Archive for the ‘David Bowie’ Category
Shuggie Otis, Inspiration Information/Wings of Love (Epic/Legacy)
Nearly 40 years after Inspiration Information, Shuggie Otis’ second and most recent LP, the R&B singer/songwriter/guitarist returns with a greatly expanded double-disc edition of that album featuring material recorded in the intervening years. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
David Bowie, Aladdin Sane: 40th Anniversary Remaster (EMI)
Blind Melon, Blind Melon: 20th Anniversary Edition (Capitol/UMe)
John Coltrane, Sun Ship: The Complete Session (Verve Select)
Frankie Valli, Hits (Rhino Flashback)
Dust, Hard Attack/Dust (Kama Sutra/Buddah/Legacy)
Four Kapp Records albums between 1966 and 1968 on two CDs from the crooner who welcomed us aboard The Love Boat later in his career!
There’s no shortage of reminders of the greatness of David Bowie, from his acclaimed comeback album The Next Day to the forthcoming remaster of Aladdin Sane for its 40th anniversary. Soon, EMI will provide yet another reminder, with the release of Zeit! 77-79, a budget-oriented collection of the famed albums of Bowie’s so-called “Berlin Trilogy.”
While the designation of Bowie’s Low, “Heroes” and Lodger as the Berlin Trilogy is a bit inaccurate – only “Heroes” was recorded in the West German capital – these three albums taken together represent an important phase – if not the most important – in Bowie’s multifaceted career. Escaping to West Berlin to try to shake the cocaine addiction that plagued him terribly (he later admitted no memory of even recording 1976′s Station to Station), Bowie found himself working with longtime collaborator Tony Visconti as well as Brian Eno of Roxy Music, who influenced the direction of the album’s second side, a longer, mostly instrumental affair. (The album’s first side featured shorter, introspective songs that were influenced by bands like Kraftwerk and Neu!)
A critically divisive album at first, Low was nonetheless a success on both sides of the Atlantic, buoyed by the U.K. Top 5 single “Sound and Vision.” Follow-up disc “Heroes” saw Bowie slowly but surely breaking free of his demons, working in largely the same style as Low, again with Visconti and Eno (as well as guitarist Robert Fripp), to create one of his most indelible works. The third Bowie-Visconti-Eno disc, Lodger, continued the themes of experimentation (band members swapped instruments and Bowie inverted previously successful chord progressions to craft new tunes), but its slightly more commercial structure did not immediately catch on with critics, even with singles like “D.J.” and “Boys Keep Swinging.” Popular consensus, however, was strengthening around Bowie, somewhat setting the stage for a major commercial revival in the next decade.
Zeit! will package the “current versions” of these three studio albums together; alas, said versions lack the bonus material of previous releases on the Rykodisc label in the early 1990s. However, the box will also feature Stage, Bowie’s 1978 double-disc live album recorded on the “Isolar II” tour in support of “Heroes.” Although the band was praised for emulating the complex studio creations of the Berlin albums in a live setting, the sterile mix (devoid of crowd noise) and cut-up running order was not as well-received. However, as EMI are utilizing the current versions of these albums, we should be receiving in Zeit! the 2005 edition of the album, resequenced and featuring three bonus tracks (one of which was heard on the 1991 Rykodisc pressing of the album).
Release dates and further information about Zeit! have yet to be revealed, but they will be posted as received. (Thanks to MusicTAP‘s Matt Rowe and others for passing this one along!)
Welcome to today’s special review of David Bowie’s twenty-fourth studio album and first in ten years, The Next Day. As you likely know, The Second Disc rarely reviews newly-recorded albums, but the return of this iconic artist to the recording studio simply couldn’t be ignored.
