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’ve introduced 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!
Digitally reissued last week, “Beautiful Stranger” was Madonna’s retrofied contribution to the soundtrack to 1999’s Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Coming off the success of Ray of Light, this EP kept the dance-pop spirit of that album going with remixes of the track by Victor Calderone (along with William Orbit’s original radio version). Groovy, baby!
Run-DMC, Raising Hell (35th Anniversary EPs) (Profile/Arista/Legacy)
This week marks 35 years of Run-DMC’s third album, the first hip-hop LP to go platinum. To celebrate, Legacy’s put out four EPs dedicated to the album’s singles, including their groundbreaking Top 10 cover of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way,” featuring contributions from band frontman Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry. While most of these mixes were available on the digital compilations The Mixes and The Instrumentals Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 in 2019, there’s a few rarities to enjoy here, including mixes of “It’s Tricky” by Shep Pettibone and the single’s long-unavailable B-side “Uptempo.”
Remember this freestyle classic from 1986? Stacey Q’s Top 5 hit and minor-hit follow-up “We Connect” have been revived for digital services, in their original 12″ mixes.
Let the sunshine in. Upon its April 1968 opening at Broadway’s Biltmore Theatre (today the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre), James Rado, Gerome Ragni, and Galt MacDermot’s Hair inspired such a phenomenon that the “American tribal-love rock musical” quickly traveled to other shores. To date, the musical has been recorded well over 100 times around the world. In 1968 alone, it yielded German, Mexican, and Swedish cast albums (in addition to the Broadway and London recordings). Albums followed in Dutch, Hungarian, Czech, Italian, Hebrew, Portuguese, Icelandic, Spanish, and other languages. Legacy has just unearthed one of the most fascinating Hair recordings: the 1971 Original Japanese Cast. RCA had such high hopes for the album that, in a somewhat unusual move, the label released it in the U.S., too. While it briefly reappeared on CD in Japan in 1999, the album is now receiving a wider airing on streaming services. Such is the power of Hair‘s universal songs (including “Aquarius,” “Ain’t Got No,” “I Got Life,” “Good Morning, Starshine,” “Easy to Be Hard,” “Hair,” “Where Do I Go,” and “Let the Sunshine In”) that they resonate in these performances even to non-Japanese speakers. This Hair is certainly not a fright!