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Peter S. Myers was the vice-president of domestic distribution for 20th Century Fox in 1976. In November of that year, he heard positive reports from people involved with the movie Star Wars and those who had seen rough footage of the film in progress. Myers then sent a four-page telegram to his underlings, outlining an unprecedented distribution plan for the movie, as he knew it was great. He trusted his gut. To say Myers was a Star Wars hype-man would be an understatement. “I am saying the picture should get better treatment than Godfather, King Kong, Jaws, Poseidon or Towering Inferno,” he proclaimed in the telegram, and even declares “it is quite possible Star Wars will emerge as the all time box office champion.”

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In the late summer, and early fall of 1995 saw the release of Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, and GZA’s Liquid Swords, which would turn out to be the group’s two most significant and well-received solo projects. Cuban Linx was a diverse, theatrical criminological epic that saw RZA move away from the raw, stripped-down beats of the early albums and towards a richer, cinematic sound more reliant on strings and classic soul samples. The album is highly notable in that it revived, and expanded the Mafioso rap subgenre, which started to decline several years beforehand. Lavish living and the crime underworld are referenced throughout using quotes from the John Woo movie The Killer, with the mystique of the Wu-Tang Clan deepened by the adoption of crime boss aliases and the crew name Wu-Gambinos. GZA’s Liquid Swords had a similar focus on inner-city criminology akin to Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, but it was far darker, both in GZA’s grim lyrics and in the ominous, foreboding production that saw RZA experimenting more with keyboards than ever before. Liquid Swords features guest appearances from every Wu-Tang Clan member, and is linked together by excerpts from the movie Shogun Assassin.

Raekwon stopped by the eOne Music Canada offices to talk about his favourite films, and plans for the future.

For 25 years, the Blue Man Group has blurred the thin blue lines between music, theater, performance, visual art and invention. As a percussion-based spectacle, part of their appeal has always been primal banging on knotty tangles of PVC tubes, the furious whipping of airpoles and the thunderous pounds on a big drum they lovingly call “the Big Drum.” Their mostly instrumental third album, Three, just released on Rhino Records, is a feast of such sonic ingenuity, a showcase of home-brewed instruments like the snorkelbone and the chimeulum honking and sparkling over rhythms redolent of contemporary EDM.

From Kramerica Industries, in association with Art Vandelay (he’s an importer/exporter), comes a masterful guide to the personalities of Seinfeld! The Connected Characters of Seinfeld is an art print by Pop Chart Lab that catalogs the cast of over 230 characters from Seinfeld. Signed and numbered prints are available to purchase from the Pop Chart Lab shop.

Cataloging a cast of over 230 close-talkers, anti-dentites, mimbos and more—from recurring players like Newman and Jackie Chiles to memorable one-offs like the Mandelbaums and Man Hands—this sprawling, sponge-worthy schematic sorts the sitcom’s subjects by frequency of appearance, then maps each character’s connection to Jerry, Elaine, Kramer, and yada, yada, yada.

As an artist, Frank Zappa had famously always done whatever the hell he wants. As a comedian, John Belush had taken the same risks. So when Zappa appeared as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live in December 1976 to perform “Purple Lagoon” anything could have happened. And did. Belushi went ahead and jumped into the band, started a call-and-response routine, and then attempted to play the sax.

Zappa came back in 1978 as host and musical performer again, and this time, performed “St. Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast” and “Rollo.” Where’s Belushi? Just wait until the 1-minute mark…

The series of out-takes behind the closing credits of ‘Being There’ — the Peter Sellers classic — must be one of the funniest sequences on film. The uploader have included a couple of clips from the body of the movie to provide some context. The premise is that Sellers, a simple-minded gardener who has lived his life in his employer’s mansion, is forced to leave when the employer dies. He has no experience of the world outside, other than television. (Note his attempt to use his TV remote to change the channel of reality.)

This is part 60 of an ongoing series where the kind folk of the music business reveal their favourite album of all time.

