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Archive for the ‘Teddy Pendergrass’ Category

The Entertainer: Marvin Hamlisch’s “D.A.R.Y.L.” Premieres on CD, Features Teddy Pendergrass and Nile Rodgers

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DARYL OSTIt’s appropriate that Marvin Hamlisch’s only children’s book was titled Marvin Makes Music, for making music was indeed what the man did – music for Broadway, music for television, music for the concert hall, music for the silver screen. In any genre, Marvin made music overflowing with melody, wit and heart, and his populist approach earned him the nickname “the people’s composer.” Hamlisch’s film career began in 1968 with the score to the cult film The Swimmer and ended with his posthumously-released work on the HBO motion picture Behind the Candelabra; along the way, he picked up three Academy Awards (all in 1974, for The Sting and The Way We Were) and nine further nominations (between 1972 and 1997). La-La Land Records has recently unveiled the first-ever soundtrack to one of Hamlisch’s less-heralded projects, the 1985 sci-fi fantasy D.A.R.Y.L., on compact disc.

Director Simon Wincer’s film centered on a mysterious little boy named Daryl (Barret Oliver) who comes into the lives of foster parents Andy (Michael McKean) and Joyce (Mary Beth Hurt). Eventually it’s discovered that Daryl isn’t a boy at all, but rather an artificial intelligence named D.A.R.Y.L. (Data-Analyzing Robot Youth Lifeform) who wishes to be human. This contemporary spin on Pinocchio followed the eighties trend of “weird scene” movies aimed at youngsters, but something in the premise clearly inspired Marvin Hamlisch. The eighties wasn’t the best decade for the Pulitzer Prize and EGOT (Emmy/Grammy/Oscar/Tony)-winning maestro; his score to D.A.R.Y.L. proved to be his only Hollywood assignment between 1983 and 1987. D.A.R.Y.L. arrived between his scores to two unsuccessful musicals, London’s Jean Seberg and New York’s Smile.  Despite fine scores with some of Hamlisch’s most inventive and effective music, both shows failed to reach their potential. D.A.R.Y.L. is yet one more crucial piece of evidence that Hamlisch’s gifts were still in abundance during this period of his career.

La-La Land’s beautiful presentation offers the score in full, plus three bonus tracks. Two of these bonuses are source cues (of Beethoven and Rodgers and Hart!) but the third is the song that exists at the heart of D.A.R.Y.L., “Somewhere I Belong.” Philadelphia soul man Teddy Pendergrass performs the song with lyrics by Dean Pitchford (Footloose) in a glossy pop rendition with production and guitar by CHIC’s Nile Rodgers that makes its worldwide debut on CD here. (This version is the full 5+-minute version of the song, too, rather than the truncated edit.) Pitchford’s lyrics take Daryl’s point of view while also functioning as a universal love song: “Somewhere I belong/somewhere I can call my home/Open your heart to me/I’ve got the feeling/That your love is leading me home…”

Hamlisch threaded the yearning, reflective melody of “Somewhere I Belong” throughout his heartfelt, often poignant score, beginning with the latter portion of the Main Title (which begins with a languid, wistfully whistled melody that’s quintessentially Hamlisch). Echoing the family film’s various elements of comedy, drama and high adventure, Hamlisch’s score is among his most diverse. Most of it is traditionally orchestral, but befitting the modern science-fiction elements, he also incorporates more cutting-edge sounds. The score’s first major brush with electronics is the brief, synthesizer-led “Baseball Montage” but soon piano and orchestra take over in softer mode. (The bright and brash “Baseball” melody recurs in the buoyant “Turtle’s Homer.”) A far colder, more sterile use of electronics is heard in “TASCOM/I’m Scared” for the sequence in which D.A.R.Y.L. returns to the facility in which he was created.

There’s more after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 23, 2014 at 13:14

Release Round-Up: Week of May 6

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Steeltown DeluxeBig Country, Steeltown: Deluxe Edition (Mercury/UMC)

The second, criminally underrated album by the Scottish rockers behind “In a Big Country” is remastered and expanded with a bonus disc of single sides and outtakes. (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.UPDATE: This one’s been pushed back to September, folks!

Philadelphia International BoxPhiladelphia International: The Collection – 2o Original Albums / The Very Best of Teddy PendergrassLou RawlsThe Three DegreesThe IntrudersThe O’JaysBilly Paul and Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (Sony Music U.K.)

Sony Music recently announced their acquisition of all post-1975 Philadelphia International Records masters (previously they were only licensed by Sony), so we can expect some more celebrating of all things Gamble, Huff and so on – starting with a 20-disc box set of some the best albums on the label and some new U.K.-exclusive compilations for PIR’s biggest artists.

Philadelphia International: The Collection (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)
Amazon U.K.: The IntrudersHarold Melvin & The Blue Notes, The O’Jays, Billy PaulTeddy PendergrassLou RawlsThe Three Degrees

Gloria GaynorGene Chandler, Get Down / Gloria Gaynor, Gloria Gaynor (Big Break Records)

BBR’s remastered/expanded release slate this week includes some interesting finds: “Duke of Earl” Gene Chandler’s first disco-oriented album for Chi Sound Records in 1978 and Gloria Gaynor’s tenth album (and only one for Atlantic), released in 1982 and featuring a cover of The Supremes’ “Stop in the Name of Love.”

