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Give ‘Em a Spin: The Second Disc’s Essential Back to Black Friday 2014 Release Guide

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black_friday_logo

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving is here, and with each Thanksgiving comes another Black Friday, the day for consumers to start off the holiday shopping season on a mad, frenetic note. This year is just in the latest one in which numerous retailers in the U.S. have made headlines by blackening Thursday, or Thanksgiving Day itself, with sales starting on the holiday. So many might give thanks that the folks behind Record Store Day are waiting until the traditional Friday for the second of their twice-yearly events.

In keeping with tradition, Mike and I have once again selected our picks for the crème de la crème of titles being released this Friday from many of our favorite labels, including Legacy Recordings, Omnivore Recordings, Rhino Records, Varese Sarabande, Blue Note, Sundazed and more. Don’t hesitate to head over and drop by your local independent record store, and don’t fear the crowds. With everybody at the mall and the big boxes, the Black Friday RSD event is usually a bit more manageable than the April festivities. You can find a full list of RSD Back to Black Friday exclusives (and a list of participating shops) here.

Without further ado, we’ll kick things off with five of Joe’s favorite slabs of vinyl due tomorrow…

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American Hustle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Columbia/Legacy)

Writer-director David O. Russell’s 2013 motion picture American Hustle transported viewers to the era of bell bottoms and disco with a cast of oddly irresistible con artists, mobsters and feds. Though the Academy Award-nominated production and costume design were crucial to revisiting the film’s time period of 1978, much of the heavy lifting was accomplished thanks to the movie’s impeccable soundtrack. In fact, the movie was so stuffed with music that a number of the film’s songs weren’t included on the original CD release of the soundtrack. Legacy has rectified that with a new 150-gram double-LP release on red and blue vinyl containing six tracks not on the original soundtrack CD. To the era-defining hits by America (“A Horse with No Name”), the Bee Gees (“How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”), Wings (“Live and Let Die”) and Elton John (“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”), the album featured surprising tracks like Duke Ellington’s “Jeep’s Blues,” Mayssa Karaa’s Arabic rendition of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and a new recording by Jack Jones of the Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh standard “Real Live Girl.” It also had three tracks from Jeff Lynne and ELO including the exclusive instrumental “Stream of Stars” and the rare Japan-only Zoom bonus track “Long Black Road.” This deluxe vinyl presentation – with red Columbia 360 Sound labels – adds key recordings by Todd Rundgren (“I Saw the Light”), Steely Dan (“Dirty Work”), The Temptations (“Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”), David Bowie (“The Jean Genie”), Ella Fitzgerald (her 1956 treatment of Cole Porter’s “It’s De-Lovely”) and Frank Sinatra (his 1946 Columbia version of “The Coffee Song”). The end result is a perfect accompaniment to the film and an incredibly entertaining listen in its own right which both avoids kitsch and celebrates a memorable musical era.

Guardians Awesome Mix Tape

Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (Marvel Music/Walt Disney Records)

American Hustle has an unlikely companion on this list. The music of the seventies played a far more surprising part in Marvel Studios’ 2014 blockbuster superhero space epic Guardians of the Galaxy. With a mix tape playing a prominent role in the film – and providing a source of both great emotion and humor – it’s only appropriate that Disney/Marvel is actually releasing the Star Lord’s favorite tunes on cassette as depicted in the film! Rupert Holmes’ “The Pina Colada Song,” The Raspberries’ “Go All the Way,” Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love” and Blue Swede’s version of B.J. Thomas’ “Hooked on a Feeling” are just four of the, well, awesome hits you’ll hear on this must-have tape (which doubles as a cool collectible for fans of the smash hit movie).

Wham - Last Christmas

Wham!, Last Christmas (Legacy)

Can it be that “Last Christmas” is really 30 years old? Since its original release in 1984, the song by writer-producer George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley’s Wham! has become a staple of every holiday season, spawning covers by such latter-day pop stars as Hilary Duff, Ashley Tisdale, Ariana Grande and even the legendary Carole King. For Black Friday, however, the original recording is back on a special 12-inch vinyl release co-produced by our very own Mike Duquette! And that’s not all. “Last Christmas” will be backed with a special, previously unreleased instrumental mix of the song – and it’s all on red and green vinyl! Hands down, this is the most festive item of the Black Friday RSD line-up – you know you want to give it your heart!

