The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for the ‘Box Sets’ Category

Last Train To Clarksville: “The Monkees” Goes Super Deluxe In November

with 3 comments

Monkees SDEIn 1967, Monkeemania was sweeping the country. “I told people I would outsell The Beatles, and they laughed at me,” impresario Don Kirshner once recalled. “Then the first album sold four million.” That first album which led the television foursome to outsell The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and, well, everybody else in 1967 is the subject of a new 3-CD Super Deluxe set arriving from Rhino Handmade on November 11.

The Monkees – Super Deluxe Edition rewinds the series of box sets that has already encompassed the group’s sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth albums: The Birds, The Bees and the Monkees, Head, The Monkees Present and Instant Replay, respectively. (A previous box set collected the sessions for Headquarters, Album No. 3.) This new box features a whopping 100 tracks, 45 of which are previously unreleased, and includes the original album in both mono and stereo as well as Davy Jones’ 1965 solo debut David Jones in both mono and stereo versions.

The first disc of the set features the mono and stereo versions of The Monkees, featuring seven compositions by Tommy Boyce, six with Bobby Hart and one with Steve Venet, including “(Theme from) The Monkees,” “I Wanna Be Free” and the No. 1 hit “Last Train to Clarksville.” The album also has tunes from Mike Nesmith (“Papa Gene’s Blues”) David Gates (“Saturday’s Child”), Carole King and Gerry Goffin (“Take a Giant Step,” “Sweet Young Thing,” co-written with Nesmith) and Goffin and Russ Titelman (“I’ll Be True to You”). This disc is rounded out with 12 bonus cuts including unique television versions previously unreleased on CD.

The 31 tracks on the second disc are all previously unreleased, as well. This disc of session material boasts the master backing tracks for “Let’s Dance On,” “This Just Doesn’t Seem To Be My Day,” “(Theme From) The Monkees” and “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day” plus various alternate versions of songs from the debut album, including an alternate vocal take by Nesmith on “The Kind of Girl I Could Love,” rehearsal recordings and multiple takes of songs like “I Wanna Be Free,” Goffin and King’s “So Goes Love” and Nesmith’s “Mary, Mary.”

The third disc puts the spotlight on the early solo endeavors of Monkees Davy and Mike. Jones’ 1965 Colpix debut David Jones is presented in both mono and stereo along with two single sides, while six single sides from Michael Blessing a.k.a. Nesmith are also here, two of which have never been released before in any format. This disc concludes with four rare demo recordings of “I Wanna Be Free.”

After the jump: more on The Monkees including the complete track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 30, 2014 at 13:27

Head Over Heels for Tears for Fears’ “Big Chair” Box Set

with 5 comments

Tears - Super Deluxe

Following 2013’s deluxe box set reissue of Tears for Fears’ The Hurting, Universal U.K. has announced the November 3 release of a similarly-impressive box set dedicated to the group’s 1985 album Songs from the Big Chair.  This 4-CD/2-DVD box brings together a remastered edition of the original album and its single B-sides, two discs of rare period remixes and edited single versions, a DVD-Audio containing high-resolution stereo and 5.1 surround mixes courtesy of ace engineer Steven Wilson, and a DVD of promotional videos, BBC performances and a documentary film about the making of the album.  The campaign will also feature a 2-CD distillation of the box set, a new vinyl reissue of the album, and a standalone Blu-ray Audio release with the high-resolution mixes.

In assessing the catalogue of the band led by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, our own Mike Duquette wrote, “The group’s first three LPs – 1983’s The Hurting, 1985’s Songs from the Big Chair and 1989’s The Seeds of Love – are not only engaging for their songs, but for their evolution as well. The Hurting was a dark, New Wave type album heavy on introspection and psychoanalysis. This gave way to Big Chair, [which] contextualized those themes on a bigger playing field, both lyrically (not just self against self, but self against others) and sonically (keyboards now mixed with heavier guitars and fresher drum sounds). The Seeds of Love would take that evolution even further (way more live instrumentation, more big-picture lyrics).”  So, here is a lavishly expanded edition of Tears for Fears’ sophomore album of that early, triumphant trio.  Mike continued to describe Songs as “the high watermark of not only Tears for Fears, but the mid-’80s as well. It spun off a good amount of singles, but it’s a thoroughly cohesive album both musically (the track “Broken” spins off both “Head Over Heels” and “Mothers Talk,” if you know what to listen to) and aesthetically. Rather than gaze inward as on The Hurting, TFF took the current climate of fear, [the] bad economy and nuclear paranoia and sung outward about it.”

