The Second Disc

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Release Round-Up: Week of September 16

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Jimi Hendrix, The Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Experience Hendrix/Legacy)

Legacy and Experience Hendrix have reissues of Jimi Hendrix’s first two posthumously-released albums, both from 1971; The Cry of Love is long out-of-print on CD, while Rainbow Bridge makes its first authorized appearance in the CD format.  Both titles have been freshly remastered by Bernie Grundman from the original analog masters.

The Cry of Love: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Rainbow Bridge: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack : Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.



Charles Lloyd, Manhattan Stories (Resonance) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Jazz great Charles Lloyd, on saxophone and flute, is joined by guitarist Gábor Szabó, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Pete La Roca on this set premiering two 1965 New York concerts.  The deluxe 2-CD edition, remastered by Bernie Grundman, features new liner notes by Stanley Crouch, Willard Jenkins, Don Heckman & Michael Cuscuna.


Scruffy the Cat – Good Goodbye: Unreleased Recordings 1984-1990 (Omnivore) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

College radio heroes and alt-country rockers Scruffy the Cat return on this new anthology from Omnivore Recordings featuring 23 songs – one issued on a rare single and 22 never released anywhere – encompassing both live and studio tracks.


James Galway, The Man with the Golden Flute: The Complete RCA Albums Collection (RCA/Masterworks) (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.)

This 73-disc (!) box set chronicles the career of “The Man with the Golden Flute.”  Over  71 CDs and 2 DVDs, Galway tackles both classical and pop repertoire with collaborators including Henry Mancini, The Chieftains, Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, and many of the greatest orchestras and conductors in the world.

Salsoul Christmas

The Salsoul Orchestra, Christmas Jollies: The Deluxe Edition (Friday Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Friday Music’s new collection brings together on CD both of The Salsoul Orchestra’s holiday albums, including the perennial 1976 set conducted and arranged by Vince Montana, and its 1981 Patrick Adams-helmed sequel.  This edition, previously available only online, also includes bonus tracks.

Ray Price Christmas

Ray Price, The Ray Price Christmas Album (Friday Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

Friday Music also has the late country crooner’s 1969 Columbia holiday LP on CD featuring “Jingle Bells,” “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” “The Little Drummer Boy” and more.


Barbra Streisand, Partners (Columbia) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Okay, this isn’t a catalogue title, but it’s Barbra Streisand!  The legendary artist returns with her latest studio album, featuring duets with Billy Joel, John Legend, John Mayer, Blake Shelton, Michael Buble, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie and the late Elvis Presley.  Target stores have an exclusive edition with five bonus tracks – four previously released duets with Barry Gibb, Barry Manilow, Bryan Adams and Frank Sinatra plus one outtake with the album’s co-producer, Babyface.  (He’s also heard on Partners with “Evergreen.”)  This edition is also available in the U.K. from general retailers!

Northern Soul - The Soundtrack

Various Artists, Northern Soul: The Soundtrack (Harmless) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Demon Music Group’s Harmless imprint has the soundtrack to director Elaine Constantine’s new film chronicling the U.K. Northern Soul movement that gave new life to classic American soul records; the soundtrack set consists of two CDs (the actual songs from the film on the first CD and other Northern Soul favorites compiled by the director on the second disc) plus an exclusive DVD with Elaine Constantine being interviewed about the making of the film by actor James Lance who portrays Northern Soul DJ Ray Henderson in the movie.  A special limited edition set of vinyl singles is also available.

Real Henry Mancini

Henry Mancini / Neil Sedaka / Paul Anka / Harry Belafonte / Aretha Franklin, The Real… (Sony U.K.)

The U.K. arm of Sony Music continues its series of 3-CD anthologies drawing primarily from the Columbia and RCA archives, adding a number of favorite classic pop artists to a series that’s already 25+-titles strong.

