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Purple Rain & Opinions on The Dead Weather

Tune in for a Classic Album Dissection of Prince's Purple Rain, now 25 years old. Later Jim and Greg review the debut album from Jack White's new quartet The Dead Weather.

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Music News

Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch announced this week that he has cancer and will be undergoing surgery. He explained on a video on the group's site that the cancer was caught in time, and he will recover. The Beastie Boys are being forced to cancel a number of big tour dates, however, including headling slots at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and All Points West in New Jersey. Lollapalooza will not be offering refunds for tickets. As Greg explains, this is standard policy at many festivals where you are there to see dozens or hundreds of bands. Jim thinks that when a headline drops out, people should be able to get a refund, especially if they purchased tickets for just that one day.

It's only July, but Jim is already thinking about Christmas gifts. He noticed that yet again, Greg missed an opportunity to get him the perfect gift — John Bonham's gong. Bonzo's famous 48-inch gong went at auction this week for $64,000. Jim thinks it's a reasonable price for such a massive gong used by such a massive drummer.

classic album dissectionPurple Rain (Deluxe)Purple Rain available on iTunes

Prince Purple Rain

It's hard to believe, but Prince's blockbuster album Purple Rain is now celebrating its 25th anniversary. To honor this occasion Jim and Greg conduct a Classic Album Dissection. They talk to former Revolution members Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman about their relationship with Prince and the making of the album. Wendy & Lisa are now a musical duo, and also score music for TV shows like Heroes and Nurse Jackie. But back in 1984, they were part of Prince's recording and performing team — Wendy on guitar and Lisa on keyboards. As Jim and Greg explain, it was unique for Prince to be collaborative. He even shared songwriting credits with The Revolution. Jim and Greg also credit Wendy and Lisa with opening Prince up to new music and new sounds.

To cap off their dissection Jim and Greg talk about two specific songs from Purple Rain. Jim plays "Darling Nikki," one of the only songs on the album written solely by Prince. It was targeted by Tipper Gore and the PMRC for its suggestive lyrics, but Jim sees it as a love/lust story similar to "Norwegian Wood." Greg plays "When Doves Cry." With no bass line, multiple guitar parts and a multi-tracked voice, it's an example of Prince's modern and avant-garde side.

reviewHorehoundHorehound available on iTunes

The Dead Weather Horehound

Another year… another Jack White project. After The White Stripes and The Raconteurs comes The Dead Weather. This time White has a more behind-the-scenes role as drummer and producer. Alison Mosshart of The Kills is the lead vocalist. Jim was let down by the second Raconteurs record, but he was blown away by the knockout, raw garage rock on Horehound. He gives it a Buy It rating. Greg is surprised to hear this. While he likes the sleezy, b-movie sound and vibe, he needs great songs to go with it. Greg looks forward to seeing the group live, but on record it's a Try It.

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Jim

“Ghosts of American Astronauts”The Mekons

It's Jim's turn to add a song he can't live without to the Desert Island Jukebox. To honor the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, he chooses "Ghosts of American Astronauts" by The Mekons. Jim was initially daunted by the Chicago punk/alt-country band. They've been going for three decades, so where do you start? So Good It Hurts was the doorway for him, and he discovered how smart, political and also seductive they can be on songs like "Ghosts of American Astronauts."

Featured Songs

  1. Led Zeppelin, Moby Dick, Led Zeppelin II, Atlantic, 1969
  2. Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain, Purple Rain, Warner Bros., 1984
  3. Prince and the Revolution, Let's Go Crazy, Purple Rain, Warner Bros., 1984
  4. Prince and the Revolution, Take Me With You, Purple Rain, Warner Bros., 1984
  5. Prince and the Revolution, Head, Dirty Mind, Warner Bros., 1980
  6. Prince and the Revolution, Controversy, Controversy, Warner Bros., 1981
  7. Prince and the Revolution, Soft and Wet, Kiss / Soft and Wet, Warner Bros., 1981
  8. Prince and the Revolution, The Beautiful Ones, Purple Rain, Warner Bros., 1984
  9. Prince and the Revolution, I Would Die For You, Purple Rain, Warner Bros., 1984
  10. Prince and the Revolution, Darling Nikki, Purple Rain, Warner Bros., 1984
  11. Prince and the Revolution, Computer Blue, Purple Rain, Warner Bros., 1984
  12. Prince and the Revolution, Baby I'm a Star, Purple Rain, Warner Bros., 1984
  13. Prince and the Revolution, When Doves Cry, Purple Rain, Warner Bros., 1984
  14. The Dead Weather, I Cut Like A Buffalo, Horehound, Third Man, 2009
  15. The Dead Weather, Hang You From The Heavens, Horehound, Third Man, 2009
  16. The Mekons, Ghosts of American Astronauts, So Good It Hurts, Twin/Tone, 1987
  17. Jodeci, My Phone, Forever My Lady, MCA, 1991
  18. Pearl Jam,“Dissident,”Vs. Epic Associated, 1993
  19. Cheap Trick, Sleep Forever, The Latest, Cheap Trick Unlimited, 2009
  20. Frightened Rabbit, Old Old Fashioned, Midnight Organ Fight, FatCat, 2008
  21. Rhymefest,“Pulls Me Back,”The Manual Mixtape, 2009

Footnotes

nytimes.com Adam Yauch diagnosed with cancer blabbermouth.net John Bonham's gong sells at auction artofficialage.com Prince thedeadweather.com The Dead Weather soundopinions.org Jack White on Sound Opinions soundopinions.org The Kills on Sound Opinions