For years, fans of power pop have had their Magna Carta of a CD: Fantasy Records' two-fer of Big Star's #1 Record and Radio City, the primary records issued by the legendary Memphis band. On September 2, that configuration changes with the release of both albums newly remastered on individual discs. Both albums will be newly remastered from the original analog tapes (approved by original engineer/Ardent Records founder John Fry and allowing for Mastered for iTunes/24-bit hi-res downloads) and
Razor and Tie Revisits Emerson Lake and Palmer's "Brain Salad Surgery" For 40th Anniversary
For Emerson, Lake and Palmer, the fourth time was the charm. Keyboardist Keith Emerson, vocalist/bassist/guitarist Greg Lake and drummer/percussionist Carl Palmer were innovators in the progressive rock genre, fusing classical, jazz and heavy rock on a regular basis since their 1970 self-titled debut album. ELP was an answer both to the compact, three-minute pop songs that dominated the airwaves and to the blues-rock genre epitomized by the likes of Led Zeppelin, and the group pursued a
Real Gone Is "In Tune" With September Slate Featuring Grateful Dead, Ides of March, Willie Hutch, More
September 1 marks Labor Day, but Real Gone Music isn’t taking much time off! The very next day, the label launches a new crop of eight titles emphasizing soul, funk and R&B but also encompassing country, classic rock and a touch of prog! At Motown, Willie Hutch gifted The Jackson 5 with his song “I’ll Be There,” saw his songs recorded by the label’s elite including Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye, and penned funky soundtracks including The Mack. In 1977, he departed Berry Gordy’s empire
Release Round-Up: Week of July 22
The Beatles, The Japan Box (Apple/UMe) Stereo remasters, mono remasters, U.S. albums...and now, the first five albums from Japan on CD! What will they think of next? (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) Herbie Hancock, The Warner Bros. Years: 1969-1972 (Rhino) UPDATE: This title has been delayed to August 5. Three Warner Bros. albums (released before Herbie prolifically joined Columbia), each expanded with rare and unreleased promo single versions. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) Jim Croce, Lost Time
Call Him The Breeze: Clapton and Friends Celebrate Music of J.J. Cale On New Album, Exclusive Box Set
In 2006, Eric Clapton teamed with singer-songwriter J.J. Cale for the collaborative album The Road to Escondido. The guitar god had long been a fan and patron of Cale's; he included "After Midnight" on his 1970 solo debut and took "Cocaine" to the Top 30 in 1977. Escondido earned both men a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album, and it would prove to be among Cale's final recordings. He released the album Roll On in 2009, featuring Clapton on its title track. Then, in 2013, Cale passed
The Allman Brothers Band's "Fillmore East" Goes Super Deluxe In New Box Set
2014 has been a year of upheaval for The Allman Brothers Band. Following word that Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks would be departing the venerable group at year's end, Gregg Allman confirmed that he, too, would stop touring after 2014 - effectively ending the band that bears his name. Despite his claims that "this is the end of it," Allman has left the door open to reunions down the road. "Who's to say?," he pondered in the pages of Relix. "We may get together every five years and just do one
A Dream Goes On Forever: Vintage Todd Rundgren and Utopia Show Comes To CD
Todd Rundgren has been rather generous of late with his archive, treating fans to a number of live concert recordings on various labels including gigs from 2010 (Todd Rundgren's Johnson Live), 1990 (Live at the Warfield Theatre, San Francisco) and 1975 (Todd Rundgren's Utopia Live at Hammersmith Odeon). Cherry Red's Esoteric Recordings label continues its Archive Series with the release of Todd Rundgren and Utopia's 2-CD set Live at the Electric Ballroom: Milwaukee, 23rd October 1978. As
Steven Wilson Has "Passion" For Jethro Tull's "Play" With New Box Set
Jethro Tull continues its series of deluxe reissues with producer/engineer Steven Wilson on July 1 with the release of the (slightly belated) 40th anniversary edition of 1973’s A Passion Play. Following the reissues of Aqualung, Thick as a Brick and Benefit, the deluxe A Passion Play: An Extended Performance will include 2 CDs and 2 DVDs – containing new stereo and 5.1 surround mixes of the original album and previously unreleased material - along with an 80-page book. As with Thick as a
The Beatles Go Mono Once More - on Vinyl
