Digital Roundup: 6/25/14
New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
112, Peaches & Cream – To kick off this week’s column, we’ve got the first of a few new additions to our digital catalog from the Bad Boy Entertainment archives, and this particular song remains the biggest Billboard Hot 100 hit to date from the Atlanta R&B quartet known as 112, having made it all the way to #4 back in 2001. In addition to the original version the guys did with P. Diddy, you’ll also find the radio and club mixes of the track, which feature Ludacris, as well the club mix of “Dance with Me,” which was actually a #1 hit in Belgium. (True story!)
Faith Evans, You Used to Love Me – Now’s your big chance to revisit Ms. Evans’ debut single in its original form as well as in two separate club mixes and in instrumental form. Remember how they used it to score the scene in Notorious where she catches Biggie with another woman? Good times.
Faith No More, Live at Brixton Academy – Released as the band was still riding high on the out-of-nowhere success of “Epic,” this is the 10-track UK version of the album, which means that it’s actually eight live tracks (“Falling to Pieces,” “The Real Thing,” “Epic,” “War Pigs,” “From Out of Nowhere,” “We Care a Lot,” “Zombie Eaters,” and “Edge of the World”) and two additional tracks taken from the recording sessions for The Real Thing (“The Grade” and “The Cowboy Song”).
Stephanie Grappelli & David Grisman, Live – It may not be a must-own album for casual fans, but when you combine Grisman’s mandolin and Grappelli’s violin and throw in additional musical contributions from Mark O’Connor, Rob Wasserman, Mike Marshall, and Tiny Moore, you know the results are at least going to be worth hearing…and, indeed, they are.
The Housemartins, London 0 Hull 4 / The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death – The very wonderful debut album from “the fourth best band in Hull” has come to be seen as one of the definitive jangle-pop albums to emerge from the UK in the mid-1980s, but if there’s a problem to be found with London 0 Hull 4, it’s that “Happy Hour” is such a signature song for the Housemartins that it often results in people forgetting that they actually put out a second album as well. Mind you, it also hasn’t helped that The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death wasn’t available digitally until this week. Now that that problem’s been remedied, however, you should definitely be sure that both of the band’s albums are in your collection, so that you can put them on and cheerily announce, “Now that’s what I call quite good!”
Michel Legrand, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Summer of ’42 – If you know Legrand’s work, then you may already be aware that his soundtrack to director Robert Mulligan’s 1971 film is often referred to as The Picasso Suite. Most listeners, however, will simply know its end title theme, “The Summer Knows,” which has been covered by everyone from Barbra Streisand to Toots Thielemans.
Mase, What You Want – It wasn’t quite as successful as his platinum-selling debut single, “Feel So Good,” but “What You Want,” which features vocal assistance from the R&B group Total, still hit the top five on the R&B chart and the rap chart, making it to #3 on both. With this four-track release, you get the original version, an instrumental version, a remix, and – just to cover all the bases – an instrumental version of the remix.
The Notorious B.I.G., Big Poppa – While we obviously can’t speak for the late Mr. Smalls, we will say that, even if he’d never released another song after this one, it hardly would’ve mattered: he’d already achieved rap immortality.
Puff Daddy & The Family, Been Around the World – Personally, we still can’t see the title of this song and not immediately think of Lisa Stansfield, so it always makes us happy to see her name in the writing credits right alongside David Bowie (for the utilization of “Let’s Dance”). If it hadn’t been for Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” hogging the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100, we’re confident that this would’ve been another #1 for the Puffster, but, hey, hitting #2 still ain’t too shabby.
R.E.M., The Complete Warner Bros. Studio Albums, Vols. 1 & 2 – We’re going to start calling R.E.M. the Chuck Woolery of college rock, since the format for the two volumes of their Complete Warner Bros. Studio Albums sets is – wait for it – five and five. (Did you guess where we were going with that?) Just for the record, Vol. 1 features Green, Out of Time, Automatic for the People, Monster, and New Adventures in Hi-Fi, while Vol. 2 wraps things up with Up, Reveal, Around the Sun, Accelerate, and Collapse into Now. In short, if you don’t already got ‘em, this is a good way to get ‘em.
The Screaming Blue Messiahs, Bikini Red/ Gun-Shy / Totally Religious – Musically speaking, they’re about as far away from the Housemartins as you can get, but when it comes to college rock of the latter half of the 1980s, the Screaming Blue Messiahs were just as awesome, which makes it rather regrettable that far more people know the name of their biggest hit (“I Wanna Be a Flintstone”) than they do the band’s…and even that, for better or worse, is probably more as a result of The Dr. Demento Show than 120 Minutes. Trust us when we tell you, though, that these guys rocked hard from start to finish and produced a trio of albums that still hold up in a big way.
Various Artists, Hedwig and the Angry Inch: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Given that everything Neil Patrick Harris touches turns to awesomeness, of course his performance in Hedwig and the Angry Inch won him a Tony Award. Similarly, if you think that the way he raised the profile of The Angry Inch didn’t have something to do with the soundtrack to the film version of Hedwig making its way into our digital catalog, you’re kidding yourself.
Various Artists, Krush Groove: Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – We haven’t gone back and re-watched the film, so we can’t say for sure that it plays as well in 2014 as it did in 1985, but the soundtrack sure does. Then again, when you’ve got songs by Chaka Khan, LL Cool J, Kurtis Blow, Fat Boys, Debbie Harry, Sheila E., the Beastie Boys, the Gap Band, and Force M.D.’s, how could it not?
Various Artists, Maverick:The Soundtrack – You know those films that, when you happen upon them while you’re flipping through the channels, you can’t help but stop and watch ‘em? Yeah, Maverick is one of those for us. It’s just fun, you know? And if you’re a country music fan, you’ll feel the same way about the soundtrack, which features tracks from a whole host of legends: Tracy Lawrence, Clint Black, Restless Heart, Vince Gill, Carlene Carter, John Michael Montgomery, Confederate Railroad, Hal Ketchum, Patty Loveless & Radney Foster, and Waylon Jennings, along with Randy Newman’s “Ride Gambler Ride” and – to wrap things up – an all-star rendition of “Amazing Grace” credited to The Maverick Choir.