While The Second Disc prides itself on connecting people to reissues and box sets they can keep on their shelves, it’s no secret that listening audiences are also digital – catalogue music lovers, too – and our passion is connecting people to music from the past that they might adore. So we’re introducing a new Saturday feature: The Weekend Stream, which focuses on hidden gems that recently made it to digital channels that might make your playlists a little brighter!
Watch this: not a whole lot of off-the-hook digital releases to mention, but wanted to say a few words about videos! It’s always neat when labels remaster videos well – it’s costly and difficult to do it from all the original elements, but the reward is high. It’s cool to see especially “classic” videos in better quality than DVD, let alone MTV back in the day – a few years ago, the video to Michael Jackson’s Thriller was shown theatrically with an otherwise forgettable movie, and despite the needless 3D conversion, seeing it with such sharpness was revelatory.
Two such videos dropped today that might be worth your time. Ahead of the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band box set, the former Beatle’s “Mother” clip (originally created in 2003) has been upgraded to 4K – about the highest quality you can do – and synched to the new box’s “Ultimate” mix.
Meanwhile, Queen are planning a yearlong roll-out of video material on YouTube under the campaign name The Greatest. Set to start next Friday, March 19, it’ll cover all their tours chronologically, with what appears to be a mix of previously released (but not officially streaming) concert footage and some behind-the-scenes stuff. It looks like they’re planning on stretching this into March 2022 and even including material from their recent tours with Adam Lambert (if that’s your thing).
Grammy weekend: Let’s not pretend the 63rd annual awards ceremony is all things to all people – Second Disc HQ will be ordering a pizza and watching in search of some good if perfunctory performances – but it felt nice to wish luck to all the nominees in the categories that mean the most to TSD readers: the historical and packaging categories! Those up for a Grammy this year are below. They won’t be televised but we salute them all here!
Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package
Paul McCartney, Flaming Pie (Collector’s Edition) (MPL/Capitol)
Lin Wie Andersen, Simon Earith, Paul McCartney & James Musgrave, art directors
Grateful Dead, Giants Stadium 1987, 1989, 1991 (Grateful Dead/Rhino)
Lisa Glines & Dorian Tyson, art directors
Depeche Mode, MODE (Sire/Rhino)
Jeff Schulz & Paul A. Taylor, art directors
Wilco, Ode to Joy (dBpm)
Lawrence Azerrad & Jeff Tweedy, art directors
Various Artists, The Story of Ghostly International (Ghostly International/Vinyl Me, Please)
Michael Cina & Molly Smith, art directors
Best Album Notes
Various Artists, At The Minstrel Show: Minstrel Routines from the Studio, 1894-1926 (Archeophone)
Tim Brooks, writer
Various Artists, The Bakersfield Sound: Country Music Capital of the West, 1940-1974 (Bear Family)
Scott B. Bomar, writer
The Replacements, Dead Man’s Pop (Sire/Rhino)
Bob Mehr, writer
Various Artists, The Missing Link: How Gus Haenschen Got Us from Joplin to Jazz
and Shaped the Music Business (Archeophone)
Colin Hancock, writer
Nat Brusiloff, Out of a Clear Blue Sky (Riverfront)
David Sager, writer
Best Historical Album
Unique Quartette, Celebrated, 1895-1896 (Archeophone)
Meagan Hennessey & Richard Martin, compilation producers; Richard Martin, mastering engineer
Nat King Cole, Hittin’ the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943) (Resonance)
Zev Feldman, Will Friedwald & George Klabin, compilation producers; Matthew Lutthans, mastering engineer
Fred Rogers, It’s Such a Good Feeling: The Best of Mister Rogers (Omnivore)
Lee Lodyga & Cheryl Pawelski, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer
Prince, 1999: Super Deluxe Edition (NPG/Warner)
Trevor Guy, Michael Howe & Kirk Johnson, compilation producers; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Souvenir (UMC)
Carolyn Agger, compilation producer; Miles Showell, mastering engineer
Béla Fleck, Throw Down Your Heart: The Complete Africa Sessions (Craft)
Béla Fleck, compilation producer; Richard Dodd, mastering engineer
One more thing… earlier this week it was reported that Mike McGonigal, reissue producer and author of books on My Bloody Valentine and Galaxie 500 as well as the editor of Third Man-distributed zine Maggot Brain, is suffering from some sudden health complications. His community has rallied around him to offset the baffling costs of healthcare in America, with a GoFundMe passing its intended goal. Still, making a contribution if you are able to would be doing a solid for a fellow music fan.