Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Rhino Records reissue update

There are several cool releases due in the coming weeks from Rhino. The Howe set arrived in stores last week. I'm really looking forward to hearing it since he was the first of four Yes members I ever interviewed...

Guitarist Steve Howe played an integral role in shaping the sound of Yes and Asia, two of the world's most successful progressive rock bands. He has also enjoyed a long and prolific career as a solo artist with more than a dozen studio albums.

Howe has handpicked 33 tracks from his vast and varied discography for Anthology, a new retrospective drawing primarily from the studio albums he recorded between 1975 and 2011. The collection is available as a two-CD set and digitally.

On April 1, Howe will launch his "Anthology Tour," which will feature performances of many of the tracks heard on this new collection. A U.K. tour next month has been confirmed. 

Throughout his career as a solo artist, Howe has demonstrated time and again his vast stylistic range, much like one of his guitar inspirations, Chet Atkins.
Anthology maps his musical journey across 36 years, 16 albums, and countless genres.

The collection provides an enlightening showcase for Howe's six-string prowess on songs like "Pennants," "The Collector," "Maiden Voyage" (one of many featuring his son Dylan on drums), "Curls & Swirls," and "King's Ransom" from his 2011 album Time. The collection also includes covers of two Bob Dylan songs ("Just Like A Woman" and "Buckets Of Rain") from Howe's 1999 album Portraits of Bob Dylan. Also featured are several cuts from Motif - Volume 1 , a compilation from 2008 that features re-recorded versions of some of Howe's classic work, like "Devon Blue" and "Diary Of A Man Who Vanished," a song that first appeared on The Steve Howe Album (1979).

In addition to selections from his studio albums,
Anthology also includes tracks from a pair of compilation albums. The first is "Sharp On Attack" from 1988's Guitar Speak, which featured various guitarists. The other is the flamenco-flavored track "Mood For A Day," one of Howe's signature songs with Yes. The version included here is taken from the 1993 album, Symphonic Music of Yes, which features Howe and the English Chamber Orchestra.

In related Howe news...Yes was firing on all cylinders in the fall of 1972. The prog-rock pioneers' fifth studio album Close To The Edge was a smash success as audiences around the world packed arenas to see the legendary group perform. The band captured the magic of that tour on its first live album, Yessongs. Released in 1973, the triple-LP sold over a million copies and blew minds with Roger Dean's iconic artwork.  

The band recently discovered recordings of seven complete concerts from the weeks leading up to the shows heard on Yessongs. The latest audio technology was used to restore the reel-to-reel recordings and bring out incredible sonic detail, creating an open, immediate sound that drops listeners right into the front row.

Rhino has assembled three new releases featuring previously unreleased music included on these newly discovered tapes. Progeny: Highlights from '72 includes 90 minutes of live recordings selected from various shows. Available on two CDs or three LPs, the music flows like a typical setlist from the tour as it spotlights standout performances from different cities. The set will be available May 19.

Progeny: Highlights from '72 is a 14-disc set that holds every note from all seven shows, recorded in the fall of 1972 as the band's tour jumped from Canada to North Carolina, and then Georgia and Tennessee, before their last stop in New York at Nassau Coliseum on November 20. This comprehensive set comes in a cigarette-style flip top box with new artwork by Dean and will be available on the same day.

This was Yes' first tour with drummer Alan White, who's been with the band ever since. He replaced Bill Bruford, who recorded Close To The Edge before leaving to join King Crimson. White only had three days to learn the band's live show before his first night on stage with Jon Anderson (vocals), Steve Howe (guitar), Chris Squire (bass) and Rick Wakeman (keyboards).

Recorded three months into the tour, these powerful performances attest to how quickly the new line-up came together musically as they navigate hits like "Roundabout," and complex pieces like "And You and I." Even though the setlist didn't vary much from night to night, the individual performances are strikingly different.

Track Listing:

Disc One
1. Opening (Excerpt From "Firebird Suite")
2. "Siberian Khatru"
3. "I've Seen All Good People"
a. "Your Move"
b. "All Good People"
4. "Heart Of The Sunrise"
5. "Clap/Mood For A Day"
6. "And You And I"
a. "Cord Of Life"
b. "Eclipse"
c. "The Preacher The Teacher"
d. "Apocalypse"

Disc Two
1. "Close To The Edge"
a. "The Solid Time Of Change"
b. "Total Mass Retain"
c. "I Get Up I Get Down"
d. "Seasons Of Man"
2. Excerpts From "The Six Wives Of Henry VIII"
3. "Roundabout"
4. "Yours Is No Disgrace"

Here's a box set that should be an interesting trip back to the 1970s disco days...

The Bee Gees rank among the most successful pop groups of all time and have earned every music-industry award imaginable. They are members of both The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, winners of seven Grammy Awards, and were presented with The Recording Academy's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award this year.