Ask people in the music industry the seemingly simple and straightforward question, “What is your favourite album of all time?” and you’ll find that it’s not always easy. After all, my industry peers listen to hundreds of albums a month and thousands of songs during that time. Because the question isn’t the best album of all time or the one that’s made them the most money in sales, or the most clicked-on review, but the one release they personally can’t live without, that one title they have two copies of in several formats, in case one breaks. It’s also about that album that for them has the best back stories and the one that has the most meaning in their lives.

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Kelsey McKinney, Culture staff writer, Fusion
Norah Jones, Come Away With Me
There are albums we love because they meant something to the history of music, and those that brand themselves into our personal histories. The soundtrack to my lowest moments and greatest fears is Norah Jones’s 2002 Come Away With Me. That album is the sweet spot between singer-songwriter rock and pop. It’s light, airy, and refreshing yet doused with the stomach ache that comes when a heart breaks. I bought it on CD, ripped it to cassette for my beat up first car. It was the first album I put into my iTunes, and the first one I bought when the vinyl resurgence started. Sure it won an armload of Grammys, but what brings me back to it again and again is the darkness that hides behind Jones’s pristine, smooth as butter voice.

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Julie Stevens, Program Director, 95.3 KRTY, San Jose, CA
Garth Brooks, No Fences
This album was an absolute “game-changer” for country music. Up to this CD country music had a distinct and very polarizing sound. It was a VERY simple melody with a very simple message. Lots of people would tell you that’s what made country music so great. You could get lost in your thoughts listening to a song like “Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard, or “Hello Darlin” by Conway Twitty because neither the melody nor the lyrics required much thought. Enter Garth Brooks with the “No Fences” CD and EVERYTHING changed, not just for the country music industry, but for me personally. I had been working in the Country Music industry for 10 years so I was just beginning to see that country music would be my life career, when this CD landed on my desk and I knew KNEW that things were going to get really good for me. And that’s exactly what happened. Garth Brooks attracted more people to country music than all the country music artists before him, combined. And as a result, all of us that were on that ship saw our brands rise with him.

ZiggyStardust
Lorraine Carpenter, Editor in chief, Cult MTL
David Bowie, The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
As much as I love the Berlin albums, to me Ziggy Stardust is Bowie’s only truly perfect album. Even apart from the quality of the songs, the lyrics, Bowie’s vocals and Mick Ronson’s guitar work, this was also a groundbreaker for rock ‘n’ roll, with its conceptual central character — a half-naked bisexual alien who’s also a singer and musician down here on Earth — working so well that it confused fans and critics (and supposedly the man himself) about who Bowie really was.

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Liz K., Keysmash blog
Bush, Sixteen Stone
A boy stole this album from a Mainstream to give to me in middle school, and it was my real turning point from the country music my mom listened to, to the “alternative” music that would be my identity for the rest of my teenage years.

bruce springsteen
Kevin Key, Afternoon Host, KQDS FM, Duluth, MN
Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run
If Springsteen’s darker, edgier ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’ is the darker, edgier ‘Empire Strikes Back’, the B2R is the upbeat, more joyous ‘Star Wars’ 1977. That movie was subtitled ‘A New Hope’, and that’s what ‘Run’ has always symbolized to me; hope. There’s an open road, we have each other, the motor’s runnin’ and all we need is a little faith. We can make it if we RUN!

The Monkees have returned with their new single, written by Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo. ‘She Makes Me Laugh’ is the lead single from new album ‘Good Times!’. ‘Good Times!’ is the band’s first album since 1996’s ‘Justus’ and the 2012 passing of member Davy Jones. The band will be commemorating their 50th anniversary with a tour starting next month.

With the new single, let’s take a look back at the time when a bunch of aspiring musicians, including 19-year-old Davy Jones whoanswered a casting call for “4 insane boys” interested in acting in an as-yet unnamed TV series. Davy answers questions asked by an off-screen interviewer about his height, his fashion choices, and his success with the girls.