Welcome to The Second Disc’s Fifth Annual Gold Bonus Disc Awards! As with every year’s awards, our goals are simple: to recognize as many of the year’s most essential reissues and catalogue titles as possible, and to celebrate as many of those labels, producers and artists who make these releases happen in an increasingly-challenging retail landscape. The labels you’ll read about below have, by and large, bucked the trends to prove that there’s still a demand for physical catalogue music
Holiday Gift Guide Review: Captain Beefheart, "SUN ZOOM SPARK 1970 to 1972"
“Art is rearranging and grouping mistakes.” So the late Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. Captain Beefheart, is quoted on the cover of the fourth disc of Rhino’s new box set SUN ZOOM SPARK: 1970 to 1972. It’s appropriate and ironic that the aphorism is featured on the sleeve of that disc, a collection of never-before-heard outtakes from the Captain and his Magic Band. But the tracks are far from mistakes; instead, they offer a window onto the process with which Van Vliet created his unmistakable brand of
Release Round-Up: Weeks of December 23 and December 30
Well, these are incredibly light weeks for new releases! Thankfully, the Kritzerland and Audio Fidelity labels have stepped up with a quartet of titles to close out 2014 on a high note! Cy Coleman, John Kander, Harvey Schmidt and Charles Strouse, Classical Broadway (Kritzerland) (available for pre-order now) Kritzerland remasters this 1992 album (originally released on the Bay Cities label) featuring classical compositions from four of Broadway's most legendary composers including Cy
Holiday Gift Guide Review: Suzi Quatro, "The Girl from Detroit City"
Susan Kay Quatro, a.k.a. Suzi Quatro, has sold 55 million singles and LPs, scored five U.K. Top 10s and twelve Top 50s including two chart-toppers, followed in the footsteps of Ethel Merman onstage, appeared on television’s Happy Days, and influenced a “Who’s Who” including Joan Jett and The Go-Go’s. Quatro is billed as The Girl from Detroit City on her first-ever retrospective box set which has been recently released by Cherry Red Records. This 4-CD, 82-song book-style box is packed with
Holiday Gift Guide Review: Simon and Garfunkel, "The Complete Albums Collection"
Queens Boys Make Good, a headline might have read of young Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel when “The Sound of Silence,” a bleakly beautiful, acoustic snapshot of disillusionment and isolation, sat atop the Billboard Hot 100 on New Year’s Day 1966. Simon and Garfunkel were unlikely candidates for pop stardom. Neither English major Simon nor fine arts (later architecture) major Garfunkel hid their cerebral, intellectual tendencies. As the era of the singer-songwriter blossomed in the wake of Bob
Holiday Gift Guide Review: Joni Mitchell, "Love Has Many Faces"
Joni Mitchell wasn't yet 25 when she first gifted the world her song "Both Sides Now." Judy Collins made its first commercially-released recording; soon artists were lining up to record it, including Frank Sinatra. The 25-year old Mitchell herself released it in 1969. In what might be her most famous song, she asserted, "I really don't know love at all." Flash-forward to the present day, and the 71-year old singer-songwriter-artist seems well-acquainted with the vagaries of that most universal
To Everything There Is A Season: Raven Reissues "The Byrds"
When the album simply entitled Byrds arrived on David Geffen’s Asylum label in 1973, it had been only about a year-and-a-half since the last record from the California folk-rock heroes. But the original line-up of Gene Clark, David Crosby, Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke hadn’t recorded a complete album together since 1965. Byrds would be the group’s first long-player for a label other than Columbia Records – and the final Byrds album to date. Australia’s Raven Records label has
Omnivore Boils Ron Nagle's "Bad Rice" In Deluxe Edition of 1970 Cult Classic
Today, Ron Nagle may be best known for his groundbreaking work as a ceramic sculptor. The "baron of sculptural intelligence" has been pushing the boundaries of art for decades now with his award-winning variations on the basic form of a cup. The San Francisco Gate recently praised the "master ceramic sculptor and painter whose original sense of color is equally informed by Mark Rothko and the hot rod aesthetic." But for music fans, Nagle is known for his double life as a singer, songwriter
Release Round-Up: Week of December 15
