Archive for the ‘Diana Ross’ Category
First up, Rhino’s reissuing the new Nile Rodgers/CHIC compilation Up All Night. The double-disc set, originally compiled by Wayne A. Dickson of Big Break Records and mastered by Dickson and BBR engineer Nick Robbins, with liner notes from Christian John Wikane, was released in July to capitalize on Rodgers’ highly enjoyable wave of success this year. (The legendary guitarist/producer played and co-wrote several tracks on Daft Punk’s critically-acclaimed album Random Access Memories, including international chart-topper “Get Lucky,” and played several key dates in Europe. Since then, CHIC has been once again nominated for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.)
Up All Night: The Disco Edition features a slightly rearranged track list, with several lesser-known hits dropped in favor of five newly-added tracks: the CHIC-produced “Frankie” by Sister Sledge; two Rodgers-produced ’80s hits (Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” and Duran Duran’s “The Reflex”), a megamix of CHIC Organization tracks and a live cut from Rodgers’ performance at the Glastonbury Festival this summer.
The fine folks at Big Break (Dickson along with compiler Malcolm McKenzie) have also produced another forthcoming discofied Rhino set: 12″ Disco: The Collection compiles 34 tracks – mostly from the Warner Bros., Elektra, T.K. and Atlantic vaults, naturally – including four cuts that have never been released on CD before. In addition to CHIC and Sister Sledge, tracks from Chaka Khan, The Trammps, Ben E. King, The Spinners, Change, George McCrae and Narada Michael Walden are all featured herein.
12″ Disco: The Collection is available in U.K. shops today, while Up All Night: The Disco Edition is out next Monday, October 28. Pre-order links, full track lists and U.K. discographical info for both titles can be found after the jump!
CHIC and Various Artists, Nile Rodgers Presents The CHIC Organization: Up All Night – The Greatest Hits (Rhino U.K.)
A new batch from Wounded Bird includes a compilation of rarities from Blood, Sweat & Tears (featuring, among other things, their soundtrack to The Owl and The Pussycat) and a disc featuring all three of Herbie Hancock’s albums for Warner Bros., before joining Columbia in the ’70s.
The latest hybrid SACDs from MoFi.
Hackamore Brick, One Kiss Leads to Another (CD/LP) / Russ Giguere, Hexagram 16 / The Browns, Complete Pop & Country Hits / Ahmed Abdul Malik, Spellbound / George Braith, Musart / Stan Hunter & Sonny Fortune, Trip on the Strip / Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 22 – Kings Beach Bowl, Kings Beach Lake Tahoe, CA 2/23-2/24/68 / Fire on the Mountain: Reggae Celebrates the Grateful Dead Vols. 1 & 2 (Real Gone Music)
Among the highlights of Real Gone’s release slate this week is the expanded reissue of the long-lost One Kiss Leads to Another by cult Brooklyn band Hackamore Brick.
Various Artists, Los Nuggetz: 1960s Punk, Pop, Psychedelic from Latin America (RockBeat)
America and Europe weren’t the only happening scenes in the ’60s, as this new box showcases.
Patty Duke, Don’t Just Stand There/Patty / Sings Songs from Valley of the Dolls/Sings Folk Songs (Time to Move On) (Real Gone Music)
All four of Patty’s United Artists albums released on a pair of two-fers, including 1968′s unreleased Sings Folk Songs.
A bunch of Supremes classics – six albums from 1966′s The Supremes A Go-Go to 1969′s Cream of the Crop, their last with Diana Ross – all get the mini-LP treatment from Culture Factory.
Culture Factory also brings Miss Ross’ long out-of-print concert disc back to CD, along with a new, mini-LP edition of the Ashford and Simpson-helmed favorite The Boss.
Julia Fordham, Porcelain / Swept: Deluxe Editions (Cherry Pop)
The second and third LPs by U.K. singer Julia Fordham are expanded and remastered for the first time.