Game Theory EP

Game Theory, Pointed Accounts of People You Know / Distortion (Omnivore Recordings)

Earlier this week, Omnivore unveiled the first U.S. release of the alternative pop band’s compilation Dead Center. That original French release gained 11 bonus tracks in Omnivore’s U.S. edition and featured new music along with selected tracks from the EPs Pointed Accounts of People You Know and Distortion (produced by Michael Quercio of Paisley Underground greats The Three O’Clock and featuring Earl Slick on guitar!). On Black Friday, listeners will have the chance to experience those two EPs in complete form, as originally heard. Both will be reissued on 10-inch vinyl, with a customary Omnivore twist: the latter will be on green vinyl, and the former on clear vinyl! These EPs provide a fine introduction to the beguiling music of the late Scott Miller’s California band.

Miles - Blue Xmas

Miles Davis, Blue Xmas (Legacy) and Enigma (Blue Note)

The late Miles Davis is being recognized by both Legacy and Blue Note, two of the keepers of the trumpeter’s immense musical flame, on this Black Friday. In 1962, Davis, Gil Evans and bebop singer Bob Dorough turned the holiday season on its ear with “Blue Xmas,” an original tune mocking the crass commercialism of the Christmas season. This recording, along with “Devil May Care,” another Dorough tune recorded by Davis and Evans, is being released by Legacy on a 7-inch 45 RPM blue vinyl single. Blue Note turns the clock back even further – to 1952-1953. Four previously unreleased Davis performances have been unearthed from the Blue Note vault for a black 10-inch single designed in the same style as Miles’ original Blue Note 10-inch discs; Enigma features Take 2 of the title track plus “Kelo (Take 1)”, “Chance It (Take 3), and “Chance It (Second Alternate) (Take 4).”

After the jump: Mike has his five picks for RSD Must-Haves! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 27, 2014 at 11:19

If Everyone Was Listening: Supertramp’s “Crime of the Century” Goes Deluxe

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Supertramp - Crime of the CenturyWith the release of 1974’s Crime of the Century, the members of Supertramp finally got the big break for which they’d been waiting. Songwriter-vocalists Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies were the only two members remaining from the group’s 1970 debut, but with Bob Benberg, John Anthony Helliwell and Dougie Thompson on board, Crime of the Century firmly established the band at the vanguard of both pop and prog-rock. A No. 4 album in the U.K., it also cracked the U.S. Top 40 for the first time in the band’s career. On December 9, the album will receive deluxe 40th anniversary reissues in both the 2-CD and 3-LP formats.

After two unsuccessful albums (each with a distinct line-up) and an unsuccessful tour, Hodgson and Davies recruited new members to craft Supertramp’s third album for A&M Records. After a rehearsal period at a seventeenth-century farm in Somerset, the new band joined with co-producer Ken Scott, former Beatles engineer and then riding high from his work with David Bowie. Reportedly, Supertramp demoed over 40 tracks, whittling them down to eight songs for the final album. Two of them would become among the band’s most enduring classics – Hodgson’s “Dreamer” and Davies’ “Bloody Well Right.” With “School,” “Rudy” and the title song, Supertramp also contributed to the burgeoning AOR (Album Oriented Rock) genre.

The 40th Anniversary edition from A&M and Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) contains the original 8-song album, newly remastered by Ray Staff at AIR Studios on the first disc, while the second features Supertramp’s 1975 Hammersmith Odeon concert, mixed from the master tapes by original on-the-night engineer Ken Scott. At this key performance, the band performed the entirety of Crime of the Century and also offered a preview of tracks from its then-as-yet-unreleased follow-up, Crisis? What Crisis? (1975).

What else can you expect of the upcoming reissue? Hit the jump to find out! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 10, 2014 at 11:01

Posted in News, Reissues, Supertramp, Vinyl

Omnivore, Rhino, Varese Gear Up For Black Friday 2014

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Our Black Friday Record Store Day shopping list has just gotten a little longer! Following our recent announcement of Legacy Recordings’ slate for November 28, we have news of the offerings coming your way from Omnivore Recordings, Rhino and Varese Sarabande!