In 1980’s “Ashes to Ashes,” David Bowie famously revealed “Major Tom’s a junkie, strung out in heavens high, hitting an all-time low.” This continuation of the story begun in 1969’s “Space Oddity” was as definitive a statement as any on the man’s unsentimental, decidedly not rose-colored view of the past. So it was a surprise when, on his 66th birthday, Bowie announced his first album in ten years and offered “Where Are We Now” to the world. A somber, elegiac and darkly lovely rumination through the streets of Berlin as delivered by an older, wiser man, “Where Are We Now” signaled an elder statesman in a mournful, soul-searching state of near-tranquility: “As long as there’s sun/As long as there’s rain/As long as there’s fire/As long as there’s me/As long as there’s you.” Meeting expectations, though, via the art of defying them (always a specialty of Bowie’s), the artist has both invoked and laid to rest the ghosts of Ziggy Stardust and The Thin White Duke with a searing collection of original songs that conclusively prove age hasn’t mellowed David Bowie. Indeed, “Where Are We Now” was the calm before the storm. The Next Day is an angry, electric exploration of where he is now, where he was then, and where he will likely be “The Next Day.”
Joined by co-producer Tony Visconti (The Man Who Sold the World, Scary Monsters, Heathen) and a trusted band including guitarists Earl Slick, Gerry Leonard, and David Torn, bassists Gail Ann Dorsey and Tony Levin, drummers Zachary Alford and Sterling Campbell, and saxophonist Steve Elson, Bowie seems liberated to pursue his muse via a host of characters ravaged by violence, war and a pervasive celebrity culture. The album is enveloped in darkness with only brief flashes of light, yet it’s the work of a man who’s been hiding in plain sight on the New York streets over the past decade, enjoying his “retirement.” Studio photographs of the Next Day sessions show a fit, trim and smiling Bowie enjoying the art of creation. The arc of the album from this deliciously contradictory artist, though, is anything but placid. Occasional hints of Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane and Lodger cede to lively, dense, alternately crisp and clattering soundscapes.
We take a tour of The Next Day after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »
As the follow-up to The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, David Bowie’s 1973 album Aladdin Sane is sometimes overlooked. Yet the punningly-titled Aladdin Sane had racked up advance sales of 100,000 units by the day of its release (April 13, 1973), becoming Bowie’s very first U.K. Number One record and spawning two Top 3 singles there (“The Jean Genie” and “Drive-In Saturday”). Across the pond, Aladdin Sane was the artist’s very first U.S. Top 20 record. Once again following in the footsteps of Ziggy – in this case, that album’s 40th anniversary remastered edition, released last year – Aladdin will arrive in a newly-remastered edition on April 15, 2013 from the Parlophone Label Group. (Previously a part of EMI, a condition of Universal’s acquisition of EMI was that Parlophone be divested from Universal. The label’s future ownership has still not been determined.) It’s also arriving a little more than one month after Bowie’s long-awaited surprise “comeback” album, The Next Day, due on March 15.
While boasting a fresh remaster by Ray Staff, that 2012 Ziggy eschewed the bonus tracks from all previous editions, presenting simply the original album in its CD release. (Ziggy was also released on an LP/DVD edition; the audio DVD did contain some additional material in 5.1.) The new Aladdin Sane follows suit. Staff, who cut the original LP while at Trident Studios, has remastered it for 2013 at London’s AIR Studios. As of now, a remastered vinyl edition hasn’t yet been announced, nor has an audio DVD.
So what will you find on the new Aladdin Sane? Hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »
Black Friday 2012: Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa Lead Off Packed Slate of RSD Exclusives
Here in the U. S. of A., Black Friday is almost upon us: that unusual date following the prior day of giving thanks, in which consumers make a mad dash to the local big-box store, mall or shopping center to procure bargains for the holiday season ahead. Retailers are controversially beginning Black Friday “festivities” even earlier than usual this year, with many sales starting on Thanksgiving Day itself and not even at midnight but in the early part of the evening. For a number of recent years, music buyers have had our own Black Friday, that day in April known as Record Store Day in which the aisles of our independent retailers are filled with hunters of collectible vinyl and CD releases. Record Store Day has in the past sponsored a mini-RSD event on Black Friday, but this year, the titles on offer are as enticing and nearly as plentiful as those on the main RSD itself. For some, this will be a source of frustration, for others, excitement.