The soundtrack to the anticipated new documentary about the best backup singers you might not have known, from Darlene Love to Merry Clayton. (Legacy’s releasing Clayton’s first-ever best-of compilation next month.) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Various Artists, Woody Guthrie at 100! Live at the Kennedy Center (Legacy)
Not sure if this concert kills fascists, but this CD/DVD tribute to a folk legend, featuring John Mellencamp, Lucinda Williams, Rosanne Cash and more is a fitting way to honor one of the century’s best songwriters. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
With CHIC co-founder/co-producer/guitarist Nile Rodgers back in the musical spotlight where he belongs – his distinctive funk guitar anchors Daft Punk’s chart-topping single “Get Lucky,” the arguable song of the summer – Rhino’s U.K. arm has done well to introduce another CHIC-oriented compilation to stores.
Up All Night: The Greatest Hits (cheekily named after a lyric in “Get Lucky”) is more than just a set of tracks by the immortal disco band. Sixteen of the album’s 25 tracks are classics produced by Rodgers and late bassist Bernard Edwards on behalf of The CHIC Organization. These include mega hits by Sister Sledge (“We Are Family,” “He’s the Greatest Dancer”) and Diana Ross (“Upside Down,” “I’m Coming Out”) and awesome deep cuts by Norma Jean (“Saturday”), Debbie Harry (“Backfired”) and Carly Simon (“Why”). The title track to the legendary I Love My Lady, a shelved 1981 album produced by CHIC for Johnny Mathis, also makes an appearance. (Though I Love My Lady has yet to be released in full, several tracks from the sessions turned up on 2010′s Rodgers-assembled CHIC box set, which only came out in France, because the rest of mainland Europe or the U.S. apparently have gone insane.)
In fact, one can easily view this as a double-disc distillation of that box – although we have a few familiar names to thank for this compilation: the set’s been compiled by Wayne A. Dickson of Big Break Records and mastered by Dickson and BBR engineer Nick Robbins, with Christian John Wikane providing liner notes. “You will note that these are all the versions released on 12″ or LP,” Dickson posted on BBR’s Facebook page, “and that the the pitch/speed of the tracks is that of the original vinyl releases and not the slower versions on most CD releases up ’til now.” (On this point, we have retained the supplied timings in the track list.)
Up All Night: The Greatest Hits gets the party started on July 1. After the jump, pre-order your copy and check out the full track list!
Paul McCartney and Wings, Rockshow (Eagle Rock)
ZZ Top, The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990 (Warner Bros./Rhino)
So not only are you getting all of ZZ Top’s London/Warner-era albums in one convenient box, but you’re getting a fair amount of them in their original mixes for the first time ever on CD. Win? Win. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Various Artists, The Complete Motown Singles Volume 12A: 1972 (Hip-O Select/Motown)
Richard Pryor, No Pryor Restraint: Life in Concert (Shout! Factory)
Burt Bacharach, Anyone Who Had a Heart: The Art of the Songwriter (U.K.-only box set) (UMe)
From the U.K. comes a new six-disc anthology of Bacharach’s best works as a writer or performer – easily more comprehensive than the double-disc set U.S. audiences got recently. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Icehouse, The 12 Inches Volume 1 (Repertoire)
From Miss Ross to a Friend of the Boss: Legacy’s Latest Wave of “Playlists” Offer Hits and Deep Cuts
Playlist, Legacy Recordings’ series of single-disc anthologies spotlighting “The Hits plus the Fan Favorites,” keeps on rollin’ with a new, typically eclectic group of artists covering a wide swath of genres and styles. Today, May 21, Legacy releases volumes in the series dedicated to the best of R&B (Diana Ross, Donna Summer), pop (Billy Ocean), country-and-western (Chet Atkins, Patty Loveless, Restless Heart, Mindy McCready), Latin jazz (Tito Puente) and the many strains of rock (Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Warrant, Jeff Buckley, Switchfoot, Iggy Pop). All Playlist titles are now housed in traditional jewel cases, and each title includes a booklet with a historical essay and discographical annotation. Some of the titles even include new-to-CD and previously unissued rarities.
