Archive for the ‘Box Sets’ Category
David Bowie, The Next Day: Extra (ISO/Columbia)
Bob Dylan, The Complete Album Collection Vol. One (Columbia/Legacy)
Dylan’s “official” albums discography from 1962 to 2012 is collected on this 47-disc set, featuring studio and live titles, 14 newly remastered albums and a two-disc compilation of non-LP material.
Jimi Hendrix Experience, Miami Pop Festival / Hear My Train A Comin’ (Experience Hendrix/Legacy)
A pristine 1968 unreleased performance by the Experience is newly released on CD and LP; video footage from that same performance is on display in a new American Masters documentary, as well.
Buck Owens, Buck ‘Em! The Music of Buck Owens 1955-1967 (Omnivore)
Arriving in stores the same day as his posthumous autobiography, this double-disc anthology collects 50 of the Bakersfield giant’s greatest hits and rarities, from several years of solid catalogue projects at the Omnivore label. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Yes, Close to the Edge: Deluxe Edition (Panegyric)
The legendary prog album (from a potential Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee) is remixed in stereo and surround by Steven Wilson and expanded with all sorts of audio rarities.
UPDATE (11/4): This post now has confirmed track lists for the FIRST EIGHT WAVES of reissues.
The long-gestating reissue campaign for Tabu Records by Demon Music Group looks to be taking shape – not only for the first wave of titles in the spring, but for a slew of content ambitiously planned through 2014.
Founded in 1976 by Clarence Avant (who’d previously started the Venture and Sussex labels), Tabu scraped by for six years until a chance meeting and an inconvenient snowstorm gave the label two of its greatest staff producers. An early key act, The S.O.S. Band, had a late disco hit with debut single “Take Your Time (Do It Right),” a Top 5 hit in 1980. Three years later, their fourth album On the Rise was being produced in their native Atlanta by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the keyboardist and bassist for Minneapolis funk outfit The Time.
When a freak blizzard caused the duo to miss a gig, Jam and Lewis were summarily fired by The Time’s creator, producer and songwriter, Prince. Their loss became Tabu’s gain, however, as Jam and Lewis, through their Flyte Tyme Productions partnership, produced a flurry of hits for not only Tabu artists but others, including Janet Jackson.
The Flyte Tyme sound – a more brazen variation on Prince’s “Minneapolis sound” – was well-formulated at Tabu. Alexander O’Neal, a vocalist with whom the pair had worked with in an early lineup of The Time, scored several big R&B hits with Jam and Lewis in the late ’80s, including “Fake,” “Criticize” and “If You Were Here Tonight.” Likewise, the duo did wonders for Cherrelle, a female vocalist who had her biggest successes duetting with O’Neal (“Saturday Love,” “Never Knew Love Like This”) but also had her own measure of solo success. (Hers was the first version of Jam and Lewis’ “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On,” later a Top 10 hit for Robert Palmer on both sides of the Atlantic.)
A recent Facebook post from the label indicates plans to “re-issue the entire Tabu catalogue on expanded re-mastered CDs, digital, a selection of 180GM vinyls, and some amazing boxsets.” Find out just what that covers after the jump!
While the 1980s have become synonymous with pop/rock music that allegedly valued image, craft and style above the emotional rush of the music itself, one of the decade’s most popular entertainers had an image as rough-hewn and rugged as they could come: John Mellencamp. The Indiana-bred musician earned his keep making tuneful rock steeped in the traditions of the genre as well as the vision of the average, working-class middle American. And with a list of hits that includes “Jack and Diane,” “Small Town,” “Pink Houses” and “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” – just part of the list of 22 Top 40 hits he scored – it’s safe to say Mellencamp was a winner.