This year’s line-up for Record Store Day – Black Friday brings titles from some of the biggest names in rock including The Beach Boys, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and Nirvana, plus cult favorites like Leonard Cohen, Lee Hazlewood and Frank Zappa, and country-and-western legends such as Wanda Jackson and Buck Owens.
After the jump and without further ado, we’ll fill you in on the crème of the reissued crop come this Black Friday! Just click for your full list of the catalogue releases to watch! Read the rest of this entry »
Well, Record Store Day is finally upon us! Tomorrow, Saturday, April 21, music fans and collectors will descend upon their local independent record stores to celebrate both the sounds on those black platters and the cherished physical shopping environments alike. As Record Store Day 2012 will offer a typically eclectic array of limited edition releases (primarily on vinyl but also some on CD, too!) from many of our favorite artists here at Second Disc HQ, we thought we would take a moment to count down the titles to which we’re most looking forward! I’ll take my turn first, and then after the jump, you’ll find Mike’s picks for some of the finest offerings you might find at your local retailer! And after you’ve picked up your share of these special collectibles, don’t hesitate to browse the regular racks, too…you never know what you might find!
You’ll find more information and a link to a downloadable PDF of the complete Record Store Day list here, and please share your RSD 2012 experiences with us below. Happy Hunting!
5. Miles Davis, Forever Miles (Columbia/Legacy)
This five-track collection spotlights various eras of the legendary trumpeter via alternate takes and rare mixes new to vinyl plus a previously unreleased live recording. It adds up to a sonic journey through the many iterations of jazz itself. From the fifties comes a 1956 take of “Dear Old Stockholm” with John Coltrane and the first take of 1957’s “Blues for Pablo” with Gil Evans. “Hand Jive” is an alternate from the Miles Davis Quintet box chronicling Davis’ “Second Great Quintet” of 1965-1968. A new mix of “Early Minor” from the In a Silent Way box (1969) rounds out the set along with a previously unreleased “Directions” from 1970 at The Fillmore East.
4. David Bowie, Starman (Virgin)
Remember the picture disc? Virgin Records brings it back with this 45 RPM single containing two versions of David Bowie’s “Starman,” off The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, soon to be celebrating its 40th anniversary with a new CD/DVD edition. Bowie, in his most far-out garb, adorns the vinyl, on which you’ll hear both the original song and a live Top of the Pops performance!
3. The Mynah Birds, It’s My Time/Go On and Cry (Motown)
It might be difficult to resist an offering from Neil Young or Rick James, but how about a 45 RPM single from a band which counted both gentlemen among its members? The single “It’s My Time” b/w “Go On and Cry” was slated for 1966 release on Motown’s V.I.P. imprint, but was shelved until 2006’s Complete Motown Singles Volume 6 box set arrived. Now, six years later, the single comes full circle and finally gets its intended vinyl pressing. Get it while you can!
2. Various Artists, Never To Be Forgotten – The Flip Side of Stax 1968-1974 (Light in the Attic)
Light in the Attic has pulled out all of the stops for this Record Store Day crown jewel: a 7” vinyl box set containing ten singles from the Stax library circa 1968-1974! Artists include Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Mable John, Melvin Van Peebles and the Mad Lads, and their singles are housed in a stunning 10 x 7” magnetic flip-top box which also contains an 84-page book. Though a digital edition was released last week, no CD version has been announced, so vinyl is truly the best option to experience these seldom-heard Stax sides. And who could resist that book? You might also want to check out LITA’s new Lee Hazlewood compilation, The LHI Years! It arrives soon on CD, but is making an early appearance on vinyl as part of the RSD festivities!
