Bear Family Records Press Archive

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Press Archive - Battleground Korea - Songs and Sounds of America’s Forgotten War - allmusic
Battleground Korea, the weighty four-CD box from Bear Family, bears the subtitle "Songs and Sounds of America's Forgotten War," an assessment equal parts true and false. Compared to the wars that surrounded it -- it happened five years after World War II and ended two years prior to the escalation of military activities in Vietnam -- the Korean War doesn't occupy much space in the American popular consciousness, but it did generate two enduring works of art: The Manchurian Candidate and the 1970 feature film M*A*S*H, along with its accompanying television series. Both The Manchurian Candidate and M*A*S*H were written after the conclusion of the Korean War, but the recordings on Battleground Korea -- mainly music, but there is also a wealth of newsreel footage -- differ because they were produced during the war. These aren't reflections, they're documents of how the country felt as the battle raged.


Presse Archiv - Battleground Korea - Songs and Sounds of America’s Forgotten War - hifi & records
In the enclosed 168-page hard-cover book in LP format, all songs and artists are honoured in detail with their lyrics and bio-graphical facts. Countless photos of the war front in Korea document the dramatic deployment of the Allied troops. Posters and posters underline the patriotic madness of those days of war. Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe's late visit to the front in 1954 also enriches the visual component of this historically unique documentary by Bear Family. Willi Andresen


Press Archive - Battleground Korea - Songs and Sounds of America’s Forgotten War -
Equal parts propaganda and patriotism, romance and realism, drama and comic relief, celebration and devastation, the songs on Battleground Korea illuminate a war that need not be forgotten. So does the 160-page book which impresses in every way. Between its covers, one will find not only track-by-track liner notes detailing facts about the most obscure of artists, but also essays, photo scrapbooks, complete lyrics, and appendices. Penned by Hugo Keesing with Bill Geerhart, and chockablock with memorabilia and illustrations, it’s a stunning and compelling reference book. The four compact discs are housed on spindles within. Christian Zwarg has remastered the material here under the supervision of producers Keesing and Geerhart and executive producer (and Bear Family founder) Richard Weize.


Press Archive - Battleground Korea - Songs and Sounds of America’s Forgotten War - musoscribe
The hardcover book features several in-depth essays that help place the Korean War in context, as well as set the scene for music’s relationship with the war. Detailed biographical and background essays are provided for every recording, and – since the subject matter is at the heart of the collection – printed lyrics are provided for all of the songs.

The book also features a staggering collection of photos – quite a few in color – that provide added dimension to the narrative. As historical releases go, Battleground Korea establishes a nearly impossibly high standard. For those interested in digging into the Korean War from a rarely-approached historical angle, this boxed set is just the ticket. Recalling George Santayana’s aphorism about not learning the lessons of the past, and with the Korean peninsula (and the American government’s perspective on it) currently back in the news, there’s no better time.


Press Archives - Battleground Korea - Songs and Sounds of America’s Forgotten War - Mojo
The 'Songs And Sounds Of America's Forgotten War' on 4-CDs plus book. Following 2010's Next Stop Is Vietnam, compiler Hugo Keesing turns his forensic attention to documenting the often-overlooked Korean conflict that started in June 1950 and ended three years later.


Press Archive - Battleground Korea - Songs and Sounds of America’s Forgotten War - Los Angeles Times Print Edition
World War II produced its own trove of hit songs, including "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else but Me)," "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas." And who can think of the Vietnam War without summoning memories of Barry Sadler's "The Ballad of the Green Berets," Pete Seeger's "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy," the Doors' apocalyptic "The End" or Country Joe & the Fish's "I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag." The Korean War, however, is something of an anomaly in that regard, one that is addressed in an expansive new four-CD box set, "Battleground Korea: Songs and Sounds of America's Forgotten War," just released by the wondrously obsessive German label Bear Family Records. About three years ago —long before Donald Trump was considered a serious candidate for president and well before his Twitter war with current North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un propelled the country back onto center stage of world affairs — coproducers Bill Geerhart and Hugo Keesing went to work on culling music of the Korean conflict.


Press Archive - Battleground Korea - Songs and Sounds of America’s Forgotten War -
There has never been a box set quite like Battleground Korea: Songs and Sounds of America’s Forgotten War, due out in the U.S. on March 23, 2018. The award-winning folks at Bear Family Records have assembled an impressive four-CD anthology that is part ’50s American soundtrack and part historical document, representing the most comprehensive examination ever assembled of songs inspired by the Korean War. While the music of the World War II and Vietnam War eras garnered a lot of attention, far less is known about the sounds of the Korea War period, even though it stands as a significant time in American society, from the post-WWII boom years to dawning of the ’60s.