Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we reflect on well-known albums of the past and the reissues they could someday see. With the reissue of George Michael's most flawless pop album, today's installment takes you into the corners of the world pop music scene to prove how part of the musical culture he really was. The reissue of George Michael's iconic Faith album has your humble catalogue correspondent excited. Really excited. So excited that today's Reissue Theory talks
Review: George Michael, "Faith: Legacy Edition"
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
Dionne, Natalie, Nancy Reissues Coming from Soulmusic Label
Cherry Red's got soul. Mike and I reported last week on the impressive slate planned by Cherry Red's Big Break Records label. A smaller yet equally rich line-up is on the way from another Cherry Red division, Soulmusic.com Records.On February 14 in the U.K. and one week later stateside, the label will reissue five classic albums from a trio of accomplished vocalists: Nancy Wilson, Dionne Warwick and Natalie Cole. Perhaps most exciting is the two-on-one CD release of Wilson's 1974 Capitol
Come and Get Them: Upcoming Releases Due from DeShannon, Nelson and More
Britain's Ace family of labels is kicking off 2011 in a big way! Mike filled you in Tuesday about Kent's upcoming I'll Do Anything: The Doris Troy Anthology 1960-1996, and today we turn the spotlight on three more releases due in the U.K. on January 31. Jackie DeShannon remains one of the most beloved voices of the 1960s. DeShannon not only broke barriers as a rare female songwriter in an era when it simply wasn't common, but she was equally comfortable in front of the microphone as a
Gold Reissues Coming Soon for Collins, Taylor, Wonder
Audiophile specialist label Audio Fidelity has announced its initial trio of 24K Gold CD reissues for 2011, and it is comprised of three familiar names, all of whom have previously had titles reissued on the label: Phil Collins, James Taylor and Stevie Wonder. Already having tackled the gold CD of Collins' 1981 solo debut Face Value, Steve Hoffman returns to remaster the artist's 1985 breakthrough, No Jacket Required. Spawning four U.S. Top 10 singles, No Jacket Required was the former
A Spoonful of Reissues Across the Pond
U.K. label Edsel is prepping a series of expanded two-fer reissues of most of The Lovin' Spoonful's catalogue. The original group - singer/songwriter John Sebastian, guitarist Zal Yanovsky, bassist Steve Boone and drummer Joe Butler - emerged from New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood in the 1960s. In the middle of the decade, they rode a wave of success thanks to folk-pop tunes like "Do You Believe in Magic," "Daydream," "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?" and the No. 1 hit
Review: Paul Williams, "Someday Man: Deluxe Expanded Edition"
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.
Review: Jimmy Webb, "Ten Easy Pieces Plus 4"
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
And They Just Can't Hide It: Big Break Records to Reissue Two Pointer Sisters Classics
If you're a reader of The Second Disc and you're about to lose control, then we think you'll like this story: Cherry Red's Big Break imprint is reissuing two classic albums by The Pointer Sisters: Special Things (1980) and So Excited! (1982). The Pointer Sisters were instantly recognized as a unique R&B group with their self-titled debut LP in 1973. Their voices were strong and their style was distinctively retro, dealing heavily in jazz and be-bop. They even decked themselves out in
Back Tracks: Laura Nyro
Laura Nyro (1947-1997) never became as famous as her songs. In an all-too-short 49 years, Nyro provided major hits for a diverse array of artists from Three Dog Night and Blood, Sweat & Tears to Barbra Streisand and most famously, The Fifth Dimension. Yet her own albums never achieved mainstream success, with audiences largely preferring to hear her compositions performed by others. (In this respect, she could be compared to her contemporary Jimmy Webb.) Perhaps this was just as well for the
Holy Mackerel! Early Paul Williams Expanded and Remastered by Now Sounds
If ever an album was lost in the shuffle, it was the 1968 debut LP by The Holy Mackerel. The LP, assigned as Reprise 6311, fell smack in between Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland (Reprise 6307) and Neil Young's eponymous solo debut (Reprise 6317). But adventurous listeners would find themselves rewarded if they picked up the album by the oddly-named group, with its cover sleeve of five gents and a lady smiling for the camera under three-dimensional comic book-style lettering proclaiming them "The
Review: Harry Nilsson and John Stewart, "Spotlight on Nilsson/Willard"
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
Review: John Fogerty, "Centerfield: 25th Anniversary"
John Fogerty can be called many things. Prolific, though, isn't one of them. Fogerty's 1985 Centerfield, originally issued on Warner Bros. Records, marked the former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman's return to a prominent place in the rock pantheon after a near decade-long absence. After acrimoniously parting ways with his famous band, Fogerty recorded a collection of rootsy country covers (1973's The Blue Ridge Rangers) for CCR's longtime label, Fantasy Records. Yet Fogerty was locked in
Box Set Round-Up: Hank Williams and Level 42
There's a pair you'd never expect to see in the same title. A few bits of news around the way regarding a few box sets coming up. First up, Time-Life has got a really large box set of Hank Williams material coming out. The Complete Mother's Best Recordings...Plus! is a 16-disc box set (including a DVD) of all Williams legendary, surviving recordings for Nashville radio station WSM (where he had his own show sponsored by Mother's Best Flour). These 72 acetates were recorded through 1951, two
If You've Been Seeking P.F. Sloan...
