New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
Theodore Bikel, An Actor's Holiday / Folk Songs Of Israel / Jewish Folk Songs / Songs Of A Russian Gypsy / Folk Songs From Just About Everywhere / Bravo Bikel! - Theodore Bikel Town Hall Concert / Songs Of Russia Old And New / From Bondage To Freedom / A Harvest Of Israeli Folksongs / The Best Of Bikel / Theodore Bikel On Tour / Young Man and a Maid: Goodness gracious, we’re tired just from typing all of those album titles, but if you’re a fan of Theodore Bikel’s substantial discography, we can only imagine how thrilled you are to see a dozen – that’s twelve, count ‘em, twelve – of his albums being added to our digital catalog. For many of you, Bikel may be best known as an actor, so this is certainly a wonderful time to dig in and explore some of the material he’s recorded over the years. Granted, if this is your first exposure to his work, it’s only inevitable that the best starting point is The Best of Bikel, but from a historical standpoint, consider how daring it was for Bikel to record Songs of a Russian Gypsy in 1958, when Americans were still in full “Better Dead than Red” mode. As album titles go, if there’s one that most exemplifies truth in advertising – not just for the record’s contents but, indeed, for Bikel’s entire career – it’s Folk Songs from Just About Everywhere: any one of these albums will provide you not only with a musical education but with a cultural one as well…or, in other words, start listening!
Let’s get small, while this wild and crazy guy shows us that comedy is not pretty. Ladies and gentlemen, Steve Martin!
35 years ago today, Bernard Edwards, Nile Rodgers, and Tony Thompson, along with singers Alfa Anderson and Luci Martin, released an album which kicked off with one of the greatest grooves of Chic’s career while promising – and absolutely delivering – “Good Times.”
1979 was a busy year for Edwards and Rogers – that’s also when they wrote and produced Sister Sledge’s We Are Family album – but when you’re capable of writing songs as strong as those that seemed to pop out of their pens every time they turned around, why not keep busy? Risqué was Chic’s third album, and while it only provided them with one top-40 hit (“My Forbidden Lover” just missed the cut at #43, but “My Feet Keep Dancing” wasn’t even close, stalling out at #101), it’s hard to complain too vociferously when that one hit tops the pop charts, the R&B charts, and the dance charts, not to mention the fact that a sample from the song resulted in the greatest success the Sugarhill Gang ever had (“Rapper’s Delight”).
In recent years, the sight of a porkpie hat has inspired most people to think of one word – Heisenberg – but prior to the premiere of Breaking Bad, it used to be the chapeau of choice for rude boys... and if you don’t know what a rude boy is, then, boy, do you need to run out and pick up our latest 180-gram vinyl releases!
First and foremost, we’d recommend The Best of 2-Tone, because it’s evident that you need a proper education in ska, and when it comes to a solid sampling of the genre, you need look no further than this set, which features material from The Beat (“The Tears of a Clown,” “Ranking Full Stop”), The Bodysnatchers (“Let’s Do Rock Steady”), Madness (“The Prince”), Rico (“Sea Cruise”), The Selecter (“The Selecter,” “On My Radio,” “Three Minute Hero,” “Missing Words”), The Special AKA (“Gangsters,” an edited version of “Nelson Mandela,” a live version of “Too Much Too Young,” and “The Boiler”), and The Specials (“A Message to You Rudy,” “Rat Race,” “Stereotype,” “Do Nothing,” and “Ghost Town”).
If you’ve seen an exorbitant number of pieces being posted about Twin Peaks lately and have been wondering why everyone’s suddenly gotten excited again about a 24-year-old TV drama, then... well, first of all, we can only presume that you have a problem where you only read the least important portion of every headline, because it shouldn’t be all that hard to work out that the renewed media attention is due to the series and its feature-film prequel (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me), being released on Blu-ray – along with numerous special features, including almost an hour and a half of deleted and extended scenes from the film – in a new set entitled Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery.
Produced And Newly Remastered By Jimmy Page, Each With Previously Unreleased Companion Audio Multiple CD, Vinyl, And Digital Formats, Including Limited Edition Super Deluxe Boxed Set, Available October 27/28
The second round of reissues begins with one of the most artistically influential and commercially successful albums in the history of music, Led Zeppelin IV, and continues with 1973's chart-topping Houses Of The Holy. As with the previous deluxe editions, both albums have been newly remastered by guitarist and producer Jimmy Page and are accompanied by a second disc of companion audio comprised entirely of unreleased music related to that album.
Each album is now available for pre-order in the following formats: