Archive for March 29th, 2010
- A big reissue is coming from indie reissue label Friday Music: a 25th anniversary reissue of Welcome to the Real World, the 1985 sophomore LP by Mr. Mister. This record, which spawned the Top 10 hits “Broken Wings,” “Kyrie” and “Is It Love,” is remastered direct from RCA’s original master tapes and comes in a digipak. (No bonus tracks, but outside of a dance mix and dub for “Is It Love,” there were none, really.) Amazon has this one listed for an April 20 release. (Thanks to Pause & Play for the release date heads-up.)
- If any readers play the Rock Band series of video games, a heap of downloadable content is coming your way from Experience Hendrix. Starting tomorrow, fans will be able to download Axis: Bold as Love (less the opening track “EXP”), along with the new vault cut ”Valleys of Neptune” from the recent compilation of the same name. It looks to be the beginning of a beautiful relationship between Experience Hendrix and Rock Band developer Harmonix; “Fire” was included in last year’s LEGO Rock Band game, and rumors have been floating around regarding a Hendrix-exclusive title in the series may hit stores by the end of the year, as well as other Hendrix-branded content for the game series.
- Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, previously announced to celebrate the upcoming Exile on Main St. reissue with a week of artists revisiting tracks from the record, have named the first musical guest to contribute. Jam band extraordinaire Phish, who performed the album in its entirety for their annual Halloween cover album gig in 2009, will play Fallon’s studio in Rockefeller Center on Thursday, May 13, as tweeted by Questlove, drummer for Late Night house band The Roots.
- Film score aficionados might want to read this great interview with Michael V. Gerhard, co-founder of score reissue label La-La Land Records. In addition to all but confirming the forthcoming expanded release of David Arnold’s score to Independence Day (take a close look at the banner of covers on the left side of the page), M.V. also hints at some other forthcoming releases from his label. To wit: scores by Jerry Goldsmith, Les Baxter, Danny Elfman, Michael Kamen and John Williams will all see releases from La-La Land, and Gerhart adds that he “[has] a feeling” fans will see releases for Independence Day (duh), Spartacus (likely from Varese Sarabande) and Leonard Roseman’s score to hilarious B-horror film The Car (a genuine, welcome surprise) this year as well.
Hooray! Slicing Up Eyeballs reports that the triple-disc reissue of Disintegration by The Cure seems to finally have a release date. The reissue press release was recently posted to The Cure’s official site with a May 24 release date from Polydor/Universal in the U.K.
Hopefully this means a May 25 release from Rhino in the U.S. will be locked down before long. There have been far too many inexplicable delays of ’80s reissues in the States lately. Stay tuned as always for more!
The Ending on a High Note Tour, the farewell trek by synthpop legends a-ha, has been in full swing for some time now. In about a month, the band takes their show to the U.S.A., a country that knows them for that first great hit “Take on Me,” but little else.
Readers of The Second Disc, however, likely know that the band continued to succeed (particularly in Europe and South America) through the mid-1990s and again in 2000, when comeback album Minor Earth, Major Sky earned them a new generation of fans. (Less discussed is the fact that in the same year, U2 had a massive hit that sounds just a bit similar to one of a-ha’s other U.S. Top 20 hits - and a band whose lead singer loves a-ha went mainstream.)
Still, unless you’re a diligent fan, it can be tough to figure out what goes where in the discography. For years – years – I thought the band’s second LP was Stay on These Roads (1988), and was therefore surprised to discover Scoundrel Days, the band’s actual second record. It’s possible that, due to this error, I have a softer spot for the big tracks on Roads (the title track, “The Blood That Moves the Body,” “The Living Daylights”) – but that’s not to count out Scoundrel Days at all. It sounds rawer and edgier than their debut, and possesses that dark kind of ambience that good synth-driven records can provide.
It seems the band (or at least Warner Music Group) likes Scoundrel Days as well; this Norwegian article which you will likely be unable to read mentions in the second-to-last paragraph a bunch of potential future a-ha releases, including deluxe versions of Hunting High and Low and Scoundrel Days. (A major hat tip to faithful reader Don, who sent this link some time ago – you have not been forgotten!)
While the honchos at Rhino may very well be poring through the vaults to come up with nice track lists for these potential reissues, it can’t hurt to take a look at what’s there, Reissue Theory-style. (It also doesn’t hurt to note that a previous RT post on Hunting High and Low is one of the most popular posts on The Second Disc.)
You know where to find the tracks! Read the rest of this entry »
One of the biggest unasked or unanswered questions about The Second Disc is: why catalogue stuff? Is the site meant to conjure up memories of musical generations past? Is it trying to remind labels that their back catalogues should be treated with the utmost care in conjunction with their burgeoning new acts? Is there something else about it? The answers are maybe, yes and yes.
At heart, though, The Second Disc has more to do with journalism than anything. Journalism, they say, is the first draft of history. And while that industry is generally doing no better than the music industry, the application of journalistic skills is something that must not be devalued. Telling various stories from various perspectives – be it reissues, compilations or box sets – can be wildly beneficial to the public’s understanding or enjoyment of certain artists.
That’s why it always seems weird when certain “no-brainers” of the catalogue world just don’t happen. For instance, it would be a no-brainer to reissue Cold Spring Harbor, Billy Joel’s first LP, including both the original mix (albeit speed-corrected) from 1971 and the (admittedly sterile) 1983 remix that graces CD today. Same goes for mono issues of The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s first two LPs.
The list goes on and on, of course, and that’s where you come in. In your mind, what is the most obvious reissue, expansion or compilation that just hasn’t happened yet?