Digital Roundup: 4/30/2014
Body Count, Body Count: Why not kick things off controversially, right? Ah, it seems like only yesterday that Ice-T turned the world at large against him when he decided to try his hand at heavy metal and, with his new band Body Count, released a song called “Cop Killer.” The track was always intended as a protest song rather than any sort of call to arms, and when Ice-T grew annoyed by the media attention surrounding the sound outweighing its musical merit, he had the Body Count album recalled and reissued without the offending track…and, for better or worse, that remains the case with this digital reissue as well. Still, there’s a lot of great material that’s worth revisiting, including “There Goes the Neighborhood,” “The Winner Loses,” and the band’s theme song, as it were, “Body Count.” Granted, you could argue that “Body Count’s in the House” and “Body Count Anthem” also qualify as the band’s theme songs, but we’ve always been most partial to just plain ol’ “Body Count” because it got bonus play from being one of the tracks on Sire’s Just Say Anything compilation.
Oscar Brand, Every Inch a Sailor / Out of the Blue / Tell It to the Marines / Cough! Army Songs Out of the Barracks Bag / Boating Songs and All That Bilge: The fact that we’ve added five Oscar Brand albums to Rhino’s digital catalog is the sort of announcement will likely bring a smile to the faces of folk music fans, but for those who can only offer a blank stare in response to this news, allow us to provide you with a brief education. Brand was born in Canada, later became a U.S. citizen, and is within spitting distance of needing to use triple digits to count how many albums he’s released in his career, having worked alongside such legendary figures as Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, and Pete Seeger. These albums are from his stint with Elektra Records in the 1960s, and while it’s a far cry from everything he recorded during that era, here’s hoping these find enough of an audience to inspire further releases.
Elaine Page, The King and I – 2000 Original Cast Recording: The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical about a schoolteacher named Anna and the king of Siam has been produced on numerous occasions for the stage and for screens both big and small, but this cast recording is from a 2000 production which featured Elaine Page as Anna and Jason Scott Lee as the titular king and was nominated for an Olivier Award for outstanding musical. As such, if you’ve ever been a fan of the show, you may wish to give this a listen.
Battle of the Bulge – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Benjamin Frankel teams with the New Philharmonia Orchestra to deliver a memorable score for the Henry Fonda World War II classic, one which is often described as being among the best soundtracks for a military-themed film ever recorded.
Pennies from Heaven – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Audiences didn’t know what to make of Steve Martin’s decision to follow up his performance in The Jerk with a movie musical set in the 1930s, but 1981’s Pennies from Heaven – an adaptation of the British miniseries by Dennis Potter – found a certain amount of critical acclaim and has maintaining a strong cult following over the decades…and if you’re part of that cult, then you’ll no doubt be thrilled that you can finally enjoy the film’s soundtrack.
10 – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Despite Dudley Moore’s proficiency as a pianist, the majority of the soundtrack to this Blake Edwards classic – which established Bo Derek as a sex symbol for the ages while also mistakenly convincing far too many women that they could pull off the cornrow look – was composed by the legendary Henry Mancini. The big exception: Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero,” which wraps up the album. (And don’t think it was a coincidence that Derek soon starred in a film by the same title as Ravel’s composition, either.)