This year, Universal Music Enterprises will celebrate Mellencamp en large with John Mellencamp 1978-2012, a box set featuring virtually all of his solo material from start to finish. This 19-disc set features his early works for Riva Records as John Cougar (a nom de rock bestowed upon him early in his career when he’d signed to MCA for two poppy albums omitted from this set), including breakthrough albums American Fool (1982), which yielded chart-topper “Jack and Diane” and No. 2 hit “Hurts So Good,” and 1983′s Uh-Huh, the first credited to “John Cougar Mellencamp.” The singer continued to have major success with his brand of increasingly country-infused rock through the decade, signing to Mercury for 1985′s Scarecrow and remaining there through the 1990s. That same year, Mellencamp was one of the co-founders of the Farm Aid charity concert series, raising money for those who made American agriculture their life’s work.
After a period in the 1990s that saw him experiment with urban and rhythmic music, Mellencamp returned to the top of the charts in 1994 with a cover of Van Morrison’s “Wild Night,” which hit No. 3. In 1998, Mellencamp released his first of three albums for Columbia, including the folk covers project Trouble No More in 2003. 2010′s Life, Death, Love and Freedom saw Mellencamp, along with producer T-Bone Burnett, move into a very critically-acclaimed period of soulful roots rock, a vein he’s tapped ever since (most recently with this year’s release of the soundtrack to Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, a stage musical he co-created with author Stephen King.)
While bonus tracks are few and far between on John Mellencamp 1978-2012 – the box uses the 2005 remasters of his Mercury catalogue, all of which had a bonus track appended – UMe has reached across the aisle to include all of his studio material for other labels, including Columbia, Hear Music and Rounder Records. There’s also one long out-of-print disc from Mellencamp’s career in this set: the soundtrack to the 1992 film Falling from Grace, which Mellencamp starred in and directed. The disc features two new Mellencamp originals plus tracks from Janis Ian, Dwight Yoakam and others.
Each disc is housed in a uniform, black-bordered mini-jacket, and it’s all packed in a neat little box that looks to fit nicely on a shelf. It’s out on December 10 and can be pre-ordered now. And, as always, a full track list is after the jump.
Today, 105 Second Avenue in New York City looks inconspicuous enough, housing a branch of a savings bank. But for just over three years, between March 1968 and June 1971, that address was home to Bill Graham’s Fillmore East. The grandiose 2,830-capacity venue built in 1925 as a Yiddish theatre was sadly demolished around 1996, having survived transformations into The New Fillmore East and the landmark gay disco The Saint. Though the building no longer exists, with the bank occupying its former lobby and apartments built on the site of the auditorium, much of the music played during its days as The Fillmore East has endured on record. One of the most celebrated albums recorded at the Fillmore was Humble Pie’s Performance: Rockin’ the Fillmore. Recorded in May 1971, just weeks before the venue’s demise, Performance was a double-album of electric blues fury, with just seven lengthy tracks spread over four sides. It remains a fiery, visceral live document of the quartet in concert, and it’s just gotten better – four times better. The new 4-CD box set from Omnivore Recordings includes all four of the band’s complete performances at the Fillmore East from which the original LP sequence was derived: two shows on Friday, May 28 and two more on Saturday, May 29.
One of the first bands for whom “supergroup” was an accurate appellation, Humble Pie brought together three great vocalist-instrumentalists – Steve Marriott of The Small Faces (rhythm guitar), Peter Frampton of The Herd (lead guitar) and Greg Ridley of Spooky Tooth (bass) – with drummer Jerry Shirley of the lesser-known The Apostolic Intervention. The resulting band was a four-piece combo with power to spare. Performance followed four studio albums, none of which captured the total majesty of the band’s full-throttle stage act. When manager Dee Anthony (whose diverse client list also included Peter Allen and Joe Cocker) suggested a live album, the band jumped at the chance.
