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 feature: The Weekend Stream, which focuses on hidden gems that recently made it to digital channels that might make your playlists a little brighter!
Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band, Trout Mask Replica (Zappa) (Qobuz)
The biggest digital reissue news of the week – maybe of the month – is that the Zappa Family Trust is getting Trout Mask Replica – the iconic and oddball, Frank Zappa-produced 1969 album by Don Van Vliet, better known as Captain Beefheart – back into digital print. (It lands in hi-res exclusively on Qobuz now, with standard partners receiving it within the month.) Rolling Stone chatted with Frank’s son Ahmet about the release; he says it just took a long time to get it up digitally. (The album uses Bob Ludwig’s 2012 remaster and a 2018 restoration of the cover made for a Third Man Records vinyl version.)
Pride Month may be over, but you don’t need a holiday to dig this new 11-minute mix of Sylvester’s disco classic by Belgian dlectronic duo Soulwax. The secret to this mix’s success is that it goes full old school, only using what was on the original multitracks to re-establish its grooves.
A genuine, pleasant surprise for post-punk and indie lovers, Legacy has released a generous expansion of 1985’s Beat Hotel, the second full-length by Hoboken rockers The Bongos. Coming off the crossover success of “Numbers with Wings” in 1983, Beat Hotel lived up to its name with dense, rhythmic tracks masterminded mainly by band frontman Richard Barone. This deluxe set now includes a dozen unreleased demos recorded in 1984, including unheard cut “South of the Border” and “Roman Circus,” which became the closing track on lost album Phantom Train (left on the shelf until 2013 – an occasion for which we interviewed Barone at the time!).
Soul Asylum, The Silver Lining (Expanded Edition) / Stand Up and Be Strong EP (Legacy)
Stalwart Minneapolis rock band Soul Asylum teamed with Legacy Recordings (who managed their most successful ’90s material on Columbia Records) for their ninth album, released in 2006. As their first album in eight years, it marked a period of transitions: it was their last with founding bassist Karl Mueller, who died of cancer the year before (Tommy Stinson of The Replacements replaced him), and their first with drummer Michael Bland, who’d backed Prince through the ’90s in The New Power Generation. (It’s no accident that the connection to the Purple One is driving these titles: he covered the album’s lead track “Stand Up and Be Strong” for the unreleased Welcome 2 America album that Legacy is loosing from The Vault this month.) Not only does The Silver Lining now feature two bonus cuts – the previously hidden track “Fearless Leader” and the Japanese exclusive “Showtime” – but an EP for “Stand Up and Be Strong” includes rare live cuts from 2005 recorded at the legendary Twin Cities venue First Avenue, including ’90s fave “Misery.”
A new EP celebrating the Spice Girls’ breakthrough international hit will surely have what pop fans really, really want: in addition to the original single and an edit of a remix by Junior Vasquez, it also features a demo of “Wannabe” and a legendary rare outtake called “Feed Your Love” – allegedly shelved because its lyrics were considered too risqué at the time.
A fun rarity from the mid-’90s, this triplicate of mixes of The Art of Noise’s classic “Moments in Love” by 808 State’s Graham Massey was intended for 12″ release in 1994 – but none of them emerged until some two decades later on various compilations. Now they’re back in their originally intended order!
The side project of New Order’s married drummer and keyboardist, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, first arose on an oft-delayed album finally issued in 1993 after crawling from the wreckage of the Factory Records label. A 1999 release, Super Highways, served as a follow-up not long after New Order reconvened after a hiatus during much of the decade. It’s now digitally available with a trio of bonus remixes that originated on Japanese copies of the album.
The jazz guitar legend’s fourth and final release for Concord now features a pair of extra Nat “King” Cole covers originally included as Best Buy-exclusive tracks.
Today, Randy Edelman might be best known as the acclaimed composer of such diverse film scores as The Last of the Mohicans, Ghostbusters II, Beethoven, and My Cousin Vinny. But pop aficionados know Edelman, too, for his string of compelling singer-songwriter albums for labels including MGM, 20th Century, Arista, and Varese Sarabande, and for his classic songs – chief among them “Weekend in New England,” a No. 1 AC and Top 10 pop smash for Barry Manilow. The Carpenters, Olivia Newton-John, and Dionne Warwick are just a few of the artists who have recorded Edelman’s heartfelt compositions.
Now he’s back in singer-songwriter mode for a timely new tune which has just been released to digital and streaming services. “Comin’ Out the Other Side” isn’t a mellow slice of soft-rock, however; it’s a drum-driven rock-and-roll meditation on surviving the COVID-19 pandemic and returning to life. Edelman’s supple voice is strong, his message is urgent, and his melodic sensibility as unerring as ever on the pulsating track. An ode to positivity, “Comin’ Out the Other Side” makes an inspiring soundtrack as we emerge back into the world at large.
While you’re at it, consider giving a spin to 1976’s If Love Is Real and 2011’s The Pacific Flow to Abbey Road, Edelman’s only two vocal albums currently streaming. (Sadly, his 1975 classic Farewell, Fairbanks is among his albums still missing from digital services.) A listen to Dionne Warwick’s We Need to Go Back: The Unissued Warner Bros. Masters might also brighten your Saturday. In addition to long-lost songs from Burt Bacharach, Thom Bell, and Ashford and Simpson, the collection has three stunners from Randy Edelman: “You Are the Sunlight, I Am the Moon,” “Give a Little Laughter,” and “The Laughter and the Tears.” It’s streaming now from Rhino.