Archive for the ‘Eric Clapton’ Category
Wow! Was it just over a year ago when a rather dubious report began circulating (that, shockingly, was picked up by many otherwise-reputable publications) that proclaimed the death of the CD was secretly scheduled by the major labels for 2012? Well, 2012 has come and (almost) gone, and it might have been the most super-sized year in recent memory for reissues, deluxe and otherwise, from labels new and old. Here at the Second Disc, we consider our annual Gold Bonus Disc Awards a companion piece to Mike’s own round-up over at Popdose, and we endeavor to recognize as many of the year’s most amazing reissues as possible – over 80 worthy, unique titles. We also hope to celebrate those labels, producers and artists who have raised the bar for great music throughout 2012. As we’re literally deluged with news around these parts, these ladies and gentlemen prove, week after week, the strength and health of the catalogue corner of the music world. We dedicate The Gold Bonus Disc Awards to them, and to you, the readers. After all, your interest is ultimately what keeps great music of the past alive and well.
With that in mind, don’t forget to share your own thoughts and comments below. What made your must-have list in 2012? Without further ado, let’s celebrate 2012′s best of the best. Welcome to the Gold Bonus Disc Awards!
Which releases take home the gold this year? Hit the jump below to find out! Read the rest of this entry »
Frank Zappa, Remasters Wave 6 (Zappa/UMe)
Joe dutifully broke this one down yesterday at the link above: five final titles in the FZ 2012 remaster campaign, consisting of Ahead of Their Time and The Yellow Shark (1993), The Lost Episodes and Läther (1996), plus a new compilation, Finer Moments.
Rush, 2112: Deluxe Edition (Mercury/UMe)
The prog classic is reissued (in time for 21/12, ha!) in three formats: a CD/DVD featuring three unreleased live bonus tracks, expanded liner notes and a 5.1 surround mix (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.), a CD/Blu-Ray with the same (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) and a super deluxe version in a hardbound case with additional new artwork (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Eric Clapton, Slowhand: 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Polydor/UMe)
Looking for something wonderful tonight? This may be it: Clapton’s 1977 classic comes back in a variety of formats, including a deluxe box (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) featuring the album, four outtakes and a two-disc, mostly unreleased live show, plus the album in both 5.1 surround and on vinyl. A two-disc deluxe set (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) includes the album, the outtakes and highlights from the show on the other disc.
The Rolling Stones, The Brussels Affair (Stones Archive)
A morbidly oversized CD/vinyl/swag-filled Amazon-exclusive box version of an appropriately epic concert from 1973. Careful about that price tag, y’all. (Amazon U.S.)
Muddy Waters, You Shook Me: The Chess Masters Volume 3 1958-1963 (Hip-O Select/Geffen)
Eric Clapton gained the nickname “Slowhand” from Giorgio Gomelsky in the 1960s, once recalling that the impresario and Yardbirds manager coined it “as a good pun. He kept saying I was a fast player, so he put together the ‘slow handclap’ phrase [when a restless audience claps slowly hoping the performer will arrive onstage] into ‘Slowhand’ as a play on words.” Clapton fully embraced the name in 1977 as the title of his fifth studio album as a solo artist, following stints in the Yardbirds, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, and Derek and the Dominos. Recorded for Robert Stigwood’s RSO Records, Slowhand yielded three hit singles and a No. 2 berth on the Billboard 200. One of Clapton’s most beloved albums, Slowhand will receive the super deluxe box set treatment from Polydor on November 26 internationally, and in the U.S. on December 4.
Produced by Glyn Johns, Slowhand was recorded at London’s Olympic Studios in May 1977. Released that November, it became Clapton’s most successful studio album of the decade, and eventually spent 74 weeks on the U.S. albums chart after five weeks at No. 2. “Lay Down Sally,” “Cocaine” and “Wonderful Tonight,” the latter written for Clapton’s then-partner (and ex-Mrs. George Harrison) Pattie Boyd, all became hit singles. Slowhand contained a number of songs written or co-written by Clapton (“Wonderful Tonight,” “Lay Down Sally” with Marcy Levy and George Terry, “Peaches and Diesel” with Albhy Galuten) alongside compositions by J.J. Cale (“Cocaine”), John Martyn (“May You Never”), Don Williams (“We’re All the Way”), and Arthur Crudup (“Mean Old Frisco”). The blend of blues, rock, country and pop was arguably Clapton’s strongest assembly of songs by that point.
