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.
New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
Eddie Harris, Live at Newport: We’re only just a few days past the 44th anniversary of the 1970 Newport Jazz Festival, which makes this the perfect week to add this album to the digital catalog, since – as you probably already figured out where we were going with this – that’s when and where it was recorded. As funky as it is jazzy, it’s a performance that may have been a little too ahead-of-the-curve for some at the time, but listening to it now, it’s clear that what Harris was really doing was trying to set a new musical standard…and succeeding, we’d argue.
Maynard Ferguson, A Message from Newport / Newport Suite: Despite its title, Maynard’s Message was not, in fact, recorded in Newport but, rather, at a performance in New York. Nor, for that matter, was Newport Suite, although that particular album does have the advantage of the song “Newport” having been premiered at the 1959 festival. Given the two album titles, it’s perhaps no surprise that they’ve been paired together in the past, but if you’re on a limited budget, we’d definitely recommend the latter, which is arguably one of the best efforts ever delivered by the legendary trumpeter.