The Second Disc is always updating our Holiday Gift Guide with items large and small that just might make the perfect stocking stuffer or present under the tree. In recent days, we've added entries for four very different releases that are all worth seeking out.
This handsome new vinyl box collects a dozen seven-inch, two-sided singles culled from Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's U.K. and international discographies. Why release a bunch of edited versions from one of the world's most highly regarded prog groups, well known for ambitious and extended compositions? In his foreword, Carl Palmer notes that the idea for this collection originated with him: "The music that you will hear opened the door to radio around the world, and then the musical concept of ELP was born." Click here to keep reading!
It was clear from the start that Marianne Faithfull was no ordinary artist. Following the success of the singles "As Tears Go By" and "Come and Stay with Me" (gifted to Marianne by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards and Jackie DeShannon, respectively), Decca wanted her to record a pop album. Marianne wanted to record a folk album. The result was that not one, but two, LPs were released in April 1965 showcasing two very different sides of the singer. (For the record, the folk set outperformed the pop record.) But whether recording the songs of Lennon and McCartney, Donovan, Bert Jansch, Bob Dylan, Tim Hardin, Carole King, Phil Ochs, Shel Silverstein, Tom Waits, or Serge Gainsbourg, Marianne Faithfull always stayed true to herself, bringing her own distinctive persona and sound to the session. Hence, Songs of Innocence and Experience - two abundant qualities in Faithfull's body of work. Click here to keep reading!
Maureen Taylor, Cosmic Connections: The Lyrics of Michael Colby (Brainstorm Records) (iTunes)
Lyricist-librettist Michael Colby continues to enjoy an extraordinary career in the musical theatre with such credits as the Drama Desk-nominated Charlotte Sweet (music: Gerald Jay Markoe), Ludlow Ladd (music: Markoe), Tales of Tinseltown (music: Paul Katz), Mrs. McThing (music: Jack Urbont), Slay It with Music (music: Katz), Boynton Beach Club (music: Ned Paul Ginsburg) and North Atlantic (music: James Fradrich). Colby is also the acclaimed author of the memoir The Algonquin Kid in which he vividly chronicled his adventures growing up at the legendary New York hotel surrounded by such luminaries as Ella Fitzgerald, Leonard Cohen, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, The Marx Brothers, and Helen Hayes. Now, vocalist Maureen Taylor has taken a deep dive into the Colby songbook for the delightful new album Cosmic Connections: The Music of Michael Colby, available on all streaming services from Brainstorm Records. The 20-track set, featuring musical direction and piano by Seth Weinstein, is based on Taylor's 2019 cabaret show of the same name and showcases the breadth of the lyricist's art. It's been produced by Colby, co-produced by Taylor and Frank Galgano, and arranged by Matt Castle with additional arrangements from Weinstein. Continue reading here!
Looking for three packed discs' worth of the best bands and artists you've never heard of - and a few you have? Look no further than the 23rd (!) volume of International Pop Overthrow. Curated by IPO founder David Bash and Rina Bardfield, this collection brings the long-running series back with a bang after a three-year hiatus due to...well, you know! Live music is back, and so is IPO; the fest has so far in 2022 hit cities including Phoenix, Chicago, Liverpool, San Diego, Vancouver, New York, and Boston. This eclectic 68-song sampler is overflowing with big hooks, bright guitars, shimmering harmonies, and an abundance of the kind of melodies you'd wished were still being written...and they are! Click here to continue reading!