingness’ First Finale took home the statue for Album of the Year at the 1975 Grammy Awards; Wonder had received the same award the previous year for Innervisions and would again take it in 1977 for Songs in the Key of Life. Upon accepting Album of the Year in 1976 for Still Crazy After All These Years, Paul Simon famously thanked Wonder for not releasing an album that year!

Hit the jump for pre-order information, track listings and full discographical information!

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Written by Joe Marchese

January 4, 2011 at 12:11

Short Takes: Apple Indie Sampler, Collins Goes Gold and Stills in Surround

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Even with most of the major holiday product announced (and much, though far from all, of it in stores!), a few new catalogue releases have slipped through the cracks with little fanfare.

This Tuesday, Beatles completists (you know who you are!) can check their local indie retailer for a swell little compilation entitled 10 Green Apples; it’s a sampler disc for the full EMI/Apple Records reissue campaign (all individual releases hit stores Tuesday, as does an import box set with those 15 discs plus two bonus discs) and as the title indicates, includes 10 tracks from across the entire line of releases from artists including James Taylor, Badfinger and Ronnie Spector. Happily, it includes a few tracks otherwise only available as digital downloads or on the box set’s bonus discs. This CD is only available as part of a package also containing a spiffy black “Apple 2010” T-shirt.  If you want it, here it is, come and get it. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

Surely many will be interested in the latest 24K gold CD coming from Audio Fidelity, just announced by mastering engineer Steve Hoffman: a reissue of Phil Collins’ seminal Face Value. The 1981 LP marked the solo debut for the Genesis drummer, and kicks off with the hit “In the Air Tonight,” still one of Collins’ most beloved songs. Face Value hit No. 7 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and of special interest this year is its cover of The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows,” released as a tribute to John Lennon, who died as the album was being completed. More info from Audio Fidelity can be found here.

Finally, Rhino U.K. has an even more surprising release in the pipeline. November 8 is the scheduled date for a remastered CD/DVD-Audio edition of Stephen Stills’ eponymous solo debut. This follows similar sets for David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name and Graham Nash’s Songs for Beginners. Expect the remastered original album on the CD (it’s not yet known whether the album has been remixed as well), and stereo and 5.1 surround mixes on the advanced resolution DVD-A. In this format (the last hurrah for onetime Rhino/Warner staple DVD-A?) every musical detail should be audible not only from Stills, but from his illustrious guest list including Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and even Jimi Hendrix. (“Mama” Cass Elliot, Crosby and Nash all contributed in the vocal department.) Stephen Stills was released in 1970, and is still a benchmark for Stills’ career. It remains an engaging, musically diverse snapshot of that heady time. While the infectious “Love the One You’re With” was the big radio hit, the album is one high point after another drawing on the whole of Stills’ disparate influences as a guitarist and songwriter. If those previous Rhino CSN-related releases are any indication, Stephen Stills should be high on any high-rez/surround music fan’s holiday wish list.  It can be pre-ordered here from Amazon U.K.

Hit the jump for track listings for all three releases! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 25, 2010 at 09:15

Reissue Theory x2: Phil Collins – “No Jacket Required” and Peter Gabriel – “So”

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It has been encouraging to see, in light of Genesis’ impending induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a number of commenters showing their respect for the Phil Collins-led, pop-savvy incarnation of the band. The group’s output was always listenable – one could argue the 1990s was largely an exception – but it always seemed popular opinion was against them around the Invisible Touch era.

This is ironic, since the same year Invisible Touch was released, former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel released his most pop-savvy record, So. The two of those records – Invisible Touch and So – are fascinating, but So has an atmospheric quality to its songs that no pop album from that year could lay claim to. And the hits kept coming – “Sledgehammer,” “Don’t Give Up,” “Big Time,” “Red Rain” (but not “In Your Eyes,” which missed the U.S. Top 20 on its first run and didn’t even crack the Top 40 after Say Anything… used the song to massive effect).

But one should not discount Collins’ ability to craft really effective pop. He did it with Genesis, Philip Bailey, Anni-Frid Lyngstad of ABBA and of course himself, scoring in 1985 with No Jacket Required, an LP that even featured the talents of Gabriel on closing track “Take Me Home.”

To honor the two vocalists of Genesis, here’s a special reissue theory look at their most beloved solo discs. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

March 14, 2010 at 12:33

Did You (Ever) Hear?

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It greatly pleases me that The Second Disc has attracted an interested readership. It’s a pleasure that there are many out there interested in how the industry behaves and evolves. And as a writer and enthusiast with such devotion to the niche, it’s just exciting to connect with like-minded individuals.

To that end, I pose something of a catalogue-oriented challenge to you. In all my years collecting and listening to pop music, I have only come across the following track once. The complete lack of information devoted to it on the Internet makes me worry that I’ve made up its existence, but I remain insistent that the song is out there. I wonder if you may have heard it yourself.

Certainly you’ve heard “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now),” Phil Collins’ Oscar-nominated 1984 hit. You may have even heard the cover version Mariah Carey did in 2000 (released twice as a single, the second version being a remix with boy band Westlife added to the track).

I remain 99 percent certain I have heard a third version that takes the master track of Collins’ version and mixes it with a duet vocal by Carey. It was perhaps five years ago, one late night on New York radio station 106.7 Lite FM. This wasn’t a DJ-created edit, like the original version of “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.” I believe Carey’s original cover version was in another key, so she would have had to have re-recorded the vocals from scratch to fit the key of the original.

I’ve never heard the song since, although I do distinctly recall my reaction was one of confusion over why the song would be overdubbed in such a way. Futhermore, I’ve never seen any information indicating that it was released, either as a commercial or promo single. (It would be a confusing release, since Collins’ work is distributed by Atlantic and Carey was, at the time of the cover, signed to Columbia.) I’ve stumped every pop enthusiast I’ve asked about this to, including an old roommate of mine who remains a die-hard Mariah fan.

To you, dear reader of The Second Disc, I humbly inquire: have you heard this version of the song ever? Those who can shed light on the situation receive my undying respect, which says a lot as a musical know-it-all.

Written by Mike Duquette

March 2, 2010 at 15:16