It’s Joe Walsh’s 67th birthday today, so we’re going to go ahead and make the obvious joke: life’s been good to him so far.
Walsh was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1947 but spent various portions of his childhood in Columbus, Ohio, New York City, and Montclair, New Jersey, and with a mother who was a classically trained pianist, he was certainly around music from the very beginning, but it wasn’t until high school when he started making the motions that would steer him toward his own career in music, beginning with playing oboe in the school band. From there, he joined The Nomads, officially kicking off a life in rock ‘n’ roll that continues to this day.
Nine years ago today, Madonna’s tenth studio release debuted at the top of the UK Albums Chart, making it her ninth chart-topper across the pond and her fifth in a row.
The critical reception to Madonna’s previous studio album, 2003’s American Life, was predominantly less than positive: the majority of critics viewed it as a well-intentioned attempt to expand into new territory that didn’t entirely succeed. This may or may not have had anything to do with the decision to get back to more familiar ground – as we all know, Madonna’s gonna do what Madonna’s gonna do, no matter what anyone else says – but whatever her reasons for delivering a full-fledged dance floor spectacular, the end result was well received by both critics and the record-buying public.
Many a Genesis fan could be heard giggling with glee when we released the band’s career-covering compilation R-Kive a short time back, but the fun has only begun for those of you who’ve enjoyed the collective efforts of Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, and – back in the old days – Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett: we’re rolling out some new reissues of the band’s catalog, and the first wave is in stores now.
If you remember the box sets we released back in 2008 – we’re talking about the Genesis 1970-1975, Genesis 1976-1982, and Genesis 1983-1998 collections – and you’ve spent the intervening years since they hit record store shelves grousing about the fact that you owned some of the albums in the sets but not all of them and didn’t want to plunk down the dough to pick them up because of that… Actually, we can see the steam coming out of your ears from here, but cool down: at long last, you can finally get the 2008 mixes of the albums done by Nick Davis and the band.
The edition of Dr. Rhino’s Picks totally blows. Why?!? Because all of these tracks feature horns in the background, up front, or somewhere in between. Enjoy!
New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
Mike + The Mechanics, Mike + The Mechanics / Living Years / Word of Mouth / Beggar on a Beach of Gold / Rewired / Hits: It’s hard to gauge exactly who was aware of it and who wasn’t, but for the past several years, one of the more notable absences from iTunes – at least here in America, anyway – has been the back catalog of Mike + The Mechanics. What started as Mike Rutherford’s side project from Genesis quickly turned from a studio lark into a major commercial success in the US when the group’s self-titled 1985 debut produced two top-10 singles with “Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)” and “All I Need Is a Miracle,” and when they returned with their sophomore effort, 1989’s The Living Years, they took their homeland by storm as well, with the title track hitting #2 on the UK singles chart and topping the US charts. After that, though, the Mechanics lost favor in the States – another grunge-related tragedy? – and never found top-40 success again…but don’t think that means that you shouldn’t investigate all of these digital reissues.
It’s only been a few short weeks since we introduced Emmylou Harris’s 70’s Studio Album Collection and 80’s Studio Album Collection to our digital catalog, but now it’s time to bring something from Ms. Harris’s catalog to CD…or, more specifically, to bring it back to CD.
In 2007, we put out a pretty cool Emmylou Harris box set entitled Songbird: Rare Tracks & Forgotten Gems, one which featured 78 tracks, all hand-chosen by the singer-songwriter herself. At the time of its initial release, Emmylou said of its contents, "I've selected not greatest hits but personal favorites that – with a few exceptions – have never appeared on any other compilations, but were important gems in the string of pearls that each album strives to become.” In addition, the set also included a handful of contributions she’d made to different tribute albums, various and sundry live and demo tracks, and a few collaborations.