Two previous reissues preceded this super deluxe iteration of Songs from the Big Chair.  The 1999 remastered edition added seven bonus tracks including some Hurting-era leftovers.  In 2006, it was expanded once again, this time with more B-sides and remixes but sans two of the tracks from the 1999 version.  Neither of these versions was complete, however, leaving out key tracks such as the U.K. 12-inch mix of “Shout” and the remix “Everybody Wants to Run the World” created for Sport Aid in 1986.  The upcoming box set promises to include every commercially issued B-side and remix from the era.

After the jump: a closer look at what you can expect on the new box set, including the complete track listing with discographical annotation and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 30, 2014 at 10:38

His Way, Britain-Style: Frank Sinatra Goes To “London” On New CD/DVD Box Set

with 3 comments

Sinatra - London Contents

In 2006, Frank Sinatra Enterprises took listeners to New York with a 4-CD/1-DVD box set chronicling many of the legendary entertainer’s greatest performances in the city that never sleeps. In 2009, Vegas was the destination for a similar set recorded at iconic venues like Caesars Palace, the Golden Nugget and The Sands. On November 25, you can set your GPS to London for the latest stop on Ol’ Blue Eyes’ trip around the world. This deluxe box set, coming from FSE and Universal Music Enterprises, is a 3-CD/1-DVD swingin’ affair spanning 1953-1984 with over 50 previously unreleased tracks on CD and DVD. (This set will also be available in digital format.)  At its heart is a newly remastered edition of Sinatra Sings Great Songs from Great Britain, the Chairman’s only studio album recorded outside of the United States.

This deluxe new collection’s more than 50 previously unreleased audio recordings include session alternates from the Reprise album, a 1962 BBC “Light Programme” radio special with introductions to each song by Sinatra, a 1953 live session for BBC Radio’s “The Show Band Show,” and a Royal Albert Hall concert from 1984. The collection’s DVD features a previously unreleased filmed 1962 concert from another venerable venue, Royal Festival Hall, plus a 1970 concert from the same venue with a never-before released performance George and Ira Gershwin’s standard “A Foggy Day.”

Unlike that foggy day, however, this set shouldn’t have you low or have you down. The first disc features Great Songs from Great Britain, arranged and conducted by Robert Farnon, four-time Ivor Novello Award winner and renowned composer of so-called “light music.” Recording at CTS Studios in Bayswater in June 1962, Farnon provided a lush setting for Sinatra on such classic British songs as “The Very Thought of You,” “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” “We’ll Meet Again” (so closely associated with Dame Vera Lynn) and Noel Coward’s “I’ll Follow My Secret Heart.” Two songs on the album, “London by Night” and “If I Had You,” marked the third time Sinatra had recorded them, in each case previously at both Columbia and Capitol Records, but Farnon’s orchestrations may well stand the test of time as the definitive ones. The London box adds the previously-released outtake “Roses of Picardy” as well as spoken radio introductions to each of the original ten songs by Sinatra.

The second CD features never-before-released outtake versions of six of the Great Britain songs plus Sinatra’s earlier, 1953 BBC recordings of “I’ve Got the World on a String,” “Day In-Day Out” and “London by Night,” which he revisited a decade later on Great Songs from Great Britain. The third CD features Sinatra’s September 21, 1984 concert at Royal Albert Hall in which he brought “New York, New York” and “L.A. Is My Lady,” among many others, to London. The DVD has two earlier concerts from Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank of the Thames. The 1962 show, conducted by Sinatra’s longtime pianist Bill Miller, has a staggering 33 tracks including a couple of introductions and two tracks of bows; the second, a television broadcast from 1970 which has previously been available on DVD, has thirteen songs including one more Great Song from Great Britain – George Harrison’s “Something.”  (As noted above, “A Foggy Day” from this concert special is new to DVD.)

What else will you find on this set?  Hit the jump for more, including the complete track listing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 26, 2014 at 12:04

ELP’s Keith Emerson Goes To The Movies With Box Set

leave a comment »

Keith Emerson at the MoviesIn the midst of the usual catalogue activity for Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Cherry Red’s Esoteric Recordings imprint has a new treasure for fans of keyboardist Keith Emerson. The 3-CD box set Keith Emerson at the Movies collects Emerson’s scores for seven motion pictures originally released between 1980’s Inferno and 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars.  The set was originally released in 2005 on the Castle label, but has since gone out-of-print.  This version features the same tracks, but adds new packaging and a fresh remastering.

