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Listen To What The Man Said: Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Venus and Mars,” “Wings at the Speed of Sound” ARRIVE TODAY!

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Venus and Mars Box Set

Today just might be the biggest and most packed release date of the year, and two of the undisputed highlights are the latest additions to Paul McCartney’s Archive Collection library!   Venus and Mars adds fourteen bonus tracks, including various singles, tracks from the One Hand Clapping special, and “Let’s Love,” a song written by Macca for Peggy Lee.  Wings at the Speed of Sound has seven additional audio tracks including demos of “Silly Love Songs” and “Let ‘Em In,” and “Beware My Love” featuring Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham.  This is your place to sound off on this pair of remastered and expanded releases from The Paul McCartney Archive Collection!  As per an insert in these releases, the next titles to receive the Archive treatment will be Tug of War (1982) and Pipes of Peace (1983)!

7/28/14: BREAKING NEWS!

Eagle-eyed readers might have noticed links that appeared on Amazon this morning for the rumored upcoming Paul McCartney Archive Collection editions of d Wings’ 1975 and 1976 albums Venus and Mars and At the Speed of Sound, respectively.  Well, the rumor is now a fact, as Concord Music Group’s Hear Music label and McCartney’s MPL have confirmed the September 23 November 4 arrival in the U.S. (November 3 in the U.K.) of both titles.

True to form, both albums will be available in a plethora of formats including 2-disc standard editions, 3-disc (2-CD/1-DVD) hardbound book editions, gatefold vinyl and digital, each with a disc of rare and previously unreleased bonus material.

Venus and Mars, released in May 1975, had the unenviable task of following the phenomenally successful Band on the Run.  Though Band had been recorded by the slim, three-person line-up of Paul and Linda McCartney and Denny Laine, Macca made the decision to bolster the group with the addition of Jimmy McCulloch on guitar and Geoff Britton on drums.  Before settling on Allen Toussaint’s Sea-Saint Studios as the recording venue of choice, Wings entered Abbey Road where early versions of three songs were cut for the new album.  After just six months in Wings, however, Britton departed the band, and American drummer Joe English completed the sessions for Venus and Mars.  Toussaint, Dave Mason and Tom Scott all guest-starred on the album which delivered on its promise of a true “Rock Show.”  If McCartney, indeed, had worried about building on the success of Band on the Run, he needn’t have.  Venus and Mars spawned a No. 1 single – the rollicking “Listen to What the Man Said” – and went to the top spot on both the U.S. and U.K. album charts. It also provided a platform for Wings to launch the Wings Over the World tour – which, of course, included the Wings Over America leg and album.

Between the Australian and European legs of Wings Over the World, McCartney and Wings entered Abbey Road to record the album that would become Wings at the Speed of Sound.  It was Macca’s first album wholly recorded in the U.K. since 1973’s Red Rose Speedway (still awaiting a deluxe Archive Collection reissue) and featured a number of lead vocals from singers other than Paul – Denny on “The Note You Never Wrote” and “Time to Hide,” Jimmy on “Wino Junko,” Linda on “Cook of the House,” and Joe on “Must Do Something About It.”  Of course, it was two songs sung by Paul that catapulted the album to another smash success: the endearing, childlike “Let ‘Em In” (No. 2 U.K./No. 3 U.S./No. 1 U.S. Easy Listening) and the unapologetically buoyant “Silly Love Songs” (No. 1 U.S./No. 1 U.S. Easy Listening).  The latter was a record-breaking 27th No. 1 for Paul the songwriter.  Released in March 1976, Speed of Sound went to No. 2 in the U.K. and the top spot in the U.S. for seven non-consecutive, becoming McCartney’s most successful album ever in America and setting the stage for the Wings Over America tour to take flight that May.

