Die Another Day: Whereas 50 Cent faced us head-on, albeit through a cracked mirror, on his Get Rich or Die Tryin' debut, the still-shirtless rapper has his back turned -- and a baby in arms -- on the soundtrack to the movie of the same name. To the delight of those protesting the movie's billboards, perhaps, the clean version of the soundtrack doesn't show a gun sticking out of 50's pants (but the explicit one does). Tracks include: "When It Rains It Pours" (50), "I'll Whip Ya Head Boy" (50 featuring Young Buck) and "When Death Becomes You" (M.O.P. featuring 50).
Hits Me Baby One More Time: Can't artists let their best songs speak for themselves? 'Parently not. If you've got a little extra gold lying around, you might want to splurge on the CD+DVD version of the Beastie Boys' Solid Gold Hits, which has a live video for "Brass Monkey," filmed at a sold-out Madison Square Garden show last October. Limp Bizkit take a less consumer-friendly approach by selling their CD and DVD separately, while Lenny Kravitz bests even that by making fans buy his Greatest Hits all over again: It's coming out as a limited-edition tour version with a bonus DVD.
Rap With a Twista: You just heard from Twista with last month's The Day After, but his pal Paul Wall's gotta pay the bills too, so they're dishing up the album again, screwed-and-chopped style (and with a purple album cover). The Alchemist is also taking a seemingly-innovative-but-in-reality-kinda-dull approach by re-releasing last year's 1st Infantry -- in instrumental form.
Rick Rubin Everywhere: Sure, the perplexing producer has Melanie C and Sir Mix-a-Lot in his oeuvre, but Neil Diamond? That's right -- Rubes spruced up the 12 songs on Diamond's first studio record in four years called, uh, 12 Songs. The Digipak version defies the album title with two bonus cuts: "Men Are So Easy" and an alternate take of "Delirious Love" with Brian Wilson. Incidentally, several bands Rubin has bonded with in the past also have releases coming out this week: the Beastie Boys, the Mars Volta, Limp Bizkit and Johnny Cash.
Song Title of the Week:
"Gods Are Fearing Men" (Filthy Thieven' Bastards' My Pappy Was a Pistol)
The Mars Volta's Scab Dates: After their first record, the Mars Volta followed it up with a 43-minute live "EP" loosely based (read: improvised) around the same material. Now they're chasing March's Frances the Mute with Scab Dates, an even lengthier live collection of material from 2003-2005 that clocks in around 70 minutes. Only two studio albums in, and already two live releases that nearly total the time of the band's studio-recorded output? Gotta be a first.
Guided by Voices' Suitcase 2 - American Superdream Wow and Briefcase 2 - The Return of Milko Waif, Suitcase 2 Abridged: If Guided by Voices were a circus prop, they'd be one of those taxis the clowns pile out of indefinitely. Even though they broke up last year, they've managed to cull 100 more tracks for their fourth box (emphasis on the "Wow"). Two decades' worth of demos, sketches and live tunes are packed into this Suitcase, including the original version of "I Am Decided," which Kim Deal later recycled on her 1995 Amps record, Pacer. To make matters a little more frustrating, GBV are putting two exclusive tracks on Briefcase 2 - The Return of Milko Waif, Suitcase 2 Abridged, a separate set that is otherwise a distilled version of Suitcase 2. Plus there's a vinyl version of Briefcase 2 with an exclusive cut of its own, proving that, if you are in fact trying to be a GBV completist, you've completely lost your mind.
Peter Gallagher's 7 Days in Memphis and the various-artists collection The O.C. Mix 5: So if Ryan Atwood is a fish out of water in the O.C., what does that make Sandy Cohen in Memphis? A recording artist, apparently. The reception Peter Gallagher got after barreling out a cover of a Solomon Burke number in a recent episode "The O.C." must have been tremendous, because that's all the actor needed to hole up in Soulsville USA for 7 Days in Memphis -- and it's all Epic Records needed to sign him. This week gets even soapier with The O.C. Mix 5, although that 12-track comp probably won't cater to the soul crowd; it features tastemakers like Gorillaz, Stars, Phantom Planet, Shout Out Louds and Kasabain.
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Reissues & Archival Notables:
- Johnny Cash - The Complete Sun Recordings 1955-1958 (three-CD box set; Time Life)
- Rosanne Cash - The Very Best of Rosanne Cash (Columbia/Legacy)
- Corm - Audio Flame Kit (Polyvinyl)
- Crowded House - Crowded House (DualDisc; Capitol)
- The Damned - Play It at Your Sister (three CDs; Castle/Sanctuary)
- John Entwistle - Rigor Mortis Sets In, Smash Your Head Against the Wall and Whistle Rymes (Sanctuary)
- Eurythmics - Ultimate Collection (Arista)
- Fleetwood Mac - Men of the World: The Blues Years (three CDs; Sanctuary)
- Guided by Voices - Suitcase 2 - American Superdream Wow (four CDs; Recordhead) and Briefcase 2 - The Return of Milko Waif, Suitcase 2 Abridged(two CDs; Recordhead)
- The Highwaymen - The Road Goes on Forever (limited-edition remaster with DVD; Capitol)
- Miranda July - 10 Million Hours in a Mile (Kill Rock Stars)
- King Cole Trio - Transcriptions (three CDs; Blue Note)
- Lenny Kravitz - Greatest Hits (limited tour edition with DVD; Virgin)
- John Lennon - Live Peace in Toronto, 1969 (gold CD; Mobile Fidelity)
- Bob Marley and the Wailers - Africa Unite: The Singles Collection (Island)
- Maximum Joy- Unlimited 1979-1983 (Crippled Di-- Hot Wax)
- Nickelback - Silver Side Up/ Live at Home - The 25th Anniversary Series (live; special edition; Roadrunner)
- R.E.M. - Document (DualDisc; Capitol)
- Sonny Rollins - Essential Sonny Rollins: The RCA Years (RCA)
- T. Rex - Dandy in the Underworld, The Slider, The T. Rex Wax Co. Singles: A's and B's 1972-77 and Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow EP (two CDs each; Rhino)
- Patti Smith - Horses/Horses (two CDs; Arista)
- Traffic - The Last Traffic Jam (DualDisc; Epic)
- The Tragically Hip - Hipeponymous (four CDs; Universal/Fontana)
- Venom - MMV (box set; Castle/Sanctuary)
- Steve Winwood - About Time (DualDisc; Epic)
- Zapp & Mr. Capone-e - Ol' Skool Music, Vol. 1 (Thump)
- Various artists - "The Warriors" soundtrack (A&M)
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