The Real Henry Mancini: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The Real Neil Sedaka: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The Real Paul Anka: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The Real Harry Belafonte: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The Real Aretha Franklin: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Elmer Bernstein - GE

Elmer Bernstein, Themes from the General Electric Theatre / See No Evil (Intrada)

The Intrada label has two new titles from the composer and maestro Elmer Bernstein including the CD premiere of Columbia Records’ soundtrack to the anthology television series starring future President Ronald Reagan, and the world premiere release of Bernstein’s score to Richard Fleischer’s 1971 thriller starring Mia Farrow, See No Evil!

Wonderful, Wonderful: Johnny Mathis’ “Complete Global Albums” Box Coming From Legacy

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Mathis - Global Box Set

Chances are, Johnny Mathis fans are going to be counting down until November 17.

On that date, Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings will release The Complete Global Albums Collection, a first-of-its-kind set compiling the entire recorded output of Mathis during his Mercury Records period. A Columbia artist since 1956, Mathis departed his label home just once – recording some eleven albums (ten of which were released) under the imprimatur of his own Global Records production company between 1963 and 1967, at which time he returned to Columbia. Legacy’s new clamshell-design box set collects all eleven LPs plus two discs of singles and previously unissued rarities, plus a booklet containing album-by-album notes from Mathis.

The Complete Global Albums Collection features these ten LPs originally released on Global/Mercury, all remastered and in mini-LP jacket replicas:

  • The Sounds of Christmas (1963) – first-time reissue on CD in its original, unaltered form
  • Tender is the Night (1964)
  • The Wonderful World of Make-Believe (1964)
  • This Is Love (1964)
  • Olé (1965)
  • Love Is Everything (1965)
  • The Sweetheart Tree (1965, also contains all unique tracks from international edition, Away From Home, for first time on CD)
  • The Shadow of Your Smile (1966)
  • So Nice (1966)
  • Johnny Mathis Sings (1967)

The box then adds:

  • Broadway (a “lost” album largely consisting entirely of previously unreleased covers of classic Broadway showtunes, recorded 1964-1965 and first released in 2012 by Real Gone Music as part of Real Gone’s landmark series of first-time Global reissues); and
  • The Global Singles and Unreleased (2 CDs and 28 tracks: non-album singles and unreleased songs)!

After the jump, we have much, much more on The Complete Global Albums Collection including the track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 15, 2014 at 16:07

Rocky Mountain High: Legacy Remembers John Denver With New Box Set

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John Denver - All of My MemoriesRandy Sparks was right. ”Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.” likely wouldn’t have commanded attention on a marquee. “John Denver” would – and did. The beloved troubadour, who perished in 1997 at just 53, took the advice of the New Christy Minstrels’ leader. Choosing a new name from his favorite state, which he would immortalize numerous times in song, Denver went on to a career encompassing seven multi-platinum, thirteen platinum and 20 gold albums. During that sadly-curtailed career, he also penned some of the most beloved and indelible works in the canon of American song: “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Rocky Mountain High.” On November 4, RCA Records and Legacy Recordings will celebrate the enduring music of John Denver on a new 4-CD career spanning anthology, All of My Memories: The John Denver Collection.

All of My Memories chronicles the two-time Grammy Award winner’s career from 1964 to 1997 over the course of 90 songs recorded between 1964 and 1997 by Denver solo, as member of The Chad Mitchell Trio, and with duet partners including Emmylou Harris, Olivia Newton-John, Placido Domingo, Sylvie Vartan, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and that inimitable song stylist, Miss Piggy! With his boyish good looks, gentle voice and enthusiasm for music and nature, Denver was one of the preeminent pop voices of the 1970s, incorporating folk and country influences into his popular material. He charted more than 40 Billboard Hot 100, AC and Country songs from 1971 to 1988, and this box set features a number of them alongside key album tracks, live performances, and rarities including promotional-only and privately-pressed tracks. In addition, six songs make their first appearances anywhere on this set:

