36 years ago today, friends of the late Little Feat frontman Lowell George joined forces to deliver a concert which allowed them to pay tribute to their deceased friend and fellow musician while also helping to earn money for the family George left behind.
23 years ago today, INXS released their eight studio album, a often-raucous affair which unfortunately began a major disconnect between the band’s chart success in the US and the UK that lasted until Michael Hutchence’s death half a decade later.
Largely made up of old blues and folk chestnuts, this week's playlist is designed for the dog days of August humidity. Bukka White, Obray Ramsey, Big Bill Broonzy, Elder Charles Back, Slim Harpo, Odetta and Lightnin Hopkins all make an appearance. Press play, pour a glass of ice tea, or something stronger if it suits, and beat the heat.
New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
Pearl Harbor and the Explosions, Pearl Harbor and the Explosions – Power pop fans, rejoice! This self-titled album by one of San Francisco’s greatest musical imports of the early ‘80s is likely best known for the single “You Got It (Release It),” but the whole thing is as catchy as all get-out. Plus, really, how can you go wrong with a band whose singer goes by the name Pearl E. Gates?
Andre Previn, Dead Ringer: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – No, not David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers. This one is singular: the film was released in 1964 and starts Bette Davis, Peter Lawford, and Karl Malden. Davis does play twins, though, so if you saw the title and said, “Oh, is that the one about the twins?” we’ll still give you half-credit. Anyway, this score may not have been one of Previn’s most memorable, but if you like Previn’s work at all, you’ll still want to hear it.
36 years ago today, Talking Heads released their third studio album, an effort which continued the trend of rising higher up the Billboard charts than its predecessor, even if it failed to provide the band with a top-40 single like “Take Me to the River.”
As it happens, the band had actually had an epiphany after playing the aforementioned Al Green cover on American Bandstand, deciding that they didn’t really care to be known as a band that existed solely to release singles. As such, David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, and Jerry Harrison decided to try and put together their follow-up to More Songs About Buildings and Food on their own, sans a producer, but when the demos they laid down didn’t blow up their collective skirt, they called in Brian Eno, who’d produced their previous album, to assist. In turn, Eno helped shape the existing material into something stronger that made everyone happy.
One of the greatest pop singers of the ‘60s has died: Cilla Black, who – although she was best known in America for her lone US top-40 single, “You’re My World” – remained a popular figure in the UK throughout the decades for her music as well as her TV work.
Born in Liverpool with a steadfast determination to become an entertainer, Black got a job taking coats at the famed Cavern Club, but it didn’t take long before her gifts as a singer were discovered and she found herself on the road to stardom. By 1963, the Beatles had introduced her to Brian Epstein, who signed her as a client and introduced her to George Martin, and from there began a collaboration which would serve her tremendously well over the next several years, starting with her debut single, “Love of the Loved,” a previously-unreleased John Lennon and Paul McCartney composition.
"All summer long, we spent dancin' in the sand
And the jukebox kept on playin'
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
That's your image of SoCal, I know. Beach bunnies and surfboards. Endless summer sunsets.
But the truth is that's not the way it's been this summer.