Game Theory - DistortionFor the gang at Omnivore, it’s all about amazing indie pop! The label recently reissued Game Theory’s debut album Blaze of Glory, and on November 24, the Omnivores will unveil the first U.S. release of the band’s compilation Dead Center. That French release (which will gain 11 bonus tracks in Omnivore’s edition) featured new music along with selected tracks from the EPs Pointed Accounts of People You Know and Distortion (produced by Michael Quercio of The Three O’Clock and featuring Earl Slick on guitar!). On Black Friday, listeners will have the chance to experience those two EPs in complete form, as originally heard. Both will be reissued on 10-inch vinyl, with an Omnivore twist: the latter will be on green vinyl, and the former on clear vinyl. Joining Game Theory is the band Sneakers, out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, featuring Chris Stamey, Mitch Easter and Will Rigby. The original, self-released Sneakers EP is presented on 10-inch clear vinyl with an expanded track list of 9 songs! A download card is also included in this new release. All three titles are limited to 1,500 units.

From GenesisA new stereo LP pressing of Genesis’ From Genesis to Revelation is on the Black Friday horizon from Varese Sarabande. This release marks the first time this album has been released on vinyl since its original U.S. release in 1974, and Varese’s reissue features a replica of the original inner sleeve with full lyrics. The LP boasts the original core Genesis line-up of Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, and Peter Gabriel, and is limited to 3,500 units.

The team at Rhino has nine limited edition releases set for Black Friday 2014 including colored vinyl, multi-LP sets, and even a picture disc! The Rhino line-up has such heavy hitters as The Afghan Whigs, The Doors, Grateful Dead, Hüsker Dü, Iron Butterfly (in mono!), New Order, Ramones (as curated by the irrepressible Morrissey!), Ronnie James Dio and the Velvet Underground!

Hit the jump for all of the details on every title mentioned above! All releases can be found on Friday, November 28 at your participating local independent record store! Read the rest of this entry »

Release Round-Up: Week of October 21

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Ghostbusters Stay Puft

Ray Parker Jr. & Run-DMC, Ghostbusters: Stay Puft Edition Super Deluxe Vinyl (Legacy)

The Marshmallow Man is back!  The Stay Puft Super Deluxe Edition Vinyl is a limited edition collectible that every Ghostbusters fan will want to take home!  Co-produced by The Second Disc’s Mike Duquette, this set contains the No. 1 hit single “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr. and the “Ghostbusters” rap by Run-DMC for the film’s hit sequel, with both tracks on a white 12” single in a deluxe, puffy, package that smells like marshmallows!

Suzi

Suzi Quatro, The Girl from Detroit City (Cherry Red) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Cherry Red has a 4-CD, 82-track overview of the glam rock icon (and Happy Days star)’s career, including her early, 60s pop sides, her prime hitmaking period, and even her forays into musical theatre!  Joe will have a full review up soon!

Hollies - 50 at Fifty

The Hollies, 50 at Fifty (Parlophone/Rhino) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

This new 3-CD Hollies anthology, marking the harmony purveyors’ 50th year of recording, arrived in the U.K. last month but today gets its American release from Rhino.

Oldfield Box

Mike Oldfield, The Studio Albums 1992-2003 (Rhino) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Rhino boxes up eight Oldfield albums in one CD box set, including three Tubular Bells variations.

Spandau

Spandau Ballet, The Very Best of Spandau Ballet: The Story (Rhino)

The New Romantic hitmakers behind “True” look back on their career with this set, available in 1-CD and 2-CD iterations.

1-CD: Amazon U.S.  / Amazon U.K.

2-CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. 

Ian Hunter - All American

Ian Hunter, All-American Alien Boy (Varese Sarabande) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Varese is restoring the second solo album from Mott the Hoople’s Ian Hunter to print in the U.S. with the six bonus tracks first appended to the 30th anniversary edition.  The 1976 album features personnel including Jaco Pastorius, David Sanborn, Lew Soloff, Auyn and the members of Queen!  Watch this space for an exciting opportunity to WIN a copy of this reissue!

Gavin DeGraw

Gavin DeGraw, Finest Hour: The Best of Gavin DeGraw (RCA) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The singer-songwriter and Dancing with the Stars contestant has an 11-track compilation, featuring producer Max Martin’s previously unreleased version of “In Love with a Girl” and a new version of “Finest Hour.”

Melody Road

Neil Diamond, Melody Road (Capitol) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Neil Diamond returns with his 32nd studio album and first for Capitol, and its 12 songs in the artist’s vintage style add up to a warmly nostalgic trip for longtime fans.  Target has an exclusive edition with two bonus tracks which may be outtakes from his 2010 covers project Dreams: renditions of George Harrison’s “Something” and Harry Nilsson’s”Remember,” and this edition is also available as an import at this link.  Look for my review of Melody Road soon!