After the jump, we have more details courtesy the complete press release, plus pre-order links, the full track listings, and more! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 4, 2014 at 10:19

Release Round-Up: Week of November 4

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Dylan and The Band - Basement Tapes Complete

Bob Dylan, The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete and Raw  (Columbia/Legacy)

At long last, here are the complete and unexpurgated Basement Tapes – 6 discs and over 140 songs recorded in the creatively fertile days of 1967 and 1968 by Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Levon Helm.  Quite simply, this treasure trove of Americana may well be the Catalogue Music Event of the Year.

CompleteAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Raw:

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

Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Venus and Mars Box Set

The Paul McCartney Archive Collection: Wings, Venus and Mars (Hear Music/MPL, 2014)

Paul McCartney continues his Archive Collection with deluxe, bonus-packed editions of two Wings classics: 1975’s Venus and Mars and 1976’s Wings at the Speed of Sound!  Full details including track listings and more can be found right here!

2-CD/1-DVD Deluxe Book Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / 2-CD Standard Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Gatefold Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Wings at the Speed of Sound

The Paul McCartney Archive Collection: Wings, At the Speed of Sound (Hear Music/MPL, 2014)

2-CD/1-DVD Deluxe Book Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / 2-CD Standard Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Gatefold Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Goulet

Robert Goulet: The Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.) /  Andy Williams and the Williams Brothers: The Williams Brothers Christmas Album (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.) / The Statler Brothers: The Complete Mercury Christmas Recordings Featuring the Albums “Christmas Card” & “Christmas Present” (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K. ) / The Brothers Four: Merry Christmas (Expanded Edition) (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K. ) / The Kingston Trio: The Last Month of the Year (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K. ) /  Rosemary Clooney: In Songs from the Paramount Pictures Production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Expanded Edition) (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.) / Frank DeVol and the Rainbow Strings: The Old Sweet Songs of Christmas (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.) / Dick Wagner: Dick Wagner (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.)

Williams Brothers

Christmas arrives early this year thanks to our friends at Real Gone Music!  The label has a whopping seven Christmas albums due this week from artists including rare holiday music from Rosemary Clooney, The Statler Brothers, The Kingston Trio, Frank DeVol and The Brothers Four!  And that’s not all.  We’re particularly excited about two of Real Gone’s releases.  Joe compiled and annotated Robert Goulet’s Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings featuring both of Goulet’s classic holiday LPs plus a host of bonus tracks, and he has also written the notes for the first CD reissue  from the original master tapes of Andy Williams and the Williams Brothers’ Christmas Album!  Get a head start on the Christmas season with these happy holiday reissues!

T Rex - Albums Collection

T Rex, The Albums Collection (Edsel) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Edsel has boxed up T Rex’s eight studio albums and added two CDs of selected bonus material for this one-stop-shopping set.

Stones - Hampton

Rolling Stones, From the Vault: Hampton Coliseum 1981 (Eagle Rock)

This 1981 live concert from The Rolling Stones’ digital archive goes physical on CD, LP, DVD and standard definition Blu-ray.  The program continues later this month with similar releases for L.A. Forum – Live in 1975!

CD: Amazon U.S.

Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

BD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

DVD [NTSC] + CD Set: Amazon U.K.

John Denver - All of My Memories

John Denver, All of My Memories: The John Denver Collection (RCA/Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This new box set traces the beloved, late troubadour’s career over four CDs and 90 songs recorded between 1964 and 1997.

Big Star - Live

Big Star, Live in Memphis (Omnivore)

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

DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. 

Vinyl with Download Card: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Roger Taylor - Best

Roger Taylor, Best (Omnivore)

The first-ever best-of for the Queen drummer features 18 tracks from his criminally-unknown solo catalogue!

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

Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

King Crimson - Starless

King Crimson, Starless (DGM) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This King Crimson treasure chest contains 27 discs – including CDs, DVD-As, and BDs – for an immersive, in-depth look at Crimson circa 1973-1974, live and in the studio.  Full details on this stunning collection can be found here!

Ronnie Milsap - RCA

Ronnie Milsap, The Complete RCA Albums Collection (RCA/Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This 21-CD set chronicles the Country Music Hall of Famer’s career at RCA Records, from 1973 to 1991, plus his return to the label in 2006!

