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Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 12:15pm

33 years ago today, the artist who was then known as Prince – you know, before he went on to become the Artist Formerly Known as Prince and, eventually, went back to being Prince again – released an album with an album destined to court the very thing cited in its title…because, really, if you’re going to close your album with a song called “Jack U Off,” you can’t really expect to find full-fledged mainstream acceptance, now, can you?

Prince released no less than four singles from Controversy, starting with the title track, which earned him a #3 R&B hit, his third top-5 single on that particular chart (it also hit #70 on the pop charts, just so you know), and the album’s second single, “Let’s Work,” was a #9 R&B hit. Sadly, neither of the two subsequent singles, “Do Me, Baby” or “Sexuality,” managed to make any sort of chart impact, but if that disappointed Prince, one presume that he managed to shrug off his disappointment by the time his next album rolled around: 1999 gave him all of the success he’d been after from the beginning.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 11:08am
Rhino Factoids

30 years ago today, at the Nuremberg, Germany date of the Monsters of Rock Tour 1984, David Lee Roth performed what would prove to be his final gig as frontman for Van Halen for many, many years, but even now, it remains the last time the original four members of the band – Roth, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, and Michael Anthony – performed together.

Despite the tremendous commercial success of the 1984 album, its singles, and its videos – “Jump,” “I’ll Wait,” “Panama,” and “Hot for Teacher” were all hits in one capacity or another – the man known as Diamond Dave was finding himself increasingly at odds with Eddie and Alex, resulting in a perpetual state of tension within the band. Given the amount of time the members of Van Halen were spending together on the road, this was a very bad thing, indeed.

Monday, September 1, 2014 - 10:03am
Rhino Factoids

35 years ago, the band known as INXS made their public debut as INXS. It’s not as if they hadn’t being playing around already, you understand, but it was on this date that they performed their first concert under that particular name.

Yes, history reveals that the first proper show by the band that would ultimately become known INXS took place on August 16, 1977, a.k.a. Tim Farriss’s 20th birthday, in Sydney.. At the time, though, they were still calling themselves The Farriss Brothers Band, an appropriate moniker, it must be said, for a group featuring Tim, Jon, and Andrew Farriss in its lineup. By the following year, the whole crew had tagged along when Jon, still 16, had no choice but to move to Perth when his family did, with everyone else in the band living in a communal home, where they spent most of 1978 writing, rehearsing, and performing. Not long after the start of ’79, however, the gang moved back to Sydney, when things really began to get rolling for them.

Monday, September 1, 2014 - 8:40am
Mono Mondays

This week’s Mono Monday release comes courtesy of one of the great sax men of the ‘50s, ‘60s, and – all too briefly – the ‘70s: King Curtis, who can be heard blowing on songs by, among others, the Coasters (“Yakety Yak”), Buddy Holly (“Reminiscing”), John Lennon (“It’s So Hard”), and The Shirelles (“Boys”). Beyond his gigs as a sideman, however, Curtis was regularly recording his own albums, including this effort from 1966.

Friday, August 29, 2014 - 1:31pm

First we released it on limited-edition vinyl for Free Record Store Day, and then we released it digitally and on CD. Now, on September 2, we’re doubling back and reissuing those sessions on vinyl. In short, we here at Rhino Records will not rest until everyone has the opportunity to purchase their very own copy of R.E.M.’s Unplugged 1991/2001: The Complete Sessions.

Friday, August 29, 2014 - 9:48am
Bob Lefsetz: Welcome To My World

The film came out a year after the Fillmores closed, had almost no impact, and neither did this boxed set of highlights, but oh how high those highlights are!

Actually, "Fillmore-The Last Days" was one of the few movies I walked in in the middle of, I'm like Alvy in "Annie Hall," I've got to see it from the beginning, otherwise I'm fearful I've missed something, but a concert movie?

Yup, I was worried about this in a concert movie too, but we had tickets for Newport Jazz back when it was in New York and this was the only way the timing worked, my friend Ronnie, who is no longer with us, convinced me.

And the flick shows Bill Graham in action, as well as...