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The Second Disc’s Record Store Day 2014 Must-Haves

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RSD '14 Banner

If you’ve been following these pages for the past few weeks, you’ve likely noticed an awful lot of coverage about Record Store Day!  Well, the day is nearly here!   Tomorrow, Saturday, April 21, music fans and collectors will flock to their local independent record stores to celebrate both the sounds on those round black platters and the very concept of shopping in a physical retail environment. To many of us, both are a way of life.  We’re doubly excited this year because one special title was co-produced by our very own Mike D.: Legacy Recordings’ Ecto-Green glow-in-the-dark vinyl single containing four versions of Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters.”

Each year around this time, we here at Second Disc HQ take a few moments to count down the titles to which we’re most looking forward to picking up! I’ll take my turn first, and then after the jump, you’ll find my colleague’s picks for some of the finest offerings you might find at your local retailer! And after you’ve picked up your share of these special collectibles, don’t hesitate to browse the regular racks, too…there’s likely even more treasure awaiting you.

You’ll find more information and a link to a downloadable PDF of the complete Record Store Day list right here, and please share your RSD 2014 experiences with us below. Don’t forget to click on the Record Store Day tag below, too, to access all of our RSD ’14 coverage.  Happy Hunting!

Pink Panther OST

  1. Henry Mancini and His Orchestra, The Pink Panther LP (RCA/Legacy Recordings)

On April 16, 2014, the great composer/conductor Henry Mancini would have turned 90.  To mark the occasion, the all-new was launched, and Legacy announced plans for a yearlong celebration of the maestro’s enduring, engaging ouevre.  The label has major plans including an 11-CD box set of Mancini’s soundtracks as well as a newly-curated retrospective, but the festivities kick off on Saturday with the release on eye-catching pink vinyl of Mancini’s original album of music from Blake Edwards’ all-time classic comedy caper The Pink Panther.

This soundtrack album (slated for expansion later this year for the movie’s 50th anniversary) was, as per Mancini’s custom, a re-recording of the film’s major themes for the record-buying audience. In addition to the now-famous, sly ‘n’ slinky title theme with saxophone by Plas Johnson (which went Top 40 as a single; the soundtrack itself went Top 10), other highlights of the score include “It Had Better Be Tonight,” an Italian-style love song recently covered by Michael Bublé and performed in the film by Fran Jeffries (and on disc by Mancini’s chorus), and “Something for Sellers,” a great example of Mancini’s feel for what we today think of as lounge music.  Mancini’s “The Pink Panther” is currently the single most-streamed song in the entire Sony Music catalogue – a testament to the ongoing power of the gifted composer Henry Mancini.

Randy Newman Mono

  1. Randy Newman, Randy Newman (Mono LP) (Rhino)

Prior to the release of 1968’s self-titled debut, Randy Newman was a staff songwriter for Los Angeles’ Metric Music, a West Coast answer to the Brill Building where he worked alongside the likes of Jackie DeShannon honing his skills.  The back of the LP, now being reissued for RSD in its original mono edition, read: “Randy Newman creates something new under the sun!” And while intended ironically (irony being one of Newman’s favorite weapons, always at the ready!), it wasn’t far from the truth. Produced by his childhood friend Lenny Waronker and quirky wunderkind Van Dyke Parks, Randy Newman featured some scathing social commentary sheathed in large, gorgeous orchestrations by the composer himself. Even this early on, it was evident that Randy learned something from his uncles, Lionel and Alfred Newman, two of the most illustrious composers in Hollywood history. The young Newman was the rare talent equally gifted in both melody and lyrics. “Davy the Fat Boy” and “So Long, Dad” are uncomfortably hysterical, while “Love Story” plainly tells the story of a couple from marriage to death, playing checkers all day in a Florida nursing home. Newman’s unique humor was already in full bloom, to wit this exchange from “Love Story”: “We’ll have a kid/Or maybe we’ll rent one, He’s got to be straight/We don’t want a bent one.” All of these songs were delivered in his off-hand, growl of a drawl, providing a contrast to the beautiful arrangements. When Randy Newman turned serious, the results were heartbreaking and simple (though far from simplistic): “Living Without You” or the oft-covered “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today,” which managed to be both cynical and achingly sad. A major new talent had arrived.

