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Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - 11:22am
Happy 55th: Hank Crawford, More Soul

55 years ago today, saxophonist Hank Crawford released an album with a slightly misleading title: it wasn't a second helping of soul, it was his first outing as leader of his own music outfit.

In 1961, Crawford was arguably best known for his work with Ray Charles, who'd first encountered the sax man in 1958 while Crawford was attending Tennessee State University, playing in the Tennessee State Jazz Collegians, and - perhaps most importantly to this piece - heading up a rock 'n' roll four-piece called Little Hank and the Rhythm Kings. Yes, Crawford was a busy boy, so it probably sounded comparatively relaxing when Charles asked Crawford to play baritone sax in his band. By the following year, Crawford has switched over to alto sax, and a year after that, he'd built up enough confidence to release his debut solo endeavor.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - 11:16am
Happy Birthday: Thom Yorke

Turning 47 today is a man who's delivered two fine solo albums to date - 2006's Eraser and 2014's Tomorrow's Modern Boxes - but let's not be disingenuous here: when you think Thom Yorke, you think Radiohead, and this is in no way a bad thing to think about.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - 12:15pm
Happy Anniversary: Madonna, “Everybody”

33 years ago today, a certain Material Girl released her debut single on Sire Records, and now “Everybody” knows her name. (Did you see what we did there?)

Even before Madonna was anybody, she walked around New York with the attitude that she was somebody, perhaps hoping that it was only a matter of convincing everyone else. Having written and recorded a handful of songs, she carried around her rough tapes in hopes of being able to catch a break, which is what happened the night she convinced the DJ at Danceteria - a gentleman by the name of Mark Kamins - to play one of those songs: “Everybody.” Its reception was sufficient for him to decide to try and help Madonna get a record deal, and although he struck out on his first try - Chris Blackwell of Island Records declined to sign her - he came up a winner at Sire Records which signed her for a two-song deal.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - 12:07pm
Doing a 180: Supergrass, I Should Coco

This week, our 180-gram vinyl reissue program is providing you with one of the true gems of the Britpop era: the debut album from Supergrass.

Recorded at Sawmills Studios in Cornwall, England, I Should Coco is such an exuberant pop album that it really only takes a single listen for you to correct deduce that the guys who recorded it were in their teens (Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey) or, at best, early twenties (Mick Quinn). The killer cut on the album is, of course, “Alright,” which was so undeniably catchy that it even caught the ears of American radio programmers, and that hardly ever happens.

Monday, October 5, 2015 - 3:50pm
Aquarium Drunkard

Legendary Jamaican music behemoth, Trojan Records, is synonymous with both the history and proliferation of island's Reggae, Rocksteady, Ska and Dancehall scenes. Over the past decade the label has released a vast amount of compilations, box sets, retrospectives and 'celebrity' guest-DJ curated compilations. Great for the faithful, redundant to the skeptic and formidable to the newbie. This week's playlist digs into the vaults.

Monday, October 5, 2015 - 1:55pm
George Carlin, Parental Advisory

New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:

George Carlin, Playin' with Your Head: There's a vocal chapter of the George Carlin fan club that considers this album to be the last time Carlin delivered a set that wasn't heavily political, and there's some merit to that theory. That's not to dismiss anything that may have emerged afterwards, but when AllMusic wrote that this was a fine companion piece to Carlin's classic A Place forMy Stuff, they were not wrong: it's fantastically funny from start to finish.

Monday, October 5, 2015 - 1:32pm
Happy 45th: Pink Floyd, Atom Heart Mother
45 years ago this week, Pink Floyd released the album that would give them their first #1 album in the UK while giving cow fans something to smile about every time they flipped through the “P” section at their local record store.

Friday, October 2, 2015 - 12:58pm
Now Available: David Bowie, Space Oddity 7” Picture Disc
There's nothing like a picture disc to help music fans see an old release in a new light, and since we've recently released David Bowie's Five Years box set, the idea of putting out a picture disc from a song contained within that set seemed like way too perfect an opportunity to let it slip by. After we'd come to that conclusion, we thought, “Well, hey, if we're going to do that, then why not celebrate the song that first put him on the pop charts in a big, big way?”