Playlist: The Very Best of Diana Ross kicks off with three seminal tracks from Miss Ross’ late period at Motown: “Love Hangover” from her second eponymous album in 1976, and “Upside Down” and “I’m Coming Out” from 1980’s CHIC-helmed smash diana. (Don’t miss a loving and truly comprehensive tribute to diana from one of our favorite scribes, Christian John Wikane, over at Popmatters.) Following that Motor City appetizer, the set kicks into high gear with eleven tracks from the legendary singer’s oft-overlooked tenure at RCA, released between 1981 and 1985. Highlights such as “Chain Reaction” and “Eaten Alive” are derived from the Barry Gibb production Eaten Alive, with the latter track providing a reunion between Ross and Michael Jackson. Four songs have been taken from 1981’s Why Do Fools Fall in Love, including Ross’ solo version of “Endless Love.” Silk Electric, Ross and Swept Away are also represented, with every track in pristinely remastered sound from Mark Wilder. The No. 2 AC hit “All of You” with Julio Iglesias is among the Swept Away tracks you’ll find in this tasty survey of Ross at RCA.
The late Donna Summer gets feted with Playlist: The Very Best of Donna Summer. Unlike most entries in Legacy’s series, this Playlist volume isn’t derived from the superstar diva’s original recordings but rather from a concert performance. Summer’s blazing 1999 show at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom was previously captured on disc as VH1 Presents Donna Summer Live and More Encore, but Playlist premieres four previously unissued tracks from that concert (“Is There Music There,” “Riding Through the Storm,” “Don’t Wanna Work” and “Nobody”). It adds up to a live summary of the legendary vocalist’s hit-filled career, with “MacArthur Park,” “On the Radio,” “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)” (with Tina Arena filling in for Barbra Streisand), “She Works Hard for the Money,” “Bad Girls,” “Hot Stuff” and the inevitable “Last Dance” all making appearances. Vlado Mellor has remastered at Sony Studios New York. Those who already own Live and More will likely wish to grab this for the four newly-released songs and the remastered sound, but both discs are essential for the full program. “My Life,” “Love is the Healer” and “I Will Go with You (Con te partirò)” are absent from the new Playlist. The latter two songs were studio recordings added to the Live and More CD; Grammy nominee “I Will Go with You” was a No. 79 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and fared even better in the U.K., with a No. 44 chart berth. In addition, both of the studio tracks reached the top spot on the U.S. dance chart.
Though he’d been charting hits in the U.K. for nearly a decade prior, the Trinidad-born singer made his first major splash on the U.S. Hot 100 when “Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)” shot to No. 1, the same berth it occupied on the R&B chart. The song began a hot streak for Ocean, the results of which are captured on Playlist: The Very Best of Billy Ocean. The non-chronologically-sequenced 14-track set kicks off with “Caribbean Queen,” and also finds room for “When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going” (No. 2 Pop/No. 6 R&B), “Loverboy” (No. 2 Pop/No. 20 R&B), “Suddenly” (No. 4 Pop/No. 5 R&B) and “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” (No. 1 Pop/No. 1 R&B). In all, six albums are represented, and every track has been remastered by Tom Ruff.
After the jump: details on Jeff Buckley, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Chet Atkins, Iggy Pop and the rest – plus full track listings with discography and order links for each and every title! Read the rest of this entry »
The Beach Boys, Live: The 50th Anniversary Tour (Capitol)
Townes Van Zandt, The Late Great Townes Van Zandt / High, Low and In Between (Omnivore)
You heard the demos, now rediscover these great country albums, on CD or vinyl!
A dozen or so new entries in the Playlist series are coming your way this week. Watch this space tomorrow for a full breakdown on them all!