Bob Wills - Front Cover

  1. Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, Transcriptions (Real Gone Music)

Vintage music from the pre-rock-and-roll era gets an airing on Record Store Day thanks to releases such as this one, along with other key releases from Omnivore Recordings and Blue Note Records.  Here, Real Gone Music unearths 10 tracks from the King of Western Swing, four of which will remain exclusive to this vinyl release.  These have been drawn from the more than 200 songs recorded by Wills for Tiffany Music, Inc. which remained under lock and key for years.  (Wills recorded a total of almost 400 songs for Tiffany in 1946 and 1947.)  This remastered release has been painstakingly designed after an original transcription disc.  The vinyl is housed inside a replica package in the style of the actual mailers in which Tiffany discs were sent to radio stations in the 1940s – with “pre-distressed” trompe l’oeil wrinkles and wear on the record jacket and a cutaway hole infront showing the vintage Tiffany logo on the vinyl label, whichcontinues the Tiffany numbering system of assigning a recordnumber to each side. Furthering this tremendous attention to detail, the back cover also presents vintagegraphics from the period, and the records are pressed in the style of some of the original discs on 150-gram red vinyl. This release precedes Real Gone’s upcoming 2-CD set drawn from Wills’ Tiffany Transcriptions, and tracks include such songs as Cole Porter’s “Don’t Fence Me In” and Johnny Mercer’s “I’m an Old Cowhand.”  Count me in!

High Fidelity Omnivore RSD

  1. Various Artists, Live from High Fidelity: The Best of the Podcast Performances (Omnivore)

It wasn’t easy to choose from Omnivore Recordings’ great slate, including rare music from late legends Hank Williams and Jaco Pastorius, but Live from High Fidelity encapsulates the label’s dedication to preserving great music from all eras and genres.  This 14-track translucent green vinyl release is drawn a podcast hosted by L.A.’s High Fidelity Records, and features contributions from some TSD favorites like Sam Phillips, Rhett Miller of The Old 97’s, members of Spain, and most especially, appearing for the second time on this small list, Mr. Van Dyke Parks.  It’s about time podcast performances went physical, isn’t it?

Eric Carmen - Brand New Year

  1. Ronnie Spector and the E Street Band, “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” b/w “Baby Please Don’t Go” / Eric Carmen, “Brand New Year (Alternate Mix)” b/w “Starting Over (Live 1976)” singles (Legacy)

Two of Legacy’s 7-inch singles caught our fancy this year.  The label has followed up this year’s Playlist: The Very Best of Ronnie Spector with a replica 45 of “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” b/w “Baby Please Don’t Go,” on which the former Ronette is backed by none other than Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  Arranged and produced by a certain Mr. Van Zandt – that’s Little Steven now, and Sugar Miami Steve circa this single’s original release – these 1977 sides are blazing rock-and-roll at its finest.  Billy Joel’s A-side was a stunning Phil Spector homage in its original recording; with Ronnie on lead and Clarence Clemons honking on the sax, it became transcendent.  Eric Carmen’s new “Brand New Day” also arrives on vinyl in a previously unreleased alternate mix supporting The Essential Eric Carmen, on which the song first appeared. Featuring Carmen supported by Jeffrey Foskett, Darian Sahanaja, Nick Walusko and Mike D’Amico of Brian Wilson’s band, this 2013 composition is vintage Carmen – lush, gorgeous and memorably melodic.  You won’t want to miss these.

Dream with Dean

Honorable Mentions go to Rhino’s first-ever U.S. release of Fleetwood Mac’s 1970 single “Dragonfly” b/w “Purple Dancer” and its excavation of the 1968 LP The Birthday Party from Jeff Lynne’s psych-pop pre-ELO band The Idle Race; plus Legacy’s painstakingly-recreated stereo LP of “King of Cool” Dean Martin’s romantic long-player Dream with Dean on which he’s joined by a quartet for his most intimate jazz stylings; and Sundazed’s vinyl debut of two tracks by The Sunrays, the band that Murry Wilson intended to groom in the style of his former charges The Beach Boys.  Murry’s own song “Won’t You Tell Me” features the legendary L.A. Wrecking Crew, and the band’s Rick Henn supplies new liner notes for this 45!

