Record Store Day Limited Run
Very few copies available, also limited by region
Eric B. & Rakim
Paid In Full
Rakim's master plan to put something beside sweat inside his hand was a vital part of hip-hop history, but it never quite reached the same audience in the U.S. as it did across the pond.
Must Read: The stock metric you'll regret overlooking
As one of the few founding fathers of rap who can still lay claim to the Best Rapper Alive title without raising too many eyebrows or chuckles, Rakim's deep, gravelly delivery and earnest, train-of-thought rhymes are hip-hop bedrock. As DJs in the U.K. discovered, however, they also make a great base for a remix. By picking up the tempo, tossing in a sample from Israeli singer Ofra Haza and extending the run time a bit, the folks behind Paid In Full's Mini Madness Coldcut remix took the song to No. 15 on the U.K. pop chart and turned British actor Geoffrey Sumner's This is a journey into sound into a staple hip-hop sample.
Both the original and the Coldcut remix are available on this 7-inch release, as is the original $100-bill cover art.
Food For Thought: The Get On Down Edition
The Godfather Of Soul couldn't have just any backing band: He needed the best musicians available to tear the house down on a nightly basis. That's how you get Bootsy Collins to play bass for you before he ever joined Parliament-Funkadelic and how you turn Bobby Byrd from your lead singer in The Fabulous Flames to the organist in your backup band. It's how you get legends like Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker in your horns section.
It's also how you singlehandedly give birth to funk.
This album was the first release on James Brown's People Records in 1972 and was the first of seven JB's albums released during the 1970s. The group's alumni would go on to join George Clinton in Parliament-Funkadelic, fracture off into The JB Horns and provide a large portion of the samples used during hip-hop's Golden Age in the late '80s and early '90s. This album is where that funk journey starts, and the fact that it's packaged with a purple 45 of their first single The Grunt should only motivate collectors more.
Peaches/Go Buddy Go
"Walking down the beaches, looking at the peaches."
England's Stranglers were never a punk band per se, but they were as antagonistic as Johnny Rotten and his Sex Pistols without any of the pose and artifice. Right around the time that the Pistols were getting ready for their close up, slandering the queen and making the U.K. chartmakers censor their album title, the Stranglers were spending the summer of '77 regaling Europe with a lecher's first-person account of a walk down the coastline.
U.K. radio hated it and only got it to No. 8 on the singles chart by airing a heavily edited version. The BBC's Top Of The Pops wouldn't let the band play it at all and instead forced them to play its flipside -- the lunkheaded pub anthem Go Buddy Go.
Stranglers gear doesn't appear at Hot Topic and Hugh Cornwell doesn't have a street named after him or a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but The Stranglers were a reminder that sometimes "punk" didn't have to be punk at all. Why sneer when a smirk will do?