Mike Oldfield has steadily been re-releasing his catalogue in wonderful Deluxe Editions. His last reissue, Incantations, was re-released in the latter part of 2011 to great acclaim.
The next set from Mike Oldfield includes not one but two Oldfield classics, 1979’s Platinum, and 1980’s QE2.
While little is known about what these two Oldfield albums will bring when they’re released on July 20 of 2012 in continuing Deluxe Edition remasters, it is very exciting just to know that we can now expect them.
These two titles will see reissuance first in Europe on the date noted, and hopefully follow shortly in the US. Please note that this is preliminary information. Still, mark your calendar for Platinum, and QE2 in Deluxe Edition. Thanks again, Mike Oldfield.
[Immense thanks to TAP reader, Pat Gleeson, for alerting us to this great news.]
With the release of Ashes and Roses, Mary Chapin Carpenter offers her eleventh studio album that began with her Columbia Records gem, 1987’s Hometown Girl. Over the decades, Carpenter has produced a dizzying beautiful and insightful array of albums that gained her mass attention as an artist of worth.
Starting with the excellent “Transcendental Reunion”, a tune that metaphorically uses lights seen from a plane to positively embrace what we all are. In it, she also contrasts being alone with the same kind of Love Actually swarm of heartfelt welcome that takes place in airports. In this, we are more than what we appear to be in Carpenter’s world.
Every track on Ashes and Roses is an experience beautifully wrapped in her folk-style with country leanings music. To say that one songs stands out over the other would be a miscarriage of assessment.
In times where completely perfect albums are rare, it’s quite a pleasure to tell you about one like this one.
Over the years, I have come to ask an important question to myself, which is to wonder why Mary Chapin Carpenter is not mentioned consistently alongside the many great female singer-songwriter artists of our times. There’s Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Carly Simon, Joan Baez, and the underrated and equally unpraised Laura Nyro.
It’s clear to me that even at this stage of Carpenter’s magnificent career, more people should know exactly who you’re talking about when you mention her. This album is nothing short of extraordinary.
“We are travelers traveling, we are gypsies together, we’re philosophers gathering, we are business or pleasure.
We are going or coming, we’re just finding our way to the next destination, and from night into day.” –Transcendental Reunion
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Following up the multi-platinum release of McCartney (1970), Paul McCartney, who included Linda as a creator, issued RAM with several wonderful tracks that included the finger-pointing tune, “Too Many People”, and the breakthrough hit, “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”. “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”, which clocked in at almost five minutes of pure audio perfection, was too difficult to edit because of its flow. (“Too Many People” was a B-side to that hit.)
Needless to say, Ram set the stage for Paul McCartney, whose next album would come from a formed band, Wings. RAM contained twelve songs, all of which showcased a Paul McCartney that needed to be, for all purposes, a talent of his own worth, quite separated from the Beatles. RAM succeeded with its rich smorgasbord of songs.
The newly remastered album released for the series, the ambitious Paul McCartney Archive Collection, is wonderful to listen to. And if it were not for the actual presence of the added bonuses of an extra disc of tracks, and a DVD, we would be happy all the same.
The second disc includes eight more tracks, all outtakes from RAM sessions. On it you’ll will be rewarded with “Another Day”, and “Oh Woman, Oh Why” as well as a collection of new mix versions of songs. The DVD contains Ramming, an 11-minute documentary of the making of RAM, several promo films that include “Heart of The Country”, “3 Legs”, and “Hey Diddle”, and a short film entitled “Eat At Home On Tour”.
RAM is a significant title in the Paul McCartney catalogue, so much so that it is consistently remembered not only by its two well-known tracks (“Too Many People”, “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”), but also by its iconic cover with Paul holding the horns of a ram within a ’60s-based color outlay.
This new remastered re-release of RAM is an essential pick-up, regardless of which form you regain it as (there are single CD, 2CD, LP, and a massive Deluxe Edition with bound book packages for you to choose from).
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Back in the ’70s, when two sisters formed a band called Heart and released their defining “Magic Man” single on the independent Mushroom Records label, they had no idea that the entire journey, thus far, would produce this aptly titled, career spanning Box called Strange Euphoria.
Ann, a vocalist extraordinaire, with her brilliant guitar playing sister, Nancy formed the basis of the band that became international stars on the strength of their songs and platinum selling albums over the years. While their strongest periods were from the ’70s, and ’80s, they never gave up the ghost.
As there will be for immensely popular bands, there have been many ‘best of’ packages released for Heart over the years, including intimate Essential packages. What makes Strange Euphoria a better package? Because it is not a best-of package in the normal sense. it is a complementary package that slots next to any Essential packages you may have. Its collection is made up of quite a few demos that are quite wonderful to hear.
Strange Euphoria begins with a wide and satisfying collection of vault treasure demos that include a folkier “Magic Man”, preceded by the opening track of this box, the pre-Heart and folky “Through Eyes amp; Glass”, a proper song on loan from Ann Wilson amp; The Daybreaks (which should surprise fans of the rockier Heart).
The “Crazy On You” demo is even a refreshing thing to hear in place of its more popular studio cut. Still, this box is rewarded with original studio cuts of songs to keep it interestingly a Heart career overview. “These Dreams”, “Kick It Out”, “Little Queen”, and others go the distance, as they did during their fresh release dates.
In addition to the 51 tracks found on Strange Euphoria, 20 of which are previously unreleased (mostly demos and a few live cuts), the set adds in a 57-minute DVD that plays back a 1976 TV concert. It’s great fun to watch, and worth more than several spins (I’ve watched it three times already).
The box is augmented by an obligatory book-sized document that covers ground by way of track-to-track commentary from both Nancy and Ann Wilson. The 60-page book contains plenty of era-specific pictures, and memorabilia to make the package more attractive to dedicated Heart fans to whom this release is geared toward.
The “box” is a slip-cased, tri-fold CD wallet. Strange Euphoria is essential material for those that are Heart fans.
Release Date: June 5, 2012