When George Jones died on April 26, 2013 at the age of 81, American song lost one of its all-time greats. Yet Jones’ music lives on thanks to a steady stream of reissues drawn from his deep catalogue, including a recent two-for-one package from Cherry Red’s Morello imprint. Jones inaugurated the Morello label last year with four albums on two CDs, and he’s returned to the roster with Jones Country and You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart, from 1983 and 1984, respectively. Morello’s second-ever CD came from another late country-and-western great, Marty Robbins. Four more Robbins LPs have arrived from the label as paired on two CDs: El Paso City (1976) and Adios Amigo (1977); and The Legend (1981) and Come Back to Me (1982). These albums are all making welcome appearances on CD.
Jones Country/You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart rewinds The Possum’s story from Morello’s last two-fer, which joined Bartender’s Blues, from 1978 with 1983’s Shine On. Jones Country arrived mere months after Shine On, in October 1983, while You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart followed in May 1984. Both of these Epic albums, like Shine On and so many before it, were produced by Billy Sherrill and recorded in Nashville. Jones Country took its name from an outdoor music park owned by Jones in his home state of Texas; Jones and wife Nancy operated the park for a six-year period, through 1988. Despite the tie-in, Epic released no singles from Jones Country, though it managed a respectable No. 27 Country placement nonetheless. Jones remained fond of the material on the LP; “Radio Lover” and “Burning Bridges” would reappear on his 1989 album One Woman Man, and “You Must Have Walked Across My Mind Again” was re-recorded for 1992’s Walls Can Fall. The album featured plenty of quality material. “Hello, Trouble” had been a hit for Buck Owens, and John Anderson charted with his own “The Girl at the End of the Bar.” Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter’s “Dream On” had been successfully recorded by both The Righteous Brothers and The Oak Ridge Boys prior to Jones’ rendition.
You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart fared better than its predecessors on the country chart, hitting No. 17. It features a bona fide Jones classic in the title track, written and first recorded by Leon Payne. A No. 14 country hit for Con Hunley in 1978, Jones’ version went all the way to No. 3 Country. Kris Kristofferson’s “Come Sundown” was another highlight, and Jones also recorded his own “I’m Ragged But I’m Right,” written in 1956. But Jones’ music was always timeless. The original album liner notes called him “The Master of the Sad Song,” but in truth, Jones was the Master of the Song. The title to You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart still rings true.
Jones’ two-for-one CD is available now. After the jump, we have the scoop on Morello’s two releases from Marty Robbins! Read the rest of this entry »
She’s Got The Beat: Demon Music Group Acquires Belinda Carlisle Solo Catalogue, Deluxe 2-CD/1-DVD Reissues Due in August
The Tabu catalogue isn’t the only major acquisition of late for the Demon Music Group. Back in March, Demon – home to labels including Edsel, Harmless and Music Club Deluxe – announced that a deal had been struck for much of the solo catalogue of onetime Go-Go Belinda Carlisle. Ooh, baby, do you know what that’s worth? Demon picked up rights to four of Carlisle’s studio albums, the rights to which had previously resided with Virgin (part of the former EMI). Demon’s agreement covers the world, except for the U.S. and Canada, and includes physical and digital catalogue rights as well as third party and neighboring rights. On August 26, the label will reissue Heaven on Earth (1987), Runaway Horses (1989), Live Your Life Be Free (1991) and Real (1993) in deluxe, hardbound 2-CD/1-DVD editions.
The California-born Carlisle rose to fame as the lead singer of the iconic New Wave girl group The Go-Go’s, whose 1981 debut Beauty and the Beat, on the IRS label, spent six weeks atop the Billboard 200. The album was produced by Richard Gotteher who knew a thing or two about girl groups, having written The Angels’ immortal 1963 hit “My Boyfriend’s Back.” The Go-Go’s retained the sass but updated the sound of the classic sixties girl groups, and further distinguished themselves by writing and performing all of the music on Beauty and the Beat including the smash single “We Got the Beat.”
Two more albums followed, but not long after 1984’s Talk Show, the Go-Go’s called it a day, torn apart by personal turmoil and tension between bandmates. When The Go-Go’s disbanded in the spring of 1985, Carlisle seized the opportunity to go solo, scoring a No. 3 U.S. hit with “Mad About You,” again on the IRS label. Carlisle turned to a number of talented collaborators to select the material for her first solo effort, simply titled Belinda. Some songs were written by Charlotte Caffey of the Go-Go’s, and Susanna Hoffs of another groundbreaking group of eighties girls, The Bangles, co-wrote “I Need a Disguise.” Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham was one of the writers behind “Since You’ve Gone,” and Carlisle herself shared writing credits on “Gotta Get to You.” Covers of Split Enz (“Stuff and Nonsense”) and Freda Payne (“Band of Gold”) rounded out the album which peaked at No. 13 in the United States.
