Exclusive Music, Playlists, Merch & More

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 3:10pm
Dr. Rhino's Picks

Awesome hair: check. Killer threads: check. Sam Cooke-inspired vocals: check. I think we have everything we need to take a quick jaunt through Rod’s back nine. Fore!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 2:26pm
ZZ Top

Yes, there have been ZZ Top greatest-hits collections in the past, and, yes, they’ve all been rather solid, but now the band is bringing you not only the baddest of their material but also the very baddest. Okay, so maybe the differentiation between the two is predominantly that one’s a single-disc compilation and the other’s a two-disc set. Either way, they’re both pretty darned bad…by which, of course, we mean that they rock pretty darned hard.

In the press release which accompanied the news of this release, Billy Gibbons – who, along with Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, founded the band in 1969 – observed from beneath his beard that he and his bandmates were “glad that material originally issued by three different labels over the course of all these years will now be housed under one ‘roof,’ to so speak,” calling it “kind of a big, bad family reunion on some level.” By that, of course, Gibbons means that, in addition to their tremendous back catalog on Warner Brothers, these collections also feature inclusions from their more recent albums on RCA and Universal.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 11:24am
Digital Roundup

New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:

Foghat, The Essentials: Interested in investigating the back catalog of Foghat but feeling like our Hi-Five look into their career just isn’t in-depth enough? You’re in luck: this compilation offers just enough of an exploration of their hits and classic album tracks to provide an education without being too overwhelming.

The Unforgiven, The Unforgiven: This self-titled artifact from 1986 may be best known because one of the band’s members, Johnny Hickman, went on to team up with former Camper Van Beethoven frontman David Lowery to form Cracker. If you can imagine a bunch of kids raised on Ennio Morricone soundtracks making roots rock…well, you probably still wouldn’t really have the sound of The Unforgiven down, since their songs also featured “gang vocals,” with everyone singing together. It’s a fun listen, though.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 2:13pm

We’ve got 2 killer albums being reissued on 180-gram vinyl this week... dig in here:

Duran Duran, Rio: Do we really need to sell you on this album beyond listing off its trifecta of hit singles? Seriously, if the knowledge that you’re getting “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Save a Prayer,” and the title track aren’t enough to make you want to pick up this vinyl reissue, we can’t help you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 1:42pm
Simply Red

25 years ago today, Simply Red topped the UK charts with an album that didn’t do quite as well in the States but still managed to provide the band with the second U.S. #1 single of their career.

After the success of the band’s 1985 debut album, Picture Book, and its biggest hit single, “Holding Back the Years” (their first U.S. #1 single), on both sides of the Atlantic, it seemed as though Simply Red were poised to be a full-fledged pop phenomenon…and so they were in just about every country other than America. In the States, however, the band’s sophomore effort, 1987’s Women and Men, earned disappointing sales, and although they earned a top-30 single with “The Right Thing,” it was evident that America wasn’t nearly as interested in what Mick Hucknall and company were selling as other countries. (In the UK, for instance, the band pulled five Top 100 singles from the album, with two of them – “The Right Thing” and “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” – hitting #11.)

Monday, July 21, 2014 - 4:53pm
Aquarium Drunkard Presents

Through the marvel that is social media, I noticed that a bunch of Athens, GA musicians are putting together a tribute show next month centered around Whiskeytown's second LP, 1997's "Strangers Almanac". This, naturally, led to my pulling out the record and later putting together this week's playlist - twenty tracks spanning Whiskeytown's three (official) full-length releases, including bits from both the "Faithless Street" and "Strangers" reissues. And while all three records have aged exceptionally well, I have to wonder what a post-"Pneumonia" Whiskeytown record would have sounded like had the band stayed together.

Ryan Adams went on to immediately release his solo debut, the lauded "Heartbreaker", and would later revisit the more Whiskeytown-leaning aesthetic of his songwriting via "Jacksonville City Lights". And hey, everyone seems to be getting on the Reunion bus these days, so who knows...