Archive for the ‘Reissues’ Category
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Real Gone Christmas: Label Preps Robert Goulet, Andy Williams and the Williams Brothers, B.J. Thomas, More
The first day of autumn is almost here, but Real Gone Music is looking ahead to winter – and the most spectacular line-up of holiday music we’ve seen since The Second Disc started up nearly five years ago! The label has just unveiled its release slate for November 4, with a whopping seven Christmas titles, two contemporary Christian albums from a classic pop legend that make a perfect seasonal complement, and – just to keep things rocking – a hotly-anticipated CD from a classic rock great.
I’m doubly proud to announce that four of the titles in this batch are extra-special to us here at Second Disc HQ. I’ve compiled and annotated the first-ever collection of The Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings of the one and only Mr. Robert Goulet! That means both of Mr. Goulet’s sparkling holiday LPs (This Christmas I Spend with You and Robert Goulet’s Wonderful World of Christmas), of course, but we’re also adding a little extra under the Christmas tree with both sides of a rare mono 45 and all three duets recorded by Goulet and his then-wife Carol Lawrence – including “The Christmas Waltz,” never before on CD! Spectacularly remastered at Sony’s Battery Studios, these long out-of-print Christmas classics from one of the most distinctive vocalists of all time have never sounded better!
I’ve also written the liner notes for another true labor of love for the Real Gone team: the first-ever wide-release CD issue of 1970’s The Williams Brothers Christmas Album – the only full-length album featuring Andy Williams and his brothers Bob, Dick and Don! With some of the most spectacular harmony singing ever put on a Christmas record, the album is highlighted by an amazing side-long medley of holiday favorites and the Williams Brothers’ renditions of Kay Thompson’s “The Holiday Season” and “Jingle Bells,” this original Barnaby Records release – freshly remastered from the original tapes for the first time by Mike Milchner at SonicVision – finally can take its place among Andy Williams’ Christmas treasures on compact disc. This reissue of The Williams Brothers Christmas Album follows last year’s comprehensive, 2-CD release from Real Gone of Andy’s complete Columbia Christmas recordings!
Real Gone is also chronicling a key chapter in the career of B.J. Thomas with two new releases. In the mid-1970s, Thomas became one of the most successful artists ever in the field of contemporary Christian music, recording a series of record-breaking, Grammy Award-winning albums for the Myrrh label that reflected the style and high production values of his pop material but with a spiritual emphasis. Featuring key players from Muscle Shoals and the Nashville A-Team and songs by Hal David, Chris Christian, Archie Jordan, Pete Drake, and B.J. and his wife Gloria, these albums have never received their due on CD – until now! Home Where I Belong/Happy Man and You Gave Me Love/Miracle, with two albums on each CD, reveal a major chapter in the career of B.J. Thomas – and these amazing, heartfelt and incredibly catchy records aren’t just for Christian music fans! Best of all, B.J. was kind enough to contribute to my liner notes for both releases, illuminating this often-misunderstood period of his remarkable, and still-thriving, career.
These four titles are joined by other must-have stocking stuffers from The Statler Brothers, The Brothers Four, The Kingston Trio, Frank DeVol and Rosemary Clooney – plus Real Gone has the long-lost solo album from Alice Cooper and Lou Reed’s frequent collaborator Dick Wagner on CD! After the jump, we have the label’s press release and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »
Big Break Records has long kept each month packed with the most soulful records of all time, but the label has recently done something a little extra special – an entire group of six releases drawn exclusively from the vaults of Motown Records! (And there’s more on the way!)
Atop this mighty list is a long-awaited remaster of Stephanie Mills’ Motown debut, For the First Time. Released in 1975 – the same year Mills took Broadway by storm in The Wiz – the LP was the “first time” she recorded for Motown, and the last time that Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote and produced an album together. We’ll be covering that title soon in a special review!
