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Deep Purple Revisit “Made in Japan” in a Big Way

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Deep Purple Made in JapanDeep Purple’s monstrous power as a live act was solidified more than four decades ago with the release of their first live album, Made in Japan. This May, a tidal wave of Made in Japan reissues are surging your way, from remasters to expansions to box sets on CD, vinyl and Blu-Ray. (Whew!)

In 1972, Deep Purple were flying higher than ever. The quintet – at the time, singer Ian Gillan, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, bassist Roger Glover, keyboardist Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice – had just released their sixth album in five years (and third with the Mk II lineup), Machine Head. It was their first chart-topper in their native England, and also went Top 10 in the States. By this time, the band had quite a sterling reputation as a live act, but were reluctant to attempt a live album for fear they could not produce the exact kind of polished set they could in studio.

Ultimately, upon discovering a burgeoning bootleg market around their tours, they relented, recording three consecutive nights in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan (where the band were particularly adored). Focusing solely on putting on a great show and less on how the final product would sound (to this day, members of the band have reportedly never heard the album), Deep Purple’s gamble paid off handsomely. A single backed with both studio and live versions of the instant classic (and arguable progenitor of heavy metal) “Smoke on the Water” was a U.S. Top 5 hit. The album went Top 10 in America and Top 20 in England, eventually earning a platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America for over a million units shipped.

Given the hallowed status of the album, there have been several reissues of the Japan shows. A 1993 box set collected much of the three sets, and further parts were included on an expanded reissue of the album proper in 1998. But what have Universal U.K. got planned for this (almost) 40th anniversary celebration? Read on after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 27, 2014 at 17:27

Rock ‘N’ Roll Stars Revisited: Oasis Announce Catalogue Expansion

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Oasis Definitely Maybe

Britpop band Oasis may never be reuniting again thanks to the hilariously toxic relationship between brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher, but the band’s 20th anniversary will be celebrated with several deluxe reissues, the first of which was announced today.

This year, all three of the band’s albums released in the 1990s will be remastered and expanded, starting with 1994 debut album Definitely Maybe, to be reissued in May. (The set’s being referred to as the “Chasing the Sun Edition,” to quote a lyric from the band’s “Slide Away.”) Their next two albums, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory(1995) and Be Here Now (1997), will be expanded at an unconfirmed later date.

With perhaps the keenest ear for pop hooks in England since Morrissey and Marr and a confident, optimistic lyrical bent that stood in direct contrast to the dominant grunge trends in rock and roll, Oasis essentially helped revitalize interest in the country as a supplier of rock music. Though commercial reaction in the States was modest at best, Top 10 singles like “Live Forever,” “Cigarettes & Alcohol” and the non-LP release “Whatever” became touchstones of a generation.

The band were rarely out of the U.K. music press since, whether for their music or their offstage antics The notorious feuds between lead singer Liam and guitarist/songwriter Noel could be withering but also bizarrely entertaining, such as a 1996 taping for MTV Unplugged that saw Liam opt out due to throat trouble – only to sit in the audience with beer and cigarettes, heckling his brother’s voice from a balcony in between takes. A backstage altercation before a festival date in 2009 led Noel to finally quit; Liam reformed the remaining lineup as Beady Eye while Noel put together a solo band under the moniker Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

What can fans expect from the newly expanded Definitely Maybe? Find out after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 26, 2014 at 11:30

Posted in Box Sets, News, Oasis, Reissues, Vinyl

Won’t You Come: Soundgarden Announce “Superunknown” Box Set

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Superunknown 20 box

Grunge legends Soundgarden will honor their most successful album, 1994′s Superunknown, with a sprawling five-disc box set.