Slowhand will be available in five different formats. Both the Super Deluxe Edition (3 CDs, 1 DVD and 1 LP) and Deluxe Edition (2 CDs) feature four session outtakes, three of which are previously unreleased: “Looking at the Rain,” “Alberta”, “Greyhound Bus” and “Stars, Strays and Ashtrays.” Both editions feature selections from Clapton’s Hammersmith Odeon concert, recorded just one week before sessions began for the new album. The complete, 14-track performance of April 27, 1977 is included on the Super Deluxe Edition on two CDs, while 9 highlights appear on one disc of the Deluxe Edition. The Super Deluxe Edition adds the album on audio DVD in high-resolution stereo and surround, and on vinyl. (It remains to be seen whether the surround mix will be a new one or has been derived from the existing SACD.) Slowhand will also be available as a single-disc album-only remaster, a vinyl LP and digital download.
After the jump: exactly what will you find on each edition? We have all of the specs, plus a complete track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »
Since its formation on April 20, 1983, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has inducted a slate of accomplished musicians into its ranks on a yearly basis, causing excitement, consternation and everything in between. Though the worthiness of nominees and inductees is hotly debated with each “class” and a number of distinguished artists continue to be ignored year after year, one thing can be agreed upon: a lot of great music has been played for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It continues to host performances at its Cleveland home, which opened its doors in 1995. Each year, inducted musicians take the stage in Cleveland and at a New York induction ceremony, often with old colleagues or young musicians whom they have influenced. Hence, Eddie Vedder joined the remaining Doors for “Break On Through,” Bruce Springsteen teamed with Mick Jagger on “Satisfaction,” Dhani Harrison accompanied two Wilburys, Steve Winwood and Prince for his late father George’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and the Allman Brothers partnered with Sheryl Crow for “Midnight Rider.”
In past years, only one major album came from The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s vast archives, a 1996 release collecting performances from the 1995 concert that inaugurated the actual museum. In 2009 and 2010, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame teamed with Time-Life for a series of DVDs (available as a box set and individually) bringing together highlights from those often-controversial induction ceremonies, as well as CD and DVD releases of 2010’s 25th Anniversary concerts, held at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
The Time-Life association will continue this fall with the release of Best of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum Live, a 3-disc box set bringing many of these blazing performances to CD for the very first time. Longtime Hall supporter Bruce Springsteen appears no fewer than six times on the box, joined by performers like Chuck Berry, Wilson Pickett, Mick Jagger and U2. It’s a guitar-lover’s dream when a team of axemen including Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ron Wood, Joe Perry, Flea and Metallica take on “The Train Kept A-Rollin’,” and when Cream reunites on “Sunshine of Your Love” for the first time in over two decades. Other highlights include James Taylor’s solo performance of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock,” the Dave Clark Five’s “Glad All Over” as interpreted by the supergroup of Billy Joel, Joan Jett, John Fogerty and John Mellencamp, and Green Day paying homage to the Ramones with “Blitzkrieg Bop.” The Righteous Brothers and The Ronettes celebrate the heyday of Philles Records, and the definitive line-up of rock legends also includes Paul McCartney (“Let It Be”) and The Who (“Won’t Get Fooled Again”).
Hit the jump for more, including the full track listing! Read the rest of this entry »
Vinyl enthusiasts are going to have Slowhand for the holidays. A report from fanzine Where’s Eric? announces the November release of Clapton Blues, a five-vinyl box set that encompasses three of Clapton’s great late-period blues albums.