It’s easy to see why in Omnivore’s deluxe presentation. Not only were the band members some of the most exciting instrumentalists on the blues-rock scene, but the Fillmore East itself created a certain frisson that translated particularly well to live discs. It’s no wonder that Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young all recorded famed albums there. In fact, Hendrix’s frequent collaborator Eddie Kramer originally recorded the concerts. Electricity surges through all four sold-out sets which originally occurred on the bill between opening act Fanny and headliner Lee Michaels. These four muscular sets are a potent trip back to the days when a band could bravely and somewhat self-indulgently transform a 7-minute song like Dr. John’s “I Walk on Gilded Splinters” into a jam more than three times that long – and captivate an audience in doing so. Each set is presented in complete form, including the enjoyably cheerful between-song banter.
After the jump, we’ll take a closer look! Read the rest of this entry »
Celtic rockers The Pogues are releasing a new box set that collects all of their studio albums – two newly-remixed just for this release – and an unreleased live album with a very special frontman.
Led by unforgettable frontman Shane Macgowan, The Pogues deftly combined the raucous traditions of traditional Celtic folk songs and sharp-edged punk rock, gaining a considerable live following when opening for The Clash on one of their last tours. A contract with Stiff Records followed, yielding Red Roses for Me and Rum Sodomy and the Lash, the latter produced by unabashed fan Elvis Costello (who would later marry the band’s then-bassist, Cait O’Riordan).
The Pogues achieved mainstream success with If I Should Fall from Grace with God in 1988, featuring the British holiday hit “Fairytale of New York,” a duet between Macgowan and Kirsty MacColl, but their days were also marked by trials when Macgowan’s drinking habits led to his dismissal from the band. Co-founder Spider Stacy took over vocal duties after a brief stint with Joe Strummer of The Clash, but the band split up in 1995. The full band, including Macgowan, reunited for annual tours in Europe and the United States starting in 2001; the band’s most recent highlight was a tragic one, however, with the passing of guitarist Philip Chevron earlier this month after a battle with cancer.
While new box The Pogues 30 doesn’t feature any of the bonus tracks on Rhino’s 2004 remaster series, there are some new treats for collectors:
- Red Roses for Me has been newly remixed from the original tapes by longtime Pogues engineer Nick Robbins, while 1989′s Peace and Love has been remixed by original producer Steve Lillywhite.
- A bonus disc includes a complete concert from the London Forum at the end of 1991, when Joe Strummer was the band’s frontman. The group tears through a 22-song set featuring a few choice tunes from The Clash’s discography. (Three of these tracks were released on 2008′s Just Look Them Straight in the Eye and Say…Pogue Mahone!! The Pogues Box Set, which was reissued in a smaller package earlier this year.)
30 Years will be available December 2. A U.K. pre-order link and the full set list for the live disc are after the jump.
The pop trio’s London discography gets the royal treatment with these 2CD/1DVD expanded editions featuring loads of rare and unreleased bonus tracks.
Deep Sea Skiving: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Bananarama: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
True Confessions: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Wow!: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Pop Life: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Please Yourself: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Humble Pie, Performance: Rockin’ The Fillmore – The Complete Recordings (Omnivore)
Jethro Tull, Benefit: A Collector’s Edition (Chrysalis/Rhino)
Andy Williams, The Complete Christmas Recordings / Bobby Darin, The 25th Day of December with Bobby Darin / Patti Page, Christmas with Patti Page (Deluxe Edition) / The New Christy Minstrels, The Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings / Various Artists, Funky Christmas / Tompall and the Glaser Brothers, Lovin’ Her Was Easier/After All These Years / Belfegore, Belfegore (Deluxe Edition) (Real Gone Music)
Spread some holiday cheer with the latest batch of Real Gone titles, which also includes the incredibly rare sophomore album by German goth/New Wave outfit Belfegore – now expanded with bonus tracks.
Andy Williams: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Bobby Darin: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Patti Page: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The New Christy Minstrels: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Funky Christmas: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Tompall Glaser: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Belfegore: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Boz Scaggs / James Taylor / Wu-Tang Clan, The Essential (Legacy)
The latest in the double-disc hits series includes career-spanning treasuries from Scaggs and Taylor (including the Warner and Columbia years in equal measure) and a new collection from hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan.