1. Buck Owens, Coloring Book and Flexi Disc (Omnivore)
Were there prizes awarded for Most Creative and Most Fun Releases this year at Record Store Day, the top honors would surely go to the team at Omnivore Recordings! They’ve given nostalgia a new meaning with the release of the Buck Owens Coloring Book and Flexi Disc. The country star and Hee Haw host planned to release his official coloring book in 1970, but instead, the books languished in a warehouse. Omnivore to the rescue! The clever label has bundled one of these original Owens treasures with a newly-pressed flexi-disc (available in red, white or blue, natch). The coloring book tells the story of Buck and his Buckaroos, with the grand finale a concert performance that can be heard on the flexi-disc. “Act Naturally,” “Together Again,” “I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail” and “Crying Time” are all mentioned in the coloring book and can be played by you, the reader! All four songs come from Owens’ White House performance on September 9, 1968 before President Lyndon B. Johnson. A digital download card also contains all four songs, and the full concert will be released later this year on CD from Omnivore. In the meantime, this unique offering just might make you join me in shouting, “Hee haw!”
Hit the jump for Mike’s top picks! Read the rest of this entry »
How do the Red Hot Chili Peppers celebrate their graduation to legend status per their recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction? They pay tribute to the ones that came before on a new digital EP that includes a handful of B-sides paying tribute to their favorite fellow inductees.
We Salute You, to be released May 1, includes covers of Dion and The Belmonts, The Ramones, The Stooges, Neil Young, The Beach Boys and David Bowie, all of which can certainly be argued as influences for the long-running funk-rock outfit. Half of the covers are studio takes, having appeared on CD singles or other compilations (the band’s take on The Ramones’ “Havana Affair” dates from 2003′s We’re a Happy Family tribute album, for example). The other half are live tracks, one of which is being released for the first time anywhere. (All but one of these tracks have never appeared in digital format before.)
For those fans that haven’t warmed up to new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who joined following
original arguably best-known guitarist John Frusciante’s second departure last year, fear not: almost every one of these tracks features the band’s innovative axeman. (The cover of Neil Young’s “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” dates from the band’s most recent tour last year, while their take on Bowie’s “Suffragette City” was released on a CD single during the One Hot Minute era, when Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction served as guitarist.)
Check out the full track lineup after the jump.
Hang On To Yourself: 40th Anniversary Edition of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” Coming In June From EMI
In 1972, you would have found David Bowie at the crossroads of music, fashion and theatre when he introduced Ziggy Stardust on his now-iconic breakthrough LP The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. If the album hardly sounded like any other, “alien” might have been too much of an understatement for Ziggy himself. The concept behind the album was light but the songs were heavy, and among the best Bowie had penned to date. Hard rock riffs melded with evocative orchestrations on mini-rock operas like “Suffragette City,” “Moonage Daydream,” “Hang Onto Yourself” and “Five Years,” with The Spiders from Mars – Mick Ronson (guitar, pianos, string arrangements), Trevor Bolder (bass) and Mick Woodmansey (drums) – playing to perfection. Fast-forward to 2012, and a 40th Anniversary Edition of the title seemed inevitable. That release has just been announced by David Bowie’s Facebook team, and in this day and age of the Super Deluxe Edition, it seems positively modest, especially for the flamboyant Ziggy.
Despite gaining stature over the years as an iconic album of the glam era, Ziggy Stardust only reached No. 75 in the U.S. (it scored significantly better in the U.K., peaking at No. 5) upon its initial release. Ziggy was eventually certified platinum and gold in the U.K. and U.S., respectively. “Starman,” selected as the album’s single, reached No. 10 in the U.K., but echoing the album’s placement, it only managed to make it to No. 65 on the U.S. chart. Still, Ziggy has been released numerous times in the compact disc age, making this new edition just one in a long line of Ziggy Stardust remasters.
Due on June 4 in the U.K. and June 5 in the U.S., the new Ziggy will be available in a variety of formats (CD, LP, and audio DVD with surround mixes). Hit the jump for all of the details including track listings and discography! Read the rest of this entry »