The first band of the Seattle explosion to sign with a major label, A&M Records, in 1988, Soundgarden broke through the commercial mainstream with the release of third album Badmotorfinger in 1991, arguably the holy trinity of the genre alongside fellow 1991 albums Nevermind by Nirvana and Ten by Pearl Jam. Superunknown saw the band experimenting with an expanded sonic palette, trying on unorthodox tunings and time signatures. But the songs still remain accessible and catchy, thanks to singles like “Spoonman,” “Black Hole Sun” (the band’s first and biggest Top 40 hit) and “Fell on Black Days.” In 1995, “Spoonman” and “Black Hole Sun” won Grammy Awards for Best Metal and Best Hard Rock Performance, respectively, while the album received a nomination for Best Rock Album.

The band – singer Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Ben Shepherd and drummer Matt Cameron – would split a year after the release of follow-up album Down on the Upside in 1997, after which Cornell pursued a solo career and Cameron joined his friends in Pearl Jam. Happily, they reunited in 2010, issuing two archival projects, the compilations Telephantasm and Live on I-5, in 2010 and 2011; a new album, King Animal, was released in 2012.

Superunknown will be expanded in two forms: a double-disc expanded edition pairing the remastered album with a disc of demos, rehearsal takes and B-sides (10 of which are unreleased), and a five-disc box set including the album, a disc of 16 B-sides, a further two bonus discs of demos and rehearsals and a Blu-Ray disc featuring the album mixed in 5.1 surround sound. David Fricke pens new liner notes, while the band’s creative director Josh Graham provides newly redesigned, lenticular artwork.

A 200-gram double vinyl edition with a gatefold sleeve will also be made available, as will a 10″ box set of Superunknown-era singles as a Record Store Day exclusive – including several original B-sides actually not featured on the super deluxe box.

The expanded Superunknown is available June 3. Pre-order links are not yet available, but the full track list for all formats is after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

February 25, 2014 at 14:46

Release Round-Up: Week of February 25

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Your ArsenalMorrissey, Your Arsenal: Definitive Master (Parlophone)

We don’t hate it when Moz becomes successful, as was the case with his third non-compilation album from 1992, which now comes with an unreleased live show on DVD.

CD/DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Johnny Winter - True to the BluesJohnny Winter, True to the Blues: The Johnny Winter Story (Columbia/Legacy)

A four-disc tribute to the influential blues guitarist, who turned 70 on Sunday. (Amazon U.S.Amazon U.K.)

Workbook 25Bob Mould, Workbook: 25th Anniversary Edition (Omnivore)

After the disbandment of Hüsker Dü, singer/guitarist Mould was on the solo beat with this album, now expanded with an unreleased 1989 concert at the Cabaret Metro in Chicago.

2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Silversun PickupsSilversun Pickups, The Singles Collection (Dangerbird Records, 2014)

The L.A. rockers collect their last nine or so years of A-sides on a professionally-pressed CD-R compilation or a box of six vinyl singles; both feature a newly released track, “Cannibal.”

 

CD-R: Amazon U.S.
6 x 7″ box:  Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Tabu boxVarious Artists, The Tabu Records Box (Tabu/Edsel)

A 6CD/1DVD/1 45 RPM overview of the classic ’70s/’80s R&B label, whose works have been thoroughly reissued by U.K. label Edsel over the past year. (Amazon U.K.)

And Once AgainIsaac Hayes, For the Sake of Love: Expanded Edition / And Once Again: Expanded Edition /Patti LaBelle, Released: Expanded Edition (Big Break Records)

Three new BBR reissues include two Isaac Hayes LPs for Polydor in the ’80s and LaBelle’s final studio album for Epic, which reunited her with producer Allen Toussaint. Joe, of course, has a full summary coming soon!