Gene Chandler: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
Gloria Gaynor: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.

Message from the MagicBlue Magic, Message from the Magic (Funkytowngrooves)

The Philadelphia R&B group’s fifth and final album for ATCO Records is remastered and released on CD for the first time ever! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Ain’t No Stopping Them Now: Sony Acquires Entire Philadelphia International Catalogue, Box Set Coming Soon [UPDATED]

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Philadelphia International Box

UPDATED 4/9 WITH NEW INFORMATION, LINKS AND IMAGES: The love train is pulling back into the station.

Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records, distributed by CBS Records, began life in 1971 with the release of Billy Paul’s Going East on LP and The Ebonys’ “You’re the Reason Why” on 45.  (Trivia fans, take note: Gideon Smith’s single “Arkansaw Wife” – yes, you read that right – has an earlier catalogue number, but the quintessentially Philly track by The Ebonys appears to have been released first.)  The R&B empire, which had built a catalogue of some of the most iconic soul music of all time, continued to be distributed by CBS until 1984.  At that time, control of the label’s post-1975 masters went to Gamble and Huff, with initial reissues (as well as new albums) coming under the EMI umbrella.  Pre-1976 recordings remained with CBS successor Sony Music Entertainment.  In 2007, Sony’s Legacy Recordings announced regained rights to the post-1975 recordings, and now, Sony and PIR have come full circle with the announcement that Sony has gained global ownership of all post-1975 PIR masters.

What this means for Sony is clear: the music industry giant now adds key titles to its roster from artists including Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass, Jean Carn, The Jones Girls, The Stylistics, Archie Bell and the Drells, Jerry Butler, Phyllis Hyman, and others who began recording for PIR in 1976 and beyond.  What does this mean for fans and collectors?  In 2014, Legacy will launch a series of new physical and digital releases created from the combined PIR catalogue including “a definitive Philadelphia International Records box, budget single artist anthology titles, 12-inch and 7-inch vinyl replica collectibles and more.” 

In recent years, numerous PIR album reissues have arrived from Cherry Red Group’s Big Break Records (drawing on the pre-1976 recordings controlled by Sony) and Demon Music Group (the post-1976 recordings controlled by Gamble and Huff).    In early 2012, Legacy thrilled fans with the archival release of Golden Gate Groove, a Don Cornelius-hosted concert that brought together many of the label’s biggest and brightest stars, from the O’Jays to Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass.  In 2013, Demon’s Harmless imprint issued a comprehensive (if oddly arranged) 10-CD box set drawing on the entire discography plus rare recordings from Gamble and Huff’s pre-PIR labels including Neptune, Gamble and North Bay and sister labels like TSOP, Golden Fleece, Tommy and Thunder.

The new catalogue activity from Sony starts in May!  What can you expect?  Hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 9, 2014 at 13:21

Put Your Hands Together: Massive 10-CD Philadelphia International Box Due [UPDATED]

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Philadelphia International Records has turned 40, and you’re invited to the party!

Sony’s Legacy Recordings thrilled fans earlier this year with the archival release of Golden Gate Groove, a Don Cornelius-hosted concert that brought together many of the label’s biggest and brightest stars, from the O’Jays to Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass.  The folks across the pond at the Harmless label have already dropped Philadelphia International: The Re-Edits, with 21 tracks on 2 CDs from DJs like Todd Terje (Dee Dee Sharp Gamble’s “Easy Money”) and Tim McAllister (Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes’ “Be For Real”), and next week sees the 4-CD box Philadelphia International Classics: The Tom Moulton Remixes.  This treasure trove from the father of the 12-inch mix offers the original seven Moulton tracks from the Philadelphia Classics LP, plus seven rare remixes and sixteen brand-new tracks created by Moulton especially for this set.  But these projects are just the tip of the iceberg where the celebration of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s storied label is concerned.

April 9 May 21 is the current date for the Philadelphia International 40th Anniversary Box Set.  The title may be simple, but the music certainly isn’t.  For this 10-CD box set, compilation producer Ralph Tee has created a non-chronological cross-section of the label’s releases between 1971 and 1995 placing emphasis on both hits and rarities.  Tee, the man behind 1986’s 14-LP Philadelphia International box set, has brought under one package over 13-1/2 hours of music from familiar names like Lou Rawls, The O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, The Three Degrees and The Jacksons, as well as cuts from Dick Jensen, Bobby Bennett, Robert Upchurch, Derek & Cyndi, Elliot Hoffman and other names not nearly as recognizable.  Also included within the package will be a 60-page full-size booklet containing sleeve notes and track details from Tee, the author of Who’s Who In Soul Music) while David Grimes offers the first-ever comprehensive discography of all U.S. releases from Philadelphia International and its related labels like Gamble and Golden Fleece.