Relayer

Yes, Relayer CD/DVD-A and CD/BD (Panegyric)

CD/DVD-A: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

CD/BD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Steven Wilson works his magic on Yes’ 1974 Relayer, the band’s seventh studio album!  Wilson provides new stereo and surround mixes available on CD + DVD-A or BD configurations.

XTC - Drums

XTC, Drums and Wires CD/DVD-A and CD/BD (Ape House)

CD/DVD-A: Amazon U.S. TBD / Amazon U.K.

CD/BD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Wilson takes the same approach for the newest volume in Ape House’s series of deluxe XTC reissues on CD/DVD-A and CD/BD: 1979’s Drums and Wires, the band’s third album.

Scorpions - Blackout

Scorpions, Blackout SACD (Audio Fidelity) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The eighth studio album from Germany’s favorite hard rockers arrives on hybrid stereo SACD, playable in all CD players, from Audio Fidelity.

Blue Note - Uncompromising

Various Artists, Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression (Blue Note) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Blue Note celebrates its 75th anniversary with 75 single sides collected on this new 5-CD box set.  Each disc represents a different era in the label’s history – which is, to say, the history of jazz!

Monk - 'Round Midnight

Thelonious Monk, ‘Round Midnight: The Complete Blue Note Singles 1947-1952 (Blue Note) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Thelonious Monk’s recordings for Blue Note signaled the label’s move from boogie woogie and vintage jazz to cutting-edge hard bop. These recordings, which include the first version of Monk’s classic composition “‘Round Midnight” (originally recorded as “‘Round About Midnight”), were released on a series of fifteen 78 RPM singles. Later, the singles were re-compiled on 10-inch and 12-inch LPs.  This collection, housed in a hardbound digipak, will present for the first time Monk’s Blue Note singles in their original 78 RPM sequence of release, adding as bonus tracks the alternate takes that appeared on later LP and CD releases.  All told, the 2-CD set includes nine tracks not available on any current reissues of the great pianist/composer’s albums.

GeorgeHarrison_FrontTipIn.indd

Frank Sinatra, Come Fly with Me / In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning / This is Sinatra! / A Jolly Christmas with Frank Sinatra / Sinatra and Swingin’ Brass / Moonlight Sinatra (Vinyl) (Capitol/UMe)

As part of the Signature Sinatra initiative, Capitol/UMe has been releasing a series of select original Sinatra LPs from both his Capitol and Reprise catalogues in limited edition, remastered heavyweight vinyl pressings.  Look for this series to continue with more releases in the very near future!  We’ve been able to obtain few details about these releases, but we can confirm that Come Fly with Me is mono, as is A Jolly Christmas with Frank Sinatra.  (No true stereo version of the latter has ever been issued.)  (Thanks to The Sinatra Family Forum for their valuable info on these releases!)

Come Fly with Me (Mono – Amazon shows incorrect stereo cover): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

In the Wee Small Hours: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

This is Sinatra! : Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

A Jolly Christmas with Frank Sinatra (Mono): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Sinatra and Swingin’ Brass: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Moonlight Sinatra: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Carly Playlist

Carly Simon, Playlist: The Very Best of Carly Simon (Arista/Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This 14-track Playlist volume combines Carly’s hit Arista recordings (“The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of,” “Coming Around Again,” “Better Not Tell Her”) with live cuts (“You’re So Vain,” “Anticipation”) and one new-to-CD track: the Live from Grand Central performance of “Touched by the Sun.”

 

Judy Collins - Very Best

Judy Collins, Both Sides Now: The Very Best of Judy Collins (Wildflower) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The catalogue of Collins’ own Wildflower Records is tapped for this 2-CD, 28-track set drawn primarily from recent and late-period recordings.

