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Release Round-Up: Weeks of December 23 and December 30

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Well, these are incredibly light weeks for new releases!  Thankfully, the Kritzerland and Audio Fidelity labels have stepped up with a quartet of titles to close out 2014 on a high note!

Classical Broadway

Cy Coleman, John Kander, Harvey Schmidt and Charles Strouse, Classical Broadway (Kritzerland) (available for pre-order now)

Kritzerland remasters this 1992 album (originally released on the Bay Cities label) featuring classical compositions from four of Broadway’s most legendary composers including Cy Coleman (Sweet Charity, Barnum), John Kander (Cabaret, Chicago), Harvey Schmidt (The Fantasticks, 110 in the Shade) and Charles Strouse (Annie, Bye Bye Birdie).  Though these pieces are for the concert hall and not for the musical stage, they still brim with the melody and flair of the composers’ theatre work.  This title will ship by the second week of February, but pre-orders placed directly through the label typically arrive an average of four weeks early.

Breaking Away

Patrick Williams, Breaking Away: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Kritzerland) (available for pre-order now)

Here’s the world premiere soundtrack release of Patrick Williams’ score (as conducted by the great Lionel Newman) for the beloved 1979 coming-of-age drama.  This deluxe release features Williams’ original cues, classical adaptations, as well as material cut from the finished film.  This title will ship by the second week of February, but pre-orders placed directly through the label typically arrive an average of four weeks early.

Guess Who SACD

The Guess Who, The Best of The Guess Who (Audio Fidelity) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) (12/30)

Audio Fidelity premieres the 4.0 quadraphonic surround mix of The Guess Who’s 1971 compilation album on hybrid SACD (meaning a stereo layer is playable on standard CD players) – featuring such songs as “These Eyes,” “Laughing,” “No Time,” “Undun” and “American Woman.”  And that’s not the only quad classic coming to CD…

BS&T Quad

Blood, Sweat & Tears, Blood, Sweat & Tears (Audio Fidelity) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) (12/30)

Following its 5.1 presentation of BS&T’s Al Kooper-helmed debut album, Audio Fidelity revisits the kickoff of the horn band’s David Clayton-Thomas era!  This original 4.0 quad mix of the 1969 smash features “Spinning Wheel,” “And When I Die” and “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” all in vivid multichannel on hybrid SACD.

And lastly, we’d like to spread a little holiday cheer courtesy of one of our readers…


The Man Who Saved Christmas: The Original Studio Cast Recording (Take the Cakeable Records) (Amazon U.S.) (available now)

This isn’t a reissue, but what it is, is a charming and unabashedly old-fashioned musical comedy as recorded by a cast of 34 singers and a 14-piece orchestra.  Ron Lytle’s bright musical is inspired by the life story of A.C. Gilbert.  The inventor of the erector set, Gilbert was dubbed “the man who saved Christmas” for his crusade against a proposed ban on toy sales during one pivotal holiday season!  The Studio Cast Recording of this charming show is available now at Amazon, and more information on the show can be found at its website.  Merry Christmas, everyone!

Written by Joe Marchese

December 23, 2014 at 08:28

Release Round-Up: Week of August 12

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Billy ThermalBilly Thermal, Billy Thermal (Omnivore)

Before Billy Steinberg co-wrote with Tom Kelly a host of pop classics (“Like a Virgin,” “True Colors,” “So Emotional,” “Eternal Flame”), he fronted a little-heard band on Richard Perry’s Planet Records: their original five-track EP is expanded to a 12-track compilation with demos and outtakes! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Power in the MusicThe Guess Who, Power in the Music: Expanded Edition (Iconoclassic)

The final Guess Who studio album for RCA (and last with Burton Cummings) is remastered with two bonus rehearsal tracks. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

DeesuEtta James, It Takes Love to Keep a Woman: The Allen Toussaint Sessions / Eldridge Holmes, Now That I’ve Lost You: The Allen Toussaint Sessions / The Deesu Records Story (Fuel 2000)

The Fuel 2000 label has three new titles celebrating New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint including a 2-CD overview of his Deesu label (sister label to Sansu), rare material from Eldridge Holmes and a retitled reissue of the 1980 LP he produced for Etta James, Changes! All titles feature new liner notes from Bill Dahl.

Etta: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Eldridge: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Deesu: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Down to Love TownThe Originals, Down to Love Town / Platinum Hook, Platinum Hook (Big Break Records)

Big Break Records has two more rare treats from the Motown vaults: The Originals’ Down to Love Town (1976) and Platinum Hook’s self-titled LP from 1977, all expanded with bonus tracks!

