Originally dubbed the Memphis Recording Service, Sam Phillips' Sun Studio in Memphis, TN is about as close to 'rock & roll mecca' as you're likely to find. Blues, gospel, soul, R&B, rockabilly and the nascent sound known as rock & roll all coalesced under this roof. Not to mention Phillips patent recording sound. Like all 'brand' labels, the Sun catalog has since undergone numerous, ad nausem, re-dressings and re-packagings over the years. Thankfully the contents are always stellar.
This week's entry highlights twenty Sun tracks skating the label's venerable surface. Roots, indeed.
New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:Harry Chapin, The Elektra Collection (1971-1978): Harry Chapin didn't spend his entire career on Elektra Records, but the years during which he found his most significant commercial success were most definitely during the Elektra era, starting with his 1971 debut album, Head & Tales. This effort is, as you'd expect from its title, one of the eight albums contained within The Elektra Collection (1971-1978). The others, in case you don't know his catalog backwards and forwards - heck, you may not know anything at all beyond “Cat's in the Cradle” - are Sniper and Other Love Songs (1972), Short Stories (1973), Verities & Balderdash (1974), Portrait Gallery (1975), On the Road to Kingdom Come (1976), Dance Band on the Titanic (1977), and Living Room Suite (1978). Chapin was one of the great singer-songwriters of the '70s, and people should know him for far more than just his signature song. Now's your chance to dive in and educate yourself.
SOMEONE TO LAY DOWN BESIDE ME
Linda Ronstadt was America's sweetheart, the coolest rock chick who owned the airwaves, she released her third smash in a row, "Hasten Down The Wind" and the killer track, which finished the LP, was "Someone To Lay Down Beside Me." The instrumentation was perfect, haunting, the sheen shone, and then we experienced the exquisite voice we all knew and loved.
Singing a song by someone we were completely unfamiliar with, one Karla Bonoff.
26 years ago today, Phil Collins released the first single from his fourth album, a track which found him getting more socially conscious than usual and focusing on the plight of the homeless.
In 1989, Phil Collins was practically unstoppable on the pop charts. No, he might not have been able to cross the threshold between music and film, but while his starring role in Buster failed to turn into him into a full-fledged movie star, the two singles he recorded for the soundtrack - “A Groovy Kind of Love” and “Two Hearts” - both topped the US singles chart. As such, there was little chance that “Another Day in Paradise” would do anything other than follow suit…and, yeah, you guessed it: that's exactly what it did.
Before this headline slot, many were doubting Muse's ability to headline a mainstream festival such as Glastonbury - let alone closing the entire event. The set they came up with proved many wrong, including a sizable TV audience watching at home, and was tinged with tragedy as drummer Dom Howard's Father passed away backstage immediately after the gig. The band went on to become one of the biggest acts around - relive the incredible setlist from this gig here.