There's a new reissue label in town! We're happy to share the news of a brand-new, top-notch label. Based in Australia, Playback Records has recently issued its first three deluxe releases - all of which we know will be of interest to readers of The Second Disc!
Longtime fans of The Bee Gees will doubtless recognize the names of Colin Petersen and Geoff Bridgeford. Before Messrs. Petersen and Bridgeford began to make music with Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, however, they were bandmates with writer-producer Steve Kipner in Australia's Steve and the Board. The Complete Steve and the Board brings together all sixteen of the group's vintage recordings circa 1965-1967! Next up, Playback has a compendium drawn from the archives of the renowned Festival Records label. I Want, Need, Love You! Garage Beat Nuggets from the Festival Vaults highlights 26 rare gems from The 5, Toni McCann, The Black Diamonds and The Pogs. Lastly, Playback has turned its attention to the U.S. - and one of the most renowned songwriting teams in the entirety of the American songbook. On Broadway: The Songs of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil collects 28 diverse tracks from the songwriting team, individually and collectively, including 6 new-to-CD tracks! Additionally, I'm proud to share that I've contributed a new introduction to this fantastic anthology!
If Steve and the Board is remembered at all today, it's due to the band's connection to The Bee Gees. But The Complete Steve and the Board makes the case for the group's place in Australian rock history. Steve and the Board was named for American frontman Steve Kipner (son of Nat Kipner, who signed the Gibbs to his Spin Records label) and featured Carl Groszmann and Alex Hill on guitar, Dennis Neville on bass, and Colin Petersen and then Geoff Bridgeford on drums. Steve and the Board's entire history (including Petersen and Bridgeford's path to The Bee Gees) is told in comprehensive fashion in the accompanying 32-page booklet (which includes an essay, sidebars and track-by-track notes).
The 16 tracks on this set show a band clearly attuned to the sounds of the period. The group tackled pretty ballads (the gentle "Rosemarie," the admittedly Peter and Gordon-esque "I'm to Blame"), harmony folk-pop in the style of the early Association or Turtles ("I've Just Realized"), raucous garage-rock ("Margot") and even novelty songs (dad Nat Kipner's "The Giggle-Eyed Goo!" or the twee "Good for Nothing Sue"). Steve and the Board covered The Pretty Things ("Rosalyn"), Buddy Holly ("Love's Made a Fool of You"), The Premiers ("Farmer John") and Hank Cochran ("Sally Was a Good Old Girl"). Bee Gees fans will enjoy the early Barry Gibb composition "Little Miss Rhythm in Blues," which had also been recorded by Trevor Gordon. Barry donated the song to Steve and the Board in exchange for Carl's "Lonely Winter," which eventually surfaced in the Bee Gees' recording in 1970. Maurice Gibb can also be heard contributing harmony to the lightly psychedelic "Now I'm Older." This collection includes the entire ...And the Giggle-Eyed Goo! album plus four non-LP sides. Warren Barnett has remastered all tracks from the original mono tapes.
I Want, Need, Love You! Garage Beat Nuggets from the Festival Vaults compiles 26 selections from four artists originally issued on Festival and its offshoots Sunshine, Leedon and Everybody's. This collection presents the complete surviving records of the bands The 5, The Black Diamonds and The Pogs as well as vocalist Toni McCann on one CD. The 5 released six single sides on the Sunshine label in 1965-1966 including the charged R&B of Jimmy Reed's "Bright Lights, Big City," but that track was atypical. The other cuts, including the minor hit "There's Time," were written by the band's lead singer Ronnie Williams in a garage beat style with a hook-laden pop sensibility. The Black Diamonds' tough cover of "I Want, Need, Love You" lends this collection its title, and that's just one of the group's six tracks here. Released on Festival between 1966 and 1968, they trace the band's evolution from Who-inspired power-pop practitioners ("Not This Time," "See the Way") to the anonymous studio session singers of The Love Machine ("The Lion Sleeps Tonight," "The Lonely Hearts Club Christmas Party"). The third band represented here, The Pogs, has a full nine songs produced and written by Peter Best (not the ex-Beatle) for the Leedon label in 1966-1967. The Pogs, led by actor-singer Rory O'Donoghue, were equally comfortable with ballads ("Claret and Tears," "Scenes from an Affair") and uptempo rockers ("Goodnight But Not Goodbye," "The Pogs Theme") infused with R&B.
