The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for the ‘Phyllis Hyman’ Category

SoulMusic Records Delivers the Love with Phyllis Hyman’s “Buddah Years”

with one comment

Phyllis Hyman - Buddah YearsSoulMusic Records, an imprint of the Cherry Red Group, continues its non-chronological tour through the catalogue of the late Phyllis Hyman with the release of The Buddah Years.  Despite the compilation title, this 13-track CD is actually a straight reissue of Hyman’s very first solo album, recorded for Buddah Records, plus four bonus tracks.

Though she had previously recorded a single for Private Stock Records, the statuesque soul singer’s first major splash came as guest vocalist for producer Norman Connors.  Hyman’s deliberate, sensual reinvention of Thom Bell and Linda Creed’s “Betcha by Golly Wow” appeared on Connors’ album You Are My Starship beside a duet she recorded with Michael Henderson, “We Both Need Each Other.”  Both songs featuring Hyman became Top 30 R&B singles, and another one-off single (this time for the Desert Moon label) also charted, at No. 76 R&B.  Soon, Buddah Records – also home to Connors – saw potential in the striking Ms. Hyman as a solo artist.

Phyllis Hyman, as her solo album was simply titled, featured productions by veteran Jerry Peters (The Sylvers, The Friends of Distinction), Hyman’s husband Larry Alexander with Sandy Torano, and Philly soul maestro John Davis of the Monster Orchestra.  In Rashod Ellison’s strong new liner notes for SoulMusic’s reissue, Davis notes, “I’m surprised [the album] holds up so well, because none of us knew what the other was doing.”  Indeed, Peters recorded his three tracks in Los Angeles, Alexander and Torano cut theirs in New York City, and Davis helmed his trio at Philadelphia’s famed Sigma Sound.  The New York tracks featured such prominent session men as bassist Will Lee and drummer Andy Newmark.  At Sigma, Davis utilized much of the regular Philly gang including Larry Washington on percussion, Charles Collins on drums, “Sugar Bear” Foreman on bass, Richie Rome on keyboards, and the Sweethearts of Sigma (Barbara Ingram, Evette Benton, Carla Benson) on backing vocals.  Peters’ team wasn’t filled with slouches, either, counting drummer Raymond Pounds and guitarist Gregg Poree among the musicians.

The album included renditions of two more songs penned by Hyman’s friend Thom Bell, who would play a major role in her later career at Arista and Philadelphia International.  The album-opening “Loving You, Losing You” was the work of producer Jerry Peters, while John Davis brought a new arrangement of “I Don’t Want to Lose You” to life. (Both songs by Bell were originally recorded by The Spinners.)  Despite the varied production teams, Phyllis Hyman established a blueprint that many of her subsequent albums would follow, combining Quiet Storm ballads with upbeat R&B pop-soul and jazz-inflected numbers.  For the tracks most overtly calling on Hyman’s jazz chops, arranger Onaje Allan Gumbs was enlisted by Alexander and Torano as he had arranged “Betcha By Golly Wow” for Connors.  Funk and disco also made brief flashes on Phyllis Hyman, but the singer’s creamy, dramatic and commanding vocals always took center stage.

What’s on The Buddah Years?  After the jump, we have more details, a track listing with discography and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 22, 2013 at 10:02

Phyllis Hyman’s “Goddess of Love” Is Revisited By SoulMusic Records

with one comment

Phyllis Hyman - Goddess of LovePhyllis Hyman sure looked like a Goddess of Love on the cover of her 1983 album of the same name.  Now, the striking and statuesque former fashion model’s fourth and final album for Arista Records is back.  It’s just been reissued by Cherry Red’s SoulMusic imprint in an expanded edition that boasts two more tracks than Reel Music’s 2010 release.

In a quest to find Hyman a degree of commercial success commensurate with her great talent, Clive Davis paired her with different producers for each one of her Arista albums.  1979’s Somewhere in My Lifetime (itself recently reissued by SoulMusic) featured productions by Larry Alexander and Skip Scarborough, T. Life, and Barry Manilow and Ron Dante.  You Know How to Love Me, from later the same year, was helmed by James Mtume and Reggie Lucas.  1981’s Can’t We Fall in Love Again was produced by Chuck Jackson and Norman Connors, individually and collectively.  Finally, for Arista swansong Goddess of Love, Davis and Hyman turned to an obvious choice.  That choice was Thom Bell, whose song “Betcha by Golly Wow” provided most people’s introduction to Hyman in 1976.  She had gone on to record two more Bell songs on her eponymous solo debut for Buddah, and the two old friends collaborated on the soundtrack to The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh.  As they began recording Goddess, Bell was riding high from the success of his co-productions with vocalist Deniece Williams.  But his work would be supplemented, at Clive Davis’ behest, by three songs from Narada Michael Walden.  Apparently, Davis hadn’t smelled a hit in the eight tracks produced by the Philly soul legend, only six of which made the final album cut.

Hit the jump for much more, including the track listing and order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 19, 2013 at 10:11

Posted in News, Phyllis Hyman, Reissues, Reviews

Tagged with

Release Round-Up: Week of April 30

leave a comment »

Shalamar Friends 2CD

Shalamar, Friends: Deluxe Edition / The Isley Brothers, Winner Takes All: Expanded Edition / Bootsy Collins Presents Sweat Band: Expanded Edition / The Gap Band, Gap Band VII: Expanded Edition / Billy Paul, Lately: Expanded Edition (Big Break)

The Big Break titles we covered yesterday include a double-disc expansion of one of Shalamar’s most enduring LPs, plus Isleys, P-Funk and albums from Total Experience Records. Full coverage/pre-order links here!

