This Week in Music, June 25, 2013: Willie Nile invites us to take an “American Ride” Page 3
The Beatles: Help!
Photo © Subafilms Ltd. / Bruce A. Karsh
Now on Blu-ray: the Beatles’ second film, from 1965. (As John Lennon quipped, “This one’s in color.”) The single disc includes the movie and the extras from the 2007 double-DVD set but no new bonuses — unless you consider the fact that you now get the soundtrack’s surround mix in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.
The Moody Blues: Timeless Flight
Archival release (UMe; tour dates)
You could get blissfully lost in a career-spanning box set like this one for the Moody Blues, considering that it has 17 discs, a 120-page hardcover book (with a new essay by band researcher Mark Powell), a poster, and other printed extras. But here’s a special heads-up to multichannel fans: Three of the 17 spinners are DVD-Audio discs containing the long-unavailable 5.1 mixes of the band’s signature releases from the late 1960s and early ’70s — namely, Days of Future Passed, On the Threshold of a Dream, To Our Children’s Children’s Children, A Question of Balance, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, and Seventh Sojourn. (Note to completists: In Search of the Lost Chord was never mixed in surround.)
Three standard DVDs have TV appearances, promotional videos, and a previously unreleased live concert shot in Paris in 1970. Then there are the 11 CDs, brimming with album tracks, outtakes, unissued mixes, and additional live material.
Also available, for those who can’t afford to get lost: a four-CD version.
Steve Earle: The Warner Bros. Years
Archival release (Shout! Factory; tour dates)
Photo by Señor McGuire
As Steve Earle recently told Billboard, it was “one of the most important periods of my career.” That would be the time when Earle, post-rehab/incarceration, recorded his Warner Bros. albums, one each for the years 1995-97: the acoustic Train a Comin’, the rocking I Feel Alright, and the wide-ranging El Corazón.
The last of those was among 1997’s Records of the Year chosen by Sound & Vision’s predecessor, Stereo Review. As we said at the time: “Earle has searched the inside chambers of his own corazón and found love more than anything else.”
All three albums are winners, and they’re all in this set. “I found my voice as a recording artist on those records,” Earle told Billboard. “I knew what I was and where I was as a songwriter, even as a drug addict, but I had to sort of start over again and get back to how I wanted things to sound. My earlier stuff was digital records and very slick ’80s recordings; the drums were f---ing loud, and there was a lot of gated reverb on everything. I’m not ashamed of that; it was the ’80s, and that’s what we did. But by , I was after something else.”
You also get a fourth CD, Live at the Polk Theater, which is a previously unreleased recording from Nashville in 1995. Plus there’s another unissued performance on a DVD: To Hell and Back, from the former Cold Creek Correctional Facility in Tennessee the following year.
The booklet has a new Q&A with Earle, an essay by David Simon (creator of HBO’s The Wire and co-creator of the network’s Treme), and complete lyrics for the three albums.