Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Complete Guide to Madonna Remixes – Part 2

Part one of this guide was difficult because of the multitude of rarities and exceptions. Some mixes were only on the LP version of an album, others were exclusive to digital and CD releases. And of course some were on original pressings of records only to be replaced later on with different versions. Keeping track of all of it was incredibly confusing. It was a difficulty due to complexity.

Part two proved to be difficult due to scale. Madonna was active during the entirety of the 90s, which means more songs. Not only that, the 90s were the golden age of the dance remix. In the 80s, most of her songs got half a dozen remixes at most. In the 90s, some got well over a dozen, and sometimes those mixes themselves were remixed into single edits, many of which were exclusive to radio promos and test pressings.

Basically what I’m saying is that this list was hella hard. So if I missed something I wouldn’t be surprise. As always, let me know (kindly) in the comments!

Part three will cover the 2000s. But don’t expect it until December.

“Keep It Together” (1990)

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Album Version [5:03] – Available on Like A Prayer.
12″ Remix [7:50] – On most 12″ and CD singles.
12″ Extended Mix [7:20] – On most 12″ and CD singles.
12″ Mix [6:50] – On most 12″ and CD singles.
Bonus Beats [3:27] – On most 12″ singles and the Australian and Japanese maxi-singles.
Dub version [7:00] – On most 12″ singles and the Australian and Japanese maxi-singles.
Instrumental [5:52] – On most 12″ and CD singles.
Single Remix [4:32]  – On nearly all 7″ singles and most 12″ and CD singles. Continue reading

YMO 101: The Live Albums

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This is part two of my guide to Yellow Magic Orchestra.
Part 1: The Studio Albums
Part 3: The Compilations and Remix Records
Part 4: The Solo Records

While YMO’s general discography is relatively unknown in the Western world, advising potential fans as to what albums to get, and in which order, is relatively easy. The group’s studio output was relatively scant, with just six proper albums and one mini-LP/EP to their name. Sure, I did write an entire album-by-album guide to their core studio releases, to be honest that entire piece could’ve been summarized by simply saying “buy Solid State Survivor and if you like it get the first album and then rest.”

But covering YMO’s live discography is far more intimidating. First of all, their number of live releases outnumber their studio releases by a ratio of two to one, and many of their live records are out of print and go for a hefty sum online. Buying a YMO live album blind, only to be unsatisfied with it, that can hurt. And while finding information on their studio releases can be as easy as a quick check to Wikipedia, articles and reviews of many of their live releases are nonexistent online (at least in English).

If only there was some madman out there who spent the countless hours and dollars hunting down nearly all of the group’s live output in an effort to write a guide for newcomers to the group who might not know where to begin.

Why, this sounds like a job for…me, an obsessive music geek living in Tokyo and with apparently far too much free time.

It took some time, over a year in fact, but I have finally tracked down every single official YMO live album that I’m aware of. This was largely for my own pleasure, but also to write this guide because, as much as I love YMO, I have to be honest; there’s a lot in their live discography that is inconsequential and non-essential. So I hope this helps some fans out there avoid the pitfalls I jumped into while collecting it all. Continue reading

Scrunged: Silverchair’s Frogstomp

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Scrunge (second-rate rip-off grunge) is a largely forgotten genre, and every few weeks I’m going to examine a scrunge act or two and see if they deserve a second chance. Today’s band: Silverchair.

In my very first “Scrunged” post I made a dismissive comment regarding Silverchair’s “Open Fire (Ana’s Song),” calling it “decent but dour.” A commenter misunderstood what I was trying to say (shocking, I know) and claimed that I “owed them a revisit.”

And he may have been right, but I hope he wasn’t thinking I should start with Frogstomp. Continue reading

Game Music Revue: Streets Of Rage (2015 Data Discs Edition)

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A few years ago Death Waltz Records opened up shop and promptly took the the record geek community by storm with its high quality vinyl re-issues of classic horror soundtracks, presented with heavy duty sleeves and pressed on creatively-colored vinyl.

Since then, we seemingly become lousy with labels looking to cash in on this sudden re-issue trend. Some, like One Way Static and Invada, have done good by releasing quality soundtracks that sound great and feature amazing art. Others, like the atrocious Waxworks and the flipper-friendly Mondo (who bought Death Waltz rather than compete with them) have often sacrificed audio quality and consumer friendliness in efforts to put out ultra-limited edition items that not only sound horrid, but become impossible to find thanks to their finitely small print runs.

So I was a little skeptical at first when I found out about Data Discs, a new label dedicated to releasing classic game music on vinyl. With the vinyl craze continuing to reach new heights, I feared they were just in it for the money, hoping to snag a quick buck off of hipsters who put presentation and nostalgia over actual audio quality. Still, when I saw that they were releasing the soundtrack to Streets of Rage on vinyl, I had to take the bait and grab a copy.

I was hoping for the best and fearing for the worst – but thankfully I was pleasantly surprised. Continue reading

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