Lenny Williams, former lead singer for Tower of Power, didn’t break through as a solo artist until he signed with ABC Records in 1977. But prior to that, Williams released two LPs: one for Warner Bros. while he was still with Tower of Power, and one with Motown: Rise Sleeping Beauty. Seeking not to veer too far away from the ToP sound, he teamed as co-producer with the band’s Chester Thompson. Six of the ten tracks on Sleeping Beauty were co-written by Williams and David Stallings; among the album’s musicians were ToP alumni Steve Kupka and Mic Gillette. Despite some controversy over the cover – a fairy-tale image which seems rather tame today – the album, recorded in San Francisco, scored one minor hit with the Sly and the Family Stone-influenced “Since I Met You.” In addition to the album version, the track is included in its promotional single version on Big Break’s new reissue as a bonus cut. Alternating between lushly romantic songs and funky grooves, Rise Sleeping Beauty is both a missing link in the Williams story and a lost R&B gem. Andy Kellman provides the new, comprehensive liner notes, and Kevin Reeves has remastered. Rise Sleeping Beauty is handsomely presented in a Super Jewel Box, as are all of these Motown releases.
Big Break returns to the catalogue of The Originals with 1977’s Down to Love Town, following the label’s 2011 reissue of the group’s 1975 California Sunset. The Originals, formed in 1966 but with roots tracing back to the 1950s’ Voice Masters group, worked their way up the Motown ranks as background singers for Stevie Wonder, Edwin Starr and Jimmy Ruffin. With Marvin Gaye championing them, The Originals scored their most memorable hits with “Baby, I’m for Real” (1969) and “The Bells” (1970), both co-written and produced by the Motown legend. Down to Love Town, on the Soul imprint, followed 1976’s Communiqué, and had its roots in that LP. The title track, “Down to Love Town,” was featured on Communiqué, and its 12-inch remix took The Originals all the way to No. 1 on the U.S. Disco chart, their best chart showing since “The Bells.” This extended version, which cut many of the lyrics and emphasized the groove, appeared on the new LP. “(Call on Your) Six Million Dollar Man” from “Love Town” co-writers Michael B. Sutton and Brenda Sutton also notched a No. 6 Disco hit for the vocal quartet. Michael Sutton produced three of the album’s seven tracks, with two more produced by the group itself (led by founding member Freddie Gorman) and one by Sutton and Motown stalwart Frank Wilson (who would join Lenny Williams at ABC). Down to Love Town proved to be The Originals’ Motown swansong; their next album appeared on the Fantasy label. Big Break’s new reissue of this lost disco-soul platter, remastered by Reeves, features copious notes from Justin Cober-Lake. One bonus track, an alternate version of the title track, is also included to round out the package.
A few months later in 1977, Motown’s Gordy imprint released the debut of High Inergy. Turnin’ On introduced the four-person girl group that Berry Gordy hoped would follow in the footsteps of The Supremes. Gordy’s older sister, Gwen Gordy-Fuqua, guided Vernessa and Barbara Mitchell, Linda Howard and Michelle Martin to Motown and assigned a number of producers to the album: Kent Washburn, Jimmy Holiday, Al Willis and Dee Ervin. They, in turn, drew on Motown’s Jobete publishing arm to supply High Inergy with fresh material. Two songs had origins in material Washburn had recorded in demo form for Diana Ross herself: “Let Me Get Close to You” and “Searchin’ (I’ve Got to Find My Love).” Another track, “Love is All You Need,” was previously recorded by Tata Vega but given a smoking new interpretation by High Inergy. One song came from the tried-and-true team of Marilyn McLeod and Pam Sawyer (“You Can’t Turn Me Off (In the Middle of Turning Me On),” introduced by Millie Jackson) and two more from future soul superstar James Ingram (“Could This Be Love,” “Save It for a Rainy Day”). All of this assembled talent – including musicians Ray Parker, Jr. and Ollie Brown – augured for success, and Turnin’ On achieved it. With its contemporary blend of R&B styles – from classic-styled romantic balladry to light disco and funk – the album reached a No. 6 R&B peak and also went Top 30 Pop, while “You Can’t Turn Me On” hit No. 2 R&B and a still-impressive No. 12 Pop position. Second single “Love is All You Need” also went Top 20 R&B, and cracked the top 100 on the Pop side. BBR’s Kevin Reeves-remastered reissue chronicles the group’s history in a fine new essay from Rico “Superbizzee” Washington and adds both of those single versions.
