There are some things you can just count on: taxes, death, trouble…add to the list the joy of listening to a bunch of new albums in October while supporting your favorite brick-and-mortar shop. Yep, it’s back. Rhino’s annual Rocktober campaign is back on, boasting a stellar line-up of lost gems and favorites from the Warner vault. From landmark albums by famed ’90s rockers, a desirable compilation of John Prine’s ’70s work, reissues of DEVO and Talking Heads classics, a clutch of soundtracks, an Emmylou Harris reissue that rocks in a different way, and more – there’s plenty to look forward to.
As usual, these Rocktober releases will only be available through your local independent record retailers (including their online storefronts) as well as select Barnes & Noble locations. You can find all the details on the titles below and seek out your nearest record shop here!
Green Day, Nimrod (2-LP, translucent yellow vinyl)
After what’s been called a slight sophomore slump, East Bay rockers Green Day returned in 1997 with Nimrod. Here the band channels early Who in their singles-based approach, bringing together 18 tracks in styles as diverse as surf, ska, and folk-rock. No rock operas in sight, each track stands alone on its own merits as vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tre Cool break away from the three-chord-rock tradition that punk music had carried for so long. This edition will be pressed on translucent yellow vinyl, exclusive to independent retailers.
Jane’s Addiction, Ritual de lo habitual (2-LP, milky clear and white vinyl)
Jane’s Addiction’s double-platinum-certified sophomore album arrives on milky clear and white vinyl for Rocktober. Featuring the singles “Been Caught Stealing” and “Stop!” – not to mention a striking cover – Ritual de lo habitual is part singles and part concept, with the last four songs dedicated to singer Perry Farrell’s girlfriend, who had died a few years earlier. The result was profuse critical acclaim from all corners of the rock press. With daring, captivating material performed by the band at their peak, Ritual de lo habitual would be Jane’s Addiction’s breakthrough. It’s just as stunning three decades on.
Love, Forever Changes [mono mix] (black vinyl)
One of the ultimate ’60s cult classics, Forever Changes is still spoken about in hushed tones as a beguiling blend of psych, baroque-pop, and folk that anyone with two working ears ought to hear at some point. Well, now you can hear it in a perhaps-unfamiliar way as Rhino reissues the sought-after dedicated mono mix of Forever Changes as a standalone package for the first time. Previously only available on the deluxe 50th anniversary box set or on a shockingly priced niche pressing of 300 pieces by a third party, Forever Changes now arrives on shelves for more people to enjoy. No fancy color vinyl, just excellent music. Take it for a spin and fall under its spell.
Faith No More, The Real Thing (yellow vinyl)
On their 1989 album The Real Thing, San Francisco alt-rock/metal group Faith No More finally broke through to the mainstream. Vocalist Chuck Moseley had been replaced by Mike Patton, who wrote lyrics and sang on the music that was started by the band’s last lineup. Despite the time crunch, songwriter Patton came through with lyrics that would tie the Grammy-nominated album together. Rightfully considered a landmark of metal, The Real Thing still packs a punch.
Foxboro Hot Tubs, Stop Drop and Roll!!! (green vinyl)
Foxboro Hot Tubs, the side project of all three Green Day members and a few friends, released their one and only album in 2008. A stark contrast to the concept album form that they’d advanced with their massive-selling American Idiot, Stop Drop and Roll!!! saw Green Day, their touring musicians Jason White and Jason Freese, and L.A. guitarist Kevin Preston secretly rebrand themselves as a garage rock outfit: a spontaneous, lo-fi, rock and roll group complete with Wilburys-esque noms de plume. Through a small-footprint online campaign including a free digital download placed on the Green Day website, Stop Drop and Roll!!! began to take off and quickly garnered both positive reviews and significant chart action. Twelve years on, the album returns to vinyl – this time in a fitting green-hued color variant exclusive for Rocktober.
John Prine, Prime Prine: The Best of John Prine (black vinyl)
Originally released in 1976, Prime Prine collects the cream of the crop of folk icon John Prine’s immensely influential first four albums. Featuring 12 iconic tracks, including “Hello in There,” “Illegal Smile,” “Sweet Revenge,” and “Sam Stone” (no relation!), this compilation serves as both an introduction and digestible distillation of some of Prine’s most beloved material.