  • Cover versions of “The Road” and “Far Side Of The Hill,” both demos recorded for Capitol Records in Hollywood, 1964, prior to Denver’s tenure with the Mitchell Trio;
  • “Rhymes And Reasons,” an original composition cut in early ’69 for Reprise Records, re-recorded as the title track of Denver’s RCA debut later that year;
  • “Spirit,” first recorded on 1975’s Windsong LP, as recorded live at the Sydney Opera House in 1977, but not included on the 1999 concert album release;
  • An alternate take of “Eli’s Song” from 1976 with a lyric described by the record label as “prophetic”: “See the airplane fly, see the trees rush by/ Be brave and strong when you hurt yourself/ Don’t you have a worry in the world…”; and
  • An alternate version of the vintage tune “It’s A Sin to Tell a Lie” from 1973. Denver’s mother’s favorite song, he famously performed it on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show one year earlier.

Many of Denver’s own compositions are, naturally, featured alongside tracks composed by Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert (who co-wrote “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and “I Guess He’d Rather Be In Colorado”), Buddy Holly (“Everyday”), John Prine (“Blow Up Your TV (Spanish Pipe Dream)”), Joe Henry, and others.

After the jump, we have more details on this set from the onetime Poet Laureate of Colorado, including the complete track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 15, 2014 at 10:15

In Memoriam: Bob Crewe (1931-2014)

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Bob CreweFrom you’re just too good to be true, can’t take my eyes off you to voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?, some of the most memorable phrases in popular music came courtesy of Bob Crewe. The multi-hyphenate talent – a songwriter, producer, singer, entrepreneur, artist, philanthropist, activist, and candidate for the title of “Fifth Season” – passed away yesterday at the age of 82, but not before leaving behind a rich legacy guaranteed to endure for decades to come. Crewe’s songs were built around big, powerful emotions, packed with drama and filled with heart.

Newark, New Jersey-born Stanley Robert Crewe dreamt big. His early years saw him studying architecture at Parsons School of Design, working successfully as a fashion model, and trying his luck as a singing star and potential teen idol. But Crewe, despite his good looks, found his truest calling behind the scenes of the music business. With writing partner Frank Slay, he gifted “Silhouettes” to The Rays and “Tallahassee Lassie” to Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon. Then, he formed arguably his most felicitous creative partnership with fellow Jersey boy Bob Gaudio. “[Gaudio] brought the finished song [“Sherry”] to Bob Crewe, independent hit record producer,” read the liner notes of the Seasons’ debut platter Sherry and 11 Others. “One listen was all Bob (Crewe) needed to be sold on the idea. The song was recorded and released immediately. An unknown group only a couple of months ago, today the whole music business and public alike are talking about the ‘different sound’ of The 4 Seasons.” They still are.   Jersey Boys, chronicling the group’s rocky road to stardom and beyond, has been breaking records on Broadway since 2005. A film adaptation directed by Clint Eastwood premiered in 2014. Though the film was critically dismissed, Mike Doyle earned praise for his touching, funny and multilayered portrayal of Bob Crewe.

Sherry and 11 Others, of course, bore production credit for Crewe. A renaissance man, he was also credited with arrangements, conducting the orchestra, and even designing the cover artwork! The album ended with “Sherry,” but began with “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” heralding the arrival of the Bob Gaudio/Bob Crewe writing team. With Crewe primarily supplying lyrics to Gaudio’s melodies, the pair created that “different sound.” Though rooted in doo-wop and street-corner harmonies honed on the mean streets of northern New Jersey, Crewe and Gaudio’s fresh songs and immaculate, elegant productions exploded from AM radios. Valli’s ethereal falsetto soared above a youthful, vibrant and contemporary beat imbued with rock-and-roll attitude. The artful songs the team crafted throbbed with urgency and grit. Crewe’s gutsy words had universal appeal but remained honest to the group’s working-class backgrounds: “Walk Like a Man,” “Big Man’s World,” “Rag Doll,” “Ronnie,” “Save It for Me,” “Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye).” The ballads were just as impressive as the stomping rockers, and were similarly drawn from the heart: the shimmering “Silence is Golden,” the aching “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore).”

We continue our Bob Crewe tribute after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 12, 2014 at 11:59

Posted in Bob Crewe, News

Talking About Rock ‘N’ Roll Mercenaries: Cherry Red Revisits Meat Loaf’s “Blind Before I Stop” With New Reissue

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Meat Loaf - Blind Before I StopBy 1986, Meat Loaf found himself in a bit of a predicament. 1984’s Bad Attitude had failed to reach the heights scaled by Bat Out of Hell or even its follow-up Dead Ringer for Love. After the disappointing sales of 1983’s Midnight at the Lost and Found, that made two straight albums which failed to meet the artist’s potential. So the powerhouse vocalist chose to wait a bit before recording his next album. He hoped to bring back the main ingredient of his first two albums: composer/lyricist/auteur Jim Steinman. His record label at the time, Arista, had other plans. They wanted a record out much sooner and did not want to wait on the famously perfectionist Steinman. Without his principal collaborator, Meat Loaf entered the studio in January 1986 to begin recording what would become Blind Before I Stop. The 1986 album has just been reissued by the Cherry Red imprint Hear No Evil Recordings. This follows the label’s reissues of Bad Attitude and 1987’s Meat Loaf: Live at Wembley.

Blind was a sonic departure for the singer. It was the first of his albums to fully embrace the production style of the 80s with a large reliance on synths and electronics.   This shift was undoubtedly due to the producer brought into to oversee the project, Frank Farian. Hailing from Germany, Farian was the mastermind behind the 1970s group Boney M. Not only achieving great success in his native land, they also scored two UK No. 1 albums: 1978’s Nightflight to Venus and 1979’s Oceans of Fantasy. In addition, they had a No. 1 UK single with “Rivers of Babylon” (reaching a peak of No. 30 in the U.S.) and the U.K. top Christmas single in 1978: “”Mary’s Boy Child – Oh My Lord” (a cover of the Harry Belafonte song in a medley with a newly composed tune.) While not an issue for Farian when working with Meat Loaf, the members of Boney M who performed live were not all the same musicians and singers who recorded the songs for their albums. This did not generate controversy for the group at the time, but Farian’s practice would gain much more notoriety with his next major success as a producer later in the 1980s: Milli Vanilli.

The story continues after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 12, 2014 at 10:18

Posted in Meat Loaf, News, Reissues

Simply Deluxe: Edsel Expands and Remasters Simply Red In New Multi-Disc Sets

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Simply Red - HomeEdsel has gone red – Simply Red, that is – on its recent series of deluxe CD and DVD editions from the British pop-soul band.  By the time of Simply Red’s breakup in 2010, founding member and lead vocalist Mick Hucknall was the last man standing, but the legacy left behind by the group – and its songs including “Holding Back the Years” and revivals of “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” and “You Make Me Feel Brand New” – remains strong.  Edsel’s new Simply Red series encompasses three 2-CD/1-DVD sets from the band’s final decade as well as two standalone DVDs.  The 2 or 3-CD/1-DVD sets, housed in lavish casebound editions in the style of recent releases from Belinda Carlisle, Todd Rundgren and Everything But the Girl, expand 2003’s Home, 2005’s Simplified, and 2007’s Stay – all three of which were previously available on the band’s own label.  The videos Home: Live in Sicily and Cuba! Simply Red – Recorded Live at El Gran Teatro Havana both brim with special bonus features in these new BD/DVD/2-CD combo editions.  (Whew!)  All CDs have been remastered by Phil Kinrade and/or Tony Cousins and feature impressively-designed booklets with new liner notes from Alan Robinson, lyrics, and more.