For the Sake of Love: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
And Once Again: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Released: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Still Surfing: Joe Satriani’s “Complete Studio Recordings” Collected on New Box Set

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Joe Satriani - CompleteClose your eyes and think about Joe Satriani.  Chances are if you’re not picturing the guitar hero himself, you’re picturing his sophomore album, 1987’s Surfing with the Alien.  The artwork adorning the album, majestically drawn by Marvel Comics legend John Byrne for a 1982 comic book, depicts Marvel Comics’ noble Silver Surfer astride his surfboard as he travels through the farthest reaches of space.  Though Satriani hasn’t explored any new galaxies (yet), he has traveled many sonic avenues.  And for the very first time, you’ll be able to hear all of them in one place thanks to Epic Records and Legacy Recordings’ upcoming release of Joe Satriani: The Complete Studio Recordings.  This 15-CD box set due on April 22 houses each one of the axeman’s studio LPs between 1986’s Not of This Earth and 2013’s Unstoppable Momentum in newly-remastered editions.  To sweeten the pot, an exclusive bonus disc will round up an array of Satriani rarities.

 The New York native, born in 1956, made his solo debut on the Relativity label in 1986 with Not of This Earth, but broke through to the mainstream the next year with Surfing with the Alien.  Not only did three hit singles emerge from the album (the title track, “Satch Boogie” and the radio-only single “Always with Me, Always with You”) but the album peaked in the Top 40 of the Billboard 200 and eventually went platinum.  Satriani also received his first two Grammy nominations for Surfing; to date, he has fifteen such nods and, unbelievably, no wins.  Six-string master Satriani has continued to record regularly, but has also found time for extracurricular pursuits as a sideman and as a founding member of the rock supergroup Chickenfoot.  He’s played lead guitar live for Mick Jagger and Deep Purple, and has toured alongside the likes of Steve Lukather, Brian May, Robert Fripp, and Steve Vai.  Satriani shares a special connection with Vai, who was one of Satriani’s students from his days as a guitar teacher.  Among Satriani’s other past students are Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Larry LaLonde, David Bryson (Counting Crows) and Charlie Hunter.

What can you expect to find on the new box set?  Just hit the jump for more info including the complete track listing for the bonus disc! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 24, 2014 at 09:42

Too Much Heaven: Bee Gees’ “Warner Bros. Years” Box Set Premieres Unreleased Tracks, Complete Concert

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Bee Gees - OneFollowing the release of 1981’s Living Eyes, The Bee Gees effectively called it a day.  The band reportedly clashed during the making of the album, and its lack of chart success convinced Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb to pursue non-band projects for a time.  Solo albums and soundtrack recordings arrived, and the Barry Gibb/Karl Richardson/Albhy Galuten team worked its magic on releases by Dionne Warwick, Kenny Rogers and Diana Ross (featuring numerous songs co-written by all three brothers, of course).  But a new Bee Gees album didn’t arrive until 1987.  When it did, it was the group’s first ever release for Warner Bros. Records.  That “comeback” album, E.S.P., yielded the U.K. chart-topper “You Win Again.”  E.S.P. leads off The Warner Bros. Years, a new 5-CD box set due on April 15 chronicling the band’s three albums for the Warner label…and more!  The Warner Bros. Years includes the entirety of E.S.P. (1987), One (1989) and High Civilization (1991), and adds demos, single edits and remixes, as well as the world premiere of a 2-CD live album, One for All.

“You Win Again” was a worldwide smash virtually everywhere other than in the United States.  The single, which announced a modernized sound for The Bee Gees, went straight to pole position in Great Britain, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Denmark and Norway, and reached the Top 10 in Italy, the Netherlands, Australia and Sweden. When it reached No. 1 in October 1987 in the U.K., it made The Bee Gees the first group to reach No. 1 in three consecutive decades.   E.S.P. reunited Barry, Robin and Maurice with producer Arif Mardin, the R&B legend who helmed their seventies classics Mr. Natural and Main Course (including the U.S. No. 1 single “Jive Talkin’”).  The album itself went Top 5 in the U.K. and cracked the Top 100 of the Billboard 200 stateside.  The box set’s remastered edition of the album includes five bonus tracks: the demo, single edit and extended version of the title track, plus the single edit of “Angela” and the extended version of “You Win Again.”  (Other remixes of “E.S.P.” from producer Arthur Baker have not made the cut.)

