Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up, featuring a selection of the new titles out today including a very special pair from Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music! Melissa Manchester, Live '77 (Second Disc Records/Real Gone Music) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Real Gone Music) Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music proudly present the premiere release of Melissa Manchester's Live '77, recorded by Arista Records in October 1977 at Gainesville, Florida's Great Southern
Review: Frank Zappa, "200 Motels: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - 50th Anniversary Edition"
Frank Zappa called 200 Motels "a surrealistic documentary." Leonard Maltin described it as a "visual, aural assault disguised as a movie; completely berserk, freeform film...some of it ingenious, some funny, but not enough to maintain [an] entire film." Roger Ebert compared the surreal musical to the work of experimental composer Harry Partch before observing that it "assaults the mind with everything on hand...a full wall of sight-and-sound input." Zappa never wrote and directed another
The Year In Review: The 2020 Gold Bonus Disc Awards, From A to Z
Happy 2021 and welcome to The Second Disc's 11th Annual Gold Bonus Disc Awards! The past year has presented any number of unprecedented challenges. But music has filled a more important role than ever, providing solace, comfort, and escape in a time unlike any other. With that spirit in mind, The Second Disc once again wishes to recognize 2020's cream of the catalogue music crop - those exemplary reissues and box sets big and small that proved to be truly outstanding for music lovers
Review: Joel McNeely, 'Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire'
For the 42 years Star Wars has been a pop cultural force, musical oddities have followed in the wake of its starship engines. Sure, legendary composer John Williams put an interstellar jazz number in the middle of his almost operatic score to the original 1977 film, but that didn't predict a chart-topping disco song, or Christmas albums, or quirky EDM, or various other ephemera in the ensuing decades. When Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire was released in 1996, amid a major comeback for that
The Year in Review: The 2019 Gold Bonus Disc Awards, From A to Z
Happy 2020 and welcome to The Second Disc's 10th Annual Gold Bonus Disc Awards! It's time once again to recognize this year's cream of the crop - those exemplary reissues and box sets big and small that proved to be truly outstanding products for music lovers worldwide. There was no shortage of great reissue titles in 2019; in fact, by our count, we covered over 700 releases in all! And after much deliberation, we're excited to unveil our favorites. This isn't your run-of-the-mill Top 10,
Release Round-Up: The Second Disc's 2019 Record Store Day Must-Haves
Looking for our usual Release Round-Up? Alas, there's not much new in the way of catalogue music this Friday (and we've already filled you in on Billy Paul and Leon Russell!), but for a very good reason: tomorrow sees releases a-plenty as part of Record Store Day! Without further ado, welcome to our annual rundown of Must-Haves for this year's RSD event! Once you're through reading, let us know what you're most looking forward to picking up tomorrow at your favorite local independent
You Made Me Love You: Judy Garland's "Lost Tracks 2" Collects 50 Rarities on 2 CDs
June 22, 2019 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of Judy Garland. Though Garland was only on this earth for 47 short years, she packed that time with incendiary performances on stage, screen, radio, television, and records. That still-singular body of work has been exceedingly well-documented in the years since her death, but remarkably, there's still more to be discovered. JSP Records has just followed up its acclaimed 2010 collection Lost Tracks 1929-1959 with a second
The Second Disc's 2018 Record Store Day Must-Haves
Welcome to our annual rundown of Must-Haves for this year's Record Store Day event! Once you're through reading, let us know what you're most looking forward to picking up tomorrow at your favorite local independent retailer! Our list features just a sampling of our favorites from our friends at Legacy Recordings, Varese Sarabande, Rhino Records, Real Gone Music, Demon Music Group, Walt Disney Records, Omnivore Recordings, and more! Joe's kicking things off with five essential picks (in
Holiday Gift Guide Review: Elton John, 'Diamonds'
It's not untoward to ask exactly who the intended audience of an Elton John compilation is in 2017. The British piano pop legend has been releasing music for more than 50 years now, and has enjoyed a run of success that began early in the '70s and has yet to entirely let up. And in that time, there have been plenty of collections for fans of all stripes. His very first greatest hits album topped both the U.S. and U.K. charts in 1974 and prompted a sequel only three years later (and a third a
Review: "Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track" [Super Deluxe Box Set]
Listen to the ground...there is movement all around... Saturday Night Fever didn't invent disco...but in many ways, it epitomized the genre. With the December 1977 release of the John Badham-directed drama and its soundtrack album, the onetime underground dance movement which had been rising to the mainstream since at least 1974 became the mainstream. Disco's alluring blend of the gritty and the glamorous gained a face in the form of John Travolta, whose tough yet tender Tony Manero of Bay
Hard-Hitting "Sweet Sweetback" Returns To Vinyl For Stax 60th Campaign
Upon its release in 1971, there was nothing quite like Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song. The low- budget, independently-made film - written, directed, edited, composed by and starring Melvin Van Peebles, and rated X "by an all-white jury" as its tagline proclaimed, ushered in the blaxploitation genre in shocking and often graphic fashion. Prior to the film's release, the multi-hyphenate Van Peebles realized that the best way to spread the word about his groundbreaking work was via music. And
Say Hello to Yesterday: Mark Wynter Anthology Traces Career From Pop Hits to Rare Showtunes
Mark Wynter scored his first hit pop single at the age of seventeen in 1960 with "Image of a Girl" on the Decca label, paving the way for future U.K. smashes like "Venus in Blue Jeans" and "Go Away Little Girl." By the end of the decade, he had taken his first steps towards an enduring theatrical career with a lead role in the musical Phil the Fluter. Flash-forward to 2016, and after decades onstage in such diverse musicals as Robert and Elizabeth, Cats, On the Twentieth Century, and Phantom
Review: "Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Deluxe Edition"
A Tribute Told in Vignettes... Well, I don't like to reduce us to just being part of the "Seattle Sound." I'd like to think of us as expanding more. Like, we're huge in Europe right now. I mean, we've got records... uh, a big record just broke in Belgium. -Cliff Poncier, Singles A Cameron Crowe film tends to have a "killer" soundtrack. Listening to a Crowe soundtrack is an intriguing adventure filled with carefully curated juxtapositions. In fact, the experience is a lot like the
Review: "Unsung Sherman Brothers: Song Scores from Three That Got Away"
How often does one get the opportunity to hear a never-before-released score from one of the most beloved songwriting teams of all time? How about three unreleased scores, then? And what if one of those scores featured seven never-before-heard performances from Sammy Davis, Jr.? Indeed, such opportunities are rare...making Kritzerland's new release of Unsung Sherman Brothers all the more special. This delectable and tuneful collection premieres rare demo recordings of three unproduced scores
Good Grief! Varese Premieres "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" On CD
When Charles Schulz, director-producer Lee Mendelson and co-producer Bill Melendez announced they were bringing Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the Peanuts gang to the big screen for the very first time, anticipation was naturally high. A Boy Named Charlie Brown was well-received upon its December 1969 theatrical debut, going on to do good business and receiving credit for breaking the Disney monopoly on feature-length animation. Today, it's still remembered as the best of the four Peanuts animated
Review: "The Sound of Music: 50th Anniversary Edition"
In the days when The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Peter and Gordon, The Zombies, The Animals and The Kinks were vying for chart supremacy, there was another British Invasion going on. And it was virtually a single-handed one. The invader in question was a winsome soprano named Julie Andrews, who was a perfect nanny not once but twice on the silver screen. Andrews’ performance as Mary Poppins saw her headlining the No. 1 album in the United States in March 1965 (emerging triumphant over Beatles
Review: Judy Garland, "Swan Songs, First Flights: Her First and Last Recordings"
"Forget your troubles, come on, get happy!" exhorts the song by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler. Ruth Etting, "America's Sweetheart of Song," introduced the anthem in 1930 as the finale of Broadway's short-lived The Nine Fifteen Revue. But as soon as a svelte Judy Garland performed the song against a painted backdrop of white clouds on a pink sky for 1950's MGM musical Summer Stock, "Get Happy" belonged to no one else. After all, Koehler's lyrics could have been written for Garland, epitomizing her
Friday Feature: Roy Budd's "Phantom of the Opera" Score Premieres For Classic Film
Welcome to the return of the Friday Feature, in which we turn the Second Disc spotlight onto classic film soundtracks and their various releases! Today, the Friday Feature is the 1925 Universal horror classic The Phantom of the Opera, and the rarely-heard score is by the late Roy Budd! Cue Mr. Budd's music of the night... When author Gaston Leroux introduced Le Fantôme de l'Opéra as a serialized novel in the pages of newspaper Le Gaulois in 1909, it was hardly likely that the former
Shaken, Not Stirred: Ace Mines "The Secret Agent Songbook" With "Come Spy with Us"
For many, the sound of John Barry epitomizes the sound of the spy thriller. It’s no surprise – with 12 James Bond films under his belt, the late, great British composer imbued his melodies with the right amount of adventure, humor, tension, sophistication, and well, sex. It’s fitting that Barry opens Ace Records’ superlatively entertaining new anthology Come Spy with Me: The Secret Agent Songbook, collecting 25 samples of swinging music from spies and secret agents (and even a handful of
The Entertainer: Marvin Hamlisch's "D.A.R.Y.L." Premieres on CD, Features Teddy Pendergrass and Nile Rodgers
It's appropriate that Marvin Hamlisch's only children's book was titled Marvin Makes Music, for making music was indeed what the man did - music for Broadway, music for television, music for the concert hall, music for the silver screen. In any genre, Marvin made music overflowing with melody, wit and heart, and his populist approach earned him the nickname "the people's composer." Hamlisch's film career began in 1968 with the score to the cult film The Swimmer and ended with his
Henry Mancini's "Who Is Killing The Great Chefs of Europe?" Inaugurates New Vintage Soundtrack Series From Varese
The 1978 film Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? billed itself as "a delicious mystery." Naturally, a delicious mystery would require a delicious score. To accompany the film's recipe of drama, suspense, comedy and action, director Ted Kotcheff turned to "top chef" Henry Mancini. No stranger to all of those genres and more, composer-arranger-conductor Mancini crafted a score that became one of the film's most memorable assets. The long out-of-print soundtrack album, originally
Donna Summer and John Barry Go "Deep" On New Hot Shot Reissue
Everything about The Deep was big. Jaws author Peter Benchley was guaranteed over half a million dollars by impresario Peter Guber for film rights to his unpublished follow-up in a deal which seemed justified when The Deep finally arrived and quickly became a bestseller. For his big screen-ready underwater adventure, Guber had a big budget, big locations for shooting, and a big partner in Neil Bogart's Casablanca Records. Bogart wasn't known for doing anything small, and as the inaugural
Ray Charles, Glen Campbell, Chet Baker, Peggy Lee Featured On Soundtrack Bumper Crop From Varese
Varese Vintage is going any which way they can with an exciting trio of soundtrack releases from the library of Snuff Garrett’s Viva Records label. Garrett, of course, was the producer behind major hits from Gary Lewis and the Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”), Cher (“Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves”) and future “Mama” Vicki Lawrence (“The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”). At Viva, he oversaw an eclectic array of releases from artists like the Midnight String Quartet, Alan O’Day, Ray Price and
Review: "The Muppet Movie: Original Soundtrack Recording"
I'm a pretty sensitive person, but there are few things that trigger my emotions easier than The Muppets. Searching through Muppet clips yields almost a 100% guarantee on being moved to tears; just finding the link to this ciip from the 1990 special The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson made me start tearing up, and my last trip to Walt Disney World began with me leaving the plane to Orlando, choking back my emotions over a screening of 2011's The Muppets. (For the record, this is the scene that made
Darlene Love, Nino Tempo, The Sweet Inspirations Feature On Jeff Barry's "The Idolmaker" Soundtrack
Perhaps the time just wasn’t right for The Idolmaker. Director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman, Ray) made his feature-length motion picture debut with the 1980 film based on the life of Philadelphia impresario Bob Marcucci, enlisting Ray Sharkey to play the fictionalized manager Vincent Vacari. In reality, Marcucci had discovered Frankie Avalon and Fabian; in the film, the teen idols were Tommy Dee (Paul Land) and Caesare (Peter Gallagher). The United Artists picture received some