Talking Heads, 77 (translucent red vinyl)
Talking Heads, More Songs About Buildings and Food (translucent red vinyl)
Talking Heads, Fear of Music (silver and grey vinyl)
Talking Heads’ first three albums saw the once-outsider rock group transform into hitmakers. Their debut 77 introduced their unique brand of neurotic drama, punk ethos and even some dancefloor inclinations – and brought with it chart success with their first Top 100 single, “Psycho Killer.” For their next album, More Songs About Buildings and Food, the band teamed up with Brian Eno and set up shop in the Bahamas. The result was a glossier, more danceable set of songs, with an even tighter rhythm section that shines on their Billboard Top 30 cover of Al Green’s “Take Me To The River.” For Fear of Music, the band chose to raise the presence of the disco-tinged sonic palate of their last album. They recorded basic tracks in the loft owned by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, with Eno presiding. With elements of world music, Dada absurdity, and dystopian visions, it represented another stylistic leap and laid the groundwork for their music to come. Now these three groundbreaking albums arrive on color vinyl pressings exclusive to Rocktober.
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Outside Providence (red and orange vinyl)
Set in 1974, the soundtrack to this 1999 stoner comedy includes a clutch of undeniable rock classics. FM radio stars abound, including The Who, Paul McCartney, Eagles, The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Ten Years After, Yes, and more. It’s a collection of tracks that – even detached from its visual counterpart – brings the listener back to those heady days. Available on red and orange split-color vinyl.
Various Artists, Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix (black and clear vinyl)
The mid-’90s were populated by tribute albums. While some were snoozers, Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix still holds up. With contributions by peers like Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck (not to mention Hendrix’s own Band of Gypsys), plus blues influences like Buddy Guy, and a host of popular musicians of the time, this 1993 album remains fresh. The variety of artists is what keeps it really exciting. The set boasts appearances by three members of CHIC backing Clapton, classical violinist Nigel Kennedy, angel-throated vocalist Seal, and hip-hop favorites PM Dawn to name a few. They deliver hits, fan favorites, and deep cuts alike, each leaving their sonic fingerprint on the material. It may not always be for Hendrix purists, but Stone Free remains one of the most interesting of the tribute album genre. Available for Rocktober on an exclusive black and clear colorway.
Emmylou Harris, Wrecking Ball (clear vinyl)
Rarely does an artist record an album that’s both a return to form and something totally unexpected, but with her 1995 album Wrecking Ball that’s just what happened. The 48-year-old Harris collaborated with Daniel Lanois – whose credits to that point included U2, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, and Bob Dylan – to build a soundscape that was far removed from the gentle acoustic country vibe of most of her earlier recordings. With covers from a wide range of writers (Dylan, Hendrix, Young, and McGarrigle among them) and a luscious, sometimes rocking, sometimes dreamlike atmosphere, Wrecking Ball redefined the course of Emmylou Harris’ career and has become a favorite of the alternative-country genre. Now, Wrecking Ball can be enjoyed on a new clear vinyl pressing, marking the standalone album’s return to vinyl after 25 years.
INXS, Kick (green vinyl)
Australian rockers INXS took the world by storm with their sixth album Kick. The inescapable pull of their new funk-and-rock blend was everywhere, as the album contained four of the most undeniably infectious hits of the era: “New Sensation,” “Need You Tonight,” “Devil Inside,” and “Never Tear Us Apart.” For Rocktober, the album returns to vinyl, this time on green vinyl.
DEVO, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO! (white vinyl)
DEVO, Duty Now For the Future (magenta vinyl)
DEVO’s first two albums will be given the color vinyl treatment for Rocktober. After receiving glowing recommendations from the likes of Bowie and Iggy Pop, DEVO landed a deal with Warner Bros., paired up with Brian Eno, and swiftly became part of the popular consciousness with their exceedingly odd covers (see “Satisfaction,” Secret Agent Man”), unforgettable originals, and manipulation of instrumentation and song forms. Now Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO! and Duty Now For the Future arrive on exclusive color vinyl pressings exclusive to Rocktober.
The Flaming Lips, Transmissions From the Satellite Heart (green vinyl)
Also on the Rocktober list is the album that spawned The Flaming Lips’ first chart hit, “She Don’t Use Jelly”: Transmissions From the Satellite Heart. With two new band members, the Lips were reinvigorated and as eccentric as ever, delivering a clutch of psych-infused kaleidoscopic alt-rock that’s ready to be rediscovered, this time on green vinyl exclusively through your preferred brick and mortar record shop.
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Brandon Lee: The Crow (black vinyl with etching)
This fan-favorite soundtrack features hard rockers covering older rock and alternative tracks. You’ll hear Nine Inch Nails cover Joy Division, Pantera interpret Poison Idea, the Rollins Band perform a track originally by Suicide, Rage Against the Machine re-record their 1991 B-side “Darkness of Greed,” and much more. Previously only available for Record Store Day 2019, the soundtrack now returns to brick-and-mortar shops for Rocktober, pressed on black vinyl with a fourth-side etching.
So call in, email, or send a letter to your favorite record shop and let them know which Rocktober titles you’ve got your eye on and get ready to discover (or revisit) some of the finest music from Warner’s catalogue throughout October! Don’t know where your local participating shop is? Well, head over to this link and get acquainted!