The Bee Gees returned two years later with One (1989). Co-produced by the band and Brian Tench, it was group’s first digital recording.  And it finally rewarded Barry, Robin and Maurice with another U.S. Top 10 hit in its title track.  But the success of One was bittersweet.  While recording the album, brother Andy Gibb died unexpectedly.  Following a break in recording, Andy’s brothers returned to the studio with “Wish You Were Here” and dedicated the album to him. The original U.S. release of One had a different track listing than its international counterpart, switching “Ordinary Lives” and “One” in the running order, and dropping CD bonus track “Wing and a Prayer” in favor of another appearance of “You Win Again” from E.S.P.   (For those who hadn’t yet switched to CD, “Wing and a Prayer” was the vinyl single B-side of “One.”)  The version in the box set restores the original, preferred international sequence, and adds four bonus tracks.  Lead single “One” is included in its edited remix as well as 12-inch Dance and Club Mix versions.  (The dub version is not present.)  The fourth extra is “Shape of Things to Come,” which originally appeared on 1988 Summer Olympics Album: One Moment In Time.

After the jump: more on this new box set including the complete track listing and discography!

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Written by Joe Marchese

February 18, 2014 at 14:50

He Wears It Well: Long-Delayed Rod Stewart Box Set Back On Track For March Release

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Rod Stewart - Live Box

2014’s gonna be alright for fans of Rod Stewart.

Following 2012’s sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll memoir Rod: The Autobiography and the 2013 release of Rarities (largely culled from the box set The Rod Stewart Sessions: 1971-1998), the one-time Rod the Mod and all-time superstar is still in a reflective mood.  Stewart will look back on three decades of concert performances with the March 18 release from Warner Bros. Records of Live 1976-1998: Tonight’s the Night.  This long-rumored box set consists of 4 CDs and 58 never-before-released live recordings, and draws on various sources from both sides of the Atlantic such as Stewart’s 1976 U.K. tour, L.A. gigs from 1979 and 1993, Wembley Arena concerts from 1980 and 1981, a 1984 performance in San Diego, a 1989 stand in New Jersey, and a 1998 return to London.

The first disc, from the 1976 tour, sets the box’s template, with hits appearing alongside cover versions (some familiar in Rod’s renditions, others not).  Hence, you’ll hear Rod doing “You Wear It Well,” “Maggie May” and the title track “Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)” as well as Danny Whitten’s “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” (a 1977 chart-topping single for Stewart which was re-recorded in 1998 and became a hit a second time), The Beatles’ “Get Back” (recorded by Rod for the film All This and World War II) and Motown favorites like “(I Know) I’m Losing You” from Stewart’s Every Picture Tells a Story and “This Old Heart of Mine” from  Atlantic Crossing.

Disc 2 covers the period of 1976-1981 and Stewart’s live explorations from blues-rock to disco.  The classic R&B soulbook (to steal from the title of Rod’s 2009 covers album) was tapped for medleys (“(I Know) I’m Losing You/It’s All Over Now/Standin’ in the Shadows of Love/Layla” and “Twistin’ the Night Away/Every Picture Tells a Story”) and stand-alone songs like Willie Dixon’s torrid “I Just Want to Make Love to You.”  Stewart’s 1977 hit “Hot Legs” is heard as a sizzling duet with Tina Turner, as is the rocking title track of 1978’s Blondes Have More Fun.  The third CD (1984-1989) has the 1977 hit “You’re in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)” and the deathless disco romp “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” along with 1988’s Bob Dylan-inspired “Forever Young” and Otis Redding staples “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” and “Try a Little Tenderness.”  Rod’s reinvention of Jeff Fortgang’s “Some Guys Have All the Luck” (first recorded by The Persuaders in 1973) appears, as does a live performance of Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart.”

