Archive for the ‘Reissues’ Category
On November 24, 2014, the label will release The Velvet Underground – 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition, a 65-track, 6-CD hardcover book-style box set, following 2012’s release of The Velvet Underground and Nico and 2013’s White Light/White Heat. The 1969 release of The Velvet Underground introduced Doug Yule to the band, replacing founding member John Cale, and also introduced a somewhat more accessible, melodic sensibility perhaps best described as in a “folk rock” vein. Not that the group’s experimental tendencies were absent; “The Murder Mystery” employed both spoken-word and musique concrete, proving that Lou Reed (who wrote every track on the album), Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker were still at the vanguard.
The 45th Anniversary set presents two distinct stereo mixes of the original LP on the its first two discs, and a promotional mono mix on the third disc (along with two mono single sides). The fourth disc features the Velvets’ 1969 session recordings which were to comprise a fourth album; ten of the fourteen tracks are heard in previously unissued mixes (four from 1969, six from 2014). Tracks from this disc appeared in different form on Lou Reed’s 1972 solo album as well as his classic David Bowie-produced Transformer, as well as on The Velvet Underground’s Loaded album for Atlantic Records The fifth and sixth discs are devoted to the band’s November 26 and 27, 1969 concerts at San Francisco club The Matrix, featuring new-to-CD mixes and performances.
David Fricke provides the new liner notes for this set. The remastered “Val” Valentin stereo mix of The Velvet Underground (Disc One of the box set) will also be made available as a single-disc CD release, and as part of the two-CD Deluxe Edition with a 12-track audio bonus disc featuring highlights from Live At The Matrix. Digital versions of both the single disc “Valentin mix” and the Super Deluxe set will also be available through UMe’s digital partners including MFiT and HD Audio formats.
After the jump, we present the press release for The Velvet Underground: 45th Anniversary Edition as well as the complete track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »
Country music superstar Ronnie Milsap is having a great year. The Academy of Country Music has recognized him with a Career Achievement Award at the ACM Honors ceremony in Nashville, and in October, the “It Was Almost Like a Song” and “Any Day Now” singer will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame’s 2014 class, alongside Mac Wiseman and the late Hank Cochran. Capping this incredible year of acclaim, however, will be the November 4 release from RCA Records and Legacy Recordings of The RCA Albums Collection. This 21-CD box set compiles all of Milsap’s studio and live sets released by RCA between 1973 and 2006. Many of these titles have been long unavailable, while others have never previously seen CD release at all.
The box set contains the following original albums:
- Where My Heart Is (1973)
- Pure Love (1974)
- A Legend In My Time (1975)
- Night Things (1975)
- 20/20 Vision (1976)
- Ronnie Milsap Live (1976)
- It Was Almost Like A Song (1977)
- Only One Love In My Life (1978)
- Images (1979)
- Milsap Magic (1980)
- Out Where The Bright Lights Are Glowing (1981)
- There’s No Gettin’ Over Me (1981)
- Inside (1982)
- Keyed Up (1983)
- One More Try For Love (1984)
- Lost In The Fifties Tonight (1985)
- Christmas With Ronnie Milsap (1986)
- Heart & Soul (1987)
- Stranger Things Have Happened (1989)
- Back To The Grindstone (1991)
- My Life (2006)
After the jump, we’ll take a deeper look at the contents of the box set and Ronnie Milsap’s career! Read the rest of this entry »
All The Way To Paradise: BBR Revisits Stephanie Mills, Burt Bacharach, Hal David’s Motown Gem “For The First Time”
Following the commercial failure of the big-budget 1973 movie musical Lost Horizon, Burt Bacharach retreated. Tension over the film had led to a split with his longtime songwriting partner Hal David, and their split had in turn led to a breakup of their “triangle marriage” with singer Dionne Warwick. Lawsuits ensued. Only one new Bacharach song emerged in 1974, Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “Seconds,” co-written with playwright Neil Simon for a proposed movie version of the 1968 Bacharach/David/Simon Broadway musical Promises, Promises. A ’74 reunion session with Warwick – in which she sang another new Promises song co-written with Simon and two lyrics by Bobby Russell – was abruptly shelved despite the quality of the material. (The Warwick session finally saw release in 2013 from Real Gone Music.) So was another session, also with Russell lyrics, for Glen Campbell. The once-prolific composer was similarly quiet on the recording front in the first months of 1975, only issuing a couple of random songs from the Russell collaboration, one with Tom Jones and one with Bobby Vinton.
