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Release Round-Up: Week of November 10

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Monkees SDE

The Monkees, The Monkees: Super Deluxe Edition (Rhino Handmade) (Exclusively available directly from label)

It’s Monkeemania all over again: Davy, Micky, Peter and Michael are back with a 3-CD expansion of their debut album featuring 100 tracks – 45 of which are previously unreleased!

Abba Gracias

ABBA, Gracias Por La Musica: Deluxe Edition (Polar/Universal) (Amazon U.S. Link TBD / Amazon U.K.)

ABBA is saying “Thank You for the Music” – in Spanish!  The band’s Spanish-language 1980 album Gracias Por La Música is going deluxe with 5 bonus tracks, plus a 40-minute DVD featuring vintage promo clips and previously unreleased television material.


The Kinks, Muswell Hillbillies: Legacy Edition (Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Legacy has a new edition of 1971’s Muswell Hillbillies on tap as part of its new Kinks kampaign.  It retains eight of the thirteen bonus tracks on the 2013 U.K. Deluxe Edition, dropping three BBC radio performances from The John Peel Show (“Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues,” “Holiday” and “Skin and Bone”) and the 1976 remixes of “Muswell Hillbilly” and “20th Century Man.” It then adds a separate DVD with thirteen previously-unreleased performances: two songs from a January 1972 broadcast of The Old Grey Whistle Test and eleven from BBC’s Live at the Rainbow program from July 1972.

Pink Floyd - Endless

Pink Floyd, The Endless River (Columbia)

CD/Blu-ray: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

CD/DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. 

Single CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

In early 1993, David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright created more than one hundred pieces of music by jamming together and recording the results.  The trio then honed the pieces at Gilmour’s studio, played them live for 2 days at Olympic Studios in Barnes with additional players (Guy Pratt on bass, Jon Carin on keyboards and Gary Wallis on percussion), returned to Astoria, and worked further with co-producer Bob Ezrin.  The resulting LP, after lyrics and vocals were added, was The Division Bell.  Rumors abounded of a separate ambient album created from the remaining ethereal instrumentals, but nothing came of it until now.  Gilmour and Mason re-entered the studio earlier this year and added further instrumentation to the tracks they originally created with the late Richard Wright.  Pink Floyd describes The Endless River as 60% new, with the other 40% drawn from those original 1993 recordings.  Gilmour describes the record as follows: “The Endless River has as its starting point the music that came from the 1993 Division Bell sessions. We listened to over 20 hours of the three of us playing together and selected the music we wanted to work on for the new album. Over the last year we’ve added new parts, re-recorded others and generally harnessed studio technology to make a 21st century Pink Floyd album. With Rick gone, and with him the chance of ever doing it again, it feels right that these revisited and reworked tracks should be made available as part of our repertoire.”

Rush R40

Rush, R40 (Concord/Rounder)

DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

BD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

This 10-DVD or 6-BD box set tells the story of Rush through live performance material recorded over the years,with an emphasis on the period of 2003-2013.

Whitney Live

Whitney Houston, Live (Arista/Legacy)

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
CD/DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Clive Davis has overseen this first official live release for the late, great Whitney Houston, which includes some of the diva’s most beloved onstage performances recorded between 1983 and 2009.

Queen, Queen Forever (Hollywood)


CD: Amazon U.K.
2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

This new anthology features three previously unissued recordings (including “There Must Be More to Life Than This” with Michael Jackson) and other off-the-beaten path selections.

Taylor - The Lot

Roger Taylor, The Lot (Omnivore)

The Queen drummer’s own solo career is captured in this lavish 13-disc complete box set.


Blood Sweat and Tears, Child is Father to the Man – 5.1 Surround SACD (Audio Fidelity) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. Link TBD)

Al Kooper’s long-shelved 5.1 surround mix of Blood, Sweat and Tears’ stunning jazz-rock debut finally makes an appearance on hybrid SACD thanks to Audio Fidelity!  Bob Ludwig masters Kooper’s 5.1 mix, while Steve Hoffman has remastered for the stereo presentations.

Clapton - Pilgrim SACD

Eric Clapton, Pilgrim SACD (Audio Fidelity) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. Link TBD)

Steve Hoffman remasters Eric Clapton’s 1988 studio album Pilgrim for hybrid stereo SACD!

