Archive for the ‘The Association’ Category
One Kiss Leads To Another: Real Gone Unearths Hackamore Brick, Grateful Dead, The Association’s Russ Giguere and More
Real Gone Music has just announced its slate for July 2, and it’s clear that the prolific label isn’t taking a summer vacation! A number of cult favorites and new-to-CD titles populate this batch of records that won’t be “real gone” for much longer.
Atop the list is a true rarity. Real Gone will be bringing One Kiss Leads to Another from Hackamore Brick to CD and vinyl in a newly-remastered and expanded edition. Who is Hackamore Brick, you might ask? The Brooklyn band’s 1970 album was an anomaly for the bubblegum specialists at Kama Sutra Records. It’s most often spoken of in the same breath as The Velvet Underground, and it sounds as if it were built on the groundwork laid by that quintessential New York band. Yet Hackamore Brick’s songwriters Tommy Moonlight and Chick Newman claimed to not have heard Lou, John and co. till after their album was recorded. But indebted to that group or not, the quartet offers up a heady brew of its own. Country-style harmonies and punk attitude sit alongside Doors-esque blues flourishes, incisive, Kinks-style lyrics, and primal rock simplicity on this true lost album.
Real Gone has also rescued a solo effort from The Association’s Russ Giguere. Hexagram 16 offers songs from the likes of Judee Sill and Randy Newman and guest spots from Judy Henske, Jerry Yester and Bernie Leadon. There’s a country-rock flavor on Hexagram, but Real Gone also offers more traditional country with the Nashville-style folk-pop of fifties favorites The Browns on Complete Pop and Country Hits. Country, of course, also played a role in the Americana stew of The Grateful Dead, and Real Gone continues its reissuing of the Dick’s Picks series with some psychedelia from 1968. A long-lost reggae tribute to the Dead is also reappearing in July. Finally, Real Gone teams with Dusty Groove for three more deep-cut jazz albums from Ahmed Abdul-Malik, George Braith, and the duo of Stan Hunter and Sonny Fortune.
After the jump, Real Gone provides all of the details via the label’s press release, and we have pre-order links for all titles for you! Read the rest of this entry »
Stephen Stills, Carry On (Rhino)
Gene Clark, Here Tonight: The White Light Demos (Omnivore)
Iron Maiden, Maiden England ’88 (UMe)
A quarter-century after Maiden toured behind Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, the original concert video chronicling the tour has been painstakingly remastered and expanded with unreleased performances and treasures from the band’s video vault. A double-disc presentation of the concert is also available on CD and vinyl.
Steve Forbert, Alive on Arrival/Jackrabbit Slim: Special Anniversary Edition (Blue Corn Music)
Wendy & Lisa, Wendy & Lisa: Expanded Edition (Cherry Pop)
Prince may have split up The Revolution, but this 1987 debut LP from two of his most famous collaborators is worth your time. U.K. label Cherry Pop appends a few bonus remixes and new liner notes on this version. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Not only available for the first time on CD, but available for the first time since its original release: the original mono and stereo mixes of San Francisco’s first psychedelic long-player on two discs. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Tandyn Almer, Along Comes Tandyn (Sundazed)
He penned “Along Comes Mary” for The Association and collaborated with Brian Wilson, but the late Tandyn Almer is only now getting his due with the premiere commercial release of this 1967 demo LP pressed to turn artists on to his precious pop.
If you don’t know the name of Tandyn Almer, you likely do know his Top 10 pop hit “Along Comes Mary,” so memorably recorded by The Association in 1966. And you just might know two of the songs on which he shared songwriting credit with a certain Brian Wilson, “Marcella” and “Sail On, Sailor.” But the only commercial release to have carried Almer’s name as artist has long been a 1970 Warner Bros. single, “Degeneration Gap” b/w “Snippin’ the Silver Chord.” The Sundazed label changes all that with the March 26 release of Along Comes Tandyn on both CD and LP.
Though “Along Comes Mary” represented Almer’s commercial peak, he didn’t exactly disappear. He was far too unique a songwriter for that; in fact, none other than Leonard Bernstein had interviewed Almer as one of the up-and-coming rock musicians profiled on his 1967 Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution television documentary. (This was the same program that featured Brian Wilson at the piano, powerfully introducing SMiLE’s “Surf’s Up” to an unsuspecting world.) Almer, who died on January 8 of this year, lived a quiet life by most accounts. But it was a colorful one. He wrote songs recorded by Sagittarius and The Ballroom, once served as a staff songwriter for A&M Records, produced songs for artists including The Purple Gang, and apparently even devised a rather effective waterpipe once described as “the perfect bong.” In his later years, he contributed songs to Washington, DC’s annual political revue Hexagon, and also wrote “fake books” with arrangements of popular hits.
The fifteen songs on Along Comes Tandyn were written and recorded in Almer’s heyday for a demo LP released by Almer’s music publisher, Davon Music. The purpose of the album was to garner recordings of the songs from other artists, but the album reveals more of the musical mastery of Almer himself. Sundazed describes its musical contents as follows: “Included within this demonstration disc is the nasty, buzzing fuzztone and haunting vocals of The Purple Gang’s version of ‘Bring Your Own Self Down,’ the engaging Pop feel of ‘Find Yourself,’ the smooth groove of ‘Anything You Want’ and ‘Victims of Chance’ (recorded as an instrumental by L.A. jazz combo The Afro Blues Quintet), along with the straight-ahead Folk-Rock of ‘About Where Love Is’ and ‘Sunset Strip Soliloquy’ – the latter about the atmosphere which led to the demonstrations of late ’66.”
After the jump: more including the track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
“Everyone knows” the answer to the musical question of Who’s trippin’ down the streets of the city / Smilin’ at everybody she sees? But here’s another one: what’s the record label reaching out to capture a moment, bendin’ down to give us a rainbow? Everyone (at least everyone reading The Second Disc!) knows it’s Now Sounds. The Cherry Red-affiliated label has recently released the latest in its ongoing series of deluxe reissues of The Association’s catalogue, and it’s the most impressive effort yet. The Complete Warner Bros. and Valiant Singles Collection (Now Sounds CRNOW 35D) collects every one of the A- and B-sides released by the California band on those two labels between 1965 and 1971. After that golden six-year period, The Association never again scaled the heights of commercial success, but oh, what a rich legacy of music the group left behind!
The full range of The Association’s gift of harmony is on display over these 37 tracks, all of which are presented in their authentic single mixes (and all but two of which are in mono). Songs like “Never My Love” and “Windy,” of course, remain oldies radio staples and deservedly so. But the real surprise for many will come in the might-have-been tracks unfamiliar to all but longtime fans and collectors. Whether singing lush ballads, bright pop or jangly folk-rock, The Association brought a hallmark of quality to all of its recordings, and that quality is matched by the love lavished on the band under Now Sounds’ imprimatur. This set makes a most excellent companion to Rhino’s indispensable Just the Right Sound: The Association Anthology (2002). We’ll meet you back after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »
And most everyone knows Ruthann Friedman’s 1967 pop classic which not only hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart but was featured on The Association’s third album and first long-player for Warner Bros. Records, Insight Out. But everyone would be forgiven for thinking that the LP was entitled Windy, so prominent was the name of the single on the album cover. But there’s much more to Insight Out.
Helmed by producer Bones Howe, beginning a short but important relationship with the group, it also boasts P.F. Sloan’s shimmering “On a Quiet Night,” and two songs by the team of Dick and Don Addrisi. The first, the ebullient “Happiness Is,” could virtually be the calling card of the entire sunshine pop genre. The second, “Never My Love,” was an instant standard. It climbed its way to a No. 2 chart placement, and BMI actually ranked the song the second-most played hit on radio and television of the entire twentieth century. (For those wondering, it was sandwiched between “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’” at No. 1 and “Yesterday” at No. 3. Not bad company, eh?) Mike Deasy, known more as a top session guitarist rather than a songwriter, brought in a strong song of his own, “Wantin’ Ain’t Gettin’,” which was outfitted with a timely sitar arrangement. Now, all of those songs and more are yours to savor on a deluxe, expanded mono edition of Insight Out from Now Sounds, following the label’s reissues of three other albums by the classic band of harmony purveyors.
