Monday, December 8, 2014 - 3:01pm

This week’s Mono Monday release is the first of what would prove to be many posthumously-released albums by Otis Redding, who had died only six weeks prior to its initial appearance on record store shelves, but there’s an eternal poignancy to its contents, as its title track proved to be the biggest hit of Redding’s career.

The 11 tracks on The Dock of the Day are taken from sessions conducted at various times between July 11, 1965 and December 8, 1967, only two days before Redding was killed when his plane crashed into Lake Monona, just outside of Madison, Wisconsin…and, yes, the title track was one of those songs that was recorded in those last sessions. Reportedly inspired by the way The Beatles had expanded their sound on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Redding wanted to try something different himself, and not only was he convinced that the song – a co-write between himself and Steve Cropper – was the best thing he’d ever recorded, he believed it was destined to be a chart-topper.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 9:45pm

If the third Saturday in April is one of the first days you circle whenever you buy a new calendar, then you already know when Record Store Day is, but you may not be aware that the folks who put together that most vaunted of days for vinyl lovers have also gotten into the habit of making the most of the day after Thanksgiving, too.

Big surprise: we here at Rhino are getting involved in Record Store Day: Black Friday 2014, putting out nine – count ‘em – nine limited-edition releases, including a little colored vinyl, a picture disc, and other cool stuff.

Oh, you want specifics, do you?

Well, since you asked nicely, here’s what you should be keeping your eyes open for when you’re out shopping on Friday:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 10:16am

New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:

Various Artists, High School High: Original Soundtrack: Back in 1996, when the reputation of genre-parody films hadn’t been almost irredeemably ruined by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer…oh, okay, maybe their films aren’t that bad, but they’re certainly no Airplane! Anyway, what were we talking about? Right: we were getting ready to discuss High School High, the Jon Lovitz vehicle that parodies flicks like Dangerous Minds, Lean on Me, The Substitute, and so forth…or, more specifically, its soundtrack. Yes, the unexpurgated version has been available digitally for some time now, but if you’re someone who prefers their hip-hop and R&B a little bit cleaned, then you’re in luck, because the edited version is now available, too. You’re welcome.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 2:51pm

Hey, kids, remember a few days back when we told you about how we’d reissued the expanded version of Chris Bell’s I Am the Cosmos? Well, we’ve got more big news for you…or, rather, more Big Star news: we’ve reissued the band’s box set, Keep an Eye on the Sky!

Yep, this is a case where those of you who got in on the goodness when it first came out don’t have anything to do but consider what other great new Rhino release you’re going to spend your money on instead, but if you’ve been toying with the idea of bulking up the Big Star section of your collection, then here’s an easy way to do it with a single purchase.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 11:55am

40 years ago, Jethro Tull thrilled their fans by revealing that they were in the midst of working on a new project entitled WarChild. Less an album than a full-fledged event, Ian Anderson and company had big plans for not only a new studio album but also a feature-length motion picture and a soundtrack album. Unfortunately, due to the band’s inability to find financing for their film, the only thing that ever saw formal release from this grand affair was a 10-song album, but at least it provided them with a bit of solace when it climbed to #2 on the Billboard Top 200 and found its way into the top 15 in the UK.

If you’re a Tull fan who’s often been lost in thought about what you may have missed out on seeing and hearing, you’re in luck: you can now pick up a copy of WarChild: The 40th Anniversary Theater Edition, a two-CD / two-DVD set. The CDs include the original 10-track album, a collection of 11 so-called “Associated Recordings,” three of which are previously unreleased, and 10 orchestral pieces which had been written for the soundtrack, nine of which are previously unreleased. As for the DVDs, those will provide you with the opportunity to see the promo for “The Third Hoorah,” as well as footage from a photo session and press conference in ’74 where the band first announced the WarChild project. Oh, and lest we forget, there’s also an 80-page booklet which takes an in-depth look at what was intended to come to fruition, including a film script synopsis, track-by-track annotations by Anderson, and rare and unseen photographs from the era.