Tears - Super Deluxe

Tears for Fears, Songs from the Big Chair: Super Deluxe Edition (Mercury)

Box Set: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

2-CD Deluxe Edition (Discs 1 & 2 below only): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Vinyl (Original Album): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Blu-ray Audio (Stereo and 5.1 Mixes): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Mercury has a variety of formats coming for Tears for Tears’ landmark 1985 album, including a 4-CD/2-DVD box set!

Genius Box

Ray Charles, Genius Loves Company: 10th Anniversary Limited Collectors Edition (Hear Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Hear Music repackages Ray Charles’ Grammy-winning duets album for a second time this year, retaining the two bonus tracks and DVD documentary from the previous edition and adding director Taylor Hackford’s 2004 motion picture Ray on a second DVD.

Worzel Gummidge

Worzel Gummidge: The Musical – Original London Cast Recording (Stage Door) (Amazon U.K.)

Stage Door Records remasters and expands the Original 1981 London Cast Recording of Keith Waterhouse, Willis Hall and Denis King’s musical comedy to CD for the first time.

Lost on the River

Various Artists, Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes (Harvest) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

What happens when you give a notebook filled with never-before-recorded Bob Dylan lyrics to producer T Bone Burnett and a musical collective featuring Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons)?  You get Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes, a 2014 companion to the recent issue of the original, legendary recordings made by Dylan and The Band.


Written by Joe Marchese

November 10, 2014 at 08:03

Moments in Time: First Whitney Houston Live CD/DVD Announced

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Whitney Live

It’s not often that music mogul Clive Davis takes to The Today Show to make a special announcement, but that’s exactly what the former Columbia President, Arista founder and current Chief Creative Officer at Sony Music Entertainment did this morning to unveil his latest passion project.  Five-time Grammy winner Davis was on hand to present the first-ever live album from one of his most famous discoveries, the late Whitney Houston.  “This is her legacy,” said Davis of Whitney Houston Live – Her Greatest Performances, the new CD and CD/DVD release coming from Arista and Legacy Recordings on November 10.

“She was without question the greatest vocalist in the world,” Davis said this morning of Houston, yet amazingly, she never officially released a live album during her lifetime. The new Whitney Houston Live traces her career from one of her breakthrough moments – the 1983 Merv Griffin Show performance during which Davis introduced the 19-year old to the world, belting Charlie Smalls’ showtune “Home” from The Wiz – through her 2009 appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show singing Diane Warren’s “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” from her final studio album, I Look to You.

After the jump: what will you find on both editions of this new set? Plus: the full track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 16, 2014 at 13:03

Merry Christmas, Baby! “A Very Special Christmas” Reissued with New DVD at Target Stores

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A Very Special Christmas TargetIf you can get over the shock of a good amount of holiday CDs available on the shelves at Target, you’ll find a surprise new exclusive: a reissue of the classic 1987 compilation A Very Special Christmas with a brand new DVD about the long-running holiday benefit series.

Produced by acclaimed engineer-turned-label impresario Jimmy Iovine, A Very Special Christmas featured the brightest stars in pop music, from Springsteen to Madonna, recording new versions of classic carols (plus one modern classic, Run-D.M.C.’s “Christmas in Hollis”). Nearly all of its 15 tracks have become staples of holiday radio, and the original album has moved more than 4 million units in the United States. The best part? Proceeds from the sale of the album went to The Special Olympics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s worldwide organization allowing intellectually-disabled children and adults to compete in sporting events. (Over $100 million has been raised by the album series, now spanning across nine titles.)

With a new subtitle, The Story and The Music, appended to its iconic Keith Haring-designed album sleeve, this new version of A Very Special Christmas features a new 60-minute DVD of highlights from the series’ quarter century-plus history. It comes alongside the most common pressing of the original AVSC album – which substituted a live cover of “Back Door Santa” by Bon Jovi for the same band’s studio recording of a new ballad, “I Wish Every Day Could Be Like Christmas.” (You’ll hear more from us soon on the package, from mastering to bonus content, in a forthcoming review – albeit one closer to the holiday season!)

Head to your local Target to buy this new set now, or order it through the store’s website. Full product specs are after the jump!

Read the rest of this entry »

Cherry Pop “Thinks It Over” With Two Reissues From Cissy Houston

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Cissy Houston - Cherry PopWhen Cissy Houston was signed to Private Stock Records in 1977 to record the first of two albums just reissued by the Cherry Pop label, her C.V. spoke for itself. Music practically ran in the veins of the vocalist born Emily Drinkard in Newark, New Jersey, 1933.  Cissy first made her mark as a member of The Drinkard Singers, the group said to have recorded the very first major-label gospel album (1959’s A Joyful Noise, on RCA Victor).  Among Cissy’s fellow Drinkard Singers was her sister Lee Warrick, mother of Marie Dionne and Delia Mae “Dee Dee” Warrick – later Warwick.  During the same period her niece Dionne was pursuing solo fame at Scepter Records, Cissy was getting ready to give birth to a baby girl she would christen Whitney and also forming the in-demand session group The Sweet Inspirations with Dee Dee among its initial members.  The Sweet Inspirations sang with Elvis Presley, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin and countless others, and also recorded a string of well-received solo albums for Atlantic Records.

But Cissy had her eyes on solo stardom, and eventually departed the ranks of the Sweet Inspirations. She headlined the just-reissued Presenting Cissy Houston (and was first to record Jim Weatherly’s “Midnight Train to Georgia”) in 1970, but continued to sing with a diverse array of artists.  That’s Cissy cooing on Bette Midler’s “Do You Want to Dance” and taking the lead on Burt Bacharach’s “One Less Bell to Answer.”  So Houston wasn’t exactly sitting on her laurels when she signed to Larry Uttal’s Private Stock label, where she remained for two albums.  Cherry Pop has brought both back to CD – 1977’s Cissy Houston and 1978’s Think It Over – the latter in an expanded edition.

To produce Cissy Houston, with its eponymous title signifying a new beginning for the singer, Private Stock turned to Jersey boy Michael Zager.  At Private Stock, Zager would front a disco band and score a hit with “Let’s All Chant.”  But Cissy Houston steered clear of dancefloor beats in favor of a tasteful, pop-soul approach.  Houston applied her powerful and versatile voice to nine selections arranged and conducted by Zager to emphasize her gospel background and emotive style.  A surprising highlight is the album’s opening track, one of the very first recordings of Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin’s “Tomorrow.”  The song was introduced in the musical Annie, which opened on Broadway on April 21, 1977 following a pre-Broadway tryout at Connecticut’s Goodspeed Opera House.  Cissy Houston was released the very next month, in May, affording those who hadn’t yet seen the musical a chance to learn the optimistic credo that tomorrow “is only a day away.”  The rendition is straightforward, but as expected, there’s some choice vocalizing from Houston that adds a mature dimension to the future standard.

Considerably more familiar by 1977 were a pair of songs plucked from the recent past: Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s “Your Song” and Bobby Russell and Bobby Scott’s “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” (a hit for The Hollies).  These choices weren’t even slightly radical; both tunes had crossed over from the Top 40 to be covered by artists such as Andy Williams.  But backing choir The Voices of Hope adds gospel flair to “Your Song,” while “He Ain’t Heavy” also allows Houston to soar, sanctified-style.

On the earlier Presenting Cissy Houston, the singer tackled her niece Dionne’s songbook with Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself,” turning the ballad into an up-tempo groove.  Here, she takes “Make It Easy on Yourself” – first recorded as a demo by Dionne but released first by Jerry Butler, in 1962 – and slows it down considerably.  Houston digs deep into David’s pained words, embellishing many with dramatic, swooping runs, or melisma.  Listening to this track, it’s evident to see just how much of an influence Cissy had on her daughter Whitney.  (The physical resemblance between Cissy and Whitney circa her own debut album is also clear on the cover photograph of Cissy Houston, while photos in the booklet to follow-up Think It Over nicely show the Houston-Warrick family similarity.)