Simply Red’s very first album, 1985’s Picture Book, established the band that then featured Hucknall (vocals), Fritz McIntyre (keyboards/vocals), Chris Joyce (drums/percussion), Tony Bowers (bass), Sylvan Richardson (guitar) and Tim Kellett (trumpet).  The album earned a 5x Platinum certification in the U.K. and a Platinum record in the U.S. aided by the strength of “Holding Back the Years,” a U.S. No. 1 hit in 1986 that only fared slightly less well in the U.K. at No. 2.  (Its original U.K. issue a year earlier only hit No. 51.)  That original song by Hucknall and Neil Moss wasn’t the only hit single from Picture Book; a cover of The Valentine Brothers’ “Money’s Too Tight (To Mention)” reached No. 13 on the U.K. charts in 1985 and No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986.

Six more LPs followed, each one of which achieved at least a Platinum certification in the U.K.; 1991’s Stars was a staggering 12x Platinum smash.  Hit singles also continued to arrive on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world, most notably “The Right Thing” (No. 11 U.K., No. 27 U.S.), Cole Porter’s chestnut “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” (No. 11 U.K.), “It’s Only Love” (No. 13 U.K., No. 57 U.S.), “A New Flame” (No. 17 U.K.) and Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s  “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” (No. 2 U.K., No. 1 U.S.).  The band’s final album under the Warner Music Group umbrella, 1999’s Love and the Russian Winter, featured only Hucknall from the original line-up.

Four years later, Simply Red remerged, offering new music on Hucknall’s own label ltd.  The band’s line-up for live performances included Hucknall (vocals), Ian Kirkham (saxophone/keyboards), Dave Clayton (keyboards), Kenji Suzuki (guitar), Kevin Robinson (trumpet/flugelhorn/percussion), Steve Lewinson (bass guitar) and Pete Lewinson (drums).  This grop of musicians featured on Simply Red’s albums, too, but they were also joined by session musicians. From 2003 until 2008, John Johnson (trombone), Dee Johnson (vocals), Sarah Brown (vocals) and Chris De Margary (saxophone) also appeared on Simply Red’s albums and tours.

After the jump: a detailed look at what you’ll find on Edsel’s reissues, including complete track listings and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 11, 2014 at 12:54

Divine, Marvelous: “Gal Costa” Bridges Bossa Nova and Tropicalia

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Gal CostaBlame it on the bossa nova. So pervasive was that intoxicating, romantic and gentle Brazilian beat that an alternative had to arrive. It came in the form of tropicalia, or tropicalismo, blending the popular with the avant-garde, fusing Brazilian and African rhythms with that old-time rock and roll. Tropicalia rose to prominence along with música popular brasileira (MPB), offering young people an alternative to bossa nova, which had by that point risen to international prominence. Emerging Brazilian artists of the day found a sound of their own. Real Gone Music and its Dusty Groove imprint have recently reissued one of the best and most beguiling examples of this distinctive Brazilian style. 1969’s Gal Costa (RGM-0257) was the first full solo album from the Brazilian vocalist, following an EP and a collaborative album with Caetano Veloso. The glamorous if pensive image of the singer on the cover might have been misleading as to the forward-thinking music contained within its grooves – alternately tense and relaxed, dark and sunny.

A major principle of tropicalia was antropofagia, basically a cultural “cannibalism” that encouraged the fusion of disparate influences to form something wholly new. The movement – which extended to literature, theatre and poetry, as well – had as its manifesto of sorts the album Tropicália: ou Panis et Circencis featuring contributions by Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Tom Zé, Os Mutantes and Gal Costa. The eponymous Gal Costa LP chronologically followed both Domingo, the traditional, bossa nova-flavored album with Veloso, and the radical Tropicália. Beautiful and unsettling, Gal Costa – sung in Portuguese, save one English track – continued to push the musical envelope with antropofagia in mind.

Rogerio Duprat, Gilberto Gil and Lanny Gordin provided the expansive, varied arrangements to frame Costa’s resonant voice. The politically-charged environment of young artists bristling at Brazil’s military government (which would arrest and imprison both Veloso and Gil in 1969) contributed mightily to Gal Costa’s countercultural, psychedelia-goes-to-the-tropics feel.  There’s more after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 11, 2014 at 10:29

Posted in Gal Costa, News, Reissues, Reviews

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