We're An American Band: the new 3-CD collection from Cherry Red's Grapefruit Records is titled after Grand Funk (Railroad)'s 1973 chart-topping anthem. The song penned by Don Brewer and produced by Todd Rundgren was a semi-autobiographical look at life on the road, complete with parties, groupies, and guest stars. The story goes that the title phrase developed from a friendly argument between Grand Funk and Humble Pie about British vs. American rock. Brewer insisted that wasn't the way it
In the course of a career spanning seven decades, Tony Visconti has produced seminal albums in the classic rock genre including high profile collaborations with David Bowie, T. Rex, Gentle Giant, Strawbs, and Badfinger. But Visconti's C.V. runs much deeper, from folk (Ralph McTell, Tom Paxton) to musical theatre (Elaine Paige) and everything in between (Sparks). On October 20, Edsel will release the first large-scale tribute to Visconti's enormous musical legacy. Produced by Tony Visconti has
"I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing: that it was all started by a mouse." Walt Disney was, of course, speaking of his enduring creation, Mickey Mouse. The character's debut in the 1928 animated short subject Steamboat Willie was indeed the watershed moment from which decades of entertainment in every conceivable medium followed. But the business that became The Walt Disney Company had been founded five years earlier, in 1923, by brothers Walt and Roy. That's the anniversary
Demon Music Group scored a real coup in 2021 with the release of Dance Masters: Shep Pettibone (The Classic Master Mixes), a box set devoted to the stellar late '80s and early '90s remixer. The branding on the set indicated that Dance Masters was to be a series, presented by another remixing great: American DJ/producer Arthur Baker. Now, two years later, another Dance Masters set is forthcoming, focused on the work of Baker himself. Dance Masters: Arthur Baker (The Classic Dance Remixes), due
Welcome to this week's Release Round-Up, featuring a selection of the new titles in stores today! Dionne Warwick, Sure Thing: The Warner Bros. Recordings (1972-1977) (Cherry Red/SoulMusic) (Cherry Red / Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada) Dionne Warwick's new 6-CD box set Sure Thing: The Warner Bros. Recordings (1972-1977) anthologizes the superstar singer's years for the famous label, including five full albums and over 40 additional recordings. This adds up to the most
As we here in the U.S. head into Labor Day weekend, we have a shorter Release Round-Up than usual! To all our readers - wherever you might be - please have a safe and happy weekend! Shania Twain, Not Just a Girl: The Highlights (Mercury Nashville/UMe) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada) Not Just a Girl (The Highlights), a new companion album to the documentary coming to Netflix, features 17 of Shania Twain's classic pop and country hits plus the new title track. Read more
Yesterday, we looked at Ace Records' recent anthology dedicated to West Coast producer Gary Usher. Today, we're heading east... Stanley Robert Crewe of Newark, New Jersey studied architecture and tried his luck as a fashion model before turning full-time to music. Though the handsome young man was a teen idol-in-the-making, he found his truest calling behind-the-scenes. With writing partner Frank Slay, Crewe gifted "Silhouettes" to The Rays and "Tallahassee Lassie" to Freddy "Boom Boom"
Ace's long-running Songwriters and Producers series has recently yielded two stellar entries celebrating two gentlemen equally versed in both crafts: Gary Usher and Bob Crewe. Part One of our Ace Round-Up today looks at Happy in Hollywood: The Productions of Gary Usher. Gary Usher (1938-1992) would have gone down in pop history as one of his neighborhood pal Brian Wilson's earliest collaborators, penning lyrics for both a popular hot rod tune ("409") and one of Wilson's most introspective,
Though Heroes and Villains is the title of Grapefruit's new 3-CD anthology chronicling The Sound of Los Angeles 1965-68, that famous Beach Boys song isn't among its 90 selections. Not that Brian Wilson and co. are absent; the compilation instead presents another SMiLE tune, "Do You Like Worms (Roll Plymouth Rock)" as part of its portrait of a place and time in music history when it truly seemed anything was possible. U.K.-based compiler David Wells persuasively makes the case here that L.A.