Bette

Bette Midler, It’s the Girls (Warner Bros.) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

The Divine Miss M returns with her tribute to the greatest girl groups of all time – and Bette isn’t limiting herself to any one era, as she tackles songs by The Andrews Sisters, The Shirelles, The Supremes, TLC and more!  Marc Shaiman (Hairspray, Smash) produces this spirited set!

Storytone

Neil Young, Storytone (Reprise)

For his latest album, Neil Young fulfilled his ambitions to record an LP live with an orchestra in the same room.  The lush Storytone features a 92-piece orchestra and choir, and is available in a deluxe edition with a second disc of Neil’s solo renditions of its songs.  With material ranging from dramatic ballads to finger-snapping swingers, this is truly a departure from anything Young has done before – and is well worth checking out for that reason alone.

Deluxe 2-CD Version (Orchestrated and solo albums): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Standard Edition (Orchestrated album only): Amazon U.K.

180-gram Double Vinyl (Orchestrated and solo albums): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Doobie Brothers - Southbound

The Doobie Brothers, Southbound (Arista Nashville) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Listen to the music!  For this greatest-hits duets set, The Doobie Brothers (including Michael McDonald) have teamed up with current country stars including Blake Shelton, The Zac Brown Band, Hunter Hayes, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Toby Keith and Vince Gill.  Southbound marks the first Doobie Brothers album to feature Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons and Michael McDonald since 1976’s Takin’ It to the Streets!

Release Round-Up: Week of October 27

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Led Zeppelin - IV Box

Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV (Atlantic/Swan Song)

Jimmy Page has assembled an entire alternate version of Led Zeppelin IV as the bonus content for this new reissue, including the “Sunset Sound” mix of “Stairway to Heaven” and an alternate U.K. mix of “When the Levee Breaks.”

1-CD Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

2-CD Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Super Deluxe Box Set: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

1-LP Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

2-LP Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Digital Download: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy Box

Led Zeppelin, Houses of the Holy (Atlantic/Swan Song)

The new Houses of the Holy boasts seven bonus cuts including rough and working mixes of such tracks as “No Quarter” and “The Song Remains the Same.”

1-CD Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

2-CD Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Super Deluxe Box Set: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

1-LP Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

2-LP Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Digital Download: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Chuck Berry - Rock and Roll Music

Chuck Berry, Rock and Roll Music: Any Old Way You Choose It (Bear Family) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Bear Family’s massive 16-CD survey of the complete career of the rock and roll pioneer includes every single and LP track recorded in the studio by Chuck Berry plus special bonus material!

Garland Variations

Judy Garland, The Garland Variations: Songs She Recorded More Than Once (JSP)  (Amazon U.S. TBD /Amazon U.K.)

This exciting set rounds up, on five CDs and 115 tracks, songs the immortal Judy Garland recorded in the studio on multiple occasions between 1937 and 1962!

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Complete

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, The Complete Epic Recordings Collection (Epic/Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

Epic and Legacy have a true “Texas flood” with twelve discs from guitar hero Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble!  Look for Joe’s review tomorrow!

Who 50

The Who, Hits 50! (Geffen/UMe)

The Who celebrate 50 years of heavy rocking with this new collection, available in multiple formats!

Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

1-CD Highlights: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Blu-ray Pure Audio: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD

Kiss - Love Gun

KISS, Love Gun: Expanded Edition (Casablanca/Mercury/UMe) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

KISS expands its 1977 classic with an 11-track bonus CD of mostly new-to-CD music!

new

Paul McCartney, New: Deluxe Edition (Hear Music)  (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Macca expands his 2013 hit album in a DVD-sized hardcover book format including a bonus disc of audio material and a lengthy DVD compendium of live performances and more!

Silver Convention

Silver Convention – Madhouse (1976) / Anita Pointer - Love For What It Is (1987) / 5000 Volts – 5000 Volts (1976) / Rinder & Lewis – Seven Deadly Sins (1978) (Big Break/Hot Shot)

Big Break Records has a quartet of releases in stores today!  As always, a full rundown is coming up from Joe!

