David Bowie’s ‘Alien’ Has Landed!

“Waiting so long, I’ve been waiting so, waiting so…”

After months of waiting, David Bowie’s latest box set, Loving the Alien has finally arrived. This expansive look at Bowie’s most commercially successful period of output not only boasts remastered versions of his 1980s albums, but also includes the never-before-released audio recording of the iconic Serious Moonlight Tour. This 2-disc offering features some of Bowie’s best live recordings from “Look Back in Anger” and “Heroes” to “Modern Love” and “Let’s Dance.”

Continuing where the three previous box sets left off, David Bowie’s Loving the Alien box set encapsulates Bowie’s ‘80s commercial era. The 11 CD and 15 LP sets will be released October 12, 2018 and includes the newly remastered studio albums Let’s Dance, Tonight and Never Let Down, plus the previously unreleased Serious Moonlight double live album (recorded in Montreal in 1983), as well as a remastered two-disc version of Glass Spider 1987 (Live in Montreal).

Among the box set’s exclusive materials is a new production of the 1987 album Never Let Me Down by Mario McNulty. This is not merely a new remaster or remix, but NLMD 2018 features newly recorded instrumentation by Reeves Gabrels, David Torn, Sterling Campbell and Tim Lefebvre. Other exclusives include RE: CALL 4, featuring remastered single versions, non-album singles, album edits and B-sides, as well as soundtrack songs from Labyrinth, Absolute Beginners and When the Wind Blows. DANCE features 12 remixes, some of which are appearing on CD and vinyl for the very first time.

The remastering is not only superb, but also adds new luster to each of the studio and live recordings. Let’s Dance and Tonight have never sounded better. The newly produced 2018 version of Never Let Me Down also sheds new upon this overlooked and underrated classic album. The only oversight here (albeit intentional) is the unfortunate omission of “Too Dizzy” which was originally included on the initial pressings of the Never Let Me Down album and compact disc. Although the track was reportedly despised by Bowie, its inclusion would have allowed diehards the opportunity to revisit this often-maligned album in its entirety. With that said, at least the B-sides “Girls” and “Julie” have been included which help to make up for the aforementioned track’s absence.

The 128-page book is packed with photographs and contains interesting insight into Bowie’s most loved and loathed era, which is heightened by historic photos shot by fashion photographer and music video director Herb Ritts, as well as a treasure of technical notes about the albums from Nile Rodgers and Hugh Padgham.

While Loving the Alien may not capture Bowie’s most creative decade, it is another outstanding presentation of one of music’s most imaginative artists, which contains more than enough rewarding moments to satisfy any true Bowie fan’s expectations.

 

 

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Erasure: ‘From Moscow To Mars’

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Erasure: From Moscow To Mars

Erasure commemorates three decades (and counting) of creating music with From Moscow To Mars, an impressive 13-disc anthology. This musical retrospective smartly compiles deep cuts from Vince Clarke and Andy Bell’s 16 studio albums along with the dynamic duo of electro-pop’s 50 singles. This phantasmagoric assemblage is bursting with more than enough treats to keep us occupied as we eagerly await World Be Gone, the new studio album and accompanying tour, currently in various stages of production and planning.

This incredible limited-edition box set of remastered melodic remembrances features all 50 of Erasure’s hits in their original single versions, a smorgasbord of B-sides, new remixes by Vince Clarke, Martyn Ware and Little Boots, as well as previously unreleased tracks, including Andy Bell’s 1985 audition version of “Who Needs Love Like That.” From Moscow To Mars particularly enhances earlier works, especially best known hit “A Little Respect,” as well as the long out-of-print singles B-sides “Paradise” and William Orbit’s remix of “Supernature,” all of which have been crisply remastered instead of getting buried beneath layers of brick walled sound quality.

The anthologized musical compendium also includes two discs of personally curated favorites hand-picked by Vince Clarke and Andy Bell, numerous live tracks, the radio broadcast documentary “A Little Respect: 30 Years of Erasure,” a 48-page hardback book with previously unpublished photos, brand new liner notes and interview with Vince and Andy, set of postcards, a stamp set, space passport, plus two collectible art cards. From Moscow To Mars also exclusively features the DVD debut of Wild! Live, which includes the complete 1989 concert recorded live in London during the duo’s renowned Wild! Tour.

From Moscow To Mars is not only the most comprehensive collection thus far, but also the ultimate time capsule of Erasure’s highly prolific 30-year career.