Following the (first) break-up of Emerson, Lake and Palmer in 1979, Keith Emerson made his solo debut with the soundtrack to the Italian film Inferno, and the transition into the world of film scoring wasn’t much of a stretch for Emerson.  With ELP, he had already been working on a widescreen canvas as a musical storyteller, incorporating orchestral and conceptual elements into the group’s brand of progressive rock.  In Malcolm Dome’s fine essay accompanying At the Movies, Emerson recalls his first exposure to the power of the cinema, when his parents took him as a youngster to see Walt Disney’s Bambi. Then The Magnificent Seven, so memorably scored by Elmer Bernstein, opened his eyes (and ears) to the power of music on the big screen.  Certain ELP compositions – such as “Tank” and “The Three Fates,” both from the group’s 1970 debut – were even conceived by Emerson as having “a very soundtrack type of appeal.”

After nearly landing assignments for such high-profile pictures as Chariots of Fire (he turned it down) and The Elephant Man (he “didn’t get the gig,” in his own words), Emerson landed his first scoring gig for Inferno.  For the Dario Argento-directed horror film, Emerson enlisted conductor-arranger Godfrey Salmon who had worked with ELP on their 1977 American orchestral tour.  The presentation here adds a track of “Inferno Extras.”  Soon, he was able to bring his talents to American cinema, as well, nabbing the composer slot for the Sylvester Stallone/Rutger Hauer action film Nighthawks in 1981.  He even performed a cover of The Spencer Davis Group’s “I’m a Man” at the request of his record label, taking lead vocals himself!  This edition replicates the sequence of the long out-of-print LP version of the Nighthawks soundtrack.  For the 1984 movie Best Revenge starring John Heard and The Band’s Levon Helm, Emerson provided a title song featuring Helm on vocals and Helm’s Band-mate, Garth Hudson, on accordion.  Alas, the LP’s Levon Helm showcase track, “Straight Between the Eyes”, has been replaced here by “For Those Who Win.”

In addition to those pictures, Keith Emerson at the Movies also features his scores to two more Italian horror flicks – 1984’s Murderock and 1989’s La Chiesa (The Church) – and two Japanese films: 1983’s animated Harmagedon and 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars..  Ben Wiseman has remastered all of the scores contained in this set produced by Mark Powell for Esoteric.  Each disc is housed in the clamshell box in a paper sleeve.

After the jump, we have more, including the complete track listing and links to order! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 26, 2014 at 10:11

Magic in the Night: Springsteen’s First Seven Albums Finally Remastered on CD, LP Box Set

with 16 comments

Springsteen Box

Yesterday, Bruce Springsteen celebrated his 65th birthday. Here in New Jersey, the birth date of The Boss might as well be considered a state holiday; the occasion was marked by various events including a video presentation by Springsteen’s longtime collaborator Thom Zimny at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey.  (Springsteen was, of course, born in Long Branch and wrote “Born to Run” in a Long Branch cottage.)  But today, Springsteen’s fans are the ones receiving a gift for his birthday.  The official announcement has arrived confirming that, on November 17, the artist and icon’s first seven albums – most with new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees The E Street Band – will be collected in one 8-CD or vinyl LP box set as Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection Vol. 1 1973-1984.

The release of The Album Collection builds on February’s announcement that Springsteen’s first ten albums had been remastered by Bob Ludwig for digital-only release; speculation, of course, ran high that physical issues would follow. While Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town were both sonically upgraded for remastered box sets in recent years, this box set marks the first time that remasters have been made available for the remaining albums in Springsteen’s catalogue through 1984 since their initial releases on CD.  The box includes:

  • Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. (1973)
  • The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle (1973)
  • Born to Run (1975)
  • Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)
  • The River (1980, 2 CDs)
  • Nebraska (1982)
  • Born in the U.S.A. (1984)

We have more details after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 24, 2014 at 12:51

Review: The George Harrison Remasters – “The Apple Years 1968-1975″

with 5 comments

Harrison Box Cover

“Silence often says much more/Than trying to say what’s been said before/But that is all I want to do/To give my love to you…”

Those lyrics, penned by George Harrison for his song “That is All,” could be directed to a female lover or to a higher power, but the sentiment rang true for the artist in any circumstance. Harrison’s lifetime of work was marked by its forward thinking, a trajectory that is eloquently expressed on the new box set The Apple Years 1968-1975. Over the six albums contained in this small box of wonders, the onetime “Quiet Beatle” eschewed the virtues of silence to speak volumes through his music. He also refused to “say what’s been said before,” experimenting with various sonic palettes during this creatively fertile period which saw the collapse of the most important band in music history and the birth of a solo artist who struggled to find his place “living in the material world,” and made that struggle a major part of his life in song.