Silver Convention: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Anita Pointer: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
5000 Volts: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Rinder & Lewis: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein, Edition: Concertos and Orchestral Works  (Masterworks) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Masterworks has an 80-CD (!) box set drawn from the label’s vast catalogue of CBS/Columbia recordings by the legendary maestro, Leonard Bernstein.  The label promises “every concerto, symphonic poem, overture, ballet, dance, march etc. that Bernstein recorded in New York between 1950 and 1976 (plus some in London, Paris and Israel) by nearly every composer in the standard repertoire” in this follow-up to 2010’s The Symphony Edition.

Yusuf

Yusuf, Tell ‘Em I’m Gone (Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens returns with his latest studio album.  On this soulful and bluesy collection, the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee blends originals with eclectic favorites including “You Are My Sunshine” and “Dying to Live.”

Barry - Dream Duets

Barry Manilow, My Dream Duets (Verve) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

When Verve Records asked the newly-signed veteran entertainer to record a duets album, Manilow responded with a hearty “Yes!” – but only if he could record with his dearly departed favorite artists.  And so we have this collection on which Manilow has composed new duet arrangements for classic vocalists including Whitney Houston (“I Believe in You and Me”), Cass Elliot (“Dream a Little Dream of Me”), Andy Williams (“Moon River”) and Sammy Davis, Jr. (“The Candy Man”) plus some off-the-beaten-path choices like Jimmy Durante (“The Song’s Gotta Come from the Heart”) and Marilyn Monroe (“I Wanna Be Loved by You”)!

Dionne - Feels

Dionne Warwick, Feels So Good (Caroline) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The pop legend returns with her latest studio album.  Produced by her son Damon Elliott, it’s heavy on “modernized,” new duet covers of Bacharach/David classics (“A House is Not a Home” with Ne-Yo, “You’ll Never Get to Heaven” with Ruben Studdard, “This Girl’s in Love with You” with Phil Driscoll) plus a couple of recycled tracks (“Message to Michael” with Cyndi Lauper and “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” with Gladys Knight) and some new songs including the title track featuring Cee-Lo Green.

Jerry Lee Lewis

Jerry Lee Lewis, Rock and Roll Time (Vanguard) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Goodness gracious, great balls of fire!  The veteran rock-and-roller is still pounding his piano on this new 11-track album featuring such friends as Keith Richards, Robbie Robertson, Ron Wood, Neil Young, Shelby Lynne, Nils Lofgren, and Daniel Lanois.

Everybody Out There: Paul McCartney Expands “New” In October As 2-CD/1-DVD Set

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newThe week before hotly-anticipated Archive Collection releases arrive of Venus and Mars and Wings at the Speed of Sound, Paul McCartney is looking to a more recent title for a deluxe reissue.  On October 28, McCartney will revisit New, first released in October 2013.  The 2-CD/1-DVD set expands the album that entered both the U.K. and U.S. album charts at No. 3 and has since sold nearly a quarter of a million copies in the U.S. in addition to having earned platinum and gold certifications elsewhere in the world.

This new edition of New presents the original album on its first CD, followed by a 7-track CD of bonus tracks including outtakes (one previously released as a Japanese exclusive, two never before released) and live material.  The DVD, with a running time of nearly two hours, may be the most impressive component of the package, featuring a New documentary, an interview and music videos in addition to “making of” featurettes for the videos plus eight promotional appearances from Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon’s television shows as well as appearances in Las Vegas, Times Square, and even HMV’s venerable Oxford Street, London shop.

For New, McCartney famously collaborated with a variety of producers including Academy Award-winning songwriter Paul Epworth (Adele’s “Skyfall,” 21) and Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black), as well as two producers with impressive credits whose fathers just happened to have had Beatle pedigrees – Ethan Johns, son of Glyn, and Giles Martin, son of Sir George and co-sonic architect of The Beatles’ Love stage show.  Rolling Stone praised McCartney’s efforts with the fresh production team as “the music of eternal youth… energized and full of joyous rock & roll invention.”  Both McCartney and his producers comment on New in “Something New,” the Don Letts-directed documentary included on the DVD.