Toni McCann was just 15 when she issued two singles (four sides) on the Everybody's and Sunshine labels under the auspices of producer Nat Kipner in 1965-1966. McCann's no-holds-barred, full-throttle vocal attack on these energetic records were matched by their lean, guitar-heavy arrangements and punk attitude. Playback has included all four of these fast and furious sides (including the theme to TV's Saturday Date on which she was likely backed by Steve and the Board, and a forceful cover of Leiber and Stoller's "If You Don't Come Back") plus her first post-Festival recording as a special bonus: "Buy Some Love" with her then-husband Royce Nicholls of the Blue Jays. Playback's release includes a 26-page booklet loaded with photos and histories for each one of the four artists by Ian McFarlane. Warren Barnett has remastered all tracks, most from original Festival Records tapes; a few tracks that no longer existed on master tapes have been derived from best available sources.
Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil need no introduction. The songwriters, married in 1961, have written so many of the songs that have provided the soundtrack to our lives that they titled their 2004 stage show They Wrote That? On Broadway: The Songs of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil is a deep look into their repertoire via less frequently heard - but no less worthy - songs and familiar favorites in versions that might be lesser-known. Of the 28 tracks on this collection (adding up to a playing time of nearly 80 minutes), none have been previously included on other Mann and Weil compilations, and six make their worldwide CD debuts. Tracks have been culled from the U.S., the U.K. and Australia for a truly international perspective on the legendary team's works in pop, rock, and soul.
Some of the heavy hitters here include Dionne Warwick ("You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"), B.J. Thomas ("This is a Love Song") and The Delfonics ("When You Get Right Down to It") as well as classic girl groups The Crystals ("On Broadway"), The Paris Sisters ("See That Boy") and The Shirelles ("The Gospel Truth"). Among its eclectic offerings showcasing the depth of the Mann and Weil discography, On Broadway has deep track favorites like folk troubadour Glenn Yarbrough's "It's Gonna Be Fine" and Roy Hamilton's "Angelica" as well as surprising covers from Chuck Day and the Young Gyants ("We've Gotta Get Out of This Place"), The 5 A.M. Event ("Hungry") and The Executives ("It's a Happening World"). Other top-flight vocalists here include Pye's Julie Grant ("Baby, Baby (I Still Love You)," country great Skeeter Davis ("I Don't Want to Love You") and the one and only Jackie Wilson ("Nobody But You").
On Broadway boasts a thick, 32-page booklet with copious track-by-track annotations as well as my introduction. This celebration of the still-ongoing collaboration of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil is available below from Australia's newest reissue label, Playback Records, along with the label's other two titles! Every one of these titles is fully-licensed from the respective copyright holders, and features lavishly packaged with color booklets, period-style labels and full credits and discographical annotation. Watch this space for more Playback announcements soon! In the meantime, all titles can be ordered below from Amazon U.S. (in stock November 4) and Playback Records!
Steve and the Board, The Complete Steve and the Board (Playback Records PBCD-002, 2016) (Amazon U.S.)
- The Giggle-Eyed Goo!