EWF - Holiday

Earth, Wind & Fire, Holiday (Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The venerable R&B outfit offers its first-ever holiday album, with favorites like “Winter Wonderland” and “Sleigh Ride” alongside reworked versions of “September” (yup, it’s “December”!) and “Happy Feelin'” – which this joyous celebration just might give you!

Scott Walker - Soused

Scott Walker and Sunn O))), Soused (4AD) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The sixties pop crooner-turned-avant garde hero Scott Walker teams up with California drone metal band Sunn O))) for a 5-track, 50-minute record that pushes the envelope for both artists.  We’re marking this unusual release this week with a look back at the entirety of Walker’s career in a special two-part Back Tracks retrospective beginning tomorrow!

Aretha - Diva

Aretha Franklin, Sings the Great Diva Classics (RCA) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The Queen of Soul reunites with Clive Davis for her latest studio album, a tribute to her fellow divas – then and now – including Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Dinah Washington and Adele!

Billy Idol - Kings and Queens

Billy Idol, Kings and Queens of the Underground (Kobalt) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Billy Idol is back with his rebel yell and sneer intact on his first album since 2005, produced by Trevor Horn and Greg Kurstin!

Annie Lennox - Nostalgia

Annie Lennox, Nostalgia (Blue Note) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Annie Lennox usually hasn’t been one to bask in nostalgia, but here she is, bringing her own spin to such Great American Songbook standards as “Summertime” and “God Bless the Child.” The Amazon U.S.-exclusive edition has a bonus disc featuring a Lennox interview and a live version of blues staple “I Put a Spell on You.”

Wilco Celebrate 20 Years with Compilation, Rarities Box Set

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Wilco - What's Your 20Roger Wilco! We’ve received the transmission that, on November 17, two new collections will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Chicago alt-rock band Wilco in high style!  Nonesuch Records will issue Alpha Mike Foxtrot, a new box set (4 CDs, 4 LPs or digital) of rare studio and live recordings culled from the band’s archives.  And on that same date, the label will offer What’s Your 20, the first-ever compendium of Wilco’s previously released studio recordings, on 2 CDs or digital.

Formed from the ashes of Uncle Tupelo, Wilco began in a similar alt-country vein before expanding its sonic palette to touch upon folk, rock, punk, avant-garde experimentalism and vintage pop textures.   Though the alt-rockers’ lineup shifted frequently during its first decade, the band has been stable since 2004 with a line-up consisting of vocalist/guitarist Jeff Tweedy, bassist John Stirratt, guitarist Nels Cline, multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone, keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen and drummer Glenn Kotche. Since its inception, Wilco has released eight studio albums, a live double album, and collaborative albums with both Billy Bragg and The Minus 5 (the “floating line-up” supergroup which featured Scott McCaughey, The Posies’ Ken Stringfellow and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck on the Wilco project).  Wilco picked up two Grammy Awards in 2005 for A Ghost is Born, and has received four further nominations over the years, most recently for 2012’s The Whole Love.

Both of these upcoming collections have been produced by Grammy-nominated producer Cheryl Pawelski, co-founder of Omnivore Recordings and veteran of countless projects from labels including Capitol and Rhino. Pawelski notes in the press release, “Like a lot of fans, I had collected these straggling tracks over the past two decades of following Wilco’s every move. Alpha Mike Foxtrot includes almost every unique, essential performance that appeared on soundtracks, tribute albums and B-sides—and there are probably a few surprises for even the sharpest collector. This set presents an alternate history of the band, kind of a sideways view, and ultimately, it’s a super-fun listening experience.”

We have more details on these sets, as well as pre-order links and the full track listings, after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 20, 2014 at 13:02

From “Last Christmas” To “Blue Xmas”: Legacy’s Black Friday Slate Features Wham!, Miles Davis, Hendrix, Kinks, Elvis, More

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black_friday_logo

It’s that time of year again!

Announcements are finally coming in for Record Store Day’s annual Black Friday event happening on Friday, November 28. Rather than storming malls and big box stores, maybe you’ll want to pay a visit to your favorite local independent record store for an assortment of exclusive vinyl goodies.  Legacy Recordings certainly hopes you will; the label’s roster for Black Friday’s RSD event includes titles from heavy-hitters including David Bowie, Joe Satriani, Miles Davis, Dave Matthews Band, Elvis Presley, The Kinks and Jimi Hendrix!