The album is rounded out by a few original cuts.  Zager and Aram Schefrin’s funky, saucy “Morning Much Better” (“I like it in the morning…the morning’s much better!”) has a bit of the lyrical flavor of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil’s delicious “Just a Little Lovin’,” and is Houston at her earthiest.  (Schefrin was a member of the band Ten Wheel Drive with Zager.)  The album’s first single, “Love is Something That Leads You” by Zager and Barbara Soehner, is smooth, deliciously catchy R&B.   Its B-side, the upbeat “It Never Really Ended,” answers the question “What happens when you go back to an old love affair hoping that the feeling will still be there?”

After the jump, we’ll revisit Think It Over!  Plus, we have full track listings and order links for both titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 4, 2013 at 10:14

He Picks The Songs That Make The Whole World Sing: Clive Davis Curates “The Soundtrack of My Life”

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Clive bookIn a year that counts Tommy Mottola, Cissy Houston, Burt Bacharach and Paul Anka among the music biz icons who have published, or will publish, their memoirs, one such figure’s autobiography has already made headlines: Clive Davis’ The Soundtrack of My Life.  The attorney-turned-music mogul took a no-holds-barred approach to chronicling his history, including his tenures at Columbia, Arista, J and the RCA Label Group.  This should come as no surprise to anybody who’s followed his illustrious and admittedly controversial career, but some readers might still be surprised at the sheer volume of remarkable musicians affected in one way or another by Davis’ “golden ears,” including Bob Dylan, Donovan, Lou Reed, The Kinks and Sean “Puffy” Combs.  Since his appointment by towering music industry leader Goddard Lieberson to lead Columbia Records in 1965, Davis has never stopped making waves with his bold, hands-on hitmaking style.

Now, as Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment (a position Davis has held since 2008 at the current parent company of all the aforementioned labels), Davis has teamed with Legacy Recordings to reflect on his career via a series of Spotify playlists with special commentary tracks.  Though it’s unusual here at this branch of Second Disc HQ to direct our readers to Spotify – after all, aren’t there plenty of amazing physical releases out there demanding your listening attention? – the opportunity to hear a venerable legend reflecting on his considerable C.V. isn’t one to pass up.  And Legacy’s “The Legacy Of” app, on which Davis’ playlists are featured, is a prime example of how the online streaming service’s offerings can complement a physical music collection.

Spotify users who navigate to “The Legacy Of” app will discover Davis as the Featured Artist.   The menu provides links to: Albums / Biography / Photos / Playlists / Discography. Head over to “Playlists” to listen or subscribe to six new playlists curated by Davis himself. Each is populated by artists with whom he has worked during his career at CBS Records (Columbia and Epic and their associated labels), Arista Records (including LaFace and Bad Boy), J Records and more.  You can directly visit the “Legacy Of” app at this link. Davis’ six playlists are entitled The Soundtrack of My Life, Best of 2000s, Best of 1990s, Best of 1980s, Best of 1970s, and Best of 1960s.  Naturally, the Soundtrack of My Life playlist is the one with commentary from Davis.  He has recorded reminiscences for fourteen of the playlist’s 20 tracks, and the playlist includes songs from many of the artists with whom he is most associated.

Which songs has Davis selected?  Hit the jump for details and more! Read the rest of this entry »

Release Round-Up: Week of November 13

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The Beatles, Stereo Vinyl Box Set (Capitol/EMI)

The Fab Four’s 2009 stereo remasters have been painstakingly pressed on vinyl. The whole box set will set you back considerably, but you can get the ones you want on their own (and, if you’re in New York City or Los Angeles, can do so through the roving pop-up shop/double-decker buses that’ll be cruising each city). (Vinyl box: Amazon U.S./Amazon U.K.)

The Rolling Stones, GRRR! (Rolling Stones/UMe)

The Stones’ 50th anniversary is commemorated with this multi-format compilation, featuring all their hits, two new tracks and, in some cases, some tunes from the vault:

Elvis Presley, Prince from Another Planet / Elvis: As Recorded At Madison Square Garden – Legacy Edition (RCA/Legacy)

Elvis’ two triumphant MSG shows in the summer of 1972 (the latter released as Elvis: As Recorded At Madison Square Garden a week after the shows and the former released as An Afternoon in the Garden in 1997) have been remixed and paired up as a Legacy Edition (Amazon U.S./Amazon U.K.), or as a deluxe 2CD/1DVD box set (Amazon U.S./Amazon U.K.) featuring rare footage of the afternoon show as well as the King’s press conference in the Big Apple. (Elvis: As Recorded At Madison Square Garden is also getting a double-vinyl reissue, available at Amazon U.S. and Amazon U.K.)