How to define Julio Iglesias? Perhaps the iconic Spanish entertainer can be best summed up by the numbers. In a career spanning well over 40 years, Iglesias has recorded 80 albums, sold 300 million records, and sung in 14 languages. Now, Iglesias, who will turn 70 later this year, has been feted with the first American release of a new collection with a number in the title. 1 – Greatest Hits, already a multi-platinum seller in numerous Spanish-speaking territories, has arrived in the U.S. from Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings as a 2-CD standard edition and a 2-CD/1-DVD deluxe edition adding a 1990 concert from the Greek Theatre on DVD (88765 46961 2, 2013). It covers a wide swath of Iglesias’ impressive career over 37 tracks on its two discs, but falls short of being a definitive hits survey, as numerous tracks have been re-recorded specifically for the collection.
In his brief liner note, Iglesias writes, “This has been a unique project in my life. Being able to go back and sing songs from a time when technology hadn’t yet met the digital age.” He isn’t the first artist to re-record his classic hits, and nor will he be the last. But it’s the original tracks – well-recorded in the first place by producers including Iglesias’ longtime collaborator Ramon Arcusa – that are the most timeless here. Iglesias’ voice, circa 2011 (when the lion’s share of the re-recordings were made), is still smooth and velvety if naturally somewhat deeper. But arrangement-wise, it’s frequently “spot the difference” time with the new versions hewing closely to the style and tempo of the originals. There are no notes or essays in the thin booklet explaining why songs were selected or what changes were made; there’s not even any indication as to the provenance of each track other than the date on the copyright line. With no background or discographical information for these songs, it feels less like a career retrospective and more like a set aimed at a casual fan who won’t wonder whether “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before” is the original recording or not.
Coincidental though it may be, it’s worth noting that 1 – Greatest Hits arrives on the same day as Paul Anka’s Duets, another mélange of new and old recordings. Like 1, the Anka collection (reviewed here) offers duets with Frank Sinatra, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson! Hit the jump for more on Julio! Read the rest of this entry »
ORIGINAL POST OF 3/25: Since its inaugural wave of releases in 2011, the Culture Factory label has carved out a niche in the catalogue field. Artists such as Robert Palmer, Hot Tuna, Paul Williams, Bob Welch, The Flamin’ Groovies, Sylvie Vartan, Rare Earth and The Motels are all among the recipients of the Culture Factory treatment. The label’s modus operandi finds the original album with no bonus tracks or additional liner notes packaged in a Japanese-style paper sleeves with an OBI strip. The CD label itself resembles black vinyl with period label art. All discs are remastered with 96 kHz/24-bit technology (although playback in that high resolution is not possible as these are standard “redbook”44/16 compact discs playable in all units). The next waves of releases from Culture Factory widen the label’s scope further, with campaigns dedicated to a classic singer-songwriter, some diverse and well-chosen rockers, and perhaps most tantalizingly, choice offerings from the “Sound of Young America.”
On April 30, Culture Factory will reissue two albums from West, Bruce and Laing, another two from Walter Egan, and a trio of titles from James Taylor. Amped-up blues-rock was the order of the day when Jack Bruce of Cream joined forces with Leslie West and Corky Laing of Mountain to form a new power trio. The union was short-lived but burned brightly; Clive Davis recalled fierce competition in signing the band to CBS/Columbia. West, Bruce and Laing ultimately recorded just three albums (two in the studio, and one live) before disbanding, though Jack Bruce’s son Malcolm replaced his dad in a revised band line-up years later, in 2009. WB&L’s second studio album, 1973’s Whatever Turns You On, and the 1974 live album/swansong Live ‘n’ Kickin’ have both been selected for the Culture Factory treatment.
1977’s Fundamental Roll and 1978’s Not Shy kicked off the career of singer-songwriter Walter Egan. Not Shy was co-produced by Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham and Richard Dashut and yielded the gold-selling single “Magnet and Steel,” for which Egan is still best known today. “Magnet and Steel” was, of course, inspired by Stevie Nicks. She sang background vocals on the song, and had worked with Buckingham and Egan on Fundamental Roll.