The Originals: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Platinum Hook: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Written by Mike Duquette

August 12, 2014 at 08:08

Release Round-Up: Week of July 24

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Booker T. & the MGs, Green Onions (Concord/Stax)

The 1962 album from the Stax legends is expanded with two previously issued, live bonus tracks from Los Angeles in 1965.  Read more here.

David Cassidy, Cherish / Rock Me Baby (7Ts/Cherry Red)

The Partridge Family star was on top of the world when he released his first two solo albums in 1972.  They arrive on American shores today as one two-fer!  Read more here.

The Guess Who, # 10 / Road Food (Iconoclassic)

Iconoclassic’s series of expanded and remastered reissues for the Canadian rockers continues with these 1973 and 1974 RCA albums.  Read more here.

Jerry Lee Lewis, The Killer Live! 1964-1970 (Hip-o Select/Mercury)

This limited edition 3-CD set compiles a bevy of live albums from the piano pounder: “Live” At The Star Club, Hamburg and The Greatest Live Show On Earth, both from 1964; 1966’s By Request: More Of The Greatest Live Show On Earth; and 1970’s Live At The International, Las Vegas.  A full 16 bonus tracks, including 10 previously unreleased tracks, round out the set.

Rodriguez, Searching for Sugar Man: Original Soundtrack (Legacy/Light in the Attic)

Never heard of Rodriguez?  Let Legacy and Light in the Attic spin this fascinating yarn about a musician who had no idea that his long-lost LP had acquired a new lease on life: as the soundtrack to a revolution taking place oceans away.  We’ll have more on the amazing story of Rodriguez later today!

Neil Sedaka, The Show Goes On: Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Eagle Rock)

A 2006 set of hit tunes from the “Calendar Girl” and “Laughter in the Rain” hitmaker arrives on CD for the first time.

Sugar, Copper Blue/Beaster (Deluxe Edition) / File Under Easy Listening (Deluxe Edition) (Merge)

American reissues arrive from Bob Mould’s Sugar in modified form from the recent Edsel deluxe editions.   All the DVD content from the Edsel sets has been dropped, along with the BBC session tracks that featured on Copper Blue. All the other copious bonus audio content will be retained, though, with Copper Blue and the Beaster EP brought together as one 3-CD package, and FU:EL as one 2-CD set.  Read more about these Merge Records releases here.

Various Artists, Country Funk 1969-1975 (Light in the Attic)

The anthology experts at Light in the Attic have put together this fun set exploring the crossroads of – yup! – country and funk.  Expect rarities from Bobby (then Bob) Darin, Mac Davis, Tony Joe White, Bobbie Gentry and more!

GZA, Liquid Swords: The Chess Box (Get On Down)

One of The Wu-Tang Clan’s great solo albums from the group’s initial wave, Liquid Swords is expanded with a bonus disc of instrumentals and a collectible chess set package. Read more here!

The Pharcyde, Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde: Expanded Edition (Delicious Vinyl)

The underrated alternative hip-hop group gets their debut album expanded 20 years later in a three-disc set featuring a deluxe box and two extra discs of B-sides, remixes and other bonus material.

Slipknot, Antennas to Hell (Roadrunner)

The nu-metal band’s first compilation, featuring either straight hits or a bonus live disc to match. Full story is here.

Jennifer Lopez, Dance Again: The Hits (Epic)

The former American Idol judge’s comeback comes full circle with this compilation of some of the hottest dance floor fillers of the past 15 years. Have a look here.

It’s a Beauty: Iconoclassic Continues Reissue Series for The Guess Who, The Tubes (UPDATED WITH LINKS AND TRACK LISTS)

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In a surprise announcement, Iconoclassic Records is continuing their successful reissue campaigns for The Guess Who and The Tubes this summer.

Two Guess Who’s #10 (1973) and Road Food (1974) – the sixth and seventh in the label’s long line of Guess Who remasters – and The Tubes’ Outside Inside (1983) will be remastered and expanded, according to Iconoclassic’s Facebook page.

When Outside Inside‘s lead single “She’s a Beauty” cracked the Top 10 in 1983, The Tubes became one of the unlikeliest pop darlings in recent memory. Though they’d achieved some commercial success with the previous year’s The Completion Backward Principle (also expanded by Iconoclassic) and single “Talk to Ya Later” (which, like all the material on both albums, was produced by pop whiz David Foster), it was a surprise to see a hit by a band known in the ’70s for their flashy live shows satirizing the excesses of the industry.

