In Reissue Theory, The Second Disc researches and drafts a box set, compilation or reissue that would be worth pursuing by a label. Lots of catalogue enthusiasts are older folks, there's no getting around that. Those who grew up with great rock and roll and consumed it on compact discs as adults are probably the lion's share of people reading sites like this. But regardless of what you perceive the quality of more recent music to be, it needs to be looked after as well by catalogue
Reissue Theory: It's Time to Play the Music
The recent announcement of E1's Sesame Street Old School Volume 1 has got me excited, but for a slightly different reason. I am sentimental toward the Sesame Street Muppets (despite not having been much of a viewer as a child), but my favorite Muppets were always the ones in The Muppet Show - those loveable felt and fur actors singing pop standards, blowing things up and causing all sorts of mayhem. Perhaps more than any other youth-oriented entertaiment of the 1970s (aside from, say, School
Back Tracks: The Supremes
Introducing Back Tracks, a new feature where we take an upcoming release and introduce you to some of the other reissued works from the same group. Today, we start with The Supremes, whose first album, 1962's Meet The Supremes, is scheduled for reissue by Hip-O Select on May 18 (credit where it's due to MusicTAP for the date). The trio is much loved by Motown fans and staff alike. As such, Hip-O Select has dug lots of their treasures from the vault. Hit the jump to take a look at nine Supremes
Sunny Days Indeed
It may be snowing in my part of the world, but catalogue fans should prepare themselves to be on their way to where the air is sweet. That's right, kids (and kids at heart): E1 Records is releasing Sesame Street Old School Volume 1, a box set collating three classic albums by the Sesame Street Muppets. The box features Sesame Street: The Original Cast Recording (1970), Big Bird Sings (1974) and Bert & Ernie Sing Along (1975), all of which are making their CD debuts with remastered sound and
Girl You Know It's True...Don't You?
A few days before the Grammys, USA Today ran a really intriguing piece on the only living person who can be described as an ex-Grammy winner. I refer, of course, to Fabrice Morvan, one-half of the dance-pop duo Milli Vanilli. Many hardcore music fans remember the story of Milli Vanilli, the critically-loathed commercial behemoths that scored five consecutive U.S. Top 5 hits and a Best New Arist Grammy before admitting later that year that they didn't sing a note on the record. The Grammy was
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
Catalogue Gold at the Grammys
Those who tuned into last night's Grammy telecast may have been shaking their head at the oddity of it all - I know I was. But The Second Disc would be remiss in not posting the winners in several catalogue categories. Their victories weren't televised, of course, but they deserve all the commendation in the world. First, a big hand for Neil Young's Archives Vol. 1 (1963-1972) for winning Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package. The trophies go to the art directors of the project, which
Arcadia's "So Red the Rose" Fumbling Toward a Release Date
(UPDATE 10:40 a.m.) Duran Duran's representative Katy Krassner responded with lightning speed to the inquiry about the press release: "There is no set release date...we will update the site when there is one. This was just EMI's updated press materials on the release." So while fans have to wait a bit for the scoop, know that it'll be here soon enough. Thanks to Katy for her response! Duran Duran fans who've spent years fighting to defend the worthiness of the New Wave quintet enjoyed something
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
J is for What Now?
Among the many releases on MusicTAP's calendar today is a new Motown title for The Jackson 5, rather simply titled J is for Jackson 5. What could this possibly entail? My educated guess comes from elsewhere in the Universal Music Group back catalogue. Last summer, UMe released B is for Bob, a kid-friendly compilation of newly-remixed Bob Marley songs supervised by Ziggy Marley. (Fear not, purists: four of the tracks were presented in their original mixes.) J is for J5 might go over easier
Release Info: The Miracles "City of Angels"
More info has come through on last week's mention of the reissue of City of Angels, a "lost" 1975 album by The Miracles. City of Angels, the fourth Miracles LP with vocalist Billy Griffin (who'd replaced Smokey Robinson in 1972), was a smash thanks to its huge No. 1 hit "Love Machine (Part 1)." But amazingly, it's never gotten a proper CD release until now. Hip-O Select, Universal Music Enterprises' boutique label, has reissued the disc with its original album art, a new essay written by soul
Journey to "Neptune"
In case you missed it yesterday, AOL's Spinner music Web site posted a stream of the lead single and title track of Legacy's new Jimi Hendrix vault compilation, Valleys of Neptune. Me? I dig it quite a bit. It's a solid track, and not a patch on his greatest hits (that can sometimes be the trick with posthumous works, especially when they're released as singles). Hear it here, plus read a cool interview with Valleys co-producer/Hendrix historian John McDermott here. And check out the full track
News Roundup: ZTT and All That
Awhile back there'd been talk of classic label ZTT - the label that gave us Art of Noise, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Propaganda - reissuing some of its classics with unreleased material from the vaults. Now it seems the first pieces of that plan are coming to fruition! ZTT have recently announced The Element Series, currently comprised of six releases by ZTT artists and associated acts. After the jump, have a go at the titles, track lists and all that.