After the jump: the scoop on Platinum Hook and Switch, plus full track listings and order links for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »
On September 25, 2014, Cymande will appear at the Koko in London. The gig will be the first time that all of its original members have performed together in the U.K. since 1974. The group, named for the Calypso word for Dove and pronounced “sah-mahn-day,” blends together funk, jazz, calypso, African tribal music and reggae into a sound of music the group dubbed “Nyah Rock.” Due to the sampling of some their songs in recent times, Cymande’s reputation has grown larger and Cherry Red Records have recently reissued expanded edition of their three LPs: 1972’s Cymande, 1973’s Second Time Around and 1974’s Promised Heights.
In 1972, John Schroeder (a producer who wrote Helen Shapiro’s “Walking Back to Happiness” and also discovered the band that became Status Quo) walked into a Soho nightclub to discover new talent and found Cymande. The group (all hailing from islands in the Caribbean) had been founded a year earlier by Patrick Patterson (guitar) and Steve Scipio (bass). The pair was joined by Mike Rose (sax, flute, percussion), Sam Kelly (drums), Derek Gibbs (alto sax) and Pablo Gonzales (congas, bongos). A little later, vocalists Ray King and Joey Dee, plus saxophonists Peter Serreo and Desmond Atwell came onboard.
Schroeder took them into the studio to record their songs (most written by Paterson and Scipio but with contributions from others in the band; vocals alternated but predominantly featured Joey Dee) on what became their self-titled debut LP. He got them signed to Janus in the U.S., an imprint of Chess Records. A single of “The Message” was released and it climbed to the Top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at No. 20 on the R&B Chart. They began an American tour supporting Al Green and becoming the first British band to perform at the famed Apollo Theater.
Ironically, Cymande’s U.S. success didn’t translate to their U.K. home. In Britain, they mostly booked shows in clubs and their second LP in 1973 did not even get a British release. It did better in the U.S. and lead to another American tour where the band had reverted to its core of Patterson, Scipio, Rose, Kelly, Gonzales, Dee and Gibbs.
Cymande released a third and final record in 1974 (which did get issued in the U.K. on Contempo) but it fared poorer than its predecessors. The Nyah-rockers broke up in 1975 with a final single from their last recording session being released in 1976. The members went their separate ways, some into music and others into other pursuits. Some have formed together for various Cymande tributes over the years. In 1981, Paterson produced what was called “a new Cymande project” entitled Arrival, but it is not considered part of the band’s official release canon.
After the jump: more on Cymande, including the complete track listings for all three titles plus order links! Read the rest of this entry »
The 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 »
You’ve been waiting for a box like this.
On October 14, Rhino will unveil the 7-CD collection from Foreigner, The Complete Atlantic Studio Albums 1977-1991. As the classic rock band’s discography has amounted to just three albums since its departure from Atlantic in 1991, this box brings together Foreigner’s prime material including five U.S. multi-platinum smash LPs and hits like “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” “Feels Like the First Time,” “Cold as Ice,” “Hot Blooded,” and “I Want to Know What Love Is.”
Foreigner, founded by vocalist Lou Gramm, guitarist Mick Jones, drummer Dennis Elliott, bassist Ed Gagliardi and multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald, was a hot property from the time of its very first release. 1977’s 5x platinum Foreigner reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and yielded the hit singles “Feels Like the First Time,” “Cold as Ice” and “Long, Long Way From Home.” The album began an unabated string of hits for the British/American band, straight through 1987’s Inside Information. By the time of Foreigner’s Atlantic swansong Unusual Heat (1991, and the last CD in this box set), only Jones and Elliott remained from the original line-up. Rick Wills had replaced Gagliardi as of the group’s third album, 1979’s Head Games, while Unusual Heat marked the debut of Wild Horses singer Johnny Edwards, replacing Lou Gramm. (Gramm returned to the fold in 1992, and was with Foreigner for its 1994 Arista debut, Mr. Moonlight.)
Rhino expanded Foreigner’s first four albums in 2002, fleshing out each release with demos, live tracks and outtakes. Happily, this box will replicate the contents of those four releases, adding a total of nine bonus tracks to the original album sequences. Typical of this program of complete albums from Rhino, it doesn’t appear that The Complete Atlantic Studio Albums 1977-1991 will include a booklet with any liner notes or additional credits beyond those which appeared on the original LP sleeves. All albums will be presented in replica mini-LP jackets and retain the most recent prior masterings.