Among the new audio material on New are the previously unissued tracks “Hell to Pay” and “Demon Dance” plus the Japanese bonus track “Struggle.”  The second disc also includes live performances of “Save Us”, “New”, “Queenie Eye” and “Everybody Out There” from McCartney’s November 2013 gig at the Tokyo Dome.

After the jump: more details including the complete track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 17, 2014 at 13:18

Release Round-Up: Week of January 21

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The Beatles - U.S. Albums BoxThe Beatles, The U.S. Albums (Apple/Capitol/UMe)

The centerpiece product of The Fab Four’s 50th anniversary celebration (thus far, anyway) is a 13-disc box featuring the original, unique American releases on Capitol/United Artists from 1964 to 1970 (including six titles from that first year alone). All but the spoken-word documentary album The Beatles’ Story will be available individually, and all but that and 1970’s stereo-only Hey Jude compilation will be available in mono and stereo on the same disc.

The U.S. Albums: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Meet The Beatles!: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Beatles’ Second AlbumAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
A Hard Day’s Night: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Something NewAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Beatles ’65Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Early BeatlesAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Beatles VI: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Help! Original Motion Picture SoundtrackAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Rubber SoulAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Yesterday and TodayAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Revolver: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Hey JudeAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Del Amitri TwistedDel Amitri, Waking Hours Change Everything Twisted: Deluxe Editions (Mercury/UMC)

Best known in the U.S. for peppy rock radio hit “Roll to Me,” the recently-reunited Glasgow rockers’ first three alternative-friendly albums for A&M are being expanded as double-disc sets with heaps of non-LP B-sides.

Waking HoursAmazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
Change Everything: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
TwistedAmazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.

Mike + The Mechanics The Singles 1986-2014Mike + The Mechanics, The Singles 1985-2014 The Living Years: Deluxe Edition (UMC)

To time with Mike Rutherford’s new memoir, the Genesis guitarist/bassist’s famed side-project (with vocals from Paul Carrack and Sad Café’s Paul Young) is first anthologized with a career-spanning double-disc hits and rarities set, and then an expansion of 1988’s The Living Years (whose title track was the band’s biggest worldwide hit), featuring a new version of the track with vocalist Andrew Roachford and a disc’s worth of live recordings from 1989.

The Singles 1985-2014Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
The Living YearsAmazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.

Off the GroundPaul McCartney, Off the Ground (MPL/Hear Music)

Sir Paul’s 1993 album gets a no-frills new remaster. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

CharoCharo and The Salsoul Orchestra, Cuchi-Cuchi: Expanded Edition / Loleatta Holloway, Queen of the Night: Expanded Edition (Big Break)

Two more expanded albums from the Salsoul label on BBR – one from label queen Loleatta Holloway and the debut album from the famed singer-comedienne.

Charo: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.
Loleatta Holloway: Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.

Major HarrisMajor Harris, How Do You Take Your Love / Margie Joseph. Knockout: Expanded Edition (Funky Town Grooves)

FTG puts the first and only RCA album by ex-Delfonic/”Love Won’t Let Me Wait” singer Major Harris on CD for the first time, while expanding a 1983 album by Harris’ onetime labelmate Margie Joseph.

Major Harris: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Margie Joseph: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Simon and Garfunkel - PlaylistVarious Artists, Playlist: The Very Best Of (Legacy)

The latest wave in Legacy’s low-price hits series includes some converted greatest hits titles (Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits, Journey’s Greatest Hits LiveCloser: The Best of Sarah McLachlan) but also some new titles – chiefly some newly-curated compilations from Dean Martin, Ronnie Spector, Jermaine Jackson and Ray Parker, Jr. (All Amazon U.S. and U.K. links can be found in the link above!)