This is It (Part 2)
Now that I've gotten all my gripes out about the This is It soundtrack, I'm more than happy to pen some thoughts on the actual film, now out on DVD and Blu-Ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. For years after Michael Jackson rose from a nasty string of legal troubles in 2004, I had been ruminating on what could become of one of my favorite pop entertainers. His rumored forays back into the recording studio always left me cold; why would he collaborate with will.i.am or Akon when he had
This is It (Part 1)
One of the biggest catalogue-oriented titles this week is a DVD: Tuesday saw the release of Michael Jackson's This is It, the documentary comprised of tour rehearsal footage for the set of London concerts the King of Pop was working on right before his death in June. I've happily pored through 75 percent of my copy (I have a few features to sift through) and upon completion I'll be sure to post a review. But I'd also like to take a quick look at the other This is It product that's been on
I Am Spartacus
Film score fans have had a lot to sing about in the past year or so. Thanks to the Herculean efforts of independent soundtrack labels, a lot of highly sought-after soundtracks that major labels would never think to release have been put on disc to the delight of fans everywhere. The Intrada label recently scored an enormous coup by releasing Alan Silvestri's complete score to Back to the Future, La La Land Records recently pressed limited editions of James Newton Howard's music for the film
I found this funny enough to warrant its own post: I spent the weekend debunking some rumors about the presence of the original master of The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" on one of the last episodes of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. What I almost completely overlooked was another back catalogue-oriented news story that sprung up from the last episode. Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, drummer for The Roots (a great R&B group in their own right and the house band for Late
Release News: They're Here
A quick bit of release news for you: a classic rock title already set up for pre-order, and a pair of popular film composers with reissues in the works. Hip-O Select is taking orders for Chuck Berry's Have Mercy: His Complete Chess Recordings 1969-1974. The four-disc set is the third and final such set of Berry's recordings for the legendary label and features 22 unreleased tracks. Find it here. Legendary soundtrack catalogue label Film Score Monthly has quite a new release: the complete
Industry Primer: Conan Seeks Satisfaction Elsewhere, or The Bugatti Veyron Mouse That Roared
Light years away from the world of back catalogue music projects, the entertainment press has been abuzz with the recent furor over the late night talk show lineup on NBC. This past Friday, Conan O'Brien exited The Tonight Show after a too-brief seven-month tenure, leaving Jay Leno able to leave his low-rated primetime show and take back control of the show he agreed to cede to O'Brien almost six years ago. One of the delights during the whole mess was seeing O'Brien - in my opinion, one of the
They Were the World
In the near-25 years since Live Aid made music history on two continents, it's safe to argue that charity rock music has never quite been the same. (Of course, others -Morrissey, for instance - have never liked charity rock from the outset.) But critics, audiences and especially performers have changed since those fateful concerts. Nowadays, the efforts seem a bit more forced, whether they're high-profile (Live 8, Live Earth), or relatively obscure (Band Aid II, Band Aid 20, Hear 'N Aid). As a
News Roundup: Whitney Houston, Release Date Roundup, Costello-palooza
Excited for Legacy's deluxe reissue of Whitney Houston's debut album (out next Tuesday)? Vevo's got an EPK up for your viewing pleasure. View it here. A big reissue has yet another date change: Rhino's deluxe edition of Disintegration by The Cure has been moved from March 16 to April 6. Here's the link. Indie label group Beggar's Banquet has got some neat new titles planned on their Beggar's Archive imprint. Pixies fans are particularly going to be enthused. Check it here. MusicTAP has added
Double Dip: Won't Get Fooled Again
Here's a feature I'd like to make as regular as possible: in Double Dip, I look at a catalogue title - perhaps a frequent re-release or a new compilation - and try to deconstruct its content. Think of it as a buyer's guide for the newest releases. This week, in anticipation of their upcoming Super Bowl gig, Geffen and Universal Music Enterprises have released a new compilation by The Who, Greatest Hits Live, exclusively on iTunes. The press release excitedly touts the set as "22 recordings of
I Just Don't Know Where to Begin
Wow! I am pleased as punch to present my review of Elvis Costello and The Attractions Live at Hollywood High live disc at MusicTAP, one of my favorite music Web sites. When I first got the idea of writing about back catalogue material, MusicTAP head Matt Rowe was one of the people I looked to for inspiration. His thrice-weekly insights about the past, present and future of music are always scintillating and never preachy - and he puts up release dates early and often. I urge you to come to
Smooth Moves from Legacy
Legacy Recordings has issued a press release for their upcoming Legacy Edition of Supernatural by Santana. It's going to have all the usual trimmings - namely deluxe packaging and a second disc of rarities, remixes and a handful of never-before-released tracks (including one, "Angel Love," being released as a radio single). Full specs can be seen in the link above. Me? I bet I'll be picking this up. Supernatural isn't the best of Santana's work - all those Grammys notwithstanding, it did help
Lennon Reissues to Shine On in October?
The latest bit of reissue news around the water cooler is that John Lennon's catalog, owned by EMI, is set to get the deluxe treatment this year, likely timed around what would have been his 70th birthday on Oct. 9. It seems like a great time for EMI to do so; The Plastic Ono Band recently announced a gig in Brooklyn next month. Plus there's been a lot of hoopla over The Beatles' catalogue lately. Perhaps you've noticed. The bummer note thus far is I can't get much of a confirmation on any