After the jump, we have more information including the complete track listing with discography! Read the rest of this entry »
It’s not often that music mogul Clive Davis takes to The Today Show to make a special announcement, but that’s exactly what the former Columbia President, Arista founder and current Chief Creative Officer at Sony Music Entertainment did this morning to unveil his latest passion project. Five-time Grammy winner Davis was on hand to present the first-ever live album from one of his most famous discoveries, the late Whitney Houston. “This is her legacy,” said Davis of Whitney Houston Live – Her Greatest Performances, the new CD and CD/DVD release coming from Arista and Legacy Recordings on November 10.
“She was without question the greatest vocalist in the world,” Davis said this morning of Houston, yet amazingly, she never officially released a live album during her lifetime. The new Whitney Houston Live traces her career from one of her breakthrough moments – the 1983 Merv Griffin Show performance during which Davis introduced the 19-year old to the world, belting Charlie Smalls’ showtune “Home” from The Wiz – through her 2009 appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show singing Diane Warren’s “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” from her final studio album, I Look to You.
After the jump: what will you find on both editions of this new set? Plus: the full track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »
Jimi Hendrix, The Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Experience Hendrix/Legacy)
Legacy and Experience Hendrix have reissues of Jimi Hendrix’s first two posthumously-released albums, both from 1971; The Cry of Love is long out-of-print on CD, while Rainbow Bridge makes its first authorized appearance in the CD format. Both titles have been freshly remastered by Bernie Grundman from the original analog masters.
Jazz great Charles Lloyd, on saxophone and flute, is joined by guitarist Gábor Szabó, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Pete La Roca on this set premiering two 1965 New York concerts. The deluxe 2-CD edition, remastered by Bernie Grundman, features new liner notes by Stanley Crouch, Willard Jenkins, Don Heckman & Michael Cuscuna.
College radio heroes and alt-country rockers Scruffy the Cat return on this new anthology from Omnivore Recordings featuring 23 songs – one issued on a rare single and 22 never released anywhere – encompassing both live and studio tracks.
This 73-disc (!) box set chronicles the career of “The Man with the Golden Flute.” Over 71 CDs and 2 DVDs, Galway tackles both classical and pop repertoire with collaborators including Henry Mancini, The Chieftains, Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, and many of the greatest orchestras and conductors in the world.
Friday Music’s new collection re-presents The Salsoul Orchestra’s first holiday album from 1976, produced, arranged and conducted by the late, great Vince Montana, plus three bonus tracks – “New Year’s Americana Suite” and the single versions of “Merry Christmas, All” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
Friday Music also has the late country crooner’s 1969 Columbia holiday LP on CD featuring “Jingle Bells,” “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” “The Little Drummer Boy” and more.
Okay, this isn’t a catalogue title, but it’s Barbra Streisand! The legendary artist returns with her latest studio album, featuring duets with Billy Joel, John Legend, John Mayer, Blake Shelton, Michael Buble, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie and the late Elvis Presley. Target stores have an exclusive edition with five bonus tracks – four previously released duets with Barry Gibb, Barry Manilow, Bryan Adams and Frank Sinatra plus one outtake with the album’s co-producer, Babyface. (He’s also heard on Partners with “Evergreen.”) This edition is also available in the U.K. from general retailers!
Demon Music Group’s Harmless imprint has the soundtrack to director Elaine Constantine’s new film chronicling the U.K. Northern Soul movement that gave new life to classic American soul records; the soundtrack set consists of two CDs (the actual songs from the film on the first CD and other Northern Soul favorites compiled by the director on the second disc) plus an exclusive DVD with Elaine Constantine being interviewed about the making of the film by actor James Lance who portrays Northern Soul DJ Ray Henderson in the movie. A special limited edition set of vinyl singles is also available.
Henry Mancini / Neil Sedaka / Paul Anka / Harry Belafonte / Aretha Franklin, The Real… (Sony U.K.)
The U.K. arm of Sony Music continues its series of 3-CD anthologies drawing primarily from the Columbia and RCA archives, adding a number of favorite classic pop artists to a series that’s already 25+-titles strong.
The Intrada label has two new titles from the composer and maestro Elmer Bernstein including the CD premiere of Columbia Records’ soundtrack to the anthology television series starring future President Ronald Reagan, and the world premiere release of Bernstein’s score to Richard Fleischer’s 1971 thriller starring Mia Farrow, See No Evil!