First up is From the Cradle, Clapton’s first LP since the triumphant success of his MTV Unplugged appearance in 1992. It’s a raw, straight pass of a set (the liner notes detail only two overdubs and no editing) comprised of 16 classic covers of blues legends from Elmore James to Muddy Waters. Strange as it sounds, this was Clapton’s first true all-blues album as a solo performer, but it was just what folks wanted to hear, topping the Billboard 200 and earning a triple platinum certification.
Clapton’s next foray into the blues was 2000′s Riding with the King, a collaboration with – who else? – the one and only B.B. King. While the then-74-year-old guitarist had worked with Clapton before (they first met Clapton when he was Cream’s guitarist and worked together on King’s Deuces Wild in 1997), this was their first full-blown joint effort. The response was exactly what you’d expect from two giants of the genre getting together: strong sales, critical respect and a Grammy for each of their shelves for Best Blues Album.
Finally, while not a collaboration in the strict sense of the word, Clapton in 2004 tackled the work of late blues pioneer Robert Johnson for Me and Mr. Johnson. Of course, the guitarist was no stranger to his work – his interest in Johnson in the ’60s paved the way for the critical reassessment and resurgence that Johnson’s output would enjoy in the decades to follow – but the record was kind of an accident, the output of a studio session with no new written material. The loose sessions were turned into an album, and Clapton’s blues legend was further underlined.
The box will feature Cradle and King on double vinyl and Johnson on single vinyl. According to the report, an exclusibe online preorder will feature the discs on blue vinyl as well.
Clapton Blues is available November 22. Reacquaint yourself with the track lists after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »
“It was such a unique thing. Everybody was so moved and touched. It had a special feeling apart from just a performance. Overnight everybody knew the name of Bangladesh all over the world.” So said Ravi Shankar about The Concert For Bangladesh, the 1971 performances he organized with George Harrison at New York’s Madison Square Garden that set the standard for all-star benefits to come. Monday, August 1, marks the 40th anniversary of The Concert, and in commemoration, Apple and EMI have introduced the originally Grammy-winning concert album to the digital realm today as an iTunes exclusive.
Produced by Phil Spector, the recording features Harrison, Shankar, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Jim Keltner, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voormann, Carl Radle and Tom Evans, Joey Molland and Pete Ham of Badfinger, among others. The 2005 expanded edition added Dylan’s “Love Minus Zero/No Limit” to the track listing, and the digital edition – available as an iTunes LP – retains this track. It adds one more bonus track, Harrison’s studio single of “Bangla Desh.”
In addition, the 1972 documentary film chronicling the concert will stream for 72 hours Saturday through Monday, at iTunes, GeorgeHarrison.com and TheConcertforBanglaDesh.com. Another special treat available at iTunes is a 50-minute radio special, hosted by Paul Gambaccini, which is also streaming at iTunes’ Concert for Bangladesh page. Shankar told USA Today, “it was the first of its kind, in raising money for people under such conditions. Now people do this kind of thing quite often, which is wonderful.” The original concert raised over $243,000.00 for the people of Bangladesh, ravaged by war, famine and flood. Sales of the album and subsequent DVDs and CDs have gone to UNICEF and this digital release is no different. All proceeds, after taxes, benefit The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.
Hit the jump for the track listing! Read the rest of this entry »
Speaking of vinyl reissues, Sundazed has got three coming from John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers at the end of August.
Mayall certainly had an ear for talent, as these three albums certainly prove. Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, released 45 years ago this month, remains a pivotal moment for both Mayall and the 21-year-old ex-Yardbird, whose work on the first Bluesbreakers album earned him that immortal “Clapton is God” graffiti tag. But Slowhand’s not the only genius afoot: the standard Bluesbreakers lineup included bassist John McVie in its ranks, and Mayall recruited guitarists Peter Green for A Hard Road and Mick Taylor for Crusade. (Green, McVie and onetime Mayall drummer Mick Fleetwood would go on to form Fleetwood Mac.)
All of these albums have seen compact disc releases before with various configurations of bonus tracks, but the draw here is that A Hard Road and Crusade are being mastered for CD, in addition to the LP reissues, from the original U.K. mono mix for the first time anywhere. So if you’re a fan of great U.K. blues, these are ones to pick up. You can do that here and expect them in stock on August 30.
Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (originally released as Decca LK-4804 (U.K.)/London LL-3492 (U.S.), 1966 - reissued Sundazed SC-6273/LP-5371, 2011)
- All Your Love
- Little Girl
- Another Man
- Double Crossing Time
- What’d I Say
- Key to Love
- Parchman Farm
- Have You Heard
- Ramblin’ on My Mind
- Steppin’ Out
- It Ain’t Right
A Hard Road (originally released as Decca LK-4853 (U.K.)/London LL-3502 (U.S.), 1967 – reissued Sundazed SC-6274/LP-5372, 2011)
- A Hard Road
- It’s Over
- You Don’t Love Me
- The Stumble
- Another Kind of Love
- Hit the Highway
- Leaping Christine
- Dust My Blues
- There’s Always Work
- The Same Way
- The Supernatural
- Top of the Hill
- Someday After a While (You’ll Be Sorry)
- Living Alone
Crusade (originally released as Decca LK-4890 (U.K.)/London PS-529 (U.S.), 1967 – reissued Sundazed SC-6275/LP-5373, 2011)
- Oh Pretty Woman
- Stand Back Baby
- My Time After a While
- Snowy Wood
- Man of Stone
- Tears in My Eyes
- Driving Sideways
- The Death of J.B. Lenoir
- I Can’t Quit You Baby
- Me and My Woman
- Checkin’ Up on My Baby
Though Universal’s new super-deluxe box set of Derek and the Dominos’ Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (Polydor/Universal 0600753314326) is about as hefty as these packages come, the best of the box set could fit into a standard jewel case. The 40th anniversary collection includes (drum roll, please) 4 CDs, an audio DVD (though not DVD-Audio – more on that later), 2 LPs, a 48-page hardcover book, an art print, badges, pop-up artwork and a scratch-plate sticker. But the best argument for boxing Layla in a package like this can simply be found in the grooves of the 2 LPs or even smaller, pressed on the compact discs within. Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs is still a scorching rock album by a band in the right place at the right time. The 40th anniversary box set dedicated to this potent barnstormer of an album is at once impressive and clumsy, overwhelming and disappointing.
Layla features the sound of an impossibly tight band, sympathetic and attuned to each other, producing a joyful noise. They played the blues, for sure, but with a joy, too, that’s nearly unmatched in the annals of rock. The band was born out of sessions held for George Harrison’s solo debut All Things Must Pass, when Eric Clapton, a Brit, found himself jamming with three American wunderkinds: Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon. Clapton was a restless journeyman, tortured by his personal demons (most significantly, a passion for his friend George’s wife Pattie) but also ever searching for the perfect musical identity, too. He departed The Yardbirds when the group was becoming too pop, and though a blues purist, felt too confined by John Mayall’s ranks. Clapton had his biggest success in Cream, but was losing interest in the somewhat indulgent jams. Through Blind Faith and then with Delaney and Bonnie, Clapton connected with his desire to be a bandmate, but was frustrated when he still wound up the star attraction with the Delaney and Bonnie band. (See the LP title: Delaney and Bonnie and Friends On Tour with Eric Clapton.) Derek and the Dominos, though, for a short time appeared to be the answers to God’s prayer. God, of course, was Clapton, so named by the graffiti artists of London, and God became Derek, leading this band under an unassuming doo-wop style handle. The band’s name itself was a throwback to those simpler times, though their music was far from nostalgic.
The core Layla album is presented in numerous formats in the box set: 2 LPs of vinyl, a remastered CD, and an audio DVD. The latter format is most definitely the ideal way to go! The undisputed master of surround sound, Elliot Scheiner, has created a new 5.1 mix that handily bests the 2004 SACD surround mix by Mick Guzauski and Simon Climie. Scheiner, all too infrequently employed in the present, diminished surround market, has provided a dramatic mix that isn’t a mere wall of sound. It’s a room of sound, a total barrage. The rear channels are used to amazing effect, with pianos tinkling and guitars ringing. Can I ever listen to “Bell Bottom Blues” in stereo again? I’m not sure! Scheiner’s immersive interpretation of Layla deserves a stand-alone release in the DVD-Audio or Blu-Ray Audio format, as DTS and Dolby Digital don’t offer full advanced resolution sound. (Oddly, Universal made Rush’s Moving Pictures available in surround in both formats.) The good news, though, is that anyone with a DVD player and 5.1 setup can hear this mix. Scheiner’s mixes are never subtle but they’re always tasteful and realistic, devoid of gimmicks. Layla is no exception. (One bonus track, “Mean Old World,” has also been mixed into surround and concludes the DVD program.)