That all changed, however, in autumn of 1975 with the release of Stephanie Mills’ For the First Time, a Motown LP written and produced by the team of Bacharach and David. What brought the team together after two years of acrimony? How did they end up at Motown? Was Bacharach actually involved in the day-to-day recording and production of the album? Before those questions were ever answered, For the First Time disappeared without a trace. The reunion was sadly short-lived; another new Bacharach/David song wouldn’t be heard by the public until 1993. But the music stays, as always – and it speaks volumes. Big Break Records has just reissued For the First Time paired with Mills’ 1982 Love Has Lifted Me, an album of Motown outtakes. This splendid release, part of BBR’s month of Motown reissues, is the first remastered edition of For the First Time since the early days of CD.
For the First Time was Stephanie Mills’ Motown debut, following the teenaged Wiz star’s LP debut on ABC Records in 1974 with Movin’ in the Right Direction. Following its disappointing sales, she didn’t record another album until 1979, when What Cha’ Gonna Do with My Lovin’ solidified her place in the pop and R&B realms. Happily, this new edition allows the song cycle – featuring ten Bacharach/David songs, eight of which were newly-written and six of which would never be recorded by any other artist, to date – to take its rightful place in the pantheon of Stephanie Mills and of its renowned writer-producers.
Though Stephanie Mills at eighteen was roughly five years younger than Dionne Warwick was when Bacharach and David helmed her 1963 debut Presenting Dionne Warwick, the team didn’t make many concessions to her youthful age in crafting a set of immaculate, adult pop-soul narratives. The first sound you hear on the LP is an atypically searing guitar introducing “I Took My Strength from You (I Had None).” This deeply soulful ballad is graced with subtle orchestration and the slightest hint of blues, and gilded with one of Bacharach’s signature instruments – the tack piano – to create a sound unlike on any other record in 1975. Mills brings a sense of control to the deliberate verses, contrasting them with sheer exultancy in the chorus. The singer’s sense of joy in discovering the source of her strength and support is palpable. (Disco star Sylvester made his own mark on the song in 1978.)
Lyricist David called on Mills’ theatrical gifts – which had been on display in Broadway musicals including Maggie Flynn, starring Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy, and The Wiz – to bring to life some of his most multi-layered lyrics. “No One Remembers My Name” epitomizes the mature themes contained on the album. The singer is a success who “really made my dreams come true,” and then returns home only to sadly find that “there’s no one to tell it to” in her hometown: “The people I once knew don’t seem to live here anymore/I feel like a stranger outside the house where I was born…” It’s one of David’s many ruminations on the fleeting nature of fame (most famously, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose”) and a sequel of sorts to the Bacharach/David “Send My Picture to Scranton, PA,” in which BJ Thomas’ narrator imagines writing to the people who taunted him in his youth, not to throw his fame at them but because with his success, “maybe now they’ll give kids a helping hand! That’s how it really ought to be, not like the way it was with me…” But the song is also, perhaps moreover, a universal reflection on the theme that you can’t go home again. Mills acquits herself beautifully as a precocious singer with a wisdom and interpretive skill beyond her young years. Much of her style on this song recalls the vocal influence of Diana Ross; now just imagine how heartbreaking it would have been to hear Miss Ross admit, “The past is just a memory/I belong where people smile back at me/They know me and show me they care/That’s why I’m so happy there/They all remember my name…” The singer of the song is most comfortable living in the past, despite the supposed trappings of fame and fortune. It was heady stuff for a pop song sung by an eighteen year-old in 1975.
“There goes the greyhound/I guess I missed the bus again,” sighs Mills in another excitingly complex tune, “Living on Plastic.” The singer explains her philosophy – “living on plastic: living now, and paying later!” David’s lyric is sufficiently empathetic to her situation, but the dramatically twisting-and-turning, thumping melody gives the lie to her sunny outlook as it contrasts pensive verses to a desperate, driving chorus. Despite her repeatedly-stated faith that she’ll “get by,” we’re not so sure. Bacharach adroitly incorporates a dash of funk into his arrangement, sung deliciously by Mills.
Don’t miss a thing; hit the jump for more! Read the rest of this entry »
In 1967, Monkeemania was sweeping the country. “I told people I would outsell The Beatles, and they laughed at me,” impresario Don Kirshner once recalled. “Then the first album sold four million.” That first album which led the television foursome to outsell The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and, well, everybody else in 1967 is the subject of a new 3-CD Super Deluxe set arriving from Rhino Handmade on November 11.