It sure has been quite a year for Beatlemaniacs looking to fill their shelves with catalogue wares from The Fab Four. Last winter saw the CD release of a second volume of BBC recordings (coinciding with a remaster of the first from 1994) and a
UPDATE 6/2: Meet The Beatles, Japan-Style: New Box Set Collects Fabs' Original Japanese Albums, U.S. Edition Coming In July
UPDATE 6/2: It now appears that Capitol Records will be releasing this box set in the U.S. on July 15! See below for updated Amazon links and more! ORIGINAL POST (5/5/14): Attn: Beatle collectors – you know who you are! On June 25, Universal Music Japan is extending an invitation to Meet the Beatles as you would have fifty years ago in that country. The new Meet the Beatles box set presents mini-LP CD replicas of five albums released by the Fab Four in Japan in 1964 and 1965. As with the
Ain't That The Shames! Now Sounds Reissues, Expands The Cryan' Shames' Psych-Pop LP "A Scratch In The Sky"
Put “California Girls” in a blender with “Cherish” and you might well wind up with something like “A Carol for Lorelei,” the bright, harmony-drenched pop nugget that opens The Cryan’ Shames’ sophomore album, 1968’s A Scratch in the Sky. Though the Chicago band recorded the LP in New York City, the good vibrations of the Summer of Love were clearly in the air back east for the Columbia Records artists. Whereas the band’s debut album Sugar and Spice was a blast of energetic rock and roll by way of
Review: Eric Carmen, "The Essential Eric Carmen"
The first track on Legacy Recordings’ new double-disc anthology The Essential Eric Carmen (Arista/Legacy 88883745522) is titled, appropriately enough, “Get the Message.” And the message relayed by its 30 nuggets comes through loud and clear: whether as power pop prince, classically-inspired MOR balladeer or nostalgic yet contemporary eighties rocker, Eric Carmen had the goods. Young lust never sounded as thrilling, as exuberant, or as pretty as it did in the hands of The Raspberries. Over
Brotherhood's "Complete Recordings" Show Another Side of Former Paul Revere and the Raiders Members
Rock's back pages are littered with "creative differences." Such differences split Paul Revere and the Raiders into two warring factions - Paul Revere and Mark Lindsay on one side; Phil "Fang" Volk, Mike "Smitty" Smith and Drake "The Kid" Levin on the other. The Volk-Smith-Levin triumvirate bristled at the more pop direction that the onetime garage band had been taking, and were none too pleased with the studio musicians being enlisted to beef up the Raiders' recordings. In early 1967, the
Review: Blood, Sweat and Tears, "The Complete Columbia Singles"
Blood, Sweat and Tears has much in common with Rodney Dangerfield - they get no respect. Though the band founded by Al Kooper, Steve Katz, Bobby Colomby, Jim Fielder, Dick Halligan, Randy Brecker and Jerry Weiss produced some of the most enduring pop singles of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the group has long lingered in the shadows of rock's back pages. Eclipsed in fame by Columbia Records labelmates Chicago, plagued by a series of acrimonious departures from the ranks, and pilloried for
Review: The Beatles, "The U.S. Albums"
I. Meet the Beatles! Did The Beatles save rock and roll? If John, Paul, George and Ringo didn’t save the still-young form, they certainly gifted it with a reinvigorating, exhilarating jolt of musical euphoria the likes of which hadn’t been seen before – and hasn’t been duplicated since. The scene was early 1964. Buddy Holly was long gone, and the big hits had dried up – at the moment, at least – for Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. Elvis had served his time in the Army, threatening
The Beatles and The Beach Boys Beat The Boots On "The Big Beat 1963" and "Bootleg Recordings"
1963 was a landmark year for the favorite sons of Hawthorne, California. During those twelve months, The Beach Boys released three Top 10 studio albums (Surfin’ USA, Surfer Girl and Little Deuce Coupe) and launched three Top 10 singles (“Surfin’ USA,” “Surfer Girl,” and “Be True to Your School”). Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, the outgoing David Marks and returning Al Jardine were perfecting their harmony-laden brand of surf rock and setting the stage for the next step in
British Invasion! The Beatles Unveil "The U.S. Albums" Box Set in January
Get ready to revisit the original British Invasion: On January 21 in North America (and January 20 worldwide), The Beatles are coming to America with the release of The U.S. Albums, a 13-CD box commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Fabs’ arrival in New York City on February 7, 1964. Two nights later, 74 million viewers watched the band make history on The Ed Sullivan Show, and Beatlemania was officially in full swing. This new box set includes The Beatles’ U.S. albums from 1964’s Meet the
