New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
Theodore Bikel, An Actor's Holiday / Folk Songs Of Israel / Jewish Folk Songs / Songs Of A Russian Gypsy / Folk Songs From Just About Everywhere / Bravo Bikel! - Theodore Bikel Town Hall Concert / Songs Of Russia Old And New / From Bondage To Freedom / A Harvest Of Israeli Folksongs / The Best Of Bikel / Theodore Bikel On Tour / Young Man and a Maid: Goodness gracious, we’re tired just from typing all of those album titles, but if you’re a fan of Theodore Bikel’s substantial discography, we can only imagine how thrilled you are to see a dozen – that’s twelve, count ‘em, twelve – of his albums being added to our digital catalog. For many of you, Bikel may be best known as an actor, so this is certainly a wonderful time to dig in and explore some of the material he’s recorded over the years. Granted, if this is your first exposure to his work, it’s only inevitable that the best starting point is The Best of Bikel, but from a historical standpoint, consider how daring it was for Bikel to record Songs of a Russian Gypsy in 1958, when Americans were still in full “Better Dead than Red” mode. As album titles go, if there’s one that most exemplifies truth in advertising – not just for the record’s contents but, indeed, for Bikel’s entire career – it’s Folk Songs from Just About Everywhere: any one of these albums will provide you not only with a musical education but with a cultural one as well…or, in other words, start listening!
In recent years, the sight of a porkpie hat has inspired most people to think of one word – Heisenberg – but prior to the premiere of Breaking Bad, it used to be the chapeau of choice for rude boys... and if you don’t know what a rude boy is, then, boy, do you need to run out and pick up our latest 180-gram vinyl releases!
First and foremost, we’d recommend The Best of 2-Tone, because it’s evident that you need a proper education in ska, and when it comes to a solid sampling of the genre, you need look no further than this set, which features material from The Beat (“The Tears of a Clown,” “Ranking Full Stop”), The Bodysnatchers (“Let’s Do Rock Steady”), Madness (“The Prince”), Rico (“Sea Cruise”), The Selecter (“The Selecter,” “On My Radio,” “Three Minute Hero,” “Missing Words”), The Special AKA (“Gangsters,” an edited version of “Nelson Mandela,” a live version of “Too Much Too Young,” and “The Boiler”), and The Specials (“A Message to You Rudy,” “Rat Race,” “Stereotype,” “Do Nothing,” and “Ghost Town”).
Flautist fans! We bet you are dying to get your hands on an Ian Anderson-autographed copy of Jethro Tull's A PASSION PLAY: AN EXTENDED PERFORMANCE, the original 1973 album and Chateau d' Herouville Sessions, remixed to 5.1 surround. Don't think about it, just enter to win already.
Yes, there have been ZZ Top greatest-hits collections in the past, and, yes, they’ve all been rather solid, but now the band is bringing you not only the baddest of their material but also the very baddest. Okay, so maybe the differentiation between the two is predominantly that one’s a single-disc compilation and the other’s a two-disc set. Either way, they’re both pretty darned bad…by which, of course, we mean that they rock pretty darned hard.
In the press release which accompanied the news of this release, Billy Gibbons – who, along with Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, founded the band in 1969 – observed from beneath his beard that he and his bandmates were “glad that material originally issued by three different labels over the course of all these years will now be housed under one ‘roof,’ to so speak,” calling it “kind of a big, bad family reunion on some level.” By that, of course, Gibbons means that, in addition to their tremendous back catalog on Warner Brothers, these collections also feature inclusions from their more recent albums on RCA and Universal.
We’ve got 2 killer albums being reissued on 180-gram vinyl this week... dig in here:
Duran Duran, Rio: Do we really need to sell you on this album beyond listing off its trifecta of hit singles? Seriously, if the knowledge that you’re getting “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Save a Prayer,” and the title track aren’t enough to make you want to pick up this vinyl reissue, we can’t help you.