From Moscow To Mars complete track listing: 

Disc 1: CD – SINGLES (Volume One) 

Who Needs Love Like That / Heavenly Action / Oh L’Amour / Sometimes / It Doesn’t Have To Be / Victim Of Love / The Circus / Ship Of Fools / Chains Of Love / A Little Respect / Stop! / Drama! / You Surround Me / Blue Savannah / Star / Chorus

Disc 2: CD – SINGLES (Volume Two) 

Love To Hate You / Am I Right? / Breathe Of Life / Take A Chance On Me / Always / Run To The Sun / I Love Saturday / Stay With Me / Fingers & Thumbs (Cold Summer’s Day) / Rock Me Gently / In My Arms / Don’t Say Your Love Is Killing Me / Rain / Freedom / Moon & The Sky / Solsbury Hill / Make Me Smile (Come Up & See Me)

Disc 3: CD – SINGLES (Volume Three) 

Breathe / Don’t Say You Love Me / Here I Go Impossible Again / All This Time Still Falling Out Of Love / Boy (Acoustic) / I Could Fall In Love With You / Sunday Girl / Storm In A Teacup / Sucker For Love / When I Start To (Break It All Down) / Be With You / Fill Us With Fire / Gaudete / Make It Wonderful / Elevation / Reason / Sacred

Disc 4: CD – COMPILED BY ANDY BELL 

Fill Us With Fire / Save Me Darling / Fly Away / Here I Go Impossible Again / Witch In The Ditch / Miracle / Siren Song / Mad As We Are / Boy (Acoustic) / Joan / I Bet You’re Mad At Me / Golden Heart / A Long Goodbye / What Will I Say When You’re Gone / Brother & Sister / Whole Lotta Love Run Riot

Disc 5: CD – COMPILED BY VINCE CLARKE 

Sono Luminus / Because You’re So Sweet / Love Affair / Home / Alien / Precious / Don’t Dance / How My Eyes Adore You / Boy / Blues Away / Spiralling (Acoustic) / Piano Song / Tenderest Moments (Acoustic) / Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime / Cry So Easy / You’ve Got to Save Me Right Now / Weight Of The World

Disc 6: CD – B-SIDES (Volume One) 

Supernature / The Hardest Part / When I Needed You / She Won’t Be Home / Knocking On Your Door / Don’t Suppose / Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! / Over The Rainbow / Waiting For Sex / Tenderest Moments / March On Down The Line / Dreamlike State / The Soldier’s Return / Heart Of Glass (Live In Oxford) / Let It Flow / Runaround On The Underground / Rapture / Paradise

Disc 7: CD – B-SIDES (Volume Two) 

La La La / Truly, Madly, Deeply / Like Zsa Zsa Zsa Gabor / Sweet Sweet Baby / True Love Wars / Ghost / Hi NRG / The Good The Bad And The Ugly / In The Name Of The Heart / Die 4 Love / Tragic / First Contact / Love Is Colder Than Death / Don’t Say No / In The Hall of The Mountain King / No G.D.M / Take Me On A Highway / Tomorrow’s World

Disc 8: CD – REMIXES (Volume One) 

A Little Respect – Extended Mix / Waiting for The Day – Vince Clarke Remix / Supernature – William Orbit Remix / Blue Savannah – Little Boots Remix / S.O.S – Perimeter Mix / Love To Hate You – Bruce Forest Remix / Snappy (The Spice has Risen Mix) / Ship Of Fools – Gjone & Nicka Stella Polaris Remix / The Circus – The Equalateral Mix / Elevation – Jack Antonoff Remix / Stay With Me – Guitar Mix

Disc 9: CD – REMIXES (Volume Two) 

Stop! – 12″ Remix / I Could Fall In Love With You – Jeremy Wheatley 12″ Mix / Always – Always in Motion / Blue Savannah – Out Of The Blue Remix / Oh L’Amour – Almighty Remix / Chorus – Aggressive Trance Mix / Heavenly Action – Matt Pop’s Planet Cupid Mix / Breath Of Life – Joey Beltram Mix / You Surround Me (Syrinx Mix) / If I Could – Japanese Mix / Rock Me Gently – A Combination of Special Events

Disc 10: CD – LIVE 

Victim Of Love – The Circus Tour 1987 / Knocking On Your Door – The Erasure Show 2005 / A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot – Tomorrow’s World Tour 2011 / Joan – The Phantasmagorical Entertainment Tour 1992 / Witch In The Ditch – The Innocents Tour 1988 / I Bet You’re Mad At Me – The Erasure Show 2005 / Home – The Phantasmagorical Entertainment Tour 1992 / Spiralling – The Innocents Tour 1988 / Sunday Girl – Light At The End Of The World Tour 2007 / Don’t Say Your Love Is Killing Me – An Evening With Erasure 1997 / Breathe – The Erasure Show 2005 / Sometimes – The Innocents Tour 1988 / Tenderest Moments – The Acoustic Tour 2006 / Ave Maria – The Erasure Show 2005 / The Soldiers Return – The Phantasmagorical Entertainment Tour 1992 / I Could Fall In Love With You – Light At The End Of The World Tour 2007 / A Little Respect – The Innocents 1988