After the jump: Belinda jumps to Virgin for the four albums that will see expanded reissue this August! Read the rest of this entry »
From Miss Ross to a Friend of the Boss: Legacy’s Latest Wave of “Playlists” Offer Hits and Deep Cuts
Playlist, Legacy Recordings’ series of single-disc anthologies spotlighting “The Hits plus the Fan Favorites,” keeps on rollin’ with a new, typically eclectic group of artists covering a wide swath of genres and styles. Today, May 21, Legacy releases volumes in the series dedicated to the best of R&B (Diana Ross, Donna Summer), pop (Billy Ocean), country-and-western (Chet Atkins, Patty Loveless, Restless Heart, Mindy McCready), Latin jazz (Tito Puente) and the many strains of rock (Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Warrant, Jeff Buckley, Switchfoot, Iggy Pop). All Playlist titles are now housed in traditional jewel cases, and each title includes a booklet with a historical essay and discographical annotation. Some of the titles even include new-to-CD and previously unissued rarities.
Playlist: The Very Best of Diana Ross kicks off with three seminal tracks from Miss Ross’ late period at Motown: “Love Hangover” from her second eponymous album in 1976, and “Upside Down” and “I’m Coming Out” from 1980’s CHIC-helmed smash diana. (Don’t miss a loving and truly comprehensive tribute to diana from one of our favorite scribes, Christian John Wikane, over at Popmatters.) Following that Motor City appetizer, the set kicks into high gear with eleven tracks from the legendary singer’s oft-overlooked tenure at RCA, released between 1981 and 1985. Highlights such as “Chain Reaction” and “Eaten Alive” are derived from the Barry Gibb production Eaten Alive, with the latter track providing a reunion between Ross and Michael Jackson. Four songs have been taken from 1981’s Why Do Fools Fall in Love, including Ross’ solo version of “Endless Love.” Silk Electric, Ross and Swept Away are also represented, with every track in pristinely remastered sound from Mark Wilder. The No. 2 AC hit “All of You” with Julio Iglesias is among the Swept Away tracks you’ll find in this tasty survey of Ross at RCA.
The late Donna Summer gets feted with Playlist: The Very Best of Donna Summer. Unlike most entries in Legacy’s series, this Playlist volume isn’t derived from the superstar diva’s original recordings but rather from a concert performance. Summer’s blazing 1999 show at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom was previously captured on disc as VH1 Presents Donna Summer Live and More Encore, but Playlist premieres four previously unissued tracks from that concert (“Is There Music There,” “Riding Through the Storm,” “Don’t Wanna Work” and “Nobody”). It adds up to a live summary of the legendary vocalist’s hit-filled career, with “MacArthur Park,” “On the Radio,” “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)” (with Tina Arena filling in for Barbra Streisand), “She Works Hard for the Money,” “Bad Girls,” “Hot Stuff” and the inevitable “Last Dance” all making appearances. Vlado Mellor has remastered at Sony Studios New York. Those who already own Live and More will likely wish to grab this for the four newly-released songs and the remastered sound, but both discs are essential for the full program. “My Life,” “Love is the Healer” and “I Will Go with You (Con te partirò)” are absent from the new Playlist. The latter two songs were studio recordings added to the Live and More CD; Grammy nominee “I Will Go with You” was a No. 79 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and fared even better in the U.K., with a No. 44 chart berth. In addition, both of the studio tracks reached the top spot on the U.S. dance chart.
Though he’d been charting hits in the U.K. for nearly a decade prior, the Trinidad-born singer made his first major splash on the U.S. Hot 100 when “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)” shot to No. 1, the same berth it occupied on the R&B chart. The song began a hot streak for Ocean, the results of which are captured on Playlist: The Very Best of Billy Ocean. The non-chronologically-sequenced 14-track set kicks off with “Caribbean Queen,” and also finds room for “When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going” (No. 2 Pop/No. 6 R&B), “Loverboy” (No. 2 Pop/No. 20 R&B), “Suddenly” (No. 4 Pop/No. 5 R&B) and “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” (No. 1 Pop/No. 1 R&B). In all, six albums are represented, and every track has been remastered by Tom Ruff.
