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Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 4:07pm

43 years ago today, record store shelves were first graced with the sixth full-length effort from David Bowie, a 10-track affair described on Wikipedia as “the first album he wrote and released as a bona fide rock star.” While that’s probably a fair assessment, given that it arrived on the heels of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, it’s probably become better known over the years as the single most parodied album cover in Bowie’s discography, with everyone from Homer Simpson to Harry Potter and even from Rainbow Dash to Walter White getting the red and blue lightning bolt treatment.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 3:41pm

32 years ago today, Echo and the Bunnymen released the second single from their acclaimed Ocean Rain album, and while it may not have gone on to remain as iconic as the album’s first single, “The Killing Moon,” it’s still got the sort of hooks that any band would kill for.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 11:52am
Happy Birthday, Herbie Hancock: Celebrating His Late ‘60s Sideman Work
Herbie Hancock turns 76 years old today, and although he’s been recording as a solo artist since 1962, when he released his debut album, the appropriately-titled Takin’ Off, it wasn’t until the late ‘60s – 1968, to be specific – when he first made an appearance on Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart, with Speak Like a Child. Part of the reason Hancock’s profile was growing was undoubtedly due to his work with so many other notables in the jazz community, including Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbard, Roland Kirk, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, and Miles Davis, among many, many others, and in celebration of Hancock’s birthday, we thought we’d spotlight a few of those others.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 11:45am
Doing a 180: Francois Hardy,  La question

Rhino has made it a point to reissue classic albums on 180-gram vinyl on a regular basis. These are the latest to get that treatment. You're welcome.

Francois Hardy is a bona fide superstar in her native France, but in America she’s a bit more of a cult figure, albeit one whose cult has a profoundly devoted membership. In truth, Hardy might actually prefer it if her status was the same way worldwide: she’s long been notoriously shy, and as she said in a 2011 interview with BBC Radio 4 when asked about her classification as a music icon, “I am not comfortable with my professional life, really, so the word ‘icon,’ it’s as though you were talking about someone else. It’s not me, really. I feel happy when I’m on my bed, in my room, with a good book.”

Monday, April 11, 2016 - 3:06pm
Fun Boy Three

Neville Staple turns 61 today, and while you likely know him best from his work with The Specials, too many people forget about the band that he left The Specials to start. As such, we thought we’d take time on his birthday to celebrate the work of Fun Boy Three.

Fun Boy Three consisted of Staple, Lynval Golding, and Terry Hall, who left The Specials behind in 1981 and cut back considerably on the ska in their sound in order to explore a different musical direction. As Hall told interviewer Dave Haslam in 2010, “We went into Chrysalis and said we had an amazing album and we’re going to call ourselves the Fun Boy Three and they were begging me not to leave the Specials; that was good fun, watching them beg, I enjoyed that. Then we went into a studio, hired some instruments and made a record.”

Monday, April 11, 2016 - 2:43pm
Built to Spill

10 years ago today, Built to Spill released their sixth studio album, their fourth album for Warner Brothers, and their first album as a quartet.

Co-produced by Steven Wray Lobdell and frontman Doug Martsch, You in Reverse was the first time Built to Spill had delivered an album without having Phil Ek twiddling the knobs for the band, but there’s another notable thing about the LP: it had actually been recorded back in 2004, but it took the better part of two years for it to see release. Why? Well, it’s been said that it was due to a combination of difficulties associated with the use of a new recording facility, inefficiencies associated with self-producing the album, and time constraints, but once it finally hit record store shelves, it hardly mattered.

Friday, April 8, 2016 - 2:26pm
Gig of the Week

With a new studio album, summer tour, and limited-edition book on hot-rods and rock'n'roll due in the coming months, we thought it'd be a fine time to revisit one of legendary guitarist Jeff Beck's epic shows. Tune in here and pump up the volume.

Friday, April 8, 2016 - 12:43pm
Come Taste the Band 2-CD Expanded Editions
During the course of Deep Purple’s long and storied career, the band has explored a variety of different sounds, all of which revealed the diverse musical tastes of the various members. Not all of these sonic explorations captured the interest of the record-buying public, however, which has resulted in some very worthy items in the Deep Purple discography flying under the radar in the years since their initial release.