Marvin Gaye, Trouble Man: 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition (Hip-O Select/Motown)

Marvin’s underrated film soundtrack album – the last of his ’70s albums to get the deluxe treatment – is expanded with session outtakes, and for the first time, the original film score as heard in the Trouble Man film, meticulously recreated from the original tapes. (Amazon U.S./Amazon U.K.)

Whitney Houston, I Will Always Love You: The Very Best of Whitney Houston (Arista/RCA)

The dearly departed diva is paid tribute through this new single-disc overview of her career, featuring two unreleased tracks. The U.K. edition is two discs, just with more hits and album cuts. (Amazon U.S./Amazon U.K.)

Mel Brooks, The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection of Unhinged Comedy (Shout! Factory)

A five-DVD/one-CD box set treasury from one of the undisputed kings of comedy. (Amazon U.S.)

Sonic Youth, Smart Bar Chicago 1985 (Goofin’)

An unreleased live show from the Sonic Youth archives, on CD (Amazon U.S./Amazon U.K.) or vinyl (Amazon U.S./Amazon U.K.).

Various Artists, A MusiCares Tribute to Barbra Streisand (Amazon U.S. Blu-Ray / Amazon U.S. DVD)

The legendary chanteuse is celebrated by the likes of Tony Bennett, Barry Manilow, Jeff Beck and Leona Lewis on this new DVD/BD release.

Original London Cast Recording, Cabaret (Sony Masterworks) (Amazon U.S. MP3)

Judi Dench, currently on the big screen as M in James Bond blockbuster Skyfall, made a splash in the West End as London’s original Sally Bowles in Cabaret!  The long-OOP cast recording returns digitally and as a disc-on-demand from Masterworks Broadway.

Percy Faith, The Complete Music of Christmas (Real Gone) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Real Gone revisits the lush orchestral stylings of Percy Faith with this 2-CD set dedicated to some of the bandleader’s greatest holiday music.

Shoes, One in Versailles (U.S./U.K.) Bazooka (U.S./U.K.) / Black Vinyl Shoes (U.S./U.K.) Present Tense Demos (U.S./U.K.) (Numero)

Power-pop group Shoes see vinyl reissues of four of their albums.

The B-52’s, Cosmic Thing / Bob Dylan and The Band, The Basement Tapes (Mobile Fidelity)

The B-52’s pop crossover album (on vinyl – Amazon U.S./U.K.) and The Bard’s highly sought-after collaboration with The Band (on hybrid SACD – Amazon U.S./U.K.) are the latest hi-def offerings from Mobile Fidelity.

Rebbie Jackson, Reaction: Expanded Edition (U.S./U.K.) / Champaign, Modern Heart/Woman in Flames (U.S./U.K.) / Black Ivory, Black Ivory/Hangin’ Heavy (U.S./U.K.) / Kashif, Condition of the Heart: Expanded Edition (U.S./U.K.) / Love Changes: Expanded Edition (U.S./U.K.) (Funkytowngrooves)

Lana Del Rey, Born to Die: The Paradise Edition (Interscope)

Yes, her. LDR’s major-label debut with a disc of new material (Amazon U.S./U.K.), also available separately (U.S.).

Compilation Watch: Best-Ofs Planned for Whitney Houston, Kelly Clarkson

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Next month – the all-important Christmas shopping season – sees two compilations from two immensely popular singers from the RCA roster with unmistakable voices.

The label will release new compilations in the same week for departed R&B legend Whitney Houston and American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson – the latter of whom definitely owes more than a little of her style to the former.

I Will Always Love You: The Best of Whitney Houston marks a few firsts in Whitney’s catalogue: it’s her first single-disc, career-spanning compilation in the United States, and it’s the first catalogue title to be released after her sudden passing earlier this year.

