When the news broke last week that British comedian Rik Mayall had passed away, we here at Rhino instantly did more or less exactly the same thing that everyone else did: we started running through our favorite quotes from The Young Ones. (It’s probably no surprise that “Dear Mr. Echo” came up, given that we went out of our way to cite it in our “happy birthday” post to Ian McCulloch.) After that, though, we started running through some of our other favorite Mayall moments, and while we can’t quite recall if it came about before Bottom or after Drop Dead Fred, but you can bet that it didn’t take long for us to bring up Bad News.
Americans who came of age in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s and watched MTV religiously on Sunday evenings will be familiar with a series called The Comic Strip Presents…, which featured not only Mayall and a few of his Young Ones cohorts but also Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. Probably best described as a comedy anthology series, for lack of a better phrase, The Comic Strip Presents… featured numerous different tales over the course of its run, but it’s easily arguable that none of them made quite as much impact as the story of the fictional heavy metal band known as Bad News.
On Thursday, June 12, the world of music lost one of its most unique voices: Jimmy Scott, who died of cardiac arrest while asleep at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada.
We’re taking a brief respite from our usual recitation of birthdays, anniversaries, and unabashed product plugs to draw your attention to a project which revolves around the Flamin’ Groovies, a band that, yes, is a part of our catalog, which means that, yes, technically we are still plugging our product, but we’d be excited about this project even if they didn’t have ties to Rhino. Granted, we might not post about it, but, look, why are we wasting time debating semantics when we could be filling you in about a Kickstarter campaign to help out with The Incredible Flamin’ Groovies, a documentary about the life and times of the band?
What’s that? You say you’re not familiar with the Flamin’ Groovies or why they’re so incredible? Well, if that doesn’t confirm the need for this documentary, we don’t know what does, but having made that salient point, if you’ve ever seen the movie Clueless or listened to its soundtrack, then you’re already familiar with one of the band’s most famous songs, albeit as performed by Cracker.
Is this ringing any bells yet? If not, here’s a clip of the Groovies performing the song in question:
Warner Bros., Elektra and Atlantic Records have dug deep into their vaults to procure classic Garage Rock and Psychedelic gems from the 60's and 70's, for DIG THAT UNDERGROUND SOUND, a 3-CD collector’s compilation, available exclusively at POPmarket.com.
With this value-priced box set, you can escape into music history with cult favorites like LA rock legends Love and proto-punk pioneers The Flamin’ Groovies, to truly obscure, hard-to-find tracks reminiscent of acclaimed Nuggets-style releases. You'll also get extensive liner notes on the evolution of Warner Bros. Records and many of the artists featured in this compilation.
New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
Booker T. and the MGs, Green Onions: This week’s Mono Monday release is one of the most fondly-remembered instrumental albums of the rock era, and that’s not just because of the groove of the title track, although goodness gracious knows that it sure doesn’t hurt. Any band who can shift from covers of “I Got a Woman” and “Twist and Shout” into their own take on Acker Bilk’s “Stranger on the Shore” clearly has a lot of range, and they show it off throughout the course of the record. A tiny bit of trivia to close: the last track, “Comin’ Home Baby,” was co-written by Bob Dorough, the same fellow who wrote every song featured in Schoolhouse Rock’s “Multiplication Rock,” from “My Hero Zero” all the way through to “Little Twelvetoes.”
Ronnie Dyson, Phase 2 / Brand New Day: Although he first came to musical prominence as a result of his role in Hair (if you’ve heard “Aquarius,” that’s him singing, “When the moon is in the seventh house / And Jupiter aligns with Mars...”), Ronnie Dyson spent a decent amount of the ‘70s as a success on the R&B charts, even earning a few pop hits in the process. Although his commercial glory days may have been over by the ‘80s, Dyson nonetheless kept at it, releasing two optimistically-titled albums on Cotillion Records: 1982’s Phase 2 and 1983’s Brand New Day. Neither made so much as a ripple on the pop charts, but the former found R&B success with the singles “Heart to Heart” and “Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong,” while the latter provided “All Over Your Face,” which hit #23 on the R&B charts and proved to be his last hit single.