After setting the standard for pop harmonies in the Sixties, brothers Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb rose to even greater heights during the Seventies with a long string of hits that drew upon their shared love for R&B.

The group's transformation into a global phenomenon is retraced with a five-disc collection that includes four of the Bee Gee's studio albums, along with a selection of songs from the multi-Grammy-winning soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever (1977), plus b-sides and outtakes from that era. Presented in a clamshell box, Bee Gees: 1974-1979 will be available March 24 on CD and digitally.

The collection begins with the group's 12th album, Mr. Natural (1974), the first of many the Bee Gees would record with Grammy-winning producer Arif Mardin. Among the highlights are the soulful "Throw A Penny" and the power ballad "Charade." The group returned a year later with Main Course (1975), which featured the #1 smash "Jive Talkin'" and the hits "Nights On Broadway" and "Fanny (Be Tender With My Love)." Certified double platinum, the album cracked the Billboard Top 20 and remained on the charts for 74 weeks.

The group's 14th album Children of the World (1976) rose even higher on the Billboard album chart, peaking at #8, and earning platinum certification. Produced by the band, the album featured several hits: "You Should Be Dancing" (#1), "Love So Right" (#3) and "Boogie Child" (#12).

The Bee Gees began recording music for a follow-up album, but ultimately many of those songs would appear on the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever, which spent 24 weeks at #1 and sold more than 15 million copies in the U.S. alone. A selection of the group's soundtrack contributions appear here on a bonus disc dubbed "The Miami Years."  Also featured on this disc are several b-sides - "It Doesn't Matter Much To Me" and "Rest Your Love On Me" - along with a number of other tracks from the era, including "Emotion," "Warm Ride" and "(Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away," making the collection a complete look at the trio's output during these years.

The final studio album included in Bee Gees: 1974-1979 is Spirits Having Flown (1979). It reached #1 on the album charts in America, Australia and throughout Europe, was certified 4x platinum in the U.S., and spawned three #1 singles: "Too Much Heaven," "Tragedy" and "Love You Inside Out." Those three chart toppers completed an uninterrupted run of six consecutive #1 hits, a feat that matched a record set by the Beatles in the early Sixties.

Bad Company has influenced bands from Bon Jovi to Five Finger Death Punch, who recently had a #1 hit with their cover of the song "Bad Company."

They have also helped shaped the sound of an entire rock era with iconic powerhouse rock anthems "Can't Get Enough," "Rock Steady," along with the ever popular ballads "Ready for Love," "Seagull," and  Grammy-nominated "Feel Like Makin' Love." The British rockers recently unearthed the original multi-track tapes from their first two albums and discovered previously unreleased tracks, takes, and mixes from those sessions.

For the first time ever, the band has remastered Bad Company (1974) and Straight Shooter (1975) using the original tapes to create new Deluxe Editions. It was paramount to founding member Paul Rodgers that the CD and LP be copied from the original tapes to guarantee the best sound possible. Each set includes a newly remastered version of the original album, along with a number of rare and unreleased recordings. The CD versions of these Deluxe Editions include all of the newly discovered bonus tracks, while their 180-gram vinyl counterparts offer a selection of the bonus material.

Deluxe Editions of
Bad Company and Straight Shooter will be available on April 7 at retail outlets on CD, LP and digitally.

Singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist Rodgers, along with guitarist/songwriter Mick Ralphs, bassist Boz Burrell, and drummer Simon Kirke recorded the band's eponymous debut in November 1973 using Ronnie Lane's mobile studio at Headley Grange, the former poorhouse where Led Zeppelin recorded frequently. When Bad Company was released the following year, the album went to #1 in America during the band's first U.S. tour and was eventually certified 5x platinum thanks to hits like "Can't Get Enough," "Bad Company," "Ready for Love," and "Movin' On."

The second disc of the Deluxe Edition features 12 tracks, including eight previously unreleased recordings such as the demo for the ballad "The Way I Choose," a take of "Bad Company" recorded right before the album version, and an unedited version of "Superstar Woman," a song that Rodgers later recorded in 1983 for his solo album Cut Loose. Also featured is the single edit of "Can't Get Enough," and the b-sides "Little Miss Fortune" and "Easy On My Soul."

The band released its second album Straight Shooter in April 1975, 40 years to the month of the new deluxe edition. The album rose to #3 on the U.S. album chart and was certified 3x platinum behind the hit singles "Feel Like Makin' Love" and "Good Lovin' Gone Bad" as well as the rock radio staple "Shooting Star."

Of the 14 bonus tracks, all are previously unreleased except the b-side "Whiskey Bottle." Among the standouts is a stripped-down version of "Shooting Star," a remix of "Good Lovin' Gone Bad" with alternative guitar and vocals tracks, as well as two lost gems, never released before: "See The Sunlight" and "All Night Long."

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