The success of Insight Out was far from pre-ordained. The band had become accustomed to a revolving door of producers, with Curt Boettcher having helmed their debut And Then…Along Comes the Association and Jerry Yester in charge of its follow-up, Renaissance. Yester hoped to continue working with The Association, but his productions of “Never My Love” and the antiwar “Requiem for the Masses” hadn’t met with much favor by the Valiant Records brass. Jules Alexander had exited the group for a pilgrimage to India. And The Association’s Valiant home was about to be purchased by Warner Bros. Records, along with the band’s contract. After the lofty heights scaled by “Cherish” and “Along Comes Mary” from the first album, the two singles off Renaissance failed to make much of an impression. Enter Bones Howe, originally an engineer with a varied C.V. who had scored successes producing The Turtles on such songs as P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri’s “You Baby” and Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me, Babe.”
As Howe recalls in reissue producer Steve Stanley’s comprehensive liner notes for the new edition, ““I made a deal with their manager, Pat Colecchio. Initially he called me up and said, ‘The guys are going to write some songs and you can bring some songs to them.’ And I said, ‘Well look, are they going to turn me down on every song because they didn’t write it?’ And Pat said, ‘You bring songs to them and they’ll bring songs to you. If you both like them, you can record them.’ And I thought that was fair enough; I’m sure that we can find some common ground. And ‘Never My Love’ was one of those songs. That, in my estimation, was one of the best records I ever made.” Considering Howe also produced those Turtles hits, The 5th Dimension’s “Wedding Bell Blues” and “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” The Monkees’ “Someday Man” and music for artists ranging from Elvis Presley to Tom Waits, that’s no small praise from the modest producer. (I won’t spoil any more of the interviews you’ll find excerpted in Insight Out’s 16-page booklet, including reminisces from Ruthann Friedman, Dick Addrisi, P.F. Sloan and Association members Russ Giguere, Jim Yester, Terry Kirkman and Larry Ramos!) Though the members of The Association were accomplished musicians, the studio veterans of Los Angeles’ Wrecking Crew were brought in for the sessions.
After the jump, we’ve got more Insight on Out, including the full track listing with discography! Read the rest of this entry »
Nothing important comes out today, right?
Spin Doctors, Pocket Full of Kryptonite: 20th Anniversary Edition (Epic/Legacy)
The “Two Princes” guys…hey, stop laughing…have their hit debut album remastered and expanded – cut that out! – with a bonus disc of demos and rarities. (Official site)
Four Essential compilations get the third-disc treatment. Note that the Celine Dion title is identical to 2008′s My Love: The Essential Collection and the Aerosmith set is identical to 2002′s O Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits. (Amazon: Aerosmith, Celine, Byrds, Carole)
The R&B singer’s original label, having recently lost her after a nasty court battle, decides to raid its vaults and finds 14 good tracks. (Official site)
The Association, Renaissance: Deluxe Expanded Mono Edition (Now Sounds)
Another great Association LP, nearly doubled in length by bonus tracks! (Now Sounds)
Alberta Hunter, Downhearted Blues: Live at the Cookery (RockBeat)
The legendary blues singer with a great story (Hunter sang from the ’20s to the ’40s before leaving the music scene to become a nurse – and then made a surprise comeback after retiring from that career in the ’70s) is represented on CD with this hard-to-find performance from 1981. (Amazon)
Ice Cube, Kill at Will (RockBeat)
Cube’s beloved 1990 EP is now available on CD and vinyl from one of our new favorite reissue labels. (Amazon)
If you cherish The Association, you’re in for a treat! August 29 will bring the release of the group’s second long-player, Renaissance, in an expanded mono edition. It’s indeed been a bit of a renaissance for The Association thanks to Now Sounds’ continuing series which launched with Birthday (The Association’s 1968 pop masterwork) and back-tracked to And Then…Along Comes The Association, their debut album. The original twelve-track album, produced by Jerry Yester on the Valiant label, will be augmented by a generous ten bonus tracks!
Despite following the album that contained both “Cherish” and “Along Comes Mary,” Renaissance defied convention at nearly every turn. Gone was Curt Boettcher, the eccentric, cult-favorite producer who guided that first LP to such great success. Renaissance was entirely written by members of the band, and the lead single was perhaps the oddest item in the Association’s history. Perhaps it was inevitable that Renaissance stalled at No. 34 on the LP charts, far beneath And Then’s No. 5 placing. But the artistic risk-taking on the album paid off and arguably paved the way for even bigger hits to come for Jim Yester, Brian Cole, Ted Bluechel, Jr., Gary (Jules) Alexander, Terry Kirkman and Russ Giguere. Hit the jump for the story behind this fascinating album! Read the rest of this entry »