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!
Look…up in the sky…it’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…Condorman? Yup, everybody’s favorite avian superhero is back with the streaming premiere of Henry Mancini’s high-flying soundtrack to Walt Disney Productions’ 1981 action-comedy romp. The multiple Academy Award-winning composer brought his typical ingenuity to the tale of a comic book artist (Michael Crawford) who dons the guise of his own creation to defeat some villainous Soviets. Directed by Charles Jarrott (Lost Horizon) and starring Michael Crawford and Oliver Reed, Condorman survived a critical drubbing and weak box office receipts to become a cult classic. It initially lived on via numerous airings in the early days of the Disney Channel, and subsequently appeared on VHS and a now-costly DVD release. Pixar’s animators even paid homage with an appearance of a Condorman toy in the short Small Fry. Even as the soundtrack now reappears, the film is still awaiting its berth on Disney+. Mancini’s score is highlighted by a tongue-in-cheek choral theme (‘Con-dor-man!’) for the hero, in addition to melodic love themes, taut suspense cues, and strong action sequences. The streaming program mirrors Intrada’s 2012 world premiere soundtrack CD presentation complete with outtakes and alternates. Look to the skies…Condorman is back!
Universal is revisiting the early-2000s Motown catalogue with a digital-only deluxe edition of 2002’s The Colored Section from the mononymous Donnie. The Atlanta-based, Kentucky-raised singer born Donnie Johnson took inspiration from his heroes including Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Donny Hathaway to create a moving and funky song suite reflecting on the African-American experience that was entirely clear-eyed and hard-hitting but still hopeful. The Colored Section was a powerful debut reframing classic soul with a modern sensibility and a dash of theatricality. Its topical themes ring truer than ever today. While Donnie has only released one more full-length album (2007’s The Daily News), he’s remained active, still making music and even revisiting The Colored Section live. The roughly 70-minute, 14-song album has been expanded to epic proportions for this digital-only deluxe edition: 30 songs and 2 hours and 40 minutes of music including numerous remixes. Fans of classic soul as well as contemporary R&B are urged to check this underrated classic out.
Can You Feel It? The chart-topping Dance hit from The Jacksons’ 1980 album Triumph, a Michael Jackson/Jackie Jackson co-write with lead vocals from Michael and his brother Randy, was a U.S. hit (No. 1 Dance/No. 30 R&B/No. 77 Pop) but fared even better overseas, reaching No. 6 in the U.K., No. 1 in Belgium, No. 1 in South Africa, and No. 2 in the Netherlands. Now, following the April 30 digital debut of an expanded Triumph, the pulse-pounding “Can You Feel It” is back with a remix EP. The three-track EP features a remix from four-time Grammy winner Robert Glasper; an edit of The Jacksons x MLK Remix featured on the Expanded Edition (incorporating the stirring words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama into the track); and a sleek reimagining of the song from Kirk Franklin and Tamela Mann which retains some of the original vocals.