In recent weeks, Ace Records has made two new additions to its ongoing Producers Series, and both titles spotlight the versatility of the respective talents, Todd Rundgren and Gus Dudgeon. The Studio Wizardry of Todd Rundgren is, in many senses, an update of Rhino's 1992 compilation An Elpee's Worth of Productions. Like that set, it paints a portrait of the singer-songwriter largely in service of others' songs, though a handful of his own compositions appear, too. Ace's collection spans
The fourth season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is now underway, with two episodes arriving each Friday on Amazon Prime Video for four weeks. The series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls, Bunheads) chronicles the colorful life of Midge "Mrs." Maisel (portrayed by Emmy Award winner Rachel Brosnahan) as she carves out a career in New York in the rough-and-tumble world of stand-up comedy; the current season finds her in 1960, working at a seedy burlesque house and navigating the
Happy 2022! Welcome, friends, to Part Two of The Second Disc's 12th Annual Gold Bonus Disc Awards! Once again, we've all faced unprecedented challenges over the past twelve months. A year that began with hope and promise has ended with further uncertainty for many of us. But music continues to fill a significant role in our lives, providing solace, comfort, and escape in a time unlike any other. With that spirit in mind, The Second Disc wishes to recognize 2021's cream of the catalogue
Happy 2022! Welcome, friends, to The Second Disc's 12th Annual Gold Bonus Disc Awards! Once again, we've all faced unprecedented challenges over the past twelve months. A year that began with hope and promise has ended with further uncertainty for many of us. But music continues to fill a significant role in our lives, providing solace, comfort, and escape in a time unlike any other. With that spirit in mind, The Second Disc wishes to recognize 2021's cream of the catalogue music crop -
Ace Records has had quite a 2021, from collections spotlighting the songs of Lou Reed and Donovan through this past week's releases from Petula Clark, late producer Norman Whitfield, and the ladies of Motown. Today, we're taking a look at a pair of recent releases from the venerable label. Lincoln Wayne "Chips" Moman (1937-2016) may never have become a household name, but the music he helped create certainly did. A guitarist, producer, songwriter, and engineer, Moman pioneered the sound of
Producer-DJ Arthur Baker has brought his magic touch to recordings by everybody from Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen to Tina Turner and Diana Ross, turning pop, rock, and R&B hits into dance floor-fillers. Now, Baker is looking back and taking stock of his fellow Dance Masters with a new series from Demon Music Group. Arthur Baker Presents Dance Masters: The Shep Pettibone Master Mixes is an expansive salute from one legendary remixer to another. Available on 4 CDs (47 songs in one box
Today, we're looking at three recent releases from Cherry Red's Grapefruit imprint! Grapefruit is continuing its series of 3-CD clamshell cases with two titles spotlighting the 1970s. Riding the Rock Machine: British Seventies Classic Rock, available now, is certainly one of the broadest such releases in Grapefruit's series. Compiler David Wells sets out his mission statement in straightforward fashion: "[Such] is the reductive nature of radio station playlists and Spotify recommendations
David Hepworth's 2017 book Never a Dull Moment: The Year That Rock Exploded set forth the author's belief that the year crystallized the "rock era," producing more enduring recordings than any other year in the genre's history. It's difficult to argue with any year that yielded John Lennon's Imagine, The Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers, Carole King's Tapestry, Joni Mitchell's Blue, Elton John's Madman Across the Water, Carly Simon's Anticipation, Sly and the Family Stone's There's a Riot Goin'
Since 1968, Trojan Records has been synonymous with the reggae, rocksteady, dub, and ska genres. The U.K. label founded by Lee Gopthal and Island Records' Chris Blackwell was instrumental in spreading those Jamaican sounds throughout the world and popularizing such key artists as Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, Lee "Scratch" Perry, and The Maytals. By 1971, Trojan - with its focus on 45 RPM singles - had amassed enough hit records to release a label anthology. On June 18, that seminal release,
Last year, Cherry Red's RPM imprint closed up shop after almost 30 years and some 600+ releases. But a new imprint was announced to pick up where RPM left off: Strawberry. Its inaugural collection, Halcyon Days: '60s Mod, R&B, Brit Soul, and Freakbeat Nuggets has proved an auspicious debut for the imprint with big shoes to fill. The 3-CD collection traces the development of '60s British soul and R&B from the mod period to the first flowering of psychedelia featuring a blend of names
While The Bee Gees have never truly faded from the popular consciousness, it's fair to say the group founded by Barry Gibb and his late brothers Maurice and Robin is currently experiencing a renaissance. Director Frank Marshall's documentary How Can You Mend a Broken Heart earned acclaim for its candid chronicle of the group's ups and downs while Barry has reaffirmed his legacy with the new album Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook Vol. 1. On the latter, he's joined by an array of country
Earlier this year, The Second Disc shared news of Rock, Pop and Doo Wop, a 7-DVD collection from Treasury Collection and executive producer-director TJ Lubinsky. Now, with the holidays upon us, a new set featuring dozens of classic hit-makers has just been released: '60s Rock, Pop and Soul. This 4-DVD package has been culled from two decades of Lubinsky's historic television concerts, with 130 hit songs from a "Who's Who" of legendary performers including Frankie Valli ("Can't Take My Eyes
Producer-compiler Bob Stanley's last couple of compilations for Ace have placed him squarely within the 1970s. Earlier this year, Saint Etienne Present Songs for the Fountain Coffee Room (compiled by Stanley, Sarah Cracknell, and Pete Wiggs) conjured "the soundtrack for a bar in mid-'70s Los Angeles," or a St. Etienne-style spin on "yacht rock" with Stephen Bishop, Ned Doheny, Boz Scaggs, and Seals and Crofts among those featured. Stanley has followed Fountain Coffee Room up with a trip to a
Let me take you down... The Beatles' songs were so sturdy and well-crafted that artists such as Matt Monro and Ella Fitzgerald became early adopters. But from the start, John, Paul, George, and Ringo's contemporaries had been just as likely as the older generation to mine their songbook. As the sixties continued and the Beatles ushered in the shift from pop to rock (minus the "and roll"), similarly youthful artists brought their own increasingly adventurous spins to the lads' material.
Earlier this year, Craft Recordings kicked off its celebration of Stax Records' Gospel Truth imprint with a weekly digital album campaign. That series wrapped up on August 28, opening the door for the November 13 release on CD and LP of The Gospel Truth: The Complete Singles Collection. Stax chief Al Bell launched Gospel Truth in 1972, working in close coordination with radio promotions guru/producer/songwriter Dave Clark and Stax staffer Mary Peak Paterson. Early press materials for the
We've already filled you in on Ace's recent anthology collecting works by Philly soul maestro Thom Bell; now we're looking to the American South with another release! Way back in 2012, Ace Records collected the multifaceted sounds of Chips Moman and Don Crews' American Studios on Memphis Boys: The Story of American Studios. The 24-song tribute collection featured such visitors to Memphis as Dusty Springfield, Wilson Pickett, B.J. Thomas, and Solomon Burke as well as Elvis Presley, one of the