Last year Rhino kicked-off Rocktober, a highly successful campaign that celebrated some of the biggest names in rock and roll. It was almost like having Record Store Day in October — albeit on a much, much smaller scale. The concept is the same, a limited pressing of some of the most iconic records in history.
Now, the campaign returns with another riveting month-long event featuring 17 not-to-miss releases. Tuesday, October 3 kicks off the first round and continues with new releases every Tuesday throughout the month. Rocktober 2017 features iconic artists Alice Cooper, Faces, Grateful Dead, Jane’s Addiction and many more.
All of the releases will be available exclusively at participating brick and mortar retail outlets. Below, Rock Music Menu has outlined, to coincide with the tenth month on the calendar, the 10 we’re looking forward to the most.
ALICE COOPER — ‘LOVE IT TO DEATH’
The third Alice Cooper album is considered by many to be one of the ones which laid down the blueprint for heavy metal as we now know it. Featuring the instant classic “I’m Eighteen” along with fan favorites like “Is It My Body” and “Caught in a Dream,” it’s one of the most influential in history. Here it’s going to be available on black and white swirl vinyl, limited to 6,500 copies. (Oct. 3)
JANE’S ADDICTION — ‘NOTHING’S SHOCKING’
The major-label debut by alternative rock pioneers Jane’s Addiction is one of their best, with the tracks “Ocean Size,” “Mountain Song” and “Jane Says.” To this day it’s as fresh as ever, and now will be available on 180-gram clear vinyl, though it’s limited to just 6,000 copies. (Oct. 3)
HEAVY METAL — ‘THE SOUNDTRACK’
This two-LP set is only going to be made available in the United States and Canada, and while there aren’t really any bells and whistles — it’s on standard black vinyl — but is notable for a couple of reasons. Mainly, it’s the artists involved in the project, which provided the musical soundtrack to the animated sci-fi film geared toward an adult audience. Sammy Hagar provides the title track, Journey had their hit “Open Arms” appear on it, as does an alternate version of Black Sabbath’s “The Mob Rules.” There are also songs from a bunch of people you wouldn’t think would be on an album called ‘Heavy Metal,’ like Stevie Nicks, Devo, Cheap Trick, and Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen. (Oct. 3)
VELVET UNDERGROUND — ‘LOADED’
The final Velvet Underground before Lou Reed left the group was one of their most commercially concentrated with the singles “Sweet Jane” and “Rock & Roll.” Here, it comes on gold vinyl, limited to just 7,000 copies. (Oct. 3)
TESTAMENT — ‘THE LEGACY’
This 1987 debut album by the California thrash metal outfit established them as true contenders in the genre, right up there with the likes of Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. Here, it’s being made available on green vinyl and limited to just 5,000 copies. (Oct. 3)
CHICAGO — ‘CHICAGO PRESENTS: THE INNOVATIVE GUITAR OF TERRY KATH’
Terry Kath was the original guitarist and founding member of Chicago, whose life was tragically cut short when he died tragically in 1978 by accidentally shooting himself. This two-LP tribute to him will be limited to 6,200 copies and pressed on 180-gram vinyl. (Oct. 17)
SKID ROW — ‘B-SIDE OURSELVES’
Released in 1992 with the band’s classic lineup still intact — Sebastian Bach on vocals — this was an EP the hard rockers did to celebrate their influences by covering them. Ramones (“Psycho Therapy”), Kiss (“C’mon and Love Me”), Judas Priest (“Delivering the Goods”), Rush (“What You’re Doing “) and Jimi Hendrix (“Little Wing”) are all represented. Now it’ll be on grey vinyl. (Oct. 17)
T. REX — ‘ELECTRIC WARRIOR’
As much as ‘Love It to Death was the blueprint for heavy metal, ‘Electric Warrior’ did the same for glam rock. Besides having hits like “Get It On,” “Jeepster” and “Life’s a Gas,” there’s that eternally iconic cover featuring the silhouette of Marc Bolan playing guitar in front of a towering set of amps while glowing gold. This will only be available in the United States and Canada and available on 180-gram vinyl. (Oct. 24)
GRATEFUL DEAD — THE BEST OF THE GRATEFUL DEAD VOL. 2: 1977 — 1989
This two-LP set is a Rocktober exclusive, and will be available on 180-gram vinyl. It’ll feature Dead classics across a 12 year period from “Terrapin Station” to “Touch of Grey.” [Oct. 24]
ZZ TOP — ‘ZZ TOP’S FIRST ALBUM’
It’s not nearly as well-known as the Texas bred boogie classics that would come afterward, but ‘ZZ Top’s First Album’ has all the foundations for what was to come in the ensuing years. It’ll be available on 180-gram vinyl. (Oct. 24)
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, check out his blog at www.thechroniclesofmc.com