Disc 11: CD – RARITIES 

Who Needs Love Like That (Audition Version) / Blue (Searching) / Piano (Tomorrow’s World Demo) / Waiting For The Day (Demo) / Siempre – (Always – Spanish Version) / 2000 Miles – (Monteverde 7″ Mix) / Chanson (Moon & The Sky French Demo) / Am I Right? (Guitar Demo) / Worlds On Fire (Demo) / Run To The Sun (Demo) / Breath Of Life (Piano Demo) / Alien (Demo) / Whole Lotta Love Run Riot (Demo) / Moon & The Sky – (The Beatmasters Remix) / Untitled (Loveboat Demo) / Amo Odiarti (Love To Hate You – Italian Disco Anthem Mix) / UK Vibe 3 (Tomorrow’s World Demo) / Symphony / Reason (Sirius XM Radio Session)

Disc 12: CD – DOCUMENTARY 

A Little Respect: 30 Years of Erasure (Radio Documentary)

Disc 13: DVD – THE WILD! CONCERT 

Piano Song / How Many Times? / You Surround Me / Knocking On Your Door / Brother And Sister / Crown Of Thorns / Star / Chains Of Love / Hideaway / Supernature / Sometimes / The Hardest Part / Oh L’Amour / Drama! / A Little Respect / Spiralling / La Gloria / Ship Of Fools / It Doesn’t Have To Be / Blue Savannah / Who Needs Love Like That / Stop! / Victim Of Love + Backstage Footage

Donna Summer: ‘The CD Collection’

Summer box

Donna Summer: The CD Collection

Whenever you hear the name Donna Summer, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the disco era, but Donna Summer was much more than merely the “Queen of Disco.” Summer managed to amass five Grammy awards, three consecutive number one double-albums, and sell over 130 million records during her 44-year career, making her one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. Those diligent enough to look past her classic hits such as “I Feel Love,” “Last Dance” “Love To Love You Baby” and “Bad Girls,” will quickly discover Summer’s vastly underrated versatility evidenced by her thirst to explore well beyond her dance oriented wheelhouse and successfully conquer R&B, soul, rock, pop, country, and gospel.

With the new posthumous release of Donna: The CD Collection, which focuses on her post-disco years, longtime aficionados can excitedly revel in the joyous rediscovery of Summer’s less famous, but noteworthy and highly diversified musical offerings. This limited edition 10-disc box set features Summer’s Geffen and Atlantic Records output from 1980 to 1991. Donna: The CD Collection includes remastered, deluxe casebook editions of the previously out-of-print albums: The Wanderer, I’m a Rainbow, Donna Summer, Cats Without Claws, All Systems Go, Another Place and Time, and Mistaken Identity, complete with b-sides, twelve-inch remixes, single edits, instrumentals, and dub versions, plus an exclusive set of six postcards featuring photographs from Donna Summer’s personal archives, all of which are housed within a uniquely designed box.

Also included is a comprehensive booklet with in-depth album credits, song lyrics, and newly authored liner notes by noted US writers Justin Kantor and Christian John Wikane, as well as excerpts from new interviews by Bruce Sudano, Brenda Russell, Harold Faltermeyer, James Ingram, Joe “Bean” Esposito, and Kim Carnes, among others. This lavish and highly sought after collection is sure to be snatched up hurriedly and treasured by all who actively seek to keep the unforgettable and ground-breaking dance diva’s legacy alive and well for years to come.

Donna – The CD Collection includes:

DS wanderer

The Wanderer – Donna Summer’s 1980 Geffen Records debut produced by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte includes the singles “Cold Love,” “Who Do You Think You’re Foolin'” and the new wave styled title track. Now includes single edits as bonus tracks.

DS rainbow

I’m A Rainbow – Summer’s aborted double-album and last with her longtime collaborators Moroder/Bellotte (notoriously shelved by David Geffen in 1981), is presented here in its originally intended 2-disc configuration and features fan favorites “Highway Runner,” “Romeo,” “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina,” “To Turn the Stone,” as well as the moving title track.