The final disc of the set takes Stewart from 1991 to 1998, reprising “This Old Heart of Mine” as well as “Twistin’ the Night Away” (this time paired with Sam Cooke’s “Chain Gang”).  Many of Stewart’s key singles are represented, such as 1989’s Tom Waits cover “Downtown Train,” Tim Hardin’s “Reason to Believe” (1992), Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready” (1992/1993) and Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately” (1992).  “Cigarettes and Alcohol” and “Rocks” close out the box set, both from Rod’s final studio album of the 1990s, When We Were the New Boys.  This disc also features a stab at Arthur Conley’s “Sweet Soul Music” and concert favorites like “Mandolin Wind,” “Handbags and Gladrags” and Faces’ “Stay with Me.”

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

Written by Joe Marchese

February 18, 2014 at 10:46

Posted in Box Sets, News, Rod Stewart

Bear Family Making Plans for Box Set of Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton Recordings

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Porter Dolly boxJohnny and June. George and Tammy. Porter and Dolly. The world of country music had some of its greatest successes in pairs – duets whose songs projected all the joy and pain of love and loss, just like any good country song should. Whether the joy or pain was real or simply projected very well is another matter, as anyone who’s seen Walk the Line can attest.

In the case of Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, their relationship was never romantic and often turbulent, but it did yield one of the most bountiful dual discographies in the genre. This year, Bear Family Records will celebrate that union with Just Between You and Me: The Complete Recordings 1967-1976, a six-disc box set featuring every one of Porter and Dolly’s recordings for the RCA Victor label.

In 1967, Porter Wagoner was left with the unenviable task of replacing singer Norma Jean Beasler, an RCA Victor artist and co-star of his long-running syndicated television show since its inception in 1960. Audiences were quick to judge the blonde, buxom Parton, who’d been previously signed to Monument Records as a bubblegum pop artist despite a desire to pursue her country roots. But Parton’s intoxicating, vibrato-laden voice and natural on-stage chemistry with Wagoner made her a natural starlet, both as part of Wagoner’s line-up and on her own. By the early 1970s, she was a bona-fide country legend, with singles like “Just Because I’m a Woman,” “Mule Skinner Blues,” “Coat of Many Colors” and the incomparable “Jolene.”

Porter and Dolly would record a dozen records for RCA in a decade, often featuring songs they wrote themselves. They logged 20 singles on Billboard‘s Country Top 40, including “The Last Thing on My Mind,” “Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man,” “Just Someone I Used to Know,” “If Teardrops Were Pennies” and the chart-topping “Please Don’t Stop Loving Me.” But the duo did not always get along offstage. Dolly told The Los Angeles Times in 2008, “He was in charge, and it was his show, but he was also very strong willed. That’s why we fought like crazy, because I wouldn’t put up with a bunch of stuff. Out of respect for him, I knew he was the boss, and I would go along to where I felt this was reasonable for me. But once it passed points where it was like, your way or my way, to prove to you that I can do it, then I would just pitch a damn fit. I wouldn’t care if it killed me.”

Ultimately, Dolly parted ways with Porter by 1976, although her respect for him as a partner as well as one who gave her a chance to break through in the country world led to the writing of one of Parton’s greatest compositions: “I Will Always Love You.” And the duo would patch up their personal and professional differences in later years: a 1980 album, Porter & Dolly, was comprised of outtakes from the pair’s partnership including the No. 2 smash “Making Plans.” And Dolly was there to induct Porter into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002, and joined his family to say goodbye when he passed away in 2007.

Just Between You and Me features every track from the duo’s 13 albums, several compilation-only tracks, a few rarities – namely a 45 RPM single recorded in honor of The American Freedom Train that ran for the country’s bicentennial and live cuts from 1970′s A Real Live Dolly - and 13 unreleased tracks, including alternate takes. Alanna Nash, author of 1978′s Dolly: The Biography, pens the set’s liner notes.