After the jump: take it away, Mr. Duquette! Read the rest of this entry »

Release Round-Up: Weeks of December 17 and 24

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With the last two weeks of the year so light on catalogue titles, we figured we’d combine it all into one post. Below you’ll find two new titles for this week, and two for the next!

Pogues 30 packshotThe Pogues, 30 Years (Rhino U.K.)

Here, in one box, is all of the Irish folk-rockers’ original albums, including new mixes of debut Red Roses for Me and Peace and Love, plus a bonus unreleased live show from 1991 with Joe Strummer of The Clash assuming lead vocal duties. (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)

Excitable Boy SACDBoz Scaggs, Boz Scaggs (Hybrid SACD – DSD) / Warren Zevon, Excitable Boy (Hybrid SACD – DSD) (Audio Fidelity)

Two new audiophile titles, mastered by Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman, respectively.

1YES_StudioAlbums_CoverYes, The Studio Albums (Rhino)

A collection of all of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-nominated prog group’s studio albums for Atlantic/ATCO, featuring the remastered and expanded presentations from 2003-2004 and the 2009 expanded remaster of 1987’s Big Generator, previously released only in Japan. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

American HustleVarious Artists, American Hustle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Legacy)

The soundtrack to this highly-anticipated, award-contender drama from David O. Russell (director of last year’s excellent Silver Linings Playbook) features, among other period pop/rock tracks, including a re-recorded version of Electric Light Orchestra’s “10538 Overture,” the Japan-only Zoom bonus track “Long Black Road” (left off the last remaster) and a new Jeff Lynne track, “Stream of Stars.”

Written by Mike Duquette

December 17, 2013 at 08:06

Pogues Box Up Complete Albums, Unreleased Live Show for “30 Years”

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Pogues 30 packshotCeltic rockers The Pogues are releasing a new box set that collects all of their studio albums – two newly-remixed just for this release – and an unreleased live album with a very special frontman.

Led by unforgettable frontman Shane Macgowan, The Pogues deftly combined the raucous traditions of traditional Celtic folk songs and sharp-edged punk rock, gaining a considerable live following when opening for The Clash on one of their last tours. A contract with Stiff Records followed, yielding Red Roses for Me and Rum Sodomy and the Lash, the latter produced by unabashed fan Elvis Costello (who would later marry the band’s then-bassist, Cait O’Riordan).

The Pogues achieved mainstream success with If I Should Fall from Grace with God in 1988, featuring the British holiday hit “Fairytale of New York,” a duet between Macgowan and Kirsty MacColl, but their days were also marked by trials when Macgowan’s drinking habits led to his dismissal from the band. Co-founder Spider Stacy took over vocal duties after a brief stint with Joe Strummer of The Clash, but the band split up in 1995. The full band, including Macgowan, reunited for annual tours in Europe and the United States starting in 2001; the band’s most recent highlight was a tragic one, however, with the passing of guitarist Philip Chevron earlier this month after a battle with cancer.

While new box The Pogues 30 doesn’t feature any of the bonus tracks on Rhino’s 2004 remaster series, there are some new treats for collectors:

  • Red Roses for Me has been newly remixed from the original tapes by longtime Pogues engineer Nick Robbins, while 1989’s Peace and Love has been remixed by original producer Steve Lillywhite.
  • A bonus disc includes a complete concert from the London Forum at the end of 1991, when Joe Strummer was the band’s frontman. The group tears through a 22-song set featuring a few choice tunes from The Clash’s discography. (Three of these tracks were released on 2008’s Just Look Them Straight in the Eye and Say…Pogue Mahone!! The Pogues Box Set, which was reissued in a smaller package earlier this year.)