But whether in stereo or surround, Layla remains a searing experience. The band was famously joined by Duane Allman, who lent his guitar to twelve songs. Albhy Galuten, a trusted collaborator of Barry Gibb, played piano on one track, a cover of Jimmy Cox’s “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out.” Covers were deftly blended with originals by the Clapton/Whitlock team, individually and collectively, and all of the songs feel of a piece. Clapton’s work, including “Bell Bottom Blues” and the title song (co-written with Jim Gordon), was largely inspired by his burning passion for Pattie Boyd, the then-Mrs. Harrison.
Most striking is how well the album appeals to those looking for extended instrumental showcases while still largely adhering to structured songwriting. “Keep On Growing” is one example, a jam that literally grew into a full-fledged song. “Why Does Love Have to Be So Sad” is another, a hard-rocking original that heads straight into jazz improv territory. “Tell the Truth” had morphed from the original Spector “wall of sound” single into a funkier groove with Allman’s presence. The album literally builds to the thunderous storm that is “Layla,” and relaxes with the lyrical “Thorn Tree in the Garden.” In a most rare scenario, the album was actually sequenced, for the most part, in the order that the songs were recorded!
What else does this new box set offer? Hit the jump to find out! Read the rest of this entry »
Rush, Moving Pictures: 30th Anniversary Edition (Mercury/UMe)
A CD/DVD remaster of one of the Canadian rock band’s most beloved albums, featuring a 5.1 surround remaster of the album and some rare music videos on the DVD. If you’re in the U.S., Best Buy is currently the only place you can get the set on CD/Blu-Ray; it’ll be available to general retail on May 3. (Amazon)
Material Issue, International Pop Overthrow: 20th Anniversary Edition (Hip-o Select)
An underrated power-pop classic gets expanded with rare B-sides and other unreleased content. (Hip-o Select)
A remaster of the New Wave band’s first Top 40 album and first record for Capitol, with bonus tracks and new liner notes. (Amazon)
Daft Punk, TRON: Legacy R3C0NF1GUR3D (Walt Disney)
One of the best soundtracks of last year gets the remix album treatment, the same day both TRON films are released on DVD and Blu-Ray. (Official site)
Ray Charles, Live in Concert: Expanded Edition (Concord)
The Genius’ 1965 live LP for ABC Records is expanded and remastered on Concord, keepers of much of Ray’s catalogue. (Amazon)
The Originals, California Sunset: Expanded Edition (Big Break Records)
An underrated, underground soul album from Motown’s vaults – already released in the U.K. last week – comes to U.S. shores today. (BBR)
Leon Russell, The Best of Leon Russell (EMI/Capitol)
A new compilation honoring the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, from his solo and sideman days to his latest victorious album with Elton John. (Amazon)
Miles Davis, The Definitive Miles Davis on Prestige / Bill Evans, The Definitive Bill Evans on Riverside and Fantasy / Albert King, The Definitive Albert King on Stax (Concord)
Sergio Mendes, Celebration: A Musical Journey (Verve/UMe)
Brazil’s most legendary musician is anthologized in a new two-disc set. (Amazon)
Marshall Tucker Band, Greatest Hits (Shout! Factory)
A reissue of the band’s original greatest hits compilation, with the added presence of some rare single edits. (Shout! Factory)
Various Artists, ICON (UMe)
A lot of traditional rock acts get added to the budget compilation series, including Eric Clapton, B.B. King, The Who, Cat Stevens, Sublime, Joe Cocker and others. (A full list, with Amazon links, is here.)