James Taylor’s first three albums for Columbia round out Culture Factory’s April 30 slate. 1977’s JT was nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy, and Taylor picked up the trophy for his sublime revival of Otis Blackwell and Jimmy Jones’ “Handy Man.” Other highlights include the upbeat “Your Smiling Face” and reflective “Secret o’ Life.” JT followed JT with 1979’s Flag, which included his two songs for the Broadway musical Working (“Millworker” and “Brother Trucker”) as well as covers of The Beatles’ “Day Tripper” and Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Up on the Roof.” The latter became a Top 30 U.S. hit and is still a signature song for Taylor. 1981’s Dad Loves His Work introduced the No. 1 Pop single duet with co-writer J.D. Souther, “Her Town, Too.”
After the jump: the lowdown on titles from Robert Palmer, the New York Dolls, Edgar Winter, .38 Special, and a certain Miss Ross! Plus: pre-order links for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »
When Motown: The Musical opens at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 14, it will mark yet another career landmark for Berry Gordy, the songwriter-producer-entrepreneur who turned Detroit, Michigan into Hitsville, USA some fifty-five years ago. The musical, written by Gordy and directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, depicts the rise to prominence of the Sound of Young America, with Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple, The Scottsboro Boys) starring as Gordy. He’s joined by a cast of roughly 40 including Valisia Lekae as Diana Ross, Charl Brown as Smokey Robinson, Bryan Terrell Clark as Marvin Gaye and Ryan Shaw as Stevie Wonder. Despite the considerable talent of the youthful cast, however, the star of Motown: The Musical is undoubtedly the music written by such composers and lyricists as Brian Holland, Eddie Holland and Lamont Dozier, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and Gordy himself. While plans are already afoot for the Original Broadway Cast Recording to arrive from UMe, the label is further supporting the new “jukebox musical” with the release of Motown Originals: The Classic Songs That Inspired the Broadway Show, available in 1-CD, 2-CD and digital formats on March 5.
The Broadway berth of Motown isn’t Gordy’s first foray into theatre. Motown, under Gordy’s aegis, made a sizeable investment in Roger O. Hirson and Stephen Schwartz’s 1972 musical Pippin, directed by the legendary Bob Fosse. Gordy’s team at Motown saw the potential in the score by Stephen Schwartz, who had already made a name for himself with Godspell and its hit single “Day by Day” on the Bell label. In exchange for the company’s investment in the musical, Motown’s Jobete publishing arm received rights to Schwartz’s delectable pop-rock-flavored score for Pippin. Hence, the Diana Ross-less Supremes recorded the torch ballad “I Guess I’ll Miss the Man,” the Jackson 5 surveyed the beautifully yearning “Corner of the Sky,” and solo Michael Jackson tackled the optimistic “Morning Glow.” Motown also released the original cast recording, the label’s first, co-produced by Schwartz and Phil Ramone. Gordy’s investment paid off; when Pippin closed in June 1977, it had run 1,944 performances. It returns to Broadway this spring in its first revival, melding an all-new circus concept by director Diane Paulus to choreography inspired by Bob Fosse’s original work.
Motown also isn’t the first time Gordy has attempted to bring the story of his renowned label to the musical theatre stage. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough was announced in late 2006 to close out the season at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre in summer 2007. A report in Variety promised “a book by Gordy and 30 Motown tunes.” Ain’t No Mountain even announced an opening date of July 15, but it wasn’t meant to be. The production was scrapped, and Gordy continued the journey that has finally taken his story to Broadway. The new Motown: The Musical has assembled an 18-piece orchestra to play the orchestrations of Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook, likely inspired by the original hit record arrangements.
After the jump: what will you find on the various versions of Motown: Originals? We’ve got more details, full track listings and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »