There’s a lot of Bad Company to be had here at Rhino this week, as we’ve just reissued Bad Company’s Bad Company album – which, as you probably know, also features the song “Bad Company” – on 180-gram vinyl. We’ve also reissued the band’s sophomore effort, Straight Shooter, which includes “Feel Like Making Love” and “Shooting Star” and is a pretty great slab of ‘70s rock in its own right…but, darn it, it’s just not as much fun to announce as that whole Bad Company trifecta.
If you’re a Deep Purple fan, then you’ll definitely want to check out In Concert ’72, which arrived on record store shelves earlier this week, but we’ll forgive you if you do a momentary double-take and ask yourself, “Wait, do I already have this?”
The truthful answer to that question is that you might already have a fair amount of it, but even at that, you definitely don’t have all of it. And, yes, we realize that’s an answer which requires a bit of further clarification, so here goes.
In the early 1970s, the Billboard Top 200 was Jethro Tull’s oyster: they started the decade with Benefit going to #11 in 1970, took Aqualung to #7 the following year, and by ’72, they’d made it all the way to the top spot with Thick as a Brick. Today, though, we’re here to talk about their second chart-topping album, which followed immediately on the heels of their first: 1973’s A Passion Play, released on July 6 in the UK and July 23 here in the States.
The process of recording A Passion Play was a bit unique for Tull, starting with the fact that it was the first time they’d recorded a new album with the same lineup as they’d had on the previous album. (To say that the band’s membership had a tendency to fluctuate a bit is rather like saying, “Spinal Tap had a few drummers.”) There was also a problem in the studio in which they’d begun recording the album – the Château d'Hérouville near Paris, home to such classic albums as Elton John’s Honky Château and Pink Floyd’s Obscured by Clouds – which led the band to give up the ghost and shift locations, setting aside the hour or so of music they’d recorded and start anew elsewhere.
While the realization that this year marks two decades since the release of Pink Floyd’s last studio album may inspire sighs from the band’s fans, this news should help inspire good cheer: not only has a 20th anniversary box set of The Division Bell just hit stores, but Pink Floyd’s official YouTube channel is about to start bulking up its content in earnest.
First, let’s talk about that set. The Division Bell: 20th Anniversary Collector’s Box Set kicks off with a new 2-LP 180-gram vinyl edition of the album, remastered by Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab from the original analogue tapes, including all the full length tracks (originally edited to fit on a single LP), in a gatefold sleeve designed by Hipgnosis/StormStudios. After that, there’s a red 7” vinyl replica of the “Take It Back” single, a clear 7” vinyl replica of the “High Hopes” single, a 12” blue vinyl replica of the “High Hopes” single with reverse laser etched design, the 2011 Discovery remaster of the album, and a Blu-ray disc which includes the album in HD Audio, the previously unreleased 5.1 surround sound audio mix of the album by Andy Jackson, and a new video for the track “Marooned.”
Remember how, when we told you about Jersey Boys: Music from the Motion Picture and Broadway Musical, we warned you that the publicity train was going to be making another stop this week? Well, consider this the blowing of the whistle, because it’s time for that additional announcement, and it’s a big one... and when we say “big,” we’re talking three new releases which, between them, feature 28 discs worth of material.
Now, is that big, or is that big?
First of all, let’s shine the spotlight on the biggest of the big: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons – The Classic Albums Box, which contains 18 albums released by the group between 1962 and 1992. We’re not going to get into a debate over the definition of the word “classic,” since hopefully we all know by now that it’s a highly relative concept, but we will tell you what albums are contained within this decidedly substantial set, which comes in a clamshell box: