The Second Disc

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Archive for the ‘The Cars’ Category

Tom Petty, The Clash, Dire Straits, Pat Benatar Featured On “The Best of Fridays”

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The Best of FridaysWhen ABC-TV’s Fridays premiered on April 11, 1980, its agenda was not a hidden one: to grab a piece of the lucrative late-night comedy pie from NBC’s Saturday Night Live.  Less than a year later, on March 10, 1981, The New York Times was trumpeting in a headline, “How ‘Fridays’ Beat ‘Saturday Night.’”  Of course, Fridays’ domination didn’t last, and the program was off the air after just three seasons.  The series has mainly lived on due to the infamous incident in which Andy Kaufman and Michael Richards got into a mock brawl on the air…that soon turned into a real brawl with other cast and crew members unaware of Kaufman’s planned hijinks.  Shout! Factory hasn’t forgotten Fridays, however, and has just released sixteen full episodes of the series as The Best of Fridays, a new 5-DVD set.  It should be of special interest to readers of The Second Disc for its eclectic musical performances.  The new collection includes appearances by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Kenny Loggins, The Cars, KISS, and many other famed classic-rock artists.

Of Fridays’ core cast of comedians, two names stand out: Michael Richards and Larry David.  The future Kramer and co-creator of Seinfeld both made a splash as part of the Fridays ensemble.  Richards and Davis were joined by Melanie Chartoff (Rugrats), Mark Blankfield (Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Dracula: Dead and Loving It), Maryedith Burrell (Parenthood), Bruce Mahler (Police Academy, Seinfeld), Darrow Igus, Brandis Kemp and John Roarke.  Though musical guests were a part of the show since the very first episode, with Kenny Loggins, guest stars weren’t a part of the series until its second season.  The Best of Fridays includes appearances by the aforementioned Kaufman as well as Valerie Harper, Billy Crystal, William Shatner, Karen Allen, Valerie Bertinelli, Shelley Duvall, Peter Fonda, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tab Hunter and Anthony Geary.

Each musical guest usually contributed a couple of songs per episode.  On the new DVD set, you’ll find highlights from Loggins (“Keep the Fire”), Petty and the Heartbreakers (“American Girl”), The Clash (“London Calling”) Graham Parker and the Rumour (“Empty Lives”), The Cars (“Shake It Up”), Dire Straits (“Romeo and Juliet”), Devo (“Whip It”), Pat Benatar (“Hit Me with Your Best Shot”), former Eagle Randy Meisner (“Hearts on Fire”), Kim Carnes (“Miss You Tonight”), Stray Cats (“Rock This Town”) and KISS (“A World Without Heroes”). The Stray Cats and The Clash both made their American television debuts on Fridays.  AC/DC, The Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffett, Bonnie Raitt, Def Leppard, Heart, Ian Hunter, Jefferson Starship, Warren Zevon, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney all made appearances on Fridays before the show’s demise in 1982.

Besides the off-the-wall (and frequently topical) sketch comedy performed by the main ensemble, Fridays also premiered a number of films directed by the once and future Monkee Mike Nesmith.  His “Police Gynecologist” and “Bite the Bullet” can be found on The Best of Fridays.

After the jump, we have more details – including a list of episodes and guests – plus an order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 12, 2013 at 12:50

Release Round-Up: Week of May 10

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Aerosmith, Tough Love: Best of the Ballads (Geffen/UMe)

Geffen augments the craziness of American Idol host/Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler (who has a solo single out today) by putting out a compilation of the band’s Geffen-era ballads hits (“Love in an Elevator” isn’t a ballad in any configuration). Apparently it’s only available at Target, so if you visit a local indie store you should be fine. (Official site)

Booker T. & The MG’s, McLemore Avenue / The Staple Singers, Be Altitude: Respect Yourself / Johnnie Taylor, Taylored in Silk (Stax/Concord)

The first three entries in the new “Stax Remasters” series, each augmented with rare or unreleased bonus tracks. (Official Stax site: Booker, Staples, Taylor)

Prince, Dirty Mind / Controversy / 1999 (Vinyl) (Warner Bros.)

New vinyl issues of Prince’s albums from 1980 to 1982. CD remasters? Keep hopin’. (Rhino: Dirty Mind, Controversy, 1999)


The Cars, Door to Door (Friday Music)

A new CD remaster of the band’s 1987 album, which would have been their last had today not also have been the day that their new album, Move Like This, is released. (Friday Music)

Frankie Miller, Frankie Miller…That’s Who! The Complete Chrysalis Recordings 1973-1980 (EMI)

The Glaswegan rocker’s first seven albums across four discs, with some bonuses added in, including the unreleased original mix of 1974’s High Life. (Amazon)

Various Artists, Playlist: The Very Best Of (Legacy)