Review: The Beatles, "On Air: Live at the BBC Volume Two"
Meet the Beatles...again. The new Apple/Capitol/Universal release On Air: Live at the BBC Volume Two sets the Wayback Machine at Destination: 1963 and 1964, when four Liverpool lads named John, Paul, George and Ringo ignited a British Invasion that continues to this very day. All 63 tracks (both spoken-word introductions and songs) on this new 2-CD time capsule date back to those two years, when the Fabs recorded unique performances for such BBC programs as Saturday Club and Pop Go the
Review: Bob Dylan, "The Complete Album Collection Volume One"
Tucked away on Bob Dylan’s 23rd studio album Empire Burlesque, the troubadour sings simply but sternly, “Trust yourself/Trust yourself to do the things that only you know best/Trust yourself/Trust yourself to do what’s right and not be second-guessed...” Dylan had trusted himself since he first arrived on the scene in 1962, engaging in a series of transformations that enthralled, angered, transfixed and bewildered those that followed his career – from folk troubadour to electric rocker to
Omnivore Unveils Colorful Black Friday Slate with Van Zandt, Clark, Kovacs
Here at Second Disc HQ, we know that we can count on Omnivore Recordings for some of the most colorful and fun releases for Record Store Day's Back to Black Friday shopping event! On the day after Thanksgiving, you might find yourself at your local indie record store to pick up one of Omnivore's three Black Friday collectibles. As usual, it's a diverse trio, with releases from two late troubadours - Townes Van Zandt and Gene Clark - and one legendary late comedian, Ernie Kovacs. This past
Back to Black: Legacy Unveils Record Store Day Black Friday Exclusives From Simon, Dylan, Davis, Nilsson, Hendrix & More
It's that time of year again! Though Black Friday has taken a backseat in recent years to the once-unheard-of Thanksgiving Day sales, the folks at Record Store Day still hold the day after Thanksgiving in high esteem. News has begun to trickle out about this year's RSD Back to Black Friday exclusives, and the team at Legacy has certainly put together a collection of special vinyl releases - and a handful of CDs, too - that look back to recent releases from the label and forward to future
Review: Harry Nilsson, "Flash Harry"
When Harry Nilsson's The RCA Albums Collection was finally unveiled earlier this year by Legacy Recordings, many finally stood up and took notice of the gifted singer-songwriter whose art deftly blended the high and the low, the angelic and the devilish, the euphoric and the melancholy. That astounding box set included each one of Nilsson's albums for the RCA label - in other words, his entire solo discography save one album. And now, that final missing link is finally here, on CD to join its
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! The Beatles' "On Air: Live at the BBC Volume 2" Rocks November
The worst-kept secret of this fall's upcoming release schedule is finally out - and we're shouting, "Yeah, yeah, yeah!" After weeks of speculation, Capitol Records has finally confirmed the November 11 arrival of The Beatles' On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2. Its 63 tracks - encompassing 40 musical performances (37 of which are previously unreleased) and 23 selections of on-air, in-studio repartee - were all recorded for the Fab Four's 1963-1964 BBC radio performances on shows such as Pop Go
Review: The Beach Boys, "Made in California"
If everybody had an ocean... Rarely have five simple words in pop music held such promise. The message at the time was an invitation squarely aimed at teens: “If everybody had an ocean, across the USA/Then everybody’d be surfin’ like Califor-ni-a...” But ultimately, the promise and California dream embodied by Hawthorne, CA’s native sons came to mean so much more than mere surfin’. The sound of The Beach Boys – Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Al Jardine, David Marks,
From Perry to Post-Punk: Real Gone Unearths Lords of the New Church, Perry Como, Patti Page, Grateful Dead, Billy Preston Rarities
Just a bit more than a week after the arrival of autumn, Real Gone music will deliver a slate of releases that might put you in an appropriately reflective mood. On September 30, two late vocal legends, Patti Page and Perry Como, get the Real Gone treatment complete with numerous previously unissued performances. A bona fide rock and R&B legend, Billy Preston, sees an early classic reissued alongside another concert rescued from the Grateful Dead's vault. And the batch is rounded out by
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