While 2000’s Whitney: The Greatest Hits mixed familiar versions of hits with new dance remixes and the odd rarity or two, I Will Always Love You is heavy on the hits fans know and love, newly remastered and appended by two bonus tracks. One, a new version of the title track to 2009’s I Look to You, features duet vocals from R&B icon R. Kelly, who penned the tune for Houston and sang it at her memorial. The other track, “Never Give Up,” is a previously-unreleased tune – no doubt one of many audiences will likely have the chance to hear in the future. That disc is out November 13.

After the jump, Kelly Clarkson’s first-ever compilation is heavy on the hits, plus a little bit extra!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

October 16, 2012 at 12:30

Back Tracks: Whitney Houston

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Music was in both the bloodline and the spirit of Whitney Elizabeth Houston (1963-2012).  The native of Newark, New Jersey called Cissy Houston of The Sweet Inspirations her mom, while Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick were her beloved cousins.  Her godmother was none other than Aretha Franklin.  Following in her mother’s footsteps, she began performing at Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church, singing in the gospel choir as a featured soloist, and began to make inroads in the music business as a background vocalist, again echoing the path of some of her most famous relatives.  When Clive Davis saw the young, beautiful and effervescent Houston performing in New York City, he sensed that great things were in store.  The mogul appeared alongside the singer for her debut on television’s The Merv Griffin Show in 1983; she was off and running.

Over a career spanning nearly thirty years, Whitney Houston proved that there was nothing vocally she couldn’t do.  Though an undisputed legend of pop, soul and R&B, she was at equally home on the dance floor, could do justice to Rodgers and Hammerstein (Cinderella) and Stephen Schwartz (the Academy Award-winning “When You Believe” from The Prince of Egypt), and even dabbled in hip-hop.  2006’s “Family First” teamed Houston with Dionne and Cissy, and the key presence of family and faith was a source of strength in her often-troubled life.  One can only hope that Houston also found solace in the number of young individuals whose styles she influenced and whose careers she inspired.

Even as our thoughts reside with Whitney Houston’s family at this difficult time, Mike and I have chosen to remember the great singer in the best way we know how: through a tour of her music.  Though Houston wasn’t a prolific artist, the magnitude of her accomplishments looms large.  Put simply and at risk of cliché, we will always love you, Whitney Houston.

We start our guide to Whitney’s discography with 1985’s Whitney Houston after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 13, 2012 at 10:15

Reissue Theory: Whitney Houston, “Whitney”

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We remember Whitney Houston (1963-2012) and her timeless legacy of song.  We’re sharing this feature, originally published on January 25, in her memory, and will return with a tribute to this musical legend, gone too soon.

Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we focus on notable album and the reissues they could someday see. Today’s entry: a 25th anniversary spotlight on one of the best dance-pop albums of any era, and a tribute to a powerhouse R&B voice. In a word: Whitney.

Around this time in 2010, right when The Second Disc was starting out, one of the most surprising reissues from a major label was Arista/Legacy’s 25th anniversary edition of the self-titled 1985 debut by Whitney Houston. Though she had a rich musical legacy in her blood – her mom, Cissy, was a prominent gospel singer, Dionne Warwick was her cousin and Aretha Franklin was her godmother – the 21-year-old’s sudden rise to fame was something of a surprise to much of the public. (It was less so to Arista Records head Clive Davis, a consistent champion for her throughout her storied career.) Whitney Houston topped the charts for weeks, earned four Grammy nominations (with one win) and took three singles – ballads “Saving All My Love for You” and “Greatest Love of All” as well as uptempo smash “How Will I Know” – to No. 1.

It seemed like a tough album to top – which makes it all the more impressive that it did, hands down.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

January 25, 2012 at 17:16

New Review – Whitney Houston: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition

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Need a cure and tonic from the truly dismal Grammys, currently invading airspace across the East Coast? The inimitable Matt Rowe at MusicTAP has been kind enough to post another catalogue review of mine. This time it’s Legacy’s neat reissue of Whitney Houston’s 1985 debut LP. While I can’t yet confirm if I “might just be the next MusicTAP,” as Matt very kindly speculates, I am more than happy to try.

To that end, check out the review here and keep reading The Second Disc for all the expanded and remastered news you can stand.

Written by Mike Duquette

January 31, 2010 at 21:17