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Archive for the ‘“Weird Al” Yankovic’ Category

Friday Feature: “The Transformers: The Movie”

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That crunching, crashing sound you hear is another Transformers movie rolling out into theaters. The series’ third installment, Dark of the Moon, features Autobots and Decepticons yet again pummeling each other into scrap metal with the fate of the Earth at stake.

While it remains to be seen – at least by this author – if the new film is any worse than the abhorrent Revenge of the Fallen from 2009 (which featured an enemy with a crotch made of wrecking balls, hereafter referred to as “Decepticles”), it did provoke some thoughts on the lengthy history of the first Transformers film, released some 25 years ago, and the lengthy list of albums that have been released to commemorate it.

At the end of this post, one shall stand and one shall fall – so pull up a chair, maximize your Energon cubes and read about some of the most endearingly silly music to come from a soundtrack of the ’80s! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

July 1, 2011 at 12:27

Compilation Deluge Due from Legacy: Joplin, Presley, Dylan, Cash Included

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Playlist (Eco-Friendly Packaging)

The Second Disc kicks off the week with a bit of synergy. Our very own Mike Duquette contributed a wonderful piece over at Popdose looking at the hidden musical treasures you can find at your local grocery store – of all places! – including Sony/Legacy’s Playlist: The Very Best of Daryl Hall & John Oates. If you haven’t checked out Mike’s incisive, entertaining feature, please do so now, and then rejoin me here. Okay? Good. Welcome back! With summer turning to fall, and fall traditionally being the season when record labels release the most product in anticipation of the holidays, Sony has turned its attention to releasing a staggering amount of compilations in both their Essential and Playlist lines.

The Second Disc last reported on Barry Manilow, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Henry Mancini and Lena Horne joining the ranks of those anthologized in The Essential series, with Horne’s entry boasting some rare, new-to-CD tracks. Now a varied group joins that already eclectic lineup. August 31 will bring Essential 3.0 releases for Patti LaBelle, Simon and Garfunkel, Hezekiah Walker, Fred Hammond and Gloria Estefan, while October 12 will see The Essential Ronnie Milsap 3.0. Perhaps surprisingly given Legacy’s recent acquisition of his solo catalog, no new Paul Simon catalogue compilation has yet been announced.

The Playlist series takes its turn with two waves of releases, as well. Unfortunately no releases from the dormant catalogues of Philadelphia International Records or Philles Records have been announced, and Legacy’s plans for both labels are still unknown. That said, the artists getting the Playlist treatment are definitely diverse. From the jazz world, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and Weather Report all have titles arriving in stores on September 14.  (Armstrong’s offering appears to be cross-licensed, containing tracks from the Universal catalogue.) October 12 brings volumes from Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, the Isley Brothers, Elvis Presley and Barry Manilow, among others. (Can I vote for “Tight Connection to My Heart”  from 1985’s Empire Burlesque for the Dylan volume, dedicated to his 1980s work?) These titles often feature a rarity or two in the mix, so keep an eye out for track listings when they’re announced. Perhaps Manilow’s “Oh, Julie!” will finally appear here, having been passed over for The Essential 3.0

Finally, thanks to our friends at the indispensable Musictap for a heads-up on more interesting compilation news from Legacy’s associated labels. Apparently a new series of 3-CD sets is scheduled for October 5 under the nondescript banner The Music Of.  The first artists in this series will be Dan Fogelberg, Jefferson Airplane, George Jones, Merle Haggard and Gladys Knight. As more details are revealed, we’ll report back.

Hit the jump for the full list of upcoming Playlist volumes, and pre-order links for all of the Playlist and Essential titles mentioned! Read the rest of this entry »

Barry Manilow, “Weird Al” Yankovic Upgraded to 3.0

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And Legacy’s Essential train just keeps on rolling along. Upgrades to Essential 3.0 have been announced for two popular volumes in the long-running series, The Essential “Weird Al” Yankovic and The Essential Barry Manilow. The new editions will expand the 2-CD releases with a third disc containing 6 and 7 tracks, respectively. While none of the tracks on the third discs appear to be rare, Essential 3.0 titles are usually priced very similarly to the original 2-CD sets (retailing for approximately $25, they can often be found as inexpensive as $15) and therefore a terrific bargain for fans who didn’t already buy the first release.

The tracks on Al’s Disc 3 encompass 20 years of the musical humorist’s career, from his 1983 debut (“Ricky”) to his second-to-last studio album, 2003’s Poodle Hat (“Wanna Be Ur Lovr” and “Genius in France”). Manilow’s 8 tracks are likewise eclectic. The heartfelt “All the Time” and showstopping “Sweet Heaven” were notable omissions from the original set, so they’re particularly welcome. Legacy has seen fit to include the too-little-known early gem “I Am Your Child” while Manilow’s latter-day patriotic anthem “Let Freedom Ring” might sit oddly in this collection. Fans will be happy to know that 1982’s hit Four Seasons cover “Let’s Hang On” is included, but the same year’s charting “Oh, Julie!” still isn’t making a long-awaited appearance on CD. In its original form, The Essential Barry Manilow was notable for including some rare and new-to-CD mixes; it’s disappointing that Disc 3 doesn’t appear to be following suit.

Even in 2-disc form, The Essentials remain the best one-stop shopping for both the Yankovic and Manilow catalogues. In 3-disc form, the deal is even sweeter for those who haven’t bitten yet.  You can pre-order The Essential “Weird Al” Yankovic 3.0, due on August 31, here and The Essential Barry Manilow 3.0, set for October 12 release, here.

You know the routine: click on the jump for full track listings and complete discographical information for all 3 discs of both releases! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 12, 2010 at 09:36