30 Years will be available December 2. A U.K. pre-order link and the full set list for the live disc are after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

October 29, 2013 at 16:53

Back to Black: Legacy Unveils Record Store Day Black Friday Exclusives From Simon, Dylan, Davis, Nilsson, Hendrix & More

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Record Store Day Black Friday

It’s that time of year again!  Though Black Friday has taken a backseat in recent years to the once-unheard-of Thanksgiving Day sales, the folks at Record Store Day still hold the day after Thanksgiving in high esteem.  News has begun to trickle out about this year’s RSD Back to Black Friday exclusives, and the team at Legacy has certainly put together a collection of special vinyl releases – and a handful of CDs, too – that look back to recent releases from the label and forward to future titles.  All titles are available in participating Record Store Day locations on November 29!

Classic rock releases, naturally, are at the forefront of the Legacy slate:

RSDproductShot(*) denotes numbered edition

Cheap Trick, The Classic Albums 1977-1979 * (Epic/Legacy) – A new box set of five 12” 180-gram LPs includes the first five Cheap Trick records: Cheap Trick (1977), In Color (1977), Heaven Tonight (1978), At Budokan (1978) and Dream Police (1979), all newly mastered in 2013 from the original analog tapes and packaged with original album artwork.

Clash - London Calling

The Clash, The Clash / Give ‘Em Enough Rope / London Calling / Sandinista! / Combat Rock (Epic/Legacy) – These five classic Clash albums, included in the Sound System box set, are released separately as vinyl-replica CDs.


Bob Dylan, Side Tracks * (Columbia/Legacy) – The two-disc set of non-album material from The Complete Album Collection Vol. One is available as a numbered, 200-gram vinyl triple-LP set.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Fire b/w Foxey Lady (Live at The Miami Pop Festival) * (Experience Hendrix/Legacy) – This 7” single contains two performances from the Experience’s previously-unreleased set at the Miami Pop Festival in 1968, which is coming to CD very soon from Experience Hendrix and Legacy.

Still Crazy - Paul Simon

Paul Simon, Paul Simon / There Goes Rhymin’ Simon / Still Crazy After All These Years (Columbia/Legacy) – Rhymin’ Simon’s first three post-Simon & Garfunkel studio albums, recently on CD as part of The Complete Albums Collection, all arrive in remastered 180-gram LP editions, each also containing a download card.

After the jump: Legacy gets funky with Sly and the Family Stone, plus vintage rock and roll from Roy Orbison, classic pop from the one and only Harry Nilsson, Miles Davis in mono, and more! Read the rest of this entry »

A Match Made In “Hell”: Cherry Red Revisits Meat Loaf and Ellen Foley

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Meat Loaf LiveAin’t no doubt about it: Ellen Foley achieved classic rock immortality via her role on “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” opposite Meat Loaf on his 1977 album Bat Out of Hell.  Foley was the girl “glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife” in Jim Steinman’s rock opera in miniature, with Meat Loaf as the boy “praying for the end of time” and the end of their time together.  All these years later, Foley and the former Marvin Lee Aday are together again – on CD shelves, at least, thanks to two new reissues from two imprints of the Cherry Red Group.  Hear No Evil Records has just released a remastered edition of Meat Loaf’s 1987 Live at Wembley, while Lemon Recordings has offered a 2-CD set of Foley’s first two LPs, Nightout and Spirit of St. Louis.

Meat Loaf’s Live at Wembley arrived on Arista Records in September 1987, drawn from two concerts held at the storied London arena on March 1 and 2, 1987.  It was the follow-up to the previous year’s Blind Before I Stop, the singer’s first album to wholly abandon the grandiose, theatrical production style of the colossally successful Bat Out of Hell.  To achieve this, German producer Frank Farian was enlisted to produce.  Farian, then best known as the creator-producer of Boney M. and today better remembered as the notorious figure behind Milli Vanilli, updated Meat Loaf’s sound by adding metallic synthesizers to the deafeningly loud guitars and abandoning Spectorian pomp in favor of eighties metal and even Euro-disco.   The album wasn’t a success; it was Meat Loaf’s first to miss the Top 10 in the U.K., and failed to chart entirely at home.  But it did yield three charting singles in the U.K. with “Rock ‘n’ Roll Mercenaries” (No. 31), “Special Girl” (No. 81) and the title track (No. 89).  Meat Loaf could still draw impressive crowds in England, and so the decision was made to record the Wembley stand on his 20/20 world tour of 1987 for his first commercially-released live album.  The robust-voiced singer was joined by his band Neverland Express, consisting of Chuck Burgi (drums), Steve Buslowe (bass/vocals), Frank Doyle (keyboards), Paul Jacobs (piano), Bob Kulick (lead guitar), Alan Merrill (guitar/vocals) and siblings Amy and Elaine Goff (vocals).