DS donnasummer

Donna Summer  – The Quincy Jones produced album includes the hit singles “Love Is In Control (Finger on the Trigger),” Summer’s cover of Vangelis’ “State of Independence,” and “The Woman in Me.” Also features a rocking’ version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Protection,” written specifically for Summer by “The Boss” himself and the rare b-side “Sometimes Like Butterflies.” Now includes dance versions and single edits.

DS cats

Cats Without ClawsSummer’s second effort to be produced by Michael Omartian features the singles “There Goes My Baby,” “Supernatural Love,” “Eyes,” and the feral title track. Also includes extended remixes and single edits.

DS systems

All Systems GoSummer’s thirteenth studio album features the Top Ten R&B hit “Dinner with Gershwin,” her duet with Starship’s Mickey Thomas “Only the Fool Survives,” and the long lost b-side ” Tearin’ Down the Walls.” Also includes extended versions and single edits as bonus tracks.

DS time

Another Place and Time – This Stock/Aitken/Waterman produced set from 1989 was Summer’s Atlantic Records debut (newly expanded to three discs with numerous remixes and single versions), and contains the Top Ten hit ” This Time I Know It’s for Real,” plus the singles “I Don’t Wanna Get Hurt,” “Love’s About to Change My Heart,” ” When Love Takes Over You,” and ” Breakaway.”

DS identity

Mistaken Identity – Summer’s second set for Atlantic Records was the R&B infused album produced by Keith Diamond, and features the singles “Work That Magic,” and “When Love Cries.” Also includes remixed versions and single edits as bonus tracks.

 

 

U.S. Albums Box Set Celebrates 50 Years of Beatlemania

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The Beatles: The U.S. Albums

Although I wasn’t born when the Beatles first arrived in America, that didn’t stop me from liberating their albums from my eldest sister and memorizing every word, harmony and riff until I could hear them in my sleep, and repeatedly dream of the Capitol Records’ label with its dome logo and colorband ring spinning in my head. However, I’ll shamefacedly admit that during my early adulthood I thought I’d outgrown the mop topped Fab Four and briefly pushed them aside as I sought to forge my own musical identity, but an eager audiophile soon set me back onto the right track. Now, with the release of the Beatles’ 13-disc box set The U.S. Albums, I too finally have the opportunity to turn back time and experience a taste of Beatlemania for myself. Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America and first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964, this box set includes all of the original artwork from the Capitol Records’ releases, and a 64-page illustrated booklet with an in depth essay written by American television executive and author Bill Flanagan. Warning: this box set is NOT for Beatles purists, but instead intended solely for fans who want to recreate their youthful American listening experience of the Beatles in digital form.

If like me, you lived in the U.S. during your formative years, these are the track sequences and album covers you know (and worship) for better or worse, which differ greatly from the versions first released on CD in 1987, and again with the release of the Beatles’ remastered catalog in 2009. While many can (and undoubtedly will) endlessly argue the U.S. versions’ echt value, the point here isn’t to determine which versions are superior, but instead to transport you back into the youthful euphoria of hearing the Beatles’ albums for the first time in America. Whether revered or despised likely depends upon your own introduction into the Beatles’ musical canon, but these Americanized versions, with their synthesis of Capitol’s stereo and mono versions and George Martin’s remastering, are historic nonetheless. The set includes the best of both worlds; Capitol’s unique variations of several mixes interspersed with the 2009 remastered tracks, ensuring the ultimate retro Beatles experience.

This set also marks the first time many of these albums have been made available in the U.K. (which could mean quite a revelation to young Beatles’ fans across the pond), as well as the first time The Beatles’ Story (available exclusively in this box set), Hey Jude, Yesterday and Today, A Hard Day’s Night (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), and the U.S. version of Revolver have been available on compact disc. The original artwork of these releases has been painstakingly reproduced, complete with a sticker replica of the alternate Yesterday and Today cover, which was originally issued after the “butcher” cover was recalled in 1966.

The U.S. albums (notorious for their equalized echo chamber sound, or duophonic simulated stereo, and arbitrarily sequenced track lists) reportedly annoyed the band members, which is believed to be the inspiration behind the infamous “Butcher’s Block” cover (featuring the band holding disjointed baby dolls and raw meat while sporting white lab coats) for the U.S. only release Yesterday and Today.

The Capitol/Universal 2014 box set includes:

Meet the Beatles!, The Beatles’ Second Album, A Hard Day’s Night (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Something New, Beatles ’65, The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, Help! (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Rubber Soul, Yesterday and Today, Revolver, Hey Jude, and The Beatles’ Story.