The Year in Reissues: The 2013 Gold Bonus Disc Awards

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Gold CDWelcome to The Second Disc’s Fourth Annual Gold Bonus Disc Awards!

Though this is a slow time of year for news, it’s the perfect time to look at the year in review.  As with every year’s awards, our goals are simple: to recognize as many of the year’s most essential reissues and catalogue titles as possible, and to celebrate those labels, producers and artists who make these releases possible in what many might deem an increasingly-challenging retail landscape.  These labels have bucked the trends to prove that there’s still a demand for physical catalogue music.  And from our vantage point, there’s still great strength and health in this corner of the music industry.  By my very rough estimate, The Second Disc covered around 500 releases in 2013 – and we firmly believe that the best is still yet to come.  We dedicate The Gold Bonus Disc Awards to the creators of the music and releases we cover, and to you, the readers.  After all, your interest is ultimately what keeps great music of the past – this site’s raison d’etre – 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 2013?  Please join us in recognizing 2013′s best of the best.

Which releases take home the gold this year? Hit the jump below to find out!

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Varese Offers Up Fab Pair with George Martin’s “Beatles to Bond” and Campbeltown Pipe Band’s “Mull of Kintyre”

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George Martin - Beatles to BondWith the upcoming release of The Beatles’ On Air: Live at the BBC Volume Two, there’s Beatlemania in the air once again.  And the Varese Sarabande label’s Varese Vintage imprint is at the ready with two recent reissues bearing ties to the Fab Four: George Martin’s Beatles to Bond and Bach (1974) and The Campbeltown Pipe Band’s Mull of Kintyre (1978).  Both of these are rather unexpected titles and all the more welcome for it!

Beatles to Bond and Bach, originally issued on the Polydor label, offered exactly what the title promised.  Legendary producer-arranger Martin and his orchestra tackled the songs of Lennon and McCartney alongside a James Bond suite inspired by Martin’s then-recent work on the film Live and Let Die, and two compositions from one of his earliest influences: Johann Sebastian Bach.  The LP, produced by his AIR Studios co-founder John Burgess, was the culmination of a decade-spanning series of instrumental releases from The George Martin Orchestra designed for the light classical/so-called “easy listening” market.  Many of these naturally drew on his work with The Beatles, either in whole or in part: 1964’s Off the Beatle Path and By Popular Demand: A Hard Day’s Night, 1965’s Help!, 1966’s And I Love Her and George Martin Instrumentally Salutes the Beatle Girls, 1968’s London By George, and so on.  Martin’s Guildhall-trained musicianship and impeccable ear kept these albums from becoming mere retreads of familiar songs.

For Beatles to Bond and Bach, Martin – recording at London’s AIR with none other than Beatle vet Geoff Emerick engineering – built the album around three extended suites.  “The Bond Suite” kicks off the album with Monty Norman’s original theme, before segueing into two of Martin’s cues from 1973’s Live and Let Die and of course, Paul and Linda McCartney’s thrilling title song.  Later on the album, Martin arranges “The Beatle Suite” of later Beatle tunes (“Sgt. Pepper’s,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “A Day in the Life”) and a “Yellow Submarine Suite” containing four of his distinctive themes and the Lennon/McCartney title song from the 1968 animated feature.  In between, shorter pieces came from Bach’s pen (“Air on the G String” and “Prelude for Strings”) and Martin’s own.  Trivia: “Air” was the very first of Bach’s compositions to be recorded, back in 1902 – not bad for a piece written between 1717 and 1723!  Martin’s “Theme One,” written for BBC Radio 1 in 1967 ,and 1961’s “Elizabeth and Essex” (previously recorded by Ron Goodwin and His Orchestra) rounded out the diverse collection.  Fans of Paul McCartney’s Thrillington will likely find much to enjoy here, as will aficionados of Martin’s film score assignments.

After the jump, we’ll check out an even more surprising treat from Varese!  Plus: track listings and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 24, 2013 at 10:13

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