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Archive for the ‘Box Sets’ Category

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

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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

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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

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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″

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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

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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

Thank You, Friends: Omnivore Readies Live Big Star, Complete Works of Queen’s Roger Taylor

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Big Star - LiveOmnivore Recordings is greeting autumn with projects from a couple of, well, big artists. By big, we mean perhaps the biggest cult band of all time – Big Star – and if that’s not big enough, how about the drummer from one of the biggest rock bands in the world? As in, Roger Taylor of Queen? On October 27, Omnivore will issue the first-ever retrospective of Taylor’s solo work in anticipation of the November 11 U.S. release of his complete, all-encompassing solo box set, The Lot. On November 4, the label brings fans the only professionally-filmed complete concert from Memphis’ favorite power-poppers with Big Star – Live in Memphis.

Live in Memphis continues the Big Star story with the premiere on DVD, CD, DD, and 2-LP vinyl (with download card) of the band’s performance of October 29, 1994. That evening, Alex Chilton, Jody Stephens, and Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow of The Posies ran through a packed set of Big Star classics and covers in front of an appreciative hometown audience. Filmed at the New Daisy Theatre, Live in Memphis includes Big Star favorites such as “Thank You Friends,” “September Gurls,” and “The Ballad of El Goodo,” plus the late Chris Bell’s “I Am The Cosmos,” and songs from T. Rex (“Baby Strange”), The Kinks (“Till the End of the Day”), Todd Rundgren (“Slut”) and even Antonio Carlos Jobim (“The Girl from Ipanema”). All told, the audio editions have 19 songs, and the DVD has 18, eliminating “Fire.”

Though the concert was billed as Big Star’s farewell, it was far from it – the band continued to tour together for another 16 years until Chilton’s untimely death in 2010. Big Star – Live in Memphis includes liner notes from filmmaker Danny Graflund, Ardent Studios’ producer John Fry, Jody Stephens, Jon Auer, and Ken Stringfellow in the CD, LP, and DVD packages. In addition, the first pressing of the LP will be pressed on colored vinyl, with standard black to follow. This once-in-a-lifetime chronicle of the one and only Big Star is due on November 4.

After the jump, Omnivore is going ga-ga with Queen’s Roger Taylor! Plus the full track listings and pre-order links for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 22, 2014 at 10:16

Make It Fast, Make It Urgent: Foreigner Box Up Atlantic Albums

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Foreigner - Complete

You’ve been waiting for a box like this.

On October 14, Rhino will unveil the 7-CD collection from Foreigner, The Complete Atlantic Studio Albums 1977-1991.  As the classic rock band’s discography has amounted to just three albums since its departure from Atlantic in 1991, this box brings together Foreigner’s prime material including five U.S. multi-platinum smash LPs and hits like “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” “Feels Like the First Time,” “Cold as Ice,” “Hot Blooded,”  and “I Want to Know What Love Is.”

Foreigner, founded by vocalist Lou Gramm, guitarist Mick Jones, drummer Dennis Elliott, bassist Ed Gagliardi and multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald, was a hot property from the time of its very first release.  1977’s 5x platinum Foreigner reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and yielded the hit singles “Feels Like the First Time,” “Cold as Ice” and “Long, Long Way From Home.”  The album began an unabated string of hits for the British/American band, straight through 1987’s Inside Information.    By the time of Foreigner’s Atlantic swansong Unusual Heat (1991, and the last CD in this box set), only Jones and Elliott remained from the original line-up.  Rick Wills had replaced Gagliardi as of the group’s third album, 1979’s Head Games, while Unusual Heat marked the debut of Wild Horses singer Johnny Edwards, replacing Lou Gramm.  (Gramm returned to the fold in 1992, and was with Foreigner for its 1994 Arista debut, Mr. Moonlight.)

Rhino expanded Foreigner’s first four albums in 2002, fleshing out each release with demos, live tracks and outtakes.  Happily, this box will replicate the contents of those four releases, adding a total of nine bonus tracks to the original album sequences.   Typical of this program of complete albums from Rhino, it doesn’t appear that The Complete Atlantic Studio Albums 1977-1991 will include a booklet with any liner notes or additional credits beyond those which appeared on the original LP sleeves.  All albums will be presented in replica mini-LP jackets and retain the most recent prior masterings.

After the jump, we have more information including the complete track listing with discography! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 17, 2014 at 10:32

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