Today, Meat Loaf’s live albums number six (not counting live videos/DVDs), the most recent of which is 2012’s Guilty Pleasure Tour.  But Live at Wembley is notable for featuring a number of songs unavailable on other live releases.  As Meat was still ostensibly promoting the album, three tracks from Blind Before I Stop appear on Live at Wembley, including the carnal title track, the Rick Derringer co-write “Masculine” and a duet with bassist Buslowe on “Rock ‘n’ Roll Mercenaries.” (The liner notes repeat the story that John Parr, Meat Loaf’s duet partner on the studio version of the song, was angry that Meat neglected to introduce him to the Wembley crowd and stormed offstage.  Buslowe is credited with the Live vocal.)  1984’s Bad Attitude was tapped for the Top 20 U.K. single “Modern Girl,” and the title song of 1983’s Tom Dowd-helmed Midnight at the Lost and Found also made an appearance.  (A live “Midnight” can also be heard on 1996’s Live Around the World.)  The remainder of Live at Wembley, save an album-closing oldies medley of “Johnny B. Goode/Slow Down/Jailhouse Rock/Blue Suede Shoes,” was drawn from Bat Out of Hell.

The Bat songs remain the core of any Meat Loaf concert today, and here, you’ll hear a 10-minute take on “Paradise” as a duet with Amy Goff, an almost-as-long “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” with some furious fretwork by Bob Kulick, a joyful “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth,” and the storming, epic title song with Meat Loaf in pyrotechnic vocal mode.  These renditions largely adhere to the original arrangements, though the tight band takes enough liberties with an aggressive rock edge to give them a different flavor.

Malcolm Dome supplies new liner notes for Live at Wembley, part of a generously-illustrated booklet filled with tour and album advertisements and images.  Andy Pearce has remastered.  As with the previous CD edition, Hear No Evil’s reissue includes the full original LP plus the 2-track EP bundled with it, of “Masculine” b/w the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Medley.”  The original performances boasted much longer sets than the 75 minutes preserved on disc; the complete concerts as recorded by Fleetwood Mobile Recording and Meat Loaf’s co-producer Tom Edmonds remain unreleased.

The newly spruced-up Live at Wembley is available now, and you can order it after the jump!  Plus: the scoop on Lemon’s Ellen Foley reissue package! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 16, 2013 at 10:02

Release Round-Up: Week of September 10

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Clash - Sound SystemThe Clash, Sound System Hits Back / 5 Studio Album Box Set (Columbia/Sony Music/Legacy)

Coming from the U.K., a new double-disc Clash compilation, a simple box of the band’s classic albums in new mini-LP packaging (The Clash (U.K.), Give ‘Em Enough RopeLondon Calling, Sandinista! and Combat Rock) and a deluxe swag-filled set featuring those five albums, three discs of non-LP tracks and unreleased rarities and a DVD full of more rare treats.

Hits Back (2CD): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Hits Back (3LP): Amazon U.K.
5 Studio Album Box Set (CD): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
5 Studio Album Box Set (LP): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Sound SystemAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Hall and Oates - No Goodbyes (H&Ode)Daryl Hall & John Oates, No Goodbyes (Wounded Bird)

When the famed soul-pop duo split from Atlantic for RCA, this compilation (featuring tracks from their three LPs for the label plus three unreleased recordings) was released to capitalize on their newfound fame. This reissue is actually its first time on CD. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Back to BoomtownThe Boomtown Rats, Back to Boomtown: Classic Rats Hits (Universal U.K.)