- I'm To Blame
- I've Just Realised
- I Want
- I Call My Woman Hinges, 'Cause She's Something To Adore
- Little Miss Rhythm And Blues
- Farmer John
- Love's Made A Fool Of You
- Lonely Winter
- So Why Pretend
- Good For Nothing Sue
- Now I'm Older
- Sally Was A Good Old Girl
Tracks 1-12 from ...And the Giggle-Eyed Goo! , Spin EL-31,997, 1966
Tracks 13 & 15 from Spin single EK-1463, 1966
Tracks 14 & 16 from Spin single EK-1570, 1967
Various Artists, I Want, Need, Love You: Garage-Beat Nuggets from the Festival Vaults (Playback Records PBCD-001, 2016) (Amazon U.S. )
- I'll Be There (Sunshine QK-1132, 1965)
- Wasting My Time (Sunshine QK-1453, 1966)
- Bright Lights, Big City (Sunshine QK-1453, 1966)
- How Can She Know (Sunshine QK-1132, 1965)
- I Can't Find Her (Sunshine QK-1244, 1966)
- There's Time (Sunshine QK-1244, 1966)
- Saturday Date (Everybody's EK-1200, 1965)
- My Baby (with The Blue Jays) (Sunshine QK-999, 1965)
- No (with The Blue Jays) (Sunshine QK-999, 1965)
- Buy Some Love - Toni & Royce (CBS 221347, 1966)
- If You Don't Come Back (Everybody's EK-1200, 1965)
The Black Diamonds
- See The Way (Festival FK-1549, 1966)
- Not This Time (Festival FK-1963, 1967)
- I Want, Need, Love You (Festival FK-1549, 1966)
- The Lonely Hearts Club Christmas Party - The Love Machine (Festival FK-2526, 1968)
- Outside Lookin' In (Festival FK-1693, 1967)
- The Lion Sleeps To-Night - The Love Machine (Festival FK-2526, 1968)
- I'll Never Love Again (Leedon LK-1566, 1967)
- The Pogs' Theme (Leedon LK-1566, 1967)
- Goodnight, But Not Goodbye (Leedon LK-1838, 1967)
- Hey, Miss Thompson (Leedon LK-1494, 1966)
- Claret And Tears (Leedon LK-1372, 1966)
- Heidi (Leedon LK-1372, 1966)
- Scenes From An Affair (Leedon LK-1838, 1967)
- Now That It's Over (Leedon LK-1494, 1966)
- Aboriginal Referendum Jingle
Various Artists, On Broadway: The Songs of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (Playback Records PBCD-003, 2016) (Amazon U.S.)
- The Executives - It's A Happening World (Festival FK-2179, 1968)
- Terry Knight - Come Home Baby+ (Cameo 495, 1967)
- Dewey Edwards - Come On over To My Place+ (Cameo 364, 1963)
- Barry Mann - Talk To Me Baby (Red Bird 10-015, 1964)
- The Lovenotes - Baby Baby You (aka You Baby) (Cameo 409, 1966)
- The Crystals - On Broadway (Philles LP 2000, 1962)
- Danny And Diego - Glitter And Gold+ (Musicor 1138, 1965)
- The 5 A.M. Event - Hungry (Pye 7N 17154, 1966)
- The Graduates - The Shape Of Things To Come+ (GNP Crescendo 404, 1968)
- Nino Tempo & April Stevens - I Love How You Love Me (Atco 6375, 1965)
- Julie Grant - Baby Baby (I Still Love You) (Pye 7N 15756, 1965)
- Skeeter Davis - I Don't Want To Love You (originally unissued RCA Victor recording)
- The Shirelles - The Gospel Truth (Pricewise LP 4002, 1965)
- The Earls - Remember Me Baby (Old Town 1181, 1965)
- Ray Columbus & The Invaders - Till We Kissed (aka Where Have You Been) (Zodiac 1210, 1965)
- The Paris Sisters - See That Boy (Reprise LP 6259, 1967)
- Keith Powell - Goodbye Girl (Piccadilly 7N 35275, 1965)
- Walter Jackson - Not You (Okeh 7260, 1967)
- Glenn Yarbrough - It's Gonna Be Fine (RCA 8619, 1965)
- Twice As Much & Vashti - Coldest Night Of The Year (Immediate LP 013, 1968)
- Normie Rowe - It's Not Easy (Polydor 56132, 1966)
- Chuck Day & The Young Gyants - We Gotta Get Out Of This Place+ (Parkway P-132, 1968)
- Dionne Warwick - You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' (Scepter 12262, 1969)
- Roy Hamilton - Angelica++ (AGP 116, 1969)
- Wildfire - Bless You+ (Eric 5005, 1971)
- BJ Thomas - This Is A Love Song (originally unissued Scepter recording)
- The Delfonics - When You Get Right Down To It (Philly Groove 163, 1970)
- Jackie Wilson - Nobody But You (Brunswick 55536, 1977)
+ New to CD
++ Previously unreleased Stereo version
Mark H. says
Is the Australian dollar that much stronger than the U.S. dollar? Like the other Aussie reissue label Raven, $20+ dollars for one CD seems pretty high. Strongly tempted on the Mann-Weil comp, though.
They should put together a mono CD for "The Chicks". I love their take on Laura Nyro's "Stoney End" and P.F. Sloan's "What Am I Doing Here With You".