The box is available May 5. Order it here and hit the jump for a complete track list! (Thanks to super reader Richard Eric for the tip!)

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 17, 2014 at 14:03

Edsel is Still Mad About Belinda Carlisle with New Anthologies

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Belinda Anthology frontAfter a series of great expanded CD/DVD reissues, Edsel will release not one but two career-spanning anthologies dedicated to former Go-Go’s frontwoman/pop icon Belinda Carlisle.

The Anthology collects three CDs and two DVDs worth of hits and rare content from the singer, whose late ’80s run of singles included such impressive pop gems as “Mad About You,” “Heaven is a Place on Earth,” “I Get Weak,” “Circle in the Sand” and “Leave a Light On.” While Carlisle has been relatively quiet since 2007′s all-French standards album Voila, recent years have seen her gradual return to pop music: her entry in the normally ineffective ICON series by UMe featured “Sun,” her first pop single in quite some time. Another new song, “Goodbye Just Go,” makes its debut on The Anthology.

The first two discs on the set are devoted to nearly all of Belinda’s singles from her I.R.S., Virgin and Chrysalis years (the first time Edsel has expanded its look at Belinda beyond the core albums on Virgin). A third CD features five non-LP rarities from soundtracks and compilations and a live set from Tokyo in 2013. (Edsel has already apologized in advance for the absence of long-unreleased fan favorite “In My Wildest Dreams” from the 1987 film Mannequin; “our researches in tape libraries around the globe (and with staff who worked at IRS at the time) have not so far managed to turn up a master for the track,” the label unfortunately noted.) In addition to the audio offerings, two DVDs will feature Belinda’s promo videography and live performances on various U.K. television programs, respectively.

Belinda Anthology full

For those looking for a more general overview, Edsel will also release The Collection, a hits-centric CD/DVD compilation. Both sets will be available March 17 in the U.K.; Amazon U.K. links and track lists are after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 14, 2014 at 14:34

Just the Way You Like It: Hits, Videos Compiled on Tabu Box Set

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Tabu boxAfter more than a year of reissues of the Tabu Records catalogue by Edsel - reissues that have been relatively lavish but particularly divisive for their occasional lapses in audio quality – the label has prepped a thorough career-spanning box set.

The Tabu Records Box Set is a 6CD/1DVD affair collecting tracks from all of the label’s major releases between 1977 and 1991. Each disc will be broken down by theme; the first focuses on early soul albums by the likes of The S.O.S. Band and Brainstorm plus more left-of-center instrumental albums by Manfredo Fest and noted composer Lalo Schifrin. (Some of these tracks, particularly those by Schifrin, have not been celebrated with individual reissues, making their inclusion a particular treat.) Disc 2 highlights dance tracks from that early era (“Lovin’ is Really My Game,” “Groovin’ (That’s What We’re Doin’)”) while Disc 3 showcases the romantic side of the label’s roster.

Discs 4 and 5 highlight Tabu’s biggest peak in the ’80s, when producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, formerly of The Time, set up shop as writers/producers for Alexander O’Neal, Cherrelle and The S.O.S. Band. Hits like “Just Be Good to Me,” “Never Knew Love Like This,” “Saturday Love” and “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On” blossomed from this period. The set closes with some of the lesser-known acts from the label’s twilight years, including Demetrius Perry, Kathy Mathis and Rhonda Clark.

Also included in the box is a DVD featuring promo videos (mostly by O’Neal) and interviews with label founder Clarence Avant as well as Jam & Lewis, and a bonus 7″ single featuring two of the label’s more obscure grooves, “Changin’” by (Ms.) Sharon Ridley and “Jungle Kitten” by Manfredo Fest. A 60-page booklet features notes by box compiler Ralph Tee plus an extensive label discography.

The whole affair is available February 24 and can be ordered after the jump, where you’ll find an exhaustive breakdown of the tracks! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

February 11, 2014 at 10:46

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