It’s been buzzed about for several days now that Foo Fighters would be spending a full week as the musical guests on CBS’s The Late Show with David Letterman, but we were as surprised as anyone when we found out that Dave Grohl and the gang would be bringing a few friends along for the ride, including the one and only Tony Joe White.
Last night, White joined forces with the Foos for a scorching version of his signature song, “Polk Salad Annie,” which hit #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1968, and if “Annie” has ever shown her age in the past, she sure didn’t last night.
If you came of age during the ‘70s and ‘80s, then it’s hard to imagine that the soundtrack of your life didn’t include a few Foreigner songs, be it the pleading of “I Want to Know What Love Is,” the lustiness of “Hot Blooded,” or the longing of “Waiting for a Girl Like You.” As such, you may be interested in checking out a new set that’s just hit stores: Foreigner, The Complete Atlantic Studio Albums 1977-1991, which makes good on its name by including all seven of the albums released by the band during their tenure at Atlantic Records.
There’s always been something a bit special about Spandau Ballet: even though they may have had a look and a sound that helped cement them as ‘80s artists, a surprising amount of their music had a timelessness to it that’s helped them remain in the memories of listeners long after many of their peers have faded away…and there’s no point in denying it, because you know this much is true.
After blowing away fans, critics, and casual observers during their SXSW appearance, which was their first American performance in almost three decades, and catching the eye of film festival attendees with their new documentary, Soul Boys of the Western World, more than a few journalists have dared to write the words, “Spandau Ballet is back!” For once, it’s not hyperbole: while the band’s new compilation, The Story - The Very Best of Spandau Ballet, is certainly not their first greatest-hits collection, it has three things that none of its predecessors possessed: “This Is the Love,” “Steal,” and “Soul Boy,” a trio of newly-recorded songs by the band, produced by Trevor Horn, the man who twiddled the knobs for “Instinction” way back when.
If you consider yourself a bass player and you don’t hold Jaco Pastorius in the highest esteem, then we can only presume you’ve never really listened to the man, because he’s one of those guys whose work with the instrument was so unique and groundbreaking that it’s hard to hear it without wanting to drop to your knees and begin recitation of the phrase, “I’m not worthy!”
Since we doubt if you thought for a moment that we’d suddenly started talking about him by coincidence, it probably won’t come as any sort of surprise to you that, yes, we’ve got a brand new anthology which provides both new and old fans with the opportunity to explore Pastorius’s work during his tenure with Warner Brothers Records.
On October 5, 1993, the band Afghan Whigs, who’d self-released their debut album, 1988’s Big Top Halloween, and then came of age with a pair of albums on Sub Pop Records (1990’s Up in It and 1992’s Congregation), finally made the jump to the big leagues – and a major label – with the release of Gentlemen on Elektra Records. Most bands would’ve used the 20th anniversary of an album as an opportunity to celebrate its legacy, but not Afghan Whigs: they waited a year, hence the October 28 release of Gentlemen at 21, an expanded reissue of Gentlemen which will feature the original album as you remember it on Disc One, along with a second disc filled with demos, B-sides, and live performances.
Greg Dulli, Afghan Whigs’ frontman, kindly agreed to hop on the phone and chat about the original album, although he gave fair warning that his contributions to the reissue were somewhat minimal. “I just nodded, said, ‘Yes,’ ‘Cool,’ or, ‘I wouldn’t do that,’” admitted Dulli, laughing. “That was the extent of my involvement.” Having said that, however, Dulli was quite happy to wrack his brain and reminisce about how they came to Elektra, the process of putting together their major label debut, the opportunity to record in one of the most famous studios in rock ‘n’ roll history, the clause in the band’s contract that could’ve made a filmmaker out of him, and whose contract he copied to get that particular deal.
Rhino: Gentlemen was your debut album for Elektra. What was the band’s path from Sub Pop to the label? Did Elektra pursue the band, or did the band start looking for a major-label deal on their own?