The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for the ‘The Pogues’ Category

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

with 4 comments

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 »

“Weird Scenes Inside” Rhino’s Record Store Day Slate

with 2 comments

Doors - Weird ScenesWith April 19’s Record Store Day a little more than a week away, it might be time to start making those checklists! We’ve already filled you in on exciting releases from Legacy Recordings, Real Gone Music, SundazedOmnivore Recordings, Varese Sarabande and many others, but today it’s all about Rhino! The Warner Music Group catalogue arm has a bumper crop of more than 25 exclusive offerings from some of the biggest names classic rock, vintage R&B and beyond – including The Doors, Grateful Dead, Ramones, Randy Newman, and, as previously reported, R.E.M.! And that’s not all.

A number of new titles are at the heart of Rhino’s RSD campaign. The Dead premieres Live at Hampton Coliseum for the first time on double vinyl, preserving the band’s Virginia concert of May 4, 1979. Another live set getting a first-ever vinyl issue is Donny Hathaway’s Live at the Bitter End 1971, first issued last year on the Never My Love: The Anthology box set. The Pogues with Joe Strummer Live in London 1991, was like the Donny Hathaway release, first issued on CD in a recent box set (last year’s 30 Years complete albums box) and makes its first appearance in the LP format. It dates back to the period when the Clash frontman filled in for Shane MacGowan in the Pogues line-up. Rhino’s new releases are rounded out by a collection of new-to-vinyl outtakes from country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons, a new Greatest Hits from rapper and longtime Law and Order: SVU star Ice-T, and of course, R.E.M.’s eagerly awaited Unplugged 1991/2001: The Complete Sessions.

Randy Newman - Randy NewmanRhino continues its Side by Side series of 45s featuring two versions of the same song with pairings of Devo and The Flaming Lips (“Gates of Steel”), Dinosaur Jr. and The Cure (“Just Like Heaven”), Pantera and Poison Idea (“The Badge”) and two Mystery Artists– and Mystery Song, natch.  The label is also bringing a number of classic LPs back into print. These rare treats include The Birthday Party from Jeff Lynne’s pre-ELO psych-rock band The Idle Race, Randy Newman’s stunningly original debut solo LP – on which he created something new under the sun! – in its original mono version, Otis Redding’s mono Pain in My Heart, and classics from The Everly Brothers, The Velvet Underground, Hüsker Dü and many others.

Last but not least, Rhino has an array of compilations and singles on tap. Perhaps the most unexpected title is The Doors’ Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine, the band’s first compilation following the untimely death of Jim Morrison. First released in 1972, Gold Mine will also get a first-time CD reissue in May. A rare Ramones EP (1980’s Meltdown with the Ramones) and the first-ever U.S. release of Fleetwood Mac’s 1970 single “Dragonfly” b/w “Purple Dancer” join titles from Joy Division, The Specials, The Stranglers and even a reissue of Elektra’s 1964 multi-LP box set The Folk Box. The latter even comes with a bonus single featuring Judy Collins and Tom Paxton!

We wouldn’t leave you hanging with all of this tantalizing information; just hit the jump for the full specs (including limited edition numbers, vinyl details, etc.) as helpfully provided by our very own Mike D. for every title mentioned above and more! Look for Rhino’s releases at your finest local independent record retailer on Saturday, April 19. Read the rest of this entry »

Release Round-Up: Weeks of December 17 and 24

leave a comment »

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”

with 2 comments

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

Review: The Pogues, “The Very Best of The Pogues”

with one comment

The Very Best of The PoguesSince the birth of the greatest hits album, the preparation of such a product has become a bizarre form of performance art. Do you include only hit singles or sprinkle in favorite album cuts? Do you keep things chronological or craft some sort of fancy playlist for maximum listening pleasure? How intricate do you make the packaging – do you need liner  notes, song-by-song credits and all that?

The fires of these debates are further stoked with the release of The Very Best of The Pogues (Shout! Factory 826663-13738), a decent compilation for the iconic Irish band (it seems it’s the only one in print in the U.S. right now) that’s prevented from being truly great by a number of easily preventable factors.

The Very Best of The Pogues certainly doesn’t lack for audio quality. The 18 tracks herein (singles and album cuts alike) are all tastefully mastered by Bob Fisher at Pacific Multimedia, and all of them are great tunes for new Pogues fans to gnaw on. “Dirty Old Town,” “Rain Street,” “The Irish Rover” with The Dubliners, “Fairytale of New York” with Kirsty MacColl, “Tuesday Morning” (the closest thing they had to a U.S. hit) – all of these are appropriately rollicking songs that recall the best of traditional Irish music with a snarling rock edge.

But from there, things get really problematic for the disc. If you like chronological compilations, this isn’t it – and that wouldn’t be a major issue, if only there were some hint as to which songs originate from where. The lack of discographical info in the liner notes (save for a fun but slight two-and-a-half page recollection from band member Spider Stacy) meant every listen had to be punctuated by consulting the disc info on iTunes or my own news post on the disc just to figure out where these tracks figured into The Pogues’ legend.

