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.
On July 11, the jazz world lost one of its greatest bassists: Charlie Haden, known far and wide for his work with Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett while also contributing to the music of everyone from John Coltrane and Don Cherry to Rickie Lee Jones and Ringo Starr.
Born on August 6, 1937 in Shenandoah, Iowa, Charles Edward Haden was playing music from an early age, which is the sort of thing which is likely to happen when your family goes around calling themselves the Haden Family Band and performing on the radio. It’s also how Haden came to make his singing debut at the ripe old age of two, which he continued doing until his mid-teens, when he contracted a form of polio that affected his vocal pitch. Thankfully, he’d also developed a fascination with the bass, one which increased in the wake of his inability to sing as he once had, and before he’d even gotten out of his teens, he was performing as the house bassist on the ABC series, Ozark Jubilee, filmed in Springfield, Missouri. By that point, though, Haden had already decided that his true destiny was waiting for him in Los Angeles.
This past Friday brought music fans one of the most depressing end-of-an-era moments in rock ‘n’ roll history: the announcement that Tommy Erdelyi, a.k.a. Tommy Ramone, the last of the original Ramones, died after a struggle with bile duct dancer.
As he was born in Budapest, Hungary on January 29, 1949, Erdélyi Tamás may have been destined from day one never to be elected President of the United States, but the U.S. government’s loss proved to be punk rock’s gain. After moving to America when he was four years old, the future Tommy Ramone grew up in Forest Hills, New York, where he played with the future Johnny Ramone – then still known as John Cummings – in a garage band called the Tangerine Puppets, and at age 18 he served as an assistant engineer on Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies album. (In a 2011 interview with the website Noisecreep, Tommy said of the guitarist, “He was as big as you could get. He was a wonderful person, very easy going, very hardworking and dedicated – a real perfectionist.”)