We’re back! Did you miss us? Or did you even notice we were gone? (Given that we haven’t had a Digital Update for you since December 17, we sure hope you noticed.) A lot has happened since we were last together, including a very sad loss which, as it happens, ties directly into this week’s additions.
New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
On December 22, the world of music lost the great Joe Cocker, who had the kind of unique voice that is likely never to be duplicated. Cocker had a substantial back catalog, with 22 studio albums to his credit, and three of those efforts – all of them from the mid-1980s – have at last made their way into our digital catalog.
Wow, we’re getting the strangest sense of déjà vu all of a sudden…
Yes, that’s right: yesterday our Mono Mondays release was Otis Redding’s The Dock of the Day, and today we’re issuing the very same album on 180-gram vinyl. As such, what can we tell you – besides, of course, that it’s going to sound staggeringly good when you give it a spin – that we didn’t cover in our previous piece on this classic effort?
Well, first of all, although we tackled the fact that Redding co-wrote the title track with Steve Cropper, we didn’t really get into the fact that Redding helped composed several other songs on the record, including “Let Me Come On Home,” a co-write with Booker T. Jones and Al Jacobson, Jr., and three solo compositions: “Open the Door,” “I’m Coming Home,” and “Ole Man Trouble.” In addition, there are versions of “I Love You More Than Words Can Say,” written by Jones and Eddie “Knock on Wood” Floyd, and “Don’t Mess with Cupid,” by Cropper, Floyd, and Deanie Parker, along with covers of Billy Hill’s “The Glory of Love,” Jimmy Cox’s “Nobody Knows You (When You’re Down and Out),” “Tramp,” written by Lowell Fulson and Jimmy McCracklin, and Redding’s take on “The Huckle-Buck.”
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.
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:
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.