Rhino's Quadio series, presenting original four-channel quadraphonic album mixes on Blu-ray, relaunched earlier this year with a quartet of titles from Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, J. Geils Band, and Jefferson Starship - watch this space for a review of all four releases tomorrow! Now, the label has unveiled the next batch of Quadio titles which are all available now exclusively through Rhino.com. This group is an even more eclectic one, with R&B (The Spinners), jazz (Charles Mingus), classic rock-pop (America), and pop-folk and country (Gordon Lightfoot).
When The Spinners left Motown Records after nearly a decade, they had never scored a top 10 Pop hit despite coming this close with "It's a Shame" (No. 14). That all changed once producer-arranger-conductor-songwriter Thom Bell came into the picture. The Spinners made their long-playing debut on Atlantic in March 1973 with the self-titled Spinners. The album contained not one but four major hits, including two Top 5 Pop entries and three R&B chart-toppers. Bell built on the sound of his plush productions for The Stylistics by adding a funkier touch, brought to life by the superb musicianship of the core MFSB house band at Sigma Sound. Spinners boasts immersive mixes of that quartet of hits: Bell and Phil Hurtt's "I'll Be Around" (No. 3 Pop/No. 1 R&B), Melvin and Mervin Steals' "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" (No. 4 Pop/No. 1 R&B), Joseph B. Jefferson's "One of a Kind (Love Affair)" (No. 11 Pop/No. 1 R&B), and Bell and Linda Creed's "Ghetto Child" (No. 29 Pop/No. 4 R&B). Spinners topped the R&B album chart and went to No. 14 on the Billboard 200, relaunching the career of the group that's being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this November. This Quadio Blu-ray continues an extraordinary year for The Spinners which has also seen the release of The Complete Atlantic Singles: The Thom Bell Productions 1972-1979 on Real Gone Music and Second Disc Records and Ain't No Price on Happiness: The Thom Bell Studio Recordings (1972-1979) on SoulMusic Records.
America's fourth studio album, 1974's Holiday, was the first of a remarkable seven-album collaboration between the band and famed producer George Martin. Recording at the future Sir George's AIR Studios in the U.K., Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, and Dan Peek served up a dozen remarkable songs including two which would become hit top five Pop singles and reach No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart: Bunnell's impressionistic "Tin Man" and Dan and Catherine Peek's warm ode to all the "Lonely People." Holiday returned the band to the top five of the Billboard 200 after 1973's Hat Trick stalled at No. 28; it was certified Gold and set the stage for Hearts which yielded two Beckley-penned smashes in "Sister Golden Hair" and "Daisy Jane."
1974's Mingus Moves, late jazz bassist Charles Mingus' 37th studio album, marked his return to Atlantic Records, where he had recorded in the 1950s and 1960s. The album welcomed sidemen Don Pullen on piano, Ronald Hampton on trumpet, and George Adams on tenor saxophone as well as drummer Dannie Richmond who returned to Mingus' orbit after a number of years away. The album introduced three Mingus compositions ("Canon," "Opus 3," and "Opus 4") as well as pieces from Pullen and Adams, among others. Mingus would remain on Atlantic through his death in January 1979; the recent box set Changes: The Complete 1970s Atlantic Recordings chronicles this creatively fertile if ultimately bittersweet period in full.
Legendary Canadian troubadour Gordon Lightfoot's Sundown was his first and only album to top the U.S. Billboard 200. It was bolstered by the strength of the evocative title track, which went No. 1 Pop and AC; and the deliciously breezy "Carefree Highway," No. 10 Pop and No. 1 AC. Both singles also made the Country survey. Produced by Lenny Waronker (Randy Newman, Harpers Bizarre), Sundown encapsulated Lightfoot's timeless storytelling style while representing the singer-songwriter at his commercial zenith.
All four Quadio titles feature the original 4.0-channel mix as well as a stereo (2.0-channel) mix in 192/24 high resolution audio. The Blu-rays feature original label artwork. Rhino's Steve Woolard, Director of A&R for the Quadio series, remarks in the press release, "I can't wait for these to come out! Following in the footsteps of the Chicago and Doobie Brothers Quadio sets, these are transferred from the original half-inch four-channel masters at 192/24 resolution and sound amazing. Considering they've been in the vault for 50 years, the tapes were in pristine condition and needed no tweaks or fixes. They sound as fresh, rich, and powerful as the day they were created. And, of course, there's also a 192/24 stereo program from the two-track master as well. Just because."
The new Quadio titles are available now, individually at Rhino.com as well as in a bundle. You'll find order links and track listings below!
Spinners, Spinners (Atlantic QD 7256, 1973 - reissued Warner/Rhino, 2023)
- Just Can't Get You Out of My Mind
- Just You and Me Baby
- Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You
- I Could Never (Repay Your Love)
- I'll Be Around
- One of a Kind (Love Affair)
- We Belong Together
- Ghetto Child
- How Could I Let You Get Away
- Could It Be I'm Falling in Love
America, Holiday (Warner Bros. W4 2808, 1974 - reissued Warner/Rhino, 2023)
- Tin Man
- Another Try
- Lonely People
- Glad to See You
- Mad Dog
- Baby It's Up to You
- Old Man Took
- What Does It Matter
- In the Country
Gordon Lightfoot, Sundown (Reprise MS4 2177, 1974 - reissued Reprise/Rhino, 2023)
- Somewhere, U.S.A.
- High and Dry
- Seven Island Suite
- Circle of Steel
- Is There Anyone Home
- The Watchman's Gone
- Carefree Highway
- The List
- Too Late for Prayin'
Charles Mingus, Mingus Moves (Atlantic QD 1653, 1974 - reissued Atlantic/Rhino, 2023)
- Opus 4
- Flowers for a Lady
- Opus 3