Hit the jump for more details on this tremendous project including a full track listing (as sourced from SpinCDs and numerous other sites) with exhaustive discography and a pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Vintage, Retro Mixes Shine on U.K. Philadelphia International Box Set

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Now’s as good a time as any to get into the sweet sounds and lush arrangements of Philadelphia soul in the 1970s. 2011 marked the 40th anniversary of legendary writer/producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s creation of a label that set the groundwork for some of the best soul and R&B sounds of the decade, and this year’s seeing a lot of excellent catalogue projects honoring that legacy.

We’ve already told you about Legacy’s Golden Gate Groove: The Sound of Philadelphia Live in San Francisco 1973 (keep an eye out for a review from Joe!), and there are more great titles in store in the coming months as well. One of them is a stellar four-disc box set that combines the great arrangements of Philly soul with the ace mixing techniques of Tom Moulton.

Moulton, the father of the modern-day remix, is about as far from a stranger to Philadelphia International as you can get. In 1977, he mixed classic sides by The O’Jays, The Three Degrees, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes and MFSB for the double album Philadelphia Classics. Over time, he was commissioned for a variety of other projects for the label, some of which never saw the light of day past a few rarer promo records or obscure compilations.

With the release of Philadelphia International Classics: The Tom Moulton Remixes, Harmless Records – a subsidiary of the U.K.’s Demon Music Group – has compiled all eight cuts from Philadelphia Classics and combined them with not only seven rare or unreleased vintage mixes, but another 15 extended versions commissioned just for this set. The Intruders, The Trammps, Billy Paul, Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass – those are just a few of the artists ripe for rediscovery on this set. In addition to the four separately packaged discs, the box will also feature 16 pages of newly-written liner notes by acclaimed British music journalist Lloyd Bradley and rare photos of Moulton at work in Sigma Sound Studios, birthplace for countless classics of the label.

The box will be out February 27 in the U.K., and it can be yours to pre-order (for a rather stellar price, given the worth of the music) at Amazon after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

January 30, 2012 at 10:24

Release Round-Up: Week of March 29

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Derek and The Dominos, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs: 40th Anniversary Edition (Polydor/UMe)

Unbeknownst to us at Second Disc HQ, a lot of weird stuff has been going on with this deluxe edition. It seems that, for whatever reason, the 2-CD edition of this set is retailing only at Best Buy until April 26, at which point it’ll be released more widely. No extra material seems to be present, just a lengthy lead time in terms of exclusivity. Weird, man. And of course there’s that super-deluxe box set, too. (Amazon: Deluxe Edition, Box Set)

Pearl Jam, Vs. / Vitalogy: Expanded Editions (Epic/Legacy)

The Seattle rock legends expand their second and third albums with bonus tracks. A box set collects those three albums with an (almost-complete), widely-sought after live show. A bigger box adds an insane amount of stuff on vinyl, cassette (cassette? cassette!) and more. (Official site)

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Let Love In Murder Ballads The Boatman’s Call No More Shall We Part: Deluxe Editions (Mute)

Another batch of CD/DVD editions from the British singer/songwriter. B-sides, videos and surround mixes abound. (Official site)

The Contours, Dance with The Contours (Ace/Kent)

Do you love it? An unreleased album by one of Motown’s earliest chartbusters! (Ace)

Pete Yorn, Musicforthemorningafter: 10th Anniversary Edition (Columbia/Legacy)

A two-disc deluxe edition of Yorn’s seminal debut, featuring unreleased studio and live material. (Amazon)

Billy Squier, Essential Billy Squier (EMI/Capitol)

A new hits disc from Mr. Stroke himself. (Amazon)

Teddy Pendergrass, Live in ’82 (Shout! Factory)

It’s a love T.K.O.! The late, great soul singer is immortalized in concert on DVD – one of his last before an injury altered his career. (Shout! Factory)

Florence + The Machine, Between Two Lungs (Universal Republic)

An expanded import of the band’s impressive debut Lungs comes to American shores. (Official site)

Various Artists, Mad Men: A Musical Companion (1960-1965) (Hip-O/UMe)

Though the critically-acclaimed show has an uncertain future, fans can use this compilation, featuring classics of the period, to pass the time. (Amazon)

Various Artists, The Music Never Stopped: Music from the Motion Picture (Rhino)

Rhino temporarily comes out of hiding for this film soundtrack, featuring several unreleased Grateful Dead live tracks. (Amazon)

T.P. Goes to U.K. on New DVD

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Here’s a music DVD treat for you: Shout! Factory is releasing a live show from the vaults of the late, great Teddy Pendergrass.

The former lead singer of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes was in rare form in this show recorded at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in early 1982. The soul serenader had already racked up five consecutive platinum records between 1975 and 1980 – one with Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes and four on his own – and had recently enjoyed his latest Top 5 R&B hit, “You’re My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration.” Tragically, weeks after the performance closed with a fine version of “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand),” Pendergrass would be severely injured in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life.

Though Pendergrass passed away just over a year ago, his music lives on, and Shout! Factory’s DVD – featuring a few bonus performances in addition to the nine-song set – is proof of his soulful gift.

There’s no pre-order link just yet, but the set list is after the jump. The street date is March 29.

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 9, 2011 at 14:57

Posted in DVD, News, Teddy Pendergrass