Bob Geldof’s reunited Irish punk band, set to tour this winter, returns with a new 16-track compilation with two brand-new tunes. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Written by Mike Duquette

September 10, 2013 at 08:28

White Riot! Sony Announces Massive Box Set, New Compilation for The Clash

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Clash - Sound System

Even the name of The Clash was aggressive.  With their 1977 debut album, Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Terry Chimes (soon to depart the band) made a fast and furious attack on rock complacency.  Punk, after all, was the music heard ‘round the world when it re-lit a fire in the belly of rock-and-roll that had lain dormant in an era of increasingly complex, often progressive rock (sans the roll) in the 1970s.  And at the vanguard of that initial wave of English punk was, inevitably, The Clash.  Yet the punk band’s sound was musically diverse, incorporating reggae, ska, funk, rap and even “traditional” rock-and-roll and rockabilly into its heady stylistic brew.  Though the band broke up in 1986 after suffering a series of personnel changes, the music of The Clash reverberates, and come September 10, its small catalogue and significant legacy will be celebrated by Sony with a variety of releases.  The crown jewel is Sound System, a boom box-shaped box set collecting remastered editions of The Clash’s studio albums on eight CDs plus three CDs of demos, non-LP singles, B -sides and rarities and a DVD with music videos and previously unseen footage.  Joining Sound System will be a new 2-CD or 3-LP compilation The Clash Hits Back, and an 8-CD or 8-LP box set with only the studio albums, simply titled The Clash 5-Studio Album Set.

Sound System contains the following studio albums, all in remastered editions overseen by The Clash with engineer Tim Young:

  1. The Clash (1977)
  2. Give ‘Em Enough Rope (1978)
  3. London Calling (1979, 2 CDs)
  4. Sandinista! (1980, 3 CDs)
  5. Combat Rock (1982)

These eight discs are joined by:

  • Three more CDs featuring rare tracks, demos, non-album singles, B-sides and previously unreleased music;
  • DVD including unseen Julien Temple footage, early Super 8 film shot by Don Letts, all the band’s promotional videos and previously unseen live footage;
  • “Owner’s Manual” booklet;
  • Folder containing reprints of Armagideon Times 1 & 2 and Armagideon Times 3 (new edition of fanzine compiled and designed by Paul Simonon);
  • Merchandise including dog tags, badges, stickers, a replica cigarette (!) and a Future Is Unwritten note book designed by Harland Miller; and
  • An exclusive photo poster.

After the jump, we have more on Sound System, plus details on the other two Clash releases and full track listings for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 22, 2013 at 10:09

Return to Strummerville with Expanded Reissues of Clash Frontman’s Solo Discs

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In celebration of what would have been Joe Strummer’s 60th birthday this year – and, just as sadly, the 10th anniversary of his passing this coming December – the Clash frontman’s three albums with latter-day solo band The Mescaleros have received the deluxe treatment both physically and digitally.

At the end of August, Hellcat/Epitaph Records released a digital box set, Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros: The Hellcat Years. This 57-track box set contains all three remastered Mescaleros LPs – 1999’s Rock Art and the X-Ray Style, 2001’s Global A Go-Go and the posthumous Streetcore (2003) – along with ten non-LP B-sides and an unreleased concert. That show, a benefit for the Fire Union Brigade recorded at London’s Acton Town Hall, was one of Strummer’s final concerts and arguably one of the most iconic; the encore saw Strummer invite former band member and songwriting partner Mick Jones to the stage for a three-song performance of early Clash tunes. It was the first time the duo shared a stage since their 1983 set at The US Festival. (The pair were in good spirits, having just been announced as inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of The Clash the week prior. Strummer would not live to attend the induction.)

Interestingly, the three albums are getting released on CD as well on September 25, but the discs will only feature the ten B-sides and one non-Jones track from the Acton concert between them. Completists fear not, though: the tracks available only through the digital box set are available for individual purchase.

The track lists for the discs and the box set (the latter of which is available now) are after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

September 7, 2012 at 13:10

The Second Disc’s Record Store Day 2012 Essential Releases

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Well, Record Store Day is finally upon us!  Tomorrow, Saturday, April 21, music fans and collectors will descend upon their local independent record stores to celebrate both the sounds on those black platters and the cherished physical shopping environments alike.  As Record Store Day 2012 will offer a typically eclectic array of limited edition releases (primarily on vinyl but also some on CD, too!) from many of our favorite artists here at Second Disc HQ, we thought we would take a moment to count down the titles to which we’re most looking forward!  I’ll take my turn first, and then after the jump, you’ll find Mike’s picks for some of the finest offerings you might find at your local retailer!  And after you’ve picked up your share of these special collectibles, don’t hesitate to browse the regular racks, too…you never know what you might find!