The Kinks, Anthology 1964-1971 (BMG/InGrooves, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) Producer Andrew Sandoval (the recent The Monkees: Super Deluxe Edition) helms this kink-sized 5-CD kollection of hits, demos, interviews, alternate mixes, session outtakes, 25 previously unavailable tracks, an exclusive 7-inch single and copious, new liner notes! Dionne Warwick, Finder of Lost Loves: Expanded Edition (Arista/Funky Town Grooves) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) This 2-CD edition of Warwick's
Tony Joe White, George Jones and Tammy Wynette, Ray Kennedy Highlight Real Gone's February
From The Apollo to the swamps of Louisiana, Real Gone Music has a whirlwind musical tour planned for its February 3, 2015 slate! The centerpiece of the February batch just might be the first-ever complete collection of Louisiana man Tony Joe White's Warner Bros. recordings! Singer-songwriter White ("Willie and Laura Mae Jones," "Polk Salad Annie") has one of the most distinctive voices in southern soul, and Real Gone's new collection celebrates a major period his career with a new 2-CD set
Holiday Gift Guide Review: The Monkees, "The Monkees: Super Deluxe Edition"
For The Monkees, the third time's the charm. The 1966 debut album from Davy, Micky, Peter and Mike has been expanded twice before on CD - first in 1994 on one CD and then in 2006 as a two-CD set. Rhino Handmade has recently unveiled the third and most comprehensive release of this album yet, and with 45 previously unreleased bonus cuts among its 100 songs, The Monkees: Super Deluxe Edition (R2-543027) is not just Monkee mania, but Monkee manna. The story of this American fab four has been told
Release Round-Up: Week of December 9
Frank Sinatra, London (UMe) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) This 3-CD/1-DVD swingin’ affair spans 1953-1984 and features over 50 previously unreleased tracks on CD and DVD - all dedicated to Sinatra's performances in the great city. At its centerpiece is an expanded and remastered edition of Sinatra Sings Great Songs from Great Britain, the Chairman's only studio album recorded outside of the United States! Watch for Joe's full review soon! The Beatles, 1962-1966 / 1967-1970 / 1 /
Holiday Gift Guide Review: "The Classic Christmas Album" Series
Johnny Mathis. Frank Sinatra. Perry Como. Steve Vai? Menudo? When it comes to Christmas music, Legacy Recordings doesn’t pull its punches. The label’s series of Classic Christmas Album releases has become a bit of an annual tradition, and this year’s batch of single- and various-artist anthologies once again draws on names both expected and unexpected. While the packages are bare-bones, with no liner notes (but happily with full credits and discographical annotation), the music most certainly is
Let Them Show You: RPM Highlights 1960s' International Acts with Four New Releases
RPM Records has recently released four CDs charting the history of three acts that might not have gained much international attention outside of their home countries, but are still worthy of attention. From Sweden, RPM has an anthology for The Shanes and two expanded editions of The Mascots’ only two LPs; from France comes the complete recordings of the chanteuse known as Pussy Cat. Each of these releases is designed to bring greater attention to these little-known artists. The Shanes
The Beach Boys' New Digital "Copyright Collections" Offer 1964 Rarities, Two Complete Concerts
With another year rapidly drawing to a close, many fans were wondering if 2014 would bring another round of “copyright extension collections,” i.e. releases designed to circumvent recent European Union copyright law. The answer, of course, is “yes.” To greatly simplify, E.U. law now holds that a recording is protected for 75 years under copyright in the E.U. (the period previously was 50 years) but only if that recording has been released. As a result of this change in law, the past
Holiday Gift Guide Review: Todd Rundgren, "At The BBC 1972-1982"
Christmas has come early for Todd Rundgren fans this year with the release by Cherry Red’s Esoteric Recordings imprint of Todd Rundgren at the BBC: 1972-1982, a handsome new 3-CD/1-DVD box set of live performances drawn from Rundgren’s first decade of rock stardom. The latest release in Esoteric’s Todd Rundgren Archive Series, At the BBC captures the transformation of the ever-evolving artist from precocious pop chameleon to prog-rock adventurer and beyond. 1972’s sprawling Something/Anything
Release Round-Up: Week of December 2
B.J. Thomas, Home Where I Belong/Happy Man (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) B.J. Thomas, You Gave Me Love/Miracle (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) Linda Jones, The Complete Atco-Loma-Warner Bros. Recordings (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) The Five Stairsteps, Our Family Portrait/Stairsteps (Expanded Twofer Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) The Unforgiven, The Unforgiven (Expanded Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. ) Cowboy, 5’ll Getcha Ten (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks
Don’t Walk Away: Hear No Evil Label Expands Terraplane’s Debut "Black and White"
Before Thunder, there was Terraplane. Thunder, the British hard-rock act that notched a No.2 record on the UK charts in 1992 with Laughing On Judgment Day had previously existed as Terraplane. Under that incarnation, the band released two albums in the 1980s. Cherry Red imprint HNE Recordings recently released an expanded edition of Terraplane’s debut effort, Black and White. Hailing from South London, Terraplane’s membership was initially made up of Danny Bowes (vocals), Luke Morley
Release Round-Up: Week of November 24
Simon and Garfunkel, The Complete Albums Collection (Columbia/Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) This 12-CD box includes all five of Simon & Garfunkel's stereo studio albums released between 1964 and 1970, newly remastered from first-generation analog sources plus first-time remasters of The Graduate soundtrack and 1981's The Concert in Central Park; 1972's Greatest Hits album (which contained some unique performances unavailable elsewhere); and the live concert albums from 1967, 1969
It's A Happy New Year with Real Gone Music's January Slate
Real Gone Music is saying “Happy New Year!” a couple of months early with the announcement of the label’s January 6 slate of releases. This customarily eclectic batch is highlighted by the classic soul of The Main Ingredient and Jackie Moore, blue comedy from Redd Foxx, two otherworldly soundtracks from the films of cult filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky (on both LP and CD!), and more live jam-band greatness from Grateful Dead. Real Gone’s press release, with full details on each title,
Release Round-Up: Week of November 17
Henry Mancini, The Classic Soundtrack Collection (RCA/Legacy) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) The Classic Soundtrack Collection features 18 of Mancini's most memorable soundtrack albums for RCA, Columbia and Epic Records on nine CDs, spanning the period between 1960's High Time and 1978's Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?, and adds bonus material from vocalists including Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams and, on a previously unreleased track, Julie Andrews. Johnny Mathis,
Variety Is The Spice: Varese Serves Up Ian Hunter, Ray Price
Upon his departure from Mott the Hoople, frontman Ian Hunter wasted little time in establishing a solo career. His first, eponymous solo album in 1975 yielded the single that made Hunter’s name as a solo artist, the original version of “Once Bitten, Twice Shy.” Recorded at George Martin’s AIR Studios, “Once Bitten” boasted Hunter’s old cohort Mick Ronson as arranger, guitarist and co-producer, and the track made it all the way to No. 14 on the U.K. chart. (Great White’s 1989 cover version
If Everyone Was Listening: Supertramp's "Crime of the Century" Goes Deluxe
With the release of 1974’s Crime of the Century, the members of Supertramp finally got the big break for which they’d been waiting. Songwriter-vocalists Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies were the only two members remaining from the group’s 1970 debut, but with Bob Benberg, John Anthony Helliwell and Dougie Thompson on board, Crime of the Century firmly established the band at the vanguard of both pop and prog-rock. A No. 4 album in the U.K., it also cracked the U.S. Top 40 for the first time in the
Release Round-Up: Week of November 10
The Monkees, The Monkees: Super Deluxe Edition (Rhino Handmade) (Exclusively available directly from label) It's Monkeemania all over again: Davy, Micky, Peter and Michael are back with a 3-CD expansion of their debut album featuring 100 tracks - 45 of which are previously unreleased! ABBA, Gracias Por La Musica: Deluxe Edition (Polar/Universal) (Amazon U.S. Link TBD / Amazon U.K.) ABBA is saying "Thank You for the Music" - in Spanish! The band's Spanish-language 1980
Rush Celebrates 40 Years Of Live Rock With "R40" Box Set
Hot on the heels of the 40th anniversary vinyl reissue earlier this year of Rush’s debut album, the Canadian prog-rock legends are celebrating their four decades of making music with a new career-spanning live box set coming soon from Concord Music Group and Rounder Records. R40, available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats on November 11, brings together live performances by Rush from each decade of the band’s long career. The box includes five videos first released between 2003 and 2013: Rush
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