The Monkees – Super Deluxe Edition rewinds the series of box sets that has already encompassed the group’s sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth albums: The Birds, The Bees and the Monkees, Head, The Monkees Present and Instant Replay, respectively. (A previous box set collected the sessions for Headquarters, Album No. 3.) This new box features a whopping 100 tracks, 45 of which are previously unreleased, and includes the original album in both mono and stereo as well as Davy Jones’ 1965 solo debut David Jones in both mono and stereo versions.
The first disc of the set features the mono and stereo versions of The Monkees, featuring seven compositions by Tommy Boyce, six with Bobby Hart and one with Steve Venet, including “(Theme from) The Monkees,” “I Wanna Be Free” and the No. 1 hit “Last Train to Clarksville.” The album also has tunes from Mike Nesmith (“Papa Gene’s Blues”) David Gates (“Saturday’s Child”), Carole King and Gerry Goffin (“Take a Giant Step,” “Sweet Young Thing,” co-written with Nesmith) and Goffin and Russ Titelman (“I’ll Be True to You”). This disc is rounded out with 12 bonus cuts including unique television versions previously unreleased on CD.
The 31 tracks on the second disc are all previously unreleased, as well. This disc of session material boasts the master backing tracks for “Let’s Dance On,” “This Just Doesn’t Seem To Be My Day,” “(Theme From) The Monkees” and “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day” plus various alternate versions of songs from the debut album, including an alternate vocal take by Nesmith on “The Kind of Girl I Could Love,” rehearsal recordings and multiple takes of songs like “I Wanna Be Free,” Goffin and King’s “So Goes Love” and Nesmith’s “Mary, Mary.”
The third disc puts the spotlight on the early solo endeavors of Monkees Davy and Mike. Jones’ 1965 Colpix debut David Jones is presented in both mono and stereo along with two single sides, while six single sides from Michael Blessing a.k.a. Nesmith are also here, two of which have never been released before in any format. This disc concludes with four rare demo recordings of “I Wanna Be Free.”
After the jump: more on The Monkees including the complete track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »
Following 2013’s deluxe box set reissue of Tears for Fears’ The Hurting, Universal U.K. has announced the November 3 release of a similarly-impressive box set dedicated to the group’s 1985 album Songs from the Big Chair. This 4-CD/2-DVD box brings together a remastered edition of the original album and its single B-sides, two discs of rare period remixes and edited single versions, a DVD-Audio containing high-resolution stereo and 5.1 surround mixes courtesy of ace engineer Steven Wilson, and a DVD of promotional videos, BBC performances and a documentary film about the making of the album. The campaign will also feature a 2-CD distillation of the box set, a new vinyl reissue of the album, and a standalone Blu-ray Audio release with the high-resolution mixes.
In assessing the catalogue of the band led by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, our own Mike Duquette wrote, “The group’s first three LPs – 1983’s The Hurting, 1985’s Songs from the Big Chair and 1989’s The Seeds of Love – are not only engaging for their songs, but for their evolution as well. The Hurting was a dark, New Wave type album heavy on introspection and psychoanalysis. This gave way to Big Chair, [which] contextualized those themes on a bigger playing field, both lyrically (not just self against self, but self against others) and sonically (keyboards now mixed with heavier guitars and fresher drum sounds). The Seeds of Love would take that evolution even further (way more live instrumentation, more big-picture lyrics).” So, here is a lavishly expanded edition of Tears for Fears’ sophomore album of that early, triumphant trio. Mike continued to describe Songs as “the high watermark of not only Tears for Fears, but the mid-’80s as well. It spun off a good amount of singles, but it’s a thoroughly cohesive album both musically (the track “Broken” spins off both “Head Over Heels” and “Mothers Talk,” if you know what to listen to) and aesthetically. Rather than gaze inward as on The Hurting, TFF took the current climate of fear, [the] bad economy and nuclear paranoia and sung outward about it.”
Two previous reissues preceded this super deluxe iteration of Songs from the Big Chair. The 1999 remastered edition added seven bonus tracks including some Hurting-era leftovers. In 2006, it was expanded once again, this time with more B-sides and remixes but sans two of the tracks from the 1999 version. Neither of these versions was complete, however, leaving out key tracks such as the U.K. 12-inch mix of “Shout” and the remix “Everybody Wants to Run the World” created for Sport Aid in 1986. The upcoming box set promises to include every commercially issued B-side and remix from the era.
After the jump: a closer look at what you can expect on the new box set, including the complete track listing with discographical annotation and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »
As part of ABBA’s 40th anniversary celebration, the band unveils this 2-CD, hardcover book-style set preserving its 1979 concerts at Wembley Arena. The 25-track set features the first-ever release on record of Agnetha’s “I’m Still Alive” along with perennials like “Dancing Queen,” “Waterloo,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You” and “Fernando.” Live at Wembley is also available on vinyl.
Oasis, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (Big Brother)
Britpop’s favorite battling brothers have their seminal 1995 record remastered and reissued in various editions including vinyl, a single-disc edition, a 3-CD set with 28 bonus tracks and a super deluxe CD/LP edition loaded with swag!
Here’s the 3-CD set bringing together selections from 4o+-years of Genesis and its individual members – Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Steve Hackett.
The final solo recordings of the late, great Robin Gibb are collected on this new 17-track collection, including a new version of his Bee Gees favorite “I Am the World.”
Stories: Stories Untold — The Very Best of Stories (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) / Barbara Lynn: The Complete Atlantic Recordings (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) / Ronnie Dyson: Phase 2/Brand New Day (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) / Faith Hope & Charity: Life Goes On (Expanded Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) / Kerry Chater: Part Time Love (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) / Kerry Chater: Love on a Shoestring (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) / Grateful Dead: Dick’s Picks Vol. 15 — Raceway Park, Englishtown, NJ 9/3/77 (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )
Real Gone Music has a whole batch of rare titles coming to CD – click on the cover collage above for full details!
Now Sounds excavates a lost psych-pop classic from Detroit, circa 1968, produced by Motown’s Clay McMurray! This remastered edition features the original album and bonus singles, all in typically lavish Now Sounds fashion! Watch for a full review coming soon.
The eight-time Grammy-winning album from the late Ray Charles (featuring duets with Elton John, Diana Krall, James Taylor, Van Morrison, Johnny Mathis and others) is expanded with two bonus tracks on CD – “Mary Ann” with Poncho Sanchez and “Unchain My Heart” with Take 6 – plus a DVD of the hourlong “Making of Genius Loves Company.”
Gap Band, IV and V: Jammin’ / Yarbrough and Peoples, Heartbeats: Expanded Editions (Big Break)
BBR continues the story of the Gap Band and Yarbrough and Peoples with three more deluxe, expanded and remastered editions! Look for our full rundown coming soon!
Motown 25 various editions (StarVista)
6-DVD Set: StarVista
3-DVD Set: Amazon U.S.
3-DVD Set with exclusive bonus content: Best Buy
The classic 1983 television special that reunited The Supremes and introduced the world to Michael Jackson’s moonwalk finally appears on DVD in a variety of formats including an online-exclusive 6-DVD box set available only from StarVista and a 3-DVD set with bonus disc available only at Best Buy. (A 6-DVD/8-DVD set is also listed at StarVista as “backordered,” but no details are available at the website.)
The Monty Python troupers have a new 9-CD set boxing up all of the band’s original U.K. albums from 1970 to 1983!
Tom Jones reportedly rejected the invitation, but Engelbert Humperdinck snagged duets with Elton John, Dionne Warwick, Neil Sedaka, Lulu, Olivia Newton-John, Willie Nelson and others on his new album, receiving its belated U.S. bow this week.
Stage Door Records premieres the first complete recording of the 1999 West End musical Tess of the D’Urbervilles with music by Stephen Edwards and lyrics by Justin Fleming. This release brings together tracks from the 1999 original London production alongside the previously unreleased 1998 studio cast recording, and includes performances by Philippa Healey, Alasdair Harvey, Jonathan Monks, Cathy Sara, Martin Crewes, Mark Umbers, Heather Craney, Eliza Lumley and an ensemble of forty singers.
Prince, ART OFFICIAL AGE / Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL, PLECTRUMELECTRUM (Warner Bros.)
Prince has not one, but two, new albums due this week – as always, the favorite son of Minneapolis is doing things his way!
Herb Alpert, In the Mood (Shout! Factory) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)
The great trumpeter follows up his acclaimed 2013 Steppin’ Out and returns with a new set of various standards including “Begin the Beguine,” “Let It Be Me,” “Blue Moon,” “Spanish Harlem” and “All I Have to Do is Dream” – and even better, the Amazon-exclusive edition features two additional tracks!
