When The Knack burst onto the scene in 1979 with the album Get the Knack, allegedly the fastest-selling debut LP since Meet the Beatles, was it a case of déjà vu for Dink Kaplan, Larry Gould, Pug Baker and Michael Chain? The "My Sharona" group was a quartet that came to prominence in Los Angeles, played the Sunset Strip, signed to Capitol Records, and was lauded for a Beatlesque pop style via a massive promotional campaign. But Kaplan, Gould, Baker and Chain had been through it all before.
Déjà Vu: Expanded Reissue of Dionne Warwick’s 1979 “Dionne,” Produced by Barry Manilow, Arrives on CD
Dionne Warwick recently announced a new album, produced by Phil Ramone. Entitled Now, the projected October release will reflect on a storied career that’s lasted 50 years. But Warwick was in a very different place then, meaning in 1979. The sophisticated soul singer was at a crossroads. Her unprecedented string of pop and R&B hits written and produced by Burt Bacharach and Hal David at Scepter Records were far in the rearview mirror. Bacharach and David had bitterly split after just
He’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony): RPM Reissues Famed Songwriter Roger Cook’s “Study”
Even if you don't know the name of Roger Cook, chances are you do know his songs: "You've Got Your Troubles," "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing," "My Baby Loves Lovin'," "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress," just to name a few. But like so many of his contemporaries, the songwriter harbored aspirations of a solo career, too. This wasn't so far-fetched; as half of the duo David and Jonathan (with Roger Greenaway, co-writer of all those aforementioned songs), Cook was already a bona fide
RCA Victor famously trumpeted back in 1959 that 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong in compiling the singer's hit singles from 1958-1959. Well, can 250,000 Elvis fans be wrong? Earlier this year, Elvis Presley Enterprises and Legacy Recordings gave today's crop of fans a chance to vote on their favorites from the King's rich catalogue. Over a quarter million votes were tabulated; do you agree with the final picks? The results are now on display via I Am an Elvis Fan (RCA/Legacy 88725 42334
When Jellyfish's Live at Bogart's was recorded on February 21, 1991, did anybody realize that neither the band nor the venue were long for this world? On December 2, 1993, The Los Angeles Times lamented the closure of the Long Beach, California club, calling it a "mighty blow" to the local music community. Yet Bogart's actually outlasted the first iteration of the band that hailed from miles up north in the San Francisco Bay Area. Andy Sturmer (drums/vocals), Roger Joseph Manning Jr.
Picture yourself in a boat on a river…with tangerine trees and marmalade skies… Now, picture the evocative imagery of The Beatles’ most mind-bending lyrics transferred to a silver screen world where imagination and wonder run rampant. The result might be something like the 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine. Out of print for some time on DVD, Yellow Submarine has just returned to DVD and Blu-Ray (5099962146098) in a painstakingly restored new edition from Apple Corps and
Real Gone Music has become known for its wide-ranging and eclectic releases, and today we’re looking at three of the most recent, from the countrypolitan stylings of Jerry Reed to the rock animals of Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo and the pure pop of The Dūrocs! Dūrocs, Dūrocs (Real Gone Music RGM-0058, 2012) Are you ready to hear one of the best albums you’ve never heard? Then head straight to the pig pen for the first-ever CD release of Dūrocs. Primarily written and produced by the team of Ron
In Part One of our special two-part series, we recalled the ups and downs of The Beach Boys and the band’s chief musical architect, Brian Wilson. Today, in Part Two, we turn the spotlight over to That’s Why God Made the Radio, the new album in stores today from America’s Band! Brian Wilson is still a cork on the ocean floating over the raging sea. But is that a whiff of contentment I hear running through The Beach Boys’ “reunion” album, That’s Why God Made the Radio? Despite the ups and
Reviews: First Family of Soul – Rare Albums From Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick, Cissy Houston Reissued and Expanded
If there's such a thing as a First Family of Soul, it might as well be the combined Houston/Warwick clan. Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1933, Emily "Cissy" Drinkard sang gospel with her family as part of The Drinkard Singers, which counted Cissy's sister Lee Warrick among its members. Marie Dionne Warrick was born in 1940 to Lee and her husband Mancel; Delia Mae "Dee Dee" Warrick followed in 1942. Though The Drinkard Singers remain an important part of the history of gospel music, said to
Though there’s no one formula for creating a great song, there’s no denying the success of the method that flourished first in New York’s Tin Pan Alley (28th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue, for those wondering) and later a bit uptown in and around the Brill Building (1619 Broadway near 49th Street). A couple of blocks away at 1650 Broadway at 51st Street, during the halcyon days of the 1960s, you would have found the home of Aldon Music, and the team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King.
Extra! Extra! Lost Folk Singer Found! His name is Tom Northcott, and had things turned out a little differently, he might be remembered in the same breath as Joni Mitchell or Gordon Lightfoot, fellow Canadian troubadours. After founding the Tom Northcott Trio, he headed for California during perhaps the most fertile period ever for creative, boundary-breaking musical exploration, the mid-1960s. Northcott opened for The Who, The Doors and Jefferson Airplane, and was signed to Warner Bros.