Various Artists, 12″ Disco: The Collection (Rhino U.K.)
Compiled by the fine folks at Big Break Records, this triple disc set features disco hits and rarities in equal measure, including a few tracks bowing onto CD for the first time. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
All of the U.K. hitmaker’s (“You Make Me Feel Like Dancing,” “When I Need You”) studio albums, plus two discs of rarities in this exhaustive set curated by Sayer himself on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his first U.K. hit, “The Show Must Go On.” (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Ramones, The Sire Years 1976-1981 (Rhino)
Eagles, The Studio Albums 1972-1979 (LP) (Rhino)
Over forty years after Van Morrison first declared it a “marvelous night for a moondance,” the Irish troubadour’s seminal 1970 album has become even more marvelous, ‘neath the cover of October skies. Warner Bros. Records has afforded Moondance the deluxe treatment, adding three CDs of session material and one Blu-ray with high-resolution stereo and surround mixes to the original 10-song album. With this truly immersive listening experience, Morrison’s third proper solo album takes its place alongside the likes of The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and SMiLE and the canons of Elvis Presley, Miles Davis and even The Monkees, offering up warts-and-all sessions for enjoyment, dissection and exploration. Of course, this compact yet lavish box set (more accurately, a linen-bound book set) wouldn’t hold up if Moondance itself wasn’t such a stone-cold classic. Luckily, it’s an album of such depth that the 4-CD/1-BD package is more than warranted. And for those who want just the highlights, Warner has also issued a pared-down 2-CD version as well as a single-disc remastered edition with just the original album.
Though its warmly melodic songs – equal parts jazz, folk, soul, blues, pop and rock – are certainly accessible enough to stand on their own, Moondance is an argument for the art of the album. The artist’s Warner Bros. debut Astral Weeks was the darkness before the dawn, and its follow-up Moondance continued its juxtaposition of the spiritual and the earthbound. But Moondance rendered those themes with light replacing dark, and an altogether different intensity. Morrison’s crack band of Jack Schroer (alto and soprano sax), Collin Tilton (tenor sax/flute), Jeff Labes (piano/organ/clavinet), John Platania (lead and rhythm guitar), John Klingberg (bass), Gary Mallaber (drums/vibes), and Guy Masson (congas, credited as “congo drum”) brought his finely-honed compositions to life in arrangements that veered from rollicking to rootsy. In addition to lead vocals, Morrison also played rhythm guitar and tambourine.
After the jump, we’ll delve further into Moondance! Read the rest of this entry »
Though Random Access Memories doesn’t entirely fit the catalogue description that usually guides discussion here at The Second Disc, you might not know that when you hear it. Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, known for their quirky, catchy dance tracks and identity-clouding robot costumes, last released a studio album in 2005, the mixed Human After All. (The band was incredibly busy in the interim years, releasing a Grammy-winning live album in 2007, allowing Kanye West to sample “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” for his chart-topping “Stronger” that same year – dig their joint performance at that year’s Grammy Awards – and penned the soundtrack for Disney’s sci-fi sequel TRON Legacy in 2010.)
With dance music in a major state of transition – Skrillex and Deadmau5 and “EDM” and dubstep piling up all over the place – many expected Daft Punk, elder statesmen of the genre since the release of Homework in 1997, to step in and show them how to create a killer modern dance album. What few expected was how they did it: by firmly looking back to disco and R&B traditions of a generation before. With a package that recalled Michael Jackson’s Thriller (CD and LP labels featured the early ’80s design of their new distributor, Columbia Records) and an impressive cadre of collaborators, including CHIC guitarist/producer Nile Rodgers, Giorgio Moroder, Paul Williams, guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr., bassist Nathan East, drummers Omar Hakim and John “J.R.” Robinson (not to mention modern pals Pharrell Williams, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and Chilly Gonzales), Random Access Memories is a throwback to a time when beats were made, not sequenced, and records were committed to analog tape.
And the results were stunning: besides general worldwide acclaim, the album was a commercial smash all over (moving more than 600,000 units in the U.S. alone) and spawning the inescapable summer earworm “Get Lucky,” featuring distinctive guitar licks from Rodgers (the fond memory of which will hopefully carry CHIC into this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class) and smooth vocals from Williams. The track was a worldwide No. 1 hit (missing the pole position only in America, where it peaked at No. 2, their sole Top 40 hit) and broke U.K. records on Spotify, reaching the Top 5 in that country within 48 hours of release. (It ultimately stayed at No. 1 for four weeks.)
After the jump, check out what those robots put into this box set – not to mention the hefty price tag!
The time was 1965, the place was Columbia Records’ studios on Seventh Avenue in New York City between 52nd and 53rd Streets, the occasion was the recording of Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited. Al Kooper – he of the famed organ riff that propelled “Like a Rolling Stone” – recalled, “Suddenly Dylan exploded through the doorway with this bizarre-looking guy carrying a Fender Telecaster guitar without a case. It was weird, because it was storming outside and the guitar was all wet from the rain. But the guy just shuffled over into the corner, wiped it off with a rag, plugged in, and commenced to play some of the most incredible guitar I’ve ever heard. And he was just warming up!”
Kooper recounts the whole story of his first encounter with Michael Bloomfield in his indispensable tome Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards. Kooper’s fateful introduction to “the man who can still make me pack up my guitar whenever his music is played” led to the seminal Super Session record in 1968 and further collaborations. Now, decades later, Kooper has produced and curated what may well be the definitive anthology dedicated to the music of Michael Bloomfield, the guitarist Bob Dylan recognized as “the best.” On February 4, 2014, Legacy Recordings will unveil From His Head To His Heart To His Hands, a career-spanning 3-CD/1-DVD box set chronicling the life and times of the late artist. The box premieres a number of unreleased tracks including rare cuts from Bob Dylan like an alternate of “Tombstone Blues” featuring The Chambers Brothers, or a Bloomfield/Dylan live performance of “The Groom’s Still Waiting at the Altar.”
Born in Chicago and discovered by Columbia’s John Hammond, Bloomfield participated in sessions for the label in 1964 but soon joined the Paul Butterfield Blues Band alongside Butterfield, Elvin Bishop, Sam Lay, Jerome Arnold and Mark Naftalin. But the same year Butterfield’s group debuted with its first Elektra long-player (1965), Bloomfield was making history with his friend Bob Dylan. In addition to lending his scorching guitar to Highway 61, Bloomfield was among the musicians backing Dylan on his legendary, first-ever electric performance at the Newport Folk Festival. But there were many other paths for the guitarist with the fire in his soul to pursue. He joined the genre-bending “horn band” The Electric Flag in 1967, debuting with the group at the Monterey Pop Festival and issuing a 1968 album on Columbia. Shortly after the album’s release, The Electric Flag imploded, but Bloomfield bounced back that same year.
Super Session was recorded with Al Kooper, the composer-singer-organist behind the original Blood, Sweat and Tears. David Fricke wrote in 2001, “Bloomfield and Kooper, with pianist Barry Goldberg, bassist Harvey Brooks [both of The Electric Flag] and drummer Eddie Hoh, cut enough music for one whole side of an LP…[but] Bloomfield didn’t play another note on the record. A chronic insomniac sinking into long-term heroin addiction, he abruptly split for home the next day, leaving Kooper to finish the album with a hastily recruited Steve Stills. But what Bloomfield left behind is still the best half an album in late-Sixties rock.” Bloomfield continued making incendiary music until his untimely death in 1981 at the age of 37. In addition to recording solo albums such as 1969’s debut It’s Not Killing Me, Bloomfield found time to perform and record with Janis Joplin, Dr. John, John Cale, and The KGB Band (with Ray Kennedy and Barry Goldberg) and even sat in again with Dylan in 1980.
What will you find on the new box? Hit the jump for details and the full track listing, plus pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »