When Dionne Warwick signed on the dotted line with Warner Bros. Records, the possibilities must have seemed endless. The singer had embraced change, after all. A new decade was in its infancy. She had traded a feisty New York independent (Scepter) for a Burbank giant. She had even added an "e" to her surname on the advice of an astrologer. And although the exact amount wasn't disclosed, Warwick had reportedly signed the biggest deal ever for a female vocalist. What didn't change, at least
She's Got The Beat: Belinda Carlisle's Deluxe 2-CD/1-DVD Reissues Due in August (UPDATED WITH TRACK LISTINGS)
The Tabu catalogue isn't the only major acquisition of late for the Demon Music Group. Back in March, Demon - home to labels including Edsel, Harmless and Music Club Deluxe - announced that a deal had been struck for much of the solo catalogue of onetime Go-Go Belinda Carlisle. Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth? Demon picked up rights to four of Carlisle's studio albums, the rights to which had previously resided with Virgin (part of the former EMI). Demon's agreement covers the
What's It All About: Burt Bacharach Celebrated On PBS, Lost Song Included on "Dionne Warwick Sings Burt Bacharach"
The first voice you’ll hear on My Music: Burt Bacharach’s Best, now airing on PBS stations nationwide, is that of The Maestro himself. “What’s it all about, Alfie?,” he sings in his familiar, quavering tone, finding the fragility in the Hal David lyric that he calls his favorite. Then comes “What the World Needs Now is Love,” sung by its composer with an assist from that International Man of Mystery, Austin Powers (Mike Myers). It’s appropriate that the solo Bacharach introduces this
Review: Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck, "Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962"
It was a Tuesday afternoon in Camelot when giants met. These giants weren’t the types who resided in the clouds atop beanstalks, of course. These were giants of a decidedly more earthy variety. It was at the behest of John F. Kennedy’s White House that Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck came together. On August 28, 1962, they shared a bill at the base of the Washington Monument as a parting gift to an audience of college-age interns who had served that summer in the nation’s capital. Following
BBR Goes For The Total Experience with Gap Band, Billy Paul Reissues
Today we're taking a look at two recent reissues from Big Break Records. Both Billy Paul's Lately and Gap Band VII were originally released by Total Experience Records, and both were the production work of Jonah Ellis. Big Break has expanded and remastered both albums. Billy Paul, Lately (Total Experience, 1985 - reissued Big Break CDBBR 0224, 2013) Could anyone among us have an inkling or a clue, what magic feats of wizardry and voodoo you can do? And who would ever guess what powers
Good Love: SoulMusic Expands Two From Nancy Wilson and Meli'sa Morgan
Following its 2012 reissue of R&B songstress Meli'sa Morgan's Capitol Records debut Do Me Baby, Cherry Red's SoulMusic Records imprint has turned its attention to Morgan's second long-player for the label. Good Love built on the success of Do Me Baby. Besides boasting a No. 1 R&B title track, the album established the Queens-born Morgan as a top R&B talent in her own right. She had previously sung on background vocals for the likes of Whitney Houston and Kashif, and fronted the
Review: The Beach Boys, "Live - 50th Anniversary Tour"
Water has always played a key role in the California myth of The Beach Boys – whether via the inviting waves of “Surfin’ USA,” the blue seas of “Hawaii,” or the dark imagery of “Surf’s Up.” But the water onstage for the group’s 50th anniversary tour was of a different sort: it was water under the bridge. If perhaps only for three or so hours each night last summer, all of the oft-publicized tensions that have beset America’s Band over the years seemed to melt away in full view of the
Review: Judy Garland, "Creations 1929-1962: Songs She Introduced"
In the first two lines of the introductory essay that accompanies JSP Records’ new box set Judy Garland – Creations 1929-1962: Songs She Introduced, the box’s compiler Lawrence Schulman sets forth its raison d'être: “That Judy Garland (1922-1969) was one of the most talented singers and actresses of her generation is known. That she introduced close to a hundred songs to the Great American Songbook is not.” Thanks to this 4-CD, 94-song collection, that secret shouldn’t be a secret any longer.
Return to "The Promised Land": Elvis Presley's Stax Sessions Collected In New Box Set
On August 6, 2013, RCA and Legacy Recordings will release a box set fit for a King. Elvis at Stax: Deluxe Edition compiles three CDs of master takes and alternates all drawn from Presley's July and December 1973 sessions at Stax Recording Studios on McLemore Avenue in Memphis. Elvis was right at home; he could even take Elvis Presley Boulevard to "Soulsville USA" on McLemore. These final major studio sessions of Presley's storied career yielded tracks for three albums: Raised On Rock/For Ol'
Let's Celebrate: Big Break Goes Deep Into The Salsoul Groove with Candido, Skyy
Following last year's releases from The Salsoul Orchestra, First Choice, Instant Funk and Double Exposure, Big Break Records continues its exploration of the Salsoul Records catalogue with two new reissues from Skyy and Candido. These discs can be said to offer another side of the Salsoul legacy as neither are locked into the Philly grooves of Vince Montana or Baker-Harris-Young. Instead, they show just how far the New York label could push the dance/R&B envelope in the waning days of
Losers Weepers! Ace Unveils Rare and Unreleased Songs on "Finders Keepers: Motown Girls 1961-67"
Thanks to the dedication of labels like Ace Records, it would be impossible to "forget the Motor City." Along with the U.S.' flagship Hip-O/UMG Select imprint, Ace has led the charge in issuing vintage 1960s-era Motown material, much of it unreleased. The recent release of Finders Keepers: Motown Girls 1961-1967 compiles 24 tracks from girls both famous (The Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, Mary Wells) and all-too-unknown (LaBrenda Ben, Thelma Brown, Anita Knorl) for a potent overview of
Run for Cover: Basia's Debut LP to Be Expanded by Cherry Pop
One of the Cherry Pop reissue label's newest titles for May is a greatly-expanded edition of Time and Tide, the solo debut album by Polish singer/songwriter Basia. Basia Trzetrzelewska first caught the public eye in England as the lead singer for sophisti-pop band Matt Bianco alongside vocalist Mark Reilly and keyboardist Danny White. Their similarities to Sade and Everything But the Girl, as well as their Top 30 hits "Get Out of Your Lazy Bed" and "Half a Minute," earned them widespread
The Legacy of Harry Nilsson, Andy Williams, Johnny Winter, Jerry Lee Lewis and More Anthologized On "Essential" Releases
Today, Legacy Recordings issues a number of titles from some of music's greatest artists as part of the label's ongoing Essential series of anthologies. We're taking a look at the collections from Harry Nilsson, Andy Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pete Seeger, Mott the Hoople and Midnight Oil! Plus: we have track listings for all titles! A 2010 documentary posed the question, Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him)? Well, if you don't already know the answer, The
Review: Margaret Whiting, "The Wheel of Hurt" and "Maggie Isn't Margaret Anymore/Pop Country"
When Margaret Whiting scored a No. 26 Pop/No. 1 Easy Listening hit with 1966's "The Wheel of Hurt," she was surrounded by the aura of a comeback. But the veteran songstress was only in her early forties. Three albums and a clutch of singles recorded for London Records between 1966 and 1970 proved that Whiting was most definitely still a contender. Now, the recordings from Whiting's London period have finally arrived on CD, filling in a major gap in the Margaret Whiting discography. Real Gone
Come Aboard, He's Expecting You: Vintage Jack Jones Albums Arrive From Zone Records
For eight seasons beginning in 1977, the voice of Jack Jones came into households singing the praises of The Love Boat via Paul Williams and Charles Fox's famous theme song. Yet long before The Love Boat, the smooth-voiced singer had established himself as a premier vocalist comfortable with both jazz and changing pop styles. To date, Jones has recorded over fifty albums, yet many of his finest album achievements still remain unreleased on CD. Zone Records is rectifying that with the reissue
Classic Campbell: BGO Brings Three Vintage Glen Campbell Albums to CD
The BGO label has continued its ongoing Glen Campbell reissue series by bringing three long-out-of-print albums to CD in one package. Following the late 2012 release of Try a Little Kindness/The Glen Campbell Goodtime Album/The Last Time I Saw Her, BGO has just brought together a trio of LPs originally released in 1972 and 1973: Glen Travis Campbell, I Knew Jesus (Before He Was a Star) and I Remember Hank Williams. Following the release of Campbell’s New Jersey-recorded Live album from 1969,
Verve Select Offers "Divine" Selection of Sarah Vaughan LPs on CD
The latest from Verve Select, released earlier this week, is a collection of over a half-dozen vintage albums by jazz legend Sarah Vaughan on four discs. Divine: The Jazz Albums encapsulates Vaughan's first round on the Mercury label, after finding earlier success for the previous decade on first the Musicraft label (where she cut hit versions of "Tenderly" and "Nature Boy") and later for Columbia Records, a run characterized by contemporary pop balladry. Once signed to Mercury, she was
Nancy Wilson Goes Pop and Philly Soul With New Two-For-One CD Reissue
By 1970, Nancy Wilson had already been a marquee recording artist for Capitol Records for a decade. The supreme song stylist never allowed herself to be pigeonholed into one musical style, having made her successful debut single with a Broadway showtune ("Guess Who I Saw Today"), dabbled in R&B ("Save Your Love for Me") and collaborated with jazz greats such as Cannonball Adderley and George Shearing. All in all, Wilson was a leading light of adult pop, selling out nightclubs and even
BBR Keeps A Light In Its Window For The Lost Motown Classic "Caston and Majors"
Like a fine meal, Caston and Majors begins with an appetizer. "Child of Love," on cursory listening, is "just" a bright pop song with a funky groove, employing booming drums, surging strings and a catchy chorus ("Rise now, child of love/No time for wastin'/Rise now, child of love/Stop hesitatin'...") along with a "Hey, hey" cheer that invites singing along. But a closer listen to the lyrics finds songwriters Leonard Caston and Kathy Wakefield giving voice to a higher power: "You must be a
Él is Flying High with Ennio Morricone and Joao Donato
Cherry Red's Él Records label is going 'round the world with a pair of recent releases. Morricone Pops focuses on an oft-overlooked part of Italian composer Ennio Morricone's ouevre: that of his early sixties arrangements not just for film, but also for pop singers. Él also turns its attention to a favorite country, Brazil, for Sambou, Sambou, a collection of two albums of tunes by composer-pianist Joao Donato. With a staggering body of work including more than 500 films and television
Zeit! EMI to Package Bowie's Berlin Trilogy Together
There's no shortage of reminders of the greatness of David Bowie, from his acclaimed comeback album The Next Day to the forthcoming remaster of Aladdin Sane for its 40th anniversary. Soon, EMI will provide yet another reminder, with the release of Zeit! 77-79, a budget-oriented collection of the famed albums of Bowie's so-called "Berlin Trilogy." While the designation of Bowie's Low, "Heroes" and Lodger as the Berlin Trilogy is a bit inaccurate - only "Heroes" was recorded in the West German
Dance A Little Bit Closer: Gold Legion Uncovers "The Salsoul Records Story"
Just in case you didn’t already know, there’s plenty of gold to be found from the Gold Legion label. Since its inception, Gold Legion has reissued and remastered classic disco records from master tape sources, adding copious annotation and bonus tracks to flesh out the stories behind the music. Some of Gold Legion’s previous releases have been dedicated to iconic singer-actress-model Grace Jones, “Turn the Beat Around” diva Vicki Sue Robinson, The Emotions as produced by Maurice White and
Review: Elvis Presley, "Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite: Legacy Edition"
Elvis Presley never did anything small. When he stepped onstage at 1:00 a.m. at Honolulu's International Center on January 14, 1973 for a scheduled 12:30 a.m. concert, satellites were beaming the most expensive entertainment broadcast ever to an audience of over one billion (yes, one billion) people around the world. The subsequent RCA album quickly was certified gold, and eventually went five times platinum. Now that world-famous LP, Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite, is the latest Legacy
Learning the Blues: Esoteric Remasters and Expands First Three Climax Blues Band Albums
Though the Climax Chicago Blues Band formed in Stafford, England, the band would likely have made any of the howling bluesmen from that storied Illinois city proud. Part of the vanguard of the British blues boom that also included the original Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and even Led Zeppelin, Cream and the Rolling Stones, the Climax Chicago Blues Band made its rip-roaring debut for Parlophone in 1969 and began a legacy which continues to this very day, albeit with a wholly
Special Review: David Bowie, "The Next Day"
Welcome to today's special review of David Bowie's twenty-fourth studio album and first in ten years, The Next Day. As you likely know, The Second Disc rarely reviews newly-recorded albums, but the return of this iconic artist to the recording studio simply couldn't be ignored. In 1980's "Ashes to Ashes," David Bowie famously revealed "Major Tom's a junkie, strung out in heavens high, hitting an all-time low." This continuation of the story begun in 1969's "Space Oddity" was as definitive a
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