Another load of Playlist titles from The Psychedelic Furs, Muddy Waters, Matthew Sweet, Teena Marie, Dave Brubeck, Dionne Warwick and more. A full breakdown of each set is here and here. (Amazon)

Short Takes: Cars on Friday, INXS Live Show and Howard Jones Tidbits

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  • Our friends at Friday Music have found a great way to celebrate the reunion of The Cars: a reissue of one of their albums! A straight reissue of the group’s final album for Elektra, 1987’s Door to Door, remastered by the label’s own Joe Reagoso, will be available May 10, the same day as the band’s brand-new studio album, Move Like This.
  • In honor of the impending royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, INXS have released a digital album of their 1985 concert performed in honor of a visit to Australia by William’s parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Rocking the Royals: Live 1985, recorded on the eve of the band’s Listen Like Thieves tour, has been released through iTunes in Australia, New Zealand and Mexico; further releases worldwide are forthcoming. (Thanks to Slicing Up Eyeballs for the tip!)
  • Those who are digging the new Howard Jones remaster box have some more bits here and there to be excited about. Jones has released another vintage remix – the U.K. 12″ version of “Look Mama” – as a free download on his Facebook page, and is spearheading ReWork, a new remix project for his catalogue. Fans can click the link in the preceding sentence and get access to the multitrack stems of “Automaton,” from the Dream Into Action LP. Jones will be listening to the remixes of fans for potential inclusion on a future compilation. If you’re handy with a remix, this might be your chance!
The track lists for The Cars’ Door to Door and the INXS live set are after the jump.
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Written by Mike Duquette

April 20, 2011 at 13:02

Tartare and Cameo Parkway Heat Up: Morris Day, Ric Ocasek, Dee Dee Sharp, Dino, Desi & Billy On Tap

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On September 9, The Second Disc sadly reported on the axe falling on more of the beleaguered Rhino Records staff, and the company’s plans to delve further into the on-demand CD realm. One such initiative is the Tartare imprint being offered by WMG/Rhino in conjunction with Collectors’ Choice Music. Another 20 Tartare titles are on the way from Collectors’ Choice, and this group again spans decades, from the 1950s through the 1990s. Track listings are not available (indeed, not every title has even been listed on the label’s website, only in the print catalogue so far; it is likely that all titles will be up on the Web site any day now) but the lineup is typically eclectic, including CD(-R) debuts for two Dino, Desi & Billy albums, and titles from Morris Day, Air Supply, Mick Jones of Foreigner and the Cars’ Ric Ocasek returning to print.

In more Collectors’ Choice news, three more titles have been added to the burgeoning Cameo Parkway collection. The Dovells’ For Your Hully Gully Party (1962) and You Can’t Sit Down (1963) will be joined on one CD; the disc offers no less than four variations on the Hully Gully, all performed by Len “1-2-3” Barry’s great vocal group. You’ll also be able to do the New Continental and the Madison by disc’s end! Recipient of a recent Edsel three-fer, Dee Dee Sharp has It’s Mashed Potato Time (1962) and Do the Bird (1962) comprising another two-fer. Finally, John Zacherle’s Monster Mash and Scary Tales will be released on one disc. These are just in time for Halloween and make a much better treat than candy for all fans of the Cool Ghoul. Being of Cameo Parkway origin, the Zacherle disc has a number of songs spoofing the Philadelphia label’s famous dance crazes, so get ready to do “The Pistol Stomp” and “The Weird Watusi,” have “Gravy with Some Cyanide” and of course, “Let’s Twist Again (Mummy Time is Here).” Who could resist?!? All three titles are due on September 21.

You can find the full list of Tartare’s 20 newest additions along with track listings for the Cameo Parkway titles after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 13, 2010 at 11:29

Back Tracks: The Cars

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The above picture is a bit of a shock, if you haven’t seen it yet: all four of the surviving members of The Cars – Ric Ocasek, Elliott Easton, Greg Hawkes and David Robinson – in a recording studio. It was posted to the official Facebook page for the Boston-based rockers on Thursday. No caption, no explanation. Just the members of The Cars, possibly gearing up for some new music.

And who’d have thought? Since the band broke up in 1988, chances seemed slim where a reunion was concerned. The death of bassist Benjamin Orr in 2000 seemed to make a reunion impossible – who would sing “Drive,” “Let’s Go” or “Just What I Needed”? – although Hawkes and Easton partook in the ridiculous New Cars project with Todd Rundgren on lead vocals. (Ocasek, for whatever reason, gave his blessing.) It’s a shame, though – there were few bands that could fuse synths and guitars like The Cars, and their perfectly crafted power pop/rock singles are the stuff of rock radio perfection to this day.

While The Cars’ future might not be so touch-and-go, we at least have a bit of catalogue titles here and there to fall in love with. Let’s go after the jump to look back at them, shall we?

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Written by Mike Duquette

July 27, 2010 at 14:51