And that’s not all! Longtime readers know that Christmas is our favorite time of the year at Second Disc HQ!  We’ve already filled you in on Joe’s two holiday-themed projects due on November 4 from Real Gone Music – Robert Goulet’s Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings and the long-awaited reissue of The Williams Brothers Christmas Album featuring Andy and his brothers – and today, it’s Mike’s turn!  Fresh from his work on a pair of exciting Ghostbusters-related projects – the sold-out glow-in-the-dark EP of Ray Parker Jr.’s immortal title song and a brand-new, Stay Puft super deluxe marshmallow-scented (yes, you read that right!) vinyl release from Ray Parker, Jr. and Run-DMC – Mike is delivering a little Wham! for the holidays as co-producer of a 12-inch red and green vinyl single featuring both the classic “Last Christmas” and a previously unreleased instrumental mix!  Trust me – no Christmas party will want to be without this one!

Hit the jump to explore Legacy’s full slate of Black Friday Record Store Day titles, all of which will be available at a participating RSD retailer on Friday, November 28! And watch this space for more announcements coming soon! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 16, 2014 at 13:38

Better Treat Her Right: Latter-Day Donna Summer Albums Expanded in the U.K.

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Donna Summer - CD Collection

1979 could have been called “The Year of Donna Summer.”  In the last year of the 70s, Summer became the first female artist in the history of to have three number 1 singles in a calendar year:  “Hot Stuff,” “Bad Girls” and “No More Tears (Enough is Enough),” a duet with Barbra Streisand.  She would have had four, but alas, “Dim All the Lights” stalled at No. 2.  But despite reaching the top of the charts consistently with disco records, Summer decided that she wanted to try a new sound.  Her record label, Casablanca, reportedly disagreed.  This led to an acrimonious split, and lawsuits ensued between the singer and label.  She left Casablanca and went to David Geffen’s newly formed Geffen Records, becoming that label’s first signee.  Now. Donna Summer’s catalogue for Geffen and, later, Atlantic Records is being newly reissued in expanded editions from Driven by the Music on December 1 in the U.K., and one week later stateside.

Although Donna wanted to try out a new sound, she stuck with the producers who had brought her so much success in the past:  Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte.  The Wanderer was released in 1980 as Geffen Records’ first LP.  Unsurprisingly, the diva’s instincts proved correct.  It continued Summer’s streak of success going Gold in the US and spawned a No. 3 hit with the title song.  “Cold Love” and “Who Do You Think You’re Fooling?” made it to the top 40.  For this reissue, the album has been expanded with single edits of the latter two songs.

In 1981, Donna returned to the studio to begin work on the follow-up album, I’m A Rainbow.  Before the album could be completed, however, it was cancelled by David Geffen due to his feeling that the material was not strong enough.  It would remain on the shelf until 1996 when it was eventually released by – Casablanca!  It has been expanded for this campaign to two discs, with the original album on the first disc and other tracks recorded around the same period (previously released in various places over the years) on the second.

For Summer’s next effort, Geffen brought in Quincy Jones to produce.  The result was the self-titled Donna Summer released in 1982 after a six-month recording period.  Although Jones and Summer apparently didn’t get along during the making of the album, it was still a success and achieved Gold status in the U.S., yielding the top 10 single “Love is In Control (Finger On the Trigger).”  Driven by the Music has added seven bonus tracks to the album:  the B-side “Sometimes Like Butterflies,” three versions of “Love Is In Control” and three versions of “State of Independence” (No. 41 Pop).

Summer and Geffen were then informed by Polygram (Casablanca’s parent label) that she still owed them an album to complete her previous contract.  She Works Hard for the Money, with its indelible title track, was released in 1983 on Mercury and the title track went to No. 3.  Geffen was reportedly not happy with the album’s success but wanted to capitalize on it, so he enlisted Money’s producer, Michael Omartian, to helm Summer’s next album for Geffen:  Cats Without Claws.  Unfortunately for Summer and Geffen, the album did not match Money’s success and failed to go gold in the U.S., her first album in the U.S. to fail to make that certification.  It also did not garner a top 10 single, with its highest chart entry being a cover of The Drifters’ “There Goes My Baby” stalling at No. 21.  It was not all bad news though:  Summer earned a Grammy for Best Inspirational Performance for “Forgive Me” from the album.  The new edition has been expanded with five songs:  two versions of “Eyes,” an extended version of “Supernatural Love,” an extended version of “I’m Free” and the B-side “Face the Music.”

That’s not all!  Hit the jump for details on the rest of the editions in this series, plus complete track listings with discography and pre-order links for all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 14, 2014 at 12:11

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