Friday, September 18, 2015 - 3:46pm

There’s no denying that “Take on Me” is one of the most memorable singles to see release during the 1980s, and it’s relatively hard to disagree with the premise that it’s one of tracks that best defines the music of the decade, but with that said, we can’t adequately express just how much great music you’ve missed if you’ve spent the last 30 years thinking of that one wonderful song as the sum total of a-ha’s catalog.

Still, if you’ve somehow never gotten around to exploring the awesomeness of a-ha beyond what you’ve heard on the radio, this is the perfect year to make up for lost time, given that it’s the 30th anniversary of the group’s debut album, Hunting High & Low.

Friday, September 18, 2015 - 11:57am

The Grateful Dead have an unparalleled gift for creating full-fledged pop culture events out of thin air, and it’s a gift they’ve demonstrated more than once this year. You may recall how the band had fans reaching into their wallets and preordering a live album documenting concerts that hadn’t even taken place yet (we’re referring, of course, to the audio document of the “Fare Thee Well” shows), and that’s certainly impressive enough in and of itself. To really get an idea of the definition of Dead-ication, though, consider that the announcement about the impending release of 30 TRIPS AROUND THE SUN, a limited-edition 80-disc box set of 30 previously-unreleased live shows – that’s one for each year between 1965 and 1995 – with a price tag of $699.98 - resulted in the set selling out before it’s even scheduled to ship.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - 10:30am

This week brings a pair of reissues on 180-gram vinyl which can't really said to be cut from the same musical cloth, but they'd still both likely appear on most anyone's lists of albums that best defined the sound of 1990.

Happy Mondays, Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches: In the late '80s and early '90s, if you were an Anglophile whose tastes in music were defined predominantly by what bands were on the cover of New Musical Express, then you could hardly have avoided Happy Mondays, whose grooves were all the rage at the time. Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches was neither their first album nor their last, but it remains the closest thing to a masterwork in the band's back catalog, and while it may be best recalled for its singles - their cover of John Kongos' “Step On” and their original composition “Kinky Afro” - it's a strong album through and through, hence its appearance on Q's list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.

Monday, September 14, 2015 - 2:58pm
Stereolab, The Studio Album Collection 1992-2004 - Of the myriad of bands that briefly found their way into the ear-holes of mainstream listeners during the 1990s, arguably the most surprising of the bunch - or certainly one of them, anyway - was Stereolab, the critically-acclaimed post-rock outfit whose music was deliciously original but certainly not the stuff that Billboard Hot 100 hits tend to be made of. This, of course, explains why the band never actually made that particular chart, but of the seven albums they released during their time on Elektra, six of them made it onto the magazine's Heatseekers chart, and of those six, four of them made it onto the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, which is not too shabby a performance at all
Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 2:43pm

So many roads, I tell you
New York to San Francisco
So many roads I know