Archive for May 22nd, 2013
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!
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 »