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!
Alongside a new Paramount+ documentary chronicling her Madame X theater tour, Madonna surprised released a digital audio companion to the film, recorded during the tour's run at the Coliseu dos Recreios in Lisbon, Portugal in 2020. The set list is very heavy on material from that most recent studio album (her 14th), but there are some great '90s hits peppered therein like "Vogue" and "Frozen," plus a main set-closing version of "Like a Prayer." (It's also the first release of Madonna's since inking a new catalogue deal with Warner Music Group, with curated reissues to kick off in 2022.)
Rhino has commissioned a handful of new remixes for Otis Redding's recent 80th birthday. The second is a spacey rework of the classic "Hard to Handle" by DJ Spinna, who offers a vocal and instrumental take on things.
Recorded nearly a year before Lou's canonical first solo live album, the rip-roaring Rock 'N' Roll Animal, this live set was released for Record Store Day Black Friday in 2020. Astoundingly, Legacy Recordings has neither communicated this digital release to social channels or their list of digital backfill titles when it was released September 24; we give a warm shout-out to reader Neal Alhadeff for pointing its existence out to us!
Legacy's Philadelphia International Records 50th anniversary celebration continues apace with the latest in a series of digital collections of rarities and remixes in the legendary label's catalogue. This one collects nearly two dozen vintage extensions of classics like MFSB and The Three Degrees "T.S.O.P. (The Sound of Philadelphia)," Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes' "Don't Leave Me This Way," The O'Jays' "I Love Music," The Intruders' "I'll Always Love My Mama" and more.
Universal's been impressively filling the gaps in Billy Preston's A&M catalogue over the last few weeks, and the installation of his second album for the label - featuring the chart-topper "Will It Go Round in Circles" and the first appearances of future A&M hitmakers The Brothers Johnson (guitarist George and bassist Louis) as session members - just about closes that chapter entirely.
Founded in 1971, the Congressional Black Caucus works to empower Black and marginalized communities through elected official power. This all-star concert, recorded in the fall of 1974 as a benefit and awareness-raising initiative for the CBC, features performances by Kool & The Gang, Curtis Mayfield, Gladys Knight & The Pips, War and jump blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon.
Paula Abdul, Cold Hearted (Extended Version) / Knocked Out (Virgin)
Another pair of remix bundles from Abdul's breakthrough debut album Forever Your Girl are available to stream and download. This time, it's a quartet of mixes and edits of first single "Knocked Out" plus a four-track EP that features extended mixes of "Cold Hearted," "Knocked Out," "Straight Up" and the album's title track.
Indigo Girls, Least Complicated / Power of Two (Epic)
The delivery of single-only rarities from the Indigo Girls continues, with a pair of digital EPs from the duo's fifth album Swamp Ophelia. Each features acoustic or live mixes of songs from that era.
The Deadly Nightshade, The Deadly Nightshade / F&W (Phantom/RCA)
An intriguing discovery here: a pair of mid-'70s country-folk albums by a rare band at the time to be entirely comprised of women - a conceit novel enough to make The New York Times. Sophomore album F&W (for "Funky & Western") might be the quirkier of the two, thanks to some interesting covers, including Jan & Dean's "Little Old Lady from Pasadena," Martha & The Vandellas' "Dancing in the Streets," and - most bizarrely - a minor hit version of the theme to Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman featuring disco rhythms and a killer session horn section that includes Michael and Randy Brecker and David Sanborn.
Recently released on CD by SoulMusic.com Records, this 3CD set features the chronological studio output of the gospel-pop quartet notable for bringing Cissy Houston (Whitney's mother) to the forefront. This material makes up five great albums and many singles in the sterling tradition of Atlantic's soulful output at this crucial time in pop history.
An interesting one-off single of sorts here from R&B/pop singer Brandy. This otherwise-unavailable song was heard on the soundtrack to the extremely forgettable Osmosis Jones, a high-concept flop that featured animated, mismatched "body cops" (a white blood cell and a cold pill played by Chris Rock and David Hyde Pierce) working to stop a virus (Laurence Fishburne) from running amok in a live-action slob (Bill Murray).
The wait is nearly over: Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith will release The Tipping Point, the seventh Tears for Fears album (and first since 2004), in February 2022. Having abandoned a previous idea to collaborate with current pop hitmakers, the lead single and title track sounds like an intriguing mix of each of the band's phases: moody, synth-driven pop; cinematic, expansive rhythm-rock; intricate alternative sounds - and beautiful vocal harmonies between both members. (A brilliant new profile by Laura Barton for The Guardian dives deep on the pain from which the album was born, including the harrowing loss of Orzabal's wife and the strengthening bond between the often-opposite bandmates, who've been friends since their teens.) This is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting releases of the new year!