As our effort to reissue classic albums on 180-gram vinyl continues ever onward, we’re bringing you two very different albums this week: one’s a unique blend of folk, rock, and jazz from a singer-songwriter who’s never been afraid to challenge audiences, while the other is a country-inspired side project from the man who once sang of “Sultans of Swing.”
Joni Mitchell, Hejira: Originally released in November 1976, Mitchell wrote the majority of this album while on a car trip from Maine to Los Angeles, hence the inclusions of songs with titles like “Blue Motel Room” and “Refuge of the Roads.” While not a hit-single machine – only one song, “Coyote,” made even the slightest inroads on that front, and the only place it charted was in Canada, and only at #79 at that – Hejira is generally viewed as one of Mitchell’s classic ‘70s efforts, featuring a more jazz-influenced sound than any of its predecessors but still providing listeners with outstanding material, including the aforementioned favorites as well as “Amelia” and “Black Crow.” It’s perhaps not the best entry point to her career, but for those fans whose musical sensibilities had grown and expanded along with Mitchell’s, Hejira is a very fine piece of work.
This week’s Mono Mondays release is one of those albums that you can hold up to the faces of any of your snarky hipster friends who try to tell you that the only cool performers are the ones who sing their own songs: when you hear the way Otis Redding sings soul on Otis Blue, you realize that the coolest performers are the ones who can take other people’s songs and make you forget that they ever belonged to anyone else.
Originally released on September 15, 1965, Otis Blue was Redding’s breakout album, the one that took him beyond the R&B charts and into the hearts and minds of mainstream audiences, which makes it all the more amazing that he more or less managed to knock out the entire album in 24 hours. With Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Isaac Hayes on piano, and members of the Mar-Keys and the Memphis Horns behind him, Redding reportedly recorded from10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on July 9, picked up again at 2 a.m. on July 10 (after Booker T. and the boys returned from the local gigs they’d already had booked), and finished up at around 2 p.m.
Monkees fans, it’s time to stop singing “This Doesn’t Seem To Be My Day.” We know you’ve been chomping at the bit to find out more specifics about the so-called super deluxe edition of the Monkees’ self-titled debut ever since our pal Andrew Sandoval acknowledged its impending arrival during the band’s official convention earlier this year, but your long wait is at an end: you’re finally getting all the details on the three-disc, 100-track set.
If you’ve ever owned a copy of The Monkees in the past, then you’ll obviously recognize the first 24 tracks on Disc 1, a.k.a. the original mono and stereo albums, and if you’ve enough of a fan that you’ve invested in the various solo efforts by the members, then you’ll also be familiar with quite a lot of Disc 3, which contains Davy’s The David Jones Album (in mono and stereo) and a pair of singles along with some of Mike’s early work, when he was still calling himself Michael Blessing. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of stuff you haven’t heard before, including mono TV versions of songs, alternate takes, remixes, rehearsals, demos, and even a pair of songs by the aforementioned Mr. Blessing that’ve never been released before: “Who Do You Love” and “Get Out of My Life Woman.”
Whether you grew up in the ‘80s or not, the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs is still one of the funniest shows on broadcast TV at the moment, and for that, you can thank series creator Adam F. Goldberg, who effectively took his childhood – the highs, the lows, and a whole lot of the hilarity – and put it on the small screen for everyone to enjoy. As such, even with a great cast of comedic actors, including Jeff Garlin, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Troy Gentile, Hayley Orrantia, and George Segal, not to mention narration from Patton Oswalt, a great deal of the show lives and dies by the performance of the young man playing Adam Goldberg.
That young man’s name is Sean Giambrone, and he’s been kind enough to provide us with a Celebrity Playlist to coincide with the Season Two premiere of The Goldbergs...which, by happy coincidence, is entitled “Love Is a Mixtape.”
There aren’t a lot of bands that can claim to have been around for a full five decades – that’s half a century, people – but The Hollies can, thanks to Allan Clarke continuing to fight the good fight ever since founding the band with Graham Nash back in 1962. (Actually, Clarke and Nash had played together prior to that, but it was in ’62 that they first called themselves The Hollies.) Although Bobby Elliott can’t claim to have been there at the very, very beginning of the band, no one can say that he hasn’t been around the block a few times with them, having come aboard in August 1963. As the band prepares to release a collection to celebrate their anniversary – 50 AT FIFTY, which hits stores on October 21 – Elliott took some time to chat with Rhino about some of the highlights of his time with the band, including a backstage chat with Bruce Springsteen and having an unexpected elevator encounter with one of the funniest and most famous trios of all time.