If you've got guitars on the mind, look no further than a pair of new releases from those compilation experts at the Ace label! Fender: The Golden Age 1950-1970 (Ace CDCHD 1315) is a new 28-track anthology that manages to be both comprehensive and the tip of the iceberg, where the famous guitar is concerned! A new companion to the 2010 book of almost the same name (Fender: The Golden Age 1946-1970 by Martin Kelly), this set offers a rare chance to appreciate both the talent on the record label
Aces High! “The London American Label: 1957,” “Mod Jazz Forever” and “Smash Boom Bang: Feldman-Goldstein-Gotteher” Available Now
Smash! Boom! Bang! The ace compilation experts at, well, Ace Records are offering up plenty of Smash, Boom and Bang (both in impact and in label name!) for your buck with their diverse slate of February releases. You'll find top-drawer pop, rock and soul for connoisseurs and beginners alike among the label's latest. Perhaps the most unexpected is the new entry in the label's long-running Songwriters and Producers series. Smash Boom Bang! The Songs and Productions of
When The Monkees' Instant Replay was released in February 1969, less than three years had passed since the band's vinyl debut in October 1966. But the pop world of 1966 might have been a lifetime ago. Five days before Instant Replay's February 15 release, The Beach Boys unveiled the album 20/20, on which America's band surreptitiously recorded a song by Charles Manson. Two days after, The Temptations skyrocketed to Cloud Nine, meeting psychedelia head-on. By the year's end, the dream of
The title of Elvis Presley's 1969 double album said it all: From Memphis to Vegas, or if you turned the jacket over, From Vegas to Memphis. Both sides of the singer were on display both on the album and in its title: the superstar showman who had triumphed at Las Vegas' International Hotel and the onetime Sun Records prodigy who'd periodically returned to his R&B roots. Though no studio album was released in 1970, the singer returned in January 1971 with Elvis Country: I'm 10,000 Years Old,
Welcome to the third and final part of our review series celebrating the release of The Beach Boys’ The SMiLE Sessions. In Part 1, we revisited the history of the album, and in Part 2, we examined the music and lyrics of Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks that created the legend. In today’s concluding chapter, we explore "the sessions" of The SMiLE Sessions and compare the various releases! What’s the biggest surprise of The SMiLE Sessions? It’s the sound of five young men optimistically
Today sees the first release, after 47 years, of The Beach Boys’ SMiLE. The Second Disc celebrates this event with a three-part review series dedicated to what was once the greatest lost album of all time. In Part 1, we looked back at the story of SMiLE. In today’s Part 2, we explore the most legendary aspect of the album: the music itself, created by Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, as recorded by The Beach Boys. The SMiLE Shop is finally open for business! It’s only taken some 44
Tomorrow, November 1, marks the release of The Beach Boys’ SMiLE, the most legendary lost album of all time. In recognition of this landmark, The Second Disc is launching a three-part series looking at the SMiLE mythos, including a review of the various editions of The SMiLE Sessions. Before we begin to explore these collections, however, we’d like to offer a bit of perspective and back story on SMiLE: what was, what is, and what might have been. Welcome to Part One: What’s Past is
Well, it's one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go, cat, go! With such words was a revolution born! Those simple lyrics were the first sung by Elvis Presley on his 1956 RCA Victor debut, accompanied by the blasts of Scotty Moore's guitar, then the frantic beats of D.J. Fontana's drums. It's unlikely that Presley ever anticipated that his recording of Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" would provide the soundtrack to a country's coming of age, or for that matter, lead
There wasn't a dry eye in the house when Leon Russell, upon accepting his induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, thanked Elton John for rescuing him from "a ditch beside the highway of life." Thanks to the success of The Union, the collaborative album between John and his early idol, Leon Russell's profile has been considerably high of late. It's been so high, in fact, that one member of the Steve Hoffman Music Forums even queried of the community, "Is Leon Russell getting too much
When it comes to Neil Diamond, I'm a believer. There's not a trace of doubt in my mind that Diamond burst onto the scene at the right time - not necessarily the night time, though I, too, thank the lord for it. No, Diamond made a big noise in the corridors of Bang Records in the period between 1966 and 1968, an era when the music business was experiencing change more rapidly than anyone could have predicted. And it was far from predictable that the somber and intense young man pictured on The
It won't make any sense in today's media-saturated world, but in 1987 and 1988, George Michael was inescapable. The idea that one single artist could grab multiple genders, races, cliques and generations by the shoulders with his or her music is all but impossible today, but the man born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou did just that. Faith, released by Epic Records in the fall of 1987, put six tracks in Billboard's Top 5 (two-thirds of them No. 1 hits), netted him a Grammy Award for Album of the
There are certain albums a person returns to, over and over again. These albums often transcend time and genre, and chances are you can name a few of them that reside in your own music collection. I'm talking about that special album you might play when you're down, or when you just need a visit from an old friend to remind you of another time. At The Second Disc, we frequently strive to remind you of those albums. Through the years, one such record for me has been Paul Williams' Someday Man.
Often a reissue celebrates a classic album of years past. Through additional content, new remastering or expanded liner notes, the listener can put the original in perspective. It can be a reminder of just why we loved that album so much the first time around or take us to a special time in our own past. At other times, a reissue brings a forgotten album to light, revealing it as a lost treasure. Such is the case for Jimmy Webb's Ten Easy Pieces, now Plus 4 courtesy the fine folks at DRG
Whenever the temptation exists to get depressed about the state of the catalogue business, a reissue comes along as a reminder of a couple things. One, that good things, indeed, do come to those who wait. Two, that sooner or later most everything will see the light of day. One such reissue arrived from DRG Records on June 29 to sadly little fanfare. This totally unexpected set joins albums by two disparate artists, yet stands as a cohesive and altogether rewarding listening experience. Harry