But that smooth production by Foster was hard to ignore at the time, and with killer guest appearances by some of the best pop/rockers at the time, including horn arrangements by Jerry Hey, guest vocals by Martha Davis of The Motels and Bill Champlin of Chicago and pretty much the entire lineup of Toto (including Steve Lukather and Bobby Kimball, whose work is particularly prominent on “She’s a Beauty”), it’s not hard to understand why pop geeks are still down with The Tubes.

While Iconoclassic hasn’t locked down the full list of bonus tracks, it is known that there will be “single B-sides, single versions and the ultra rare Tubes version of ‘Satellite.'” (That track, an outtake from the Outside Inside sessions, was released on the Sedated in the ’80s No. 5 compilation released by The Right Stuff Records in 1985.)

What awaits Guess Who fans? Hit the jump to find out!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

April 17, 2012 at 11:59

Release Round-Up: Week of May 31

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Ozzy Osbourne, Blizzard of Ozz / Diary of a Madman: Legacy Edition (Epic/Legacy)

The Prince of Darkness’ first two LPs, finally put back into print with the original drum and bass tracks and expanded with bonus material (including a previously unreleased live disc for Diary). A box set packs all the CDs in with vinyl, a commemorative book and the new documentary Thirty Years After the Blizzard. (Official site)

Twisted Sister, Under the Blade: Deluxe Edition (Eagle)

Another welcome hard-rock reissue that restores the original mix of Twisted Sister’s debut LP to CD and adds some bonus EP tracks and a DVD of the band’s gig at the Reading Festival in 1982. (Official site)

Kate Bush, Director’s Cut (Fish People/EMI)

The magnificent singer/songwriter’s latest album project – her first in six years, and already released in the U.K., where it hit No. 2 – features remixed and re-recorded versions of tracks from The Sensual World (1989) and The Red Shoes (1993). A deluxe set features those original albums remastered as well. (Official site)

James Taylor, JT (Mobile Fidelity)

One of Taylor’s most satisfying albums gets the hybrid SACD treatment. (Mobile Fidelity)

The Guess Who, Flavours: Expanded Edition (Iconoclassic)

The Guess Who reissue series continues with the band’s penultimate LP for RCA. (Iconoclassic)

The O’Jays, Back Stabbers: Expanded Edition / Jon Lucien, Song for My Lady: Expanded Edition / Linda Lewis, Woman Overboard: Expanded Edition / Linx, Intuition: Expanded Edition (Big Break Records)

The latest crop of BBR reissues makes its way to U.S. shores. Back Stabbers looks like it’s gonna be a good one, what with one of the best Philly soul songs ever in “Love Train.” (Big Break Records)

Written by Mike Duquette

May 31, 2011 at 08:30

Iconoclassic Adds Three Titles to Reissue Slate (UPDATED)

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The Iconoclassic label kicks off their year in reissues with some exciting surprise expansions of some great ’70s and ’80s titles. The three titles, which have no street dates or official track lists as of yet, are nonetheless tantalizing.

The label has handled a good portion of expanding and remastering the catalogue of Canadian rockers The Guess Who; this campaign’s latest installment will see the reissue of Flavours (1975) for its 35th anniversary. The album, which included the last Guess Who Top 40 hit, “Dancin’ Fool,” will feature unreleased outtakes, new liner notes, and remastering by Vic Anesini.

Next up is a 30th anniversary edition of Raise!, the hit album by Earth, Wind and Fire which spawned a huge pop hit in “Let’s Groove” and the Grammy-winning “Wanna Be with You.” Several vinyl-only mixes will be included as bonus tracks.

And finally, another 30th anniversary edition, this time for the first Capitol album by The Tubes, The Completion Backward Principle. This was the band’s first album produced by David Foster, who’d put them on the path to success with “She’s a Beauty” later in the decade. Non-LP tracks, including singles and B-sides, will be included as bonus cuts.

Track lists and order links are now live over at the label’s Web site. Hit the jump to check ’em out! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

March 3, 2011 at 15:50

The Year in Reissues, Part III: The Gold Bonus Disc Awards

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Well, another New Year is in sight, the CD still isn’t dead (told you so!) and celebration is in the air at The Second Disc. Back on December 23, Mike shared The Year in Reissues both here and over with our pals at Popdose. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 bucks until you read these indispensable columns!