After the jump: details on Jeff Buckley, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Chet Atkins, Iggy Pop and the rest – plus full track listings with discography and order links for each and every title! Read the rest of this entry »
Last week, Intrada debuted an expanded edition of the score to Brian DePalma’s modern suspense picture, Dressed to Kill (1980). Nancy Allen plays a call girl who witnesses a murder, and Michael Caine is the victim’s psychologist, who might have more of a connection to the murder than meets the eye. DePalma’s controversial film owed more than a little to Alfred Hitchcock and Psycho in tone and subject matter, but Pino Donaggio’s score was worlds apart from Bernard Hermann’s fearsome soundtrack to that film. Donaggio commands a full orchestra with an almost romantic main theme contrasted throughout by rhythmic passages representing the suspense and murder throughout.
For this release, Intrada greatly expands upon the original Varese Sarabande LP, featuring nearly an hour of music, nearly all of it newly mixed from the original multitrack session masters, which turned up after years of vault searching. Fans of Donaggio’s work for DePalma will not be disappointed by this one.
And La-La Land delivers a special treat for fans of John Williams: an expanded edition of his score to 1997′s Rosewood. Comparably obscure to his works for Steven Spielberg, big-budget fantasies or even the dramas of auteurs like Oliver Stone, this John Singleton film dramatized a racially-motivated violent event in Florida in 1923, bringing together Ving Rhames and Jon Voight as an unlikely team who sets out to fight against the racists who are attacking the titular black community. Williams, of course, handled things with typical grace and gravitas, utilizing a choir for the haunting “Look Down, Lord” and infusing passages with period color, including light blues and gospel shadings.
Rosewood‘s expanded presentation, limited to 3,500 units, includes two discs – one featuring the original mix and edit of the score as heard in the film, the other featuring the original Sony Classical soundtrack album. Mike Matessino, who co-produced with Sony Music’s Didier C. Deutsch, masters the disc, and Jeff Bond writes a powerful set of liner notes. Also exciting: Rosewood is first in a planned series of scores from LLL celebrating the 90th anniversary of Warner Bros. Pictures – and it’s one of many titles you can get through the label’s current dads-and-grads/Memorial Day sale, where everything is 20% off with a coupon code featured on La-La Land’s website.
After the jump, you can order your copies of both titles and check out the track lists!
UPDATE (5/22): This post now has confirmed track lists for the FIRST THREE WAVES of reissues.
The long-gestating reissue campaign for Tabu Records by Demon Music Group looks to be taking shape – not only for the first wave of titles in the spring, but for a slew of content ambitiously planned through 2014.
Founded in 1976 by Clarence Avant (who’d previously started the Venture and Sussex labels), Tabu scraped by for six years until a chance meeting and an inconvenient snowstorm gave the label two of its greatest staff producers. An early key act, The S.O.S. Band, had a late disco hit with debut single “Take Your Time (Do It Right),” a Top 5 hit in 1980. Three years later, their fourth album On the Rise was being produced in their native Atlanta by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the keyboardist and bassist for Minneapolis funk outfit The Time.
When a freak blizzard caused the duo to miss a gig, Jam and Lewis were summarily fired by The Time’s creator, producer and songwriter, Prince. Their loss became Tabu’s gain, however, as Jam and Lewis, through their Flyte Tyme Productions partnership, produced a flurry of hits for not only Tabu artists but others, including Janet Jackson.
The Flyte Tyme sound – a more brazen variation on Prince’s “Minneapolis sound” – was well-formulated at Tabu. Alexander O’Neal, a vocalist with whom the pair had worked with in an early lineup of The Time, scored several big R&B hits with Jam and Lewis in the late ’80s, including “Fake,” “Criticize” and “If You Were Here Tonight.” Likewise, the duo did wonders for Cherrelle, a female vocalist who had her biggest successes duetting with O’Neal (“Saturday Love,” “Never Knew Love Like This”) but also had her own measure of solo success. (Hers was the first version of Jam and Lewis’ “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On,” later a Top 10 hit for Robert Palmer on both sides of the Atlantic.)
A recent Facebook post from the label indicates plans to “re-issue the entire Tabu catalogue on expanded re-mastered CDs, digital, a selection of 180GM vinyls, and some amazing boxsets.” Find out just what that covers after the jump!
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:
- The Clash (1977)
- Give ‘Em Enough Rope (1978)
- London Calling (1979, 2 CDs)
- Sandinista! (1980, 3 CDs)
- 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 »
The Beach Boys, Live: The 50th Anniversary Tour (Capitol)
Townes Van Zandt, The Late Great Townes Van Zandt / High, Low and In Between (Omnivore)
You heard the demos, now rediscover these great country albums, on CD or vinyl!
A dozen or so new entries in the Playlist series are coming your way this week. Watch this space tomorrow for a full breakdown on them all!