It seems that the Cherry Red family of labels' slogan should be "expect the unexpected." Each label is run by a different team, resulting in an extremely diverse array of offerings. Steve Stanley's Now Sounds celebrates, but isn't strictly limited to, the musical era of 1964-1972. Past reissues have encompassed such styles as harmony and sunshine pop (Roger Nichols and the Small Circle of Friends, The Association), folk (Janis Ian), light psychedelia (Colours), "Bacharock" (The Golden Gate) and
Review: The Rolling Stones, "Exile on Main Street" Deluxe Edition
Few records hold the mystique of the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St. Myths have grown and books have been published in an attempt to explain the sprawling album. The story generally goes that 1972 found the band, literally, as tax exiles, seeking refuge across the English Channel in France. A villa in Villefranche-sur-Mer named Nellcote is rented. Music is made. Sex and drugs abound. Somehow in all this debauchery a record is produced, and that record is Exile on Main St. When Universal Music
Back Tracks: The Solo Bacharach
May 12, 2012: Happy 84th birthday, Burt Bacharach! The living legend was recently the recipient, with longtime lyricist Hal David, of The Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, bestowed upon the team by President Barack Obama. In celebration of the maestro's birthday and this great honor, we're republishing this special installment of Back Tracks, exploring Bacharach's solo career from 1965's Hit Maker! through 2008's Live at the Sydney Opera House! Age hasn’t slowed Burt
If You've Been Seeking P.F. Sloan...
"I have been seeking P.F. Sloan/But no one knows where he has gone..." With those lyrics, Jimmy Webb immortalized the reclusive songwriter, admonishing listeners, "Don't sing this song, it belongs to P.F. Sloan." But when Webb wrote those words in 1971, Sloan had only been away from the music scene for three or four years; in fact, he was a quite prolific writer in the years between 1964 and 1967, often in collaboration with Steve Barri. Sloan, already an established writer of pure pop songs
Reissue Theory: "Stoney and Meatloaf"
This week sees the release of Hang Cool, Teddy Bear, the 11th studio offering from Meat Loaf. The outsized rock personality skyrocketed to fame with 1977's Bat Out of Hell, the theatrical rock opus penned by Jim Steinman and produced by Todd Rundgren. As Meat prepares to unleash his latest work (cheekily placing a roman numeral "IV" on the album's back cover, making it clear that he intends Hang Cool as another Steinman-less sequel to Bat), could there be a better time for a Reissue Theory-style
Back Tracks: Barry Manilow, Part 2 (1985-2010)
Back Tracks left Barry Manilow in 1984 after the release of his first genre-specific album, the jazz-inflected 2:00 a.m. Paradise Café. We pick up with him shifting gears in an attempt to once again court the pop market. He’s left his longtime label, Arista, and signed a new deal with RCA. This union would be a short-lived one, producing just four albums: two sets of his greatest hits as sung in Spanish and Portuguese, and the following two discs... Manilow (RCA, 1985 - reissued Legacy,
Back Tracks: Barry Manilow, Part 1 (1973-1984)
Where Barry Manilow is concerned, it's best to let the facts speak for themselves. A Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award winner, Manilow scored his first Billboard No. 1 album in 1977, his most recent in 2006. His string of hit singles extended from 1974's chart-topping "Mandy" to 1983's Top 20 "Read 'Em and Weep," with 38 songs hitting the Top 40. He's recorded over 25 studio albums and released countless more live discs, compilations and soundtracks, and regularly plays to sell-out houses after over
Review: Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim, "Sinatra/Jobim: The Complete Reprise Recordings"
"Tall and tan and young and handsome..." Those lyrics to Antonio Carlos Jobim's "The Boy from Ipanema" kicked off a bossa nova boom that saw virtually every noteworthy vocalist and jazz musician of the 1960s recording in the mellow Brazilian style. Frank Sinatra, though, was hardly one to follow a trend for hipness' sake. By 1967, the label he founded, Reprise, was turning its sights to Laurel Canyon and Haight-Ashbury, and the bossa craze was on the wane. Sinatra would, as always, record on his
Review: "Batman - The Movie: Original Motion Picture Score"
It's somewhat ironic that a man so closely associated with the lush, timeless music of Frank Sinatra would find such great fame (or notoriety?) as a composer scoring one of the most over-the-top television series ever. Yet such was the case of Nelson Riddle, who as arranger and conductor was a chief sonic architect of Sinatra's unprecedented run of Capitol concept albums and beyond. His television credits included such groundbreaking programs as The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Naked City and Route
Review: Carole King, "The Essential Carole King"
“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman.” “Up on the Roof.” “You’ve Got a Friend.” All of these songs have found a permanent home as part of The Great American Songbook, and all come from the pen of one Carole King. Her repertoire as both singer and songwriter is celebrated with this week’s release of Legacy’s The Essential Carole King (Ode/Epic/Legacy 88697 68257 2), the first set to focus on both aspects of King’s now 50-plus year career. Producers Lou
Review: Tom Lehrer, "The Tom Lehrer Collection"
The career of Tom Lehrer is an improbable one. A Harvard mathematics instructor by day and musical satirist by night, Lehrer was never particularly prolific. His entire output amounts to around 50 songs and a handful of albums which have been repackaged over the years. Most of his oeuvre was recorded between 1953 and 1965. Yet he was the recipient of a lavish 3-CD Rhino box set collecting most of his work in one place (The Remains of Tom Lehrer, Rhino R2 79831), and with that set now
Review: Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli, "Live at the London Palladium"
Leave it to Bob Dylan. In his 2004 memoir Chronicles Volume One, he writes about the experience of listening to Judy Garland: "A couple of times I dropped a coin right into the slot and played 'The Man That Got Away' by Judy Garland. The song always did something to me...listening to Judy was like listening to the girl next door." He writes of the song's composer, Harold Arlen: "In Harold's songs, I could hear rural blues and folk music...there was an emotional kinship there." He continues,
Reissue Theory: Neil Diamond with a Bang!
Long before he read about a frog who dreamed of being a king – and then became one – Neil Diamond was an up-and-coming songwriter in the waning days of the Brill Building. After a few unsuccessful stabs at recording in the early part of the decade, Diamond was taken under the wing of Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Bert Berns. In January 1966, the hits started coming: first “Sunday and Me” for Jay and the Americans, then “I’m A Believer” and “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You,” both for the
News Roundup: Unreleased Motown and More Coming From Ace
I’ve often described Ace Records as the “British Rhino.” If Rhino pioneered the concept of the deluxe reissue in America – containing bonus tracks, in-depth liner notes and unique packaging – Ace keeps the original Rhino tradition alive across the pond. Virtually every month, Ace and its family of labels releases a handful of titles (both album reissues and compilations) to make collectors’ mouths water. The batch arriving in the UK on April 26 and on our shores throughout May is no
Review: Two by Mancini
Henry Mancini would have gone down in film history had he only composed the instantly recognizable “Pink Panther Theme,” or supplied the melody to Johnny Mercer’s wistful lyric “Moon River.” But those accomplishments are mere tips of the iceberg for the man who scored over 80 films and recorded over 90 albums, garnering 20 Grammys and 4 Oscars along the way. Hardly a year goes by without a CD reissue of one of his classic scores, and 2010 is no exception, with 2 very different works given new
Hot Fudge Sundae!
Their repertoire was pretty standard for the late 1960s: a Lennon/McCartney tune here, a Bacharach and David song there, a Motown cover for good measure, even "The Windmills of Your Mind." But similarities ended there between Vanilla Fudge and their MOR-covering contemporaries. Over the course of five albums for the Atco label, the Fudge brought a psychedelic touch to the gestating sound of so-called "heavy rock" with blues-drenched, extended takes on familiar songs. Shadow Morton, famed
Review: Chicago - "Chicago Transit Authority" Quadradisc
What is Quadio? That's the question currently being posed by the fine folks over at Rhino.com. For an answer and some fun interactivity, click here. But in short, Quadio describes the new series of four-channel audio DVDs (or "Quadradiscs") being introduced by Rhino with the reissue of 1969's Chicago Transit Authority, the first album by the band later known simply as Chicago. This release is a landmark in a number of ways. For one thing, it signals a new attempt to court the dedicated
Review: Elvis Presley - "On Stage: Legacy Edition"
When Elvis Presley took the stage of the newly-built Las Vegas International, "the world's largest resort hotel," on July 31, 1969, few predicted that a new era would start for the entertainer. Presley had been absent from the concert stage for eight years and the Vegas community still harbored memories of his poorly-received 1956 stint at the New Frontier Hotel. Despite the recent success of singles "In the Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds," not to mention the hallowed '68 Comeback Special,
The (Original) Sound of Philadelphia
Long before the triumvirate of Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell immortalized "The Sound of Philadelphia" as silky, smooth soul, Cameo-Parkway Records supplied the soundtrack to the City of Brotherly Love. The label may be best known for dances like the 81, the Twist, the Hully Gully, the Wah-Watusi and the Mashed Potato, or for teenage icons like Bobby Rydell. But Cameo-Parkway's roster was in fact much more diverse, from garage rockers ? and the Mysterians to doo-wop legend Johnny
Review: David Bowie - "David Bowie" Deluxe Edition
David Bowie circa 1966 was an artist in search of an identity. He had flirted with theatre, the mod movement, and even mime. When signed by Decca's Deram arm, he had already released six unsuccessful singles on three different labels and fronted a number of quickly-vanishing bands. The Decca contract came shortly after his recordings for Pye, which had been shepherded by British hitmaker Tony Hatch of "Downtown" and "Call Me" fame. The Deram album, simply titled David Bowie, was all but
You've Still Got A Friend: "The Essential Carole King"
The Second Disc is pleased to introduce our first contributor, Joe Marchese. Joe is a NY/NJ-based writer, theatre director and music enthusiast, and is thrilled to be on board. For many of her fans, Carole King's career begins and ends with Tapestry. It's not hard to see why; the seminal 1971 album spent fifteen weeks perched at No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart, remained on the chart for six years, spawned two chart-topping pop singles, and influenced an entire generation of introspective