David Allan Coe

Blue Oyster Cult, Imaginos / Sea Level, Cats on the Coast/On the Edge Wilderness Road, Sold for the Prevention of Disease Only / David Allan Coe, Texas Moon / Eddy Arnold, Complete Original #1 Hits / Johnny Lytle, The Soulful Rebel/People & Love / Allspice, Allspice / Larry Williams, That Larry Williams (Real Gone Music)

Read all about Real Gone’s latest here.

Essential Mott

Midnight Oil, Essential Oils / Indigo Girls, Jerry Lee Lewis, Mott the Hoople, Harry Nilsson, Pete Seeger, Andy Williams, Johnny Winter, The Essential (Legacy)

Two-disc Essential sets for a bunch of artists! Unreleased tracks can be enjoyed on the Andy Williams and Nilsson sets, and the others are solid overviews.  Joe reviews ’em here!

Indigo Girls: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Jerry Lee Lewis: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Midnight Oil: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Mott: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Nilsson: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Seeger: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Andy Williams: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Johnny Winter: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

History of Eagles

Eagles, History of the Eagles (Jigsaw)

The new two-part documentary on the legendary rock band, coupled with an unreleased concert from 1977.

DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Blu-ray: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Super Deluxe Blu-Ray: Amazon U.S.

Tubes - Remote Control

The Tubes, Remote Control: Expanded Edition (Iconoclassic)

Four unreleased tracks complement this new version of the band’s final A&M album, a classic concept album produced by Todd Rundgren. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Ambrosia - Life Beyond LA

Ambrosia, Life Beyond L.A.: Deluxe Edition (Friday Music)

Led by David Pack, this smooth album spun off the hit “How Much I Feel”; here, it’s expanded with an unreleased bonus live set. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Phyllis Hyman - Somewhere

G.C. Cameron, Love Songs and Other Tragedies: Expanded Edition / Phyllis Hyman, Somewhere in My Lifetime: Expanded Edition / Meli’sa Morgan, Good Love: Expanded Edition / Nancy Wilson, Music on My Mind / Life, Love and Harmony (SoulMusic Records) (Order all titles here from Amazon U.K.)

Here’s the latest batch from Cherry Red’s SoulMusic Records label!  Read Joe’s review of Somewhere in My Lifetime here!

James Taylor - JT Paper Sleeve

West, Bruce and Laing, Whatever Turns You On / West, Bruce and Laing, Live ‘n’ Kickin’ / Walter Egan, Fundamental Roll/Not Shy / James Taylor, JT/Flag/Dad Loves His Work (Culture Factory)

The latest in mini-LP replica remasters from Culture Factory.

Sophisticated Lady: Phyllis Hyman’s Arista Debut Is Expanded By SoulMusic Label

leave a comment »

Phyllis Hyman - SomewhereWhen Phyllis Hyman took her own life on June 30, 1995, one of the most potent, poignant voices in soul music was silenced.  A singer as well as a Tony Award-nominated actress, Hyman did leave behind a small but important discography of eight studio albums, which has since been bolstered by posthumous releases.  Indeed, it’s understandable why “new” recordings from the expressive vocalist are so sought after.  While the native Philadelphian never had a commercial pop breakthrough, notching far more successes on the R&B charts, she could inimitably make both pain and pleasure real with her effortless delivery and crystalline tone.  SoulMusic Records, an imprint of the Cherry Red Group, has recently reissued Hyman’s 1979 Arista Records debut Somewhere in My Lifetime in an expanded edition that retains the two bonus tracks included on U.S. label Reel Music’s previous reissue, and adds three more.

Hyman wasn’t thrilled, to say the least, when Clive Davis’ Arista label purchased her contract from the foundering Buddah Records.  She was a big fish in the small pond of Buddah, where she had released two albums to little fanfare.  From the start, Hyman was right at home in the emerging Quiet Storm format, but also deftly traversed the dance and jazz realms, too.  The first of her Buddah efforts, Phyllis Hyman, featured her rendition of Thom Bell and Linda Creed’s “I Don’t Want to Lose You,” as well as Thom and Leroy Bell’s “Loving You – Losing You.”  Her affinity with the Philadelphia soul pioneer’s music was evident as early as 1976 when she made her first major splash as vocalist on Norman Connors’ version of Bell and Creed’s “Betcha by Golly Wow.”  Bell would later produce Hyman at both Arista and Philadelphia International as well as on his soundtrack to The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh.  Her sophomore Buddah LP, Sing a Song, only saw U.K. release, and Clive Davis saw it as the perfect entrée for Hyman onto his U.S. label roster – with a few changes.

Davis retooled Sing a Song’s original production by Skip Scarborough and [Hyman’s then-husband] Larry Alexander, dropping three of their tracks from the album and adding four new ones.  Three of the four were produced by T. Life, fresh off his successes with Evelyn “Champagne” King, and the fourth was the work of a hitmaking team with close ties to Arista: Barry Manilow and Ron Dante.   Taking its cue from the Jesus Alvarez ballad produced by Manilow and Dante, the album was retitled Somewhere in My Lifetime.

After the jump, we have more details, a full track listing and order link for the expanded Somewhere in My Lifetime! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 29, 2013 at 10:09