Are you back with me? Good. Now, I’d like to take this opportunity to take a fun look back at a few of my favorite things via Joe’s Gold Bonus Disc Awards! I’m awarding these to the reissues that have raised the bar over the past 12 months. You’ll notice a number of titles that have already been praised by Mike, as well as new entries, but overall, I’ve simply tried to recognize as many diverse, worthy releases as possible. It’s my sincere hope, though, that you’ll take a chance on a title previously unknown to you; all of the artists, producers, and labels mentioned here have kept great music alive in 2010.

Friends, as always, please share your thoughts and comments below. Without further ado, let’s celebrate 2010’s best of the best. Welcome to the Gold Bonus Disc Awards!

Which releases take home the gold?  Hit the jump to find out! Read the rest of this entry »

Short Takes: Legacy’s First Paul Simon Release, James Taylor Goes Gold, and Spector Set Due

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With the fall officially underway, we’re now in the busiest time of the year for the music biz, and as this week hits its halfway point, we’re here to offer a few announcements you might have missed.

Audio Fidelity offers on November 2 a 24K Gold CD version of James Taylor’s seminal 1972 album originally released on Warner Bros. Records, One Man Dog. Remastered by audio guru Steve Hoffman, One Man Dog has among its highlights the now-standard “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight.” One Man Dog joins future Audio Fidelity releases of Stevie Wonder’s Music of My Mind (AFZ100) mastered by Kevin Gray, Billy Joel’s jazz-inflected 52nd Street (AFZ095) mastered by Hoffman, and vinyl versions of Kate Bush’s The Sensual World (AFZLP082) and Harry Nilsson’s Gordon Jenkins-arranged A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night (AFZLP083) with both LPs mastered by the Hoffman/Gray team.

Some interesting info arrives courtesy Rolling Stone’s September 30 edition. In David Browne’s article “Back to Mono: Dylan, Doors Reissues Unearth Classic Sound” focusing on the upcoming Bob Dylan: The Original Mono Recordings, Browne notes that the success of The Beatles in Mono box “has paved the way for a mono gold rush: the Dylan box, 2011 compilations of Phil Spector and Roy Orbison, and upcoming mono reissues of classic albums by The Doors (The Doors), the Yardbirds (Little Games) and John Mayall (Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton).” So perhaps Sony is finally opening those Spector vaults that have lain dormant since last year’s remastered but otherwise-untouched reissue of A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector?  (Ironically, though, many Spector fans have been waiting for stereo mixes to hit CD, despite the producer’s legendary preference for mono!)

Finally, thanks to our good friends at MusicTAP for their terrific reportage on a new batch in Sony’s ever-growing line of Essentials, all due October 26. And we’ve found a couple of titles still to report! Just two weeks after the October 12 deluge of Playlist releases, a number of artists will receive Essential volumes. Click on the jump to find out just who receives the Essential treatment this time around! Read the rest of this entry »

Iconoclassic to Reissue Solo Carl Wilson and Guess Who in September

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If sensitive composer/producer Brian Wilson was the soul of The Beach Boys, and brash frontman Mike Love the voice, passionate singer/guitarist Carl Wilson was no doubt the heart. There was little Carl Wilson couldn’t do, vocally, whether the angelic tones of “God Only Knows,” the soulful shouting of “I Was Made to Love Her” or the dreamlike psychedelia of “Feel Flows.” And when brother Brian wasn’t able to guide the band through the tumultuous 1970s, Carl stepped up to the plate with an amazing run of songs bringing the band’s sound into a new decade: “Long Promised Road,” “Trader,” and the aforementioned “Feel Flows” among them. He channeled a nostalgic sound to co-write 1974’s “Good Timin’” with Brian, and also assumed the production reins to finish many of Brian’s lost masterworks, including “Surf’s Up” from the aborted SMiLE sessions.

Yet as the 1980s dawned, the Beach Boys found themselves a fractured unit. Carl, once the glue that held the group together, made the decision to embark on a solo recording career. He signed with James Guercio’s CBS-distributed Caribou label, home to Dennis Wilson’s Pacific Ocean Blue, and in March 1981, Carl Wilson was released. Despite the presence of the gorgeous ballad “Heaven” which was a Top 20 Adult Contemporary single, the album only reached No. 185 on the Billboard 200. Nearly two years later, in February 1983, the singer released his second and last solo effort, Youngblood. This Caribou release is being reissued for the very first time on CD on September 21 courtesy of the fine folks at Iconoclassic Records, who on the same date will be reissuing the Guess Who’s 1973 Artificial Paradise.  Hit the jump for more on the story behind these two albums, as well as the track listings and pre-order info! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 27, 2010 at 09:26