You’ll find more information and a link to a downloadable PDF of the complete Record Store Day list here, and please share your RSD 2012 experiences with us below.  Happy Hunting!

5.            Miles Davis, Forever Miles (Columbia/Legacy)

This five-track collection spotlights various eras of the legendary trumpeter via alternate takes and rare mixes new to vinyl plus a previously unreleased live recording.  It adds up to a sonic journey through the many iterations of jazz itself.  From the fifties comes a 1956 take of “Dear Old Stockholm” with John Coltrane and the first take of 1957’s “Blues for Pablo” with Gil Evans.  “Hand Jive” is an alternate from the Miles Davis Quintet box chronicling Davis’ “Second Great Quintet” of 1965-1968.  A new mix of “Early Minor” from the In a Silent Way box (1969) rounds out the set along with a previously unreleased “Directions”  from 1970 at The Fillmore East.


4.            David Bowie, Starman (Virgin)

Remember the picture disc?  Virgin Records brings it back with this 45 RPM single containing two versions of David Bowie’s “Starman,” off The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, soon to be celebrating its 40th anniversary with a new CD/DVD edition.  Bowie, in his most far-out garb, adorns the vinyl, on which you’ll hear both the original song and a live Top of the Pops performance!

3.            The Mynah Birds, It’s My Time/Go On and Cry (Motown)

It might be difficult to resist an offering from Neil Young or Rick James, but how about a 45 RPM single from a band which counted both gentlemen among its members?  The single “It’s My Time” b/w “Go On and Cry” was slated for 1966 release on Motown’s V.I.P. imprint, but was shelved until 2006’s Complete Motown Singles Volume 6 box set arrived.  Now, six years later, the single comes full circle and finally gets its intended vinyl pressing.  Get it while you can!

2.            Various Artists, Never To Be Forgotten – The Flip Side of Stax 1968-1974 (Light in the Attic)

Light in the Attic has pulled out all of the stops for this Record Store Day crown jewel: a 7” vinyl box set containing ten singles from the Stax library circa 1968-1974!  Artists include Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Mable John, Melvin Van Peebles and the Mad Lads, and their singles are housed in a stunning 10 x 7” magnetic flip-top box which also contains an 84-page book.  Though a digital edition was released last week, no CD version has been announced, so vinyl is truly the best option to experience these seldom-heard Stax sides.  And who could resist that book?  You might also want to check out LITA’s new Lee Hazlewood compilation, The LHI Years!  It arrives soon on CD, but is making an early appearance on vinyl as part of the RSD festivities!

1.            Buck Owens, Coloring Book and Flexi Disc (Omnivore)

Were there prizes awarded for Most Creative and Most Fun Releases this year at Record Store Day, the top honors would surely go to the team at Omnivore Recordings!  They’ve given nostalgia a new meaning with the release of the Buck Owens Coloring Book and Flexi Disc.  The country star and Hee Haw host planned to release his official coloring book in 1970, but instead, the books languished in a warehouse.  Omnivore to the rescue!  The clever label has bundled one of these original Owens treasures with a newly-pressed flexi-disc (available in red, white or blue, natch). The coloring book tells the story of Buck and his Buckaroos, with the grand finale a concert performance that can be heard on the flexi-disc. “Act Naturally,” “Together Again,” “I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail” and “Crying Time” are all mentioned in the coloring book and can be played by you, the reader! All four songs come from Owens’ White House performance on September 9, 1968 before President Lyndon B. Johnson. A digital download card also contains all four songs, and the full concert will be released later this year on CD from Omnivore.  In the meantime, this unique offering just might make you join me in shouting, “Hee haw!”

Hit the jump for Mike’s top picks! Read the rest of this entry »

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

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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 »