LALO SCHIFRIN Sky Riders [released 3rd August 2009]
CD: As a thriller, 'Sky Riders' is frankly quixotic. It posits a sketchy tale of an American industrialist (Robert Culpt) whose wife (Susannah York) and children are snatched by terrorists from their Athens home and spirited away to an abandoned monastery perched like an eagle's nest on a remote and impregnable peak in Thessaly. The Greek police (their chief played, inexplicably, by the adorable Charles Aznavour) are helpless; all seems lost until the timely arrival of the kidnapped woman's former husband (James Coburn), a kind of soldier of fortune who swiftly hits on a plan: a daring guerrilla rescue by hang glider. It's worth noting that Sky Riders, however minutely it may figure in Lalo Schifrin's overall career, marks something of a watershed for the composer. Recorded in February of 1976 (a busy year that would include music for a total of five feature films, a television movie and a generous sprinkling of episodic TV), it would prove to be the last, for a time, in that long, innovative line of jazz/funk-dominated scores with which Schifrin made his reputation. Later in the year, he would score – and earn an Academy Award nomination for – Voyage of the Damned, delving into a more conventionally orchestral if still compelling style. For the next two decades – until director Brett Ratner asked him to revive the funky mode of Enter The Dragon for Money Talks (1997) – this was the musical arena in which Lalo would explore and delight. The score has never been released before, not even on LP. This is the complete original score.
THE TWANG Jewellery Quarter [released 3rd August 2009]
CD I 2-CD: One of the UK success stories of the last two years return with a new album in August. The Twang were the subject of intense debate on their emergence in 2007 with the NME declaring them 'The best new band in Britain' and went on to deliver two of the anthems of the year in the forms of 'Either Way' and 'Wide Awake' alongside a Top 3 debut album in the shape of 'Love It When I Feel Like This' that sold 150K. As they toured the UK leaving stories of varying accuracy wherever they went, the five lads from Birmingham were the epitome of a rock 'n' roll band earning the undying loyalty of a huge and vocal fanbase. In the process they revitalised a UK music scene that had become a little too arch for its own good, were the subject of endless pro and anti letters in the weekly music press and, as all classic working class bands should, pissed off those who want 'safe chaos' from their artists. Two years from that explosion of interest, the band return with an album that draws on those experiences, both good and bad, and marks a more mature and soulful set of songs. Having avoided the classic second album syndromes of writing about tour buses or developing neuroses about their public perception, the lyrics of singers Phil Etheridge and Saunders and bassist Jon Watkin deal instead with the familiar and, at times, brutally personal experiences of the band their friends and their lovers. Naming the album, Jewellery Quarter, after the area rapidly becoming the cultural powerhouse of the second city and home to the band's studio, is a marker that this is very much an album made by Birmingham. The band's return leads with the soon to be summer tune 'Barney Rubble' followed by the album on August 3rd.
NANCI GRIFFITH Blue Roses From The Moons [released 3rd August 2009]
CD: Out of print for several years, Nanci Griffith's 1997 masterwork 'Blue Roses From The Moons' receives the definitive remastering treatment as we welcome back this classic to the Friday Music label. Produced by Don Gehman (Tracy Chapman, John Cougar), this heartfelt project captured the beautiful voice of Griffith with the strength of her own great tunes, as well as solid interpretations of Nick Lowe, Guy Clark and Sonny Curtis. Includes Buddy Holly's original Crickets on several key cuts including 'I Fought The Law' and favourites like 'Two For The Road' and 'Maybe Tomorrow'. A timeless classic is back and sounding sweeter than ever. The Definitive Remaster Series is available exclusively from Friday Music. Includes new liner notes and original graphics. Remastered from the original Elektra Records source tapes assuring a pristine remaster.
T-BONE WALKER Texas Guitar: From Dallas To L.A [released 3rd August 2009]
CD: In 1972, for a very short time, Atlantic Records released this wonderful blues collection of super rare singles and unreleased tracks from T-Bone Walker, 'How Long Blues' and 'T-Bone Blues Special', as well as Walker's collaborations with his friends like RS Rankin on the smokin' 'You Don't Know What You're Doin", Al King, the phenomenal Lawyer Houston and the legendary Guitar Slim all get their due as well. Out of print for four decades, this serious blues collection is back! Remastered from the original mono Atlantic vault tapes by Joe Reagoso. First time remastered and available on CD. Original art elements, new liners and impeccable remastering from the original Atlantic mono vault tapes to assure a pristine recording.
RENAISSANCE Live At Carnegie Hall [released 3rd August 2009]
2-CD: To help celebrate their 40th year in the business, Friday Music is pleased to announce the exclusive Renaissance Remaster Series. We kick things off with their biggest album 'Live At Carnegie Hall'. This 2-disc set includes amazing renditions of their most famous songs, accented with a stunning symphonic orchestra and an enthusiastic New York City audience. This exclusive release includes new recollections from Renaissance's Annie Haslam, as well as first-time remastering from the original Sire Records vault tapes. This is the definitive audiophile version of this legendary recording and its first time ever availability on CD. Includes original art elements as well. A prog-rocker's dream!
VOIVOD Infini [released 3rd August 2009]
2-LP: The phrase 'living legends' is often over-used, however nothing better represents Voivod and the band's nearly three-decade contribution to the evolution of metal. The band's impact on a nascent metal scene with their early efforts was still being felt when Voivod become one of the first bands to inject prog-rock sensibilities into extreme music. 'Infini,' the final studio release since the untimely death of founding member Denis 'Piggy' D'Amour, and addition of bassist Jason Newsted (Metallica) in 2002, perfectly articulates the many facets of this trail-blazing band.
THE BLACKOUT Save Our Selves [released 3rd August 2009]