This new cube-style box set, designed to complement 2004’s Dark Horse Years 1976-1992 collection, includes new, beautifully-remastered digipak editions of Harrison’s six Apple LPs beginning with 1968’s Wonderwall Music – the very first solo album by any Beatle – and continuing with the even more experimental Electronic Sound as issued on the Zapple label (1969), the acclaimed triple-LP All Things Must Pass (1970), Living in the Material World (1973), Dark Horse (1974) and Harrison’s Apple swansong Extra Texture (Read All About It) (1975). The all-star Concert for Bangla Desh is not included; it last saw a deluxe reissue in 2005. All of the individual CDs are also available as standalone releases, though a DVD of bonus material will remain exclusive to the box. Whether purchased individually or as one package, these discs offer a fresh perspective on Harrison’s most prolific years.

The Beatles established Apple Records with lofty goals, envisioning a kind of musical utopia for the band and for talented newcomers whom they would shepherd to success. Though the Apple story didn’t turn out quite as planned, Harrison thrived both as a solo artist and as the most prolific producer in the Fab Four. At Apple, he lent his talent to records by Badfinger, Jackie Lomax, Lon and Derrek Von Eaton, Radha Krsna Temple, Doris Troy, Billy Preston and others. As a solo artist, he inaugurated the label’s LP series with 1968’s Wonderwall Music soundtrack and nearly closed it out with the final Apple album of original material (Extra Texture).

Read on, after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 23, 2014 at 13:03

A Well-Respected Band: The Kinks Prep “Essential,” A New Deluxe “Muswell” and “Anthology” Box Set

with 3 comments

Kinks Anthology

It’s going to be a Kink-sized autumn on both sides of the Atlantic. Legacy Recordings, newly-exclusive licensor of The Kinks’ 1971-1985 catalogue for North America, is kicking things off on October 14 with the release of The Essential Kinks, a 2-CD career-spanning retrospective of the group’s music for Pye/Reprise, RCA, Arista and Columbia. Then, on November 10, Legacy follows with a Legacy Edition CD/DVD set celebrating the band’s 1971 album Muswell Hillbillies. One week later on November 17, Sanctuary Records (BMG/InGrooves in the U.S.) has a 5-CD box set coming. The Anthology 1964-1971 has been curated by longtime Kinks historian Andrew Sandoval and includes roughly a full disc’s worth – 23 tracks – of previously unissued material. Finally, Legacy has already made available 16 Kinks albums as high-resolution digital downloads in North America via HDTracks, from Muswell Hillbillies through Return to Waterloo (1985) and Come Dancing with the Kinks (1986).

“I’ve never heard a Kinks song I didn’t like,” writes David Bowie in his new liner notes penned for The Essential Kinks. This truly stuffed package – with 48 songs on 2 CDs – begins with 1964’s U.K. chart-topper/U.S. Top 10 hit “You Really Got Me” and concludes with 1993’s “Phobia,” The Kinks’ final original single to date. In between, you’ll find most of The Kinks’ hits including “All Day and All of the Night,” “Tired of Waiting for You,” “Sunny Afternoon,” “Waterloo Sunset,” and “Come Dancing,” plus live renditions of “’Till the End of the Day,” “Where Have All the Good Times Gone” and “Lola.” (The group’s MCA period of 1986-1989 is the only label affiliation which is overlooked here.)

The Essential Kinks will be followed by a Legacy Edition of Muswell Hillbillies on November 10. The band’s ninth studio album, it was named after Muswell Hill, the area of North London that Ray Davies and his brother Dave once called home. Like The Kinks’ classic Village Green Preservation Society before it, Muswell concerned itself with themes relevant to British life, wryly addressing working-class conditions and the changes affecting the populace. A Deluxe Edition was released by Sanctuary and Universal in 2013, which presented the original album on its first disc and fourteen bonus cuts on its second disc.

The upcoming Legacy Edition retains eight of the thirteen bonus tracks on the 2013 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.

After the jump, we’ll explore The Kinks Anthology 1964-1971. Plus we have track listings and pre-order links for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 22, 2014 at 13:37

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,041 other followers