For instance, you’d never know just from looking at the disc that perennially intoxicated frontman Shane MacGowan was ejected from the band in the early 1990s, with Stacy handling lead vocals duties and the entire band pitching in to write. The Very Best of The Pogues is only one of two compilations (the other being the U.K. The Ultimate Collection (2005)) that even uses a song from that era; it in fact uses two: “Tuesday Morning” and heartfelt closer “Love You Till the End.” There: now I have told you more about the band than this compilation does.

Look, all in all, The Very Best of The Pogues is not a terrible set. It’s been a blast to listen to, and it’s certainly a welcome mat into the greater world of MacGowan and his gleeful band of musical mavericks. But a little bit more elbow grease on the overall presentation could have turned this set from a probable introduction to a more confident one.

Written by Mike Duquette

January 23, 2013 at 10:10

Posted in Compilations, Reviews, The Pogues

Tagged with

Release Round-Up: Week of January 22

with one comment

Billy Joel - Love SongsBilly Joel, She’s Got a Way: Love Songs (Columbia/Legacy)

The romantic side of the Piano Man is featured on this new compilation. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Searching for Sugar Man Blu-RayRodriguez, Searching for Sugar Man (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

One of the most captivating catalogue music documentaries of 2012 is now available on DVD  (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) and Blu-Ray (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)!

Blue Nile HatsThe Blue Nile, A Walk Across the Rooftops / Hats: Deluxe Editions (Virgin/EMI)

Slated for release in the U.K. late last year, these two double-disc expansions of The Blue Nile’s first two LPs, featuring many rare and unreleased recordings, are on the schedule today, as well. (A Walk Across the RooftopsAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. – Hats: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Buck Owens - Honky TonkBuck Owens, Honky Tonk Man: Buck Sings Country Classics / Don Rich, Don Rich Sings George Jones (Omnivore)

Two never-before-released sets from two legends of Bakersfield are coming from Omnivore! (Buck Owens: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. – Don Rich: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The Very Best of The PoguesThe Pogues, The Very Best of The Pogues (Shout! Factory)

A new Pogues compilation – according to the label, the only one in print in the U.S. right now. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Four Seasons - Gold Vault of HitsFrankie Valli and The 4 Seasons, Gold Vault of Hits 2nd Vault of Golden Hits (Rhino)

Two original 4 Seasons compilations, released by Philips in 1965 and 1966, work their way to CD from Rhino. (Gold VaultAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.2nd Vault: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Say Anything All My Friends Are EnemiesSay Anything, All My Friends Are Enemies: Early Rarities (Equal Vision)

A three-disc set featuring Max Bemis and his emo ensemble’s first self-released albums. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Shout! Factory to Kick Off 2013 with New Pogues Compilation

with 3 comments

The Very Best of The PoguesThis season has been as good a time as any to look someone in the eye and say “POGUE MAHONE!” Legendary Irish-British rockers The Pogues have celebrated the 25th anniversary of their most endearing single, the unorthodox Christmas tune “Fairytale of New York” (featuring a notable guest vocal from Kirsty MacColl) with a special physical and digital reissue earlier this month (undoubtedly gunning for the coveted Christmas No. 1 single slot, having peaked at No. 2 in its original release year and placing strongly within the U.K. Top 20 since 2005). And on January 22, Shout! Factory will release a brand-new career-spanning compilation for the group.

Formed not in Ireland but King’s Cross, London, and comprised of English and Irish musicians (lead singer Shane McGowan chief among the latter camp), The Pogues’ intriguing blend of punk rhythms with traditional Celtic arrangements earned them a wide following in Europe. An opening slot for The Clash during their last major live performances led to a deal with Stiff Records; onetime Stiff artist Elvis Costello produced their breakthrough sophomore album, 1985’s Rum Sodomy and the Lash and would later marry the band’s departing bassist, Cait O’Reardon.

Following Stiff’s bankruptcy, the band signed to Island and enjoyed their greatest commercial success with singles “Fairytale of New York” and “Irish Rover” and 1988’s If I Should Fall from Grace with God. But a seeming inconsistency to capitalize on their own successes, combined with the increasing unreliability of MacGowan – battling alcoholism, he was fired from the group in 1991 and replaced first by The Clash’s Joe Strummer and then band member Spider Stacy – sank The Pogues’ fortunes almost as soon as they began. The band broke up in 1996, but reunited with MacGowan in 2001 for a tour of England; today, the band continues to perform live (with no intentions to record new music), splitting their time between the U.S. around St. Patrick’s Day and the U.K. around Christmas. (A 30th anniversary show will commence at London’s O2 on December 20.)

The 18-track compilation features tracks from every Pogues LP, as well as an eight-page booklet featuring new liner notes by Spider Stacy. Order The Very Best of The Pogues at Amazon U.S. and Amazon U.K., and check out the full track list after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

December 12, 2012 at 10:10