As part of Amazon’s $2.99 MP3 album deals for February 2013, Rage Against The Machine’s XX (20th Anniversary Edition) is on sale for less than $3. That’s right, for only $2.99 you can own one of my favorite albums of all time. Totally remastered for a new generation, these digital versions sound far better than the originals.
I’m not usually one for remastered albums, but I gave the first track a listen and had to take the plunge. For me, Rage Against The Machine stands out as one of the truly great rock bands of the 1990s. I always thought of them as more hardcore than rock/rap, but one thing is for sure, their music is definitely recognizable. If a RATM song is playing, you know it immediately… Tom Morello‘s wicked guitar riffs and vocalist Zach de la Rocha‘s unique voice bombard your ears and lay siege to your soul. XX is packed with political diatribes focused on capitalism, corporate greed, and governmental oppression. This is the quintessential Rage album, as it really embodies what they represent and expresses their displeasure in no uncertain terms.
The saga and adoration of Elvis Presley brings on a division among people that gives new meaning to the word love/hate. But make no mistake about a few points here, Elvis Presley may not have invented rock and roll and he may not invented rockabilly, but what he almost singlehandedly DID invent was how to project a certain attitude and style to it, infusing a danger and an edge. Nobody, no front man in music history who has followed him, does not owe at least something to the unpredictability of the swagger and charisma that was the early Elvis Presley, from Iggy Pop, to John Lennon, to Jim Morrison, to Robert Plant and up and down the musical ladder.
One of American music’s most tragic, flawed singers, Janis Joplin came out of the Billie Holiday/Big Mama Thornton school of hard knocks in the late 1960s to carve her own niche as one of the most influential singers of all time. First doing her musical turns with Big Brother and the Holding Company and then on her own with some stellar backing bands and finally stripped down, Joplin took every drop of the 1960s excess and devoured it for all it was worth.
As part of Amazon’s monthly $5 MP3 album deal for April 2012, Queen‘s The Works is on sale for only $5.
Released in 1984 and during what would have to be categorized as their “lean years” in this country, The Works by the British group Queen, remains a mildly unknown yet still pretty decent record in their long history of making music. Coming off the heels of the album Hot Space, which was a commercial flop in America, and ending a stretch of long successes for the band which started in the mid 1970s with A Night at the Opera and peaked with The Game (which spawned the number one smash “Another One Bites the Dust”), The Works finds Queen in an adventurous mode and slightly stripped down.