"I have been seeking P.F. Sloan/But no one knows where he has gone..." With those lyrics, Jimmy Webb immortalized the reclusive songwriter, admonishing listeners, "Don't sing this song, it belongs to P.F. Sloan." But when Webb wrote those words in 1971, Sloan had only been away from the music scene for three or four years; in fact, he was a quite prolific writer in the years between 1964 and 1967, often in collaboration with Steve Barri. Sloan, already an established writer of pure pop songs
Review: Carole King, "The Essential Carole King"
“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman.” “Up on the Roof.” “You’ve Got a Friend.” All of these songs have found a permanent home as part of The Great American Songbook, and all come from the pen of one Carole King. Her repertoire as both singer and songwriter is celebrated with this week’s release of Legacy’s The Essential Carole King (Ode/Epic/Legacy 88697 68257 2), the first set to focus on both aspects of King’s now 50-plus year career. Producers Lou
Review: Chicago - "Chicago Transit Authority" Quadradisc
What is Quadio? That's the question currently being posed by the fine folks over at Rhino.com. For an answer and some fun interactivity, click here. But in short, Quadio describes the new series of four-channel audio DVDs (or "Quadradiscs") being introduced by Rhino with the reissue of 1969's Chicago Transit Authority, the first album by the band later known simply as Chicago. This release is a landmark in a number of ways. For one thing, it signals a new attempt to court the dedicated
Review: Elvis Presley - "On Stage: Legacy Edition"
When Elvis Presley took the stage of the newly-built Las Vegas International, "the world's largest resort hotel," on July 31, 1969, few predicted that a new era would start for the entertainer. Presley had been absent from the concert stage for eight years and the Vegas community still harbored memories of his poorly-received 1956 stint at the New Frontier Hotel. Despite the recent success of singles "In the Ghetto" and "Suspicious Minds," not to mention the hallowed '68 Comeback Special,
Review: David Bowie - "David Bowie" Deluxe Edition
David Bowie circa 1966 was an artist in search of an identity. He had flirted with theatre, the mod movement, and even mime. When signed by Decca's Deram arm, he had already released six unsuccessful singles on three different labels and fronted a number of quickly-vanishing bands. The Decca contract came shortly after his recordings for Pye, which had been shepherded by British hitmaker Tony Hatch of "Downtown" and "Call Me" fame. The Deram album, simply titled David Bowie, was all but
Back Tracks: Alex Chilton
A potentially embarassing confession: it took the death of Big Star frontman Alex Chilton for me to realize just what I knew about him. I knew his name was the title of a Replacements song (thanks, Rock Band), I'd known of Big Star thanks to the justifiable hype over last year's box set from Rhino and I'd known a handful of his most famous, very solid compositions that he either wrote or popularized ("Thirteen," "The Letter," "In the Street") through inevitable cultural osmosis (thanks, That
Reissue Theory x2: Phil Collins - "No Jacket Required" and Peter Gabriel - "So"
It has been encouraging to see, in light of Genesis' impending induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a number of commenters showing their respect for the Phil Collins-led, pop-savvy incarnation of the band. The group's output was always listenable - one could argue the 1990s was largely an exception - but it always seemed popular opinion was against them around the Invisible Touch era. This is ironic, since the same year Invisible Touch was released, former Genesis frontman Peter
Reissue Theory: a-ha, "Hunting High and Low"
Here's a new feature I'm really excited about on The Second Disc. I'm calling it Reissue Theory (which was very nearly the title of this blog). Herein, I plot out what I think would be excellent plans to expand great catalogue titles. Using the best research skills I can muster, I'll try to put together the perfect playlist for that sorely missing deluxe title. First up is Hunting High and Low, the debut album by pop legends a-ha. Though their chart-topping "Take on Me" was the biggest
New Review - Whitney Houston: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition
Need a cure and tonic from the truly dismal Grammys, currently invading airspace across the East Coast? The inimitable Matt Rowe at MusicTAP has been kind enough to post another catalogue review of mine. This time it's Legacy's neat reissue of Whitney Houston's 1985 debut LP. While I can't yet confirm if I "might just be the next MusicTAP," as Matt very kindly speculates, I am more than happy to try. To that end, check out the review here and keep reading The Second Disc for all the expanded