The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts – Complete Collection (StarVista) (Amazon U.S. )
This staggering 25-DVD collection features ALL 54 Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, pally, with such legendary showbiz icons as Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Jack Klugman, Tony Randall, Jack Benny, George Burns, Sammy Davis, Jr., Betty White and more – plus over 15 hours of bonus material: 11 newly-produced featurette interviews with former participants and fans: Don Rickles, Betty White, Jackie Mason, Phyllis Diller, Tim Conway, Rich Little, Norm Crosby, Carol Burnett and many others; 4 classic TV Specials including Dean’s Place and Red Hot Scandals of 1926, featuring Dean and friends including Jonathan Winters, Dom DeLuise, Robert Mitchum and more; rare, exclusive home movies from Dean’s private collection; bonus comedy sketches; 2 Dean Martin Variety Show DVDs featuring Bob Hope, John Wayne, Peggy Lee, Rodney Dangerfield and many others. A 44-page book rounds out this package which is arriving now to general retail after a period of online exclusivity.
Our mini-Power Pop Festival begins here! Next, look for our reviews of new reissues from The Posies and Game Theory!
O My Soul! Big Star is back! Despite an amazingly small catalogue – four studio albums, a handful of live releases, an even bigger handful of compilations, a key soundtrack, and one stunning box set – there never seems to be a shortage of releases for the biggest band that never was. Two of the most recent have arrived from Stax Records and Concord Music Group, and they’re back to basics. The label has recently reissued the band’s first two albums, 1972’s # 1 Record and 1974’s Radio City, as stand-alone CD releases after years of being twinned on a two-for-one album. (Similar standalone reissues arrived in the U.K. in 2009.) For Big Star completists, these simple reissues allow both original LPs to stand on their own; for those not yet acquainted with the magic of singer-guitarists Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, bassist Andy Hummel and drummer Jody Stephens, these provide a happy and affordable entrée to the world and mystique of Big Star.
Big Star frontman Alex Chilton’s closest turn as a “big star” came in his youth, as he led The Box Tops through a series of southern-soul-flecked pop hits including “The Letter,” “Cry Like a Baby” and the aptly-titled “Soul Deep.” 1972’s optimistically-titled # 1 Record, as perfect a record as any, was recorded in Memphis, and though Chilton’s voice had the smoky grit of a Memphis soul man, it was aglow with the sounds of Los Angeles and London. # 1 Record – largely written by the team of Chilton and Chris Bell – was a textbook example of power-pop. Pete Townshend coined the term circa 1967 to describe “what the Small Faces used to play, and the kind of pop The Beach Boys played in the days of ‘Fun, Fun, Fun.” Power-pop was bold, melodic, guitar-driven, catchy and pulsating, all words which describe Big Star’s debut. It should have galvanized listeners. Yet it went all but unheard.
A California record made in Memphis – a touch of the Byrds here, a dash of the Beach Boys there, a dollop of San Francisco heaviness a la Moby Grape – all by way of The Beatles, # 1 Record brims with energy, abandon, joy, vulnerability and a hint of recklessness. It also augured for a new, important team in Chilton and Bell. Bell’s high, punky voice filled with a near-glam swagger that contrasted with Chilton’s burnished pop tones on this ebullient set of sing-along, take-home tunes. It had to be intentional that the album almost strictly alternated between Chilton’s and Bell’s lead vocals, culminating in a pair of tracks on which they shared the lead. And whenever the group harmonies kick in, as they frequently do, the album soars into the stratosphere.
The Byrds’ influence might be the strongest on # 1 Record, best captured in the defiant, not to mention defiantly melodic “The Ballad of El Goodo.” Its bizarre title masked a gorgeous, anthemic melody and Roger McGuinn-inflected lead from Chilton; it’s followed on the original LP sequence by “In the Street,” with the vibrantly snarling vocals of Chris Bell. Never has the mundane sounded so exciting (“Hanging out, down the street/The same old thing we did last week/Not a thing to do/But talk to you!”). Nearly every track on # 1 Record could have been selected as a single, making its initial lack of success even more utterly puzzling – whether the perfect pop of “When My Baby’s Beside Me” or the unbridled, simple rock and roll of “Don’t Lie to Me.”
After the jump: more on # 1 Record plus Radio City! Read the rest of this entry »