Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 3:05pm

When O.G. Original Gangster celebrated its anniversary back in May, we kidded about how some folks out there only know Ice-T for his work as a thespian, but it’s definitely one of those jokes that’s funny because it’s kind of true: although old school rap aficionados remember the impact his music made when he first started dropping records in the mid-1980s, his material isn’t exactly the sort of thing you hear in regular rotation on your local radio station, so it’s actually all too easy to imagine a Law & Order: Special Victims fan who’s never heard a single Ice-T song.

Fortunately, we may have the gateway drug into Ice-T’s career than you’ve been looking for: a 15-track greatest-hits collection which proves a solid introduction to his back catalog by way of material taken predominantly from his first four albums…which, if you need a quick musical history lesson, are Rhyme Pays (1987), Power (1988), The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech...Just Watch What You Say (1989), and the aforementioned O. G. Original Gangster (1991).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 2:44pm

Late last year, we released a box set featuring Ry Cooder’s studio albums from 1970 through 1987, but those of you who know his catalog inside and out no doubt noticed the omission of his soundtrack work, which – not counting his handful of contributions to Nicolas Roeg’s Performance in 1970 – kicked off with The Long Riders in 1980. If you’re one of those individuals, you’ll be pleased to discover that, as of today, there’s now a companion piece to 1970 – 1987: the appropriately-named Soundtracks.

First, the bad news: although it starts with The Long Riders and continues chronologically through 1993’s Trespass, it’s not completely all inclusive of Cooder’s soundtrack work through those years.

Monday, October 6, 2014 - 5:51pm

This week’s Mono Monday release is the debut album from an R&B belter who effectively made his entire career possible with the first song he recorded for his first full-length album, which – given that the album in question was initially released 48 years ago – is a pretty impressive accomplishment by anyone’s standards.

Percy Sledge’s story is one of those that you’d write off as fiction if you didn’t know it was true: he was working as an orderly in an Alabama hospital during the week, touring the southeast with a group called the Esquires Combo on Saturdays and Sundays, when a former patient introduced Sledge to record producer Quin Ivy, which led to an audition and a recording contract with Atlantic Records. The next thing you know, Sledge is in the studio, recording “When a Man Loves a Woman,” crooning along with Spooner Oldham’s unforgettable organ playing behind him.

Friday, October 3, 2014 - 4:30pm

Watch the late Robin Gibb re-interpret the classic 1966 Bee Gees song. "I Am The World," in this video composed of footage shot in 2009.

The single is featured on Gibb's new album, 50 ST. CATHERINE'S DRIVE, out now.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 12:01pm

According to the supercomputer Deep Thought, 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything, a revelation which we can only presume must somehow be tied to why Genesis has decided to release R-KIVE, a new box set which covers 42 years of music from not only the band but also the various members of the band, including three selections each from the discographies of Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, and Mike Rutherford…and in case you’re wondering, yes, in this instance, when we say “Mike Rutherford,” we do mean “Mike + The Mechanics.” (Sorry, fans, there’s no “Maxine” to be found here.)

This is far from the first box set to emerge from the Genesis camp, of course, but it is the first time they’ve put something together which covers the members’ work inside and outside the band, thereby providing a fuller picture of what each individual brought to the table.